The Rapidian

Grand Rapids Symphony goes clubbing at UICA for ArtPrize Eight

Grand Rapids Symphony will rock ArtPrize with music that's a little less Dvorak and a lot more DJ and dance at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
Underwriting support from:

Grand Rapids Symphony at UICA during ArtPrize Eight

All concerts are on UICA's Fourth Floor

All three programs are under 30 minutes

  • Thursday, September 29 -- Jacomo Bairos conducts half-hour concerts at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm
  • Friday September 30 -- Jacomo Bairos conducts half-hour concerts at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm; and at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm
  • Saturday, Oct. 1 -- Jacomo Bairos conducts half-hour concerts at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm; and at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm
  • Sunday, Oct. 2 -- Jacomo Bairos conducts half-hour concerts at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm
Jacomo Bairos, who guest conducted the Grand Rapids Symphony in January (above), returns to lead the orchestra for ArtPrize.

Jacomo Bairos, who guest conducted the Grand Rapids Symphony in January (above), returns to lead the orchestra for ArtPrize. /Terry Johnston | Grand Rapids Symphony

Andy Akiho, steel pan player and composer, joins the Grand Rapids Symphony for ArtPrize Eight.

Andy Akiho, steel pan player and composer, joins the Grand Rapids Symphony for ArtPrize Eight. /Aestheticize Media

Jacomo Bairos is artistic director of the cutting-edge, chamber orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami.

Jacomo Bairos is artistic director of the cutting-edge, chamber orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami. /Terry Johnston | Grand Rapids Symphony

ArtPrize, Grand Rapids’ radically open art exhibition, is the place to see great art, bad art, big art, unexpected art and a whole lot more.

A radical exhibition, expected to draw 400,000 visitors for the next two weeks, deserves radical music as well.

Your Grand Rapids Symphony is ready to rock ArtPrize Eight.

At Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts this week, the Grand Rapids Symphony is making music that’s a little more club music and a lot less concert music.

“Rock, Funk, Disco, Heavy Metal, Raggaton, Latin, Drumsets, Steel Pans are all on display,” promises guest conductor Jacomo Bairos.

“And the ingenuity will be off the charts,” he added.

Grand Rapids Symphony musicians leave the concert hall and head into the art gallery at UICA as well as outdoors onto the Blue Bridge for ArtPrize’s Blue Bridge Music Festival.

Catch the Grand Rapids Symphony Thursday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 2, in UICA’s Fourth Floor Black Box.

Three different, 30-minute long programs will rotate with three performances on Thursday and Sunday and six on Friday and Saturday. Every show is open with free admission.

You also can see UICA’s current exhibition, “superusted: The 4th Midwest Biennial” on the Fourth Floor during the concerts.

Grand Rapids Symphony, which was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album, is no stranger to stretching the boundaries of classical music.

Jacomo Bairos, artistic director of the genre-bending, eclectic chamber orchestra, Nu Deco Ensemble, will lead Grand Rapids Symphony musicians at UICA in original music plus classical works reinterpreted.

“Nu Deco is one of a kind," Bairos told Miami New Times earlier this month. "There is no ensemble in the world performing the music we do in the special formula that we have.”

Nu Deco plays new and original music by contemporary composers such as co-founder Sam Hyken as well as reinterpretations of classical works.

Bairos is bringing with him music from Nu Deco’s library including Nick Omiciolli's "Fuse" and works such as Georges Bizet’s Farandole reimagined as “Refried Farandole.”

Andy Akiho, a steel drummer and composer, is special guest artist, joining the orchestra for music including steel pans and synthesizer as well as strings.

Bairos, who guest conducted the Grand Rapids Symphony in January in DeVos Performance Hall, also is music director of the Amarillo Symphony. But he co-founded Nu Deco with composer Sam Hyken to create a new model of what a symphony orchestra can be.

“We are an orchestra reimagined for the 21st Century, and Sam and I have always felt that the orchestra, as a vehicle for expression – limitless in its potential to stir the soul – creates these environments of musical bliss and leaves everyone changed forever after a performance,” he said to Miami New Times.

“We just feel we are scratching the surface of what is possible,” he said.

 

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