From Swan Lake to the East River, the classic arts scene in New York is never quiet. Here is just a sampling of some of the classic arts events happening this week:
American Ballet Theatre presents Swan Lake July 10-15 at the Metropolitan Opera House, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Although Tchaikovsky’s ballet is now one of the best-known in the repertoire, it was originally a flop. It was revived shortly after the composer’s death, and gained in popularity over the course of the following decades. Music from Swan Lake has frequently been heard in films and on television for nearly as long as sound films have existed, since Universal Pictures used it in the 1930s horror films Dracula, The Mummy, and Murders in the Rue Morgue. In addition to the oboe solo which opens both Dracula and the second act of the ballet, famous excerpts include the Danse des petits cygnes (dance of the little swans), and the waltz in the first act.
The New York City premiere of Parable of the Sower will take place July 14 at David Geffen Hall. The operatic adaptation of Octavia E. Butler's 1993 sci-fi Afrofuturist novel and its sequel Parable of the Talents is written and composed by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon, and directed by Eric Ting and Signe V. Harriday. A concert version of the opera was performed as part of the Public Theater's Under the Radar festival in 2015, and then again in 2018, but this will be the first full-staged performance of the work in New York City.
The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and NYO2 will perform at Carnegie Hall July 14 and 15. On the 14th, NYO-USA, led by Sir Andrew Davis, will perform Barber’s violin concerto with soloist Gil Shaham, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and the world premiere of Valerie Coleman’s Giants of Light. On the 15th, conductor Joseph Young will lead NYO2 in a program comprising Sibelius’s violin concerto with soloist Jennifer Koh, selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, and Three Dance Episodes from On The Town by Leonard Bernstein.
Carnegie Hall Citywide presents the Aizuri Quartet in a free concert in Madison Square Park July 12. The Grammy-winning chamber ensemble will perform works by Bartók, Beethoven, Komitas, and more. Carnegie Hall Citywide will also present violinist Tessa Lark and bassist Michael Thurber in a concert in Bryant Park July 14, and the Tabou Combo in O’Donohue Park at Beach 17th Street July 15.
Pianist Olga Vinokur will perform at Bargemusic July 14. The concert will include a selection of Chopin preludes, as well as Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Barber’s Piano Sonata in E-flat minor, Rachmaninoff’s piano transcriptions of Kreisler’s Liebesleid and Liebesfreud, and Bolcom’s The Serpent’s Kiss.
July 15, violinist Katherine Dennis and pianist Kyle Walker will perform at Bargemusic, presenting a program of works by William Grant Still, Jessie Montgomery, Cesar Franck, and Clarence Cameron White. July 16, Bargemusic will present the Ulysses Quartet in a concert including Haydn’s Quartet in F minor, Op. 20 No. 5 and Joseph Summer’s Sea Change Quartet No. 2.
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