Reviewed by Lee Shepherd There was far more beauty than tragedy in the Binghamton Philharmonic concert Sunday (Feb. 22) dubbed “Tragic Beauty”by Maestro Jose-Luis-Novo. In a concert that juxtaposed three 20th century composers with one from the18th century, beauty emanated from the virtuosic abilities displayed by every section of the BPO. I’m sure orchestra members slept well that night, the well-earned rest of total exhaustion after a difficult and demanding program performed to perfection. It seems smart for Novo to choose works that showcase the orchestra, rather than featuring a...Read more
About: Lee Shepherd
Recent Posts by Lee Shepherd
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Though it was blustery and bitterly cold outside last Sunday (Feb. 15), the “Brilliant Brass” concert by the Binghamton Philharmonic Brass Quintet warmed the hearts of everyone in downtown Binghamton’s United Presbyterian Church. The program ranged from hot jazz to heraldic Renaissance fanfares fit for a king or queen, demonstrating the best a brass quintet repertoire has to offer. The ensemble is composed of principal players in the BSO: trumpeters Benjamin Aldridge and Frank Campos, tuba player Adam Peck, French hornist Alex Shuhan...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Something old, something new and something smacking of a midlife crisis!That phrase characterizes Saturday’s fine Binghamton Philharmonic concert in a nutshell. Performing at Binghamton University’s Anderson Center, the orchestra revisited Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 and introduced the program with a sparkling new work, Tri-Sattawat by Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen (commissioned by Maestro Jose-Luis Novo’s other orchestra, the Annapolis Philharmonic). Tri-Sattawat (“Three Centuries”) was an hors d’oeuvre to whet...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Summer would be incomplete without a visit to the Skaneateles Festival, a four-week jewel in New York state’s cultural crown that featuring concerts in churches and at Brook Farm by the lake. The festival logo, “World Class Music,” is exactly right. They should add “by world class performers.” The Thursday, Aug. 21, concert featured Bulgarian violinist Bella Hristova and Minnesota Orchestra Concertmistress Erin Keefe, cellists David Ying and Mimi Hwang (assistant professor of chamber music at the Eastman School of Music), pianists Elinor...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd The concert was erroneously named “Dueling Pianos.” The exact opposite was the case. Pianists Michael Lewis and Cheryl Humes executed an intricate, intimate and ecstatic dance of long-time romantic partners who are perfectly in tune with each other’s emotions and moods. There was no competition involved, just perfect teamwork. Lewis, Tri-Cities Opera Assistant Music Director, and Humes, his long-time musical cohort, gave two different programs titled “Dueling Pianos – Two Grands, Four Hands” on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon last weekend (May 17...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd For high opera (actually an operetta), the Tri-Cities Opera production of Die Fledermaus is as low-brow as you can get. The production, which opened last night (Friday, May 2) at The Forum in Binghamton, tapped every hilarious comedy convention you can name – funny accents, self-deprecating humor, slapstick, drunken pratfalls and, of course, mistaken identities with dire and amusing consequences. The show abounds with silliness, ad libs, inappropriately cited literary quotes, one-liners, references to current events and puns galore....Read more
By Lee Shepherd Did you know that Binghamton had its own Scott Joplin? His name was Charles (aka “Chas”) Cohen, a ragtime composer whose piano and vocal pieces were published in the 1910s and revived in the 1960s. The African-American composer, born in Rome, Ga., in 1878, arrived in Montrose, Pa., with a “medicine show.” About 1910, he moved to Binghamton’s West Side and lived on Haendel Street with his wife, Lillian Rosenzweig, until his death at age 53. In celebration...Read more
Recent Comments by Lee Shepherd
- November 28, 2017 on Were you art-full this weekend?
- November 20, 2017 on What did you do in the arts this past weekend?
- May 2, 2017 on Hege, Russo and BPO wow audience in evening of show-stoppers
- October 25, 2016 on What did you do in the arts this week?
- July 28, 2014 on Savoyards take amusing and creative detour with revamped ‘Iolanthe’