Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 05.06.10

Posted May 5, 2010 at 7:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Rock and roll chamber musicians plan show
Sarasota native, Pine View grad and double bassist Louis Levitt returns to Sarasota next week to perform with his New York City-based string quintet Sybarite5.

The last time Levitt and company were in town they blew away audiences with their blend of classic-rock-meets-indie-rock-meets-traditional-chamber-music, earning glowing reviews from fussy chamber music devotées and Led Zeppelin groupies alike.

Since then, the ensemble –– which includes violinists Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violist Angela Pickett and cellist Laura Metcalf –– has changed its name from the Sybarite Chamber Players to the catchier Sybarite5 and landed gigs at the Aspen Music Festival, the Cell Theatre, in Chelsea, N.Y., and the Library of Congress.

The quintet will kick off its Sarasota engagements May 14, at The Hub in the Rosemary District. Hosted by “Art Whisperer” Joey Panek and Sarasota Orchestra tuba player Jay Hunsberger, the concert will feature original pieces by New College composition students and “American Idol”-style critiques from “celebrity” judges.

Not into reality-show gimmicks? The quintet will perform two concerts May 15 and May 16, at Holley Hall. The bill includes the world premiere of the new Radiohead remix by Paul Sanho Kim and the Florida premiere of “Furioso: Vendetta For String Quintet,” by Thomas Osborne.

+ Ringling student nabs glass-school scholarship
Ringling College of Art and Design junior Shellie Hoak received a $3,000 scholarship from the Southwest Florida Glass Art Alliance to attend the Pilchuck Glass School this summer.

Located on a former tree farm in Stanwood, Wash., the rustic Pilchuck compound was founded in 1971 by glass artist superstars Dale Chihuly, Anne Gould Hauberg and John Hauberg.

Although the Southwest Florida Glass Art Alliance frequently supports art-glass shows, this is the first time the 100-member group has doled out a scholarship to Pilchuck –– a mecca of glass-art education.

Below: Southwest Florida Glass Art Alliance members Jim Herrington, left, and Carol Camiener, right, with Ringling College faculty member Kim Russo and student Shellie Hoak, second from right.

+ Stolen lizards remain M.I.A. for Gecko Fest gala
Despite Bradenton’s pleas for mercy, the four Gecko Fest lizards stolen last month from a downtown Bradenton storage facility never turned up in time for the May 1 Gecko Fest gala and auction.

A total of 57 geckos designed by local artists and hung on the sides of Bradenton buildings from December to March were auctioned off Saturday night to raise money for school art supplies and local arts organizations. The bids ranged from $500 to $2,000 per gecko. According to event organizers, the four stolen reptiles would have likely brought in an additional $5,000 to $6,000.

“I was hoping it was a gag and that they’d magically turn up before the auction in a public place,” said Kevin Webb, who designed “Thelonius Geck,” one of the missing geckos. “We didn’t even get a ransom note.”

+ TV executive brings insight to Ringling College
Ed Carroll, chief operating officer of Rainbow Entertainment (“Mad Men,” “Bridezillas,” and “Inside the Actors Studio”) was the latest Hollywood player to pop into Ringling College of Art and Design’s Digital Filmmaking Lab.

After picking the brains of movie directors Werner Herzog and Oren Moverman, Ringling film majors were regaled with the perks of producing a television series. According to Carroll, it’s cheaper, safer and, thanks to the rise of cable networks, more attainable than ever.

At a Q&A-style lecture April 28, Carroll aired an episode of his Emmy Award-winning series, “Breaking Bad,” the gritty AMC drama about a high-school-chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-dealer.


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