In the January 19 issue of the online magazine San Francisco Classical Voice, Steven Winn writes, “ ‘This tour is based on the simple idea that high art and accessibility are not mutually exclusive.’ So says the German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, in his straight-to-the-point manifesto for ‘Sounding Off: A Fresh Look at Classical Music.’ Moser has joined forces with keyboardist and performance artist Phyllis Chen for a six-city U.S. swing that lands in San Francisco Jan. 19-20. … In these concerts, Moser, a 30-year-old marquee-name soloist who has appeared with the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and many others, will employ a conventional cello, as well as prepared and electric versions of the instrument. Chen’s resources include prepared piano, toy piano, and music box. … Venue is another key component of the ‘Sounding Off’ concept. The tour moves from small clubs to college campuses (Pepperdine University) to the financially beleaguered Detroit Institute of Art. It concludes Feb. 1 at New York’s alternative-arts destination, (Le) Poisson Rouge. … ‘Our hope is to create a sense of excitement and investment in our music-making through intimate and informal exchanges outside of a formal setting,’ explains Moser.”

Posted January 6, 2010