Thursday, February 5, 2009

Alla Cohen in "Bay Windows"

Alla Cohen Concert: Thursday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at The Boston Center for the Arts
Distinguished composer, pianist, music theorist and teacher Alla Elana Cohen who came to the United States from Moscow in 1989, escaping the Communist regime is quoted in today’s Bay Windows in an extensive interview with arts writer Scott Kearnan.

"I never considered my life here as hard times," says Cohen in Bay Windows. "For me, financial difficulties are not really something that would constitute hard times. A hard time was Russia... here, there were problems and difficulties that I absolutely knew, without any doubt, sooner or later would be resolved. Therefore, I was patient." Her courageous struggle to come to the United States, seeking freedom is detailed here:

Thursday, February 12, 2009 will mark Alla Cohen’s first American public concert at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for The Arts’ Wimberly Theatre, located at 527 Tremont Street, in Boston’s South End. The concert, which will be hosted by TV icon Joyce Kulhawik and esteemed third stream/jazz pianist Ran Blake, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at $24.50 [orchestra] ,$18.50 [balcony] and $15.00 for students [balcony] are on sale now at the Box Office at the Calderwood Pavilion [527 Tremont Street, Boston], at the Box Office at the Boston University Theatre [264 Huntington Avenue], on line at
and by phone by calling 617-933-8600. For more information, call 617-933-8600.

Cohen’s formidable program will feature a diverse array of chamber ensembles. Pieces for violin and piano, for cello and piano, for marimba and vibraphone, for string quartet, for solo piano, for solo cello, for brass quintet and for an eleven-piece chamber orchestra will punctuate the evening’s program which will last approximately 90 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beethoven, Boulanger, or both?
-Joseph A. Bachour
February 1, 2009

A composer on the level of Mozart or Beethoven. A master teacher that gives birth to a new school of great composers. These two are one, and they both reside in Boston.

After hearing rehearsals for Alla Cohen’s upcoming concert at the Wimberly Theater at the BCA in the South End on February 12, I see that Boston has a great composer in its midst who has the potential to change the future of music. After studying composition with Alla Cohen, and watching her other composition students, I know that a new, great school of music is forming out of Boston, and it too will change the future of music.

“There is no compromise here. This is music that simply must be,” says Yehudi Wyner, another great Boston composer, about Alla Cohen’s music on her event poster, and he is right. This is music that comes from a complete musical master, and is itself complete. The power of Cohen’s music is at one and the same time intense and sublime. It is immensely engaging, very energetic and generously shares its deeply connected passion with the listener. It has qualities not recently seen in classical music. It is unique.

This is music that moves us again, and this is where music is today. In the great arch of classical music that stretches from the middle ages, this is the next segment. We see now, though, that the great arch is more like a sine curve, because it goes up again with Alla Cohen. As things dipped in the last century, Shostakovich died, experiments were tried, and searchings and systems plied a way toward obscurity. With Cohen, we see that we have passed the trough. The wave begins to gain again.

Coming from the Moscow Conservatory at a time when it was at its peak, Alla Cohen began to teach in Boston. The Moscow Conservatory was at that time the acropolis of music, and produced some of the greatest musical talents in history. Alla Cohen is one of those. She is a remarkable artist, musician and performer. One must really know and work with Alla, to realize that the level of her musical abilities is such that America has not often known. What is also remarkable is her ability to impart that talent to her composition students. The achievements of her composition students, young and old, are great enough to be considered a successful musical career. There is being created a great new school of composition from her studio here in Boston.

How sorry those people seem who squabbled over Beethoven’s affairs before and after his death. How strange that Mozart’s body was laid in a pauper’s grave. It seemed that great music was a natural part of the world, and that great composers and teachers would keep coming and giving. Would that the world treated its great musicians as the treasure they are. Grateful are we that they did keep coming, if even intermittently, and lucky are we to have a very talented and giving one right here in Boston.