Youthful approach with Celebrity Series’ new Stave Sessions

Brooklyn Rider
Boston Globe

By David Weininger

In a significant addition to Boston’s music scene and a broadening of the offerings of the city’s chief importer of classical events, Celebrity Series of Boston has announced a weeklong new-music festival in March, focusing on performers and ensembles whose work crosses stylistic and genre boundaries.

The series, called Stave Sessions, will include six nights of performances in a cabaret-style setting at 160 Massachusetts Avenue, a Berklee College of Music building that opened last year. It allows Celebrity Series, founded in 1938, to put a greater emphasis on both presenting younger performers and attracting younger audiences.

“I’m very pleased we’re doing it — I won’t say finally, but this has been a couple of years in the thinking and making,” said Celebrity Series president Gary Dunning in an interview.

The vocal octet Roomful of Teeth (March 18), cellist Ben Sollee and the Becca Stevens Band (March 19), the string quartet Brooklyn Rider (March 20), and Max Richter, a composer who uses electronics to refashion familiar classical works (March 21), will each play two sets per evening.

“As we were putting this together, we would sometimes use artists’ names as we began to develop the idea of the festival itself,” Dunning said. “A group like Brooklyn Rider — they’re sort of the next-generation Kronos Quartet. Roomful of Teeth was the same way. I would say that most of these artists were on our whiteboard for close to a year.”

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