When people describe Queens as “diverse,” they usually cite the residents and restaurants. But the borough has varied music as well, as it is a veritable treasure trove of composers, ensembles, and singers.
You can enjoy everything from classical to cutting edge during the fourth annual Queens New Music Festival this week.
Carol Burnett comes to Queens this weekend. Lucky her! She’ll find great opera, Cameroonian music, Brazilian film, Indian modernist art, Mexican dance, Canadian puppetry, a brand new musical, and even kite-flying. Here’s the rundown.
May 7, Operatic Classics, 7 pm. The Queens Symphony Orchestra presents classic selections with Metropolitan Opera tenor Chad Shelton and baritone David Adam Moore. Free. Electrical Industry Center Auditorium, 158-11 Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Avenue, Fresh Meadows.
May 8, Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett, 8 pm. This 90-minute interactive experience’s format harkens back to the openings of The Carol Burnett Show, when her studio audience had an unfiltered opportunity to engage the comedian with questions and receive spontaneous answers. $39-$85. Colden Auditorium, Queens College, 65-23 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing.
Cesar Millan (aka the Dog Whisperer) comes to Queens this week. He’ll find a lot of fun things to do as the next few days feature Doo Wop and classical music concerts, Earth Day celebrations, comedy, and even a balsa wood workshop. Here’s the rundown:
Wonderful sounds of Asia, Europe, and Latin America will fill the Queens air this weekend during three different concerts. The fun starts on Saturday afternoon, when the EastRiver Ensemble presents a workshop on Chinese music at 1 pm, followed by a concert at 2:15 pm. This group presents traditional folk music, dance, and acrobatics with a focus on the Dongbei and Hebei regions of north China. Instruments include the yangqin (dulcimer), the pipa (lute), flutes, fiddles, and percussion. More photos and information are on the jump page.
It’s time for some warm thoughts. This Sunday, the New York Hall of Science will host the Mamas Summer Countdown, a two-generation, information-and-fun extravaganza with opportunities for parents to start planning for June, July and August with local day and sleepaway camps, summer classes, vacation possibilities and more. Exhibitors include GoGo Squeez, New York Cosmos, Queens Zoo, Oasis Camps, Samuel Field Y, The American Camp Association, The Kiddie Academy of Whitestone/Flushing, and Usdan Center. On the other hand, children will be able to make puppets, get their faces painted, do crafts and enjoy other activities. More than 1,500 people attended last year’s event, and organizers are expecting even more this Sunday.
Details: The Mamas Summer Countdown, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, February 22nd, 10 am to 2 pm, free with museum admission — $15/$12 for children (2-17), students, and seniors (62+)/free for children under age 2.
Bonus details: Mozart and Beethoven, The Con Brio Ensemble presents Magic Flute, Archduke Trio, and other master works, The Church-in-the-Gardens, 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills Gardens, February 22nd, 4:30 pm, $12.
Photo by the New York Hall of Science
Go ahead, deck the halls. But for real holiday inspiration, head over to any one of four fantastic concerts scheduled for this upcoming, jam-packed weekend. The fun begins on Friday with a special show at Queens Museum featuring the Corona Youth Orchestra, the Corona Children’s Orchestra, and the No Frontiers Children’s Orchestra playing Beethoven and other classics. There’s a double dose on Saturday, as the Forest Hills Choir performs a collection of choral pieces, such as “Magnificat” and “O Magnum Mysterium,” which honor the Virgin Mary. At night, the Queens College Choral Society, whose membership includes high school students and adults who have been with the group for more than 40 years, does Handel’s Messiah and other favorites with a full orchestra. Finish the fix — and get another dose of Handel’s Messiah — on Sunday when Our Lady of Martyrs Church’s Sacred Music Society joins forces with the Oratorio Society of Queens to offer an annual concert that always involves tremendous audience participation.
Four sets of details after the jump.
The Queens hills are alive with the sound of music…high quality and diverse music. This weekend there’s something for just about every ear as bands are ready to play jazz, symphony, folk, classical, Irish, and bee bop. There’s even an autism-friendly trombone concert. Details on seven performances are after the jump.
For the best classically trained talent, try the Queens New Music Festival. Organized by the composers’ group Random Access Music, this third annual extravaganza promotes the borough’s composers, musicians, choreographers, artists and ensembles, while also highlighting some out-of-borough talent. This year, attendees who flock to The Secret Theatre in Long Island City from May 16th to May 18th can check out eight distinct — and distinctive — programs, with everything from cello to dance. One of the scheduled performers, TAK (above), is a chamber group comprised of soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, percussion, and electronics. Another crew that’s ready to go is Face the Music (below), the only teen ensemble in the U.S. dedicated to the creation and performance of music by living composers. There is also an “appetizer concert” this year at The Church-in-the-Gardens in Forest Hills on May 10th. Check below for details.
It’s a completely new take on classical music. Through creative programming and a deep commitment to dialogue and audience inclusion, PUBLIQuartet bridges the performer-listener gap while presenting standard and rare classical music, as well as contemporary compositions and improvisations. On Saturday, this string quartet will perform works by Franz Joseph Haydn, the electroacoustic Howie Kenty and violin-heavy composer Jessie Montgomery in Forest Hills, thanks to Musica Reginae Productions. Kenty and Montgomery are expected to attend the concert and stick around for the reception afterward.
He’s the mesmerizing master of the marimba. Makoto Nakura‘s artistry, virtuosity and showmanship enlighten and entertain audiences at the same time. On Saturday, the Japanese percussionist will offer a concert in his adopted hometown, Forest Hills, thanks to Musica Reginae. The program includes Nakura’s own transcriptions of Bach’s Solo Partita in E major and Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso; the pyrotechnic display of Paganini’s Caprice no. 24 and Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka, and more recent works by Japanese composers Toshi Ichiyanagi and Toshio Mashima. Plus, he will be accompanied by violinist Jesse Mills and pianist Barbara Podgurski from the Oratorio Society of Queens.
Details: Making Music with the Marimba, The Church-in-the-Gardens, 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills, December 7th, 7:30 pm. $20 adults/$15 seniors/$10 students/free children under 12.