From October 21 to 24, acclaimed cellist Matt Haimovitz performed eight solo cello concerts in which he paired the Bach cello suites with overtures commissioned from living composers. Always a nontraditionalist, Haimovitz performed spontaneous concerts in surprise locations around the Columbia University campus as well as two evening length concerts at Miller Theatre. The New York Times's David Allen had the following to say about the adventurous project:
"Over a two-night Bachathon at Miller Theater on Thursday and Saturday, Mr. Haimovitz played the complete solo cello suites along with new works by composers commissioned to respond to Bach. But this restless innovator has long been dissatisfied with the spaces that tradition has handed down to classical performers. So on Wednesday and Friday, he played the same works in public areas around Columbia."
"The most satisfying thing about this project was its lack of pretension. Mr. Haimovitz has the confidence to step beyond insular, defensive debates about how to 'save' classical music (from what?), change the industry’s culture (he already has) or more boldly still transform the culture around it (less my field). In his hands, Bach’s music turns into quotidian sound, a music fully part of the now.
In other words, he was just a guy, playing a cello where he wanted to play it, and playing it well.
His account of the Suite No. 5 in the children’s section of the Columbia University Bookstore was one of the most moving I have heard."
“Matt Haimovitz and Bach, Colonizing Columbia’s Campus” by David Allen for The New York Times. Published October 26, 2015.