One of my favorite things about summer is the variety of ways you can experience the arts outdoors, often for free. But if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can always crank up the AC and check out some of this week’s on-demand picks. The best of both worlds!
Wigmore Hall presents
Olena Tokar soprano; Igor Gryshyn piano: A. Mahler, Rachmaninov, and Viardot
Ukrainian lyric soprano Olena Tokar has won numerous prizes and is currently a member of the Leipzig Opera. With her equally eminent pianist compatriot Igor Gryshyn, she has released the CD Charmes, which includes contemporary works by Alma Mahler and Pauline Viardot. BBC Music Magazine greeted it enthusiastically, describing it as an “exquisite recital” and singling out for praise “the luxuriant bloom of Tokar’s voice … perfectly matched by Gryshyn’s old-fashioned, elastic piano accompaniments.”
Watch and listen to Olena Tokar and Igor Gryshyn on WigmoreHall.org
American Masters: Ballerina Boys
On-demand now through July 24
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (The Trocks) is an all-male company that for 45 years has offered audiences their passion for ballet classics mixed with exuberant comedy. With every step, they show off their incredible artistry and athleticism while poking fun at their strictly gendered art form.
Watch “Ballerina Boys” on PBS.org
Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City presents a globalFEST Hangout at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn:
Kronos Quartet & Sam Green: A Thousand Thoughts | Roomful of Teeth
Thursday, July 14
Doors 6:30pm / Showtime 7:30pm
Legendary classical music group Kronos Quartet and filmmaker Sam Green take the stage to create a “live documentary” that chronicles Kronos’ groundbreaking career through archival footage, photos, and interviews with longtime collaborators like Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley, Tanya Tagaq, and Steve Reich. GRAMMY-winning vocal ensemble Roomful Of Teeth, relentless explorers of global music traditions in their own right, starts things off.
globalFEST Hangouts are fun, social events for the culturally curious in New York City. These community-building events are a place for people to meet other like-minded music fans while experiencing global music and other related activities in a variety of cultural spaces. BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! is a free summer concert series at the Lena Horne Bandshell in Prospect Park.
Learn more about Kronos Quartet & Sam Green: A Thousand Thoughts
Aspen Music Festival presents
Aspen Chamber Symphony
Livestream Friday, July 15, 7:30pm
Robert Spano, conductor
Terrence Wilson, piano
Discover an exciting new artist in a piano tour de force and hear an enigmatic symphonic swan song in this concert conducted by AMFS Music Director Robert Spano. Acclaimed by the Baltimore Sun as “one of the biggest pianistic talents to have emerged in this country in the last 25 years,” pianist Terrence Wilson makes his Aspen debut in Liszt’s uber-virtuosic First Piano Concerto. Diabolical octaves, intricate ornaments, arpeggios that take up the entire keyboard’s real estate, and other challenges that can make pianists reach for their anti-anxiety meds contrast with quieter, lyrical passages of gentle beauty. Also on the program is Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15, written in only a few weeks in 1971 as he faced declining health. It’s filled with strange quotes and allusions to music of earlier composers and mysterious references to Shostakovich’s previous works. Early in the piece, you’ll recognize Rossini’s William Tell Overture, which opens this concert.
ROSSINI: Overture to William Tell
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, LW H4
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 15 in A major, op. 141
Access the Aspen Music Festival Virtual Stage
Theater of War Productions presents
The Suppliants Project: Ukraine
On Zoom on Saturday, July 16, 1-3pm
The Suppliants Project: Ukraine presents live, dramatic readings of Aeschylus’ play The Suppliants on Zoom—featuring professional actors and a chorus of Ukrainian citizens—to help frame global discussions about the War in Ukraine and the unique challenges now faced by the people of Ukraine and those who support them. Using a 2,500-year-old text as a catalyst for a powerful, international discussion, The Suppliants Project: Ukraine will amplify and humanize the voices and perspectives of Ukrainian citizens, refugees, soldiers, immigrants, politicians, activists, and artists who will participate in the performance and discussion on their personal devices on Zoom from locations within Ukraine and in neighboring countries.
The Suppliants is an ancient Greek play about a group of refugees who seek asylum in the city of Argos from forced marriage and violence. The play not only depicts the struggle of these refugees to cross a border into safety, but also the internal struggle within the country that ultimately receives them, as its citizens wrestle with how best to address the crisis at their border and whether to go to war on behalf of the refugees seeking their protection.
Follow this link to register for “The Suppliants Project: Ukraine”
Silkroad Ensemble with Rhiannon Giddens: Phoenix Rising
Saturday, July 16, 8pm
In the Venetian Theater; Garden Listening tickets are also available
Grammy Award-winning musician Rhiannon Giddens returns to Caramoor in her new role as Artistic Director of the Silkroad Ensemble. Phoenix Rising takes a cross-section of Silkroad’s award-winning compositions and arrangements and re-imagines them for today. Keeping an eye on the past, Silkroad and Giddens have also collaborated on new works that coalesce her unique worldview with the Ensemble’s collective experience during the pandemic. The program will include new commissions by Sandeep Das, Maeve Gilchrist, and Kaoru Watanabe as well as new arrangements by Giddens, Colin Jacobsen, Edward Pérez, and Mazz Swift.
Get tickets for Silkroad Ensemble with Rhiannon Giddens at Caramoor
The Emelin Theatre presents
Broadway on the Sound: Family Favorites
Wednesday, July 20, at 7pm | Rain Date Wed, July 27 @ 7pm
Lanza Field at Harbor Island Park by the Beach, Mamaroneck, NY
Produced and hosted by New York Casting Director Stephen DeAngelis, five of Broadway’s finest vocalists will illuminate the stage with songs from classic and contemporary musicals based on timeless children’s stories and animated films. This free family-friendly celebration of musical theatre will include musical selections from Frozen; Aladdin; Wicked; The Sound of Music; Annie; Mary Poppins; The Little Mermaid; The King and I; Beauty and the Beast; Peter Pan; The Lion King; Anastasia; Cinderella; and more!
Learn more about the Emelin Theatre’s Concerts In The Park
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts presents
Songs of the Living: A gathering led by Toshi Reagon inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower
Sunday, July 24, 7:30pm
Damrosch Park; general admission, limited advance reservation
Join NYC’s Parable Path, a set of local events, talks, and rituals centered on collaborative living that draw inspiration from the classic sci-fi novel by the late MacArthur Fellow and Hugo Award-winner Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower. Led by singer/songwriter Toshi Reagon, whose opera of the same name will premiere in New York in 2023, this event will feature a community choir that will direct the audience through an open and engaging evening of song, dance, and deep conversation. Come be a part of this harmonious and challenging exploration of sustainable routes onto the righteous path in an ever-changing world.
SIGN UP TO BE A PART OF THE CHORUS! To participate in the community choir for this event, please choose a rehearsal date and venue that is most convenient for you.
July 17 at 3:00 pm: Weeksville Heritage Center (Crown Heights, Brooklyn)
July 19 at 5:30 pm: Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater (Astor Place, Manhattan)
Presented in association with Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Weeksville Heritage Center.
Learn more about “Songs of the Living”
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, work being done by Purchase alums, plus a sampling of arts experiences you just can’t miss. Enjoy!
All times are EDT unless otherwise noted.
Pictured: Silkroad Ensemble © Noir Prism/Rich Woods