Celebrity Series of Boston has announced the spring edition of its “Celebrity Series at Home” virtual concert season, which includes 24 paid and free digital concerts starting in mid-January. These concerts, exclusive to Celebrity Series, will feature artists working across the classical, jazz, and global music spheres, performing in recital halls, theaters, and living rooms around the world.
Last spring’s highly anticipated Stave Sessions contemporary music festival was one of the first events to be scrapped as the pandemic sent the Northeast into lockdown. But Celebrity Series will offer concerts from four of the Stave Sessions artists from 2020, plus three more who were booked for this spring’s series. Over the course of three days (April 21-23) the broad-minded festival will feature the dynamic Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato, forward-looking flutist Nathalie Joachim with the Spektral Quartet, Ethiopian-American songwriter Meklit, South Indian pop singer and Berklee College of Music graduate Sid Sriram, clarinetist-composer Kinan Azmeh, and the Sybarite5 quintet in collaboration with Iranian santour player Ehsan Matoori. More details including exact premiere dates and times will be announced in March. An encore of all 2021 Stave Sessions performances will be streamed on April 24.
Celebrity Series will also offer a seven-concert lineup of artists originally engaged for live performances in the 2020-21 season; tickets are available as a package deal or a la carte, with post-performance live chats with the artists after several events. The lineup includes pianist András Schiff performing a program of Bach, Beethoven, and Schumann from Zurich (Feb. 19); the Emerson String Quartet (Feb. 26) and the Tetzlaff Quartet (April 30); mandolinist Chris Thile and Newton-born vocalist Aoife O’Donovan (March 12); expansive Danish folk trio Dreamer’s Circus (April 9); jazz quartet Christian McBride’s New Jawn (March 26); and a live streaming recital by Conrad Tao from GBH’s Fraser Performance Studio, including improvisations alongside music by Jason Eckhardt and Schumann (April 16). All of these concerts will be available for one week after the initial premiere.
By far the most populous of the Celebrity Series virtual offerings is that of the Neighborhood Arts Concerts, which will include 10 live and prerecorded streaming performances free of charge, with a particular focus on music and musicians from the Boston area. This series kicks off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18) with “Freedom & Resilience” Stringfest, a collaboration between the Castle of Our Skins arts collective and youth ensembles from City Strings United, Boston Citywide String Orchestra, and Boston String Academy. Each youth ensemble will perform works by composers of color, with the world premiere performance of Jessica Mays’s “Anthem for Go” as the grand finale.
Subsequent Neighborhood Arts concerts include many livestreams from Roslindale’s Futura Productions, a stately Masonic lodge turned recording facility. These include Latin jazz combo the Fabiola Méndez Trio (Jan. 21); another performance by Castle of Our Skins (Feb. 4); the unusual marimba/clarinet/cello/voice alchemy of Quartet Kalos (Feb. 25); Hub New Music performing five world premieres by Boston-area composers (March 11); the harp-vibraphone duo of Charles Overton and Julian Loida (March 25); and international vocal quartet Women of the World (April 15). In addition, violinist Alyssa Wang will stream a solo performance live from her living room (Feb. 11); global musician Guy Mendilow will host an evening of live recordings and new videos made with his namesake ensemble (April 8); and East Boston musician Verónica Robles will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with her all-female mariachi band in a performance recorded at Boston Center for the Arts (May 5).
Tickets are on sale now at celebrityseries.org, with RSVPs and reminders available for the free performances.
CELEBRITY SERIES AT HOME
Begins Jan. 18. Tickets at celebrityseries.org/athome
Zoë Madonna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @knitandlisten. Madonna’s work is supported by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.