Celebrity Series to go online for the fall season

July 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Jeremy Denk will open the Celebrity Series’ livestreamed fall season with a recital September 20.

The Celebrity Series will present no public concerts for the first half of the 2020-21 season because of continuing safety concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instead, the Boston-based series will present eighteen livestreamed concerts during the fall season, which continues a program of curated online events during the pandemic shutdown.

The online performances will replace much of the Celebrity Series’ previously announced fall lineup.

“Celebrity Series at Home,” which will run from September through December, will stream live performances by prominent and local musicians from venues in Boston and around the country. The events will also feature live chats with the artists following the performances.

“Even if we cannot gather in person, we still want to invite people of all ages and walks of life to come together in shared, interactive live performing arts experiences that celebrate creativity, expand our horizons, and broaden our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society,” said executive director Gary Dunning in a released statement.

The organization has yet to determine whether the remaining scheduled fall concerts will be cancelled or postponed. As of Friday, several events are still booked, including pianist Daniil Trifonov (October 30), pianist Alexander Malofeev (October 28), and the Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile “Goat Rodeo” program (October 26).

Performances by the Tetzlaff Quartet and pianist Seong-Jin Cho are currently listed as “status pending” on the Celebrity Series website.

Six of the originally scheduled artists will perform live-streamed concerts. Ticketswill be available for purchase and the events will be broadcast on select Sunday evenings during the fall months. 

Pianist Jeremy Denk will perform live from WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on September 20. His program will include Robert Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Clara Schumann’s Romances, Op. 21, Missy Mazzoli’s Bolts of Loving Thunder, and Brahms’s Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 119.

Rob Kapilow will present his “What Makes It Great?” series on a livestream from Kaufman Music Center in New York City on October 4. The program will focus upon the music of Cole Porter.

The Takács Quartet will offer music by Mozart, Bartók, Debussy, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor live from Boulder, Colorado on October 25. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan will team up for a recital of Manuel de Falla’s Suite Populaire Espagnol and Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in G minor, Op. 19 from the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla, California on November 8.

The single jazz offering will feature pianist Chucho Valdés from New World Center in Miami on October 18. And singer-songwriters Sara and Sean Watkins will present “Watkins Family Hour” live from Fanciful Fox Studios in Los Angeles on November 15.

All concerts will take place at 7 p.m. EST and will be available for 72 hours after they air.

In addition, the Celebrity Series will offer twelve free online events that feature local artists.

The Neighborhood Arts Concerts will showcase Boston-based musicians on Thursday evenings this fall. Classical music offerings for these live streams include the Unitas Ensemble performing music of Astor Piazzolla (October 1) and the Neighborhood Arts Cello Quartet in works by Bach, Piazzolla and folk-inspired music from Latin America, Turkey, and Africa (December 3).

For jazz and pop music, the series will feature the Jason Palmer Quintet (September 10), vocalist Débo Ray (September 24), rapper Devin Ferreira (December 10), and mariachi singer Verónica Robles (December 17). All performances begin at 8 p.m.

“Celebrity Series at Home” will also host the premiere of Black Voices, a virtual program featuring Colombian dance ensemble Sankofa Danzafro. The date and time for this stream will be determined at a later date.

The six performances can be purchased for $90 through September 11. Donors to the Celebrity Series can access the complete concerts for $60. Individual concerts cost $20. celebrityseries.org; 617- 482-6661

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