On Saturday, December 14, 2019, Byrdcliffe’s Annual Winter Solstice Concert–in its twentieth year!–was held at the Woodstock Playhouse. Curated and hosted by New York folk star Happy Traum, the Solstice Concert features favorite musicians singing a combination of holiday and American classics. It’s a concert to which everyone goes happy, and leaves happier. This year’s line-up includes Happy Traum, Cindy Cashdollar, Josh Colow, Zach Djanikian, Amy Helm, Byron Isaacs, Eric Parker, Eugene Ruffolo, John Sebastian, and some special guests! Proceeds from the event support Byrdcliffe’s ongoing work as a center for the arts in the Hudson Valley.

Concert Date and Time: Saturday, December 14, 2019, 8:00 pm; doors open at 7:30 pm
Location: Woodstock Playhouse, 103 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY
Tickets: $67 / $47 / $27 (plus $4 handling charge) – SOLD OUT!

Winter Solstice
Photo credit: Angela P. Schapiro.

100 Years of Counterculture Through Arts & Music

Join filmmaker and historian Stephen Blauweiss for a lively and engaging multimedia presentation about the town’s rich history and some of the dreamers and visionaries who helped create it. A native of Manhattan and Hudson Valley resident since 1999, Blauweiss has a passion for arts, history, and storytelling that guarantees an evening that will entertain and inform both natives and newcomers of all ages. Beginning with 1819, Blauweiss leads the audience through a colorful history that extends from nineteenth-century New York City and England to twentieth-century Woodstock and its environs, covering key personalities, art movements, industrial developments, and aspects of early counterculture that explore how Woodstock came to be – its history and what it represents today. The presentation features eight original short films by Blauweiss, hundreds of rare historic photographs and images, and lesser-known anecdotes about the town’s vibrant history. We’ll even have a bit of live music from 1969, starting 30 minutes before the presentation.

About Stephen Blauweiss: An independent filmmaker focusing on art, history, and social and environmental issues, Blauweiss has produced over seventy-five short films, three features, and several music videos. A number of his films have been screened in museums, exhibitions, and festivals across the US, Europe, and Canada. Blauweiss has taught for over twenty-five years, including a decade at Pratt Institute and Fashion Institute of Technology. He is co-director and co-producer of Lost Rondout: A Story of Urban Removal, a documentary that has been screened across the Hudson Valley, Albany, and New York City, and received numerous awards. Blauweiss is also a graphic designer and historian, and recently published a book with his colleague Karen Berelowitz titled The Life & Death of the Kingston Post Office.

Event Date and Time: Friday, October 11, 2019, 8:00 pm (30 minutes of live music from 1969 starts at 7:30 pm)
Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Cost: $15 general admission or $13 for Byrdcliffe members

Stephen Blauweiss

Program includes Gershwin, Hayden, and Mussorgsky. Free performance. The recital is generously sponsored by Maverick Concerts and Paul Washington, President of the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and a trustee of Maverick Concerts.

Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev, with many awards and honors to his credit, continues to astound and mesmerize audiences at major venues on three continents. American Record Guide says “Yakushev is one of the very best young pianists before the public today, and it doesn’t seem to matter what repertoire he plays—it is all of the highest caliber.” Yakushev has performed in prestigious venues worldwide, including Glinka Philharmonic Hall (St. Petersburg), Victoria Hall (Singapore), Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), and Sejong Performing Arts Center (Seoul, Korea). His performances with orchestra include the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, and many others.

Winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, OH, Mr. Yakushev received his first award at age 12 in the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg. In 1997, he received the Mayor of St. Petersburg’s Young Talents award, and in both 1997 and 1998, he won First Prize at the Donostia Hiria International Piano Competition in San Sebastian, Spain. In 1998, he received a national honor, The Award for Excellence in Performance, presented by the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Most recently, Mr. Yakushev became a recipient of the prestigious Gawon International Music Society’s Award in Seoul, Korea.

In 2014, British label Nimbus Records published the CD Prokofiev Sonatas Vol. 1. Volume 2 was published in January 2017, as well as an all-Russian repertoire CD in 2017.

Mr. Yakushev attended the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music in his native St. Petersburg, Russia, and subsequently came to New York City to attend Mannes College of Music where he studied with legendary pianist Vladimir Feltsman. Ilya Yakushev is a Yamaha artist.

Concert Date and Time: Saturday, September 28, 2019, 4:30 pm
Location: The Byrdcliffe Barn, 485 Upper Byrdcliffe Road, Woodstock, NY
Cost: FREE

maverick concerts
Ilya Yakushev

Byrdcliffe’s outdoor exhibition at White Pines, Psych Out!!!, curated by Alan Baer, was the point of departure for this conversation about art and the psychedelic between a well-known artist and a well-known critic. Read more about the exhibition here

Isaac Abrams, whose New York City gallery Coda first exhibited psychedelic art in 1965, started making art in the psychedelic mode soon after the ground-breaking Coda exhibition. Abrams’s art has been exhibited at many museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Tate Gallery in Liverpool, The Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Carlo McCormick is a critic and curator based in New York City. As a guest curator for The Downtown Show: The New York Art Scene from 1974 to 1984 (at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery), he identified a diverse cross section of artists that emerged after 1960s psychedelic, pop art, and experimental eras. McCormick’s articles have appeared in Art in America, ARTnews, Artforum, Spin, Vice, and many other journals. He serves as the senior editor for Paper. McCormick’s books include Trespass, a survey of graffiti and urban street art, and Beautiful Losers, which traces the works of artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. McCormick recently co-curated PUNK LUST: RAW PROVOCATION 1971-1985 with Vivien Goldman and Lissa Rivera at the Museum of Sex.

Lecture Date and Time: Saturday, August 24, 2019, 4:00 pm
Location: Byrdcliffe Theater, 380 Upper Byrdcliffe Road, Woodstock, NY
Cost: FREE

In celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the Woodstock music festival, the legendary rock/proto-punk band The Fugs performed at the Byrdcliffe Barn on August 17, 2019. Formed in 1965 by poets Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, the Fugs are a wild mix of intellectual and raunchy counter-culturalism whose anthems include “Kill for Peace” and “CIA Man.” The current ensemble of the Fugs consists of Ed Sanders, leader and founder; Steve Taylor, vocals and guitars; Coby Batty, vocals and percussion; and Scott Petito, bass, keyboards, and other stringed instruments.

The Fugs performed selections from their 50-plus years of songs and poems. In addition to Fugs classics was their “Exorcism of the White House,” with the audience invited to chant along in the “Out, demons, out! Out, demons, out!” section. Read more

Concert Date and Time: Saturday, August 17, 2019, 8:00 pm; doors open at 7:30 pm
Location: Byrdcliffe Barn, 485 Upper Byrdcliffe Road, Woodstock, NY
Tickets: $30 general admission or $25 Byrdcliffe members tickets – SOLD OUT!!

The Fugs
Photo credit: photo on right by Chris Felver.

Art and the Counterculture in 1960s Woodstock

Woodstock: the word is shorthand for the 1960s counterculture. Artists as well as writers and musicians contributed to Woodstock’s reputation as a bohemian enclave. As early as 1952 experimental composer John Cage debuted his (in)famous 4’33” — four-and-half minutes of silence. Inspired by Cage, avant-garde artist Allan Kaprow staged a 1962 “Happening” in the forests outside Woodstock for which sculptor Eva Hesse made her first three-dimensional piece. Gerd Stern, an intermedia pioneer and founder of the experimental art collective USCO, moved to Woodstock in 1964. In the late 1960s New York School painter Philip Guston moved to Maverick Road to reinvent his practice. This lecture explores Woodstock as a ferment of art, experimentation, and creativity in the 1960s, a period in which artists as much as writers and musicians contributed to a growing counterculture opposed to mainstream values.

The program is a partnership between the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, the Historical Society of Woodstock, Maverick Concerts, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, and the Woodstock Artists Association.

About John Murphy PhD: John P. Murphy PhD is the Hoehn Curatorial Fellow for Prints at the University of San Diego and a specialist on Arts and Crafts colonies. He has published work on Ivan Albright, Bolton Brown, William Gropper, and Charles White. His dissertation examined Arts and Crafts colonies in the U.S. from 1896 to 1916. His research has been supported with grants and fellowships from the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, the Huntington Library, and the Wolfsonian Museum. He was a 2014-2015 Luce/ACLS Fellow in American art.

Lecture Date and Time: Sunday, August 4, 2019, 4:00 pm
Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Cost: FREE

John Murphy PhD

Will Kaufman’s Woody Guthrie and “Old Man Trump” is a song-and-spoken-word “live documentary” telling the story of Guthrie’s battles against his racist Brooklyn landlord, Fred C. Trump, father of the United States president. Based on unpublished songs, letters, and notebooks that Will discovered in the Woody Guthrie Archives, the show brings to life all the anger and contempt that Guthrie felt for those in power who will deny justice to their fellow human beings on account of the color of their skin.

About Will Kaufman:
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Will Kaufman is widely regarded as the world’s leading authority on Woody Guthrie. He has written three books on the legendary balladeer: Woody Guthrie, American Radical (2011), Woody Guthrie’s Modern World Blues (2017), and Mapping Woody Guthrie (2019). Will’s day job is as Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Central Lancashire, England.

The Golden Notebook is partnering with the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild on this event and will have books by Will Kaufman for sale.

Concert Date and Time: Sunday, April 14, 2019, 4:00 pm
Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Tickets: $10 online or at the door (please only cash or check at the door)

Will Kaufman
Photo credit: Woody Guthrie photo on right by Robin Carson.


All 2019 Byrdcliffe arts programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.