Art encompasses sound as well as sight, in the offerings of Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, and that will be made apparent next weekend when composer/pianist Donal Fox with guest cellist Maya Beiser brings his “Piazzolla to Bach” project for solo piano and cello to the museum. Performances will be Friday and Saturday, February 8 and 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater at the ICA, 100 Northern Avenue.
Fox, a Guggenheim Fellow and Steinway Artist, gave the very first public music performance at the ICA in February of 2007. He is an improviser as well as pianist and composer. His original compositions are seamlessly wedded to the undeniable pulse of Afro-Cuban jazz, and he melds jazz, Latin and classical resources in his inventive blend of music. Johann Sebastian Bach has a profound influence on Astor Piazzolla, the contemporary Argentinian composer known for his tango music but who has also written classical pieces — we heard the brilliant Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John perform a Piazzolla concerto at the Cartagena International Music Festival in 2012 and became instant fans of both Piazzolla and St. John.
Through an eclectic repertoire and a quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries, Maya Beiser has attracted world renown. She lists Piazzolla’s music among her influences. She has commissioned and performed many works written for her by leading composers including Tan Dun, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov and Steve Reich, among others. Highlights of Beiser’s recent U.S. tours include performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Royce Hall in Los Angeles, and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.
Piazzolla to Bach premiered at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival in 2010. General admission tickets for each show are $35, $30 for members and students, and can be purchased at www.icaboston.org or by calling 617-478-3103.
The ICA also brings film and video to its members and visitors, presenting an adventurous selection of the best of regional, national and international cinema, experimental and independent film, video and digital media. Beginning February 17 and continuig for a month, the ICA will bring back by popular demand its Academy Award-nominated short films, in three separate programs: Animted Shorts, Live Action Shorts and Documentary Shorts. Each program will include the nominated short films from their respective category, offering film buffs a rare opportunity to see all of the nominees.
Animated Short nominees include “Adam and Dog” directed by Minkyu Lee; Live Action Short nominees include “Asad,” directed by Brian Buckey and Mino Jarjoura; and Documentary Short nominees include “Inocente,” directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for members and students.
On February 22 the ICA continues its adventurous New Music Now series with the return of Sound Icon, a chamber orchestra led by conductor Jeffrey Means. General admission tickets are $20, $10 for members and students.