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Encores and Curtain Calls
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The Pioneer Valley Symphony, shown here being led by Paul Phillips, its music director and conductor, was honored recently with a 2013-2014 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

Encores & Curtain Calls: Pioneer Valley Symphony, the little orchestra that could!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

“I’m not interested in having an orchestra sound like itself. I want it to sound like the composer.” — Leonard Bernstein The Pioneer Valley Symphony, which is soon to turn a venerable 76, has released its 2014-2015 season of offerings with an eye toward focusing on music born of the stage, in honor of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday this past April. … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Theater, music and laughter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Never mind June, the July summer arts scene is bustin’ out all over and it seems only fair to at least touch upon some of the less-known possibilities lest they go unnoticed in the sheer abundance of riches. Original musical theater Happening right under our noses — indeed, opening this evening — is … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Three tales of summer

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One of the most poignant moments of the Superman saga occurs in “Superman Returns,” when we see our solitary protagonist descending toward earth from the darkness of insterstellar space, hearing, as he does so, to a desperate, densely layered cross-section of earth-born voices, beseeching the cosmos for intercession. A bit further on, Lois … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Mohawk Trail Concerts opens new season

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

“For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness.” — Reba McEntire The rich harvest of early summer is … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill oneself.” — Albert Camus Suicide is a dangerous word (from the Latin suicidium, sui + caedere, “to kill oneself”). The mere idea of suicide sets … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Time for the BIG screen

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

“I love to go to a regular movie theater, especially when the movie is a big crowd pleaser. It’s much better watching a movie with 500 people making noise than with just a dozen.” — Steven Spielberg Now … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Tony Bennett

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

“If I cannot fly, let me sing.” — Stephen Sondheim Once upon a time there was a fatherless young boy who came of age during the era of the Great Depression; his mother — as he put it … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: To trust is devine

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” — Desmond Tutu If there’s any true hope for planet earth to move beyond the tribal chauvinism and the divisionalism that have, for millennia, … 0

Encores: The gorgeous mayhem of Puccini

Thursday, May 15, 2014

“No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.” — W.H. Auden When I was still an under-graduate at Queens College, my girlfriend Amy was horrified to learn that, as intimate … 0

Encores: A mass for Mother Earth

Thursday, May 8, 2014

“Our awesome responsibility to ourselves, to our children, and to the future is to create ourselves in the image of goodness, because the future depends on the nobility of our imaginings.” — Barbara Grizutti Harrison, American writer While, … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: 'Behold, the Sea!'

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch — we are going back from whence we came.” — John F. Kennedy There’s nothing like … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Spring sweetens the deal

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

... in just spring, when the world is mud-luscious ... and puddle wonderful ...”— ee cummings As they say, “Getting there is half the fun.”In New York City, concert-going involves enduring the often-less-than-refreshing, not infrequently stressful transit to … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Howard Brofsky tribute concert April 19

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit expresses through them all. — Corinthians 12:14 In the end, it really doesn’t seem to matter very much at all whether one’s instrument in life is a … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: We all rise, we all fall

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice” — Ayn Rand A trio of beguilingly crafted puppets, choreographed to an archive of … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Bringing the light to our children

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

“I can remember everything. That’s my curse, young man. It’s the greatest curse that’s ever been inflicted on the human race. Memory.” — Jedediah Leland, remembering Charles Foster Kane in “Citizen Kane” My thesis, friends, is this: that … 0