(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Accordion virtuoso Guy Klucevsek and Bang on a Can cellist Ashley Bathgate perform back-to-back duo concerts at PS21 on Saturday, July 25, at 8pm and on Sunday, July 26, at 2pm, respectively.
Alex Meixner joins Guy Klucevsek for a program of “Accordion Solos and Duos” on Saturday. Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly respected accordionists, and is considered a major contributor to the accordion renaissance of the last 25 years. His style and repertoire connects the dots be
tween the ballroom, the beer garden, and the concert hall, fusing elements of regional accordion styles with jazz and avant-garde music.
Ashley Bathgate performs with pianist Karl Larson on Sunday. A native of nearby Saratoga Springs, Bathgate attended Skidmore College, Bard College, and the Yale University School of Music. Bathgate’s concerts draw from a range of musical genres, from traditional compositions from the masters to new music by today’s composers. Her afternoon program will feature works by J.S. Bach, Ken Thomson and Brahms.
Bathgate is a member of the award-winning, internationally acclaimed sextet, Bang on a Can All-Stars, as well as two chamber groups of which she is a founding member: TwoSense and Bonjour. Most recently Bathgate premiered a new Cello Concerto by Australian composer Kate Moore with the ASKO|Schönberg ensemble at the Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht, NL and recorded an album of Moore’s solo cello works. This year also brings the world premiere of What Moves You, a collaborative performance project with jookin’ dance sensation Lil Buck at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, N.C.
“I always speak a bit during my shows. Sometimes that means giving the history of a work or a story that comes along with it,” Bathgate said. “Since I perform a lot of new music and work with electronics on my programs, I like to let the audience in on how that works. And sometimes it’s just talking about what I’m feeling in the moment.”
Guy Klucevsek’s music reverberates with sounds of the ballroom, the beer garden and the concert hall, fusing elements of regional accordion styles with jazz and avant-garde music. “I play concerts of my original music, which is eclectic in the extreme,” he explained. “One is just as likely to hear a polka or a waltz or a samba as a tribute to a composer, like Erik Satie, Astor Piazzolla, or Béla Bartok.”
According to Klucevsek, the accordion is unique in being a keyboard instrument which breathes. “The bellows are the heart-and-soul of the accordion, how we express ourselves through it,” he said. “It is capable of great dynamic nuance, blends beautifully with winds and strings, and has the chameleon-like ability to fit into musics from all over the world, as well as in new music settings.”
During the performance Klucevsek often introduces the next piece. “I don’t explain the music in terms of structure or analysis, because, after all, it’s a concert, not a seminar – I just try to give each piece a little context, for example – what inspired the music or the title.”
Tickets for the Saturday, July 25 performance of Accordion Solos and Duos: Guy Klucevsek with guest Alex Meixner, are $25 general admission, $20 PS21 members. and $15 students with I.D. Tickets for the Sunday, July 26, 2pm matinee performance of the Ashley Bathgate, cello and Karl Larson, piano, are $25 general admission, $20 PS21 members, and $15 students with I.D. Tickets can be purchased online at PS21, by calling 1-800-838-3006, or at the door until the show sells out. For other information about this or any other event at PS21, call (518) 392-6121.
PS21 is located at 2980 Route 66 in the Town of Chatham.
PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century is a not-for-profit organization in Chatham, N.Y., dedicated to the performing arts and to serving a diverse community with concerts, programs and residencies by professional artists and ensembles, youth and children’s programming and cultural education opportunities for all ages.