When many music lovers hear the phrase, “20th century music,” they turn and walk in the other direction.
But when you hear “21st century music,” what do you think?”
The Grand Rapids Symphony has an answer for you at ArtPrize Eight. Grand Rapids’ radically open art exhibition will have radical music as well.
In fact, your Grand Rapids Symphony is ready to rock ArtPrize with a little more clubbing music and a lot less concert music.
“Rock, Funk, Disco, Heavy Metal, Raggaton, Latin, Drumsets, Steel Pans are all on display,” promises guest conductor Jacomo Bairos.
“And the ingenuity will be off the charts,” he added.
Come to Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.or drop by theArtPrize’s Blue Bridge Music Festival. Either way, every performance is free admission.
Grand Rapids Symphony, which was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover recording, is no stranger to stretching the boundaries of classical music.
Bairos, artistic director of the genre-bending, eclectic chamber orchestra, Nu Deco Ensemble, will lead Grand Rapids Symphony musicians at UICA in original music plus classical works reinterpreted.
Bairos, who guest conducted the Grand Rapids Symphony in January in DeVos Performance Hall, co-founded Nu Deco with composer Sam Hyrak.
“Nu Deco is one of a kind," Bairos told Miami New Times earlier this month. "There is no ensemble in the world performing the music we do in the special formula that we have.”
“We are an orchestra reimagined for the 21st Century, and Sam and I have always felt that the orchestra, as a vehicle for expression – limitless in its potential to stir the soul – creates these environments of musical bliss and leaves everyone changed forever after a performance,” Bairos told Miami New Times recently.
“We just feel we are scratching the surface of what is possible,” said Bairos, also is music director of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra.
Bairos is bringing with him music from Nu Deco’s library including Nick Omiciolli's "Fuse" and works such as Georges Bizet’s Farandole reimagined as “Refried Farandole” for performances in UICA’s Fourth Floor Black Box space.
Andy Akiho, a steel drummer and composer, is a special guest artist who will appear with Grand Rapids Symphony this week.
At UICA, catch the orchestra in three different, 30-minute programs rotating each day, Thursday through Sunday, where you also can see the exhibition, “superusted: The 4th Midwest Biennial” on the Fourth Floor.
Meanwhile, outdoors, Grand Rapids Symphony musicians are appearing on the Blue Bridge in three separate programs Wednesday through Friday. One-hour programs include marimbist and percussionist David Hall; violinist/violist and electronic musician Leanne King; and violinist and country fiddler Susan Mora.
Here’s the Grand Rapids Symphony’s lineup for ArtPrize Eight:
Blue Bridge in Downtown Grand Rapids:
Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 4pm | Percussionist and Marimbist David Hall, Solo Percussion
Thursday, Sept. 29 at 4pm | Violinist/Violist Leanne King, ADIOSWATCH: viola+electronix
Friday, Sept. 30 at 2:30pm | Country fiddler Susan Mora and Friends
Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12 noon | Andy Akiho and Symphony Friends: Music for Steelpan, Drums, Electric Bass and Cello
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts:
Thursday, Sept. 29 | Jacomo Bairos conducts Grand Rapids Symphony in half-hour concerts at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm
Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1 | Concerts at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm; and at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm
Sunday, Oct. 2 | Concerts at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm