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Rogovoy Report 7/23/21

The cultural highlights for our region this weekend include classical music, avant-garde music, indie-rock, dance, opera … plus a whole lot more.

While the big ticket at Tanglewood this weekend is the world premiere of film composer John Williams’s Violin Concerto No. 2, on Saturday at 8 p.m., featuring renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist, adventurous music lovers will flock to the annual Festival of Contemporary Music, taking place on Sunday and Monday, when the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows will perform three concerts featuring works by Sean Shepherd, Andrew Haig, Jeffrey Mumford, Judith Weir, Andrew Norman, Steve Reich, and many more.

Jacob’s Pillow presents Brian Brooks / Moving Company this weekend in a site-specific performance utilizing augmented reality technology, today through Sunday. Brooks will also premiere a new self-choreographed solo work entitled Quiet Music, set to the tensely haunting Nico Muhly piano score of the same name.

Former New York City Ballet soloist Tom Gold returns to TurnPark Art Space in West Stockbridge, Mass., tonight and tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. to perform Borrowed Time, a reflection of the past year and our reentry into the world from quarantine. The outdoor performance at the TurnPark amphitheater features current dancers with the New York City Ballet.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performs works by Villa-Lobos, J.S. Bach, and others, with special guests from Caleb Teicher’s dance ensemble, at PS21 in Chatham, N.Y., on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee bring their acoustic indie-rock to MASS MoCA tonight at 8. The duo plays a unique blend of new Americana whose influences include Lou Reed, Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, and Yo La Tengo.

It’s a busy musical weekend at the Foundry in West Stockbridge, starting tonight with a performance at 7 by roots musician Jake Blount, who interpolates blues, bluegrass and spirituals into the old-time string band tradition, giving them a contemporary accent that speaks to our time. As heard on his new album, “Spider Tales,” Blount breathes new life into historical Black and Indigenous mountain music that has been widely ignored in spite of being profoundly ingrained into the Appalachian tradition. Then on Saturday night at 7, the Fremonts bring their quirky blend of Americana music and storytelling with a cabaret aesthetic, on songs with titles like “Ketamine Happy Hour,” “Kids Who Always Swim,” and “Tell My Mother.”

Renowned avant-garde cellist Maya Beiser will be joined by a group of all-star cellists to perform works from her beautiful new solo album, Maya Beiser x Philip Glass, at Hudson Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m. The venue is most appropriate for the music’s world premiere, as the album was recorded at Hudson Hall this past winter during the pandemic lockdown. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Beiser’s new arrangements of Philip Glass material – none of which was originally written for cello – is how the music for cello sounds as if it has always existed.

Joseph Keckler, a classically trained singer, performance artist and writer, brings his expressive and powerful voice, sharp prose, and absurdist, bizarrely heroic operatic monologues to the Ancram Opera House’s Circa 1799 Barn on Saturday at 8 p.m. Keckler has a huge range, from a deep bass boom to a trebly, high-pitched theremin-like tone. Think Anohni crossed with Nick Cave, with a sprinkling of Yoko Ono.

Ernest Chausson’s only opera, King Arthur, receives its first fully staged American production at Bard SummerScape, opening on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and running for four performances through next weekend. Chausson was a compatriot and close contemporary of Nadia Boulanger, subject of this year’s Bard Music Festival, and he played a pivotal role in the development of French late-Romanticism.

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.