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Articles by Bogdan Fedeles

March 19, 2010
Last weekend was truly delightful for classical music fans. A substantial portion of the music-making community came together to deliver two entertaining concerts, which included world premieres, surprises, awards, experiments and of course, great music. Last Friday, MIT Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adam Boyles, premiered the Symphony No. 2 by MIT music lecturer Charles Shadle and then joined forces with Aardvark Jazz Ensemble for an exquisite tour of the jazz world. A day later, the MIT Wind Ensemble led by Frederick Harris, featured the chamber chorus to premier the vocal suite <i>Spring Rituals</i> by MIT music lecturer William Cutter, after which it explored the unusual music of Charles Ives. Both conductors went to great lengths to dispel the traditional stuffiness of classical music concerts, by introducing funny anecdotes with the music to be played and demonstrating how the music works. Given these educational elements, the concerts were particularly engaging for the audience, constituting the perfect antidote to the gloomy, incessant rain that plagued the whole weekend.
February 5, 2010
This is Holmes as you have never seen him. Director Guy Ritchie took Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebated detective (Robert Downey Jr.) and warped him so much he very well could have been a brand new character. Nevertheless, Sherlock Holmes the movie is a brilliant production that will take you on a dark captivating adventure, with lots of relentless action, veiled mysteries and satisfying surprises.
November 24, 2009
It is the year 2012. The end of the world as we know is fast approaching. Due to a rare planetary alignment, an unprecedented solar flare is heating up the Earth’s core to the point that the crust will destabilize. The ensuing seismic and volcanic activity followed by gigantic tsunamis are bound to wipe out all life from Earth. There is no way to stop the cataclysm. But there may be a way to weather it out. Or is there?
August 5, 2009
Recent years have seen a surge of rodents on the big screen, in the most unusual and diverse roles. Thanks to Disney’s Mickey Mouse legacy, mice have always had an easier time being featured; the newest fad focuses on another type of rodents. Movies like Ratatouille and Alvin and the Chipmunks have been extremely successful at introducing to the public endearing new rodent species. Disney’s newest rodent adventure, G-Force, attempts to do the same for guinea pigs, yet it falls a bit short on substance. Nevertheless, the movie is extremely funny and the fluffy protagonists are quite delightful, especially for the very young audiences.
July 8, 2009
The new installment of the Ice Age franchise is a wonderful surprise for kids and adults alike, successfully overcoming the dilution effect that commonly plagues many sequels. Although the anachronistic premise — mammoths facing off dinosaurs — is quite hard to forgive, the movie is imbued with delicious humor, snappy dialogue, and a freshness of ideas that is bound to satisfy even the pickiest audiences.
September 5, 2008
While the age of fairy tales is all but a distant memory for most of us, the lure of the “happily ever-after” lands is all too strong to resist, irrespective of age. Add in some exquisitely crafted music and a few moralizing twists, and there is no wonder why Stephen Sondheim’s highly acclaimed musical “Into the Woods” never fails to deliver unforgettable experiences for audiences of all ages. After spending most of the summer working on this exciting yet challenging musical, MTG is ready bedazzle you with a journey “Into the Woods” that will surely meet all expectations.
December 7, 2007
A couple of months ago, I was excited to find out that MIT Musical Theatre Guild would produce “Pippin,” and I have been eagerly awaiting the premiere ever since. This musical is particularly endearing, not only because of its catchy music but also because of its remarkably powerful symbolism. The story is an allegory of life itself, unwinding as a journey of self-discovery. It offers a little bit of everything and has something for everyone.
March 23, 2007
During my time at MIT, I have learned that the best thing to do on a Friday night is to grab some friends and go to a MITSO concert, which is possible about twice a term. When I got to Kresge last Friday, I was delighted to see a large audience that apparently felt the same way despite the surprisingly inclement weather. Under the baton of conductor Paul M. Biss, MITSO again delivered an uplifting performance, featuring the all-time favorites Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite" and Stravinsky's "Firebird." The program also included Beethoven's "Symphony No. 1" and Mozart's early masterpiece, the cantata "Exsultate, Jubilate", with soprano Elisabeth Hon G, winner of the MITSO concerto competition.
March 2, 2007
Last Friday, MIT chamber music enthusiasts had the special opportunity to hear the highly acclaimed Audubon String Quartet perform in Kresge Auditorium. In addition to Mozart's string quintet K.515, the program also included two string quartets by Mozart (K.458) and Shostakovich (No.5). The captivating performances, the intimate music, the large and enthusiastic audience, all contributed to a decidedly worthwhile musical experience.
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