CutTime Simfonica to open Thunder Bay Arts 2019-2020 season

Courtesy Photo CutTime Simfonica will open Thunder Bay Arts’ 2019-2020 season with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Art in the Loft.

The first program of the new 2019-2020 Thunder Bay Arts season brings a twist to classical music.

Though seemingly a juxtaposition, CutTime Simfonica bills itself as “classical cuts loose.” With strings and drums, this Detroit-based ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Art in the Loft.

Admission is $20 per person. Those with a TBArts Pass for the 2019-2020 season will be admitted by presenting their pass.

CutTime “edu-tains” with famous classical, symphonic and new music directed and hosted by bassist-composer and former Detroit Symphony Orchestra member Rick Robinson.

Over the course of time, the ensemble has developed into a singular mission enterprise to reintroduce symphonic music to people who avoid, forgot or ignore classical music.

“If we can’t make it work outside the concert hall, it’s because we’re not trying,” Robinson said. “With smoking laws, now we have a chance to make it work everywhere.”

A “cut time” is a musical symbol that calls for a lively, fast or swinging beat. CutTime adopted this symbol as a guiding principle to make classical, and especially symphonic music, lively or swinging. 

“We are elite professional orchestra musicians adapting classical music to work everywhere and for everyone,” Robinson said. “It’s time we cut the concert rituals and academia, so real people learn how classical music works, from body language, metaphors, jokes, key info, games and personal testimony. Only the musicians can reset this context.”

According to Robinson, the Alpena audience is in store for a fun evening.

“CutTime is bringing a huge variety program to Alpena with the world’s only string quartet with drums,” he said. “We play short, hit symphonic works, soulful new compositions, and a grab bag of song, rock or movie covers. My own compositions blend a lot of fun rhythm and blues with classical drama.”

What sets CutTime apart from other string quartets is that it’s the only one devoted to symphonic repertoire and resetting the classics with ease, personality and surprise.

“We advance public domain by making classical music truly universal,” Robinson said. “Best of all, audiences get to join in, shaking toy percussion we distribute.”

Performing along with Robinson are musicians Eliot Heaton, Ran Cheng, Romona Merritt and Mike List.

The upcoming performance by CutTime is one of the programs offered with the TBArts Pass, available for sale at the TBA office located at 127 W. Chisholm or online at thunderbayarts.org. Cost is $55 for all events included in the 2019-2020 season.

Individual tickets, at $20 per person, also are available at the TBA office, online, at Neiman’s Family Market or at the door on the day of the event. For more information, contact TBA at 989-356-6678.


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