Saturday, March 20, 2010

ArtsBuzz: Lynn opens new concert hall; venues set 2010-11 classical series

The inside of the center.
(Photo by Greg Stepanich)


Lynn University on Thursday opened its new $14.9 million concert hall, adding a much-needed venue for theater and music in south Palm Beach County.

The Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center, which took about 18 months to build, features a 752-seat hall with adjustable acoustic panels, a video studio, plus scene and costume shops, and soon will have an orchestral shell that can be moved to give musical performances their best sonic ambience.

The hall itself will be able to be “tuned” for different events using the acoustical system engineered by Acentech Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.

“It will be like sitting inside a musical instrument,” said Erin Hastings, a senior associate with New Haven, Conn.-based Newman Architects LLC, which designed the hall.

The acoustic panels in the hall.
(Photo by Greg Stepanich)


Much of the money to build the hall – $8.3 million – was donated by Elaine Johnson Wold, who with her late husband Keith, a prominent eye surgeon who died in 2003, has been involved for decades in charitable causes including Boca Raton Community Hospital.

Jon Robertson, dean of the Lynn University Conservatory of Music, said for the first year of the hall’s existence, the conservatory will concentrate on in-house performances rather than renting it out to outside performers.

“We need to see how it responds to our needs first,” Robertson said. Currently, the school’s orchestra, the Lynn Philharmonia, has been performing in the Roberts Theater on the campus of St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton.

But starting in October, the Philharmonia opens its 2010-11 season at the Wold Center with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, played by faculty violinist Elmar Oliveira, and the Symphony No. 5 (in C-sharp minor) of Gustav Mahler.

“To perform in a world-class facility like this concert hall is part of building a world-class educational institution,” Robertson said.

The outside of the Wold Center.
(Photo by Greg Stepanich)


The center was opened Thursday afternoon with an opening ceremony that featured remarks from Lynn President Kevin Ross, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel, Cynthia Patterson, Lynn’s vice president for academic affairs, and Aziz Sapaev, a student cellist at the conservatory
.

The first performer at the Wold Center will be veteran dancer and actress Mitzi Gaynor, who is touring the country with a one-woman show – Razzle-Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins – that looks back on her decades in show business. Gaynor will present shows April 17 and 18.

Society of the Four Arts names chairman

Patrick Henry, a longtime board member of Palm Beach’s Society of the Four Arts, has been named chairman of its board of trustees, the society said Friday.


A private investor with many years of experience on nonprofit boards, particularly in health and education, Henry is the 12th chairman of the Society of the Four Arts in its 75-year history.

A member since 1992, Henry was appointed to the board of trustees in 2003. He also serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees of the National Botanical Garden in Kalaheo, Hawaii, and is a founding trustee of the Institute of EthnoMedicine in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Since 1976, he has been a director and executive committee member of MB Financial in Chicago.

Henry and his wife Heather have four children and six grandchildren and have lived in Palm Beach since 1978.

The Four Arts presents speakers, concerts, films, educational programs, art exhibitions and free programs to school children year-round.

The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra of Cape Town, South Africa.

Kravis, Broward Center announce classical acts for 2010-11

Leading soloists, major ensembles and a first-time visit to South Florida by a South African orchestra are among the acts planned for the classical music series at the Kravis and Broward centers in the upcoming 2010-11 season.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman will give recitals at each of the venues (Feb. 28, 2011, Broward; March 1, Kravis), as will the Belfast-born flutist Sir James Galway (March 16, 2011, Kravis; March 17, Broward).

American pianist André Watts returns to the Kravis on March 29, 2011, after illness canceled his last appearance two seasons ago, and French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet comes to the Broward Center on Feb. 7, 2011.


Pianist Christopher O’Riley, familiar from his hosting of the public radio series From the Top, joins cellist Carter Brey for a recital Dec. 19, 2010, at the Kravis, while Britain’s veteran King’s Singers vocal group plans a Christmas-themed concert at the Parker Playhouse on Dec. 13.

The Russian-born American violinist Philippe Quint is the soloist in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (in D, Op. 35), with South Africa’s Cape Philharmonic Orchestra under Martin Panteleev on Feb. 17, 2011, at the Parker Playhouse. And Canada’s Toronto Symphony is joined by Canadian violinist James Ehnes for the Barber Violin Concerto (Op. 14) in concerts at both venues (Jan. 11, 2011, Broward; Jan. 12, Kravis) that also will feature the Fifth Symphony (in E minor, Op. 64) of Tchaikovsky.

Miami Beach’s New World Symphony travels north on Oct. 18, 2010, for a concert at the Broward Center under director Michael Tilson Thomas that will feature music by Steven Mackey, Beethoven (Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92), and the Variations on a Rococo Theme of Tchaikovsky, with cellist Lynn Harrell. On Feb. 18, 2011, the New World comes to the Kravis for a concert with the great British conductor Sir Neville Marriner, who welcomes Dutch violinist Isabelle van Keulen for the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.


Russian orchestras will be around in force at both venues, with the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia under Mark Gorenstein joined by violinist Sergei Grishenko for the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in a Broward Center concert on Jan. 31, 2011. The Moscow State Symphony comes to the Kravis on Nov. 16-17, 2010, with violinist Jennifer Koh in the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 (in G minor, Op. 26) on the 16th, and pianist Jeremy Denk in the Prokofiev Second Concerto (in G minor, Op. 16) on the 17th.

The St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Nikolai Alexeev plays the Kravis April 6-7, 2011, with pianist Nikolai Lugansky in the Rachmaninov Second Concerto (in C minor, Op. 18) on the 6th, and with the cellist Alisa Weilerstein (at right) on the 7th in the Cello Concerto No. 1 (in E-flat, Op. 107) of Shostakovich.

Other foreign orchestras include the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, who will conduct the Fifth Symphony (in C-sharp minor) of Gustav Mahler at the Kravis on Feb. 20, 2011, and the Philharmonic of Poland (Jan. 25-26, 2011, Kravis), with violinist Marta Kowalczyk and pianist Jacek Kortus. Both soloists play both days: Kowalczyk plays the Wieniawski Second Concerto (in D minor, Op. 22) and Kortus the Paderewski Concerto in A minor (Op. 16) on the 25th; on the 26th, Kowalczyk plays the Sibelius Violin Concerto (in D minor, Op. 47) and Kortus plays the Paderewski Polish Fantasy (Op. 19).

And French pianist Philippe Entremont, who takes over the Boca Raton Symphonia next season, appears with the German State Philharmonic of Ludwigshafen in Feb. 7-8, 2011, in the dual roles of soloist and conductor. On the 7th, he plays the Beethoven Second Concerto (in B-flat, Op. 19); on the 8th, he is one of the soloists in the Mozart Two-Piano Concerto (in E-flat, K. 365).


For more information, call the Kravis at 561-832-7469, or the Broward Center at 954-462-0222.


Showtel sets 8th annual installation


Showtel, the most popular alternative art show in South Florida, has announced dates for its eighth annual exhibition.
The gathering of 22 multimedia, site-specific installations by Florida artists is set for April 8-10 at the Hotel Biba, 320 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.

Participating artists include Joey Barsten, Katharine Barnes, Leah Brown, Martin Eduardo Casuso, Brent Cole, Halie Ezratty, Daniel E. Fernandez, Robb Fladry, Georgeta Fondos, Donna Haynes, Lauren Alyssa Howard, Lauren Jacobson, Onorina Jomir, Bradley Lezo, Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, Cristina Sierra, Sue Stevens, Peter Symons, Gregg Tomé, Jackie Tufford, Jordi Williams and Meme: The Experimental Media Ensemble.

Showtel is curated by Kara Walker-Tomé. A Preview Night will be offered for the first time from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 8. Admission is $30, which includes a cocktail, Showtel program and weekend pass ($20 value).

General admission tickets are $10-$30 ($5 for high school students, and under 14, free).

– Compiled by Greg Stepanich and Skip Sheffield

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