Valentine’s Day is coming up and there is a lot to love on the cultural scene this week!

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents
Simon Barrad, baritone; Hsin-Yun Huang, viola; and Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano
Friday, February 11, 7:30pm
Experience the brooding majesty of Shostakovich’s last works in this collaboration between the commanding Solzhenitsyn, master violist Huang, and Grammy-nominated baritone Barrad. Containing profoundly personal meditations on love, creativity, and mortality, Shostakovich’s song cycle leads into the extraordinary atmosphere and tension of the Viola Sonata, Op. 147, the composer’s final musical utterance.
Shostakovich: Michelangelo Songs, Op. 145
Shostakovich: Viola Sonata, Op. 147
Watch the live stream on Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s website

Wigmore Hall presents
Augustin Hadelich, violin; Charles Owen, piano
Livestream Monday, February 14, 8-9am
Then on-demand for 30 days
Beethoven, Perkinson, and Ravel
The Grammy Award-winning violinist and his regular pianist partner offer two classics of the duo sonata genre alongside works by the African-American composer, conductor, and educator Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004), who enjoyed a significant career in classical music as a successful composer of ballet and film scores as well as concert works in addition to being involved in jazz and popular music as well.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):  Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Op. 24 ‘Spring’
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004):  Louisiana Blues Strut: A Cakewalk; Blue/s Forms for solo violin
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937):  Violin Sonata No. 2 in G
Watch and listen to Live at Wigmore Hall on
Watch and listen to Live at Wigmore Hall on YouTube

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents
Ailey All Access:  Unfold by Robert Battle
On-demand February 14-27
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Ailey and stream Robert Battle’s swirling duet Unfold.  Set to Leontyne Price’s intensely romantic recording of Gustave Charpentier’s aria “Depuis Le Jour” about the first day of love, Robert Battle’s striking pas de deux, Unfold, is one of four ballets that he set on the Company prior to becoming Artistic Director in 2011. With its fluid grace, this gem exemplifies Battle’s skill for nuanced gesture and vivid imagery. The divinity Battle feels in the aria is invoked in the choreography for what he believes to be a common goal: “What every artist reaches for is beyond human, but that it is human is what makes it spectacular.”  Designed to capture the intensity of one’s first love, what Battle describes as “that feeling that life stands still,” the drama inherent in the piece is accentuated by the innovative approach to the romantic pas de deux.
Watch Ailey All Access on YouTube

The Aspen Music Festival and School presents
Aspen Armchair Concerts: Simone Dinnerstein, piano
Livestream Monday, February 14, 8pm
Then on-demand for 3 days
Philip Glass: Etude No. 16
Philip Glass: Etude No. 2
Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960
Simone Dinnerstein is an American pianist with a distinctive musical voice. The Washington Post has called her “an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity.” She is, wrote The New York Times, “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.” An Aspen favorite, Dinnerstein has presented 11 programs at the AMFS in the past 14 years showcasing her imaginative programming. Here she pairs the beautifully spare but colorful Phillip Glass Etudes with Schubert’s final piano sonata.
Watch and listen on the Aspen Music Festival Virtual Stage

The New York Public Library presents
“And the Category Is…” with Ricky Tucker
Tuesday, February 15, 6:30-8:30pm
Celebrate New York’s storied vogue, house, and ballroom community with Ricky Tucker, author of And the Category Is…, as he discusses the history and triumphs of this culture, which was founded by Harlem’s LGBTQ+ Black and Latinx communities —a space where trans lives are respected and applauded, and queer youth are able to find family and acceptance. Ricky will be in conversation with artists, public health practitioners, and educators Robert Sember and Michael Roberson. This program is presented by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Register for “Between the Lines: And the Category Is…”

The Japan Society presents
Japanese Pop Culture: Connecting the World through Manga and Anime
Tuesday, February 15, 7-8pm
Japanese pop culture, symbolized by manga and anime, has become an increasingly significant part of the cultural conversation across the globe. Industry experts Julia Mechler, manga creator and Content Production Group Manager at mixi, inc., and Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S., provide their insights into the current state of the industry, from pen to paper to screen, unpacking some of the latest trends and emerging technologies in the sprawling Japanese pop culture grounded in a unique cultural DNA.  This live webinar covers the historical development of manga and anime, the global influence of otaku culture, and what the future may bring inside and outside of Japan. Moderated by Bill Tsutsui, author of Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization.
Register on the Japan Society’s website

The Neuberger Museum of Art presents
Conservator Talk: Marc-Christian Roussel
Thursday, February 17, 6-7pm
Listen in as art conservator Marc-Christian Roussel discusses the development of 20th-century welded metal sculpture and his recent restoration of The Billiard Player III (The Billiard Player), a metal work by David Smith that is currently on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art.  Marc has worked with the Estate of David Smith for more than 25 years and wrote an essay, “Nothing You Can Speak About” Methods and Materials in David Smith’s Sculpture,” for the recently published David Smith Sculpture Catalogue Raisonné 1932-1953.  In addition to the conservation and maintenance projects Marc has managed for the Neuberger Museum of Art, his work includes Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure at Lincoln Center; D.C. French’s Forward atop Wisconsin’s State Capital dome; AT&T’s iconic sculpture Spirit of Communication; Rockefeller Center’s Atlas and Prometheus; and restoration work on the Statue of Liberty. Introduction by Neuberger Museum of Art Director Tracy Fitzpatrick.  Q&A following the talk.
RSVP for the Conservator Talk webinar


Culture Picks is a weekly feature celebrating the performing arts. The arts are back and there is so much to take in, both live and virtual. Cultural connoisseur and PAC staff member Coni Guhl is here to help you sort through it all. Each week we will post her curated selection of events featuring the artists you know and love from The PAC Center Series, plus a sampling of stellar local experiences. Enjoy!

All times are EDT unless otherwise noted.

Pictured: Violist Hsin-Yun Huang © Carl-Hubter Wong