Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends to Bring NEW WORLDS to Palo Alto
Hollywood actor Bill Murray teams up with distinguished German cellist Jan Vogler in Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends: New Worlds, a spirited one-night-only celebration of music and literature presented by the OFJCC in Palo Alto.
In this rare live appearance, Murray brings his charm and wit to the stage as both singer and narrator, treating the audience to readings of classic American poetry and prose in dialogue with Vogler's singing Stradivari cello.
An idea that originated when Murray and Vogler serendipitously met aboard an airplane, New Worlds showcases American values in both music and literature, and how American writers, actors, and musicians have built bridges between America and Europe.
Featured in this intimate showcase are the works of Twain, Hemingway, Whitman, Cooper, Bernstein, Gershwin, and Foster, some of the strongest voices that influenced generations of people in America and gave the world a picture of the charm, energy, and creative force of the New World.
Murray and Vogler will be joined by pianist Vanessa Perez and violinist Mira Wang. Produced and directed by Bernhard Fleischer/BFMI, this special event will be presented at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Oshman Family JCC Schultz Cultural Arts Hall, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. For tickets ($145-$250) and more information visit paloaltojcc.org/murray or call (650) 223-8649.
Bill Murray and Jan Vogler met during their travels and became friends in New York. Curious about each other's artistic world and interests, the actor and the cellist soon had the idea to work together on a project: a performance highlighting the core of American values in literature and music. Murray, with his uncanny ability to turn everything into art, raved: "I am bathing in this experience, really. I can't get enough of it." This year, Murray and Vogler celebrate the premiere of their show, New Worlds, with performances around the world. The world premiere took place on June 4, 2017 at Germany's Dresden Festival, and the American premiere at the Napa Valley Festival on July 20, 2017.
Bill Murray is an American actor, comedian, and writer. Born the fifth of nine children in Wilmette, Illinois, he gave up his medical studies to pursue his second passion: acting. Murray joined the "National Lampoon Radio Hour" in 1973 with fellow members Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi, later becoming a fixture on "Saturday Night Live," for which he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy - Variety or Music Series. He has starred in numerous cult classics and comedy films, including "Meatballs," "Caddyshack," "Tootsie," "Ghostbusters," "Ghostbusters II," and "Groundhog Day." In 1999, he starred in Wes Anderson's "Rushmore," which won him several awards including Best Supporting Actor from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics. He further collaborated with Anderson in "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," "Moonrise Kingdom," and "The Grand Budapest Hotel." For his role in Sofia Coppola's 2003 "Lost in Translation," he received numerous awards including a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Murray has received Golden Globe nominations for his roles in "Ghostbusters," "Rushmore," "Hyde Park on Hudson," "St. Vincent," and the HBO miniseries "Olive Kitteridge," for which he later won his second Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie. Recognized not only as an actor, but also a humorist, Murray was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in October 2016.
Jan Vogler is one of today's most renowned soloists, praised for his "soulful, richly hued playing" (The New York Times) and his "spiraling virtuosity" (Gramophone Magazine). A prolific and multi-award-winning recording artist, Vogler records exclusively for Sony Classical. He performs with leading international orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston, Montreal, and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and collaborates with conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Fabio Luisi, Sir Antonio Pappano, Valery Gergiev, Thomas Hengelbrock, Manfred Honeck, and Kent Nagano. In the 2017-18 season, he is Artist in Residence with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He will also perform in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski, the Philharmonia Zurich and the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the baton of Fabio Luisi, as well as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Peter Oundjian with Wolfgang Rihm's "Double Concerto" for violin and cello. He frequently appears in recitals with his duo partners Hélène Grimaud, Martin Stadtfeld, and Lise de la Salle. He is also the creative mind and key player of the project Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends: New Worlds, which aims to intertwine American literature with European music. This season sees two major US tours with the project, and in September 2017 the album "New Worlds" will be released by Decca Gold. Vogler plays the 1707 Stradivari 'Ex Castelbarco/Fau' cello.
Vanessa Perez is a Steinway Artist who has been praised for her bold and passionate performing style, showcasing her skill as a pianist of keen sensitivity. Perez began her studies in Caracas, Venezuela at the age of seven with Colegio Emil Friedman, followed by degrees from the Royal Academy of Music in London and Yale University. She has performed across the United States, Latin America and Europe, with musicians such as pianists Gabriela Montero and Ingrid Fliter, and conductors Gustavo Dudamel, John Axelrod, Enrique Batiz, Gustav Meier, James Judd, David Gimenez Carreras, and Diego Matheuz. In studio, Perez joined superstar violinist Joshua Bell for his "At Home with Friends" album, released by Sony Classical in 2009. As a solo artist, the pianist has recorded for VAI in "Presenting Vanessa Perez," and received high praise for her Telarc recording of Chopin, "The Complete Preludes," reaching No. 5 on the Billboard charts. The Washington Post raved, "Perez dove into the Preludes as if discovering them for the first time, flinging them out into the hall with a kind of wild intensity that was often breathtaking." Her most recent recording, "Spain," released by Steinway & Sons in 2016, was described by Fanfare Magazine as "stunningly played and extremely well recorded... Perez is clearly a musician of distinction." Recent performance highlights have included appearances at the International Keyboard Institute & Festival in New York, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, concerts with the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar under Gustavo Dudamel in Caracas, Conductor Nikolaj Znaider and the Teresa Carreño Youth orchestra, and the Casals Festival with Diego Matheuz. She was featured last December in Amazon's television series, "Mozart in the Jungle," performing Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla with Gael Garcia Bernal and ondist Suzanne Farrin.
Mira Wang has become a remarkable soloist on the world stage since beginning her career as a child prodigy in Beijing, China. She was sponsored by renowned violin teacher, the late Roman Totenberg, to further her studies at Boston University, where she graduated summa cum laude and received the prestigious Kahn Award for outstanding performers. She has won first prize in several international violin competitions, including the Geneva Competition. Wang has appeared as a soloist with prestigious orchestras all over the world, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and NDR Philharmonic Hannover. An avid chamber musician, Wang's partners have included Hélène Grimaud, Olli Mustonen, Alice Sara Ott, Lise de la Salle, Louis Lortie, Jeremy Denk, Heinrich Schiff, Daniel Müller-Schott, Gautier Capuçon, Jan Vogler, Roberto Diaz, Lawrence Power, Lars Anders Tomter, and Naoko Shimizu. Wang has also recorded extensively for many labels including Sony Classical and Edel Classics; her discography includes violin concerto No. 2 by Prokofiev with the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony, the violin concerto No. 3 by Saint-Saens with NDR Philharmonic Hannover, a duo album with cellist Jan Vogler, and several chamber music recordings with Artists of the Moritzburg Festival. Wang has been Artistic Director of the Model Room Musicales concert series in New York City since 2005 and in 2013, she became Director of the Moritzburg Festival Academy, a training program for young musicians that is a part of the annuAl Moritzburg Chamber Music Festival in Germany. Wang plays on a Stradivari violin that once belonged to German violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim.
Oshman Family Jewish Community Center (OFJCC) on the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life serves the South Peninsula through educational, social, cultural, fitness, sports and other programs. The OFJCC is a multi-generational Jewish neighborhood where all are welcome and which fosters new personal and community connections through rich and rewarding experiences. The OFJCC provides a common ground for Jewish institutions, other local groups, organizations and individuals to work, learn and play together for the betterment of the whole community. The OFJCC's registered trademarks are Live Fully and J-Pass.For more information, visit www.paloaltojcc.org or call (650) 223-8700.
Pictured: Pianist Vanessa Perez, actor Bill Murray, German cellist Jan Vogler, and violinist Mira Wang. Photo by Peter Rigaud.