February 2013

Richard Alston: Hooked on Classics

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

Chapter 1 — Richard Alston is a masterful pianist, having appeared as a soloist and in recitals with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. After earning both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Julliard School of Music, Alston was poised for a career in both classical piano performance as well as performing arts education. His performance credits range from recitals, guest soloist with major orchestras, live opera, radio and television broadcasts as well as CD recordings. Under the direction of Professor Alston, an associate degree music program at Essex County College has flourished into a full-fledged performing arts department of Music, Dance and Drama.

Friday Arts visited with Alston during a lecture and performance at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Alston shared with the audience how he came to love classical music and why he travels around performing Classically Black, a performance highlighting the work of classical composers of African descent.

Marc Brodzik

Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly

Chapter 2Marc Brodzik does portraits. The New Jesey-born artist paints them on cardboard, wheat pastes them on highway overpasses, and crafts them out of wood. He also happens to run a start-up internet TV channel called SCRAPPLE TV and makes documentaries in addition to painting. The work he does with is channel and with WOODSHOP FILMS he also considers “portraiture” but with the internet and video he is working in a medium of digital pixels, frame rates and aspect ratios. For this digital work, he won a prestigious Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2009, and was accepted to the internationally acclaimed MacDowell Colony in Peterborough NH. Join us in this segment to hear how Brodzik developed a particular technique to paint Dan, “The Weekend Guy”, and how 12 years later, he picked up right where he left off to paint Mary Anne, “the Rose Lady”, the portrait for whom you just might have seen if you’ve driven over the Ben Franklin Bridge in 2012.


Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski

Chapter 3The Geographical Society of Philadelphia was founded in 1891 by people with a passion for exploration and travel. The 2nd annual GEOfest is a film, speaker and food festival featuring renowned explorers, scientists and travelers, running in various locations throughout Philadelphia and the Main Line. This year the festival will be accompanied by GEOfeast, and each event will be paired with a feast inspired by the explorer’s journeys. Art of Food will feature the documentary “Opening Our Eyes”, a 99-day journey around the world, searching for ordinary people who are reaching extraordinary feats. Catering By Design will create dishes from Greece, Italy and Switzerland to help transport the audience to the places featured on the film. We’ll also see how Chef Guillermo Pernot from the restaurant Cuba Libre keeps his menu up to date with modern cuban cuisine, and Chef Joseph Poon will take us on a tour of Chinatown and visit the Chinese Fortune Cookie Factory.

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