Press Release: Celebrity Series of Boston Presents What Makes it Great? with Rob Kapilow and the NEC Chamber Orchestra

Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor

Sunday, December 3, 2017, 3pm — NEC’s Jordan Hall

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445, stephanie@stephaniejanespr.com
Rob Kapilow high-res photo | WMIG video preview
Celebrity Series Press Room

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present What Makes it Great? with Rob Kapilow and the NEC Chamber Orchestra in Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor on Sunday, December 3, 2017, at 3pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA. This performance is generously sponsored in part by Amy and Joshua Boger.

Tickets start at $30, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling the box office at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at NEC’s Jordan Hall Box Office, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA.

This performance marks the 83rd Celebrity Series performance for Rob Kapilow and 41st presentation of What Makes It Great?© since its Boston debut in 1997.

Often referred to as the “Great G-minor symphony,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 is one of only two minor key symphonies written by the master. Rob Kapilow and the NEC Chamber Orchestra will explore the elements of this essential and influential work, uncovering Mozart’s brilliant details and making you hear this great music with new ears.

For more than 20 years, Rob Kapilow has brought the joy and wonder of classical music – and unraveled some of its mysteries – to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Characterized by his unique ability to create an “aha” moment for his audiences and collaborators, whatever their level of musical sophistication or naiveté, Kapilow’s work brings music into people’s lives: opening new ears to musical experiences and helping people to listen actively rather than just hear. As the Boston Globe said, “It’s a cheering thought that this kind of missionary enterprise did not pass from this earth with Leonard Bernstein. Rob Kapilow is awfully good at what he does. We need him.”

Kapilow’s range of activities is astonishingly broad, including his What Makes It Great?® presentations (now for more than fifteen seasons in New York and Boston), his family compositions and Family Musik® events, his “Citypieces”, and residencies with institutions as diverse as the National Gallery of Canada and Stanford University. The reach of his interactive events and activities is wide, both geographically and culturally: from Native American tribal communities in Montana and inner-city high school students in Louisiana to audiences in Kyoto and Kuala Lumpur, and from tots barely out of diapers to musicologists in Ivy League programs, his audiences are diverse and unexpected, but invariably rapt and keen to come back for more.

A frequent guest speaker for museums, business groups, foundations, hospitals, law schools, math departments and conferences, Rob Kapilow is constantly finding connections and intersections between music and the outside world, making art essential to everyday life.

Kapilow’s popularity and appeal are reflected in notable invitations and achievements: he appeared on NBC’s Today Show in conversation with Katie Couric; he presented a special What Makes It Great?® event for broadcast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center; and he has written two highly popular books published by Wiley/Lincoln Center: All You Have To Do Is Listen which won the PSP Prose Award for Best Book in Music and the Performing Arts, and What Makes It Great? (2011), the first book of its kind to be especially designed for the iPad with embedded musical examples. He is currently working on a new book for Norton/Liveright on music from the American Songbook entitled Listening to America to be published in 2017.

A documentary film, named Summer Sun, Winter Moon after Kapilow’s choral/symphonic work of the same name, which traces the process of that work’s composition from its conception through to its premiere, has been broadcast hundreds of times on Public Television since 2009 and several short segments for PBS NewsHour are scheduled to appear this fall.

Rob Kapilow dedicates his summer months to writing books and composing new music, most recently a large-scale work commissioned by the Marin Symphony to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, which was premiered to great acclaim in May 2012 and a string orchestra piece for the San Domenico Virtuoso Strings which premiered in 2014.

Kapilow’s What Makes It Great?® (WMIG) made its auspicious debut on NPR’s Performance Today more than 20 years ago, and with its accessible ten-minute format it quickly attracted a wide base of fans and followers. Snowballing in popularity, it developed into a full-length concert evening and was soon snapped up by presenters looking to build new audiences. What Makes It Great?® has sold out regular subscription series in places as diverse as Kansas City, MO, Cerritos, CA, as well as at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and the National Gallery of Canada. The latest installment of WMIG concerts is now being presented by the Toronto Symphony, and will include Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Beethoven Violin Concerto and Copeland’s Appalachian Spring.

In 2008, PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center broadcast a special What Makes It Great?® show, bringing it to TV screens throughout the US; worldwide audiences were also able to see and experience Kapilow’s trademarked presentations when Lincoln Center inaugurated a series of WMIG video podcasts. Kapilow designed a series of WMIG events especially for teenagers, and, in 2005, he introduced them to thousands of middle- and high-school children in collaboration with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in a series that has continued on an annual basis and has been repeated around North America.

About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 79-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.

From orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, spoken word, and more, Celebrity Series has been bringing great artists to Boston’s major concert halls for nearly eight decades. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.

The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Leslie & Howard Appleby, Amy & Joshua Boger, the Barr Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, the French-US Exchange in Dance, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, the Liberty Mutual Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, Melinda & James Rabb, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Mrs. Belinda Herrera Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis, Tufts Health Plan, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.

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