In 2004—on a mission to bolster its community’s wellspring of art, creativity, and education—the nonprofit Bergen Performing Arts Center took over the former John Harms Center, an art deco–style movie and vaudeville palace built in 1926. Today, in the same antique theater where Shakespeare screened his first car-chase movie, the Bergen Performing Arts Center hosts 150 yearly events that bring dance, music, and theatrical productions to an estimated 250,000 annual audience members. Networks like HBO, PBS, and MTV all have filmed international broadcasts on Bergen Performing Arts Center’s stage, which has seen the likes of Tony Bennett, Woody Allen, and the Dixie Chicks.
Currently led by musical director Eckart Preu, the 60-piece Stamford Symphony appeals to both classical connoisseurs and orchestral novices with its exciting blend of professionalism, intricate musicality, and pure entertainment. Featuring cello virtuoso Jan Vogler, "Romantic Souls" will touch on the emotions of passion and repression with performances of pieces by Schoenberg, Tchaikovsky, and Schubert. Creating music that's described as "rapturously heartfelt" by the Washington Post, Vogler comes to the Stamford Symphony after having performed with the New York Philharmonic and premiered English composer Colin Matthews’ Berceuse for Dresden. Hear the exquisite sounds of Vogler's 1721 Montagnana Ex-Hekking cello, an instrument known for its age and for its foreboding "Lute is Dead" engraving. Check Stamford Center for the Arts' website for available seating.
Janet Jackson has delighted fans for nearly 30 years with a constantly evolving style of pop and R & B. The Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour marinates eardrums in songs drawn exclusively from Jackson's catalog of 35 number-one hits, an illustrious group of tunes that includes "That's The Way Love Goes," "Black Cat," and "All for You." Pared-down sets and carefully crafted dance moves allow Jackson to connect directly to her dedicated fans, eschewing pyrotechnics for an experience as emotionally resonant as a baby's first push-up.
• For $30, you get one reserved seat in section 10 or 11 (a $49.50 value before fees, or up to a $60.70 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $48, you get one reserved seat in section 6 or 7 (an $85.50 value before fees, or up to a $97.55 value online, including all ticketing fees).
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
Celebrating its 47th year, the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra tackles traditional baroque and romantic masters as well as contemporary songsters throughout its 2011–2012 season. An accomplished conductor of opera, Broadway, pops, and classical music, music director Gerald Steichen massages mellifluent tones out of Ridgefield's vibrant violins and boisterous brass. RSO highlights name-brand classical masters with its Beauty of Beethoven and Brahms Fulfilled shows. Young and aspiring musicians congregate at the Young Impressions concert, featuring 16-year old soloist Madeleine Bouissou. Celebrate the time signatures of foreign composers with A Trip to the British Isles, or sit back as visiting Broadway performers Nat Chandler and Teri Hansen belt homegrown classics during February 4th's Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration, attended by Oscar Hammerstein's grandson Andy Hammerstein.