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Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report 7/9/21

The cultural highlights for our region this weekend include classical music, new country, old folk, world jazz, dance, painting … plus a whole lot more.

This summer’s Tanglewood season kicks off officially on Saturday night at 8 when the Boston Symphony Orchestra performs an all-Beethoven program led by music director Andris Nelsons. The program includes Beethoven’s ever-popular Fifth Symphony as well as world-famous pianist Emanuel Ax performing Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 5, Emperor. On Sunday, the BSO returns at 2:30 with a program featuring works by Carlos Simon, Sibelius and Dvo?ák. But you don’t have to wait until then: tonight at Tanglewood at 8, the contemporary chamber orchestra the Knights perform works by Ravel, Vijay Iyer, Mary Lou Williams, and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Miko Marks is garnering much praise and media attention for her highly personal, unifying blend of country, blues, gospel, roots, and Americana. Marks is at MASS MoCA in North Adams, on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Speaking of roots music, Grammy Award-winning folk music legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott brings his 90-year-old self to the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, Mass., next Thursday, July 15, at 8 p.m. Ramblin’ Jack was a pal of Woody Guthrie and he was actually a big star in England back in 1960. Elliott was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., but he had the soul of a cowboy and he fully imbibed from the well of American roots music, which he still performs to this day.

Saxophonist George Brooks and pianist Utsav Lal – known as the Raga Pianist -- create dynamic new music drawing on the traditions of Indian classical, jazz, Western classical, and contemporary improvisation, which they will perform at The Mount in Lenox on Sunday at 5:30pm, a presentation of Jazz and Classics for Change.

Also at the Mount next Wednesday, July 14, the Great Barrington Public Theater presents a staged reading of “Mr. Fullerton,” described as “a steamy, eyebrow-raising return to the Gilded Age by way of a daring new play” by local favorite playwright-actor Anne Undeland.

The GB Public Theater is also kicking off its free, Wet Ink reading series on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Great Barrington Town Hall Bandstand, with authors Brendan Mathews and Elizabeth Nelson reading samples of their new fiction, as part of the Berkshire Busk Festival of free performances taking place this summer throughout downtown Great Barrington.

At Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., the long-awaited production of “King Lear,” starring Christopher Lloyd in the title role, officially opens tonight. The play is scheduled to run throughout the summer outdoors at the New Spruce Theatre.

Berkshire singer-songwriter Bruce Mandel performs his original compositions at Dewey Hall in Sheffield, Mass., on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio in Lenox features “Suzy Frelinghuysen: Painter and Opera Singer— Influences of Cubism & Music in Her Art,” a new exhibition exploring Frelinghuysen’s dual career as an abstract painter and dramatic operatic soprano. On display are her music-infused collages and opera costumes as well as her paintings, which most closely reference the master Cubist collection of hers and her husband, the artist, writer, and collector George L.K. Morris.

House of Belonging, an exhibition of new paintings by Berkshire artist Ron Ronan, opens on Saturday at Lauren Clark Fine Art in Great Barrington, Mass., with an artist’s reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit remains on view through July 18.

And finally, Bard SummerScape 2021 opens with the live world premiere of I was waiting for the echo of a better day, by choreographer Pam Tanowitz, created in close collaboration with composer-violinist Jessie Montgomery, who will be among the musicians performing live musical accompaniment at the performances taking place at Bard College tonight and Saturday evening at 7:30.

Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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