Did you have an art-full weekend?

Did you attend a concert or play last weekend — or perform in one? Did you visit a gallery or, perhaps, open your own art show? If, as spectator or participant, you had an art-full weekend, please share what you saw or did.

BPO, soloist share Love Potion No. 14

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

Valentine’s Day came early for those who attended Saturday night’s Binghamton Philharmonic concert. Violinist Jennifer Koh’s passionate rendition of Samuel Barber’s “Violin Concerto, Op. 14” was the essence of young romance.

Playing a prized Stradivarius violin and dressed in an electric-blue gown, the Korean-American brought a new palette of colors to the most often performed and recorded violin concerto by an American composer. The sweet and dreamy first two movements, punctuated by intermittent peaks of passion, propelled the concerto to its last movement — an athletic perpetual motion played as fast as humanly possible. No wonder the fiery Koh is praised for her technical wizardry. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hoffman talks about managing Forum, Arena

After hearing Brian Hoffman’s speech, “A Delicate Balance,” on Tuesday, it is tempting to start referring to The Forum and the Broome County Arena — the facilities for which Hoffman is general manager – as “the little venues that could.” As Hoffman pointed out to members of the Communications Association of the Southern Tier, “shows keep getting bigger and bigger,” but Broome’s two county-run performing arts spaces remain the same. Read the rest of this entry »

St. Patrick’s windows tell stories in glass

The weather was crisp but sunny on Jan. 10 as people comfortably filled St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church on Leroy Street in Binghamton for the program “Stories in Glass,” which explained the stained glass windows of German artisan Franz Mayer of Munich. Mayer opened a studio in New York at the turn of 20th century, which at its height employed 400 people. The dozen Mayer windows in the east and west walls of St. Patrick’s date from between 1911 and 1915, and the three-panel altar window dates from 1928. These windows depict key events in the life of Jesus and of the congregation’s patron saint, Patrick, the Fifth Century missionary and Bishop of Ireland.

At the top of the nave, another set of 10 pairs of windows portrays the Apostles, St. Paul and early church fathers. High in the transepts and chancel are four windows original to the 1873 church, depicting Sts. Dominic, Patrick, Paul and Peter.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tell us about your weekend in the arts

Yes, once again we’re asking you to share your art-ful activities. Exhibits, performances, readings — what do you see and do this weekend? Oh, and if Sunday’s Binghamton Youth Symphony concert is on your agenda, please share what you thought of Broome County’s newest large performance space, the Vestal Middle School auditorium.

How to get the best out of your blog

Because BAMirror has been up and running for a couple of months, Sharon Ball and I thought it was time to look at how it started, how it’s doing and, most importantly, what it can do for you. Last fall, when Sharon and I were planning the arts council’s entrance into the “blogosphere,” we envisioned your blog as an online salon, a place where people who know the arts could express their viewpoints and other people who know and/or care about the arts would be able to respond, to elaborate, even to disagree – politely, of course. The official stated mission: “provide a lively forum for informed, respectful conversation about and commentary on the arts experience in Broome County and Greater Binghamton.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Novo4tet thrills with new and tried-and-true at Phelps concert

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

Brody, Tayga-Hromek, Christian, Speth

The Novo4tet tried something new last Sunday, and it worked beautifully. The musicians sat in the middle of the beautiful Phelps Museum ballroom, surrounded by the audience and creating a theater in the round. No one was more than four rows from the musicians. I sat in the front row, and it felt as if I were a member of the quartet. And, believe me, it was thrilling to be part of this vigorous, highly skilled and superbly talented ensemble. Read the rest of this entry »

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What did you do in the arts this week?

Have you been to a reading, visited a gallery, attended a performance? Tell us what you liked (or disliked) and why.

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Cooperative Gallery 213 celebrating 10th anniversary

“Opportunity waits behind the door numbered 213 on Binghamton’s State Street.” — Sharon Eurich, staff writer, Press & SunBulletin (Neighbors column: Jan. 1, 2000)

Ten years ago there was no monthly First Friday to perk up the life of downtown Binghamton. Gorgeous Washington Street was more of an idea than a reality, a street on which stood the city’s lone art gallery. State Street, between Lewis and Henry, was a forbidding block of empty warehouses and derelict buildings, not the area it is today with new sidewalks, new street lamps, planters, benches, loft apartments and eight galleries that exhibit the work of national, international and regional artists. This month the first of those eight galleries is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an exhibit featuring the work of past and present members. “The 10th Anniversary: Celebrating Our Individuality” opened Jan. 1 on First Friday and continues every weekend through January at the Cooperative Gallery 213, 213 State St. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is First Night fading? There’s still good entertainment here

First Night Binghamton was missing some things this year. Several of our favorite entertainment groups were absent, such as Bronzissimo! select handbell choir, Svitanya (an Eastern European women’s ensemble from Philadelphia) and  — horrors! — Cobblestone Crossing wasn’t at the firehouse to give us our hootenanny fix. The number of classical music choices was less than half of last year. Then there was the parade, so desperately short of merry-makers (this, too, a sign of the economy?) that fewer than 50 of the 300 puppets in Southern Tier Celebrates!’ collection made the trip down Court Street. And is it a parade without a fire engine?

The turnout? We remember when you came early, so you didn’t have to stand six deep in the crowd to watch. No problem this year – no crowd, unless they were all at the starting point. The early snow had been cleared, and, though snow later in the evening made things slippery, the early evening was mercifully mild (compared with two years ago or the first First Night in 1996!). 

Nevertheless, for those who came, there were a number of good artists and activities to enjoy, including plenty for the kids.  Read the rest of this entry »

Are you starting 2010 in an art-full way?

Did you brave the snow for First Night? How about for the first First Friday of 2010? And what’s coming up for you? How are you warding off the January doldrums — in an art-filled way, of course?