Posts Tagged 'George Gershwin'

Gavrylyuk makes annual pilgrimage to ‘musical home’

Gavrylyuk makes annual pilgrimage to ‘musical home’

One of Chautauqua’s favored sons makes his return to the Amphitheater stage this weekend, and he’s bringing another transcendent Chautauquan with him. At 8:15 p.m. Saturday, pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk will make his ninth appearance as a soloist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, this time under the direction of guest conductor Daniel Boico.

Grab Bag: Chafetz, DeSare, CSO prepare diverse, patriotic repertoire for annual Independence Day celebration

Grab Bag: Chafetz, DeSare, CSO prepare diverse, patriotic repertoire for annual Independence Day celebration

Stuart Chafetz may be the only conductor who visits Sam’s Club once a year to buy 15,000 paper bags.

“[The cashiers] kind of look at me funny, like, ‘What’s this for? Boy, is this for camp?’ ” Chafetz said. “I just usually say, ‘Yeah, a lot of mouths to feed.’ We always have plenty of paper bags — the ushers hand you your program plus three paper bags.”

Jim Walker and Free Flight bring the classics, jazz and blues to the Amp

Jim Walker and Free Flight bring the classics, jazz and blues to the Amp

Jim Walker has played the flute in more than 750 motion pictures. He spent eight years as the principal flutist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. But, he enjoys himself most when he’s onstage with his golden Burkart flute, dazzling an audience alongside his band, Free Flight.

“Free Flight is still by far the most fun thing I ever did,” Walker said.

“You’ll see me smiling all night, because I truly love the music we play, and I love the connection we inevitably get with an audience.”

Tonight, Walker and Free Flight will take over the Amphitheater stage at 8:15 p.m. and delight the audience with a setlist that draws inspiration from classical works, jazz numbers and pop hits from the past 80 years.

NCDT gives festival twist to staid classics

NCDT gives festival twist to staid classics

Ballet is a decidedly aristocratic art form, born in the courts of Europe and still, even today, laced with proper positions and bows. Major European ballet groups in Paris, London and Moscow each have precise stylistic proportions and repertoires that are embedded in the history of the art form.

So it is fun to watch how American companies have taken a formal and often staid dance format and given it their own twist, which local audiences can see in an open air, festival-like setting such as Chautauqua’s Amphitheater. However, they thankfully have not often had to deal with cool temperatures such as those seen at the surprisingly terrific — given the circumstances — final performance of North Carolina Dance Theatre and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, expertly conducted by Grant Cooper.

Made in Chautauqua: CSO returns to Gershwin’s Concerto in F with Parker, Chen

Made in Chautauqua: CSO returns to Gershwin’s Concerto in F with Parker, Chen

In a practice shack at the far end of Chautauqua’s grounds in 1925, George Gershwin sat in solitude and finished writing his Concerto in F Major for piano. The weight of the enormously popular “Rhapsody in Blue” was on his shoulders, and the concerto would be the first piece he would write for full orchestra on his own.

That it is still being performed 87 years later is a testament to the concerto’s resilient success.

Guest pianist Ian Parker will perform the concerto at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater with guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen, who will lead the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” for the second half of the program. It will be Chen’s third time conducting at Chautauqua.