Pianist Christopher O'Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz explore the lyrical and virtuosic properties of their instruments in a collaboration that weaves in and out of classical and pop music genres. O'Riley, host of NPR's From the Top, performs sublime interpretations of the classical canon and groundbreaking transcriptions of Radiohead, Elliott Smith, and Nick Drake. Haimovitz made his debut in 1984, at age 13, as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic. At 17, he recorded his debut album with the Chicago Symphony. His Meeting of the Spirits earned a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album.
Shuffle.Play.Listen could have been titled “When Worlds Collide.” How else do you explain an album and performance in which Johann Sebastian Bach and Igor Stravinsky meet Radiohead and Arcade Fire?
Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz work together to make this mix of classical and pop/alternative genres speak to audiences young and old. Both artists are known for breaking down barriers and have brought that spirit to the concert stage. In some instances, they even use social media to get audience input for choosing works to be played at concerts.
2 p.m. Wednesday, January 16
Penn State Altoona
Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts Titelman Study
Haimovitz performs and discusses Johann Sebastian Bach cello suites with context provided by Timothy Melbinger, lecturer in music at Penn State Altoona. This free, public event includes refreshments.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 16
Penn State Altoona
Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts
Paul R. and Margery Wolf Kuhn Theatre
The musicians perform a variety of classical and popular music at this free event. Each discusses the importance of the works and their contemporary interpretations. Melbinger hosts the event. Includes a question-and-answer session. A free reception follows in the Titelman Study.
Free tickets, required for the evening event, are available at the Misciagna Box Office, Monday–Thursday 10 a.m.–2 p.m., or at the door. Free parking is available after 3 p.m. in the Misciagna lot. For more information, phone the box office at 814-949-5452 or visit Penn State Altoona.
Noon Thursday, January 17
Outreach Building Lobby
100 Innovation Boulevard
Bring your lunch and join O’Riley for an informal one-hour conversation about his experiences with young musicians as host of NPR’s From the Top. The public event, which includes O’Riley performing several works, is presented in collaboration with coolBLUE Events at Innovation Park.
7 p.m. Thursday, January 17
110 E. College Ave., State College
The public is invited to a free event, hosted by Hillel and Penn State’s Jewish Studies Program, in the basement of Irving’s bakery and café. Gerardo Edelstein, director of orchestral studies in Penn State’s School of Music, and Ruth Edelstein, lecturer in Penn State’s Jewish Studies Program and the Department of Comparative Literature, moderate a discussion with Haimovitz. The Israeli-born cellist performs selections from Jewish composers and works centered around Jewish themes. He also shares some of his childhood experiences and the influence his upbringing has had on his career.
7:30 p.m. Friday, January 18
The program showcases their talents, while helping to define what it means to be a contemporary artist. Expect works by the likes of Johann Sebastian Bach and Giovanni Gabrieli, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, Astor Piazzolla and Igor Stravinsky.
Adult $42 | University Park Student $15 | 18 and Younger $32
Buy tickets to individual presentations or create your own Choice series — and receive a 10-percent discount— by purchasing together tickets to four or more Classical Music Project presentations. Purchase tickets online; by phone at 814-863-0255 or 1-800-ARTS-TIX; or in person at Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Norma and Ralph Condee Chamber Music Endowment
Complimentary round-trip shuttle service is provided between the Eisenhower Parking Deck and Schwab Auditorium.
Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring O’Riley and Haimovitz, is offered in Schwab one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders.