Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ensemble Basiani from Tbilisi, Georgia

Photo © George Demetrashvili
David Eden Productions will present this October a major American tour, bringing the incomparable Ensemble Basiani to eight leading performing arts presenters across the US. This tour is a rare opportunity for American audience to experience the centuries-old tradition of polyphonic singing that remains a defining aspect of secular and spiritual life in Georgia and an important part of the world's musical heritage, as reflected in the 2001 designation by UNESCO of Georgian polyphonic singing as one of ninety Masterpieces of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Basiani's 2010 appearance at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, led James Oestreich of The New York Times to claim that the Georgians stole the show "against strong competition," with the ensemble "singing in close harmony, presented sacred and folk music displaying polyphonic devices ranging from simple drones to intricately interwoven melodies, which often crossed or combined to produce harmonies pungent to the Western ear." Oestreich's colleague, Vivien Schweitzer, noted in her review that as the "wild and unfamiliar yodeling unfolded over startling harmonies and complex rhythmic patterns," she might have mistaken the work for that of "some new experimental composer."

Ensemble Basiani's tour commences in Ann Arbor, Michigan under the auspices of University Musical Society (UMS), with a public performance scheduled for October 4, before the tour continues to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Champaign, Illinois, the Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota, Florida, University of Florida Performing Arts in Gainesville, Florida, the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover, New Hampshire, Cal Performances in Berkeley, California, UCSB Arts & Lectures in Santa Barbara, California, and finally to New York City where the ensemble will appear as a part of the Lincoln Center White Light Festival on October 27. Full details of scheduled performances are included below; the ensemble will also be participating in various masterclasses, workshops, and classroom visits while on the campuses of these universities and colleges.

Visit Basiani's page on Facebook to see video clips and photographs.

Major support for Ensemble Basiani's US tour provided by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Ensemble Basiani
October 2012 US Tour

Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 7:30pm
St. Francis of Assisi Church
University Musical Society (UMS)
Ann Arbor, MI

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 at 7:30pm
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Foellinger Great Hall
Champaign, IL

Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 5:00pm
Friday, October 12, 2012 at 8:00pm
Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 2:00pm
Historic Asolo Theater
Ringling International Arts Festival
Sarasota, FL

Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 2:00pm
University Auditorium
University of Florida Performing Arts
Gainesville, FL

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 7:00pm
Hopkins Center for the Arts, Spaulding Auditorium
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH

Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 8:00pm
First Congregational Church
Cal Performances, University of California
Berkeley, CA

Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 4:00pm and 7:00pm
First United Methodist Church
UCSB Arts & Lectures
Santa Barbara, CA

Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 7:30pm
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Lincoln Center, White Light Festival
New York, NY

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