Rachel Barton Pine is know as one of the top violinists in the world. In Boise, you also can hear her play her viola d'amore with the Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra at Cathedral of the Rockies. BY DANA OLAND
Don’t miss this opportunity to see one of the best violinists in the world play in an intimate venue. Rachel Barton Pine will perform with the Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra at three concerts this weekend. Pine is a true virtuoso, with a dazzling technique that allows her to soar on a classical concerto, and in turn shred on a piece by one of her favorite bands, Metallica. She plays with power and passion that will transport you. Pine will perform Locatelli’s Violin Concerto in D, and she also will bring her viola d’amore, a 14-stringed viol instrument that has a bright and rich sound, for Vivaldi’s Concerto for Viola D’amore.
By Dana Oland
Ballet Idaho’s Daniel Ojeda creates movement with dancer Adrienne Kerr for his new ballet “The Monster and the Gift,” a new work created with original music and visual art. KATHERINE JONES KJONES@IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM
Creativity can be difficult. In fact, it can be downright scary, especially when the material’s focus is the creative process itself. Just ask choreographer Daniel Ojeda, who is at work on a new ballet about the relationship between art and the artist.
“It’s the most personal thing I’ve made so far,” Ojeda says. “It’s about what I do. Putting personal things on stage is difficult. I relate to the artist character, her struggles — they are my own.”
Now, add the fact that Ojeda is working with original music by Idaho composers Jeremy Stewart and Daniel Kerr, and the stakes go even higher. It’s the first time in memory that Ballet Idaho has commissioned original music for a new ballet.
You can see and hear Ojeda’s “The Monster and the Gift” as part of Ballet Idaho’s Winter Repertory concert on Friday, Feb. 10, and Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Morrison Center.
Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra will play Stewart and Kerr’s score for the performance as well as Bach’s Concerto in D minor for Two Violins for a staging of Balanchine’s “Concerto Barocco.”
The evening fulfills a promise Ballet Idaho Artistic Director Peter Anastos made when he took over the company in 2008: to regularly pair live music with dance.
By Dana Oland
Boise arts benefactress Esther Simplot, right, spoke with National Endowment for the Arts Chairwoman Jane Chu during Chu’s Boise visit in 2015. Simplot recently endowed Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic with $3 million. Now, she adds to that with a $90,000 gift to the up-and-coming Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra. KYLE GREEN IDAHO STATESMAN FILE
Esther Simplot and the J.R. Simplot Foundation announced a grant of $90,000 to the Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra. The funds will be spread over three years and will be used to boost musicians pay and develop the group farther.
This is the first large gift Simplot has made to Boise Baroque. It comes after she established a $3 million endowment for continued support for Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic in May.
“The Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra has been an important part of the Boise arts scene for over a decade and has experienced exceptional growth and development,” Esther Simplot said in a press release. “This seemed to be an important time to take the next major step forward.”
This gift is a huge vote of confidence for the group, its music director Daniel Stern said.
Simplot is the widow of Idaho agriculture magnate J.R. Simplot and a longtime supporter of Boise’s arts community from dance to art to music. She built the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy and Annex in 1996, which houses the ballet, philharmonic and opera rehearsal studios, offices, costume shop and performance space on Myrtle Street between 8th and 9th streets in Boise.
The Boise Baroque Orchestra was founded in 2003 under conductor Richard Roller. Stern took over in September 2005 and has led the group since. The group has grown over the years. Its members also play with the Philharmonic, 208 Ensemble and other Boise classical groups.
By Dana Oland
Voilinist Rachel Barton Pine returns to Idaho in March to perform with Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra. This is a rare chance to see this renowned artist in an intimate chamber setting. LISA-MARIE MAZZUCCO
It’s lucky 13 for Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra. The group landed renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine for its 13th season. She will perform with Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra in March.
This marks the renowned violist’s sixth time in Boise and second engagement with Boise Baroque. A favorite of local audiences, she last played with this chamber group in 2013 for its 10th anniversary.
Pine is a rare and unconventional artist. A true virtuoso, she can soar on a concerto and shred with her heavy metal band Earthen Grave. She also can fiddle like the devil and play the heck out of “Happy Birthday” (see the video below).
In March, she will play Locatelli’s Violin Concerto in D and Vivaldi’s Concerto for Viola d’amore.
Viola d’amore is a Baroque-era instrument that is similar to a violin, yet even sweeter and warmer in sound. Pine’s playing of it is spellbinding.
Other season highlights include Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in February and Vivaldi’s “Gloria” in October with the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale.
Boise Baroque also will join Ballet Idaho for its “Winter Repertory” concert, playing Bach’s Double Violin Concerto for the company’s performance of Balanchine’s “Concerto Barocco” at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, and Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at the Morrison Center.
By Dana Oland
Jim Cockey. Photo by Hollenbaugh Photography
by DANA OLAND in the IDAHOSTATESMAN
When Boise Baroque Orchestra artistic director Dan Stern commissioned a piece inspired by the Jewish liturgy from Jim Cockey, the composer had no idea of the personal journey he would embark upon.
The early discussions about the work began centering on the Holocaust as a possible topic because April is Holocaust Remembrance Month.
“I just ran with that,” Cockey says, but it took him somewhere he didn’t expect. Cockey realized that he is Jewish, a fact that was hidden by his mother when he was growing up.
“I remember when I was very young my brother told me we were Jewish and not to tell anyone because if something bad happened they would come for us,” Cockey says. “I realized my mother in Idaho in the 1950s was still terrified of what might happen. It helped me understand the power (the Holocaust) has to affect generations.”
The piece for orchestra, baritone and choir starts in darkness and transcends toward hope through the stories and poetry of Holocaust survivors. Cockey’s score mixes musical lyricism with contemporary dissonance, inspired by Eastern European folk music.
Boise Baroque Orchestra, Opera Idaho Chorus and baritone Jason Detwiler will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 24 and 2 p.m. April 26 at the Cathedral of the Rockies, 717 N. 11th St., Boise. $25 general, $20 seniors and students at boisebaroque.org and at the door.
Boise Baroque Orchestra artistic director Dan Stern suffered a stroke in early August. He's now in recovery, and he'll share the podium this weekend with Boise Philharmonic music director Robert Franz for the chamber orchestra’s opening concert.
“Once my schedule fell into place, it was an easy yes,” Franz says. “Helping a colleague like Dan is important. Both Dan and Jim (Ogle) did so much get the philharmonic to where it is today. It’s the least I can do.”
For BBO’s season opener on Sept. 19 and 21, Franz will conduct Bach’s Suite No. 3, in D Major, and Gabrielli’s “Canzon in Double Echo.” Stern will lead the closing Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 with guest pianist Victor Steinhardt.
A violinist, Stern is in his 10th season as Boise Baroque’s conductor. He was the music director of the Boise Philharmonic from 1974 to 1987. Ogle led the Boise Phil from 1987 to 2006, when he stepped down after suffering a stroke. Franz took the helm in 2008 after a year-long search for a new music director by the company.
“It’s been historic. I never would have imagined that the philharmonic director would ever lead the Baroque,” Stern says. “It’s pretty amazing.”
Stern went in for a hip replacement Aug. 4. The surgery went fine, but the next day he suffered a stroke shortly before he was scheduled to go home. He spent three more weeks in the hospital.
“It was terrifying,” Stern says. “I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t move or let my wishes be known. My wife (violinist Paula Stern) and daughter (Frances) stayed with me the whole time in the ICU.”
Since then, Stern’s recovery has been steady, he says.
“My stamina isn’t what it was, but I realize your average 71-year-old guy in rehab has no real reason to go home because they can’t do the things they love to do,” Stern says. “I’m lucky. I have Mozart to come back to. It was a motivation.”
The Boise Baroque Orchestra was founded in 2003 under conductor Richard Roller. Stern took over in September 2005 and has led the group since. BBO has grown over the years and includes many members who also play with the Philharmonic and enjoy the chance to play chamber music, which is a very different animal from symphonic music.
“It’s been great for me, because I get to conduct Bach two weeks in a row,” Franz says. The philharmonic will perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 at its opening concert Sept. 26 and 27.
DANA OLAND - DOLAND@IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM
By Tara Morgan for Boise Weekly
For its second production of the year, Ballet Idaho is teaming up with the Boise Baroque Orchestra to present Baroque!, a selection of three ballets set to traditional Baroque music with four performances over three days at the Boise State Special Events Center.
"There's no comparison in terms of the audience experience," Ballet Executive Director Julie Numbers Smith said of a performance with live music. "To have live music triples the magic the audience can experience by seeing beautiful movement and hearing the live strings ... That's the magic of live theater, you can't replicate that."
The first ballet on the program, Trianon, features choreography by Artistic Director Peter Anastos set to traditional French dance music from the Palace of Versailles, while the second ballet, Violin Concerto #3 is based around music by Johann Sebastian Bach with choreography by Ballet Master Alex Ossadnik. Finally, Handel in the Strand (Concerti Grossi, Op. 6) is a high-energy celebration of the music of George Frederic Handel choreographed by Anastos.
And it's all performed to live music.
Davie Thiel for Boise Weekly
If you think that a baroque orchestra is restricted to playing the music of 17th- and 18th-century composers like Bach, Handel and Telemann, think again.
This evening, the Boise Baroque Orchestra and the Langroise Trio will perform the world premiere of "Concerto Grosso for String Trio and Orchestra," a never-before-heard piece of music by Idaho composer Jim Cockey.
Cockey, who has a gold album for his work with the Moody Blues and who has previously composed music for the Langroise Trio and the Darkwood Consort, was thrilled when Boise Baroque Music Director Dan Stern approached him with the idea of composing a piece for his orchestra.
"This was an exciting opportunity because I have a personal connection to the Langroise Trio and string trios in general," said Cockey. "Also, I feel a special association with chamber orchestras."
As Cockey set out to compose the piece, which seeks to bridge the Baroque and Romantic Periods, one goal was to create solos that would showcase the considerable talents of the Langroise Trio (Geoffrey Trabichoff, David Johnson and Samuel Smith). While many elements influence and constrain the direction a composer takes, because of Cockey's long-time relationship with the Trio, the musical personalities of the soloists were major factors as he composed their solos.
"Writing for Geoffrey is a blast because I'm also a violinist and we just seem to speak the same musical language," said Cockey. "He interprets and plays music exactly the way I imagined."
Violist David Johnson presented an entirely different challenge. "As I considered David's solo parts, I must remember that he's an incredibly melodic player," Cockey said.
Last but not least, it should be apparent at the concert that Cockey had the most fun writing for cellist Samuel Smith. "I can definitely go left field with Sam because he has a personality and a breadth of musical interests that allow me to go wild," Cockey said. "I definitely give it to Sam in the last movement and let him run. Sam calls the solo 'funkadelic.'"
You might expect a composer to feel some doubt and anxiety as an orchestra prepares to debut an entirely new piece of music to a discerning audience who will undoubtedly compare it to masterpieces that have survived and flourished over the millennium.
Not Cockey. "I'm especially proud of the second movement, which is titled 'Air.' It came out really, really nice. It's absolutely gorgeous, and I think everyone will like it."
In addition to the world premiere, the evening's program will also feature Karlin Coolidge, flute, during Bach's "Overture (Suite) No. 2, in B minor," and will conclude with Mozart's "Divertimento No. 11."
"The Bach piece is a tour de force for flute," Stern explained. "And I'm constantly amazed by Mozart, who, even when writing what is essentially music for a social gathering, can turn out incredible gems like the 'Divertimento.' This program spans four centuries of music, and I hope we will delight our audience."
By David Thiel for Boise Weekly
If you are a lover of classical music, don't miss the Boise Baroque Orchestra's '07-'08 season debut.
Conducted by music director, Daniel Stern, Idaho's premier chamber orchestra opens their fifth season with a performance tonight at the Nampa Civic Center with nods to the works of Bach, Boyce, Rameau, Barber and Hoffmeister. [split]
Also on display will be solo performances by Dawn Douhit, Karlin Coolidge, Jennifer Rhees and Jennifer Drake (pictured).
The ebullient Drake, who also plays with the Boise Philharmonic and the popular viola bass clarinet duo Darkwood Consort, will be featured during the Hoffmeister Viola Concerto.
"This is a great piece of music that you don't hear too often," Drake says. "As a whole it is upbeat and cheerful -; strongly resembling a Mozart violin concerto. Being the viola player makes it even better!"
Drake has given considerable thought to her cadenzas -; those unwritten passages which allow the soloist an opportunity to display their virtuosity and musical taste.
"Improvisation is fun, but the challenge is playing in the style of the composition. I've taken the time to write out my cadenzas."
Discussing the upcoming season, music director Daniel Stern notes that the orchestra's repertoire is not strictly limited to Baroque compositions.
"Although we perform masterpieces from the 17th and 18th centuries, the orchestra also plays classics written beyond the Baroque period," Stern says. "We always try to enrich the palette of music to which our audience is exposed.
By David Thiel for Boise Weekly
Many daughters might politely decline an offer to work for their father, but Rebecca Stern jumped at the opportunity.
As the Boise Baroque Orchestra's guest violin soloist this weekend, Rebecca will be performing under the baton of her father, BBO music director, Dan Stern.[split]
"It's a really comfortable situation," Rebecca says. "My father and I have a mutual respect for each other, so we can openly share ideas and discuss music. It's really fun for me to get back to Boise."
Currently a member of the Fort Worth Symphony, and having earned degrees from the University of Miami and the Eastman School of Music, Stern has had the opportunity to study with many accomplished violin teachers.
However, she proudly acknowledges the influence of her father, who began teaching her violin at the age of three.
"Quite literally," Stern says, "my father taught me everything I know!"
Among the selections featuring violinist Stern is Vitali's "Ciaccona."
"This piece is often performed with keyboard or continuo (cello and harpsichord) accompaniment," Stern says. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to play it with the wonderful Respighi orchestration, which combines the best of the Baroque and Romantic styles."
The evening's repertoire will also include Frederick II's "Symphony No. 2 in G for Strings," J.S. Bach's "Concerto for Violin and Strings in E Major" and Telemann's "Tafelmusik III."