Daily Archives: May 13, 2009

Signal to perform Steve Reich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet

Signal at (Le) Poisson Rouge.

Signal performing Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians at NYC's (Le) Poisson Rouge.

The fast-rising Signal Ensemble will celebrate composer Steve Reich‘s Pulitzer Prize win next month with a performance of Double Sextet, the work for which he won the prestigious award. The event should be especially rewarding because Reich himself will be in attendance!

Signal, founded by conductor Brad Lubman and cellist Lauren Radnofsky, is a tight-sounding all-star band, featuring a large roster of some of the finest players around, including all the members of So Percussion along with personnel from Alarm Will Sound, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Gutbucket. Since forming last spring, Signal has quickly become a leading interpreter of contemporary composed music by the likes of Reich, Philip Glass, Luciano Berio and others.

Signal will perform Double Sextet at 6:30 p.m. on June 22. At (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and Sullivan), Manhattan. Tickets $25 in advance.

And don’t forget to catch Signal performing Glass’ Symphony No. 3 at 7 p.m. this Sunday (May 17), also at LPR. Tickets $20.

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Obama shows he’s serious about the arts with NEA nomination

Rocco Landesman

Rocco Landesman

Is longtime Broadway producer Rocco Landesman the right man to lead President Obama’s National Endowment for the Arts?

It looks that way.  The Jujamcyn theater chain honcho’s nomination, first reported last night by The New York Times, seems like a no-brainer.  After all, he’s active, engaged and unafraid to speak his mind. That’s what he’s done throughout his career on Broadway. And there’s every expectation that he’ll be active and outspoken in Washington, too.

The nomination of Landesman, the producer who brought The Public Theater’s revival of Hair to Broadway this season, clearly shows that Obama is serious about focusing on the arts. The question remains, though, whether Landesman is Obama’s answer to widespread calls for creation of a Cabinet-level Arts Czar/Secretary of Culture or just the first step in that direction.

Landesman should really shake things up and put the arts and the NEA back in the spotlight where they belong. It will help reinvigorate the nation’s cultural life. But Obama really shouldn’t stop there. The nation needs an Arts Czar to ensure better arts education and support for the future of all arts, which have been neglected for far too long. Continue reading