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Encores and Curtain Calls

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 paintbrush, a trumpet, a word processor, a voice or, even, a scalpel; if wielded with love — which is to say, with deep care and intent to uplift — all can become vehicles of the sacred. Such was the case for jazz icon Howard Brofsky. Here is the first and most enduring memory author Robin Westen has of the then-56-year-old trumpet player, whom she would come to … 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 eclectic songs and a new underscore, will enact nothing less than the three temptations 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 the earlier our children come to the light — or in this case, the music … 0

Life without drama is no life at all

Thursday, October 3, 2013

“All playwrights should be dead for 300 years.” — Joseph L. Mankiewicz Academy Award-winning  writer, director, producer The human mind cannot for long bear a void — an empty canvas; it seems it has to be busy painting a picture, or telling itself something to keep a narrative … 0

A brilliant, soulful, volatile spirit

Thursday, September 26, 2013

“Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.” — Ludwig van Beethoven The fall arts scene in Brattleboro, Vt., is kicking in big time with a Sunday, Sept. 29, performance by cellist Sharon Robinson and pianist … 0

We can’t do without a tragedy

Thursday, September 19, 2013

“I am ashamed of the (audience) before me ... Are there men to whom, the death of their fellow beings is a spectacle of pleasure, an object of curiosity? ... But you, especially, O women! What has induced you to come to this place?  Is it to wipe … 0

One man, many songs

Thursday, September 12, 2013

“There are only two kinds of music; music that sounds good and whatever you want to call that other stuff.” — Duke Ellington Jerry Noble leads a flock of parallel musical lives, among them, piano accompanist for the soloists and choruses of the Smith College music department, where … 0

‘Healing the Earth’

Thursday, September 5, 2013

“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.” — Dalai Lama The fall artistic aquifers of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst are brimful and primed to erupt, and in some intriguing directions. A strange … 0

Isn’t it time you visited Redfern?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

All right, it’s time to grab those invitingly empty fall calendars and to start circling some of the most inviting offerings that will soon come cascading through the Pioneer Valley. This week, we’ll provide an overview of two powerful forthcoming presentations at the far-too-long marginalized Redfern Arts Center … 0

Encores: An uncommon glory

Thursday, August 22, 2013

When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. — George Washington Carver Last fall, in the role of a composer in pursuit of a handful of ideal singers and instrumentalists for an April concert featuring music … 0

Encores: Violin, piano & a pair of masterworks

Thursday, August 15, 2013

“The hearer who abandons himself ... to its beneficent influence will recover from the superficial agitation at the center of the soul, and ... will return to the attraction of the supremely desirable, which is at the same time, the supremely intelligible. Without ceasing to be human he … 0

Flute: a uniquely poignant voice

Thursday, August 8, 2013

“When Krishna plays the flute the whole world is filled with love. Rivers stop, stones are illumined, lotus flowers tremble; gazelles, cows, and birds are entranced; demons and ascetics enchanted.” — The Bhagavata-Purana Aside from the historical venue of its Memorial Museum music room, set amidst garden-like outdoor … 0

Joseph may have been a tad hasty

Thursday, August 1, 2013

“Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun.” — Kent Nerburn All right — so, just maybe, I was in danger of slightly exaggerating the … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: ‘Duck Soup’

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ambassador Trentino: I am willing to do anything to prevent this war. Rufus T. Firefly: It’s too late. I’ve already paid a month’s rent on the battlefield. Alright, listen up: in an effort to foil a plan by the neighboring Sylvania to take over her own Freedonia, the … 0

Summer is almost over, honest

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We’re at that mysterious Maginot line just now where the summer is well under way, and yet we feel there’s still plenty of summer left us. The rains have come (and come, and come and come) and gone; July 4th’s festivities and fireworks have fizzled and are behind … 0