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April 13, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-13

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 13, 1998

Pianist Kissin mixes tradition and innovation.

By Anna Kovalszki
Daily Arts Writer
Beethoven, Brahms and Liszt, all great
composers of the past, will visit Hill
Auditorium tonight with a promise of per-
fection. Their piano pieces will be deliv-
ered by an artist whom Anton Nel, an
associate professor of piano at the School
of Music, calls, "one of the greatest tal-
ents of the century."
Evgeny Igorevich Kissin, an improviser
on the piano at the age of three, received
international attention when, at 12, he
performed Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.
1 and 2 with the Moscow Philharmonic.
He was the child prodigy of the piano
world, in his youth listening to recordings
and replaying the music he heard by mem-
ory. He is now 26, and still growing as an
artist and performer.
Born in Moscow, Kissin grew up with,
the Russian piano tradition, familiar with
former greats Anton Rubinstein and
Vladimir Horowitz. He plays in the
Romantic tradition, and "New York

Times" critic Harold Schonberg argues,
with, "constant, delicately applied fluctu-
ations of tempo, held under a perfect syn-
thesis of emotional and intellectual con-
Kissin's talents have taken him all over
the world, in cities like Berlin, Budapest,
and Boston. His 1990 debut at Carnegie
Hall was a sold-out affair, producing a
recording that earned him a Grammy
Award nomination.
He also performed at the Grammy
Awards in 1992, with an estimated 1.8 bil-
lion people watching.
With his globe-hopping career, Kissin
has moved to New York City with his fam-
ily and teacher. His career is decidedly
family-oriented, with his mother and
teacher traveling with him to most con-
certs he plays, and being part of his deci-
sion-making apparatus. Anna Pavlovna
Kantor, his teacher, has been with him,
since he entered the Gnessen Music
School for Gifted Children at age 6.
His music did not become, however, a

solely commercial affair. It remained per-
sonal and important to Kissin, who con-
tends that, "if my career were suffering, I
would be able to find
comfort only in
music, in the piano. I
don't know how I
Evgn would be able to live
if I suddenly became
Kissin unable to play."
Hill AuditoriumAnd the audience
also plays an impor-
Tonight at 8 tant role in his per-
formance. "It's
strange, but the more
people there are in
the hall, the better I
play. It's necessary
for me to play a piece
in public to master it.
The whole perception changes. I feel peo-
pl&'s attentiveness, and my performance
depends on it."
Audiences are seldom disappointed.
According to "New Yorker" critic Andrew

Solomon, he plays with a style in which,
"you do not feel so much that he is pour-
ing energy into the instrument as that he is
receiving energy from it." Solomon
recounts a 13-encore performance in the
Italian city of Bergamo, which he attend-
It was way past midnight when the
audience finally let Kissin leave the co
cert hall.
Tonight's concert will be Kissin's Ann
Arbor debut. It undoubtedly will be a
night that audiences find exceptional. As
Solomon stated, "Kissin's performances
are not intellectually conceived interpre-
tations ... but magnificent scenes of
inspiration that materialize before the
audience's very eyes." And Beethoven,
Brahms and Liszt will perhaps be fol-
lowed by other greats, if Ann Arbor can
compared with Bergamo.
- Tickets are $20-$50 and are available
on the first floor of Burton Tower at the
University Musical Society office. Call
764-2538 for more information.

Courtesy of 6MG Classics
Pianist Evgeny Kissin appears at Hill Auditorium tonight.

Film and Video Studies Presents:
An Open Discussion with Hollywood
Writers' Agent Stu Robinson
Friday April 17th @ 4:00
1008 Frieze Building
Hollywood agent Stu Robinson comes to Ann Arbor on Friday, April
17th to speak to students about the best ways to break into film and
television... and how to attract a good agent. Over the years, Robinson
and partner Bernie Weintraub have represented many of the show
runners and staff of some of TV's most memorable series, including
"arw 7yler Moore," "Bob Newhartt," "All in the Fanmilv," "Maude,"
"M.A.S.H.," "Barney Milletr," "Murphy Brown," and " racier' to name
a few. Among the screenplays Robinson has represented are Slap Shot,
Grease, E. T., and all the films of John Sayles (and of course,
Renaissance Mara). In recent years, Robinson has been working mostly
on features, long-form TV, and selling film and video rights to published
material including cult favorites Dave Barry, Hubert Selby Jr., Rita Mae
Brown and Sara Paretsky. Robinson's client roster includes U of M
Alums David Newman and F&V Jim Burnstein.

Saunders brings 'Aaonica'to Ann Arbor

By Curtis Zimmermann
Daily Arts Writer
There are few avenues of music that
Merl Saunders hasn't explored.
Tonight, he will continue his musical
journey which has lasted nearly four
decades when he brings his Hammond
B-3 Organ, five synthesizers and the
Rain Forest Band to the Blind Pig.
In his sound, Saunders incorporates
many styles including blues, jazz, funk,
classical and
rock-a-billy. As a
rWr result of this he
Merl has shared the
Saunders stage and record-
ing studio with
Blind Pig the likes of Miles
Tonight at 9:30 Davis, Harry
Belafonte, The
Statler Brothers
and The Grateful
Dead, He was
also musical
director for the
"Twilight Zone"
reincarnation in the early '80s and has
written scores for the pornographic car-
toon feline "Fritz the Cat." In a recent

interview, he attributed his willingness.
to venture into numerous musical
realms to something Duke Ellington
told him when Saunders was.18. "You
don't want to be a jazz musician, you
want to be a musician. Play music"
Although his album "Blues From
The Rain Forest," which was a collabo-
ration with Jerry Garcia was released in
the early '90s, he began writing envi-
ronmental music nearly 30 years ago.
"Back in 1970, 1 wrote a song called
'Save Mother Earth' and everyone
laughed at me." Before the environmen-
tal movement gained acceptance in the
late '90s, one group that wasn't laugh-
ing was the FBI. In 1972, after hearing
his piece entitled "The Funky System,"
the bureau sent agents to his home to
question his mother.
Currently Saunders is promoting his
follow up to "Blues From the Rain
Forest,' "Fiesta Amazonica." Many of
the songs on this album were inspired by
a trip he took to the rain forest a few
years ago. But it also contains tributes to
Jerry Garcia, and his cousin Eddie
Moore who was also on the first "Rain
Forest" album. What is intriguing about

"Fiesta Amazonica," besides its musical
diversity, is the various song writing and
musical collaborations that appear on it.
The track "Ayahausca Zone" is about
a psychedelic drug used by rain forest
natives for ceremonial purposes.
Although he admits that he has never
tried it, Saunders said witnessing the
effect it had on those who took it was
what he tried to portray in the piece.
The song itself was originally recorded
as a score for an episode of the
"Twilight Zone" and than remixed in
1996. "The track was originally a
Vietnam veteran going with a machine
gun through the jungle shooting and
going crazy. ... When I was doing that,
Jerry walked into the studio and was
like 'Man,' he just picked up his guitar
and started playing. I said Jerry, I'm not
going to use that. I'm going to erase all
of that. I don't need that. So when I
heard the track 10 years later, I said
that's the ceremony."
As an environmentalist what
Saunders sees as the key element in pre-
serving the rain forest and saving the
planet is education. "Whose ever going
to save this Rain forest its not going to

t ! i' 1 11 i
Drop by Zingerman's Bakeshop on South University and enter to win
On April 20, '98, a winner will be drawn and awarded a gift certificate for lunch for you
and a friend. Lunch includes: a yummy sandwich, side salad, beverage, dessert and coffee for 2.

I Needa


'ourtesy o'um "erone "eors
Merl Saunders plays the Blind Pig tonight.
be people like you and I, its going to be
children. The youth are going to save
the rain forest. So the only thing you go
to do is educate them. Educate you,
educate your children." But at the same
time, he says he doesn't want to go o t
and preach.
Beyond the environmentalism and
education Merl Saunders has a simple
message to everyone who attends his
shows: "Let's get high on music." That
pretty much says it all.
Continued from page 5A
Shortly before doing lunch with
Cappa, O'Neil reflected on the alrea@
considerable success of the show. "It's
nice to have people like us, Black Vibes
and Devious Enterprises doing things on
campus. For so long, everyone's been
talking about doing things like what
we're doing, but it's great to not only see
it getting done, but to also be a part of it:"
O'Neil, whose laid back demeano
complements the intensity ofTerrelonge-
Stone, thinks that the show's variety
what makes it innovative.
"We use the same equipment the othe
WOLV shows use" he said. "There ar
entertainment shows, but how man
entertainment shows will cover racism
the dorms, or devote and entire show t
Martin Luther King, Jr. or intervie
Woodson and (Robert) Traylor? You'
have to watch a whole network to g
what we have in one show." O'Neil als
said he hopes that the show paves th
way for others who would like to m
the same impact on the University ca
The crew met with Cappadonna an
his entourage after lunch, and the
agreed to do the interview outside. Ther
was a mob of fans, friends, family, an
reporters who also wanted a piece o
Cappa's time, but after a while, Capp
and company met Terrelonge-Stone an
O'Neil to film the interview in front of
nearby Dodge Viper.
On the way back to Ann Arbor
Terrelonge-Stone bristles with pride ove
the successful shoot. "Cappadonna wa
really nice," he said, "For him to be m
favorite rapper, it's great that he was
such a down-to-earth person.'
Terrelonge-Stone rates this as his secon
best interview of the jam-packed show
next to the interview done with Mary J
Blige. While watching the recorde
footage, he allowed himself to relax a i
tle bit, taking pride in every frame
passes before his eyes.
- "The Shomari and Sean O'Nei
Show" airs throughout this week a
8p.m. on channel 70
Spring/Summer Term

Come See Stand-up Comedian
Pete Lipsey

also featuring Comedy Company's
Dan Messinoer

Apply now at the Law Library--


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