Grammy Smash at NCSA, Atomic Bombs At Revolve

by Mark Burger

There’s an unusual misconception that exists among some people throughout the Triad – that the performances at the NC School of the Arts are for students, faculty and patrons only.

Not true, and it never has been. Whether it be theater, dance or music, there’s always room for bigger audiences at NCSA (provided the show isn’t already sold out, of course – in which case you’re outta luck).

To that end, let’s talk about the Emerson String Quartet, which has been enjoying a guest residency at NCSA’s School of Music, and will be performing Friday (March 28) and Saturday (March 29) in Watson Chamber Music Hall, located – where else? – but on the NCSA campus (1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem). If you’re a fan of the eight-time Grammy Award winners, here they are, right in your own proverbial backyard.

If you couldn’t get tickets to see Pauly Shore, and you can’t get tickets to Bon Jovi (oh the humanity!), well… maybe this is just what you’re looking for.

For more than 30 years, the Emerson String Quartet has been making beautiful music, and unlike a lot of music groups, the players have stayed put for all that time: Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer (violin), Lawrence Dutton (viola) and David Finckel (cello). There’s old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Obviously, the Emerson String Quartet needs no fixing. The group’s eighth Grammy Award came only two years ago, for the album Intimate Voices (best chamber music performance).

Admission is $25; students and senior citizens, $20. For tickets, or for more information about NCSA’s performance schedule – and there will be plenty to see before the spring semester ends and the graduation caps go flying into the air. See or call 336.721.1945.

As a matter of fact, NCSA’s got a number of productions on tap, including the Guitar Class Recital (April 1), the Emerging Choreographers Concert (April 1-5), violinist Kevin Lawrence (April 5), organist Jack Mitchener (April 11), Undergraduate Opera Scenes (April 13), the Kenan Writers’ Encounters: “Arts and the Environment” (April 15-22); William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 (April 17-26), as performed by the School of Drama’s Studio III (junior) and Studio IV (senior) classes under the direction of Gerald Freedman, dean of the School of Drama; the Studio III/Studio IV presentation of Euripides’ The Trojan Women (April 18-27), under the direction of John Lange; and plenty more.

The Revolve Film and Music Festival has its March event ready to roll: The North Carolina premiere of Jon Else’s documentary feature Wonders Are Many: The Making of Dr. Atomic, which takes the viewer on an in-depth, behind-the-scenes tour of the making of Dr. Atomic, an original work by the San Francisco Opera that dramatizes the dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945.

Hailed by Variety as “a dazzling case of the right filmmaker attached to the right subject,” the film details the efforts of composer John Adams and dramaturge Peter Sellars to turn the factual story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the birth of the atomic age into a sweeping, full-scale opera.

The Hollywood Reporter described Wonders Are Many as “a complex and illuminating glimpse into human creativity.”

Sort of like this column, come to think of it.

The film will be screened 8 p.m. Saturday (March 22) in 111 Carswell Hall on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Admission is $8 (advance) and $10 (day of show), and tickets are available online at

After the screening, you can enjoy the fallout at the post-event party at Revolve HQ (1012 W. 5th St., W-S).