Washington is not a cultural Mecca, but it ain't half bad, either - if you only make use of some of its finer offerings. A mix between the big and the small, "events" and intimate gatherings, expensive and free concerts can give you at least as much music and culture as you could possibly enjoy.
One of the most interesting programs I have ever seen will sadly coincide with tomorrows performance of Maurizio Pollini, and thus I cannot go. (When the Gods call, you heed the call... there's no 'not-seeing' Pollini.) It is held by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, by far the most daring and imaginative cultural programmers out there... the only ones not yet daunted by Washington's overwhelming cultural conervatism when it comes to music and art. Under the title "From Chance to Hyper-Determination" they will offer a short panel discussion on chance and order with professors Marcello Buiatti (Professor of Genetics, University of Florence) and Fabrizio Luccio (Professor of Computer Science at, University of Pisa) followed by a piano recital of aleatory music.
Emanuele Arciuli is a reputable interpreter of contemporary (and baroque) music and will dish out modern delicacies like the Morton Feldman Intermission VI, Karlheinz Stockhausen's Aus den Sieben Tagen, John Adams' Phrygian Gates and a piece by Alessandro Sbordoni (unknown to me) that was comissioned by the Italian Embassy in Washington and will receive its world premiere. (Unfortunately I forgot the name of it) To attend this concert (with following reception) on Wednesday, October 27th, 6:30 PM, call (202) 223 9800 - extension 1. The Italian Embassy is at 3000 Whitehaven Street N.W. - right off Massachusetts Avenue, 15 walking minutes from Dupont Circle.
The Embassy Series will feature the delightful, Anne Schein-tutored Mendelssohn Piano Trio at the Austrian Embassy (3524 International Court, N.W., 10 walking minutes from the UDC-Metro Station) this Friday, the 29th at 8:00 PM. Apart from the Schubert B-flat, they will also play a Korngold and Goldmark trio - neglected Viennese marvels in their own right. The receptions at the Austrian Embassy usually include little home- and staff-made treats... the last time I got sick, I ate so many Hildabrötchen.
Ivo Pogorelich (a fallen hero rising?) will show his always unique talent at the George Masion Univsersity this Sunday, October 31st at 4:00 PM. Beethoven’s Sonata in D Minor Op. 31/2, “Der Sturm,” the Sonata in E Minor Op. 90, and Rondo a cappriccio in G Major Op. 129; Sibelius’s tone-poem Valse Triste, Op. 44/2, and Rachmaninoff‘s Moments Musicaux are on the menue. (For more information click here.)
The Trio Solisti will perform on November 2nd, at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater (given to the American people by the people of Japan - as the entire Kennedy Center seems to have been cobbled up of gifts from other countries... Italian Marble, hideous Austrian Chandeliers etc.) by the Washington Performing Arts Society. (Tickets available here.) The ladies look sexy - which is of course enough to satisfy this shallow reviewer and I desperately want to hear Pulitzer Price winner Paul Moravec's "Mood Swings". Throw in the Brahms Trio in B Major, Op. 8 and the Ravel Trio and it should be a fine night.
I love Duparc-songs - and Francois Le Roux will do a few at La Maison Française on Wednesday, November 3rd, 8:00 PM. (Call the Duparc-lover hotline at (202) 944 6091 for reservations.) If you hated it, get drunk at the wine reception that follows.