This week, NYSCA grantees announce new leadership and community programs, and a sweet ballet gets a new pop-surrealist look.
A New York Philharmonic Coup: Deborah Borda Is Named the New Leader
“[D]uring the past two months, [The New York Philharmonic] reached a crisis point: An exodus of top executives threatened the Philharmonic’s ability to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the long-delayed renovation of its drab Lincoln Center home, and left a vacuum just as the orchestra needs to plan the introduction of its next music director, Jaap van Zweden, in 2018.So it was nothing short of a coup for the troubled Philharmonic to announce on Wednesday that it had poached one of the most successful arts administrators in the nation to become its next president and chief executive officer: Deborah Borda, who helped make the Los Angeles Philharmonic the envy of the orchestra world during her 17 years at its helm…Ms. Borda’s achievements in Los Angeles read like a to-do list for New York. She ushered the orchestra into its new home, the popular Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. She bolstered the orchestra’s shaky finances and proved herself a prodigious fund-raiser, more than quintupling the endowment to $276 million this year. She signed Gustavo Dudamel as its music director when he was still in his 20s, and helped make him an international star. And she deepened the orchestra’s ties to its city while helping it earn a reputation for artistic risk-taking.” NYSCA supports the New York Philharmonic through our Music and Arts Education Programs.
SPAC to strengthen community connections
“The Saratoga Performing Arts Center this summer will focus on strengthening connections between the venue and its community with a series of programs and initiatives that include lower ticket prices, free events with local arts partners and educational outreach…Among the ticket promotions are a discounted package combining admission to performances during the residencies of the New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; expansion of Kids in Free lawn admission for classical programs from age 12 to 15; a $30 amphitheater ticket in select sections for classical performances; and $20 child and student amphitheater tickets for Freihofer’s Jazz Festival. In other jazz festival news, SPAC’s aging gazebo stage…will be replaced with a larger, technologically up-to-date gazebo. The new gazebo will also be the site for a summer performance series developed as part of a recently announced programming collaboration with Caffe Lena in Saratoga.” NYSCA supports SPAC through our Presenting Program.
Book-lyn Museum: Art book shows of borough’s treasures
“It’s the Brooklyn Museum in your pocket! The tiny new book “Treasures of the Brooklyn Museum” showcases more than 250 full-page photos of items in the Museum’s permanent collection. But the [former curator] who chose those items and wrote the introduction says that the 4.5-inch square volume is still no substitute for the real thing. ‘It’s the teaser to make you go to the Museum,’ said Kevin Stayton… ‘Experiencing a piece of art live, in the flesh, is a completely different experience than seeing it in a book.’..But the book has one advantage over actually visiting the Museum, said Stayton — it features works of art that are rarely on display, such as the watercolor “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed By the Sun” by William Blake, which is too delicate to show for long.” NYSCA supports the Brooklyn Museum through our Museum and Arts Education Programs.
Roadtripping Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest archi-hits
“This year marks the 150th birthday of Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most famous architect. While New Yorkers are most familiar with his last major project, New York’s Guggenheim Museum, he’s renowned for his houses which blew up prevailing Victorian forms. Luckily, fans of architecture — and road trips — can take in a variety of Wright’s residential work in a long weekend.” In Buffalo, reporter James Nevius recommends visiting the Darwin D. Martin House and Graycliff. NYSCA supports the Martin House Restoration Corp and Graycliff through our Architecture + Design Program and the Guggenheim through our Museum and Electronic Media & Film Programs.
A Revived 1920s Ballet Will Be a Surreal Confection of Candy and Kitsch
“A Gibson girl with a perfectly coiffed Vidal Sassoon bob wearing a ballgown made of slabs of meat and sausage links…and Katy Perry posing like Titian’s Venus in a “Garden of Earthly Delights” settings..are just a few examples of the works of pop-surrealist painter Mark Ryden, who, in his 30-year career, brought the lowbrow art movement out of the underground circuit of Southern California and into the mainstream…So when American Ballet Theatre’s choreographer and artist-in-residence Alexei Ratmansky and artistic director Kevin McKenzie decided to revive Richard Strauss’s surrealist and saccharine ballet Whipped Cream…Ryden was the ideal candidate to create the set and costumes. The libretto features a boy who just received his confirmation venturing into a pastry shop and overdosing on sugar. His excesses cause him to hallucinate, and his delirium takes the shape of a massive whirl of whipped cream emerging from an outsized bowl. He then finds himself at the hospital under the ministration of doctors and begs to be saved by Princess Praline, Princess Tea Flower, and Prince Coffee…Ryden joins a rich tradition of surrealists dabbling in theater work: Salvador Dalí worked on a production of Le Tristan Fou, Dorothy Tanning did the costumes for Balanchine’s The Night Shadow, and Ernst and Miró worked on Diaghilev’s Romeo et Juliette.” The production runs at the Metropolitan Opera house May 22 to July 1. NYSCA supports ABT through our Dance and Arts Education Programs.