Announcing the Jasper 2013 Artists of the Year Finalists in Dance, Music, Literary Arts, Theatre, and Visual Arts

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With a total of 55 nominations, 20 adjudicators, and over 10 hours of deliberation behind us, Jasper Magazine is pleased to announce our top three finalists for the honor of

Jasper 2013 Artists of the Year

in

Dance, Music, Literary Arts, Theatre, and Visual Arts.

 ~

~Dance~

Wayland Anderson

Erin Bolshakov

Terrance Henderson

~Music~

Phillip Bush

FatRat da Czar

The Restoration

~Literary Arts~

James Barilla

Janna McMahan

Aida Rogers

~Theatre~

Bobby Bloom

Terrance Henderson

Vicky Saye Henderson

~Visual Arts~

Michaela Pilar Brown

Thomas Crouch

Philip Mullen

~~~

The above 15 artists were among 55 artists nominated by their peers and fans. Based on the information submitted with the nominations, a panel of judges selected the top three artists in each category to compete for the title

Jasper 2013 Artist of the Year.

Now the fun begins!

You’re invited to vote for your choice for Jasper 2013 Artist of the Year in each of the five categories by visiting Jasper's website

starting on Wednesday, September 25th.

There, you’ll find summaries of each artist’s accomplishments for the period of

September 15, 2012 – September 14, 2013.

The winners of Jasper 2013 Artist of the Year in Dance, Literary Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts will be announced on November 21, 2013 at the release of Jasper Magazine V. 003, N. 003 during Vista Lights. All 15 artists will be featured in the same issue of Jasper Magazine.

Go to www.JasperColumbia.com

and vote for your choice of Jasper 2013 Artist of the Year starting on Wednesday, September 25th

Voting ends on midnight, October 20th, 2013.

Southern Exposure New Music Series: Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians

  Steve Reich

One of the most compelling parts of Columbia’s arts scene is the Southern Exposure New Music Series, a series of FREE concerts put on by the nonprofit each year that explore contemporary classical and world compositions as well as some of the masterworks of the 20th century. The shows are often standing room only affairs, largely because of the depth and quality of the performances, which have a reputation for being wildly eclectic and stunning in equal measure.

If you’ve never been, consider going this weekend to a performance of Steve Reich’s seminal Music for 18 Musicians. Reich is perhaps the definitive composer of the second half of the 20th century, and this is his most famous piece—a gorgeous work of pulsating musical minimalism that builds (and contracts) ever-so-slowly as melodies and harmonies are gradually added to create a mesmerizing, hypnotic effect that is best experience live. The 18 musicians comes from the fact that the piece requires at a minimum four pianists, six percussionists, four female singers, two clarinetists, a violinist, and a cellist—parts which will be ably handled by 18 of USC’s most talented students in the School of Music (many of whom will be also be tackling more than one instrument in the course of the performance). Directing the work is USC piano professor Phillip Bush (who is also performing—the composition is traditionally performed without a conductor), who has played the piece numerous times around the world with Reich himself. Bush will also be giving a short talk before each performance.

Here’s  a complete performance available on YouTube (you really have to see it live though):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXJWO2FQ16c

 

And, in the tradition of the increasingly collaborative arts scene we have in Columbia, local painter Blake Morgan will have his paintings on exhibit in the gallery for both performances. His involvement is sponsored by Pocket Productions!

A note on composer: Reich’s music always feels like waves upon waves of sound to me—while the careful the listener can note the subtle, ceaseless shifts in rhythm, melody, and harmony, there is something visceral about the listening experience as well, that hits you in the gut. That’s likely the reason Reich’s music has enjoyed such popularity outside of traditional contemporary music circles as well. While his compositions are usually debuted in the finest concert halls at this point (a stark contrast from his earlier years, when his work was shunned by the elites), Reich still gets an audience outside of those confines, even at rock festivals. Check out this video, where Reich and Bang On A Can’s Dave Cossin perform to whopping audience at the rock-centered Bloc festival in east London.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lesDb9GsQm4

The series will be giving two performances of Music for 18 Musicians: on Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, 7:30pm, at the USC School of Music Recital Hall, 813 Assembly Street (next to the Koger Center), 2nd Floor. Admission, as always, is free.

 

K. Petersen, Jasper Music Editor

Correction: The original post incorrectly stated that Blake Morgan would be painting live during the performance. He will not be.

Southeastern Piano Festival kicks off 10th anniversary with big concert at the Koger Center

 

If you love the piano, have we got a week for you.

The Southeastern Piano Festival kicks off its 10th year with a Piano Extravaganza concert featuring 16 pianist, five pianos and the S.C. Philharmonic on June 10 at the Koger Center for the Arts. The festival runs through June 16 with concerts by well-known and up-and-coming musicians.

“The festival has been a success on so many levels and we’re thrilled to be celebrating our first decade,” said Marina Lomazov, Festival Artistic Director. “The festival continues to provide top-flight training for young musicians, but has also grown to be one of the most significant showcases of piano music.”

Dr. Lomazov will perform at the Piano Extravaganza along with fellow USC piano faculty Joseph Rackers and  Charles Fugo, guest pianist Phillip Bush, a dozen past winners of Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition, and the S.C. Philharmonic conducted by Music Director Morihiko Nakahara.  The concert includes works by Mozart, Bach and Wagner and five pianists performing movements from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst on five Steinway concert grand pianos. The concert will close with Lomazov and Rackers playing the Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor by Francis Poulenc.

The festival blends a week of exciting concerts with a training program for 19 young pianists from around the country and one from Australia who take part in the Fraser Competition. Those who want to see some of tomorrow’s great pianists today can watch the competition from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 15. Competition winners will give the closing concert June 16.

Among the other highlights of the week are performances by Boris Slutsky, first prize winner of the Kapell International Piano Competition and chair of the piano department at the Peabody Institute, playing the music of Ravel, Chopin and Schuman on June 13 and Alessio Bax, recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, performing Rachmaninoff and Liszt pieces on June 14.

Students attending the festival will give an afternoon concert at the Columbia Museum of Art June 12. A number of young pianists will be in the spotlight including past winners of the Fraser Competition Leo Svirsky and Sean Yeh performing June 11 and George Li, the 15-year-old winner of the Gilmore Young Artist Award, playing June 12.

Admission to the Piano Extravaganza is $25 for VIP seating and $15 general admission, $10 for seniors, students, military, USC faculty and staff and free for those under 18. Tickets are available through capitoltickets.com or by calling (803) 251-2222.

The other concerts will be held at the USC School of Music Recital Hall. Admission is $20; $10 for seniors, USC faculty and staff, students and military and free to everyone under  18.  For tickets call (803) 576-5763 or email  frontoffice@mozart.sc.edu

The Svirsky and Yeh concert is $5.

The competition concert is free.

For a complete schedule and more information about tickets, concerts, guest artists and participants visit the Piano Festival website http://sepf.music.sc.edu/

Concert lineup for the Southeastern Piano Festival (unless otherwise noted concerts are at the USC School of Music Recital Hall, Assembly and College streets.)

Sunday, June 10, 4 p.m. Piano Extravaganza concert.

Monday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. Alumni Celebration Concert with Leo Svirsky and Sean Yeh.

Tuesday, June 12, 1:30 – 3 p.m. Southeastern Piano Festival on the Road. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St.

Tuesday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. George Li.

Wednesday, June 13, 7:30 p.m. Boris Slutsky.

Thursday, June 14, 7:30 p.m. Alessio Bax.

Friday, June 15, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition.

Saturday, June 16, 7 p.m. Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition Winners' Concert and Closing Ceremony.

A Little Bit of Snark and a Good Deal of Praise -- Jeffrey Day's Art Year 2011 Review

 

Although the economy still sucked the arts community in Columbia just seemed to say “Screw it” and kept going.

For his last few years in the Governor’s office, when he wasn’t on the Appalachian Tail, Mark Sanford tried to zero out the budget for several state agencies, including the S.C. Arts Commission. The General Assembly never let him get far with it until his final year when some sort of deal had been struck. Then an uprising about the cuts rose up – mostly through Facebook – and legislators got an earful from art supporters all over the state. Not surprisingly, the new governor, Nikki Haley, brought out the knife as well, and she got it knocked out of her hand as well.  Made The New York Times. But expect the same fight this year.

The arts on Main Street started to coalesce after a couple of years. A gallery crawl – and all kinds of additional frills like music, theater and fire-eating – is now being held on Main Street EVERY SINGLE MONTH! That’s damn exciting especially when hundreds of people show up for all of them.

The art being shown is still  inconsistent, but there has been lots and lots of good art on display at all the locations (Frame of Mind, Anastatia and FRIENDS, S & S Art Supply, the Arcade, Tapp’s Arts Center) at one time or another. One of the best things has been the window installations at Tapp’s, but beyond the windows, the Tapp’s Art Center is still trying to figure things out. The director said earlier in the years that the upstairs studio spaces would be rented to artists who were juried in, but instead these have been turned into little “galleries” some jammed with work by a dozen artists or so.

The first South Carolina Biennial of contemporary art ran in two parts with about 25 artists at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art. The first show was terrific in every way, the second was rather messy, but had some of the best artists in it. The way the show is selected needs some fine turning. Whatever the shortcomings, the show fills the huge gap left when the Triennial was killed off a few years ago. The center also needs to spend as much time and effort (or even a third as much) getting the word out about its art shows as it does about its parties and openings.

The long-time director of the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, Andy Witt, has left the building. Neither Witt nor the Council are even vaguely familiar to many in the arts community, but the council still raises about $200,000 a year for distribution to arts groups and that’s an important chunk of change in these times.  It’s time for the council to take a good hard look at itself and figure out what it’s going to do other than tread water.

I’ll go against conventional wisdom here and declare that the Columbia Museum of Art is more important than the Mast General Store to Main Street. It’s actually kind of hard to keep up with everything the museum does because it does so much – from big touring exhibitions, to small shows by locals, to concerts.

The museum is closing off the year and starting the new one with a big show of Hudson River school paintings. My first walk through I thought “Wow there’s some really hackneyed stuff in here” and actually a couple other people said the same to me. Then I went back. Yes, there are sentimental things and a few pieces that are high-end tourist art, but most of it is really truly wonderful.  Except for the fact that all the paintings have glass on them.

The museum started the year with “Who Shot Rock and Roll,” a photography exhibition documenting the history of rock ‘n’ roll.  I figured it would be a door buster without much substance. Instead it was a nearly perfect show that melded documentation, a wide approach to the medium and the music, and a crazy mixed up population of big stars and unknowns. And the show was just the right size – big enough to provide real range and small enough that it wasn’t repetitious. The only thing that didn’t work for me was the huge images of David Lee Roth right by the exit.

Sandwiched between was the show of Michael Kenna’s haunting and technically-dazzling photos of Venice. This year the museum managed to have a bit of everything without stinting on quality.

The Conundrum Music Hall in West Columbia has provided an outlet for all kinds of new music – from improv jazz to contemporary classical to the plain old weird and self-indulgent. One of the highlights was a chamber group from the S.C. Philharmonic. Half the audience had never been to an orchestra concert and the other half had never been to West Columbia. And about 50 people were turned away because it was sold out.

Phillip Bush, the Columbia-based pianist with a rich resume, made his first appearance with a local orchestra, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major. He and the young players sounded great.

The second concert of the season by the S.C. Philharmonic was all Mozart and all of it good. A seasoned pro playing the clarinet concerto, two teen-agers taking on a piano concerto, and a wonderful wrap-up with the “Jupiter” symphony.

Trustus Theatre founders Jim and Kay Thigpen plan to retire this spring and in the fall Jim Thigpen directed “August: Osage County” as his swan song. What a way to go out: one of the best productions at the theater during the past two decades.

As usual the Wideman-Davis Dance Company provided more surprises and depth with one more new work “Voypas.”

Many people seemed to be excited about the return of installation art to Artista Vista – and so was I since I put the show together. This is not a completely self-congratulatory note. All I did was pick artists who were good and competent and pretty nice. They did the rest. Well I did wash the windows and sweep. It was one of the best experiences of my life.