Celebrity Series of Boston Announces Fall 2020 Digital Programming
with exclusive performances and artist Q+As by musical trailblazers including pianist Jeremy Denk, commentator Rob Kapilow, jazz pianist Chucho Valdés, Takács Quartet, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan, and singer-songwriters Sara and Sean Watkins;
streaming concerts by Boston-based artists through the Neighborhood Arts program, featuring debuts by Abilities Dance Boston and Unitas Ensemble;
and a special community project with Colombian dance company Sankofa Danzafro titled “Black Voices”
(For Immediate Release—July 23, 2020) Celebrity Series of Boston announces the continuation of “Celebrity Series at Home” with a series of 18 paid and free digital concerts and events in the fall of 2020. Featuring musical trailblazers and Boston-based performing artists, the concerts and events created exclusively for the Celebrity Series bring world-class artists to streaming stages. Featuring performances from across the globe, streamed live from recital halls and living rooms, this series brings the excitement of live performances until we can gather again in-person.
By curating this series of performances, Celebrity Series is able to honor its mission to build a community where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience. While concerts cannot happen in person, by collaborating digitally with international and local artists, Celebrity Series continues its commitment to bring the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities.
And thanks to partner venues such as Futura Productions Studio in Roslindale, MA and the Virginia Wimberly Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, several Neighborhood Arts performances already scheduled for the fall will be able to take place as planned, honoring the commitment made to employ local artists.
“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,” says Gary Dunning, Executive Director of the Celebrity Series of Boston.
Browse the entire series of “Celebrity Series at Home” events at celebrityseries.org/athome.
DIGITAL SERIES SIX-CONCERT STREAMING PACKAGE
Celebrity Series offers a fall 2020 Streaming Concert Package on select Sunday nights with six brand new concerts curated and performed by artists originally engaged in the 2020-21 season. In addition to international performers, this series brings new concerts from musical centers such as New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and, of course, Boston – unique events in unique locations to bring you an even broader experience of live performance.
Each concert is followed by an exclusive live chat with the featured artist(s). Each concert is available for later viewing up to 72 hours after the premiere.
The 6-Performance Bundle with special package pricing is available from July 23, 2020 at 10am ET until early September. Enjoy all six streamed concerts for $90 (only $15 per performance) or purchase performances individually for just $20 each. Donors to Celebrity Series of $100 or more will gain access to the 6-performance series for only $60.
Jeremy Denk, piano, performs a live stream concert from WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on September 20, 2020 at 7pm ET. The tentative program is Robert Schumann, Kinderszenen Op. 15 “Scenes from Childhood”; Clara Schumann, Romances, Op. 21; Missy Mazzoli, Bolts of Loving Thunder; and Brahms Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 119.
Rob Kapilow brings “What Makes It Great? The Music of Cole Porter” on October 4, 2020 at 7pm ET in a streamed concert from the Kaufman Music Center in NYC. The sophisticated rhymes and imagery of Cole Porter’s lyrics made him one of the nation’s preeminent songsmiths. But an overlooked element of Porter’s legacy is the music underlying those lyrics, which Rob Kapilow argues is essential to understanding the work’s genius. Broadway stars Sally Wilfert and Michael Winther join Kapilow for a musical tour through Porter's life and career. Sponsored by Amy & Joshua Boger.
Chucho Valdés, jazz pianist, will perform a streamed concert of solo works from the New World Center in Miami on October 18, 2020 at 7pm ET. Sponsored by Leslie & Howard Appleby.
Takács Quartet will perform from Boulder, CO in a streamed concert with works by Mozart, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Bartók, and Debussy on October 25, 2020 at 7pm ET.
Alisa Weilerstein, cello and Inon Barnatan, piano will perform a streamed concert on November 8, 2020, at 7pm ET, from The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla, California. They will perform Manuel de Falla’s Suite Populaire Espagnol and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 19.
Watkins Family Hour, featuring Sara and Sean Watkins will perform a streamed concert on November 15, 2020 at 7pm ET from Fanciful Fox Studios in L.A. For singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalists Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins, the Watkins Family Hour has been a music laboratory where these siblings try out new material or master cover songs.
NEIGHBORHOOD ARTS CONCERTS AND EVENTS
Alongside the center stage streamed performances, Celebrity Series’ Arts for All! Neighborhood Arts program will offer 11 live streamed performances. This delightful mix of free public concerts by talented local performers across a broad spectrum of genres takes place on Thursday evenings throughout the fall. Live-streamed from local venues around the city, this intimate and varied series of performances features a wide range of exceptional Boston-area performers. Futura Studios, The Wimberly Theatre, and even some artist living rooms are the backdrop for this kaleidoscopic series of concert streams.
In addition to the public streaming concerts, Neighborhood Arts artists will also perform a number of private workshops and performances for schools, community partners, and churches. Participating artists include percussionist Maria Finkelmeier, cuatro player Fabiola Méndez, mariachi singer Verónica Robles, rapper and educator Devin Ferreira, Hub New Music, percussionist Ryan Edwards, dancer Yo-El Cassell, founder of Abilities Dance Boston Ellice Patterson, and musicians from Castle of our Skins.
The Jason Palmer Quintet kicks off the 2020-21 Neighborhood Arts season with a live-stream jazz performance from Futura Studios in Roslindale on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 8pm ET. The quintet will perform rearranged versions of songs from Palmer’s album “Places,” dedicated to the cities they’ve missed visiting and performing in since the pandemic began.
Violinist and erhu player Shaw Pong Liu shares a performance of diverse music—folk melodies, classical selections, and originals—from her living room—on Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 8pm ET.
Débo Ray, vocalist and founding member of Women of the World, believes that music has the power to transport us to another time and place. She harnesses that power with a broad audience of fellow music lovers and passionate musicians alike. Watch her concert on September 24, 2020 at 8pm ET from her home studio where she shares songs and words of encouragement.
Unitas Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber ensemble dedicated to performing works by Latin-American and Latinx composers past and present, makes its Celebrity Series debut with a live streaming program celebrating tango music by the incomparable Astor Piazzolla. The performance features and live narration by Unitas Ensemble’s Artistic Director and conductor Lina Gonzalez-Granados. The concert is on October 1, 2020 at 8pm ET from Futura Studios in Roslindale.
Poet, musician, and educator Regie Gibson performs on October 8, 2020 at 8pm ET in a living room streamed event. Regie is a former National Poetry Slam Individual Champion, was selected one of Chicago Tribune's Artist of the Year for Excellence for his poetry. He has co-judged the Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Competition, has been regularly featured on NPR, and has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.
Abilities Dance Boston, which brings together professional dancers with and without disabilities and champions artists of color and queer artists, makes its Celebrity Series Neighborhood Arts debut with a program that centers and celebrates the diversity of human movement. Streamed live from the Virginia Wimberly Theatre in Boston on October 29, 2020 at 8pm ET.
Aristides Rivas and Meena Malik from Neighborhood Arts ensemble Voci Angelica perform a living room concert that celebrates global cultures with cello, guitar, and vocals on November 5, 2020 at 8pm ET.
Soul Yatra Trio brings together three acclaimed musicians and longtime Neighborhood Arts favorites—violinist and erhu player Shaw Pong Liu, cello innovator Mike Block, and tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das—to showcase folk music from around the world, revealing new beauty in traditional melodies. The Trio will share folk tunes from China, India, and the United States, as well as new and original works on November 19, 2020 at 8pm ET live-streamed from Futura Studios in Roslindale.
Neighborhood Arts Cello Quartet: Global Inspirations features standout cellists from Celebrity Series Neighborhood Arts roster artist ensembles Soul Yatra Trio, Hub New Music, and Castle of our Skins. The members of the Neighborhood Arts Cello Quartet will pair music from J.S. Bach and tango master Astor Piazzolla with global folk-inspired originals drawn from Inca chant, West African music, Turkish music, and more. The live-streamed performance is on December 3, 2020 at 8pm ET at Futura Studios in Roslindale.
Devin Ferreira—rapper, recording artist, and educator—has carved out a career as a performing artist and as a music educator for Boston youth. In this living room performance, Devin will showcase new and original works, including songs from his most recent album, Seeds of Greatness on December 10, 2020 at 8pm ET.
Verónica Robles, mariachi singer and one of Boston's cultural icons for Latinos, partners with her husband Willy Lopez to perform traditional and contemporary Mexican Christmas songs. Christmastime in Mexico isn't just a day: it's more than a month of feasting, celebrations, devotion, and performances. Performed live from their living room on December 17, 2020 at 8pm ET.
Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2020-21 season sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose generosity supports Arts for All! and helps fulfill our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community and our vision of a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience – on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods – everywhere.
Individual and institutional supporters include Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Peter & Dale Coxe, Amy & Ethan d’Ablemont Burnes, D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., First Republic Bank, Foley & Lardner LLP, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, George & Lizbeth Krupp, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Outside the Box: A Production of the Boston Arts Summer Institute, Rafanelli Events Management, Cynthia & John S. Reed Foundation, Royal Little Family Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation and many others.
SPECIAL COMMUNITY PROGRAM, SANKOFA DANZAFRO’S “BLACK VOICES”
Celebrity Series launches brand new virtual program with the Boston premiere of “Black Voices,” featuring Colombian dance ensemble Sankofa Danzafro and Boston community members. Created specifically for these unprecedented times, Sankofa Danzafro reimagines community engagement, connectivity and participation. Designed for all bodies, “Black Voices” asks the local participants of color to share personal narratives about life, racism, the pandemic, inequality, freedom, solitude and separation, resilience, achievements, defeats, or anything significant for each individual. These stories will be translated into 3-minute self-made dances during one-on-one on-line sessions with Sankofa Danzafro Director Rafael Palacios that will ultimately be streamed live in a virtual performance. Palacios will guide the participants through the process of translating the emotion and meaning of their written personal stories into movement. Date, time, and participants to be determined.
Sankofa Danzafro’s premiere of “Black Voices” is presented as part of Celebrity Series’ Dance Series sponsored by Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Cynthia & John S. Reed Foundation, and Royal Little Family Foundation.
To browse the entire series of “Celebrity Series at Home” events, visit: celebrityseries.org/athome
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 81 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience—on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods–everywhere.
Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2020-21 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose support helps fulfill our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community. Institutional supporters include the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., Foley & Lardner LLP, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Outside the Box: A Production of the Boston Arts Summer Institute, Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, Royal Little Family Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation, Anonymous, and many others.