Castleton in Performance opens its 17th season at 4 p.m. this Sunday (Oct. 6) with a classical recital by award-winning Italian pianist Daniele Rinaldo, the first of 10 performances at the Maazels’ intimate Theatre House (664 Castleton View Rd.) in a season extending into May 2014.
Castleton in Performance, featuring accomplished artists from around the world, is presented by Dietlinde Turban Maazel. Maestro Lorin Maazel and his wife, Dietlinde, are also founders and artistic directors of Castleton Festival, whose sixth season (next June 28-July 20) features two new opera productions, symphonic concerts, chamber music and more.
All performances for the 2013-2014 Castleton in Performance season are $30 ($10 for ages 17 and younger); subscription packages for all 10 performances are $200. Visit castletonfestival.org or call 866-974-0767 for tickets or information.
• RAAC’s screening of Rappahannock filmmaker Ron Maxwell’s “Copperhead” is this Friday (Oct. 4) at 8 p.m. at the Theatre in Washington. The Civil War story of an anti-war Democrat who seeks a non-violent solution to slavery and the preservation of the union is followed by a question-and-answer session with John B. Henry, Civil War historian and Rappahannock resident who recently moderated a discussion after an Alexandria screening of “Copperhead” with director Maxwell and Sidney Blumenthal, who is writing a biography of Abraham Lincoln. Admission is $6; concession has popcorn, candy and water.
• The menu will be significantly more extensive Sunday (Oct. 6) at 5, when local folk trio Mandalele performs on the deck at Thornton River Grille in Sperryville. Music goes till 8 p.m. with Wendi Sirat, Lorraine Duisit and Ellen Snyder (filling in for new mom Frances Miller). No cover, but reservations are a good idea. Call 540-987-8790 or visit thorntonrivergrille.com.
• Also Sunday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. just down the road, Central Coffee Roasters’ musical events resume with an evening of semi-traditional Irish music by Tinsmith, the Wammie-winning Irish band. Doors open at 6:25, which is important because Tinsmith is worth seeing and Central Coffee doesn’t have a whole lot of seating. Call 540-987-1006 or visit centralcoffeeroasters.com for details.
The Piedmont is home to some of the most talented artists and artisans in Virginia, and an exhibit sponsored by Piedmont Virginian magazine opens this Saturday (Oct. 5) at River District Arts in Sperryville to showcase that abundance of Piedmont-based talent.
A call for artists was made in the spring issue of Piedmont Virginian and 58 artists responded. An elite group of artists from outside the region (Maggie Siner, Gary Robertson and Donald Allen Mosher) juried the more than 250 pieces submitted for consideration, selecting 75 pieces created by 34 artists for the first-ever Piedmont Virginian Artist Showcase.
Best of show honors were awarded to Ramey Campbell for an oil painting called Retreating Snow. Campbell’s studio is in Orange County. Rappahannock County artists in the show include Barbara Heile, Nedra Smith, Libet Henze, Nol Putnam, Gerald Smith, Linda Tarry and Nancy Keyser. A complete listing of artists is at riverdistrictarts.org.
“I’m continually amazed by the diversity of expression found in, not only the art of the Piedmont in general, but that of Rappahannock artists, as well. This exciting show is testimony to that diversity,” said Greg Huddleston, Piedmont Virginian deputy editor and director of the magazine’s arts coverage.
There’s a reception for the artists from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 from 3 to 5, concurrent with Middle Street Gallery’s reception next door for artist Kevin Adams.
“We were pleased to partner with Piedmont Virginian Magazine for the Artist Showcase. Since the inception of the magazine, they have been major supporters of the arts with regular features in the magazine and an annual arts guide that is published each fall,” said Jim Allmon, RDA’s art and marketing director.
River District Arts is open 10 to 5 Friday-Sunday. The exhibit runs through Nov. 30.
Middle Street Gallery, the nonprofit artists cooperative in Sperryville, features the works of local artist Kevin H. Adams from this Friday (Oct. 4) through Oct. 27. There’s an opening reception at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, for Adams’ “Farmstead” exhibition, which features some two dozen paintings that place the architecture of farms in their surrounding context.
“Some buildings are just buildings,” Adams observes, “but these buildings are part of our heritage, and each of them speaks to me in its own particular voice.”
Primarily focused on Rappahannock County, the works by Adams (who also exhibits at The Inn at Little Washington Gallery, Gallery Plan B in Big Washington and his own gallery in Little Washington) depict both active and abandoned farmhouses, barns and other agricultural architecture as reflected in the light and colors of their environment.
Also at the gallery this month are photographer Jo Levine’s intimate, evocative scenes of Rappahannock’s woodlands; Susan Raines’s photographs taken in the Adirondacks and Maine; Ann Curry’s colored pencil flora drawings; drawings and paintings by Nancy Brittle; and Phyllis Magrab’s large abstracts depicting summer’s changing light.
Middle Street is open at Rappahannock Central (3 River Lane, Sperryville) 10 to 5 Friday-Sunday. For more information, visit middlestreetgallery.org or call 540-987-9330.
At 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community welcomes best-selling author Tom Oliphant as the featured speaker at RAAC’s Second Friday at the Library Series. Oliphant discusses his newest book, “Baseball as a Road to God,” which he calls “a mischievous way of examining some of the essential religious themes.”
Oliphant and co-author John Sexton take up such mysteries as faith, hope, doubt and community, using baseball as their way in. A look at saints and sinners, for example, proceeds by way of two iconic stars of baseball’s early days, the universally admired Christy Mathewson and villainous Ty Cobb.
Oliphant notes gleefully that baseball fans often talk about “miracles,” even if they do not have a religious bone in their bodies. “There really are things that defy explanation,” he says, and baseball can help explore those riddles.
Oliphant, who lives in Rappahannock and in Washington, D.C., was for many decades a Washington correspondent for the Boston Globe and then a syndicated columnist. He has covered the last 11 presidential campaigns and is a fixture on the PBS Newshour and the Sunday talk shows. He was the first reporter to write about the Pentagon Papers, and was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team covering school desegregation in Boston.
Old friends Ben Jones and Jim Wann are having a get-together at the Theatre at Washington at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, and you’re invited — especially if you’re a lover of the Great American Songbook.
Jones and Wann have known each other since their college days at Chapel Hill in the 1960s. “Jim has had a great career as a songwriter, a Broadway composer and as a performer,” said Jones. “His shows like ‘Pump Boys and Dinettes’ and ‘Diamond Studs’ have played all over the world and won a truckload of awards. And his Johnny Mercer tribute is a joy. He did an album of Mercer’s songs called ‘Pardon My Southern Accent’ that really caught his sophisticated style, his humor and his great sense of poetry. And when he talks about Mercer, it puts those great tunes in a very personal context.”
“I’ve insisted that Jim sing ‘Skylark’ and ‘Blues in the Night’ and ‘Moon River,’ ” Jones said.
The New York Times said: “Mr. Wann has a way with a song, a guitar, and with everything else.” Jones, along with his Cooter’s Garage Band, will join in with some classic tunes by Willie Nelson.
“Talk about two Southern originals,” said Jones. “Johnny Mercer of Georgia and Willie Nelson of Texas. Those guys were so talented and easygoing that it took America awhile to notice that they were nothing less than musical geniuses.”
Tickets are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cool crisp weather, the changing color of the leaves and the harvest of the local apple orchards make autumn a magical time of year. To celebrate, River District Arts hosts an Apple Harvest Festival from 10 to 5 Saturday, Oct. 12.
The festival is free and features an apple pie contest (judged by Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy, Food Pantry president Noel Laing and manager Mimi Forbes). There is still time to enter the contest (email event coordinator email@example.com or pick up an entry form at such locations as the Sperryville Corner Store, Roy’s Orchard, the Visitors Center, the Rappahannock Food Pantry, Quicke Mart, Union First Market Bank, Tula’s, Country Cafe or Hackley’s Country Store).
From 1 to 4 p.m., there’s acoustic music by Kiaya and Sweet Papa William Abernathy and cider by the mug, plus an Apple Orchard Market on the porch with products from local orchards, bake sales conducted Rappahannock County High School Booster Club and the National Art Honor Society from Culpeper High School. Youth activities including games, a candy apple design contest and face painting are being organized by Janet Kerig and Jenny Kapsa.
Also on exhibit in RDA’s River Gallery is an art show paying homage to Rappahannock County’s apple heritage which includes art inspired creations from local artists including Dabney Kirchman, Libet Henze and Nol Putnam. Visit riverdistrictarts.org for details.