Chamber orchestra debuts anew
The Cornell Chamber Orchestra (CCO) will perform “Around the World,” March 17 at 3 p.m. in Barnes Hall Auditorium.
The program features classical music from Hungary, Argentina, the Austrian Alps and Scandinavia, with Bartók’s “Romanian Folk Dances” and selections by Piazzolla, Mozart and Grieg. The concert, free and open to the public, is presented by the Department of Music.
The ensemble has adopted a new model, initiated by CCO interim director Timna Mayer, in which students work together in a new way: At every rehearsal, the musicians are obliged to take leadership responsibility.
In the traditional orchestra model, each section of instruments has a leader; atop the hierarchy are the concertmaster (first violinist) and the conductor. The new CCO structure has no conductor, and players in each section rotate so that every musician takes initiative, recognizing the importance of leading by following.
Mayer teaches viola and violin students at Cornell and has served as assistant to the orchestras since 2017. A native of Salzburg, Austria, she has introduced several original projects at both Cornell and Ithaca College.
Translating new worlds
Hugo Award-winning science fiction author and translator Ken Liu explores the universe of Chinese science fiction, March 18 at 4:30 in Klarman Hall Auditorium. His lecture, “Betrayal with Integrity,” delves into frameworks of translation, origins of Chinese sci-fi and world-building in his popular novels. A book signing will follow, with books available for purchase from Buffalo Street Books.
Liu’s books include “The Dandelion Dynasty” fantasy series and “The Grace of Kings” (2015). His translation of Liu Cixin’s “Three-Body Problem” trilogy (which won the Hugo in 2015 for best novel) and his own novels have been instrumental in bringing Chinese sci-fi to a global audience, allowing readers across cultures to share an invented world.
Part of the Cornell Contemporary China Initiative lecture series, the talk is free and open to the public and sponsored by the East Asia Program in the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. Co-sponsors include the Society for the Humanities at Cornell and the Department of Writing at Ithaca College.
Protests in women’s soccer
In 2016, the majority of women’s soccer teams in Latin America were designated “inactive” by FIFA. The players launched protests, which are still going on, for better conditions.
Historian Brenda Elsey of Hofstra University will explore the implications of these protests in “Fútbol Feminista: Solidarity and History of Latin American Women's Soccer,” March 19 at 4:30 p.m. in Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall. The 2019 Harold E. Seymour Lecture in Sports History, sponsored by the Department of History, is free and open to the public.
Elsey will discuss the protests in historical context and how they can help us understand new feminist movements, women’s experience as athletes and the global landscape of professional sport.
A scholar of gender, politics and popular culture in Latin America, Elsey is the author of “Citizens and Sportsmen: Fútbol and Politics in Twentieth-Century Chile” and co-author of “Futbolera: A History of Women’s Sport in Latin America.” She has written for The Guardian, New Republic, Sports Illustrated and other publications, and co-hosts the weekly sport and feminism podcast, “Burn It All Down.”
Spotlight on film producers
Cornell Cinema presents A Conversation with David Greenbaum ’98, March 21 at 5:15 p.m. in Willard Straight Theatre. Admission is free.
Greenbaum, co-head of production at Fox Searchlight Pictures, will speak via Skype about his career and the making of “The Favourite,” in conversation with Cornell Cinema director Mary Fessenden. Greenbaum won an Oscar for Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” in 2018, and has shepherded other recent award-winners such as “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs.”
Also at Cornell Cinema: A screening of “Colette,” with producer Christine Vachon in person, March 20 at 7 p.m., as part of the series Women/Film: Past/Present. Wash Westmoreland’s 2018 period drama stars Kiera Knightley, Dominic West and Eleanor Tomlinson.
Vachon, the film’s Independent Spirit Award-winning producer, will be in conversation with filmmaker Cathy Crane, an associate professor at Ithaca College.
Vachon co-founded Killer Films in 1995. The independent film and television production company’s credits include Oscar-winners “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Still Alice” (also directed by Westmoreland), and Todd Haynes’ Oscar-nominated films “I’m Not There,” “Carol” and “Far From Heaven.”
Playwrights, screenwriters honored
Winners of the Heermans-McCalmon undergraduate writing competition will be honored March 22 at 4:30 p.m. at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts’ Class of ’56 Dance Theatre. Sponsored by the Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA), the presentation is free and open to the public.
The event includes a staged reading of the winning play, “Unwinding” by Elle Rothermich ’19, directed by associate professor Beth F. Milles. Guest filmmaker Shadae Lamar Smith will present a style plan for “Lost & Found” by Loila Briggs ’19, winner in the screenplay category, explaining how he would approach the script as a director.
Guest dramaturg Morgan Jenness will work with Rothermich and Smith will work with Briggs on developing their respective scripts.
The second-place play, “How to Spell Permission” by Rachel Whalen ’19, and runner-up screenplay, “Costumes” by Ryan Delouya ’19, will be presented in table readings. Honorable mentions went to Julian Robison ’20 for the stage play “Sizzle,” and to Zhengxi Hou ’20 for the screenplay “In the Wonderland.”
The Drama Book Award will be presented to a Cornell senior who has made an outstanding contribution to theater. PMA faculty and staff vote on the winner.
A discussion with Milles, Smith and Jenness follows the presentations. Smith and Jenness also are featured speakers in PMA’s Professional Directions series, March 20 and 21, respectively, at 4:30 p.m. in the Schwartz Center’s Film Forum.
The Heermans-McCalmon awards, given for the best 10-minute stage and screen scripts written by students, were established at the bequest of Forbes Heermans, Class of 1878, and in memory of George McCalmon, professor of speech and drama.