Czech Philharmonic are in the middle of a whirlwind U.S.
tour—13 performances in 13 cities, in the span of one month—and
the folks from the Troy Chromatic Concerts series are bringing
them to the venerable Troy Savings Bank Music Hall this
Sunday evening for a special all-Antonin Dvorák program.
CPO director Václav Riedlbauch has said that the content
of the tour was selected with regard to a few important
anniversaries in Czech music this year; among them, this
is the centennial of Dvorák’s passing. Dvorák, who has been
characterized as the “leading exponent of Czech musical
nationalism,” conducted the very first concert of the CPO.
The program will include his violin concerto, the Slavonic
Dances, and the crowd-pleasing Symphony No. 9 in
E minor (From the New World). Akiko Suwanai (pictured)
will be the featured soloist on the Violin Concerto in
A minor. She is the youngest performer to ever win the
International Tchaikovsky Competition (in 1990), and it’s
worth noting that Suwanai performed the Asian premiere of
Penderecki’s second violin concerto, a fiendishly difficult
work. Renowned Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko will lead
the orchestra. Musical director of the Jena Philharmonic,
Boreyko has received multiple awards from German critics.
(And you can imagine how tough German critics are.) His
next gig? Guest-conducting the Chicago Symphony.
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Sunday (March
21) at 7 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (Second
and State streets, Troy). Tickets are $45 and $42. For reservations
and information, call 273-0038.
Superstars and the Desert Roses
Music Hall will be transformed into an exotic, mysterious
land of rhythm this evening by the Bellydance Superstars
and the Desert Roses. According to CNN, belly dancing is
the fastest growing women’s health activity in the U.S.,
and Miles Copeland has taken it upon himself to bring the
art of the dance to the masses with a nine-week, 53-city
tour, which features “top of the line dancing in intimate
venues at low ticket prices.” Fourteen dancers and a percussionist
are taking part in the tour, and a guest dancer from each
city will perform a spot at their local show. Albany’s own
Habiba (Donna Marie Floyd) is tonight’s guest.
Copeland, best known as founder of I.R.S. Records, manager
of the Police (and much of Sting’s solo career), and world-music
enthusiast, began working with the troupe last year for
their first national tour, which found them performing on
the main stage at the reincarnated Lollapalooza tour, directly
prior to modern-rock linchpins Audioslave (now that’s
juxtaposition!). Copeland’s enthusiasm for the music and
art of belly dancing even spurred him to launch a new world-music
label, Mondo Melodia, through which he has released a series
of compilation CDs and DVDs, and he currently is working
on a documentary film titled American Bellydancer,
which he hopes to license to HBO upon its completion.
Shake it like a Polaroid picture with the Bellydance Superstars
and the Desert Roses tonight (Thursday), upstairs at Valentine’s
Music Hall (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany). The performance
begins at 8 PM; tickets are $18. For more information, call
the club at 432-6572.
your musician friends for a disparaging comment about their
drummer—or any drummer, for that matter, or the Platonic
concept of The Drummer—and they’ll likely regale you with
a seemingly inexhaustible stream of invective and/or stock
punchlines. On the one hand, this may be a backhanded tribute
to the centrality of the time keeper in any successful band
format; on the other, it’s easy to pity the Dangerfield-esque
plight of the underappreciated tub-thumper. Now, ask those
same friends (frontmen, most likely) for a joke slamming
a tabla player. They got nothing, right? Not to put too
fine a point on it, but you don’t want to mess around with
the tabla player. He’s not just the drummer.
Sandip Burman has been playing the tabla—a traditional Indian
instrument, consisting of two drums played with the hands—since
he was 6. At the age when most of us were using our own
hands for nothing more ambitious than fingerpainting, Burman
was accepted as a student by Pandit Shyamal, one of “India’s
distinguished tabla maestros.” In the ensuing 26 years,
Burman has developed his craft to sufficient degree to attract
the attention of such Western virtuosos as Bela Fleck, with
whom Burman has toured. In fact, when Burman last played
the Van Dyck behind Fleck, he is said to have stolen the
show. So, it’s no surprise that the Van Dyck has invited
Burman back, and this time as the big name on the marquee.
Sandip Burman will play the Van Dyck (237 Union St., Schenectady)
tomorrow (Friday, March 19) at 7 and 9:30 PM. Tickets are
$15. For more information, call 381-1111.