Flash-Bach

by Eric Edberg
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Photograph by Michael George

Israeli cellist and musical innovator Matt Haimovitz is on a mission to bring classical music to unexpected places. This fall, as part of a four-day residency at Miller Theatre, he animated the Columbia campus with a series of six pop-up performances in which he combined the music of J. S. Bach with new overtures by living composers. At Brad’s Cafe he serenaded faculty and students with Du Yun’s The Veil of Veronica and Bach’s Suite No. 2 in D Minor. At the college bookstore a small audience listened with rapt attention to Luna Pearl Woolf’s Lili’uokalani and Bach’s Suite No. 6 in D Major. Later that day, Haimovitz changed into workout clothes and headed for Dodge Fitness Center. In the relative safety of a corner by the stairwell — right next to a water fountain and just off the indoor running track — he set up his priceless 1710 Goffriller cello and played a surprisingly romantic Philip Glass prelude and the Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major. The latter’s dance movements had a vitality that almost certainly quickened the step of the few surprised joggers who ran by. 



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