Alisa Weilerstein I: Chopin for the Cello? Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, at 28 already a veteran of seven Spoleto seasons, stops by our studios to set up her Dock Street performance (with pianist Inon Barnatan) of Chopin’s Introduction & Polonaise Brilliante, Op. 3, a piece she says has been made a lot more interesting for cellists thanks to some of her illustrious predecessors.
Alisa Weilerstein II: 5-Day Pie and an odd Quartet Discover the connection between a pie recipe and Alisa’s career, and discover the unusual String Quartet No. 2 in A minor by Russian composer Anton Arensky, a piece that swaps the second fiddle for an additional cello. We’ll then hear a Spoleto Chamber Music performance of the Finale, featuring cellists Weilerstein and Christopher Costanza, violist Hsin-Yun Huang, and violinist Daniel Phillips.
Spoleto Daybook: FFJ is A-OK Marc Overton recommends an ode to a singular opera diva Florence Foster Jenkins, recounted for Piccolo Spoleto festival-goers in a one-woman show.
The Curious Moonlit Beast From the Dock Street Theatre, soprano Dawn Upshaw gives the Spoleto premiere of “Even When I Am not Playing,” the last of six “Piano Lesson,” by pianist Stephen Prutsman, set to the poems of Billy Collins. Prutsman explains, “This curious and mysterious beast, with its enormous smile, occupies a large part of our collective heart. The song cycle is dedicated to those most patient of people: our piano teachers.”
Dawn Upshaw: More than Beautiful Music The Prutsman premiere was one of several new works Dawn Upshaw sang in no fewer than three Chamber Music concerts at the newly-reopened Dock Street Theatre – a rare chance for Spoletians to savor Upshaw’s remarkable vocal artistry and versatility. She joins Jennifer Foster to discuss her relationship to the music of composers Osvaldo Golijov and Spoleto Composer-in-Residence Jonathan Berger, how she strives to represent herself in her work, and how she’s never seen her music as beautiful.
Perf-Chat: Brooklyn Rider Jennifer Foster doesn’t “sit down with” but rather has a “stand up session” with the boys of Brooklyn Rider, for music and conversation about the band’s unique sounds as an energetic and innovative ensemble that’s changing our concept of the string quartet. The ensemble is making its Spoleto Festival USA debut, and we’ll hear them preview selections from their two Spoleto programs, including “Viaggo in Italia,” by contemporary Italian composer Giovanni Sollima, the second movement (“Assez vif et bien ryhtmé”) from Claude Debussy’s String Quartet (watch here), and “Loveland,” from violinist Colin Jacobsen’s quartet tribute to Debussy called , “Achille’s Heel.”
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