Tag Archives: Miami

Yo Yo Ma at the Arsht and much more

by mimorg33

It was an evening of magnificent music. The unequaled Yo Yo Ma returned to Miami’s Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts last February 3rd where he joined The Cleveland Orchestra under director Franz Welser-Möst to play Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, op 114. It is an exquisitely melancholic rendering of the Czech composer’s inner universe pulsating with homesickness for his native Bohemia. He completed it in New York, on February 10th, 1895, the same day his son Otakak turned 10 years old. His last New World work premiered in London on March 1896 with the composer at the baton.

Ma’s quintessential interpretation of the lyrical, poignant and expansive composition made for a memorable experience. In the Allegro Ma elaborated with melodic scaling the theme introduced by Michael Mayhem’s superbly executed horn solo. But in the Adagio Ma seemed transfixed with such alluring emotion and for the Finale he established an intense dialogue with concertmaster William Peucil that built up to the rapturous coda. The delighted audience rewarded him with an extended standing ovation that culminated with an elegant encore: an arrangement for cello and orchestra of Dvorak’s pensive Silent Woods, op 68.

yoyo-ma-concertmaster

 

It is fascinating to witness Yo Yo Ma display his charming personality, from the reverence he shows for his instrument to the amiability he demonstrates toward his fellow musicians. Once he finished playing he filled the Knight with sheer joie de vivre: hugging Peucil, shaking hands with other players, laughing and, finally dancing with Welser-Möst. You couldn’t help feeling happy.

greeting-audience

After a brief pause, the orchestra returned to play Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, op. 45, its final movement dominated by the intense brass and percussion with the dance rhythms inspired on the popular tarantella.

The Cleveland Orchestra under Maestro Welser-Möst is back on March 24 – 25 for the last two concerts of its 2016 – 2017 season at the Arsht at which time Italy will be the theme of the program. Two ballet pieces by Verdi from the operas Macbeth and Don Carlo; the Italian Symphony by Mendelssohn and, Respighi’s monumental Pines of Rome.

Two of the performances to take note at the Arsht this week are:
February 10th: 8 p.m.

Knight Concert Hall

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs

Alan Cumming at Carnegie hall, photo by Tré.

Alan Cumming at Carnegie hall, photo by Tré.

The multifaceted Cumming brings to Miami his adrenaline driven one-man cabaret show where he runs the gamut from bitter to anguished, romantic to humorous through songs with depth, irony, theatricality and an intense dose of humanity. This is a unique opportunity to catch a uniquely talented performer in a very personal staging.

February 11th, 8 p.m.

Chen, Eschenbach and the Bamberg Symphony

ray-chen-img_1837

A winning musical trio brought together for the second concert of the 2016 – 2017 Masterworks Season of the Classical Music Series at the Arsht Center. The concert will open with the overture to Mozart’s Don Giovanni followed by Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and conclude with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the ambitious and revolutionary (Eroica). We will be watching with anticipation how the young virtuoso violinist Ray Chen will perform Bruch’s very demanding piece with its brilliantly rousing Finale.

 

 

Share

KYU: gastronomy with social conscience

KYUBar

By mimorg33

The rhythms of Wynwood with its graffiti-covered façades, kids moving in and out on their skate boards or bikes and art spaces popping up, express an urban language about this area of Miami that speaks of possibilities no other community in the county does. In the midst of this hipster environment one arrives to an open concrete area flanked by a “green wall” covered with ferns and other plants across another with a mural by artists Andrew Antonaccio and Filio Galvez. The minimalist mix of concrete, wood and metal interior is the setting for the Asian fusion food space with a wood-burning grill open kitchen.

KYUDesign
A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA), chef Michael Lewis trained with chefs David Bouley at Bouley Bakery and Market and Eric Ripert of Le Bernadin to later work under Jean-Georges at the Michelin three star Central Park West. Together with general manager Steven Haigh culinary excitement is infused at Kyu for local and visiting foodies. With affability Haigh balances his many duties keeping an overall view from the inviting bar with its tempting offerings such as the lovely Smoke & Mirrors ($16): Gracias a Dios mezcal combined with Aperol, Campari and fresh grapefruit juice. Like a missing piece of a puzzle Kyu fits perfectly in this area of urban possibilities.

KYUCocktail

The term Kyu has multiple meanings given the rich diversity of the Asian world most of us are not versed in. It mainly refers to the ranking system in modern martial arts where you are awarded another kyu for each level achieved. The accuracy with which karate movements are performed can be associated with the way each dish is carefully conceived, crafted and executed. Starting with the simple snacks: the elegant and crunchy kale siting on nam prik
 sauce ($7), crispy pork belly steamed bun
 ($12), fun to eat crispy-spicy hamachi tartare ($18) and the refreshing and delicate tuna tartare sitting on bib lettuce with a touch of yuzu sabayon ($16); one of the most popular veggie dishes is the roasted cauliflower and goat cheese with a shishito-herb vinaigrette ($14). Pairing the appetizers with the delicate Junmai Ginjo’s Rihaku Wandering Poet sake ($11) was a perfect decision. El Niño del Campilo, a 2013 tempranillo ($14) was the choice for an addictive, mouthwatering and flawlessly cooked butter braised chicory Korean fried chicken ($18) and the unforgettably melt-in-you-mouth black shichimi pepper wagyu beef brisket ($36).

Aside from their insistence on sustainable products, I appreciate how Lewis and Haigh live their social consciousness “for every tree we burn we replant 5”. Before opening in February, the restaurant partnered with Trees for the Future to donate 10,000 trees to be planted in Senegal, this was their way of compensating for the wood they would be burning; they also use an Orca composter to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and diminishing Co2 emissions.

KYUCrabBuns

KYU Miami in Wynwood Chef Michael Lewis Steven Haigh

I enjoyed Kyu so much that I returned the following Sunday for brunch and tried the yummy soft shell crab on a steamed bun ($12) and the gorgeously stacked beef short rib cooked with a perfectly delectable sweet soy and garlic sauce ($38). On both occasions the ideal complement for me was the Thai fried rice ($20) finished table side on a heated stone pot so that a crust that balances the glutinous short grained rice regularly associated with sushi. On Sunday we tried it with crab meat ($24) but either ways this fragrant dish is worth coming back for time and time again. Yet the grand finale was mom’s scrumptious not-to-be-missed KYU coconut cake ($8).

KYU by Lucky Frog Studios

As I walked out into the blazing hot Miami afternoon I immediately reminisced about the Raging Geisha ($17) I had enjoyed earlier. For a moment I felt inclined to run back for the coolness of the cucumber-basil topped concoction with IWAI Japanese whisky, St. Germain and yuzu. But in a zen-like moment I breathed deeply: one has to be patient and wait for future visits.

Kyu is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sundays; closed on Mondays. For reservations: 786-577-0150 or kyumiami.com
251 Northwest 25th Street
Miami, Florida 33127

Share