Underway: Some 100 events, performances and exhibits are being featured in Leonard Bernstein Arts Festival

Highlights include Sol y Canto concert and exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum

2008 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts, April 9-13
Festival Opening Celebration - Wed., April 9
Prospect II
5 to 7 p.m.

Dreitzer Gallery, Spingold Theater Center

The accomplished postbaccalaureate studio artists exhibit painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking. Meet the artists and celebrate the opening of the 2008 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts.

WALTHAM, Mass. – Visitors to the 2008 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts at Brandeis will find themselvesLBernstein immersed in a unique and interactive artistic atmosphere. Participants will be able to dance to irresistible Latin rhythms, introduce children to theater classics adapted just for them and experience the energy and excitement of student-produced dance, music and spoken word cultural extravaganza.  Works by renowned talents such as Andy Warhol, Kurt Weill, and Tchaikovsky are on the program, along with performances and art produced by members of the Brandeis community.

This year’s festival offers nearly 100 performances, exhibits and activities from April 9-13. Highlights include a free concert by Cambridge-based Sol y Canto, a curatorial talk at the Rose Art Museum, and a concert version of “Lost in the Stars,” the powerful 1949 musical by Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill.

The festival, founded in 1952 by legendary American composer and Brandeis faculty member LeonardSolyCanto Bernstein, is the culmination of a year of fine arts, music and theater arts at Brandeis, which hosts as many as 300 arts-related events each year.

“The festival celebrates not only my father's artistry and teaching, but the values of intellectual achievement, creative excellence and social responsibility that he held so dear,” said Alexander Bernstein, the son of the famous composer.

In reflection of Bernstein’s lifelong commitment to engaging young people in the arts, Brandeis will sponsor an afternoon of free performances, family and children’s events, art exhibitions and demonstrations on Sunday, April 13.

Highlights of the festival are listed below. For a complete schedule, visit www.brandeis.edu/arts/festival. All events are handicapped accessible and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

1.    Sol y Canto concert: The group will perform a free concert of Afro-Latin dance songs and ballads. The sextet’s rich vocal harmonies, sumptuous Spanish guitar, and irresistible Latin rhythms have brought listeners to their feet from the Kennedy Center and the White House to Puerto Rico’s Conservatory de Musica. Sunday, April 13, 2 p.m. Shapiro Campus Center Atrium.

2.    Inside View: Meet the Curators: Join curators Margaret Evangeline and Dominique Nahas for a tour of “Empires and Environments,” the Rose Art Museum’s challenging and enigmatic exhibition.  The curators will reveal their discovery of connections between art from the Rose’s formidable permanent collection and works by emerging and mid-career artists. Saturday, April 12, 2 p.m., Rose Art Museum.

3.    Performing Arts Festival: An afternoon of unforgettable dance, music and theater performances, plus children’s art-making activities (free refreshments all day for families). Sunday, April 13, 12- 5 p.m., campus wide.

4.    Children’s Theater: Introduce children to the classics! Three acclaimed professional Boston companies will bring new adaptations of classic stories to the festival: “The History and Adventures of Tom Thumb” (City Stage Company of Boston), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Shakespeare Now!), and “Cyrano” (New Rep on Tour). Sunday, April 13, Shapiro Campus Center.

5.    Culture X:  Experience the energy and excitement of Brandeis student-produced dance, music, and spoken word! Diverse talents, diverse people, diverse cultures and a lot of energy unite in a global celebration of “human spirit.” Saturday, April 12, 7 p.m., Spingold Theater Center.

6.    Festival Art Exhibitions: The innovative artwork created for the Festival of the Creative Arts reflects what is on students’ minds this year: portraiture, community, science, and culture, among other topics, in media ranging from acrylics to sugar cookies, inspired by literature, science, and the Internet. April 9 – 13, campus wide.

7.    “Empires and Environments,” “Broken Home 1997/2007” and “Arp to Reinhardt: Rose Geometries”: These exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum include significant artworks by Ellsworth Kelly, Vito Acconci, and Ellsworth Kelly.

8.    Lost in the Stars and Other American Classics. The Brandeis University Chorus and Chamber Choir perform a concert version of “Lost in the Stars,” the powerful 1949 musical by Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill. This uniquely American opera, based on “Cry, the Beloved Country,” is a stirring call for justice and brotherhood. The Chamber Choir presents twenty-first-century work by Brandeis’s David Rakowski and others. James Olesen, director. Wednesday, April 9, 8 p.m., Slosberg Music Center.

9.    Catch a Rising Star: One of New England’s finest university orchestras will perform Dvorak Symphony No. 6 in A major and Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin, featuring Daniel Chen ’09, the winner of the BWO concerto competition. Neal Hampton, conductor. Thursday, April 10, 8 p.m., Slosberg Music Center.

10.    A Cappella Fest: Ten of Brandeis’s best loved a cappella groups line up for one vocal feast, with proceeds going to mental health charities. Suggested donation: $5. Sunday, April 13, 8 p.m., Slosberg Music Center.

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