A select few of the Men - of the past & present - whose work is featured in this edition of The Agenda News
Thomas Wilfred Artist - 1889-1968
The American Art Museum is exhibiting Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light, thru January 7, 2018. The exhibition features the groundbreaking artist and his spellbinding light compositions for the first time in nearly fifty years. As early as 1919, Wilfred began experimenting with light as his primary artistic medium, developing a new art form of sophisticated kinetic sculptures that project moving images, which he referred to collectively as lumia. His compositions display ever-changing colored forms against a black background. The exhibition is organized by Keely Orgeman, the Alice and Allan Kaplan Assistant Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at Yale University Art Gallery. The coordinating curator in Washington, DC is Virginia Mecklenburg, SAAM’s chief curator.
Image below: Thomas Wilfreds sitting at the Clavilux “Model E,” ca. 1924. Sepia-toned photograph. Thomas Wilfred Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, Conn.
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden is presenting an installation by artist Al Weiwei titled Trace, thru January 1, 2018. Weiwei is one of China's most provocative living artists, and has spent nearly four decades exploring the relationships between art, society, and individual experience. His work, encompasses sculpture, installation, photography, film, painting, and architecture. Trace “portrays individuals from around the world whom the artist and various human rights groups consider to be activists, prisoners of conscience, and advocates of free speech. Each of 176 portraits comprises thousands of plastic LEGO® bricks, assembled by hand and laid out on the floor. The work foregrounds Ai Weiwei's own experiences of incarceration, interrogation, and surveillance. As part of this installation, Ai Weiwei has created a new 360-degree wallpaper installation entitled The Plain Version of the Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca. At first glance, the pattern looks merely decorative, but a closer inspection reveals surveillance cameras, handcuffs, and Twitter bird logos, which allude to Ai Weiwei's tweets challenging authority.”
Image below: Portrait of Ai Weiwei. Image courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio
Mark Bradford Contemporary Artist
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden is exhibiting contemporary artist Mark Bradford’s Pickett’s Charge, thru November 12, 2018. The Los Angeles-based artist’s monumental new commission was inspired by artist Paul Philippoteaux’s nineteenth-century cycloramain Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania. The cyclorama depicts the final charge of the Battle of Gettysburg, which historians cite as “the critical turning point of the Civil War and, consequently, of American history. Working with a combination of colored paper and reproductions of the original, Bradford collages and transforms the historic Gettysburg imagery into a series of eight powerful, abstract paintings.” The exhibition is curated by Evelyn Hankins.
Image below: Mark Bradford in his Los Angeles studio with details of Pickett's Charge, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Agata Gravante.
Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company will perform the world premiere of I Am Vertical, a new dance inspired by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery exhibition, One Life: Sylvia Plath,on December 7 & 10. Dana Tai Soon Burgess is the Smithsonian's first choreographer-in-residence. The exhibition One Life “reveals how Sylvia Plath shaped her identity as she came of age as a writer in the 1950s and early 1960s. The new dance work I Am Vertical concentrates on Plath's writing process, her relationships and other pivotal moments in her life.” To read more about the exhibition, visit the “Art: Smithsonian” column of this edition.
Image below: Dana Tai Soon Burgess - Photo by Tom Wolff
The National Museum of African Art is exhibiting Jim Chuchu's Invocations, thru June 24, 2018. The museum is the first institution to acquire and display the Kenyan multimedia artist's suite of video projections: Invocation: The Severance of Ties (2015)and Invocation: Release (2015).”
The exhibition is curated by Karen E. Milbourne. The two distinct videos loop in succession and follow the structure of initiation ritual.
National Geographic Museum is exhibiting Wild: Michael (Nick) Nichols, thru January 12, 2018. The esteemed photographer and former National Geographic magazine Editor at Large createsextraordinary images of wildlife and wild places. “Visitors can travel to the remotest reaches of the globe through Nick’s stunning, evocative, and technically-innovative photos of our natural world.” The exhibition is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Jacques Lowe (1930-2001) Personal Photographer of the John F. Kennedy Family
The Newseum is exhibiting “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe,” thru January 7, 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy.The photo exhibit showcases more than 70 “intimate and iconic images of President John F. Kennedy, first Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and their children, Caroline and John, taken by Kennedy’s personal photographer.”
Lowe’s photographs document Kennedy’s rise to power, from his 1958 Senate re-election campaign to the White House, and feature intimate scenes of the Kennedys at home.
Lowe, who died in May 2001, had stored his negatives of more than 40,000 Kennedy photos in a World Trade Center bank vault.The original negatives of nearly all of the 70 images displayed in “Creating Camelot” were lost forever in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The only existing images from the lost negatives were on Lowe’s contact sheets and prints, which had been stored in another New York City facility. The Newseum, working closely with the Lowe estate, digitally restored the images to museum quality for the exhibit.
The restoration work “creates a comprehensive digital archive of Lowe’s Kennedy photographs and enables the Newseum to exhibit the photos at a resolution and size at which they have never before been seen.”
Images below: Before (left) and after versions of a photo of President-elect Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, show the results of the Newseum’s digital restoration process. Kennedy gave his acceptance speech in Hyannis Port, Mass., on Nov. 9, 1960.Courtesy of the Estate of Jacques Lowe
Thomas Beveridge - Conductor of The New Dominion Chorale
The New Dominion Chorale will present Christmas Oratorio (Cantatas I, II & III) by J.S. Bach - In English Translation by Thomas Beveridge- with orchestra on December 10 at Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria. Maestro Beveridge is recognized for his multi-faceted abilities: singer, oboist, keyboard player, composer, arranger, teacher, conductor. He attended Harvard College & studied composition and conducting in France with the legendary Nadia Boulanger. In addition to the New Dominion Chorale, he is also Artistic Director of the National Men's Chorus and Director of Music at Western Presbyterian Church in Washington.
Samuel Carabetta - Georgetown Concerts Series Director
The Georgetown Concert Series, directed by Organist & Choirmaster Samuel Carabetta, will present A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols at St. John’s Episcopal Church on December 10. The celebration will be a holiday service of readings and music by candlelight, in the tradition of Kings’s College, Cambridge. The program will feature music by Rutter and Willcocks in addition to traditional Christmas carols for all to sing. A holiday reception will follow the program in Blake Hall.
TheNational Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Pops will present Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds in a world-premiere orchestral collaboration in the Concert Hall, January 19 & 20. Edmonds’s award–winning, multi-faceted career includes consecutive multi-platinum landmark albums. The 11-time Grammy Award® winner’s latest album is Return of the Tender Lover. His awards include the Soul Train Music Awards, BMI Awards, NAACP Image Awards, American Music Awards, BET Walk of Fame Award, & a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013; he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017. In addition, he has collaborated with many of the top stars in the music world.
Image below: Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds
Stan Engebretson Conductor of The National Philharmonic
The National Philharmonic, conducted by Stan Engebretson, with the National Philharmonic Chorale & soloists will perform Handel's Messiah on December 16 & 17. The soloists will be Esther Heideman, soprano; Yvette Smith, mezzo-soprano; Norman Shankle, tenor & Trevor Scheunemann, baritone.
The BSO, directed by Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, with vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway, will perform a concert titled Diva to Diva: From Ella to Adele in the Music Center on January 25.Multi-Platinum-selling Broadway star Ann Hampton Callaway “fuses a unique blend of jazz and pop that keeps her in demand around the world. Her repertoire spans from Carly Simon to Carole King, Etta James to Ella Fitzgerald & more.
Image below: Jack Everly
Piotr Gajewski - Conductor of The National Philharmonic
The National Philharmonic, conducted by Piotr Gajewski, performsin The Music Center at Strathmore.
Ulysses James - Conductor of The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic
Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, conducted by Ulysses James, will perform Jim Territo’s John Henry Vs. The Machineat George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria on Sunday December 17 and at Church of the Epiphany in DC on December 10. The performance will featureKarl Hovey, tuba & Charles Williams, narrator.
The program will also include Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Sussex Folk Tunes for Cello and Orchestra, with Randy Ward, cello;Ottorini Respighi’s Gli uccelli, P.154 (The Birds) and Alexandre Tansman’s Concertino in Homage to Manual de Falla, with Piotr Pakhomkin, guitar.
The NSO, conducted by Yutaka Sado, will perform Leonard Bernstein's "The Age of Anxiety," featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, in the Concert Hall, January 11-13. Yutaka Sado studied conducting with Leonard Bernstein. The concert will include Rossini's Overture to The Thieving Magpie, Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini, and Ravel's Boléro.
Image below:Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Steven Reineke - Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra Pops
21st Century Consort
Robert Shafer - Conductor of The City Choir of Washington
The City Choir of Washington, conducted by Robert Shafer, will perform The Holly and the Ivy: Music for Christmas on December 17 at the National Presbyterian Church.The concert will feature seasonal choral works and sing-along carols with the choir and audience.
The choir will be joined by A CAPPELLA! from James Hubert Blake High School, under the direction of Sandra Zinkievich.
Christopher Bell - Conductor of The Washington Chorus
The Washington Chorus, led by Artistic Director Christopher Bell, will present A Candlelight Christmas in the Concert Hall, December 10-22.The concert will feature brass, organ, sing-alongs, and a magnificent Candlelight Processional. A Candlelight Christmas will include songs such as The Dream Isaiah Saw, Hallelujah Chorus and more.
Angel Gil-Ordóñez - Conductor of PostClassical Ensemble
Members of PostClassical Ensemble, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez, with The Washington National Cathedral Choir conducted by Michael McCarthy & commentary by James Loeffler, will perform Music in Wartime: A Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration at Washington National Cathedral on December 7. The soloists participating will be William Sharp, baritone & Alexander Shtarkman, piano. The program will include Hanns Eisler’s Worker’s Choruses & his The Hollywood Songbook (excerpts), plus Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 & Arnold Schoenberg’s The Ode to Napoleon.
Images below: Angel Gil-Ordóñez - Photo by Andre Chung
Michael McCarthy - Conductor of The Washington National Cathedral Choir & Orchestra
Jeremy Filsell Organist & Music Director
The Church of the Epiphany Tuesday Concert Series, led by Music Director Jeremy Filsell, “reaches out to the entire metropolitan Washington community and runs for 52 weeks of the year. No other concert series follows such a pattern and, as such, it is unique in the Washington DC area.”
Frank Albinder - Music Director of The Washington Men's Camerata
Maxim Vengerov Violinist
Washington Performing Arts will present a concert by Maxim Vengerov, violin, and Roustem Saitkoulov, piano, at The Music Center on January 26.The concert will mark Maxim Vengerov'sreturn to the stage as a recitalist after having sustained a shoulder injury in 2011. Vengerov spent the last few years making a name for himself as a conductor. He draws inspiration equally from his mentor Mstislav Rostropovich and multiple genres of music.His program will include works by Schubert, Beethoven, Ernst, Paganini, & Ravel.
Christopher Zimmerman - Conductor of The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Zimmerman, with The Fairfax Ballet, led by artistic director Margaret Virkus, will perform Tchaikovsky'sThe Nutcracker in the George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday, December 16. The classic family presentation features “a winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, sugar plum fairies and epic battles between heroic toy soldiers and mischievous mice.”
Opera Lafayette, conducted by Ryan Brown, will present a program titled DC Scarlatti|Geminiani, in The Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, January 30-31.The program will pair the American premiere of “Alessandro Scarlatti’s last major secular vocal work with Francesco Geminiani’s most famous instrumental composition – performed in its original version as a ballet pantomime, choreographed by the extraordinary Anuradha Nehru with Kalanidhi Dance.”
Eric Schaeffer - Co-Founder & Artistic Director Signature Theatre
Signature Theatre of Arlington, Virginia - under the leadership of Co-founder & Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer - has won many Helen Hayes awards and a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in America. Please see the Theatre in Virginia column of this edition to read about Signature Theatre's ongoing and upcoming productions.
Image below: Eric Schaeffer - Photo by Christopher Mueller.