Category: reviews

Page 2 of 3

Recap: Time stands still with Music of Beach Boys at the Grand Rapids Symphony's Picnic Pops

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk The Beach Boys, for more than 50 years, have been delighting fans with the sounds of surf, sand and endless summer. Papa Doo Run Run has been at it for almost as long. In fact, one could argue they’re poised to outlast the Beach Boys. Five years to the day after they last appeared with the Grand Rapids Symphony at Cannonsburg Ski Area, the surf-rock band from California returned to the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops with the Music of the Beach Boys. ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Sunday, July 31, 2016 | 0 comments

Recap: Music of Queen rocks the Grand Rapids Symphony's world at Picnic Pops at Cannonsburg

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk Nine-year-old Aiden Wriggelsworth is no Freddie Mercury. Neither is Michael Shotton. But the two, standing side-by-side at the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Picnic Pops, singing “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, were entertaining just the same. “The Music of Queen” brought Jeans ‘n Classics back to West Michigan and the Grand Rapids Pops for the second week of the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops on Thursday, July 21. ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Friday, July 22, 2016 | 1 comments

Recap: 'Classics go to the movies' in Grand Rapids Symphony's 2016 Picnic Pops opener

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk In the 1994 film, “The Shawshank Redemption,” a convicted murder in prison comes across a recording of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” locks himself into the warden’s office, and plays the Letter Duet over the prison’s public address system. Actor Morgan Freeman, who narrates the film, declares his fellow inmates had no idea what the two Italian ladies were singing about. “It was like some beautiful, bird... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Friday, July 15, 2016 | 1 comments

Recap: Dramatic flair, theatrical twist and electrifying finales cap Grand Rapids Symphony’s season

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk Dramatic flair, theatrical twist and electrifying finales cap Grand Rapids Symphony’s Classical season Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2015-16 season brought to town eight guest conductors and all of the excitement of its first search in the 21st century for a new music director. Surely, the Grand Rapids Symphony didn’t save the best for last. Or did they? Music Advisor Larry Rachleff, who is not a music director candidate, was on the podium to end the season with... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, May 14, 2016 | 0 comments

Recap: Grand Rapids Symphony's "Star Wars & More" is a roller coaster ride to Christmas town

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk John Williams has written so much film music, it’s easy to forget just how much he’s written. Every “Star Wars” film, most of the “Harry Potter” movies, and the films starring Indiana Jones, just to name a few.  Now add such films as “Schindler’s List” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” to the list. Cue the iconic image of a young Macaulay Culkin, with his hands on the side of his face, looking surprised, in the film “Home Alone.” That’s totally relevant here... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, May 7, 2016 | 1 comments

Recap: Guest conductor leads Grand Rapids Symphony in climatic experience with "Pines of Rome"

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk Utter the words, “20th century music,” and watch as faces of many unabashed lovers of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms turn to stone. Though classical music took some unusual turns into unknown waters in the last century, that wasn’t the case in all situations. So all we are saying is give 20th century music a chance. That’s what the Grand Rapids Symphony’s audience did on Friday night. DeVos Performance Hall erupted several times into enthusiastic cheers for music... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, April 23, 2016 | 4 comments

Recap: Enthusiastic conductor, accomplished pianist produce art from adversity with Symphony

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk Trial and adversity sometimes produces great art.  Ludwig van Beethoven endured the loss of his hearing. Robert Schumann suffered the loss of his sanity and, eventually, his life. Both of their miseries lasted a lifetime. But the work the produced lasts forever.  Pianist Martin Helmchen, a German-born, prize-winning pianist, made his debut in DeVos Performance Hall on Friday, March 18, to give an insightful performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, March 19, 2016 | 1 comments

Recap: GR Symphony celebrates music & diversity with Marcus Roberts Trio at "Symphony with Soul"

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk The night opened with a rousing chorus of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” with nearly everyone in the house standing to sing the 117-year-old song often referred to as the “Black American National Anthem.”  But that was just the beginning of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s annual “Symphony with Soul.”  The annual musical celebration of diversity and inclusion, which last year brought actress and singer Vanessa Williams to Grand Rapids, welcomed the Marcus... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, March 1, 2016 | 0 comments

Recap: Grand Rapids Symphony's wide-ranging program takes your breath away

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk The music of Johannes Brahms isn’t an appetizer. Brahms of the 1880s, the mature master of the German Romantic era at the height of his creative powers, is a main course, served on a silver platter on major holidays and important family gatherings. Under normal circumstances, the Grand Rapids Symphony wouldn’t begin a concert with a Brahms Symphony. Not unless it also was the end of the concert. But a music director search isn’t a normal circumstance, so ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 4 comments

Recap: Grand Rapids Pops gives heroic performance of “Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions”

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk DeVos Performance Hall seldom sees audiences like this. Concert-goers in unusual yellow hats pecked at handheld video games to pass the time before the start of the evening’s entertainment. Finally, a young woman in a white coat, standing in front of the Grand Rapids Symphony, faced the audience and said, "Grand Rapids, I choose you." With the audience roaring its approval, guest conductor Susie Benchasil Seiter gave the downbeat to kick off ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, February 6, 2016 | 2 comments
We welcome and encourage comments. Please note that your comment will be sent to our team to be approved prior to posting. You may not see your comment post right away.