Music director Lewis Buckley headed the U.S. Coast Guard band and conducted several prominent New England symphonies before landing at the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, which has been tickling eardrums with woodwind, brass, and percussion concerts since 1971. "An ACB Preview" celebrates the 75-member symphony's invitation to play at the 2012 annual conference of the Association of Concert Bands with a sampling of the program they'll perform for a national audience. The concert kicks off with Percy Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy, which recasts six English folk songs as lush, wind-powered melodies free of interrupting Robin Hoods. Principal oboist Elana Lorance takes charge in James Kessler's Hudson River Rhapsody and a new transcription of Gershwin's An American in Paris ends the evening with Gallic-via-Broadway aplomb. Starting at 1:30 p.m., a preconcert talk by maestro Buckley unveils some of the music's hidden features and lets uncertain ears nuzzle the score.
Over seven years, the Boston String Quartet has vibrated strings in collaboration with artists such as John Mayer and the Boston Ballet, stirred the air molecules at Symphony Hall and PBS, and performed by invitation for former President George H.W. Bush. With this deal, eighth-note connoisseurs can wrap their eardrums around the quartet's dulcet tones as they present "Xibus," an evening of contemporary and classical that marks the zenith of a two-day workshop collaborating with Finneytown High School orchestra students. Over the course of the evening program, the quartet and the students will cajole their chordophones into ringing out in harmonious arrangements of music by Carlos Santana, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Bill Gates's new Viking-punk band, as well as performing original compositions by members of Boston String Quartet.
The Citi Performing Arts Center's calendar of musicals, operas, rock concerts, dance productions, standup comedians, and classic-film screenings is a culmination of its decades as a Boston historical landmark. Starting out in 1925 as a "movie cathedral," the theater?then a renovated arts center capable of housing the most ambitiously scaled Broadway productions?morphed into the headquarters of the Boston Ballet. Throughout all its names and incarnations, the venue has retained the grandeur and luster of some long-lost wing of Versailles. In the lobby, dark-veined columns carved from imported marble vault skyward toward an arched ceiling and an enormous crystal chandelier that hangs like a pendulum from its center. In the theater itself, frescoes and intricate filigree surround the golden cupola that looms over a sea of scarlet velvet seats?a sight as awe-inspiring to audiences as it is terrifying to first-graders performing their first clarinet recital there.
Music connoisseurs and building buffs regard Symphony Hall as one of the finest concert halls in the world. Sixteen replicas of Greek and Roman statues line the walls, and its airy space lends a majestic resonance to each string pluck and unexpected sneeze. Opened in 1900, Symphony Hall was the first auditorium designed in accordance with scientifically derived acoustic principle, sloping inward to help focus the sound of the orchestra's stirring string renditions.
Made by the famed Italian Guarneri family of luthiers in 1743, the Bonjour violin comes to life today in the hands of master violinist Vadim Repin. The Russian virtuoso coaxes heart-tugging tones from the gorgeous wooden body of the violin—whose acoustics have blossomed along with its value over the years—as well as the radio receiver inside the instrument. Praised for his "unshakable bravura" by the New York Times' Steve Smith, Repin drives the instrument with a muscular, energetic style.