been a typically busy month for world-renowned violinist
Itzhak Perlman. He picked up a Kennedy Center award for
lifetime achievement in the arts in Washington, D.C. In
his soon-to-end role as interim musical director, Perlman
conducted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah.
He performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto at Carnegie
Hall, at a fundraiser with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Now, he’s coming to Proctor’s tonight (Thursday) for a special
recital with pianist Rohan De Silva.
Perlman has been a classical-music superstar since the ’60s,
when he made his splash on the American scene with his appearance
on The Ed Sullivan Show. Like any classical artist
who manages to make a mark in this pop-dominated culture,
he conquered through a winning combination of virtuosity
and personality: He just seems like a nice guy. (Typical
Perlman comment, regarding the Kennedy Center award: “This
is nice. This is very, very nice.”)
Tonight, Perlman will lead off with three sonatas: J.S.
Bach’s Sonata No. 6 for Violin and Keyboard, followed
by works of Beethoven and Poulenc. Then he will play a variety
of smaller pieces, personal favorites drawn from an array
Itzhak Perlman will perform tonight (Thursday, Jan. 8) at
8 PM at Proctor’s Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady).
Tickets are $65.50, $50.50 and $40.50. Special prices for
concertgoers under 12 are available. For more information,
Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train
more than 40 years, Howard Zinn has played the role of America’s
conscience: In his more than 20 books and plays, Zinn has
identified the lapses of America’s political integrity,
debunked the myth of an infallibly moral nation and sounded
an unwavering call to action for its concerned citizens.
The monumental nature of the obstacles to his task notwithstanding,
Zinn has performed something of a minor miracle: He has
done all this without being shrill, strident or humorless.
He confronts head on the persistent misinformation about
the “righteous” enaction of the American mission—most notably
in his best-selling A People’s History of the United
States 1492-Present—with a plainspoken humanism and
palpable respect for his reader.
His most recent work is a 1994 memoir titled You Can’t
Be Neutral on a Moving Train; this book in turn inspired
filmmakers Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller to make a documentary
of the same name that covers Zinn’s life as a teacher, writer
and social activist. On Sunday and Monday, Time & Space
Limited will host screenings of the documentary, the first
of which will also feature an appearance by Ellis. Though
the initial impetus, according to the filmmakers, was to
document the life of one of the “elder statesmen of the
burgeoning youth movement,” events of the past years have
shifted and tightened the focus: A statement at the filmmakers’
Web site states, “In an age when politicians cry necessity
of war, Zinn challenges the moral bankruptcy of their pleas.”
Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson) will
screen You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train on
Sunday and Monday (Jan. 10-11) at 4 PM. Tickets are $5 for
TSL members, $7.50 nonmembers. For more information, call
it’s futuristic bluegrass, earthy funk, jazz fusion, or
just plain technical mastery that floats your boat, electric-bass
virtuoso Victor Wooten is your man. You might recognize
Wooten as one of Béla Fleck’s Flecktones, but over the last
decade his pioneering work has propelled him to solo critical
acclaim as well. He picked up a bass at age three and professionally
debuted two years later in a band with his brothers, two
of whom are still fixtures in his bands. Now, Wooten has
a few Grammys under his belt and was twice named Bassist
of the Year by the Nashville Music Awards.
The Victor Wooten Band hit the pavement on a winter tour
this week to test some material from their forthcoming album,
and will perform Sunday (Jan. 11) at 7 PM at the Egg (Empire
State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $22. For reservations
and information, call 473-1845 or visit www.theegg.org.