News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More



Andante: Ruth Boden Climbs Mountain to Perform Bach's Cello Suite in Short Documentary >>

In a short documentary called Andante, viewers can now witness a cellist's puzzling excursion to her most out-of-the-way concert venue: a mountaintop. That's right, Ruth Boden, an instructor of cello, bass, and chamber music at Washington State University, recently embarked on a hike to the top of the Matterhorn (in Oregon state), while carrying a cello on her back. She traveled with a small "film crew of one" according to CMuse, with the ultimate goal of performing Bach's cello suite at the summit, in an environment she says feels superior to that of the recital hall.

Sharon Jones

Film Documents Sharon Jones Battle With Cancer >>

Sharon Jones, is a fighter with not one ounce of quit in her. She has wound through a long perilous road to get to where she always wanted, singing before an audience. The former wedding singer and corrections officer was once told by a Sony executive that she was too old, fat, short and black to have a singing career has fought the odds and won everytime. But her hardest battle couldn't be conquered so easily. Miss Sharon Jones, a documentary debuting at SXSW documents Jones' toughest opponent, cancer.

BB King

BB King Documentary on PBS Shows Human Side of the King >>

Thirteen's American Masters series focuses on recently deceased blues legend B. B. King in their new 1 hour documentary airing on PBS Feburary. Their program is a part of the celebration of black history month and the man born Riley B. King is a perfect subject. The son of a sharecropper in Mississippi, King was born into a world with little money and rampant racism and segregation. B.B. King: The Life of Riley takes us into the world of B.B. KIng so we may get a measure of the man who, though he started out in meager surroundings was not a meager man.

'Hamilton' Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals And Curtain Call

PBS Great Performances Featuring ‘Hamilton’s America’ Documentary After ‘In The Heights’ Feature >>

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 'Hamilton' is the hottest ticket on Broadway today. Sold out for months in advance, many fans are only able to enjoy the show by watching Youtube clips or listening to the soundtrack, leaving them wanting. Well PBS has heard your cries for more and are working on a solution. This fall PBS’ Great Performances series will feature a documentary based on the hit show, titled 'Hamilton’s America.' The same group is also responsible for a previous documentary about Lin-Manuel’s In the Heights.

Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland's 'A Ballerina's Tale,' Directed by Nelson George, to Debut at 2015 Tribeca Film Festival >>

Misty Copeland is a continuing force behind that idea that, if you follow your dreams, nothing is impossible. To wit, the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival will debut filmmaker Nelson George’s documentary on the trailblazing dancer, entitled 'A Ballerina’s Tale.' Other films debuting include a curious documentary on the iconic Mary J. Blige.

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens Scores New Rodeo Documentary 'Round-Up' at BAM >>

Indie singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens will be presenting the world premiere of his new documentary Round-Up at the Brooklyn Academy of Music from Jan. 20 to 25. Stevens’s new BAM-commissioned work will be a part of the company's 2015 winter/spring season. This will fall in line with his previous pieces that have premiered: "Planetarium," which appeared at BAM in the 2013 winter/spring season, and "The BQE," which was a part of 2007’s Next Wave series. In "Round-Up," Stevens turns his gaze to the rodeo, in all its bull-riding, calf-roping and barrel-racing glory. With slow-motion footage shot by sibling filmmakers Aaron and Alex Craig at the 2013 Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon, "Round-Up" is a musical and cinematic portrait of a classic American tradition. The piece will be shown on the Sternberg Screen and will featuring a score by Stevens on electronics and new-music ensemble Yarn/Wire performing piano and percussion.

Lipinski Strad

BBC Presents Doc on the Theft, Recovery of Lipinski Stradivarius Violin >>

Though many stories have hit the hearts of classical music lovers in 2014, none shocked people as much as the theft and recovery of the Lipinski Stradivarius violin. Now, BBC will broadcast a documentary called "The Lipinski," detailing the events which lead to this worldwide news sensation. The story begins with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond, who walked out of Wisconsin performances with the rare Lipinski Stradivarius slung over his shoulder. At this point, a man got out of a van in the parking lot, tased Almond and stole the violin. The Strad, which was made by a 17th- and 18th-century Italian luthier named Antonio Stradivari, is said to be worth $5 million to $6 million. The reason for this high asking price is because there are only about 650 left in the world. Days went by without a trace of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which was on loan to Almond. The Milwaukee Police Department and the FBI worked quickly. At a local news conference one week after the theft, Police Chief Edward Flynn announced that they had safely recovered the Lapinski Strad. They had discovered it, undamaged, in a suitcase in an attic. Two men were arrested, including the mastermind behind the theft, who pleaded guilty this month to felony robbery.


Matisse Documentary Coming to Theaters Through MoMA, Fathom Events >>

The Museum of Modern Art will soon begin to experiment with bringing its popular exhibitions into movie theaters starting with "Matisse," a documentary based on the highly popular exhibition “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs.” The 90-minute, high-definition film will feature footage of the exhibitions as they were being organized and installed, along with historical films of Matisse and interviews with curators, conservators and museum officials. The film is being produced by Fathom Events, which has brought live transmissions of Metropolitan Opera productions into movie theaters for several years. The Arts Alliance and Seventh Art Productions, the company that created “Leonardo Live,” based on the popular exhibition at the National Gallery in London, will also be involved in the making of the documentary.

Landfill Harmonic Movie Needs Support >>

Landfill Harmonic is a moving, heartfelt story of how instruments made from recycled trash bring hope to children whose future is otherwise spiritless.

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