Connect with us

Things To Do

“Instrument of the devil,” legendary violin comes to Columbus

Laura Dachenbach

Published

on

He was so good that people believed he had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his virtuosic talents. In fact, for 36 years after his death, his body was denied burial, so convinced was the general public that Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) was in league with Satan. The violinist was known for composing works of such extraordinary difficulty that only he could play them. His odd appearance, frequent illnesses, and many vices only reinforced Paganini’s diabolical reputation.

Paganini began playing the violin at the age of seven. When he was 15, he sold his expensive Amati violin to pay off a gambling debt. An amateur violinist and businessman gifted Paganini with a neglected Guarneri Del Gesu violin, constructed in 1743. The young musician named the instrument “Il Cannone” (the cannon) for its unparalleled powerful and resonant sound and played it for the rest of his life. Today the violin is housed at the Musei di Strada Nuova, Palazzo Doria-Tursi in Genoa, Italy, the city where its owner was born.

The now-276-year-old violin continues to enthrall audiences. It has been played by Shlomo Mintz, Joshua Bell, jazz violinist Regina Carter, and the yearly winner of each Premio Paganini contest.

This spring, the Devil’s Violin will seduce the modest Midwest right here in Columbus.

For a week in May, Il Cannone will be exhibited at the Columbus Museum of Art. On Wednesday of that week, it will be played in concert with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Rossen Milanov. Selections for the concert include the overture to Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, the Pas de action from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, the meditation from Thaïs by Massenet, and works composed by Paganini himself.

Sameen Dadfar, Program Manager with Greater Columbus Sister Cities International has been working on Il Cannone as a cultural project for over two years, supported by Columbus City Council.

“It all started in 2015. Councilmember [Priscilla] Tyson led a delegation of young professionals to Genoa that year, and among the many activities they did, they got to see the violin be performed.” A discussion began about whether the violin could be traveled to Columbus as part of a sister city relationship with Genoa. The initial answer was a firm no.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

“The violin very rarely leaves Genoa. It’s only been [in the US] in New York and San Francisco before. So Columbus is kind of something that we had to work towards,” explained Dadfar. “We’re working very closely with the Columbus Museum of Art and the Columbus Symphony so that we can make sure the violin is taken care of.”

In addition to the exhibition and concert, the film Strad Style will be showcased at the Gateway Film Center. A winner at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Strad Style is a documentary of Columbus native Daniel Houck who, through the medium of YouTube videos, becomes a self-taught violin maker on a quest to craft a concert-level replica of Il Cannone. Much of the story takes place in Houck’s run-down Ohio farmhouse. Houck will be available for a talkback after the showing.

Because of its history with a most unusual owner, Il Cannone has acquired an almost mystical presence in the world of music. Today many speculate Paganini had Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which was responsible for his long, thin fingers, and unusually flexible joints, endowing him with the ability to perform violin techniques thought physically impossible, and therefore, the product of the Devil’s powers. But the violin’s witching power lies in more than its history. Like a fine wine, Il Cannone has improved with time. 

“As opposed to modern-day instruments, the biggest difference is that the Il Cannone has had hundreds of years to open up. The wood ages, becomes more complex, softens, etc.,” explained CSO Concertmaster Joanna Frankel, who will play Il Cannone in concert. “The sound that players produce on this instrument affects the structure and timbre, allowing the wood to mold over the years to sound  and time.”

What has taken years to plan across two continents will culminate in just a brief time of rehearsal and performance for Frankel. 

“I will have only limited minutes to practice on this instrument, to unlock its mysteries and ‘wake it up’ so to speak, as it is mostly these days on view in a glass case at Genoa’s Palazzo Tursi. I’m excited for the challenge, and also extremely humbled to become one of the few violinists in history to perform on this instrument.”

Il Cannone will be on display at the Columbus Museum of Art from May 10th to May 19th. See columbusmuseum.org for details. The violin will be played in concert on May 15th at the Ohio Theatre. See columbussymphony.com. 

Continue Reading
Comments

Arts & Culture

(614) Movie Club: New Jon Stewart feature, Episode V Beer Tasting, and timely documentaries

Avatar

Published

on

(614) Movie Club. It’s OK to talk about it. 

Every Monday at (614) we’ll be here to update you on virtual and physical screenings that are being offered by the businesses and organizations that make Columbus such a special cinema city. Read below for this week’s streams and showtimes.

NOW SHOWING AT GRANDVIEW THEATER

Jaws

The original Jaws will continue to show at Grandview theater after a July 4 weekend beer tasting. Fitting, right? Watching this might be what it takes to keep you away from the beach for the rest of the summer.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (4 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 1975
  • Runtime: 124 min.

Jurassic Park

More Steven Spielberg horror on the big screen. Again, if you missed the beer tasting, you’ll have a few more shots this week at catching some dino-roaring action on the big screen.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (7 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 min.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Beer Tasting

One of the most popular picks for best Star Wars film of all time, the beer tasting comes during a year when the fifth episode is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Enjoy a 10-round beer tasting, free pint glass, raffle prizes, and a very entertaining presentation.

  • Showing: July 11 (3 and 9 p.m.) and 12 (5 p.m.)
  • Cost: $40
  • Release: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 min.

NOW SHOWING AT STUDIO 35

Irresistible 

A local town battling big-party politics, written and directed by Jon Stewart and starring Steve Carrell? Looks great on paper, plays out even better on screen. Rose Byrne is outright ridiculous in this one. Enjoy a 2020 release in an actual movie theater with grade-A recliners.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (4:30, 7, and 9:30 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 2020
  • Runtime: 104 min.

Jurassic Park

See above.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (4 and 7 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 min.

Jaws

See above.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (9:45 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 1975
  • Runtime: 124 min.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Beer Tasting

See above.

  • Showing: July 11 (noon and 5:30 p.m.) and 12 (2 p.m.)
  • Cost: $40
  • Release: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 min.

NOW STREAMING VIRTUALLY AT THE WEX

Cincinnati Goddam

A timely documentary that followed the Black Lives Matter movement around 2013, this film focuses on the corruption within the Cincinnati Police Department, whose force was responsible for killing a total of 15 black men between 1995 and 2001. 

  • Closes: July 9
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: 2015
  • Runtime: 103 min.

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most prolific singers of all time. Although a lot of her life has been studied, this documentary goes deeper with some never-before-seen footage and interviews from greats such as Tony Bennett and Smokey Robinson.

  • Closes: July 23
  • Cost: $12
  • Release: 2019
  • Runtime: 90 min.

The Last Tree

A coming-of-age journey that follows a Black teenager trying to find his identity in the UK and beyond. The movie was the winner of the World Dramatic Competition at Sundance and Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer awards at the British Independent Film Awards.

  • Closes: July 23
  • Cost: $10
  • Release: 2019
  • Runtime: 98 min.

Denise Ho - Becoming the Song

Another unfortunately timely documentary, Denise Ho follows the personal journey of the openly gay singer from pop icon to human rights activist. What emerged out of the Umbrella Movement of 2014 saw Ho take to the streets in the midst of the Hong Kong revolution in 2019.

  • Closes: July 30
  • Cost: $12
  • Release: 2020
  • Runtime: 83 min.

NOW STREAMING VIRTUALLY AT GFC

Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly

Ai Weiwei, China's most famous artist, transforms Alcatraz Island prison into an astonishing expression of socially-engaged art focused on the unjustly incarcerated. Known-whistleblower Chelsea Manning makes an appearance. 

  • Opens: July 8
  • Cost: $10
  • Release: 2019
  • Runtime: 78 min.

We Are Little Zombies

If eccentric Japanese cinema is your forte, you’ll want to check out We Are Little Zombies. A messy triumph of tragedy, comedy, music, social criticism, and teenage angst, watch what four teenagers do when they find out their parents are being turned into dust.

  • Opens: July 8
  • Cost: N/A
  • Release: 2019
  • Runtime: 120 min.
Continue Reading

Things To Do

Where to get your Red, White & BOOM on this July 4th

Avatar

Published

on

It was a bummer to hear that Red, White & BOOM would be canceled and changed to a virtual format for 2020. However, that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating in a somewhat traditional sense. Even with one of the biggest fireworks celebrations put on hold, there’s still plenty to do around Columbus, fireworks or no fireworks.

We here at (614) know that given the modern-day circumstances, people have the choice to celebrate in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Below you can find three ways to celebrate–Local 4th of July events; Red, White & BOOM alternatives; and places where you can legally celebrate yourself.

THINGS TO DO ON JULY 4TH

Fourth of July Fireworks

West Jefferson July 4th Streetfest

When: July 4 at 10 p.m.

Where: Watch from home

Obetz Fireworks

When: July 4

Where: Watch from home

Fourth of July Activities

Neighborhood Bike Brigade

When: Various start times

Where: Dublin neighborhoods

Sherm Sheldon Fishing Derby

When: June 26 through July 4

Where: Any Dublin pond

Fourth of July Parades

Front Yard Parade in the Round

When: July 4 at 6 until 9 p.m.

Where: Your front yard

2020 Cruisin’ On The 4th of July

When: July 4 at noon

Where: Northbridge Ln., Columbus, OH 43235

New Albany 4th of July Parade & Festival

When: July 4 at 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Where: Church of the Resurrection, 6300 E Dublin Granville Rd., New Albany, OH 43054

Other Fourth of July Events

Zoombezi Bay Family Movie Night featuring The Goonies

When: July 3 from 6 until 11 p.m.

Where: Zoombezi Bay, 10101 Riverside Dr., Powell, OH 43065

HOW TO CELEBRATE WITH RED, WHITE & BOOM

Red, White & BOOM was gearing up for its 40th anniversary before COVID-19 shut the mass gathering down. However, the beloved Columbus fireworks show will be hosting a virtual event over the first four days of July. The virtual campaign will air on NBC4.

Here are some of the events that will take place:

  • Highlighting the best Red, White & BOOM stories
  • Stories from local veterans inducted into the Ford Oval of Honor
  • Broadcasting the best Red, White & BOOM fireworks over the show’s 39-year history
  • Looking back on the tradition of parades honoring veterans

HOW TO TAKE CELEBRATING INTO YOUR OWN HANDS

We here at (614) also know that setting off fireworks yourself is illegal. We also know that buying them within the state is legal (OK?).

So here is a list of places around Columbus you can buy fireworks from. What you do from there is up to you, but we advise you to stay within the law:

Continue Reading

Community

Zoo Babies! We’ve got the photo cuteness

Avatar

Published

on

Start the ooo-ing and ahhh-ing, Columbus, because we’ve got Zoo baby pics!

A Masai giraffe calf, a sea lion pup, two red panda cubs, and a siamang (gibbon) baby—all recent births at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for these endangered species. It’s a show of commitment from the organization how they were able to nurture these species populations at-risk for extinction and bring new generations of them into the world. 

“We are extremely proud to welcome these babies as they all represent hope for the future of species that are increasingly facing challenges in their native ranges,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO, Tom Stalf. In the press release, Stalf detailed how special these births are as the threatened species received around-the-clock, top-quality care by the Animal Care staff over the three-month-closure of the Zoo, due to COVID-19. 

OK, no more waiting—get your fill of cuteness below with these Zoo baby pics!

Masai Giraffe Calf

“A Masai giraffe calf was born on June 28, 2020, at 2:29 p.m. to mother, Zuri, in a behind-the-scenes barn of the Zoo’s Heart of Africa region.”

Sea lion Pup

“During the early morning hours of June 25, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed the first sea lion pup ever to be born at the facility!”

Two Red Panda Cubs

“Two healthy red panda cubs were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, a welcomed addition to this endangered species.”

Siamang (Gibbon) baby

“On the morning of May 29, 2020, the Australia and Islands region welcomed a baby siamang. Mom, Olga, is being very attentive to her little one, whose sex and name have not yet been determined.”

Get information about conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium here.

Continue Reading
X