Review of "PBS Arts Summer Festival" on PBS From The TV MegaSite
 

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PBS Summer Arts Festival

"PBS Arts Summer Festival" review by Suzanne
Summer 2012 on PBS

PBS sent me a disk full of previews of their concerts this summer on Friday nights. It looks like an entertaining series of Summer entertainment.

June brings Mariachi High, which is all about students trying out for the world's best mariachi band. It's fascinating! "In a part of America that rarely makes headlines, there is a small town with a group of teenagers who will inspire, surprise and bring you to your feet with their astonishing musical virtuosity and the music they make. MARIACHI HIGH spends a year in the life of the champion mariachi ensemble of Zapata High School on the Rio Grande in south Texas."

July 7 is Islamic Art - Mirror of the Invisible World. This is not my kind of thing, but it's pretty to look at, at least, and architecture, history and art buffs should be pleased. "Travel to nine countries and across 1,400 years of cultural history to explore the astonishing artistic and architectural riches of Islam. With the insights and commentary of leading art scholars from around the world, the film delves into the art of religious life in Islamic culture and into the secret world inside the palaces of the elite. From the extraordinary array of metalwork, textiles, paintings and architecture that illuminate the culture, filmmaker Rob Gardner sheds light on the shared histories of western and Islamic societies, revealing more continuity than division. Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon narrates."

July 13th is a behind-the-scenes look at John Leguizamo and his concert - he is very funny, and exhausting! "Get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the industry’s most versatile actors: John Leguizamo. This profile of the actor/playwright looks at his unorthodox rise to success while capturing his struggles to mount his latest one-man show. From his Colombian and “NuyoRican” roots to his high-profile career in Hollywood, Leguizamo bares his soul."

July 20th is the Kansas City Symphony. Soprano Joyce Didonato comes home to give a special concert. "Architect Moshe Safdie’s extraordinary new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts provides the stunning backdrop for a performance-documentary that profiles the Grammy Award-winning Kansas City Symphony, their vibrant artistic director and conductor Michael Stern, and the radiant, celebrated mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. A concert wrapped by documentary narratives, this special tracks DiDonato’s nostalgic return to her hometown — and her thrilling Kauffman Center debut — after a triumphant appearance with Plácido Domingo at The Metropolitan Opera in New York."

July 27 is all about Havana, Havana - Cuban musicians unite to give a great concert. It makes you want to dance. "Feel the soul and energy of African-Cuban drummers, guajira guitarists and the pulsing melodies of celebrated Cuban musician Raul Paz, who brings together fellow musical stars Descemer Bueno, Kelvis Ochoa and David Torrens for a concert in Havana. All of them left Cuba years ago; their decision to return has injected a new spirit into Cuban music. Mirroring Cuba’s growing relationship with the world, HAVANA, HAVANA! highlights the evolution of the country’s musical expression in the 21st century."

August 3 is the Barnes Collection. This is an interesting documentary.  "Dr. Albert Barnes’ remarkable rise from Philadelphia’s working-class neighborhood to the top of the modern art world. This unique tale bounces back and forth through time as the late Dr. Barnes travels the world to collect works of art by some of history’s most famous artists — Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse, Renoir and many others. The film digs deep into the intricacies of each painting, offering a rare look at the priceless collection and the new Philadelphia museum that houses it."

August 10 Great Performances  - This is always wonderful. This year, it's the Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration. Beautiful music. What a great way to end this series! "Located in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, Tanglewood is one of the world's most beloved music festivals. The performance, a presentation of GREAT PERFORMANCES, will feature appearances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), the Boston Pops, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra — led by conductors John Williams, Keith Lockhart and Andris Nelsons — and iconic Tanglewood artists Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Peter Serkin and James Taylor. The wide-ranging program, which will be taped on July 14, will include Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”; Leonard Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town; selections from the Great American Songbook; Franz Joseph Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D, 2nd and 3rd movements; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Andante cantabile for cello and strings; Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, for violin and orchestra; Maurice Ravel’s “La Valse”; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy."

Enjoy it!


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