In Western music canon, Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the first freelance composers. Unlike his predecessors — Bach, Mozart and Haydn — he had no royal patron to please. Beethoven wrote music for himself, and for greater humanity. “What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose,” he said. Knowing this makes the impassioned plea for universal fellowship and peace in his “Symphony No. 9” all the more powerful.

If there is something inherently funny about women’s breasts and the seemingly endless quest for the sexual capital that comes from an augmented female form, then “Gay Deceivers” capitalizes on it — with a pseudo-feminist twist. The humor in this almost-farce also relies on the audience’s delight in seeing ostensibly straight men dressed (badly) as women.

It was a truly unique night at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts last night with the first ever Off the Wall fundraising event. As I was leaving the event, feeling inspired and blessed to have seen so much talent in just three hours, I hoped that the UICA makes this an annual event, and I can safely assume the happy audience around me felt the same.

Review: ‘Radio Gals’ is a fast-paced, feel-good treat

Written by Marin Heinritz | Monday, 14 May 2018 17:39 |

If there’s one thing the New Vic Theatre in Kalamazoo does exceptionally well, it’s down-home folksy storytelling with music. And that’s exactly what they have with “Radio Gals,” by Mike Carver and Mark Hardwick, which takes us into a delightfully kooky sort of Americana by way of retired music teacher Hazel Hunt’s front parlor where the Hazelnuts, a motley crew of local Arkansans, put on a radio variety show for the fun of it with a Western Electric 100-watt radio transmitter on their very own WGAL.

2018 Gilmore Artist Igor Levit has said that “permanent curiosity is essential” for him. The pianist dives deep into a concept, and use his towering skill to express it. During the 2018 Gilmore Keyboard Festival Finale on Saturday night, Levit conveyed the curiosity and humanism that is core to his art. He performed together with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (KSO) under the baton of Raymond Harvey, music director emeritus.

Snarky Puppy, the multiple Grammy Award-winning funky jazz fusion jam band collective that defies definition, brought down the sold-out house of The State Theatre in Kalamazoo Friday night in a Gilmore Keyboard Festival performance that kicked off what promises to be a wildly successful summer tour.

Review: Leon Fleisher put his legacy on full display

Written by Marin Heinritz | Friday, 11 May 2018 13:29 |

In a jubilant celebration honoring the extraordinary life and achievements of one of the finest pianists of the past century, Leon Fleisher and friends offered a rousing all-Mozart program Wednesday night at Chenery Auditorium as a grand highlight of this year’s Gilmore Festival.

This year’s Gilmore Award winner, Igor Levit, played an astonishing solo concert of late Beethoven sonatas to a sold-out crowd at Kalamazoo College’s Stetson Chapel Wednesday afternoon, surpassing all expectations of seriousness and excellence.

Review: James Francies Trio brings energy and imagination

Written by Marin Heinritz | Wednesday, 09 May 2018 10:09 |

When James Francies took the Kalamazoo Civic stage yesterday afternoon — arriving directly from the airport — he noted he liked the energy in the place. For the next hour, he, with the James Francies Trio, fed on, ran with, and cultivated that energy with wildly imaginative and kinetic original jazz.

The New York-based Emmet Cohen Trio kicked off the Gilmore Festival’s noon series Monday at the Kalamazoo Civic auditorium, delighting the crowd with their take on a variety of classic jazz tunes, paying homage to some of the jazz greats.

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© 2018 Revue and Revue Holding Company

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