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Traveling da Vinci exhibit proves big hit for MAC

Sun., Sept. 11, 2011

The final numbers are in for “Leonardo da Vinci: Man – Inventor – Genius.”

About 38,000 people attended this summer-long traveling exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC).

It came close to the museum’s attendance goals and more than met its financial goals, according to the people at the MAC.

The final week – the week before Labor Day – was particularly strong, attracting 6,500 people.

“There were lines out the front door and even out in the street,” said museum spokeswoman Rebecca Bishop.

The MAC would have liked to have broken the 40,000-visitor mark set by the “T. rex Named Sue” exhibit in 2007. However, the T. rex exhibit charged regular museum admission while the da Vinci exhibit had special (higher) pricing.

“Leonardo” was also a hit with schools. A total of 3,400 people visited as part of school groups.

The MAC also signed up 500 new members over the exhibit’s span.

ArtFest stays put

In other MAC news, the museum’s annual ArtFest event will stay put in Browne’s Addition in 2012.

Museum officials had pondered moving the art, food and music festival from Coeur d’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition to the larger Riverfront Park downtown.

The Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council viewed the prospect with alarm and called a meeting Wednesday night to voice concerns.

Forrest Rodgers, the MAC’s new executive director, talked to neighborhood representatives and said Thursday that ArtFest will remain at Coeur d’Alene Park next year.

A big Comstock crowd

Spokane Symphony music director Eckart Preu stood at the podium at Comstock Park on Monday and wondered aloud if this was an even bigger crowd than usual. The crowd was, indeed, huge.

Thousands showed up for the Spokane Symphony’s Labor Day concert at Comstock Park. Two reasons for the big turnout: First, the weather was perfect. Second, people can no longer take this event for granted.

There was no Comstock Park concert last year, for the first time in 25 years, because there was no funding. This year, Sterling Savings stepped up and sponsored it. The bank will also sponsor it for the next two years.

The symphony sounded great, and the traditional crowd-pleasers – “The 1812 Overture” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” – got the crowd up and clapping

And let’s applaud Sterling Savings as well. Now, more than ever, arts organizations need this kind of corporate support to stay healthy.

Kick Back Classics

The Spokane Symphony has announced a new concert concept: Kick Back Classics.

These are concerts away from the usual concert hall and without a conductor.

Annie Matlow of the symphony said the musicians “will be ‘kicking back,’ and playing without a conductor – much like a chamber group but with symphonic proportions.”

The Kick Back Classics lineup:

• Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. at the Spokane Falls Community College Music Building, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Drive. This concert will help show off the newly renovated music building.

• Oct. 6, 7 p.m. at Turning Point Church, 11911 N. Division St.

The symphony will play “crowd favorites” by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Britten and Ravel.

And here’s the best thing about the Kick Back Classics: Tickets will be only $5 each – much cheaper than a regular classics concert.

Tickets go on sale Thursday at (509) 624-1200, or online at www.spokanesymphony.org, or at the Fox box office, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.

Symphony Week at KPBX-FM

By the way, this is Symphony Week at KPBX-FM (Spokane Public Radio, 91.1).

That means the Spokane Symphony will be spotlighted every day, Monday through Friday, between 9 and 11 a.m.

You’ll hear live and recorded performances and interviews, ending Friday with an interview with opening concert soloist Jon Kimura Parker.

This will be the second year the orchestra and Spokane Public Radio have collaborated on a Symphony Week.

Dinnerstein at the Fox

Last week, I told you all about Simone Dinnerstein’s  upcoming concert, but I probably should have mentioned that it will be at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.

Yes, I left that detail out.

This acclaimed classical pianist will perform with the Gonzaga University Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. at The Fox.

Tickets are general admission and can be purchased through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT or www.ticketswest.com) or at the Fox box office.

‘Jazz for Chas’

“Jazz for Chas,” Spokane Public Radio’s celebration of the late jazz announcer Charles Schlesinger, will take place Thursday, 7 p.m. at The Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St.

The Brian Flick Trio will perform. Tickets are $12, available by calling Spokane Public Radio at (509) 328-5729.

Historic Bleecker music

Allegro’s Music at Historic Homes Series kicks off with a series of concerts on Tuesday and Wednesday at the 1909 Bleecker House at 1707 N. West Point Road on Spokane’s North Side.

Oboist David Dutton and fortepianist Yi-chun Chen will be joined by young oboist Nicholas Hendryx, who won a Spokane Scholars Foundation grant this year.

Hendryx is a Lewis and Clark High School grad on the way to the University of Washington.

They’ll play music by Mozart, Albinoni, Ferling and Beyer. Showtimes on both days are 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25, through www.allegrobaroque.org or at (509) 455-6865. That includes the concert and a home tour.

A historic Chickering piano

For more than a century, Chickering was one the most famous piano names in America, the equivalent of Steinway today.

Soon, you’ll have the chance to hear a restored 1920s Chickering piano in its debut performance, Oct. 2 in Coeur d’Alene.

This piano was bequeathed to Opera Coeur d’Alene by Marjorie Winderman in 2007 and restored by professional restorer Scott Cowles.

Cynthia Marlette and Pearl Harwood will accompany Max Mendez and Ruth Pratt in an intimate concert to show off the piano’s sound, Oct. 2, 4 p.m. at the Scharelant Center, 1890 S. Hillcrest Drive in Coeur d’Alene.

Reservations are $30 per person, and limited to 50. Call Mark Faulkner at (208) 664-2827.



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