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Published September 2nd, 2020
Bach Shorts, a multidimensional artistic experience
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Pamela Freund-Striplen is constantly reinventing what she offers to Lamorinda music enthusiasts, despite the difficult time for artists. The founder of the Gold Coast Chamber Players offers something new and fresh this fall with live online multi-dimensional cultural experiences around J.S. Bach. For one evening in September, October and November she gives the GCCP "stage" to three exceptional local cello players with the mandate to create a performance that includes music and reflection around different aspects of the great baroque composer. The first performance on Sept. 13 is called Bach and the Dancing Brain.
Freund-Striplen explains that the reasons she chose Bach are both for the richness of his great cello work, and because she is, like many, deeply touched by the transcendental humanity of his work. She wondered what experience could be broadcast online, support local musicians, while creating something unique and engaging.
Freund-Striplen had long conversations with three local leading cello players and they decided to create events that intersect music and other specific domains. Partnerships were formed with professors and organizations. Bach and the Dancing Brain, the September event, will be led by cellist Christopher Costanza partnering with Jonathan Berger, Stanford University professor, author and composer. Berger's research at Stanford has focused on the effect of music on the brain. How does the brain respond to music, how does music affect the cognitive process, are some questions Costanza and Berger will discuss after the cellist plays J.S Bach Suites #2 and #6 for solo cello.
This session, as well as the two following ones, will be broadcast live from Reve Bistro in Lafayette. Reve is providing the ambiance on that Sunday afternoon while the place is not open to the public. Paul Magu, Reve's chef, is a huge fan of chamber music and opera. He and his wife Laura got to know Freund-Striplen, and have already hosted virtual concerts in the restaurant, as the acoustics work well for live streaming. If music lovers want to add a gustative dimension to the experience, they can pick up a to-go dinner that Sunday at the restaurant and eat it at home. More information for that culinary portion can be found on Reve's website: https://revebistro.com/
The Sunday in September will be the first of three happenings offered by GCCP. On Oct. 11, cello player Jennifer Kloetzel is partnering with composer Elena Ruehr, presenting Bach Inspired. Ruehr is an award-winning faculty member at MIT, she has also been a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute and composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. After playing J.S. Bach Cello Suite #1 for solo cello, Kloetzel will play Elena Ruehr's Cricket the Fiddler, a piece inspired by Suite #1. This presentation will be a World Premiere.
Then on Nov. 8, cellist Robert Howard will explore the universal appeal of Bach, in collaboration with cellists from Kenya and Colombia, with Bach Connections. Freund-Striplen explains that the cellist has very gifted students in these countries, young people who go to incredible lengths to be able to play. That evening Howard will tell with them, through music, their life stories and what music brings to them. Howard and his students will play J.S. Bach Cello Suite #4, and select movements from Suites #1,2, and 3.
Freund-Striplen chose the hour of 4 p.m. to reach people in different locations. Tickets are $20 for one performance and $50 for all three. More information at https://www.gccpmusic.com/

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