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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: Goodbye to an old friend

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” — Sitting Bull Even though it seems as if Old Man … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: All Souls musical haven

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” — Billy Joel “I had recently moved to Greenfield, … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: 'If it sounds good, it is good'

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.” — Harry Emerson Phosdick As the more perceptive and discerning of my readers have by now perhaps discovered, I am not particularly chauvinistic about … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: One thing is certain about the multifaceted David Fersh: when he performs, you’re sure to get more than you bargained for

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

“All the world’s a stage ... And one man in his time plays many parts.” — Shakespeare, “As You Like” It,” Several years ago, a previously unknown entity by the name of David Fersh appeared on my radar … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Music, stories, fellowship

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

“Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.” — John Lennon There’s a lot to be said for the way music made its way through the world before its professional handlers got a … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: ‘The Black Man in Song’

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

“When I studied in conservatories as a young man, I absorbed the traditions of music. Then, when I became a pupil of Edgar Varese, my horizons broadened and I wrote in a very dissonant style. Then I began … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Sweet-cream sound

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

“Listen — the horn!” — Ralph Vaughan Williams (to students, on hearing a Beethoven symphony) If one instrument were to be named the pivot-point, the arbitrator of the entire orchestra and its sound, the French horn, which is … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: 'Songs of Divine Chemistry'

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

All day long a little burro labors, sometimes with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries about things that bother only burros. Once in a while a kind monk comes to her stable and brings … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: the 'Barefoot Contessa' of the keyboard

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

“I wander silently and am somewhat unhappy, And my sighs always ask “Where?” In a ghostly breath it calls back to me, “There, where you are not, there is your happiness.” — “Der Wanderer” (“The Wanderer”), Georg Philipp … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: PVS’ ‘Exploration’

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

“I cannot conceive of music that expresses absolutely nothing.” — Bela Bartok Paul Phillips and the Pioneer Valley Symphony continue their expanding trajectory through the music of recent as well as past centuries with “Exploration,” a concert featuring … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Hamelin — ‘I try to discover the piece along with them’

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

“Genuine creation, a seal (proof) of the spirit, reveals itself only when the artist is heedless of creating, when he is intent upon serving. The great masters of the past served, and therefore their compositions have earned the … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Vienna in Vermont

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me, I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door.” — Ezra Lazarus … 0