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UB Concert is Rated X

The Bolshoi's "The Flames of Paris" will be simulcast at the Amherst Theatre February 9

The first two faculty recitals of the spring semester at UB encompass a wide range

The concert in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on UB’s Amherst campus on Friday, January 28 at 7:30pm, is rated X, but not for the typical rated X ideas of nudity and profanity.

Clarinetist Jean Kopperud performs January 28 at Slee Hall.

Clarinetist Jean Kopperud, a professor of music who came to UB in 2006, after teaching stints at NYU, Columbia, and Juilliard, is proud of her long-standing reputation as a musical maverick. Kopperud, a much-sought-after musician on the New York City new music scene, cut her teeth on experimental music from the 1970s, but she has since become, in her own words, “troubled by the increasingly conservative bent of the compositions written recently in America. For my first Rated X project, I asked seven composers to write music that was outside the conservative grant-getting box—to get down and get wild. I warned each composer that I wasn’t looking for the typical rated-X ideas of nudity and profanity, but rather to stretch music’s limits in an instrumental, intellectual and expressive way.”

The initial Rated X paired Kopperud with pianist Stephen Gosling, in a program that was repeated in Sacramento, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and at Merkin Concert Hall in NYC. The success of the venture, documented on Extreme Measures, a double CD released last September, encouraged Kopperud to repeat the experiment this year.

You can experience the results this Friday, in X Rated II, a recital that features world premiere performances of newly commissioned works by five composers, including UB faculty composer Jeffrey Stadelman. Kopperud’s collaborative partner for this effort is UB associate professor Tom Kolor, one of New York City’s most in-demand chamber musicians, who specializes in 20th- and 21st-century music. A recent addition to the faculty, Kolor is director of the UB Percussion Ensemble and principal percussionist with the Slee Sinfonietta, and he follows in the long tradition of actively avant-garde percussionists at UB, stretching back to UB creative associate Jan Williams and his collaboration with Lukas Foss.

The works to be premiered, all composed in 2010, are: X-ASTI, composed by Yiorgos Vassilandonakis; Twin Suspension, by John Aylward; Evocations, by Louis Karchin; Throat, by Mathew Rosenblum; and wills & wonts, by UB professor Jeff Stadelman.

Sweet Winds

Flutist Barry Crawford will perform his first faculty recital at UB, along with pianist Alison d’Amato and oboist Anna Mattix, on Thursday, February 3 at 7:30pm, in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on UB’s Amherst campus.

Crawford joined the UB faculty last year, and he regularly performs as a guest artist with some of New York’s leading ensembles, including the American Ballet Theater, Brandenburg Ensemble, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. He’ll be joined for his recital by fellow UB faculty member pianist, Alison d’Amato, a versatile musician, who has earned a well deserved reputation, based on her sensitively nuanced, subtly differentiated performance technique, as an ideal accompanist to both other instrumental performers and particularly to vocalists.

Crawford and d’Amato will perform Philippe Gaubert’s neglected Sonata in A Major for Flute and Piano, a work that they first revived for a performance in the A Musical Feast series at the Burchfield Penney Art Center last season. They will also offer Fikret Amirov’s Six Pieces for Flute and Piano, Astor Piazzolla’s Fuga y misterioso and Aaron Copland’s Duo for Flute and Piano. They will be joined by BPO oboe player Anna Mattix in the Trio for Flute, Oboe, and Piano by Madeleine Dring. Crawford will perform the solo piece Circumambulation, by Yan Maresz, while d’Amato will perform Claude Debussy’s L’Isle joyeuse for solo piano.

Tickets are $10 general admission, and $5 for UB faculty, staff, alumni, students and senior citizens. For more information, visit

DIPSON Culture in Cinema Series

The results are now in: The recently launched Culture in Cinema series at Dipson’s Amherst Theatre have opened up a new wealth of possibilities for the local lovers of opera, symphonic orchestral music, Shakespearean plays and, especially, ballet.

While the ongoing series of live, Met HD simulcasts, now in their fifth season, continue to enjoy a widespread and well deserved popularity, opera fans also enjoy the ability to see most of the Met simulcasts when tapes of the simulcasts are later broadcast on WNED TV. The opera simulcasts on the Dipson series, on the other hand, from the most prestigious European venues are not later shown on TV, nor, for that matter, are any of the other multiple cultural offerings, making a trip to the cinema imperative if you want to experience them.

Offerings in the series in the next couple of weeks include a pair of operas and two ballets. On Wednesday, February 2 at 7pm, a taped live performance of the London’s Royal Opera House production of Mozart’s sly, comic masterpiece, Cosi fan tutte, brings the unjustly neglected stepchild of the immortal three-opera collaboration between Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, to the big screen. This production is very much updated, writes a British reviewer: “While Fiordiligi sings ‘Come scoglio,’ Despina starts playing with her mobile phone. In another scene, Alfonso’s mobile phone rings, and the ringtone is played by the fortepiano. Starbucks and the iPhone also feature, as does a laptop (on which the marriage contract is drawn), and the two boys arrive at the girls’ house disguised as Hell’s Angels. Taken as a show, it was a highly entertaining evening.”

On Wednesday, February 16 at 7pm, a taped live performance from Italy of Verdi’s Rigoletto offers viewers the most authentic, realistic experience imaginable of this favorite opera. Plácido Domingo sings the title role, with Julia Novikova as Gilda and Vittori Grigolo as the Duke in a production filmed in the sumptuous palace in Mantua, where the action of the opera is actually set. Verdi’s stage directions are so faithfully followed that the performance took place over two days. Just as Verdi indicated, each act unfolds at the correct time of day, in the places indicated in the libretto.

The Ballet in Cinema series has been a resounding success. As just one example, the performance of Svetlana Lunkina, a genuine prima ballerina assoluta, as Giselle, simulcast from the Bolshoi, would be impossible to top. Tuesday, February 8, at 1:30pm, a live broadcast from the Paris Opera Ballet features Caligula, an opera created in 2005 by Nicolas Le Riche. Intrigued by the complex personality of the Roman emperor, the choreographer evokes the inner life of the solitary hero and his inexorable journey towards death.

On Wednesday, February 9, at 7pm, a taped live performance of The Flames of Paris from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow gives US audiences a rare opportunity to enjoy a Soviet era classic. Composed in the 1930s by Boris Asafiev, the historically dramatic ballet traces the course of the 1789 French Revolution, from Marseille to Paris.

For more information, visit

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