May 2016 Newsletter - California Artists Management

CALIFORNIA ARTISTS MANAGEMENT May 2016 Newsletter - A terrific review for *TAIKOPROJECT *from their Ordway Theater residency: Not Your Grandma’s Taiko “Grandma probably didn’t have taiko growing up. If she did, she’d probably still be wowed by TAIKOPROJECT. This ensemble descended for several days to play for a few thousand eager schoolchildren and a full audience of adults. Watching TAIKOPROJECT in action feels like being ringside for a martial arts match. It’s kinetic, powerful, visually interesting, dynamic, and also very loud. When the largest taiko drums are pounded it ripples through your body. The crowd was downright energized at intermission, and sufficiently riled up in the second half to bring the concert to a halt with a standing ovation. There were song, dance, flute duets, zither, and xylophones and around rippling muscles, highly choreographed exchanges, and entrancing rhythms: young and old bouncing in their seats at the Ordway. That’s a bang.” Twin Cities Arts Reader - April 24

TAIKOPROJECT was featured in a Los Angeles Times article April 22nd: *The best workout you’re not doing: Taiko drumming.*

  • Rinde Eckert takes on Shakespeare’s Pericles with the Two River Theater Company: “Shakespeare’s ‘Pericles’ receives an extremely imaginative production that delivers plenty of freewheeling entertainment. What might be among the most radical incarnations of ‘Pericles’ now brightens the Two River stage, where Rinde Eckert and David Schweizer have reshaped Shakespeare’s odyssey into an enjoyable romp, with music. They have sharply edited the play and maximized the talents of a seven-member cast. The show’s location: ‘a dive bar at the end of the world.’ Into these bleary environs strides the imposing figure of Mr. Eckert in the person of Gower, the shaggy poet who narrates Pericles.’ Strumming a banjo ukulele, Mr. Eckert launches into a rhythmic musical invocation which galvanizes the others. Everyday objects are smartly used in the transformative process: the stringy head of a mop turns a busboy into an incestuous princess; sheets of aluminum foil transmogrify into armor. And so it goes for a little more than two swiftly-paced hours, even as the actors expertly lend different voices, accents and physical qualities to the characters they portray. Mr. Eckert provides a percussive and agreeably bluesy score that throbs with emotion and grows cacophonous during the storm scenes, but more often than not swings easily, as when a wacky trio of rhyme-challenged pirates relieves an implausible plot point with wit. Slimmed down and tuned up, this ‘Pericles’ is Shakespeare freshly served with a twist, a perfect tonic for a modern audience.” New York Times - April 29

“The production is the brainchild of multi-tasking stage artist Rinde Eckert. The actor-singer-composer-writer-designer-dancer-Princeton professor and Grammy winning musician has teamed up with David Schweizer. Their ‘Pericles’ is a show that uses song and storyteller’s craft; a playful-yet-reverent staging that’s packed with tunes and incidental music. As Shakespeare’s narrator, Eckert sets about recruiting the tavern’s staff and patrons to frame the tale as something akin to the Greatest Bar Story Ever Told. Onstage for the duration; performing on hammered dulcimer, toy piano, accordion and “treetop flute” with the band directed by Ian Axness, Eckert bridges the puddles and potholes — a collaborator in equal standing, with an offbeat perspective that seems somehow right at home. The composer also allows himself some opportunities to display his formidable vocal skills (just one of many talents in the Eckert toolbox, but one that the Pulitzer Prize nominee could conceivably have made his calling card).” Asbury Park Press - April 29

Pericles *with Rinde Eckert, *runs at Two River Theater Company through May 8th.

  • A busy *Shanghai Quartet * has received several outstanging reviews: “It was crossover programming at its most rarefied. Tuesday’s recital by the Shanghai Quartet with Wu Man showcased composers for whom crossing over means all manner of Eastern-Western homages, deconstructions and multicultural marriages. In ‘Chinasong’ the musical language was uncannily redolent of Dvorak with a light Chinese accent. And while Zhou Long’s ‘Song of the Ch’in’ sounded almost Webernesque, Zhao Lin’s ‘Red Lantern’ was bathed in lush, neo-romantic string sonorities. Most arresting was Tan Dun’s ‘Concerto for String Quartet and Pipa,’ a wild amalgam of chugging minimalism, sparely scored passages of slithering, skittering motifs and cleverly disguised Bach quotations, all punctuated by foot stomps and rhythmic shouting. In this marvelous work, and throughout the program, the Shanghai players were impeccable in their parsing of Eastern and Western bowing styles.” Washington Post - April 27

“We can thank Portland Ovations for the opportunity to hear the outstanding Shanghai Quartet. The Shanghai Quartet showed what it could do in a bravura rendition of the Beethoven String Quartet in F minor. The quartet has everything—a singing tone, a wide range of dynamics, and near perfect balance, all in the service of a well-thought-out conception of the work. The Op. 95 is a caged leopard that escapes in the final bars. The audience gave the performance a well-deserved standing ovation” Maine Classical Beat - April 1

“This year’s Series came to a close with a heart-warming evening of music and emotion.” Wesleyan Argus -April 8

“The Shanghai Quartet gave a captivating performance that combined Eastern and Western cultures and sounds to form a new, more modern twist on traditional Chinese music.” Wesleyan News - April 8

  • The Szymanowski Quartet received an excellent review for its 3-CD cities-themed set: “A virtuoso arrangement of the Nocturne and Tarantella acts as a fitting prelude to the Parisian pairing of a suavely played Ravel F Major Quartet and a suitably intense account of the 1945 Quartet by Szymon Laks. The Vienna disc centres on an absorbing, authoritative performance of Szymanowski’s multifaceted Quartet No.1. Beethoven’s Op.18 No.2 is fresh-faced, the players capturing its Haydnesque whimsy, while Schubert’s Quartettsatz is vigorous and well articulated and Webern’s Langsamer Satz warm-hearted and touching. In Moscow, Szymanowski No.2 meets a hard-driven account of Prokofiev’s Second. Tchaikovsky’s First Quartet is played with much warmth and Romantic ardour, and Skoryk’s Melody in A minor makes a fitting conclusion. All three discs have been sensitively recorded and their diverse and well-chosen repertoire means that each can be enjoyed at a single sitting, the more so given the special qualities of the Szymanowski Quartet’s excellent sense of ensemble and interpretative freshness.” The Strad - April 27

The Syzmanowski Quartet returns to North America in February 2017 and 2018.

  • The *Mandelring Quartet’s *wonderful new Berlin review: “The pianist joined the Mandelring Quartet in this evening of Schumann. They matched so sensitively and with such fine shading that one wished it could go on forever. The sighing of individual instruments (the plangent tone of Andreas Willwohl’s viola being particularly impressive) and their collective sigh in the seemingly weightless ascending islands of remembrance was a triumph of the perfectly harmonious concordance. Schumann’s String Quartet in A minor was a perfect model of ensemble playing. They immersed themselves with ineffable gentleness in the Andante espressivo introduction, with every part singing and each fugue sounding like a canon. The Adagio, tense to the point of heartbreak, was exquisite. When, before the end of the finale, the downward runs pause, the earth seemed to stop turning as we held our breath in a moment of Schumann bliss.” Hundert111 - April 15

The Mandelring Quartet returns to North America in March 2017 and 2018

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Donald E. Osborne - 449 Springs Road, Vallejo, CA 94590-5359 tel: 415-362-2787 / cell: 415-505-0908 / camdon(at)