UT School of Visual & Performing Arts

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Boyd’

Midsummer Borrowings Festival

Midsummer Borrowings events on campus

The College of Communication and the Arts (CoCA) celebrated its annual Arts and Humanities Festival with a series of events in collaboration with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and its production of “Midsummer Night Mysteries,” March 27-28. UT students and faculty took part in the Symphony production at the Peristyle. Leading up to the performances, CoCA presented related lectures, a concert and a film screening on campus.

Friday film screening
On Friday, March 20 in the Haigh Auditorium of the Center for Visual Arts, a screening of the 1935 Max Reinhardt film A Midsummer Night’s Dream was introduced by Dr. Matt Yockey, Assistant Professor of Film in the UT Department of Theatre & Film.

Nominated for Best Picture, this film adaptation of Reinhardt’s successful Hollywood Bowl production of the Shakespeare play includes extensive use of Felix Mendelssohn’s music as re-orchestrated by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and ballet sequences choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska. The cast includes Mickey Rooney, Olivia DeHavilland and James Cagney, among many other familiar names and faces.

Sunday Great Gallery concert by Bezonian Trio
On Sunday, March 22, the Bezonian Trio featuring Antonina Chekhovskaya, soprano, performed in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. The concert featured pieces that recall two of Shakespeare’s most famous plays – Macbeth (Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D major, Op.70 #1 “Ghost”) and Hamlet (Ophelia’s Song by Dimitri Shostakovich). The Bezonian Trio is comprised of Merwin Siu (violin) and Damon Coleman (cello) of the Toledo Symphony, and Dr. Michael Boyd (piano), professor of piano at The University of Toledo.

Mendelssohn’s Music, Reinhardt’s Diaphanous Damsels, Shakespeare’s Fairies
On Wednesday March 25, Matthew Wikander, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of the UT Department of English, presented a lecture about fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“We are spirits of another sort,” the fairy king Oberon reminds Puck as Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dreamers awaken into morning. Puck has just been describing the dawn as a time when “damned spirits” return to their “wormy beds”—a kind of reverse zombie apocalypse. Oberon’s and Puck’s disagreements do not begin or end here, but this interchange raises the question of what kind of fairies the fairies in Shakespeare’s plays are, and, by extension, the further question of how to represent them. This talk focused on the problem of representing fairies musically, in Mendelssohn’s incidental score, cinematically, in Max Reinhardt’s film version of his famous stage production, and poetically, as the fairies appear in Shakespeare’s text.


Piano professor, Dr. Michael Boyd’s performance lauded

(Re-posted from ToledOvations a blog of Sally Vallongo, music writer for the Toledo Blade)

A KEYBOARD TRIUMPH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO

“Just so you know: this recital hall is tornado safe,” said Michael Boyd, University of Toledo’s resident piano guru, at the start of the second Dorothy MacKenzie Price recital Sunday in the Center for Performing Arts.

Well, there were storms of many kinds that day, but the best and most constructive happened inside the hall.

There, Teresa McCollough, a longtime friend of Boyd and busy performer, shared some of her impressive performing gifts with a large and enthusiastic crowd.

The dual-ing pianists first met at Eastman School of Music, where both earned graduate degrees.

McCollough wound up in San Francisco, where Boyd has been doing some performing in recent years.

So, it was time to bring her back eastward, for a powerfully symmetrical program that skated along the edge of music from the 20th century – McCollough’s passion.

|The first half comprised American folk song-inspired pieces by Frederic Rzewski and Tobias Picker.

Boyd joined McCollough for the double-keyboard opener, The Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. It summoned the machine-like force and rhythm of Elias Howe’s invention to open, revealing the simple melody which morphed into a bluesy theme, winding up gently in a simulation of a mill shutdown.

By contrast, Picker’s languid musical exploration for solo piano meandered like the two Southern waterways in its name, Old and Lost Rivers.

Rzewski’s second piece, Down by the Riverside, opened with the old melody directly offered, then proceeded to disassemble it into smaller phrases, mixing quotes from other songs in for contrast.

Still, the big hit of the program came post-intermission, when the old college buddies tackled Igor Stravinsky’s huge and tumultuous Rite of Spring in an arrangement which came from the composer via both Boyd’s and McCollough’s studios.

It was a great tribute to the ground-breaking composer on the centennial of this major work.

The level of ensemble was exquisite, as if a single brain drove both pairs of hands. And both brought no-holds-barred power plus estimable finesse to their performances.

Hearing this piece from a single instrument was a revelation.

As Boyd said afterward, “It’s like watching a film in black-and-white.”

While no one would trade the color and texture of a big orchestra playing it, what emered so clearly were Stravinsky’s complex construction, enormous dynamic contrasts, and melodic and harmonic depictions of season.

Enjoying it, of course, was major benefactor Dorothy MacKenzie Price, who not only funds the season but also had provided the big Yamaha concert grand on which McCollough performed.

Posted by Sally Vallongo at 11:55 AM MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013


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