Percussionist Lisa Pegher Guests with Lansing Symphony

August 18th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »
September 13, 2013
8:00 pm

DSCF1620On September 13, solo percussionist Lisa Pegher will perform Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. Higdon’s piece gives due consideration to the relationship between the soloist and percussion section, requiring an athletic contribution on the part of the soloist. Pegher has performed the piece before with the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (You can view a video of her performance here) and most recently performed it with the Puerto Rico Symphony in San Juan.

The program, which begins at 8:00 pm, will include pieces by Enescu and Dvořák. The Lansing Symphony Orchestra is located at 501 S Capitol Ave, Lansing, Michigan. For tickets and information, please visit lansingsymphony.org.

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COMPLETE PROGRAM: 

Enescu, Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A Major
Higdon, Percussion Concerto
Dvořák, Symphony No. 7 in D Minor

Lisa Pegher is an American drummer and  percussion soloist currently living in New York City. She has been described by the Boston Globe as “forcefully balletic” and by critic Marty Lash of the Door County Advocateas “a gifted passionate artist, with a rock-star aura.” She has been featured in Symphony Magazine as one of the top six performers of her generation and continues to carve a new path for percussion as a solo instrument.

As a soloist Lisa has performed with many fine orchestras across the globe including the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, NEPA Philharmonic, Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, Asheville Symphony Orchestra, FM Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, York Orchestra and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Orchestra, Lima Symphony Orchestra, Elmhurst Orchestra, and Peninsula Festival Orchestra among others. She has also worked with many inspiring conductors such as Grant Cooper, Thomas Hong, Manfred Honeck, Maximo Valdez, Daniel Meyer, Timothy Muffitt, Victor Yampolsky, Lawrence Loh, Sydney Harth, Lucas Richman, Kevin Noe, Crafton Beck, Tomasz Golka, Emily Ray, Robin Fountain, Brett Mitchell, Bernard Rubenstein, Robert Hart Baker, and Gil Rose. In August 2011 Lisa performed with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra in Santa Cruz, California celebrating Marin Alsop’s twenty year anniversary season.

She has also recently performed with the Grand Junction Orchestra in Colorado playing Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Percussion and is also performing concerti by Joseph Schwanter, James MacMillan, Kevin Puts and Christopher Rouse. Lisa gave the Wisconsin premiere of Tobias Brotrøm’s Arena Percussion Concerto with the Peninsula Festival Orchestra in August 2010 and recently premiered and recorded Mathew Rosenblum’s Double Concerto for Saxophone and Percussion with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose and Kenneth Koon. This recording will be released on the BMOP Sound label in coming months. As an advocate of new music, she also recently premiered a new marimba solo by composer, Derek Bermel at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey and has also been involved with commissioning new works from Martin Bresnick and Paul Lansky.

Constantly looking for new artistic ways to present percussion to a broader audience, Lisa is currently performing her own multi-media project called: Minimal Art, which incorporates digital animation design, computer electronics and improvisation. It is featured on her newly released album. She also recently won a grant from Meet the Composer allowing her to commission a new percussion concerto by American Composer, David Stock that she premiered with a consortium of orchestras beginning in the 2007-08 season. Previous to the launch of full-time solo career, Lisa performed as the Principal Timpanist of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Section Percussionist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.

Lucky Plush Productions: Fall Season at Links Hall

August 13th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »

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From October 3-13, 2013, Chicago’s Lucky Plush Productions will perform two works – Cinderbox 2.0 and The Better Half in repertory at the new Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave, Chicago. Lucky Plush Productions (LPP) is a Chicago-based dance theater company committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence – a palpable liveness – shared by performers in real-time with its audiences. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors). For more information and tickets, please visit www.linkshall.org or call 773.281.0824.

Dancer and choreographer Julia Rhoads (founding Artistic Director of Lucky Plush) is the recently announced 2013 recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts. The Alpert Award in the Arts is an unrestricted prize of $75,000 given annually to five risk-taking mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts. Rhoads combines theatre, physical comedy, full-throttle postmodern dance, and social commentary to wrestle with issues of gender, originality, appropriation, and group dynamics. Her attention to ‘presence’ reminds audiences of the power and intimacy possible in live performance.

SCHEDULE OF RUN:

Cinderbox 2.0 will be performed on Oct 3 and 4 at 7pm, Oct 5 at 4pm, and Oct 11, 12, and 13 at 7pm.

The Better Half will be performed on Oct 5, 6, and 10 at 7pm and Oct 12 at 4pm.

The LUCKY PLUSH DOUBLE FEATURE is offered on Oct 5 and 12 and will involve a discounted ticket which will entitle audience members to see both shows, as well as to take part in an informal discussion with the artists in between shows that includes food and a complimentary drink. Email dana@luckyplush.com to reserve a space.

In Cinderbox 2.0, LPP’s Artistic Director Julia Rhoads revisits the distinctive world of Cinderbox 18 (2007, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago) with new material. A playful and surreal take on media’s voyeuristic approach to “reality,” Cinderbox 2.0 blurs the distinctions between observer and observed, personal and presentational, scripted and off-the-cuff, and spirals into a dark comedy that is oddly familiar and wonderfully surprising. Original music by Michael Caskey, video design by John Boesche, and lighting design by Kevin Rechner.

The Better Half 1_Cheryl MannThe Better Half is a dance theater spin on the psychological thriller Gaslight, co-created by Lucky Plush Artistic Director Julia Rhoads and theater director Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (of 500 Clown). Launching from this classic film, layers of fiction and reality accumulate, revealing the elusive boundaries between life versus borrowed plotlines. Ultimately a new narrative emerges, capturing the habitual patterns, escapist tendencies, and resilience in contemporary relationships through a complex mix of dance and theater languages. The Better Half premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011, but now features new material.

Lucky Plush Productions (LPP) is dedicated to creating work that is richly and uncompromisingly complex while also being accessible to broad audiences. Critics and audiences alike recognize LPP for its playful interactions, surprising humor and incisive commentary on contemporary culture.


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Lucky Plush Productions will be part of Chicago Artists Month 2013, the 18th annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant art community presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.  For more information, visit 
www.chicagoartistsmonth.org.

Pianist Inna Faliks at Chicago’s Beethoven Festival LOVE 2013

August 9th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »
September 13, 2013
4:30 pm

6966On Friday, September 13, Inna Faliks will perform an afternoon concert as part of the International Beethoven Project’s Beethoven Festival LOVE 2013, presented by the International Beethoven Project. In addition to Beethoven’s well regarded Piano Sonata No. 23 (Appassionata), Faliks will also play the composer’s Polonaise, Op. 89 and Schumann’s Davidsbündler, Op. 6. This will be Faliks’s third year participating in the festival.

The concert will take place at Merit School of Music’s Joy Faith Knapp Music Center (38 S. Peoria Street, Chicago), dubbed “Ludwig’s Salon” during the course of this Festival, September 7-15. Ticket prices vary and students and children can receive free admission. For more information, please call (312)-772-5821 or email ibp@internationalbeethovenproject.com.

COMPLETE PROGRAM: 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 AT 4:30 PM: THE STRINGS (HEART)

Beethoven, Polonaise, Op. 89/Sonata, Op. 57 (Appassionata)
Schumann, Davidsbündler, Op. 6

Called “adventurous” and “passionate” by The New Yorker, Ukrainian-born, New York City based pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most passionately committed, exciting and poetic artists of her generation. After acclaimed her teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. She recently appeared alongside British actress Lesley Nicol (“Mrs. Patmore” from Downton Abbey) in Nigel Hess’s production of Admission: One Shilling, a staged tribute to the legendary Dame Myra Hess. Her critically acclaimed CD on MSR Classics, Sound of Verse, was released in 2009, featuring music of Boris Pasternak, Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Her discography also includes a recital recording for the Yamaha Disklavier library, and her new Beethoven recording will be out this year. Faliks recently joined the illustrious faculty of UCLA, Herb Albert School of Music, as Professor of Piano.

Experiments in Opera Announces 2013-14 Season

August 4th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »

IMG_2485Experiments in Opera announces their 2013-14 Season and yearlong residency at Abrons Arts Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  The residency will feature three performance programs of new works of experimental opera including an evening of opera choruses in partnership with VisionIntoArt (Chorus of All Souls, November 2, 2013), a showcase of opera shorts for the radio (Radio Operas, February 28 – March 1, 2014), and the premiere of an evening length opera that has been in development with EiO for the past two seasons (Brother Brother, May 2-3, 2014). A $60 three event subscription (savings of $15) will be available starting August 12 at www.AbronsArtsCenter.org.These mainstage programs will be augmented throughout the year by supporting videos, photos and writings that will help to contextualize the works in progress and by three free public programs (Opera in Dialogue) aimed to build dialogue between the composers, writers, performers, directors and designers working in the hybrid space of experimental opera. Experiments in Opera will partner with online magazine CultureBot.org for these public programs,which will take place in in the Abrons Arts Center Experimental Theater. Opera in Dialogue #1 will take place Sunday October 27 from 7 – 9 PM. The second and third evenings of this series will be announced shortly. The Abrons Arts Center, located at 466 Grand Street, New York, NY, is the performing and visual arts program of Henry Street Settlement. The Abrons supports the presentation of innovative, multi-disciplinary work; cultivates artists in all stages of their creative development through educational programs, commissions, and residencies; and serves as an intersection of cultural engagement for local, national, and international audiences and arts-workers.  For more information, call (212) 598-0400 or visit www.AbronsArtsCenter.org.

DETAILED PROGRAM INFORMATION: EXPERIMENTS IN OPERA’S 2013-14 SEASON

Chorus of All Souls
Saturday November 2, 2013, 8pm
Abrons Art Center Playhouse. Tickets are $30.
In celebration of the Day of All Souls and the close of Hallowmas, EiO, in partnership with VisionIntoArt, presents a semi-staged production of John Zorn’s The Holy Visions, an exhilarating choral opera based on the writings and work of the medieval mystic and composer, Hildegard von Bingen.  “Chorus of All Souls” will also include the premiere of When No One Around You is There by Jessica Pavone which utilizes the chorus as an abstract metaphor for the human predicament and two semi-staged choral operas: Jason Cady’s Nostalgia Kills You, a comedy about a man and his zombie ex-girlfriend and Matthew Welch’s Reanimator Requiem which merges the mass for the dead with H.P. Lovecraft’s cult classic.

Radio Operas
February 28 – March 1, 2014, 8pm
Abrons Arts Center Underground Theater. Tickets are $20
This program of radio operas will feature works that include spoken texts, sound effects and music and draw on the audiences’ imagination to create vivid stage images. Commissioned artists will include Jonathan Mitchell of “The Truth” podcast, Jason Cady and Ann Heppermann, Aaron Siegel, John King, Paul Pinto and Matthew Welch.

Brother Brother
May 2-3, 2014, 8pm
Abrons Art Center Playhouse. Tickets are $25.
This program will feature a full production of EiO co-founder Aaron Siegel’s evening length opera, Brother Brother directed by Mallory Catlett, with design by Mimi Lien and performances by Mantra Percussion and Cadillac Moon Ensemble.  Brother Brother, which has been in development with Experiments in Opera for the last two seasons, explores the relationship between Orville and Wilbur Wright following their first flights in 1903.  This fascinating story of business, family and legal fights is layered over a secondary story of contemporary brotherhood and the complexities of growing up with an unusual idea of brotherly intimacy.EiO will commission four video ‘Opera Trailers’ from Matthew Welch, Dave Ruder, Daniel Kushner and Jason Cady to open each Brother Brother program.

ABOUT EXPERIMENTS IN OPERA

Co-founded by composers Matthew Welch, Jason Cady, and Aaron Siegel, Experiments in Opera is a composer-driven initiative, featuring recent and new works with innovative answers to the traditional questions about how to connect words, story and music. Our activities respond to the pronounced need to nurture composers who are exploring musical work beyond a strictly concert setting, but furthermore into the hybrid genre of opera. Additionally Experiments in Opera builds supportive and informed audiences that are capable of contributing to its work.In its first two programming seasons, Experiments in Opera has presented the work of more than 12 composers in three large-scale presentations aimed at expanding the collective understanding of experimental opera. Venues have included Le Poisson Rouge, Roulette, and Issue Project Room, and have featured works by composers Jason Cady, Aaron Siegel, Matthew Welch, Georges Aperghis, John Zorn, Robert Ashley, Joe Diebes, Ruby Fulton, Gabrielle Herbst, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Justin Tierney, Leaha Maria Villarreal and the Cough Button collective. Also featured were performances by pianist Emily Manzo, singer Erin Flannery, drummer Brian Chase, Hotel Elefant, and the performance collective Why Lie?All of the work developed with Experiments in Opera is documented extensively in videos, images and writings that are available in an online catalogue at experimentsinopera.com.  These insightful looks into the origins of artists’ ideas and their working habits help to support EIO’s mission of building a more robust conversation about how and why opera works the way it does. www.ExperimentsInOpera.com.


VisionIntoArt, “always intriguing and frequently beguiling” is a multimedia production company that “facilitates flamboyant, confounding and enticing collaborations” (New York Times). With the belief that collaboration sustains artistic innovation, VIA creates and commissions works that involve various disciplines, presented around the world for the general audience, and forged from the most exciting emerging and established artists living today. Since Paola Prestini co-founded the company in 1999 at the Juilliard School, VIA has created and performed over fifty original works. VIA’s works have been seen at Lincoln Center, the Barbican Centre, the Atlas Theater, HIFA, in Zimbabwe, and the Kennedy Center. VIA’s works have toured to colleges and universities in the US, and to international festivals such as Apertif in Concerto at Teatro Manzoni, Etna Fest in Italy, and BEMUS in Belgrade, Serbia. Support for VIA comes from the National Endowment of the Arts, Cary Trust for New Music, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, American Music Center, ASCAP, the BMI Fund, the Kenan Institute, Nathan Cummings Foundation, National Video Resources, the Council on Foundations, the Amphion Foundation and individual donors www.visionintoart.com

Lucky Plush Participates in “Summer Cubed” with Lookingglass and the Inconvenience

August 4th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »
September 3, 2013
6:00 pm

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On September 3 at 6:00 pm, Lucky Plush Productions will perform alongside Lookingglass Theatre, Manuel Cinema, The New Colony, and The Inconvenience as part of Summer Cubed, an exploration of arts and media at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts. The Logan Center is  located at 915 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL. Audiences will move from space to space in the Logan Center to experience three works-in-progress, and are invited to join the artists for food and drink in the courtyard immediately following. Tickets are free with a reservation. Free tickets are available at summercubed.eventbrite.com. Especially for Northsiders, a bus will be provided at Coopers, 1232 W Belmont, Chicago IL 60657 at 5:30pm (the bar opens at 4:30pm), returning to Coopers at 9:30pm from the Logan Center. This project is supported by a grant from the Arts Council and The Logan Center.

The Better Half 1_Cheryl Mann

Lucky Plush Productions is a Chicago-based ensemble dance theater company led by founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. We are committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence — a palpable liveness — shared by performers in real-time with our audiences. Since founding in 1999, Lucky Plush has premiered over 30 original works including performance installations, 2 dance films, and 10 evening-length productions. Recent and upcoming presentations of the company’s work include Spoleto Festival/USA (SC), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (MA), DANCECleveland (OH), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (IL), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), NPN Conference/Painted Bride (PA), Jacob’s Pillow (MA), Hancher Auditorium (IA), Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago (IL), Steppenwolf Garage (IL), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Grace Street Theater (VA), Spring to Dance (MO), Cusp Conference (IL), College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University (MN), the Chicago Humanities Festival, and an international exchange with the Dance and Physical Theatre Trust of New Zealand, among others. Lucky Plush has also collaborated with Lookingglass Theater, Redmoon Theater, Walkabout Theater, and the interdisciplinary collective M5.hat is richly and uncompromisingly complex while also being accessible to broad audiences. Our work is often recognized for its playful interactions, surprising humor and incisive commentary on contemporary culture. The Chicago Tribune referred to Lucky Plush’s work as “A terrific odyssey, full of amusing, varied and tireless dancing by a troupe of dancers who ably double as comics.”