Cellist Matt Haimovitz
that hard-core repertoire, the magnum opus for solo cello, the deepest, darkest, most soulful, most spiritual, and surely most virtuosic set of solo works ever composed for his instrument, Bach's six cello suites.
Startlingly, even shockingly, new as this music is to the Ark, it's old hat to Ann Arbor cellists have been playing the Bach suites everywhere in town from practice rooms to Hill Auditorium for more than a century and it's old hat to Haimovitz. He's been touring up and down both coasts for months with the six suites, playing them in the Tin Angel in Philadelphia, the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, and Joe's Pub in New York, among other clubs. Nor is playing the Bach suites in a club just a publicity stunt. As Haimovitz explains, "I was losing a lot in the concert hall with this music. I began to think of these pieces in a much more personal way, feeling that the intimacy and vulnerability is what I wanted to reach within them. The pieces become completely different when I play in smaller spaces." And certainly Haimovitz isn't doing it for the money. "My payment depends on who shows up it's tied to the ticket sales. There have been a couple of times when we began to approach my usual classical fee, but that's rare. I'm definitely doing this out of a spirit of adventure; I'm willing to take less money for that. I don't need zillions of dollars. We're pouring our money into where our heart is."