Westchester Magazine's Guide to Fall 2011 Events and Activities in Westchester County, NY: Music, Live Performances, Music Festivals, Concerts, Operas, Singers, and More
Classical & Opera
❯❯❯ Late Night with Leonard Bernstein
Copland House at Merestead
Don’t be fooled by the title—the concert starts at 8 pm. But it includes some of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein’s favorite music, the kind that the famed insomniac would stay up late listening to with friends (think Copland, Coward, Schubert, and Chopin). Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, and New York City Opera General Director George Steel host the program, which features appearances by soprano Amy Burton and pianists Michael Barrett (of Caramoor) and Michael Boriskin (of Music from Copland House), as well as clips of Bernstein himself.
❯❯❯ The New York Philharmonic
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Avery Fisher Hall? Whatever. It’s nice and all, but, when the weather is as agreeable as it is in Westchester in early fall, we’d rather stay outside if it’s all the same to you. That’s why Caramoor added on a Fall Festival to its annual International Music Festival. Instead of commuting to the city for an indoor performance, you can see the New York Philharmonic at Caramoor’s gorgeous, outdoor, tented Venetian Theater. Schubert, Mozart, and Beethoven are on the program.
❯❯❯ Out of the Eclipse: Music of Transformation & Revelation
Bedford Presbyterian Church
The REBEL Ensemble for Baroque Music may have been named after composer Jean-Féry Rebel, but rest assured they are a little rebellious. Instead of the normal repertoire of ensemble works, REBEL focuses only on baroque music—and plays on period instruments. Its season-opening program features works by Bach, Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi, and Purcell, sequenced so that the mood goes from dark to light. World-renowned tenor Rufus Müller joins in to add a vocal component.
❯❯❯ Westchester Philharmonic
photo by Hideki Shiozawa
Tomomi Nishimoto guest-conducts for the Westchester Philharmonic.
November 12 and November 13
The Performing Arts Center
We’re sad to no longer be able to boast that Itzhak Perlman is at the baton of the Westchester Philharmonic, but, if someone has to take up his mantel, we’re glad that this performance is led by Tomomi Nishimoto, an electrifying maestra who only made her U.S. debut at Carnegie Hall last November. Here, she is joined by Boston Symphony Orchestra alum Ann Hobson Pilot, a harpist, to perform John Williams’s “On Willows and Birches,” which was commissioned in Pilot’s honor.
The Taconic Opera in Yorktown Heights hosts its song-filled gala at the Atria on the Hudson (September 10) before opening its 14th season with Verdi’s Nabucco at the Yorktown Stage (October 21 to October 23). The acclaimed Emerson String Quartet performs Mozart, Shostakovich, and Beethoven for Friends of Music at Sleepy Hollow High School (October 1). Rejuvenate your work week with a quick, lunchtime concert when Downtown Music at Grace Church brings German guitarist Susanne Schoeppe to its Noonday Getaway Concerts (October 5). NPR’s Bill McGlaughlin returns to the Performing Arts Center in Purchase to host its Chamber Music Series, which opens with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio (October 21). New Rochelle’s Westchester Chamber Symphony shows off why it’s no longer called the Westchester Chamber Orchestra when violinist Alex Abayev joins the expanded group for an all-Tchaikovsky program (November 13). International concert artist Edmund Niemann demonstrates his virtuosic piano skills for the Chaminade Music Club of Yonkers (November 15).
Jazz, Folk, Rock, and Pop
❯❯❯ The Zombies
The Tarrytown Music Hall
This will be their year: to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, the Zombies have planned a worldwide tour, with stops from Edinburgh to Tel Aviv. And, when they finally come stateside, they’re playing the Tarrytown Music Hall. In addition to ’60s hits like “Time of the Season” and “She’s Not There,” the band will perform songs from last year’s new album, Breathe Out, Breathe In.
❯❯❯ An Evening with Lindsey Buckingham
The Ridgefield Playhouse
Fleetwood Mac has been on the top of mind recently, from the band’s tribute episode of Glee to the very loose imitations of Buckingham on Saturday Night Live’s recurring “What’s Up with That” sketch. If that’s put you in the mood to dig out your old copy of Rumours or Tusk, go one better and see Buckingham perform live. He’s on the road to support his sixth solo album, Seeds We Sow.
❯❯❯ Madeleine Peyroux
The Tarrytown Music Hall
When reviewing Madeleine Peyroux’s newest album, Standing on the Rooftop, Paste magazine wrote that she “is best known for her dusky, out-of-time croon, whose lustrous grain will never live down...the Billie Holiday comparisons that have dogged her over the last 15 years.” What’s coolest about her, though, is the way she’s able to apply that timeless style of singing to songs like the Beatles’ “Martha My Dear,” Dylan’s “I Threw It All Away,” and Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain.” Of course, she has her own material, too, and will show off both at the Tarrytown Music Hall.
photo by Michael Wilson
❯❯❯ Audra McDonald
The Performing Arts Center
It takes talent to win a Tony award. It takes real talent to win four of them, as Broadway star Audra McDonald has done. (For the record, she won those awards for appearing in Carousel, Ragtime, Master Class, and A Raisin in the Sun.) Of course, you can’t keep skills like that away from the stage, so McDonald is heading back to Broadway to star in Porgy and Bess this coming January. But before she does, she’ll stop by the Performing Arts Center to give a performance of works by Gershwin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and other selections from the Great American Songbook.
Galdalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, described as a “Hillbilly Pink Floyd,” headlines the Howling Wolf Family Folk Festival at the Irvington Town Hall Theater to benefit the Wolf Conservation Center (September 18). Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano joins the Westchester Jazz Orchestra for its season-opening performance (September 24). “If You Could Read My Mind” songwriter Gordon Lightfoot shows off his lyrical prowess at the Paramount Center for the Arts (September 30). Andrew Bird brings his indie music and his penchant for whistling to the Tarrytown Music Hall (October 21). You don’t have to believe in magic to see The Lovin’ Spoonful (October 29)—they’ll be at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck. Something tells us the Paramount Center for the Arts is into something good when Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone performs (November 11). A half-century into her career Joan Baez is still going strong, visiting the Stamford Center for the Arts (November 15). Don McLean gives an almost-hometown performance when he comes to the Tarrytown Music Hall (November 19).
[Anniversary Watch: 20 Years]
REBEL Ensemble for Baroque Music
Q&A withKaren Marie Marmer
Co-Founder and Manager
REBEL photo © Howard Goodman
How was REBEL founded?
My now-husband and I were living in Holland in the early nineties. I was studying baroque music, and he was freelancing as an ensemble musician. One day in school, I found a flier for a competition for early-music ensembles. We decided to form an ensemble on the fly and go for it; the prize was ten-thousand guilders. We had previously met and enjoyed working with a harpsichordist and a viola de gamba. We worked really hard for a few weeks, and, to everyone’s astonishment we won first prize.
How do baroque instruments and baroque works differ from the classical music we’re more familiar with?
A baroque violin has gut strings instead of metal, it’s at a lower tension and a lower pitch, and the neck is not set in as steep an angle. We use a different kind of bow, too. It’s important to us that we play in a style that we believe is close to the style that was used at the time, which we know from all the treatises that are left for us to read. It’s a different approach than a modern player—playing on these instruments in this style has more nuance, more character, and there’s more attention to detail. The music is really glorious. It’s known for excess and eccentricity, fantasy, and some rough edges.
What’s in store for the next twenty years?
We have a core formation of four or five players, but for a long time, we have also explored different programs with additional singers added, trumpets, bassoons, oboes, and flutes. We’ve delved into new territory and instrumentation with what we’re offering, and we want to continue that. Our Bedford concert series, called Musica Antiqua Nova, is something that can’t be heard anywhere else. It’s where we perform extravagant programs that we can’t take on the road. Our Westchester series is really one of our favorite series because we get to really do the kinds of eccentric programs we want to do.