New Binghamton Philharmonic director charts ambitious course

EDITOR’s NOTE: Last fall, BAMirror began an occasional series of chats with recently appointed leaders of local arts organizations. Today we talk with the new executive director of the Binghamton Philharmonic.

By George Basler

Heidi Kelley knows this is a tough time to be the executive director of a symphony orchestra. She worked for a symphony orchestra in southwest Florida that ran into financial difficulties. She’s read about other orchestras, such as Honolulu and Syracuse, that have gone belly up because of money.  “In this industry, finances are a constant concern,” said Kelley, who became the Binghamton Philharmonic’s new executive director March 1 after working as executive director of the Abilene (Texas) Philharmonic. She succeeds Stephen Wilson, who is now executive director of the Fresno (California) Philharmonic. Read the rest of this entry »

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United Cultural Fund grants total $228,000 for 2013

By Barb Van Atta

Broome County Arts Council Board Chairman Fred Xlander and Executive Director Sharon Ball today (March 13) announced the awarding of more than $228,000 in United Cultural Fund (UCF) grants for 2013. Seven arts and cultural organizations will share in $210,428 in UCF general operating support grants. Project grants totaling another $18,298 will be shared by 14 organizations and individual artists. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Trovatore’ returns triumphantly to TCO repertoire

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

You can see why there’s been so much fun made of Il Trovatore – even the Marx Brothers took a crack at it. Its crazy plot, set in the mountains of Spain, includes a gypsy’s curse, a child tossed into a fire, switched identities, several vows of vengeance, duels, madness, mayhem, poisonings, burnings at the stake, brothers who hate each other (who don’t know they’re brothers —  and that’s just on the personal level. On the larger scale, you’ve got battles and armies and bravado and nationalism and lots of bloodshed.
But if you succeed at suspending your disbelief, and discount the ridiculous plot twists, the  1853 Giuseppe Verdi opera affords you the most memorable few hours you’ll ever spend in a theater (in my case, The Forum in downtown Binghamton). Read the rest of this entry »

Clarinet soloist teams with BPO for concert filled with serenity and joy

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

A funny thing happened at the Binghamton Philharmonic concert yesterday afternoon (Jan. 20). The clarinet soloist, Pascual Martinez Forteza, came out from behind the curtain at Binghamton University and almost turned left toward the woodwind section. He quickly turned right and took his rightful place in front of the orchestra, where he proved that the rarely-featured clarinet is indeed a very fine solo instrument. Read the rest of this entry »

Philharmonic names new executive director

Heidi Kelley has been named executive director of the Binghamton Philharmonic, succeeding Stephen Wilson. Kelley, appointed following what was described as “an extensive national search,” will join the Philharmonic on March 1. Currently she is executive director of the Abilene (Texas) Philharmonic. Read the rest of this entry »

Binghamton Philharmonic presents masterful performance

Reviewed by Tony Villecco
The Binghamton Philharmonic, under the direction of Maestro Jose-Luis Novo, executed a powerful and emotionally charged presentation of Giuseppe Verdi’s monumental Requiem Sunday afternoon (Nov. 11) at Binghamton University’s Anderson Center. Read the rest of this entry »

BAMirror team moves into the spotlight

BAMirror contributors will be walking the walk as well as talking the talk over the next couple of weekends. Three of our regular reviewers (Lee Shepherd, Julian Shepherd and Tony Villecco) and Broome County Arts Council Executive Director Sharon Ball are all donning their performance hats.

Villecco, a tenor, will be featured in Nov. 17 in “Basically Baroque,” billed as “an evening of rare and not so rare vocal and musical selections from the 17th and 18thcenturies. Also performing will be Jeffrey Wahl, recorder; Madeleine Iannone, harpsichord, and Emily Creo, bass continuo.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Church 183 Riverside Drive, Binghamton.

Cost at the door: $10 (senior citizens and students, $8). Information: (607) 727-3894. Read the rest of this entry »