Thursday, 5 December 2013

Concert @ Highgate International Chamber Music Festival in London, UK!concerts/c1gp9

Sunday 8th December, 6:30pm, St. Anne's Church
Opening Concert

Daniel Rowland, Vlad Maistorovici, Tatiana Berman & Natalie Klouda - violins
Alexandros Koustas & Benjamin Roskams - violas
Ashok Klouda & Nathaniel Boyd - cellos
Irina Botan - piano

Haydn Piano Trio No.43 in C
Suk Elegy for piano trio Op.23
Dvorak Terzetto in C for 2 violins & viola
Enescu Octet Op.7

Tickets: Adults £16, Concessions £13, Children (under 12) £8

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Multi-disciplinary Project Premiere November 15, 2013

Memorial Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio
Friday, November 15, 2013
6:30 Reception and Open Bar
8:00 Performance

  • The first in Signature Series will present an evening featuring a world-premiere multi-disciplinary performance project. Produced by Tatiana Berman, violinist and founder of the Constella Festival, this project takes a look at the collaboration and inspiration process across genres. Tatiana,  pianist Irina Botan (UK), tenor Alec Carlson and violinist Eddy Kwon will present music by Claude Debussy, John Cage, Missy Mazzoli, Olivier Messiaen and Nico Muhly, together with digital animation works from various international artists including Yuliya Lanina, Greg Loring, Joseph Iannopollo and Jesse Mooney-Bullock. 
  • Dancers from the CB2 perform a short introductory piece with music by Arvo Pärt, Rodrigo and Gabriella.
  • In the Gold Room, Solway Gallery will present an exhibition inspired by the marriage of video art and classical music.
  • Preceding the performance, a delicious sample tasting by Cincinnati’s finest chefs – Jean-Robert de Cavel, Jimmy Gibson and Jeff Thomas.

REVIEW of the Ballet project

Constella "Improvisations" Mesmerizing

Mary Ellyn Hutton
Posted: Nov 3, 2013 - 12:14:19 PM in reviews 

L to R: Sirui Liu and James Cunningham, Tatiana Berman and Eddy Kwon
Inspired was surely the word for the Constella Festival’s “Inspired Improvisations and Stravinsky” Wednesday evening (Oct. 30) in Harriet Tubman Theater at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
The Constella-produced event featured dancers from Cincinnati Ballet in works choreographed by Heather Britt, James Cunningham and James Gilmer.
Two of the numbers featured world premiere choreography: Igor Stravinsky’s “Suite Italienne” for Violin and Piano, choreographed by Cunningham, and “Improvisation,” a three-part work inspired by surrealist poet Paul Éluard, with choreography by Cunningham, Britt and Gilmer, performed to improvisation by violinists Tatiana Berman and Eddy Kwon. A reading of Éluard’s poems preceded each episode of “Improvisation.”
Also on the program were “Habitual, 7.28.13” with music by Gabriel Gaffney Smith of BalletMet (Columbus), and “All Too Wonderful” (2009), a three-movement work by Peter Adam, both with choreography by Britt.
Sandra Gross with art installation
Framed with an installation of paper art by Sandra Gross, the show was literally as well as figuratively engrossing. The dancers performed in street clothing, which was complemented by Gross’ art, consisting of panels of vellum with patterns burnt into in, hung on steel frames at either side of the stage.
CB’s Cunningham and Sirui Liu led off with Britt’s “The Lover” from “Improvisation,” a happy, fanciful work picturing lovers in a variety of poses, danced to music of a neo-romantic cast, crafted to perfection by Berman and Kwon.
“Earth is Blue Like an Orange,” another “Improvisation,” was abstract by contrast. Cunningham’s athletic choreography received a strong interpretation by soloist Morwood, complete with touches of humor (including Monty Python-esque funny walks). Berman and Kwon’s playing matched it ideally, with lots of effects on their violins.
Gilmer’s “I Love You,” part three of “Improvisation,” was danced by Bausinger and Bodden. “You are the powerful sun arousing me . . .” Éluard wrote, and the choreography reflected that in moves that were ecstatic, though tinged at times with the pain love can bring. Coordination with violinists Berman and Kwon was highly emotive and again, totally amazing (I doubt Cincinnati has ever seen the like by a pair of classical musicians).
“Suite Italienne” brought CB dancers Joshua Bodden, Abigail Morwood, Danielle Bausinger, Gilmer and Liu to the stage for a series of ensembles and duets. Cunningham’s choreography was classic with a twist, with dancing that was animated as well as gentle, with striking use of the hands (lots of flat palms) and a jubilant finale. Berman gave Stravinsky’s music (drawn from his neo-classic ballet “Pulcinella”) a bright, characterful performance, accompanied by Elena Kholodova at the piano.
Britt’s “Habitual” was premiered on CB’s “Kaplan New Works” series in September at the Cincinnati Ballet Center. It is described as “a duet about feeling stuck and the attraction that we have as humans to repeat what is familiar.” Smith’s “7.28.13” – an electronic composition with a beat, rather like a heart pounding – began ominously, with Gilmer stepping backwards onto the stage. He met Touchet there and the two were ultimately joined in a tender embrace.
The concert ended with “All Too Wonderful” for the full ensemble. (Choreographer Britt worked in collaboration with Adams to create the work, one of several they have produced together.) It emerged as a series of duets and a spectacular solo by Cunningham that left one gasping. The vagaries of love were again portrayed -- one of the male dancers clutched at the air at one point as his partner withdrew. All’s well that ends well, however, and it did, with joyful, exuberant dancing by all.

This is a show that could go on the road. The crowd, which filled Harriet Tubman Theater nicely, was rapt with attention and expressed their enthusiasm repeatedly, rising to their feet at the end in a noisy, unanimous ovation.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Children's performances story 2013

For Good

Constella Festival engages kids with free classical music events

When Tatiana Berman, international soloist and chamber musician, moved to Cincinnati in 2006, she says she took note of the multitude of musical arts organizations in town, and the possibilities for collaboration began to stir.

“I thought it would be nice to present a more unified idea to the Cincinnati people, but also to the outside world in a way, by better showcasing some of the organizations—by putting them together in a festival,” Berman says. “I approached a couple friends of mine to come and play, and they did. By bringing in these internationally renowned musicians, I then was able to put the local organizations in this same festival, and as a result, they get more international attention.”

Known as the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts, Berman’s creation is now in its third season. The Festival is comprised of several performances and installations that take place in October and early November in both conventional as well as unusual venues and surroundings. And as the world-class talent continues to thrive, so do Berman’s ideas for adding to the festival experience.

This year, Berman incorporated free children’s concerts into Constella’s lineup with the intent of merging storytelling and chamber music to create an experience that she says she hopes is “educational, entertaining and enchanting."

“One thing everybody knows that’s suffering is music and arts for kids in the schools,” Berman says. “I have two kids myself, and I’m a strong believer that the way things are right now—it doesn’t make sense to me—it’s been scientifically proven that kids who do art and music do better academically, and I have proof in my children and lots of my friends. It develops their brain, and not just the basics—it develops their self-confidence. They become focused—the concentration. You name it—it’s good for them.”

Incorporating children’s activities into the festival lineup is just the beginning for Berman and other musicians involved with Constella, however. Thanks to a recent grant, the organization will now be able to go to local schools to perform and give students the necessary tools to know that, just because they may not be able to receive a musical education at school, they can do it on their own.

“You can make music and make art, and it’s not this thing where they have to buy stuff, necessarily. We give them a handout of resources—music-making apps, free things they can do at the museum and at different places, free concerts for children, things like that,” Berman says. “The idea is to really encourage them and make sure they understand they can make music in any way, shape or form, and there are different ways of getting involved and going to make art as well.”

Do Good: 

• Like the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts' Facebook page.

• If you're interested in bringing Constella children's performances to your school or community, contact event organizers.

• Support Constella by donating and by attending festival events—all events are kid-friendly, and student tickets are available.

By Brittany York
Brittany York is a professor of English composition at both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. She also edits the For Good section of SoapboxMedia. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Constella Festival - two new choreography works and a new composition

Inspired Improvisations and Stravinsky

Presented by Constella FestivalWednesday, October 30, 2013 7:30pm @ Freedom Center, Harriet Tubman Theater“...raw, robust choreography...” – Cincinnati Enquirer
Choreographers Heather Britt & Jimmy Cunningham with Dancers of the Cincinnati Ballet. In collaboration with the Cincinnati Art Museum, artist Sandra Gross and festival musicians.

An innovative production featuring ballet dancers, musicians and art installation on the same stage. Heather Britt and James Cunningham, Cincinnati’s exciting rising star choreographers will each present a world premiere work. Set to the music of Stravinsky and musical improvisations, this project features Cincinnati Cincinnati Ballet dancers, art installation by glass artist Sandra Gross and musicians Tatiana Berman, Eddie Kwon and Elena Kholodova.

A very special exhibition featuring prints from the “Ballet Russe” costume drawings collection will be on display at the venue for these events on loan from the Cincinnati Art Museum


Stravinsky: Suite Italienne for Violin and Piano (World Premiere)
Jimmy Cunningham, choreographer
Tatiana Berman, violin; Elena Kholodova, Piano
Dancers: Danielle Bausinger, Sirui Liu, Abigail Morwood, Joshua Bodden, and James Gilmer

“Habitual” original composition by Gabriel Gaffney Smith titled 7.28.13
Heather Britt, choreographer
Dancers : Janessa Touchet and James Gilmer

Improvisation (World premiere)
Tatiana Berman, Eddy Kwon, violins

1. The Lover, Poem by Paul Eluard
Heather Britt, Choreographer
Dancers: Sirui Liu and James Cunningham

2. The Earth is blue like an orange by Paul Eluard
James Cunningham, Choreographer
Dancer: Abigail Morwood

3. I love you
Paul Éluard (1895-1952)
James Gilmer, Choreographer
Dancers: Danielle Bausinger and Joshua Bodden

All Too Wonderful (2009) music by Peter Adam
Heather Britt, choreographer
Dancers: Danielle Bausinger, Jacqueline Damico, Sirui Liu, Abigail Morwood, Joshua Bodden, James Cunningham,  and James Gilmer
For more information please visit or call 513.621.2787

CincyChic Spotlight October 20, 2013

Cincy Chic Spotlight: Tatiana Berman
Written by Sara Elliott   
Sunday, 20 October 2013 22:05

Chic Spotlight: Tatiana Berman
We chat with the founder and artistic director of Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts, which brings a variety of genres to the Tri-State for the musical and arts experience of a lifetime.

Tatiana Berman, Founder and Artistic Director of Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts.
Photo by Annette Navarro. 

Cincy Chic: What is the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts?
Tatiana Berman, Founder and Artistic Director of Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts: Constella was created to showcase and celebrate the depth and breadth of musical and artistic life in Cincinnati. Constella presents unique collaborations between international artists of the highest caliber, in partnership with many of the city’s finest performing arts organizations, to spotlight the rich and vibrant musical fabric of Cincinnati. Aside from traditional chamber music, Constella Cincinnati brings world premieres of several ground-breaking works to audiences, interweaving music, visual art and dance into multi-sensory artistic performances. The festival is comprised of several performances and installations that take place in October and early November in conventional and unusual venues and surroundings to make for a truly intriguing, unexpected and exciting experience.

Cincy Chic: What inspired the musical festival and when did it first launch?
Berman: I love the idea of bringing people and ideas together in this particular constellation. This year marks our third season and we’ve presented more than 25 new works in just two seasons here in Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Constella?
Berman: We currently have a festival team, a board and a group of loyal supporters who all come together to present this amazing music festival each year.

Cincy Chic: What makes Constella so different and unique?
Berman: The thing that makes Constella so different and unique is that there’s no other festival like this in the region. We present more than 20 events in a variety of styles of a very high quality including dance, jazz, classical music and art. Every performance is an event and an adventure. People who have never been to a classical music concert enjoy our events as much as chamber music, jazz and art lovers.
Our more intimate venues, small world-class ensembles, many world premieres and unique music and art combinations create an exceptional experience. We present original art exhibitions that are great pairings with performances. By bringing in internationally-renowned performers, we aim to bring attention to the Tri-State’s local artists and musicians.

Cincy Chic: How much does it cost to attend?
Berman: The cost of a ticket ranges from $25 to $85 and students can purchase tickets for just $10.
Berman highlights her skills as a professional violinist.
Photo by Annette Navarro.
Cincy Chic: What are you looking forward to in the future for Costella?
Berman: We’re looking forward to many projects being planned for next and and to utilize our knowledge from past festival presentations to make the experience ever better for our audience!

Cincy Chic: Do you have anything new on the horizon for Costella?
Berman: We’re already in the planning process for the next season, so you’ll have to stayed tuned.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about Constella or to purchase tickets?
Berman: Readers can visit to learn more. To purchase tickets, visit the Aronoff Center Box Office, our website or call 513-621-2787.
Sara Elliott -
Sara is the assistant editor at Cincy Chic. Send her an email

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Review: Berman, Järvi deliver stunning world premiere performance

Review: Berman, Järvi deliver stunning world premiere performance

Oct. 11, 2013   |  

Tatiana Berman: 'Music and art drive me'
Tatiana Berman: 'Music and art drive me': Tatiana Berman, the founder of Cincinnati's Constella Festival, takes us inside her East Walnut Hills condo for a tour of her art and a musical performance
It’s no mean feat to direct a music festival and also star as the soloist in a world premiere performance.
But multi-tasking violinist Tatiana Berman, who is also founding director of the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts, delivered impressively in both areas in Thursday’s festival program entitled “Queen City Connections.”
Indeed, there were multiple Queen City connections in play. Returning to conduct was Paavo Järvi, music director laureate of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Berman’s former husband.
Filling every inch of Memorial Hall’s stage, the chamber-sized orchestra included a number of members of the Cincinnati Symphony. And the collaborating composer, Charles Coleman, has strong ties to the Cincinnati Symphony, which has premiered and recorded several of his pieces.
Järvi’s program included Stravinsky’s ballet score “Apollon Musagète” and Mozart’s Symphony No. 33 in B-flat Major, K. 319. The main event, Berman’s premiere of Coleman’s Violin Concerto, came last.
It was worth the wait. Coleman, born in New York in 1968, writes in a style that is vibrant and urban – it is music of today. His substantial, three-movement Violin Concerto combined minimalist techniques (the repetition of motives and rhythms) and a romantic gift for melody.
The piece was instantly appealing. The first movement opened with a long, sinuous melody for the violin in a duet with a cymbal. It evolved into a palette that was bright and busy, with bubbling winds set against glowing orchestral textures. Berman crouched as she tackled its soaring, angular themes with a seamless, lyrical tone.
The slow movement was atmospheric, with soulful themes for the violin and lush orchestral accompaniment. Its ebb and flow included a brief nod to jazz, and a Mozart-like wind ensemble. As the orchestra played a sustained river of sound, the violinist’s tones floated above. A captivating clarinet solo (Jonathan Gunn) had the last word.
The finale was an edgy perpetual motion, with the violinist interjecting both long melodies and rapid figures. Järvi and the musicians supported the soloist well, although here, perhaps due to the hall’s boomy acoustics, the violinist didn’t project as well.
Berman’s playing was top-notch, and she ended with a flourish. As the crowd stood for an enthusiastic reception, the couple’s two little daughters delivered bouquets to their parents.
Järvi opened with Stravinsky’s rarely-played, neo-classical “Apollon Musagète” (Apollo, leader of the Muses), a ballet in two scenes for strings.
Written for the impresario Diaghilev in 1928 (Järvi led the 1947 revision), it is basically a suite of dances. Its movements are variations for three muses, framed with variations for Apollo and ending with a delicate pas de deux.
It was by turns austere and lush, and there were many stunning moments. Concertmaster Anna Reider performed an elegiac solo with immense beauty of tone, and string sonorities were rich. Järvi found character in each of its movements, and the musicians responded with terrific playing.
That sense of discovery continued in the Mozart, notable for its momentum, lightness and detail given to every phrase. Nothing was predictable, and even though this was a “pick-up” orchestra, Järvi knew just how to bring out the best in his players.
Downstairs at Memorial Hall, the Constella event included a casually displayed exhibition of art by pop artist Andrew VanSickle, outsider artist The Rev. Howard Finster and celebrity photographer Gary Lee Boas.
The Constella Festival continues through Nov. 7. Information: 513-621-2787,

Berman a Star in Coleman Premiere

Berman a Star in Coleman Premiere

Mary Ellyn Hutton
Posted: Oct 12, 2013 - 4:13:29 PM in reviews 

"Red Tatiana," acrylic and silkscreen on canvas by Andrew VanSickle
“I feel like a rock star,” said Tatiana Berman after performing Charles Coleman’s Violin Concerto for the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts Thursday night at Memorial Hall.
And well she should.
It was a magnificent performance. Add to that, it was a world premiere.
.Berman is not only an internationally recognized violinist, but founder and hands-on artistic director of Constella, making her achievement that much more remarkable.
Coleman’s work shared the program with music by Stravinsky and Mozart (good company). The Constella Festival Chamber Ensemble, a 29-piece orchestra hand-picked by Berman from area musicians, was led by Paavo Järvi, music director laureate of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
taking a bow, left to right, Charles Coleman, Tatiana Berman and Paavo Järvi
Commissioned by Constella and written for Berman, the Concerto is an energetic work with a lovely, lyrical central movement. It is hard not to hear the big-city resonance of the work (as in Coleman’s “Streetscape,” commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2001 and premiered by Järvi), with its lively rhythmic interplay in the outer movements. Indeed, there was always a “buzz” in the first movement, which opened with the violin carefree and frisky, playing over the tapping of a cymbal. Berman crafted her lines with a pure, bright-as-a-laser tone that brought out the violin’s independence, yet unity with the orchestra, ending the movement with a flip little gesture, again over the ring of a cymbal.
The Larghetto second movement was an essay in beauty, Berman entering in a reflective mode after a faraway introduction by the orchestra. The music grew in intensity and there were some gorgeous textures, including, at one point, an ethereal one for violin, strings and piano. After a soaring climax, there was silence, then a kind of leave-taking, capped by a soulful passage by Berman, answered at the end by solo clarinet (there was total silence in the hall after this).
The third and final movement, a playful one modeled (on steroids) after the finale of Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major, took off with an air of excitement (the movement is marked "Persistent"). This was generated (again) by its abundant rhythmic activity and by Berman’s technical panache and her ability to counter bright, high-lying passages with low, guttural ones for full tonal variety. Like a locomotive speeding along the rails, it came, however, to a surprise, abrupt ending. Järvi was fully her partner in the performance, leading the orchestra with zest.
Järvi, who held the orchestra in the palm of his hand(s) throughout the concert, opened with Stravinsky’s “Apollon Musagète.” Translated “Apollo, Leader of the Muses,” it is the score of a 1928 “white” ballet premiered at the Library of Congress and revived the same year by Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes in Paris. Scored for strings only, the 30-minute work unfolds in two tableaux and is a landmark of the composer’s neo-classical style. Järvi gave it a fluid reading, congenial and rich in voicing. Concertmistress Anna Reider was a vibrant soloist in the second tableau (“Variation of Apollo,” in which Apollo first meets the Muses). The three short variations for Calliope, Polyhymnia and Terpsichore (each less than two minutes long) were totally charming, the pas de deux of Apollo and Terpsichore was sweet and gentle, and the final “Apotheosis” was lush and infused with sentiment.
The good feelings continued in Mozart’s Symphony No. 33, an intimate work from his Paris years. Järvi crafted its lines expertly and invested considerable beauty in the Andante. There was a real kick in the Minuet, with its understated Trio, and the Allegro finale was light-hearted, with spirited playing by all.
The concert was followed by a reception on the lower level of Memorial Hall and an exhibition of art work by Andrew VanSickle, Rev. Howard Finster and Gary Lee Boas.

Järvi returns to Cincinnati in February, when he will conduct the CSO in the Symphony No. 4 by Mahler. Information at