de Blasiis Music Hosts Pianist Rob Auler in Recital: American Icons

RobertAuler3:00 pm • Sunday, April 23rd 2017
The Hyde Collection • Glens Falls, NY


Yesterday a post appeared on the NPR classical music blog, deceptive cadence, with the headline:

Bill Murray Goes Classical. Hey, Why Not?

The post announces that the comedian and actor has teamed up with a few classical chamber musicians has recorded an album of music and poetry entitled “New Worlds.” They’ll be touring the program in Europe and North America this summer and fall.

Last night I attended the Black Violin concert at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. An engaging and fascinating performance. The string duo of “Kev Marcus” and “Wil B.” are music producers and performers raised on hip-hop. They met as stand partners at a performing arts high school in Florida as viola players, went to different colleges, then later reconvened as Black Violin. Their promo materials tout them as a duo that plays a variety of music–relying heavily upon classical music–but is ultimately a genre bending blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music. And indeed, after they ask the audience if it is OK for them to play “classical” music, they overlay sounds of Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, and other “classical” sourced licks (ranging from Copland to Glass) improvised over hip hop beats produced by ace turntable whiz DJ SPS and a drummer. The duo, who has toured with Wu-Tang Clan, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, and Lupe Fiasco, Tom Petty (among others) brought us—without completely dating myself—a creative step up from the “Hooked On Classics” series of the 1980’s with a contemporary twist. Regardless, it was very engaging and the audience of all ages loved it. The duo also has a great message behind their music … that we all can and should embrace thinking out of the box, break our stereotypical thinking, and enjoy the music that touches each of us in our own individual way.

So, with Bill Murray’s “Why Not?” attitude and Black Violin encouraging us to break the genre “glass,” I’ll point you to what is billed as another genre-blending concert by the award-wining American concert pianist Rob Auler being presented by the de Blasiis Music Series this Sunday afternoon. The tag line is “Rhapsody in Blue, James Brown, Billy Joel…and everything in between.”

The program Auler is performing at The Hyde Collection features classical music that is written for the traditional concert hall, but draws elements from a diverse palette such as rock, jazz, ragtime, as well as rock and roll tinged 21st century classical music. The program, entitled “American Icons: A ‘Classical’ Piano Recital” is to include:

Sounds like an interesting venture for a Sunday afternoon. Why not? Tickets are available at the door. Happy musicking this weekend!

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