Critic’s Choice

March 6, 2018 at 2:02 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi

 Violinist Benjamin Beilman has been hailed for his virtuosic and muscular playing. So it seems natural that he became attracted to the music of Frederic Rzewski, a composer whose music has garnered similar praise.

In his Celebrity Series debut this Wednesday, Beilman will offer the New England premiere of Rzewski’s Demons, a sonata co-commissioned by the Celebrity Series.

Rzewski, a committed leftist, writes music that often deals with the political issues of the contemporary world. Demons is a four-movement sonata for violin and piano that is dedicated to the political activist and author Angela Davis. In it, Rzewski quotes and plays with two songs: “Iroes,” popularized by Maria Dimitriadis in the 1990s, and “Freedom is a Constant Struggle,” a song well known in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Filling out the program will be the first and last violin sonatas of Beethoven (No. 1 in D major and No. 10 in G major) and Bartók’s Violin Sonata No. 2. Pianist Orion Weiss will accompany.

The performance will take place 8 p.m. Wednesday at Pickman Hall.; 617- 482-6661

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