Reviewed by Lee Shepherd The audience at Binghamton University's Anderson Center had a "hot time in the old town" Sunday afternoon (Jan. 26) when the Binghamton Philharmonic burned up the stage with steamy, smoldering and passionate renditions of Piazzolla's Tangazo, Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46 and Dvorak's Symphony No. 7. To add to the romance , the young German violinist Sabrina-Vivian Hopcker (who apparently just goes by her first name) added her fire and temperament to the Bruch work, a piece of music that entranced her as...Read more
About: Lee Shepherd
Recent Posts by Lee Shepherd
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd What can we say about a 22-year-old cellist who is undoubtedly on his way to becoming a world-class star, except to thank our lucky stars that he picked Binghamton as a rung on his ladder up. Julian Schwarz, scion of a Seattle musical family (his father, Gerard, is a conductor), thrilled a packed house for Saturday night’s opening concert of the Binghamton Philharmonic 2013-14 season. He played the astonishingly virtuosic and passion-packed Saint-Saens’ Concerto for Violoncello No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33. “We’re lucky to...Read more
CORRECTION: Please note that the society's website has been corrected from the original publication of this review. Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Nathan Avakian is the poster child for multi-tasking. I’m talking about the multi-talented whiz kid who treated some 400 folks to a concert Tuesday night (Aug. 13) on The Forum's Robert Morton Theater Organ. A 22-year-old B.F.A. student in lighting design at Purchase College, Avakian went way “outside the box” to delight listeners of all ages. Presented by the Binghamton Theater Organ Society, the multi-media concert had it all – from Medieval music...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd What a courageous undertaking by director Brandt Reiter and the 10-member cast at the Know Theatre this month – a production of Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carre, which opened Friday (June 14). Started by Williams as a youth of 27 and only finished and produced on Broadway 40 years later, after he’d joined the first tier of noted American playwrights, Vieux Carre is not known to be his best play. In fact, it closed after only five performances. "Is it a good play?" asked New York...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd
The Binghamton Downtown Singers took a leap of faith Saturday night (June 1), tackling an innovative and challenging program just as their founding artistic director, Alan Crabb, would have wanted. Crabb, who died last September, was a strong leader who pushed his choir to stretch and grow. Although best-know for their annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, the Downtown Singers also have performed most of the large signature pieces in the choral repertoire. "This is for you, Alan," his widow, Marisa Crabb, said to the...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd
Saturday night’s Binghamton Philharmonic concert (April 20) at Binghamton University's Anderson Center celebrated Maestro José-Luis Novo’s 10th anniversary and showcased the principals in the orchestra, leaving no doubt that the Philharmonic is in top form. Novo chose a program of Respighi’s Fountains of Rome, Elgar’s tone poem In the South and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54. The common thread among the works -- all by composers incredibly skilled at writing orchestral music -- is that each piece created paintings...Read more
By Lee Shepherd I’m really late coming to the table. I just discovered the Binghamton Theater Organ Society and attended a delightful evening of Charlie Chaplin films Saturday (April 13) with master theater organist Jim Ford and lecturer Joyce Jesionowski. Performing on the Robert Morton Organ at The Forum, 236 Washington St., Binghamton, Ford cleverly improvised the “soundtrack” for four films from Chaplin’s early career. According to Wilbur Dodge, organ technician, the Morton organ was reconstructed by Robert Melnyk and David Clark, using salvaged IBM parts, most of...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’