Well, it’s one way to steam up the Bangor Auditorium on a cold November night. Pack it to the rafters with a small army of country music fans, give them three acts and three hours of solid performances and make them beg for more. All that for a… Read More
    Sunday afternoon’s sold-out Bangor Symphony Orchestra concert was full of youthful energy, as three talented soloists performed a program of pieces all composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The star of the show, naturally, was Bangor High School alumna Ashley Emerson, who appeared on the Peakes… Read More
    With some dramatic lighting and a little smoke, Carrie Underwood appeared to rise from underneath the stage Tuesday night for her show in front of a packed house of screaming fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center. It’s not surprising that the 2005 “American Idol”… Read More
    It has been 30 years since Arthur Fiedler brought the Boston Pops to Bangor. Six thousand people jammed the city’s auditorium on April 23, 1978, to watch the iconic 83-year-old conduct the symphony a year before his death. There was magic in the air, including a key to… Read More
    In his Bangor Daily News interview last week, Jonathan Biss said he felt that Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 was one of the most thrilling pieces for a pianist to perform with a symphony orchestra. When he played it Sunday afternoon in the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s season-opening concert… Read More
    Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 is generally accepted to be one of the most difficult pieces in the violin repertoire. Apparently, when the Russian composer premiered it in Vienna in 1879, the violin virtuoso picked to perform it backed out, saying it was unplayable. Read More
    Outside the Bangor Auditorium Thursday, die-hard country music fans braved the year’s coldest night huddled in their pickups with their stereos cranked up. A favorite track seemed to be “I Got My Game On,” Trace Adkins’ testosterone-driven tale about one man on a mission in a nightclub. Read More
    Can you tell me how to get, How to get to Sesame Street? googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes = []; var has_banner = false; for (var i = 0; i < slot_sizes.length; i++) { if (isMobileDevice()) { if… Read More
    It’s a long way from Bangkok to Bangor, but when your motto is “Bringing the world together,” a warm spirit and an open heart can bridge the distance. That seemed to be the message left behind by the 67-member cast of Up With People, who wrapped up a… Read More
    While waiting in line at the restroom during intermission at the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s “Spirit of Bangor” holiday extravaganza last Saturday afternoon, I had a very diverse group of people surrounding me. I was behind a 12-year-old girl from the Bangor Area Children’s Choir, in front of a… Read More
    All right, so she didn’t dance, but who was complaining? Country singer Sara Evans bumped and bounced across the Bangor Auditorium stage Friday night, and managed to squeeze 17 songs into her 70-minute set. Evans even changed into an elegant black outfit for a two-song… Read More
    The bassoon. Such a strange instrument – it looks like a piece of plumbing equipment, and it’s got more keys than a janitor. And yet, in the hands of soloists Wren Saunders and Stevi Caulfield at the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Sunday afternoon, it sounded playful, lively… Read More
    The Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s opening concert for its 112th season on Sunday at the Bangor Auditorium was, in many ways, the musical equivalent of comfort food. A warm, convivial atmosphere pervaded the afternoon, as the BSO made its way through a program of popular favorites, Ravel’s “Bolero” and… Read More
    Despite being on a “never-ending tour,” Bob Dylan does not cease to be reliably unpredictable live. Dylan, along with openers Elvis Costello and Amos Lee, performed at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland last Thursday to an almost sell-out crowd, full of baby boomers, as well as… Read More
    Members of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra have grown used to standing ovations. They get two or three of those a season from their loyal subscribers. The demand for an encore, however, is pretty rare in classical music circles. The symphony’s collaboration with the Kruger Brothers,… Read More
    As closers go, the final classical concert of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra season was a winner. Those who gave up the sunny Sunday afternoon Red Sox game for the BSO concert at the Maine Center for the Arts got all homers. And ultimately, the concert was just like… Read More
    The opening of Mozart’s “Requiem” was so powerful Sunday at the Maine Center for the Arts that you’d have to be, well, dead not to be drawn in. The combined efforts of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, University of Maine Singers and University of Maine Oratorio Society launched a… Read More
    ORONO – Violinist Chen Xi missed his dress rehearsal Saturday night with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. He was stuck in Philadelphia in the weekend snowstorm that grounded most flights in the Northeast. Concertgoers couldn’t tell Sunday afternoon that the 22-year-old Chinese-born violinist had skipped a… Read More
    Sunday’s Bangor Symphony Concert at the Maine Center for the Arts started with the music of revolt and ended with a jolt of nationalistic pride – both marked by the chilling, terrifying peaks of Scandinavian landscapes. If ever music represented dramatic marches to the edge of thematic cliffs… Read More
    Any way you listen to Ernest Chausson’s “Poeme” for Violin and Orchestra, it’s heartbreaking. Musically, the piece is beautifully, crushingly melancholy. But also, the French composer wrote it a few years before he tragically died in a bicycle accident in 1899 at age 44, leaving the world to… Read More
    The sounds of New Orleans jazz boogied into town Sunday in the form of Robert and Terry Rohe. Bob Rohe, who is 90, retired last year as principal bassist for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, but before that 25-year tenure, he played with the New Orleans Symphony for 30… Read More
    PORTLAND – Nickelback gave all the fans packed into the Cumberland County Civic Center their two cents’ worth and then some on Tuesday night It felt like a sauna inside as Hinder, Three Days Grace and Hoobastank warmed up the nearly sold-out crowd. googletag.cmd.push(function ()… Read More
    Any outdoor festival is subject to the whims of the weather, and this year’s Music and Arts Festival at Flye Point was no exception. “Last year we had a perfect sunny day,” said festival organizer Jeff Salzmann, glancing up at the gray and rainy googletag.cmd.push(function… Read More
    BANGOR – Tuesday night’s performance by Willie Nelson at the Bangor Auditorium certainly had all the ambience and atmosphere of a concert, but at times it seemed to play second fiddle to everything else going on. It was almost as if the 4,000-plus fans went… Read More
    ORONO – Purists, beware. The ensemble named Ethel doesn’t fit neatly into any categories. In a performance at the Maine Center for the Arts on Sunday afternoon, the New York-based quartet played new additions to the classical repertoire with the exuberant sensibility of a rock band. Read More
    ORONO – Hearing a great string quartet is like watching the motion of a school of fish swim, or a flock of birds as they fly. Everything happens naturally, with no apparent effort, and yet everything happens perfectly. The Vogler Quartet of Berlin is exactly… Read More
    PORTLAND – High screeching, shrill screaming, glow necklaces, flip-flops and bubblegum. No, this sure wasn’t your father’s rock concert. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes = []; var has_banner = false; for (var i = 0; i < slot_sizes.length;… Read More
    When I think of Arnold Schoenberg, I think of medicine. Like medicine, his music is sometimes difficult to take, but it’s supposed to be good for you. It’s better when taken in small doses. Understanding how it works can positively affect the outcome. And a spoonful of sugar… Read More
    They can’t fly. They’re not Russian. And they aren’t related, either. But the Flying Karamazov Brothers sure can juggle. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes = []; var has_banner = false; for (var i = 0; i < slot_sizes.length;… Read More
    ORONO – With no snow on the ground Sunday afternoon, it was easy to think of spring, especially during the life-giving concert staged by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Korean-born Michelle Kim, who has taken her talents as a pianist around the world, fairly pounced on… Read More
    ORONO – Kristin Lee, a superb 19-year-old violinist with a notably sophisticated technique for her years, made her local debut Sunday at a Maine Center for the Arts concert in Minsky Recital Hall. It’s a debut worth noting because it’s entirely likely that Lee, who is still only… Read More
    All you need is Love. Well, Bruce Johnston, too. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes = []; var has_banner = false; for (var i = 0; i < slot_sizes.length; i++) { if (isMobileDevice()) { if (slot_sizes[i][0] googletag.cmd.push(function () {… Read More
    If you consider the way Chris Botti dressed at his concert Sunday at the Maine Center for the Arts, you can arrive at some idea about his audience and his aesthetic. He wears jeans (youth crowd), spikes his hair (grunge crowd) and sports a blue velvet jacket (Doc… Read More
    ORONO – Every year on Thanksgiving, while driving from Maine to my grandparents’ house in Massachusetts, my family would listen to “Alice’s Restaurant” on the radio. We would usually be in Boston by the time the song finished – over the (Charles) river, but not yet through the… Read More
    Tuesday night’s Rockin’ Blues Revue was, in part, a demonstration of why activity is beneficial for senior citizens. The revue’s headliner, John Mayall, has enjoyed a distinguished 40-year career. The “Godfather of British Blues” could enjoy retirement at his Laurel Canyon home in California, but… Read More
    “Life is short, art is long.” The previous sentence is an example of an aphorism, one of those short pithy sayings that often get repeated. And if art is indeed long, then Sunday afternoon’s concert by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra at the Maine Center for the Arts in… Read More
    ORONO – A harp and a flute on the same concert program could easily become open-the-gates-of-heaven sweet. But leave it to Eugenia Zukerman, the internationally acclaimed flutist and multifaceted artist, and Yolanda Kondonassis, one of today’s leading harpists, to mightily defend their instruments at a Maine Center for… Read More
    On one of the most beautiful afternoons of the year, it might seem remarkable that hundreds of people chose to sit inside the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono to attend the opening concert of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra 2005-2006 season. But then the Bangor community has… Read More
    Minsky Hall looks wonderful. Unfortunately, the University of Maine concert hall does not always sound wonderful. The same clean painted ceilings and pale wooden paneling that make the space so visually appealing can make sounds bounce around in unexpected and sometimes unpleasant ways. The sounds… Read More
    Music is like food. There is the piquant appetizer of the etude, and the wholesomely uplifting meat and potatoes of the pastorale. And although not fattening, there is even the musical equivalent of the mega-calorie, divinely decadent, death by chocolate extravaganza with extra whipped cream. It may not… Read More
    I am not a fair critic. In fact, I employ a double standard. I am unabashedly and consistently much harder on guest artists and professional ensembles than I am on local groups. In general, I tend to give our local community musicians credit for being… Read More
    In New York City, workers are removing the last of Christo’s 7,000 orange fabric gates. In the Louvre, despite conservation measures, paint grows brittle, gravity does its work, and da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” ages. In Egypt, a few more grains of sand fall from the surface of the… Read More
    Seems like there was a time not too long ago when some critics (of both the professional and armchair variety) felt that, given its track record, Sweden should no longer be allowed to export its pop music. This was during the Clinton presidency and the idea was based… Read More
    ORONO – I woke up with a nasty headache on Sunday morning. And, as Ian Anderson so wryly put it, it wasn’t from the cheap chardonnay. On Saturday night at the Maine Center for the Arts, Anderson and the rest of Jethro Tull proved that… Read More
    PORTLAND – Better than three hours into Saturday night’s memorable concert at Cumberland County Civic Center, nobody really did know what time it was, and nobody really cared. Chicago was jamming with fellow ’70s and ’80s supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire and time was not… Read More
    I realize classical music is not usually considered to be a barrel of laughs. Sure, Victor Borge was pretty funny, but generally, if you want to yuck it up, try Peter Sellers or The Three Stooges. However, Sunday afternoon’s concert by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra was a heck… Read More
    You could do worse than to take a stroll through history with the Emerson String Quartet. On Saturday at the University of Maine in Orono, the world-class chamber music ensemble led a packed Minsky Hall on a musical odyssey from classical to romantic to modern. As with all… Read More
    ORONO – The men that make up Three Mo’ Tenors sang it all on Saturday night at the Maine Center for the Arts’ opening gala. Ramone Diggs, Kenneth Gayle and Marvin Scott easily moved from Broadway to Motown to gospel to opera and back during… Read More
    The Olympic Games are the talk of the town, as well as the state and the nation. The media coverage is so pervasive that all things seem colored by events in Athens. Swimming, volleyball, and fencing participants win not only medals, but the hearts and minds of the… Read More
    BROOKLIN – Fickle Maine weather couldn’t stop the first Flye Point Music and Arts Festival from happening this past weekend. The all-day extravaganza got rained out Saturday, but was graced Sunday with blue skies, mild temperatures and a strong breeze that kept the black flies and mosquitoes at… Read More
    Great art should not just ornament our lives. Ideally, it should have an impact on our lives, act as a catalyst and create change. And while it may seem an exaggeration, I believe that Sunday’s concert by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra was life changing. Let… Read More
    It wasn’t until late in their cabaret show Saturday at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono that Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway sang segments of “Bosom Buddies” (from the musical “Mame”), “Together” (“Gypsy”) and “The Stepsister’s Lament” (“Cinderella”). One suspects the DNA-indebted duo decided the… Read More
    Less is not necessarily more. Sometimes more is simply more, as Sunday’s concert by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by more than 120 singers, proved. Appearing before a full house at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono, the combined voices of the University of Maine Oratorio… Read More
    The Friday evening audience at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bangor came to hear featured pianist Eleonor Bindman, but they got much more than that. Calling the April 2 concert a “quintessential Arcady event,” Dean Stein, Arcady Music Society executive director, said he was pleased… Read More
    ROCKPORT – How do we challenge ourselves to aspire to our own highest standard and appreciate those whose achievements extend far beyond our own? What makes sports fans return year after year to witness the Michael Jordans and Tom Bradys? Though not recognized as our sports heroes are,… Read More
    ORONO – After sliding in sleet and snow and hitting a guardrail on my way to attend a Sunday afternoon performance of the Raphael Trio in Orono, this reviewer hereby announces that she would drive on black ice through an all-out blizzard just to hear this ensemble play… Read More
    BLUE HILL – The Pacifica Quartet and Canadian pianist Jane Coop warmed up the audience at the Blue Hill Congregational Church on Sunday with a romantic program of Chopin preludes, a Dvorak quartet and a giant of the literature, the Brahms F Minor Piano Quintet, Opus 34. This… Read More
    Yamato, the decade-old Japanese drum troupe, on Friday gave a joyful, thoughtful and sometimes comic performance at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono. The group’s boisterous beat swept over the audience like crashing surf – the kind that knocks waders’ feet out from… Read More
    Orchestra Verdi Europa, which has been critically acclaimed in Europe, is kicking off its first tour in America this month. One of its early stops was Friday at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono, where the 50-member orchestra and 50-member chorus performed an all-Mozart program: the… Read More
    Freckle-faced Ayla Allen, 9, of Brewer had a night to remember Friday during the Rascal Flatts concert at the Bangor Auditorium. As an early birthday surprise, Ayla’s grandmother, Alicia Allen, of Brewer gave her a backstage pass to meet the performers at Country Music Television’s… Read More
    It would have seemed so unlikely just a month ago. But there we were last Thursday night at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., at the kickoff concert of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s Old Friends 2003 tour. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var… Read More
    If you happened to be near the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono on Sunday afternoon, you may have seen the roof of the concert hall pulsing slightly upward. That’s because inside Maestro Xiao-Lu Li, conductor of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, was leading the musicians in a… Read More
    ORONO – Fueled by the announcement that he and his old partner are teaming up for a reunion tour, Art Garfunkel wowed a sold-out crowd Saturday night at the Maine Center for the Arts. Garfunkel’s performance at the MCA’s Opening Gala appeared to be his… Read More
    From a distance, the members of Ethos Percussion Group look like a nerdy all-guy garage band with an obsessive collection of drums. Dressed in black pants and casual shirts, the four players spread across the stage Saturday at the Maine Center for the Arts and situated themselves at… Read More
    ORONO – Headliner and East Coast rapper Fat Joe was a no-show at this year’s Bumstock festival, held over the weekend at the University of Maine. “Due to circumstances beyond our control Fat Joe wasn’t able to make it,” said Matt Rodrigue, University of Maine’s… Read More
    ORONO – You’d think not much could compete with Mozart and Mussorgsky, followed by Sousa’s rousing march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” but for Taylor Rogers, Henry Mancini is tops. “The ‘Pink Panther’ was still my favorite,” the 8-year-old said Monday morning at the end… Read More
    Put a group of inner city boys together in a room. Let them use their voices. Give them a backbeat. Tell them to dance. And watch them be angels. Angels? googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes = []; var… Read More
    ORONO – Flutist Kieran Brooks Hutchinson won the 21st Bangor Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition for high school students Saturday, but the rehearsing is far from over. As winner of the Annas-Cupp Award, the Waterville High School senior will no doubt take every opportunity to keep… Read More
    There is something deliciously compelling about Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto in B-flat minor. It is, at once, bombastic and delicate, harrowing and cajoling, confusing and lucid. There is also something wickedly inviting about soloist Masanobu Ikemiya, a classically trained, internationally known pianist with an unquenchable passion… Read More
    In the south, the porch is a place where music happens – under a sultry sky, within earshot of the crickets and lit by the moon. That was the projected mood Sunday at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono when “Front Porch Blues,” a packaged tour… Read More
    PORTLAND – If you didn’t already know, John Mayer is the next big thing. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter, who gained heavy airplay earlier this year with his single “No Such Thing,” played to a packed house Friday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center, the only… Read More
    Janis Ian stole her headliner’s musical thunder. Despite Patty Larkin’s considerable prowess as a singer-songwriter, she failed to match Ian’s charismatic energy Friday night at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono. Adding to Larkin’s lusterless performance style was a sound system that distorted… Read More
    If you think of Marvin Hamlisch as a composer only, then you don’t know Hamlisch. He not only is one of America’s leading film score, pop tune and musical composers, all of which is very impressive on its own – go ahead and count the Grammy, Emmy, Oscar,… Read More
    Whether it’s his last evening in Portland remains to be seen, but judging from the reaction of the near-sellout crowd assembled at the palatial Merrill Auditorium, it was anything but worthless. Despite ticket prices ranging from $76 to $91, most of the 1,800 fans in… Read More
    ORONO – Four elements – the national anthem, a song of mourning, a nationalist statement and a meditation on faith – made up the canny program for Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s opening concert of the season Sunday. It may have struck some in the audience at… Read More
    PORTLAND – Thank the rock gods that moshing is now so passe. Call me perverse, call me a prude, but I’ve always preferred the disaffected mod shuffle, the pogo, and the rock-affirming head nod to the knucklehead flail. Nevertheless, there will always be kids who want a rock… Read More
    If you had to judge by Wynton Marsalis’ stage manner, you would never know he is considered one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time. At the gala season opener at the Maine Center for the Arts on Saturday, Marsalis came onstage demurely with the 15-piece Lincoln… Read More
    PORTLAND – A Neil Diamond show is like a trip to Vegas. It’s glittery. It’s cheesy. But if someone offered you two tickets right now, you’d probably go. Why? Because even though you hate to admit it, you know it will be fun. googletag.cmd.push(function ()… Read More