Combining individual virtuosity into a musical collaboration that blends classical and pop music genres, world-renowned cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley open Lawrence University’s 2012-13 Artist Series Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.
Based on their 2011 two-disc CD “Shuffle.Listen.Play,” the concert will showcase the award-winning talents of Haimovitz and O’Riley as collaborators and soloists in an eclectic program featuring works ranging from Bach to Astor Piazzolla and Igor Stravinsky to Radiohead.
Since making his musical debut at the age of 13 with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, Haimovitz has established himself as a musical pioneer and visionary, widely known for his trademark solo cello recitals, performed with many of the world’s most prestigious musical ensembles, among them the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in a string quintet alongside Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Mstislav Rostropovich.
This will be Haimovitz’ second appearance at Lawrence. He performed as a 19-year-old Princeton University freshman in April 1990 with pianist Robert McDonald, a 1973 Lawrence graduate.
“We are thrilled to have Matt Haimovitz back on campus after a 22-year absence,” said cellist Janet Anthony, George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music. “A passionate, intellectually curious and adventurous cellist, he has made a name for himself by bringing Bach to an entirely new audience in coffeehouses and nightclubs while also stretching the boundaries of the traditional concert hall. By blending styles and genres and making connections between classical repertoire and up-to-the-minute pop music, this will be a very special and exciting musical experience.”
Performing on a Venetian cello made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller, Haimovitz drew raves for his Bach “Listening-Room” Tour in which he took Bach’s beloved cello suites out of the concert hall and into clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The Boston Globe called Haimovitz a musician who “plays with great concentration, nobility of expression and technical panache.”
O’Riley, who subscribes to the Duke Ellington adage “there are only two kinds of music, good music and bad,” is one of the leading interpreters of popular contemporary music. His discography includes two CDs of his own versions of Radiohead songs, a tribute to the works of singer/songwriter Nick Drake and 2009’s “Out of My Hands,” which was inspired by the works of various artists, among them Nirvana, REM, Pink Floyd, Tori Amos and Portishead.
A native of Evanston, Ill., O’Riley began classical piano studies at the age of four. He interests shifted to pop music and in the sixth grade started his own band. In addition to his touring schedule, O’Riley hosts the National Public Radio program “From the Top,” which spotlights rising young classical musicians.
“Chris has gained a lot of respect within the musical community for his wide-ranging repertoire, inventive programming and support of young talent through his radio program” said pianist Michael Mizrahi, assistant professor of music at Lawrence. “I’m very much looking forward to both his performance and his master class.”
Lawrence University, "Cellist Matt Haimovitz, Pianist Christopher O’Riley Open Lawrence University’s 2012-13 Artist Series" (2012). Press Releases. Paper 416.