Arts & Culture | WAMC

Arts & Culture

Jonathan Biss (man sits in a sparcly decorated room)
Benjamin Ealovega

For the past decade, Jonathan Biss has immersed himself in the music of Beethoven, especially the piano sonatas, solidifying his place as one of the renowned interpreters of the composer’s music.

With his original performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center having been curtailed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Biss has carefully curated a special program recorded live from his home in NYC that is exclusive to the Saratoga Springs audience. He will guide viewers through an exploration of Beethoven’s prolific sonatas for solo piano including a performance of two of his favorite works as part of SPAC's Beethoven 2020 celebration.

Beethoven 2020 At SPAC

Aug 19, 2020

Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces the continuation of SPAC REIMAGINED with a virtual Beethoven 2020 festival, which will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth.

Highlighting the virtual festival are special events including an exclusive Beethoven recital with pianist Jonathan Biss (8/21), the World Premiere of "Testament" (8/22), a theatrical production in collaboration with Saratoga Shakespeare Company, and more.

Elizabeth Sobol is president and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

BTG's Godspell, 2020
Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

PITTSFIELD, Mass.  - “Godspell,” which is produced by Berkshire Theatre Group in Pittsfield, Mass., through September 4, is the first professional live performance of a musical presented in the United States since March.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to pass the "test."

Sarah LaDuke (Mustard by Paul Gallo)

Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire has launched “Hot, w/Mustard,” featuring 10 extraordinary emerging composers from across America, who have been putting some sizzle into the end of summer with thrilling new works. The composers, who are some of today’s most exciting new artistic voices, created short works for Dogs of Desire, the Symphony’s genre-bending 18-member new music ensemble. “During difficult times, music is a source of inspiration, hope and comfort,” according to Maestro and Artistic Director David Alan Miller – who joins us this morning.

Daniel Buckingham, Childhood Adventure, 2020 paper, welded steel snapping turtle shells, objects, fluorescent, LED, neon text, transformer, electricity, light. Two forms: 6 x 5 x 3 feet. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Mark DiOrio
Mark DiOrio

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is a fine arts center in Utica, New York dedicated to serving diverse audiences by advancing the appreciation, understanding, and enjoyment of the arts.

The art institute aims to promote interest and participation in the arts and stimulate artistic self-expression and personal creativity. MWPAI continues to assume a leadership and advocacy role for the arts in Utica, NY.

Founded in 1919, the institute celebrated their 100th Anniversary last year and this – are operating during a pandemic. To tell us more we welcome Institute President and CEO Anna D'Ambrosio.

Mark H. Dold, star of "Harry Clarke" at Barrington Stage
Barrington Stage

PITTSFIELD, MASS.   There is always a danger of wanting something so much that the event doesn’t match the anticipation. 

Whether irreverent, ironic, or absurdly entertaining, cartoons do much more than make us laugh. Incisive by nature, these witty, intelligent reflections on the human condition invite us, with clarity and empathy, to engage with the things in life that we sometimes may rather not confront.

For Liza Donnelly, hand-drawn lines are a means of launching political movements or calling leaders into account, of questioning the way we live our lives and finding common ground. Her cartoons have been featured in The New Yorker, where she has been a contributing artist and writer since 1979.

The new exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, “Liza Donnelly: Comic Relief” - explores the organic evolution of Donnelly’s desire to express herself and to engage with the world through drawing, tracing her transformation from
a painfully shy child growing up in Washington, D.C. to her emergence as a New Yorker artist and activist.

Sue Elliott
Marco Borggreve

Sue Elliott is the Director of The Tanglewood Learning Institute. She joined us to discuss TLI's online master classes, educational series, ShopTalks, OpenForums, celebration of the 250th anniversary Beethoven's birth, and more. 

Julianne Lee
Marco Borggreve

Julianne Lee has a distinctive career as both a violinist and violist, appearing frequently as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Currently assistant principal second violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Lee has been a member of the violin section since 2006.

She will perform in a "BSO Musicians in Recital from Tanglewood" concert featuring works by Mozart, Roumain and Schubert. The recital will be hosted by Lauren Ambrose and will be online at tanglewood.org on August 20.

Conrad Tao
Brantley Gutierrez

Pianist Conrad Tao made his Tanglewood debut as soloist and Ravel's Piano Concerto in G in August 2019. Now on Saturday, August 15, at 8 p.m., he will perform as part of the Great Performers in Recital at Tanglewood online series.

Known as a composer as well as a pianist, Tao will show the breadth of his musical interests in the recital of music at the center of which is Beethoven's towering Tempest Sonata, which exploits the full range and power of the piano.

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed "a musician of probing intellect and open-hearted vision" by the New York Times.

Keith Lockhart
Marco Borggreve

Having celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary as Boston Pops Conductor this year, Keith Lockhart is the second longest-tenured conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He has conducted more than 1,800 Boston Pops concerts.

Sadly, of course, right now - there are no concerts to conduct. But The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, and the Tanglewood Learning Institute are working together to provide classical music education and entertainment in new and exciting socially distances ways.

Mark Volpe
Marco Borggreve

It sounds impossible to believe, but hundreds of thousands of music lovers will not be taking in concerts from the rolling green grass at Tanglewood this summer because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But, The Boston Symphony Orchestra is taking its acclaimed, months-long music festival into the digital realm.

BSO musicians — along with a wide range of guest artists — are helping to produce original, pre-recorded performances for the new Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival.

Mark Volpe is the President and CEO of The BSO and he joined us.

Street art in Troy, NY
Hart Cluett Museum

TROY – There is little argument that Troy is one of the more architecturally interesting cities in the area, if not in all upstate New York.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a different breed of show.

Rogovoy Report 8/7/20

Aug 7, 2020

This week’s cultural highlights include indie-rock legends, new music, old music, jazz, plus a whole lot more.

The fallout after Michelle Wolf’s roast at the 2018 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Samantha Bee’s forced apology after calling Ivanka Trump a name I can’t say here, Kathy Griffin’s being “blacklisted” from Hollywood after posting a photo with what looked like the president’s severed head, all represent a dangerous and growing trend—to censor comedians.

In the new book, "Yes I Can Say That," comedy veteran Judy Gold argues that "no one has the right to tell comics what they can or cannot joke about…. Laughter is a unifier. It's the best medicine. It's also the most palatable way to bring up seditious, subversive topics.”

For Gold, nothing is more insidious than enforcing silence and repressing jokes—the job of a comedian is to expose society's demons, and confront them head-on, no prisoners allowed. In ten impassioned polemics, she frames comedy as a tool of empowerment, a way to reclaim hateful rhetoric and battle the democracy-crushing plight of censorship.

Whoever would have thought that Pittsfield, Mass., a city with a population of approximately 45,000 people, would be the epicenter of professional theater?   

Bob Goepfert: Theater On The Air

Aug 2, 2020

SARATOGA - When attending theater, I always think of a conversation I had with a world-class Shakespearean scholar many years ago.  She made a point of saying that in Shakespeare’s time, people going to the theater would say they were “going to hear a play.”

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back in the middle. 

Rogovoy Report 7/31/20

Jul 31, 2020

This week’s cultural highlights in our region include avant garde music, chamber music, Americana, contemporary art, plus a whole lot more.

Sue Frost is founding partner of Junkyard Dog Productions, which is the lead producing entity of the Broadway musical "Come From Away." They currently have 5 productions around the world - Broadway, North American Tour, Toronto, London and Australia - on hiatus. 

She is also an active member of the Broadway League, working on multiple task forces aimed at bringing Broadway and touring Broadway back. 

Audrey Kupferberg: Carl Reiner And Danny Thomas

Jul 28, 2020

The names of two comedy legends have come to mind in the past few weeks. The first is Carl Reiner who died on June 29 at the age of 98.  Reiner is best remembered for his work on the 1960s hit TV series The Dick Van Dyke Show where he was creator, producer, writer, and performer.  Reiner played Alan Brady, Rob Petry’s formidable boss.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for another baseball show.

Rogovoy Report 7/24/20

Jul 24, 2020

The cultural highlights of this weekend, streaming and in real life, include string quartets, folk-rock, Beethoven, a singing family, and a whole lot more.

Audrey Kupferberg: Hope Gap

Jul 23, 2020

In George Stevens’ poignant film, I Remember Mama, the Norwegian-American mother brings her daughter’s writings to a successful author for review.  She trades her most precious Norwegian recipes for that service.  In the end, the author advises her to tell her daughter to write about what she knows.  Tried and true advice, indeed.  And such is the case with the recently released feature Hope Gap, written and directed by William Nicholson. 

Audrey Kupferberg: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Jul 21, 2020

The French film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, ercently released for home viewing, has been nominated for a long list of international film awards and has won a healthy number of them.  With this project, French writer/director Celine Sciamma has intended to depict a story about falling in love and showing the span of a deeply-felt but pretty much unrealizable passion.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate a delayed baseball opening day.

Rogovoy Report 7/17/20

Jul 17, 2020

On Saturday night, MASS MoCA in North Adams will host composer-performer Treya Lam in a re-imagined concert courtyard that takes advantage of an industrial roll-top garage door and adjacent gallery overlooking the brick-lined courtyard to reveal a new stage, dramatically floating 12 feet above the audience. Lam is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose cinematic songs and ethereal vocals are built on Nina Simone-inspired piano, meditative guitar and lush chamber arrangements. RIYL Norah Jones, Ani DiFranco, Nina Simone, and Kaki King.

Joe Donahue: Kathy Valentine is a musician and songwriter known for being part of the all-female band The Go-Go's. She wrote or co-wrote many of the band's most renowned songs including "Vacation" and "Head Over Heels". In addition to playing music and writing songs, she has worked as an actor, public speaker and spokesperson and producer. She is now an author, the name of the new book is "All I Ever Wanted: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir". 

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