When: Fri., Feb. 17 2012
When avant-garde artists Iva Bittova and the Calder Quartet performed last year at the Cleveland Museum of Art, audiences and critics tossed around terms like “outstanding,” “stunning,” and “tour de force.” The praise was well deserved. Building on a base of Eastern European folksongs, fiddler and vocalist Bittova borrows from classical and jazz traditions to create a unique and often breathtaking style of improvisation. She meets her match in the L.A.-based Calder Quartet, whose members have zoomed right past Mozart and Ravel to collaborations with Vampire Weekend. If you missed last year’s performance, tonight you’re in luck. The Akron Art Museum welcomes Bittova and the Calders in concert, where they’ll perform works by Béla Bartók and Leoš Janácek inspired by Moravian poetry, as well as an improv-friendly piece by Fred Firth that the composer dedicated to Bittova and named after her hometown of Lelekovice. Through it all, expect Bittova to dominate with her raw talent and quirky charisma. Doors open at 6, and the concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Afterward, stick around for a cash-bar reception in the museum lobby. Tonight’s concert is part of the Akron Art Museum’s annual FUZE series that highlights cutting-edge performances by world-class musicians. General admission is $30 by phone or online.