. Interchanging Idioms: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Colorado Public Radio Conducts ONE-TIME ONLY On-Air Fund Raising Campain for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra

DENVER, CO (November 18, 2009) – Colorado Public Radio (CPR) will conduct a one-time only on-air fundraising campaign, Bringing the Music to Life, on behalf of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO). The drive will begin November 30 and culminates on December 2 with a live broadcast of the Orchestra’s sold out performance with musical icon Yo-Yo Ma.

“Colorado Public Radio recognizes the CSO’s unique role as one of Colorado’s key cultural assets and petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to conduct a one-time only, on-air fundraising drive to support its major classical music provider, the Colorado Symphony,” stated CPR President Max Wycisk, who also emphasized that the FCC has not granted permission to conduct this type of drive since 1993.

Across the country, arts organizations are struggling with the effects of a difficult economy. Most recently, the Honolulu Symphony was forced to declare bankruptcy and suspend its season. The CSO is not immune to the challenges presented by a lagging economy, and has felt the impact of the recession through decreased contributed support.

Earlier today the a Brass Trio performed live as did the Percussionists. Don't miss a moment, tune in and donate.

Despite the economy, there is a renewed sense of excitement and momentum surrounding the CSO – the Orchestra is attracting the best talent from around the world, both on and off-stage. And the search is on for a top-notch successor to beloved music director Jeffrey Kahane.

When the current worldwide economic crisis hit, the CSO was in a period of transition – with vacancies in several key leadership positions, which presented special challenges for the organization. The Colorado Symphony is committed to operating in a fiscally responsible manner and took several key steps to balance its budget for the 2009-2010 season.

In total, the CSO reduced its operating budget by nearly $2.5 million. First, the CSO made careful and responsible reductions in operational expenses and negotiated reduced fees with its guest artists for the 2009-2010 season. Colorado Symphony musicians played a proactive and collaborative role in balancing the CSO’s budget by creating a package of salary and benefit concessions, which included a 12.5 percent pay cut, up to four weeks of unpaid furloughs and suspension of employer contributions to the musicians’ retirement fund. The musicians agreed to these concessions to ensure that the CSO could continue performing a full season of concerts – both in Boettcher Concert hall and in local parks for its free summer concert series. The musicians’ extraordinary and generous sacrifice also allows the CSO to maintain its commitment to bringing music education to schools throughout Colorado.

“The musicians of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra have stepped up to the plate in a major way to keep the institution sound. We are so grateful for their collaborative spirit in helping us chart a successful course for the institution’s future. This drive on CPR will help kick start all the wonderful work the musicians, board and staff are doing to take the Orchestra to the next level.” - CSO President and CEO James W. Palermo

Finally, there was 100 percent participation by members of the Colorado Symphony Board of Directors in financial commitments to the orchestra. This, plus active fundraising in the community, raised a significant amount of money to balance the 2008-09 budget and ensure that the CSO would end the year in the black. The CSO continues to pursue significant commitments to its capital campaign to upgrade concert hall facilities and will focus more on this project as the national economy continues to gain stability.

Through the collaborative spirit and generous sacrifices from orchestra musicians and staff, combined with prudent reductions to operating costs, the CSO continues to deliver the world-class concerts and music education programs that Colorado residents have come to expect from the state’s largest performing arts organization.

Having already reduced its budget by $2.5 million, additional cutbacks would jeopardize the CSO’s ability to present a full season of concerts and inhibit the orchestra’s ability to attract internationally-renowned guest artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Olga Kern and Lang Lang to Colorado. The CSO would also be forced to reduce the number of music education opportunities available to Colorado’s young people in a time when arts education budgets are being reduced or eliminated.

The CSO has a new senior leadership team in place, which was drawn from the best talent in the orchestra world through a series of national searches. The CSO senior leadership team is committed to building the CSO’s audiences and fundraising capacity for the future.

The CSO has a plan to successfully navigate this difficult economy, and early results are very encouraging. Performances with Olga Kern and the Rachmaninoff Festival, Lang Lang, and Yo-Yo Ma have significantly exceeded ticket budgets and produced sold out halls. But like every business endeavor, results take time. This historic, CPR on-air campaign will provide the CSO with bridge funding that ensures ongoing financial stability for the orchestra while the CSO’s new audience development and fundraising initiatives take root.

“The Colorado Symphony Orchestra is a great asset to the City of Denver and a cornerstone of our cultural community. This exciting partnership between the CSO and Colorado Public Radio is an innovative model for fundraising in this challenging economy. We applaud the sustainable changes the CSO is making to ensure the organization’s viability well into the future.” - Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Permission to grant this special one-time-only fundraising campaign for the CSO on CPR was based on the CSO’s financial need and history of CPR’s reliance upon the CSO for a major portion of its on-air program content. This unique collaboration presents an unprecedented opportunity for CPR to help the CSO successfully navigate this challenging economy by avoiding future budget deficits and offsetting potential shortfalls in earned and contributed support.

“I am thrilled and excited that CPR is dedicating three entire days of on-air time to help raise money for the Colorado Symphony. What a remarkable gift this is to the Symphony and proof positive that CPR is dedicated to making the arts thrive in Denver and the Front Range.” - said Board Chair Kevin V. Duncan

Particularly in a tough economy, music provides a much-needed escape and release. Coloradans need music now more than ever – and with multiple sold-out performances, the community is reaching out to feel the transcendent power of music through the CSO as never before. However, ticket sales account for just half of the Colorado Symphony’s annual budget. Each year, the CSO must raise more than $5 million in donations to continue Bringing the Music to Life in Colorado – in the concert hall, at education programs for young people, and at free summertime performances in the parks. The City of Denver recognizes the importance of the CSO to the community and shares its commitment to building a rich cultural life for Denver and the state of Colorado.

“We are dedicated to the long term success of our partners at the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the primary tenant of Boettcher Concert Hall and host of an annual free summer concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. We share a common goal of providing enriching cultural experiences for residents and visitors to our region. Theatres & Arenas will continue to support the CSO in its efforts to grow and adapt to the changing economy in any way possible.” - Jack Finlaw, Director of Denver’s Division of Theatres & Arenas

CPR and the CSO ask all who care about music and music education for Colorado’s young people to help in Bringing the Music to Life through this special on-air fundraising campaign conducted on CPR stations KCFR and KVOD November 30 through December 2. Gifts will help sustains the CSO’s tradition of providing outstanding symphonic music and music education programs to our community.

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Open the Holiday Pops Season, Wednesday, December 9th

Season features favorite Boston Pops Christmas-Time Classics along with Exciting New Arrangements of Holiday Favorites with New Video Images

One of Boston’s greatest holiday traditions, the Holiday Pops season, under the direction of Keith Lockhart, opens on Wednesday, December 9, with a program that combines favorites of the Holiday season with exciting new arrangements of some of the most beloved Christmas-time classics, along with new video images created especially for the Boston Pops. The concerts take place at Symphony Hall, festively decorated to capture the magic of this special time of year, and feature the critically acclaimed Tanglewood Festival Chorus, which will join the orchestra for the entire season of 35 performances, December 9-27.

The program opens with Sean O’Laughlin’s festive and rousing “Christmas Canticles,” followed by the magnificent Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah,” featuring members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. The 2009 Holiday Pops season will feature two new works, including a new arrangement of “The Christmas Story,” for narrator, soloist, chorus, and orchestra by London arranger Philip Lane, with baritones James Demler and Robert Honeysucker alternating in the role of narrator/vocal soloist. For “Gifts of Great Meadows,” the Pops’ principal horn player Richard Sebring arranged “Coventry Carol” and “Silent Night” into a score complemented by video projections of the stunning natural ice sculptures he photographed last January in the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury.

The second half of the Holiday Pops program, which opens with the Boston Pops famous arrangement of “Sleigh Ride,” features one of the orchestra’s most popular new arrangements, “Twelve Days of Christmas,” which was recently made available for download at bostonpops.org. Written by Broadway composer and arranger David Chase, this version of one of the Christmas season’s greatest classics sports a clever, creative twist that made it an instant hit and audience favorite when it premiered in 2007, inspiring a live recording session resulting in the download release in 2009. The 2009 Holiday Pops program brings a new dimension to the Christmas-time classic, “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” with images from award-winning author and illustrator Jan Brett’s book of the the same name projected on screens above the orchestra.

No Boston Pops program would be complete without a few of the orchestra’s classic holiday medleys highlighting the most beloved songs of the season. Christmas Waltz features “Silver Bells,” “My Favorite Things,” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” And the Merry Little Sing-Along features “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Jingle Bells.” Other holiday favorites include “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “White Christmas,” and “Frosty All the Way.”

SPECIAL KIDS MATINEE PROGRAMS
This year’s Holiday Pops includes 35 evening and matinee concerts, six of which will be special kids’ matinee programs featuring soprano Maureen Brennan: Saturday, December 12 (11 a.m.); Sunday, December 13 (11 a.m.); Friday, December 18 (4 p.m.); Saturday, December 19 (11 a.m.); Sunday, December 20 (11 a.m.); and Thursday, December 24 (11 a.m.). These family concerts include a children’s sing-along, and parents can bring cameras to take photos of their children with Santa after the concert. Table seats will include a kid-friendly menu, along with special holiday treats.

Colorado Symphony Orchestra Musicians perform LIVE from Colorado Public Radio Studios as part of On-Air Fund Drive

Yo-Yo Ma rehearses for Live Broadcast of Sold Out Concert which concludes the On-Air Fund Drive for the CSO

The Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Colorado Public Radio are conducting a historic, one-time co-venture fundraising drive to support the Colorado Symphony—the major classical music and program provider for CPR. The on-air fundraising campaign, Bringing the Music to Life, benefits the Colorado Symphony Orchestra during these difficult economic times. The on-air drive begins November 30 and culminates on December 2 with a live broadcast of Yo-Yo Ma’s performance with the CSO, which sold out several months in advance. CSO subscribers who purchased tickets to Yo-Yo Ma as an add-on to their subscription, before tickets were available to the public, comprise eighty percent of the audience for this concert.

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, December 1 at 2 p.m.
     Yumi Hwang-Williams, concertmaster and Bil Jackson, principal clarinet, with pianist Sue Grace.

On-air fund drive at KVOD 88.1 FM.
You can even Stream KVOD to your computer!

For more information about the campaign or to make a contribution, please visit www.ColoradoSymphony.org or call 303 534-0762. Keep classical music alive in Colorado; give generously!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Chanticleer’s 2009 Holiday Tour Features 25 Performances Across the US from Nov 28 – Dec 23, and a Return to Television’s Today Show

“No one does a better choral Christmas than the virtuoso male voices of Chanticleer.” - The New Yorker

The Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer, now in its 32nd season, will give 25 holiday concerts across America this season, continuing a tradition that has made “A Chanticleer Christmas” one of the group’s most beloved programs. As well as its live concert performances, the group will also appear for the fifth consecutive year on NBC TV’s popular Today show, singing a traditional carols in both the 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock hours (eastern time; check local listings). While on the show the group will also talk about its two most recent recording projects: Fireside Christmas with Chanticleer, a DVD featuring a virtual Yule log and glorious selections of Christmas fare, from early music to traditional carols, drawn from Chanticleer’s distinguished discography (including Biebl’s Ave Maria, by far the group’s most beloved encore); and Best of Chanticleer, a greatest hits collection from Rhino that showcases the group’s trademark versatility. This album boasts three entirely new tracks: Gustav Mahler’s achingly beautiful song Ich bin der Welt Abhanden gekommen; the Chanticleer-commissioned Lullaby by Shawn Crouch; and the timeless classic Summertime by George and Ira Gershwin.

The New Yorker summed up the incomparable appeal of “A Chanticleer Christmas” with this description: “To hear a Christmas concert in the majestic intimacy of the museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall is an essential New York experience. Chanticleer, the ebullient (and stunningly expert) San Francisco men’s chamber choir, has been drawing eager crowds for several years by offering a tempting mix of carols, spirituals, and sacred polyphony from the medieval and Renaissance periods.”

Chanticleer’s six performances at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (two concerts each on November 30, December 1 and December 3) are preceded by tour-opening concerts in Fairfax, VA (November 28) and South Orange, NJ (November 29). The tour also includes a concert in Westhampton Beach, NY (December 5); two concerts (December 7 and 8) at Chicago’s 4th Presbyterian Church, presented by the Chicago Symphony; a return engagement at Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (December 17); and eleven performances throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Chanticleer’s home base. While in Chicago, the group will also make a live appearance on WFMT’s Impromptu on December 7, a radio program that features live music and conversation from the station’s Levin Performance Studio in Chicago.

Chanticleer’s winning way with holiday fare has been documented on a number of best-selling recordings as well as on a DVD recorded at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and broadcast widely on public television.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus to Perform Brahms' A German Requiem with the Berliner Philharmoniker Dec 18-20 in Berlin

Live webcast of the Dec. 20 concert through the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus with ASO Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles and Director of Chorus Norman Mackenzie will perform with the Berliner Philharmoniker for the third time in six years in December at the Berlin Philharmonie. They will travel to Berlin for three performances of Brahms’s A German Requiem on Friday, December 18, Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20, 2009. Soprano Genia Kühmeier and bass-baritone Gerald Finley will be the soloists.

The concert on Sunday, December 20 will be webcast live through the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall 2PM EST / 11AM PST. Tickets for the live webcast cost 9.90 euros, approx US$15. Tickets and more information about the Digital Concert Hall are available at www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/dch.

Mr. Runnicles and the ASO Chorus made their debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in December 2003 performing Britten’s War Requiem. Following the performance, Der Tagesspiegel wrote: “The world has really turned a bit topsy-turvy when our fabulous Berliner Philharmoniker turn around in their orchestra seats to applaud an American amateur chorus.” Mr. Runnicles and the ASO Chorus were invited back in May 2008 to sing the Berlioz Requiem.

The Berlin concerts will also feature the premiere of a new harp concerto by Shane Currier called Traces with Marie-Pierre Langlamet as soloist. The work was commissioned jointly by the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker and the Grand Teton Music Festival of which Mr. Runnicles is the Music Director.

Caroline Goulding Caroline Goulding Wins First Prize in 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions

Violinist joins roster of the celebrated organization and will perform in New York, Washington and Boston during 2010-11 season

Interchanging Idioms couldn't be more pleased to know this outstanding young performer is getting much deserved recognition. Our review of her debut is just the prelude to even more accolades in her future.

New York, NY – On Saturday, November 21st, violinist Caroline Goulding was awarded First Prize at the Finals of the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions held at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

At the age of 17, Caroline is the youngest of the four artists granted the prestigious prize this year. Other winners include 21-year-old American pianist Charlie Albright, 26-year-old Belarusian flutist Aleksandr Haskin, and 25-year-old American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson. Winners were chosen from ten Finalists, selected out of 146 applicants hailing from 30 countries.

As a First Prize Winner, Caroline will join the roster of Young Concert Artists, Inc., which provides debuts in the 2010-2011 Young Concert Artists Series in New York, in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, and in Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, as well as management, including concert engagements and career guidance.

This honor caps off a milestone year for Caroline Goulding during which she released her debut album on the Telarc label in August featuring YCA Alumnus, pianist Christopher O’Riley. In September, Caroline performed with Christopher O’Riley at New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge in celebration of her album along with From the Top at the Pops, the new recording from the acclaimed National Public Radio series with the Cincinnati Pops and the late Erich Kunzel on which Caroline performs. Caroline currently appears as the cover artist in the December issue of Strings Magazine and this spring graduated high school with top honors at 16 from Gilmour Academy in Cleveland.

Caroline Goulding’s self-titled debut album – a "marvelous recital of virtuoso morsels" according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer – includes music by Corigliano, Vieuxtemps, Kreisler, Schoenfield, Gershwin and traditional Cape Breton Island fiddling; it features pianists Christopher O'Riley and Janine Randall. Included on the album are John Corigliano’s ‘Red Violin Caprices for solo violin.’ After hearing the recording Corigliano himself commented; “At age 16, she gives a totally individual interpretation to my music. I think she will shortly become a very famous young woman, and only hope that she gives my other violin works a glance.” Donald Rosenberg of The Cleveland Plain Dealer concurs, saying, “Her playing blends refinement with technical flair, lifting every phrase to exhilarating heights.” Her fearless technique, innate artistry and an unadulterated joy for music-making have earned her champions from across the music industry including violinist Jaime Laredo who called her “one of the most gifted and musically interesting violinists I have heard in a long time,” and Alan Fletcher, president and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School who has recognized her “freshness, confidence, radiant technique and perfect optimism wrapped in sparkling beauty.”

With 50th Anniversary on Horizon, American Symphony Orchestra Returns to Original Home – Carnegie Hall – for 2010-11 Season

The American Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1962 by conducting legend Leopold Stokowski and led since 1992 by its music director, Leon Botstein, will relocate back to its original home, New York’s Carnegie Hall, beginning with its 2010-11 season. Inspired by the orchestra’s mission to showcase “concerts of great music within the means of everyone,” the move back to the orchestra’s original venue complements the successful audience-development initiative instituted by the ASO this season that will continue in the orchestra’s new home: all tickets to its 2010-11 season at Carnegie Hall will remain at $25 for all seats, for all performances. With the appeal of eminently affordable tickets, the ASO’s celebrated thematically-organized programming, and Carnegie Hall’s status as the world’s pre-eminent concert hall, Botstein and the orchestra have provided music lovers with more reasons than ever to discover and explore the unjustly neglected masterpieces that define the singular ASO concert experience.

“The American Symphony Orchestra was born in Carnegie Hall and we are very excited to be returning there. It was through the generosity of Nat Leventhal [the former president of Lincoln Center] that the orchestra moved to Lincoln Center, but we thought it was time for a change. Carnegie Hall is a great hall, and I think we will stand out in a constructive way there with our programming. We are grateful to Lincoln Center for their support over these many exciting years of performing there.” Leon Botstein

The American Symphony Orchestra has, under Botstein’s leadership, gained increasing renown as a pioneer in the area of thematic programming. Both in live performances and on recordings, the ASO has presented numerous U.S. premieres of lesser-known masterpieces, often triggering broader interest in worthy works in need of determined advocacy. For example, the ASO’s premiere of Dukas’s Ariane et Barbe-bleue during the 1998-99 season resulted in the opera’s staging by New York City Opera in 2005, and then its recording by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Similarly, the American opera house revivals of Richard Strauss’s Die ägyptische Helena and Die Liebe der Danae were influenced by the ASO’s already having championed the works in 1998 and 2000.

New York magazine named the ASO’s annual concert series “one of the best-programmed music series in New York City,” with veteran critic Peter G. Davis observing, “Trust Botstein to tweak every American Symphony Orchestra concert program with some intriguing discoveries from the past, all thematically related.” The New York Times has called Botstein “a champion of neglected works,” while the New Yorker declared, “Leon Botstein goes where other conductors fear to tread.”

The American Symphony Orchestra’s first concert was held in the main auditorium at Carnegie Hall on October 15, 1962. Stokowski led the ensemble in a program featuring his own arrangements of the Star-Spangled Banner and Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, as well as a selection from Gabrieli’s Sacrae symphoniae, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Susan Starr, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6. Beginning in the 1993-94 season, Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers” series presented the orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall, where it continues its current season with a program entitled “An American Biography: The Music of Henry Cowell” on January 29, 2010. Besides its concerts at Lincoln Center this season, the ASO is also exploring Beethoven’s nine symphonies in its popular “Classics Declassified” series at Symphony Space. In summer 2010, the ASO returns to Bard College in the Hudson Valley for its annual residency at the Bard SummerScape Festival and Bard Music Festival, which will focus on “Berg and His World.” The ASO’s 2010-11 season will open at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, October 6, 2010. Subscriptions will go on sale in spring 2010 and single tickets in summer 2010; full details will follow in the forthcoming season release.

Chicaco Opera Vanguard Commemorates World AIDS Day 2009 with the Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook 2009

In recognition of World AIDS Day, Chicago Opera Vanguard will present the World Premiere of The Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook - a one-night only benefit concert by various Chicago musical artists artistically responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Monday, December 1, 2009. The concert will be held at Center on Halsted in the Hoover -Leppen Theatre located at, 3656 N. Halsted St. in Chicago . All proceeds will benefit the Center’s programs.

The AIDS Quilt Songbook was started on World AIDS Day 1992 in New York by the late baritone William Parker who passed away in 1993 of AIDS-related illness. For this concert, Parker invited various composers to add a "song panel" to a musical quilt of remembrance commemorating those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Following this tradition, a new songbook, The Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook, created by Chicago Opera Vanguard’s Artistic Director Eric Reda has also commissioned works from a wide variety of Chicago-based and associated artists. The concert will include classical, pop, traditional, experimental, musical theater and cabaret style music. “I am so excited to help facilitate the revival of this powerful tradition,” said Chicago Opera Vanguard Artistic Director Eric Reda. “This is an amazing opportunity for Chicago ’s rich and active musical community, both composers and performers, to share their voices in remembering those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.”

The composers include “Adding Machine” composer Josh Schmidt, CUBE Ensemble members Patricia Morehead & Lawrence Axelrod, DePaul University professor Robert Steel, Accessible Contemporary Music Artistic Director Seth Boustead, cabaret artist’s George Howe and Diana Lawrence, Anomie Ensemble Artistic Director Evan Kuchar, jazz saxophonist Amos Gillespie, pianist Myron Silberstein, Randall West, and Chicago Opera Vanguard Artistic Director Eric Reda.

This one-night only benefit concert featuring songs by Chicago musical artists responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis will be presented on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2009.

A pre-concert reception will begin at 6:30pm. $40 VIP Tickets feature premiere seating and two complimentary drink tickets. $20, General Admission tickets are also available. Purchase tickets online at www.centeronhalsted.org or at-the-door.

Chicago's Center on Halsted is the Midwest ’s largest community center for LGBT persons. As a resource and gathering place for youth and adults in a safe, inviting atmosphere, the Center offers comprehensive support networks and programming to meet the cultural, emotional, social, educational and recreational needs of all LGBT and non-LGBT persons.

Employing the daring aesthetic of an off-Loop theater, Chicago Opera Vanguard has quickly emerged as the Mid-West’s foremost home for engaging and challenging theatre-with-music. This season, Chicago Opera Vanguard will present a staging of Schubert’s WINTERREISE and the U.S. Premiere of Per Nørgård’s anti war “operatorio” NUIT des HOMMES.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Scottish philanthropists honoured by Prince of Wales

Donald MacDonald CBE and Louise MacDonald presented with Medal for Arts Philanthropy

Arts & Business announces recipients of The Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy

On November 24th 2009 HRH The Prince of Wales will present Donald MacDonald CBE and Louise MacDonald with one of only five Medals for Arts Philanthropy. The medal celebrates individuals who support the arts and recognises the contribution of the most inspiring cultural philanthropists in the UK.

“In these difficult times, it is vital to honour the remarkable commitment of individuals in fighting our cultural corner and bringing in better resources to the arts. These honourees embody what we collectively need at this time. They are fearless in persuading others to support the arts. They have the passion, the commitment and the ideas to enable the arts to flourish.”

“Arts & Business is honoured to have been able to create this Medal for our President, The Prince of Wales. These honourees are an inspiration to us all. We congratulate all the recipients on receiving their prestigious and well-deserved medals for arts philanthropy this year.” - Colin Tweedy, Chief Executive of Arts & Business

This full list of this year’s honourees is:

  • Sir John Zochonis
  • Donald MacDonald CBE and Louise MacDonald
  • Dr Keith Howard
  • Michael and Dorothy Hintze
  • Mrs Mary Weston CBE

The five honourees were chosen after an extensive decision making process. The Prince of Wales’ Group drew up a short list of twenty philanthropists which went forward to a final judging panel of artists, who chose the first five honourees. The final panel included Ronald Harwood (writer for stage and screen), Dame Monica Mason (Director of The Royal Ballet) and Christopher Le Brun (artist). The medal was first presented in 2008.

A-list Performers to appear with Boston Symphony Orchestra for Tanglewood Season

The 2010 Tanglewood season for the Boston Symphony Orchestra will include such guest artists as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. In addition to music director James Levine, the lineup of conductors includes Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Robert Spano and Shi-Yeon Sung. Concerts will run from June 26 through Sept. 5 in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, Ozawa Hall and the Music Theatre on the grounds in Lenox, Mass. Appearing in Ozawa Hall are Broadway singer Audra McDonald, early music specialist Benjamin Bagby and baritone Matthias Goerne, among others. Special concerts will also celebrate a string of anniversaries: 125 years of the Boston Pops, 70 years of the Tanglewood Music Center, 40 years of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, 30 years of John Williams at Tanglewood and 10 years of the Silk Road Ensemble. Tickets go on sale Feb. 14 and range in price from $9 to $115. Children under 17 years of age are admitted free for most events. Call (617) 638-9467 for a brochure or visit: http://www.bso.org.


You can also get a chance to win a copy of Yo-Yo Ma's Christmas CD Songs of Joy & Peace just by Subscribing to Interchanging Idioms then commenting on one of the posts about Yo-Yo Ma.

For more details and contest rules see the previous post here

You can also get the new Yo-Yo Ma CD online from iTunes or at Amazon.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra Soloist Change for 27-28 November

Baritone Alexander Robin Baker replaces Leigh Melrose in SCO ‘Homecoming’ concert

Baritone Leigh Melrose has had to pull out of his concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November in Glasgow and Edinburgh due to ill-health. The Orchestra is very grateful to Alexander Robin Baker for replacing Leigh at extremely short notice.

Baker will take on the solo baritone role in the world premiere performance of the complete version of Edward Harper’s Second Symphony. The Symphony is one of three works being performed in a ‘Homecoming’-themed programme at Glasgow City Halls and Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November. As well as paying tribute to the music of Harper, who died in April this year, the Orchestra celebrates the music of Kenneth Leighton in the 80th anniversary year of his birth with a performance of his Concerto for String Orchestra, and marks the 50th birthday of James MacMillan with his tour de force Tryst. Garry Walker, who conducted Harper’s Second Symphony at both the 2006 premiere and on the Delphian recording, directs the Orchestra in these concerts.

Harper’s Second Symphony replaces Symphony No 3 ‘Homage to Robert Burns’ which was scheduled to receive its world premiere in these concerts. Harper had sketched out the first movement of the new symphony prior to his death, and the Orchestra has asked composer Lyell Cresswell to complete the movement with a view to performing it in the 2010/11 Season.

Symphony No 2 was premiered by the Orchestra in October 2006, recorded for Edinburgh’s independent classical music label, Delphian, in the summer of 2007 and released on CD in March 2008. The concerts in November will be the first live performances of the full symphony, as the first movement of symphony was incomplete when the Orchestra premiered the work in October 2006. The full work was recorded following the completion of the first movement.

Top prizes in national iCompose competition

Children and adults from across Scotland will have their music recorded by professional musicians in a new national composition competition.

iCompose, the collaborative project between the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the National Galleries of Scotland, the Drake Music Scotland, gives adults, teachers and pupils of any age the chance to compose music inspired by the National Galleries of Scotland Online Collection. The winning entries will be recorded and each participating school will receive 25% off a range of Roland and Boss keyboards and synthesizers.

The project uses the Finnish revolutionary music notation system Figurenotes©, which helps participants read music, play an instrument and compose. The winning compositions will be recorded by Scottish Chamber Orchestra musicians in Glasgow City Halls, with award-winning Linn Records recording the sessions.

The competition is split into six categories, including four different levels for schools, which directly tie in with the new Curriculum for Excellence, and two for adults. The schools’ categories include Winter and Weather and Space and Time, with artists such as Degas and Raeburn providing the inspiration.

Following its official launch in September, the project now has a dedicated website www.iCompose.org, giving full information about the competition, which runs until June 2010.

The closing date for entries is Friday 30 April 2010 and the winning compositions will be recorded in the acclaimed acoustic of Glasgow City Halls by Linn Records. Four prizes in each category will be presented at a special ceremony in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh in June 2010.

Acclaimed Pianist Garrick Ohlsson Joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto

BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor Jiří Bĕlohlávek to lead program

Baltimore, Md. (November 24, 2009) – BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor Jiří Bĕlohlávek will lead pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto on Friday, January 22 and Saturday, January 23 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, January 24 at 3 p.m. The performances on Friday and Sunday will be held at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and Saturday’s performance will be at The Music Center at Strathmore. Winner of the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and hailed by the New York Times as a “powerful” and “eloquent” pianist, guest artist Garrick Ohlsson will give a fresh take on Beethoven’s famous concerto. In keeping with this season’s theme of exploring cultural roots, Czech maestro Jiří Bĕlohlávek will conduct the music of two Czech composers: Dvořák’s Othello Overture and Janáček’s Taras Bulba. Also on the program is Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture.

Beethoven’s composed his Third Piano Concerto in 1800 and dedicated it to Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. The first performance of the piece was in 1803 and featured Beethoven himself as soloist. During this time, Beethoven would often dedicate his pieces to political and heroic figures. In fact, as Beethoven was finishing this concerto he also began composing his Third Symphony “Eroica” (Heroic), which was originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Coriolan Overture was inspired by the play of the same name, written by Austrian dramatist Heinrich Joseph von Collins. Beethoven wrote this overture in 1807, three years after the play was written. The play centers around the legend of Roman general Coriolanus. Beethoven premiered this Overture along with premieres of his Fourth Symphony and Fourth Piano Concerto in March of 1807.

Czech composer Antonin Dvořák is probably most famous for his Ninth Symphony, “From the New World,” and his American quartet, both of which were written during the period when he was working in the United States as artistic director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. However, included in his vast range of orchestral works is Othello, an overture written in 1892 as the “love” portion of a trilogy of overtures entitled “Nature, Life and Love.”

Twentieth-century Czech composer Leoš Janáček earned an international reputation working in traditional Western art music idioms, while maintaining a unique national style by researching folk music from Moravia and incorporating elements of this folk music into his compositions. Taras Bulba (composed in 1918) is an orchestral rhapsody and programmatic work based on the novel by Gogol.

COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS

Classical Concert: Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto
Friday, January 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—The Music Center at Strathmore
Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Jiří Bĕlohlávek, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Dvořák: Othello Overture
Janáček: Taras Bulba

Tickets for these performances range from $25 to $80 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

"Drums of the World" in Denver - Colorado Symphony Concert Nov 29

The brilliant percussionists of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra star in a program celebrating music from all corners of the world. Catch the beat and experience the thrill of percussion! There are also some pre-concert activities at 1:00.

Concert Details
Sunday, Nov 29 · 2:30 p.m.
Master Percussionists of the CSO


Make sure you tune in to Colorado Public Radio November 30-December 2 to catch this one-time only, three-day on-air fund drive, which features CSO musicians giving live studio performances and talking about the orchestra, as well as prominent CSO leaders sharing many of the exciting plans for this season. At 2 p.m. on December 1, concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams and principal clarinet Bil Jackson will perform live from the studio, and violinist Larisa Fesmire and violist Catherine Beeson will perform live from the studio on December 2 at 2 p.m. New principal cellist Silver Ainomäe will also perform live from the studio on November 30 at 10 a.m.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Live Broadcast Dec 2nd from Boettcher Concert Hall of cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Colorado Symphony

This is a SOLD OUT event, so your ONLY chance to hear the amazing Yo-Yo Ma and the Colorado Symphony is to tune into Colorado Public Radio on December 2nd. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Colorado Public Radio are conducting an historic, one-time co-venture fundraising drive to support the Colorado Symphony—the major classical music and program provider for CPR. Our partner, Colorado Public Radio, is graciously conducting an on-air fundraising campaign, Bringing the Music to Life, on behalf of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. The on-air drive begins November 30 and culminates on December 2 with a live broadcast of the Orchestra's sold out performance featuring musical icon Yo-Yo Ma.

Julian Kuerti will conduct the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in a night of Dvořák, with In Nature’s Realm, Carnival Overture, Othello Overture and the Cello Concerto featuring Yo-Yo Ma. The program starts at 7:30pm on Wednesday, December 2nd.

CPR and the CSO ask all who care about music and music education for Colorado’s young people to help in Bringing the Music to Life through this special on-air fundraising campaign conducted on CPR stations KCFR and KVOD November 30 through December 2. Gifts will help sustains the CSO’s tradition of providing outstanding symphonic music and music education programs to our community.

Colorado Public Radio is Colorado’s only statewide, two-channel news and classical music network. A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, CPR exists to enrich the Colorado community, providing news, information and classical music for people who want to be informed, enlightened and entertained. Nearly 400,000 listeners tune in to CPR each week (Source: Arbitron 2008/2009). CPR Classical Music is heard on: 88.1 FM in Denver, 91.9 FM in Pueblo, 94.7 FM in Colorado Springs, 89.9 FM in Vail, 90.5 FM in Glenwood Springs, 103.3 FM along the Western Slope, and online at cpr.org.


You can also get a chance to win a copy of Yo-Yo Ma's Christmas CD Songs of Joy & Peace just by Subscribing to Interchanging Idioms then commenting on one of the posts about Yo-Yo Ma.

For more details and contest rules see the previous post here

Monday, November 23, 2009

eighth blackbird treats hometown audiences to new production of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire

eighth blackbird’s third consecutive season in residence at Chicago’s downtown Harris Theater is its most ambitious to date. On December 8, the Grammy-winning sextet presents the first of two concerts in its hometown series: Arnold Schoenberg’s 1912 numerological masterpiece Pierrot lunaire, in a new production conceived and directed by Mark DeChiazza that was first shown to audiences at the Ojai Music Festival this summer. DeChiazza is a New York dancer and choreographer with whom the ensemble has forged a strong working relationship.

eighth blackbird performs almost all of its extensive repertoire from memory, and the players often move about the stage in an almost choreographed way. The new Pierrot lunaire – presented in a program with works by contemporaries and pupils of Schoenberg – will be no exception. Tim Munro, eighth blackbird’s flutist, says of the ensemble’s newest performance piece:

“Mark DeChiazza uses movement and gesture to connect to the human core of this remarkable work, and the production includes soprano Lucy Shelton, dancer Elyssa Dole, and, in his impressive theatrical debut (!), our percussionist Matthew Duvall as Pierrot. Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire wears its 97 years incredibly lightly and has everything: feverish intensity, gallows humor, and touching pathos.”

“One of the many reasons we love the Harris Series is that the theater’s size, sightlines, and acoustics make it an ideal space for presenting fully-staged works such as Pierrot lunaire and Slide. And the Harris staff has been incredibly supportive, collaborating closely with us on everything from technical planning to marketing to ensure the success of the series.”

eighth blackbird’s web site at www.eighthblackbird.com/pierrot has much more information (including videos) about this production.

Anna Netrebko Sings Antonia in Bartlett Sher’s New Production of Offenbach’s Contes d’Hoffmann at Met, Opening December 3

Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher’s new production of Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, starring Anna Netrebko as Antonia and Joseph Calleja in the title role, begins its run at the Metropolitan Opera on December 3, 2009. Before taking the stage at the Met, however, Netrebko will make a special appearance across Lincoln Center Plaza at Avery Fisher Hall, in this year’s Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala. The November 22 gala will mark the Russian soprano’s debut in the venue and will be the first time she has performed at the foundation’s annual event, which features many of the world’s leading singers.

When Anna Netrebko sang Antonia at the Mariinsky Theatre, a critic for the St. Petersburg Times wrote: “Her captivating performance was the genuine highlight of the production. Her tormented Antonia, suffering over the paths she had to choose, was pierced with despair.” The Russian soprano returns to the Met for the first time this season for Sher’s new production of Hoffmann, in which she will give her first New York performances as Antonia. Besides Calleja as Hoffmann, Netrebko’s other castmates will include rising-star mezzo Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse and Alan Held as the four villains. Metropolitan Opera Artistic Director James Levine will conduct the first five performances of the nine-performance run, which goes through January 2. Audiences worldwide will be able to see Netrebko as the young Antonia, thanks to the The Met: Live In HD movie theater broadcast of the matinee performance on December 19.

The Met recently announced that the final dress rehearsal of Les contes d’Hoffmann on November 30 will be made open to the public. Approximately 3,000 free tickets are being given away through an online ticket drawing at www.metopera.org. Entries are no longer being accepted, but those who entered will find out if they’ve won by going to the Met’s website after November 19. Visit www.metopera.org for more information.

René Pape Debuts as Wotan at La Scala Milan in May 2010

New Production of Wagner’s Rheingold under Daniel Barenboim

German bass René Pape impressed Chicago recently with his Lyric Opera portrayal of Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust (his only U.S. engagements this season); he now returns home to the Berlin State Opera for holiday performances as Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute. Meanwhile, he prepares for his fourth recital, scheduled for January 24, 2010 in Seville, Spain, and for the role he was destined to perform: Wotan in Wagner’s Das Rheingold, in a new production under Daniel Barenboim at La Scala Milan, which opens on May 13, 2010.

Pape honored Carnegie Hall and his U.S. audiences with the first solo recital of his career in April 2009, earning accolades like a New York Times review that read, in part, “For pure, soul-wrenching introspection, nothing on the program – not even in Dichterliebe – quite matched Mr. Pape’s rendering of the Wolf Michelangelo songs, particularly the central meditation on mortality, ‘Alles endet, was entstehet.’”

“Sealing the triumph was the debonair and sardonic Méphistophélès of René Pape..., a grand seigneur of evil, commanding his every scene with a wicked wink and an urbane shrug. What’s more, his singing was a perfect match for his characterization: he rolled out his pliant, powerful bass for the Golden Calf song and the mocking serenade.” - Chicago Tribune

Pape is a dramatic animal whose on-stage presence in a dozen roles regularly wins acclaim. Still, his fans yearn to hear him in the more intimate atmosphere of the recital. Acknowledging this, Pape will expand his recital activities in Europe, starting in Seville on January 24, 2010, when, with fellow Dresden native, pianist Camillo Radicke, he plans a program of songs by Schubert, Wolf, and Schumann.

An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, René Pape just received a German ECHO Klassik award (equivalent to a Grammy) for his solo debut album, “René Pape: Gods, Kings & Demons” in the category “Operatic Recording of the Year: Arias and Duets.”

“Pape seems to have everything, including a magnetism which he exerts not only when he appears on stage – how many performances of Tristan have been rescued from mediocrity by King Marke’s arrival, when Pape is taking one of his favorite roles?… – but also on disc, as this first solo recital from him immediately testifies.” - International Record Review

On a brand new recording for EMI Classics, Pape sings the bass part in Verdi’s Requiem conducted by Antonio Pappano, which has earned significant praise for the German bass; London’s Observer wrote “René Pape is an aristocratic, authoritative bass... . A total triumph.” Pape is to repeat the Verdi Requiem in two Munich performances led by Valery Gergiev in January, just before his Seville recital debut, and also sings the title part in two performances of Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah in Barcelona next February.

In February and March 2010, at his home company, the Berlin State Opera, Pape reprises Méphistophélès in Faust; his signature role of King Marke in Tristan und Isolde; and Prince Gremin in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Most importantly, he participates in a special recital gala, a fundraiser on March 5 for the renovation of the famous home of the Berlin State Opera “Unter den Linden”. Daniel Barenboim and James Levine will play both sets of Brahms Liebeslieder-Walzer (Op. 52 and Op. 65) with a quartet of top-flight singers – Dorothea Röschmann, Waltraud Meier, Matthew Polenzani, and Pape himself.

All of which leaves a little time for the man Opera News calls “the world’s most charismatic bass” and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung calls “the greatest operatic bass in the world” to finalize preparations for the role debut of a lifetime: as Wotan in Wagner’s Rheingold, in Milan with Barenboim in May.

EMI Classics Renews Contract with Sir Simon Rattle

LONDON, NOVEMBER 16 — Sir Simon Rattle has signed a new contract with EMI Classics, extending their exclusive and productive relationship well into a fourth decade. Over the next four years, Sir Simon Rattle will make twelve CDs with EMI Classics; the agreement ensures that he, the label and the Berliner Philharmoniker will continue to build on their previous notable successes, which have included three Grammy Awards in the US, three Classical Brit and three Gramophone Awards in the UK, and two Echo Klassik Awards in Germany.

Project highlights in the next year include Tchaikovsky’s complete Nutcracker ballet; a program of American music, headlined with a new commission by Wynton Marsalis; and a program of works by Schoenberg, including the rare Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene (Music for a Cinematographic Scene).

“In a time when recording contracts are rare enough to be an endangered species, I feel both lucky and privileged to be working further with EMI Classics, my loyal and brave partners of more than 30 years. The orchestra and I are delighted to be able to carry on bringing our music-making to, we hope, an ever wider audience, and we are very touched by the faith of EMI in our partnership.” - Sir Simon Rattle

In 2010, Sir Simon Rattle, one of only a handful of conductors today with an exclusive recording contract, marks the 30th anniversary of his exclusive relationship with EMI Classics, for which he has recorded more than 250 works.

"I am delighted about the ongoing partnership with Sir Simon which will continue to produce ground-breaking recordings and projects, adding to the great wealth, depth and breadth of repertoire that Sir Simon is building with EMI Classics.” -

Eric Dingman, President of EMI Classics Global

Stephen Johns, Vice President Artists and Repertoire of EMI Classics, adds: "We are thrilled that Sir Simon has agreed to renew his contract once again with EMI Classics. Over the past 30 years, Sir Simon has brought remarkable performances of remarkable music to wide audiences around the world, always opening eyes and ears with his fresh insights and authoritative performances. Nowhere is this more evident than in his relationship with the Berliner Philharmoniker, arguably the greatest orchestra in the world."

Sir Simon Rattle signed the contract while on tour with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the US in the presence of Stephen Johns and Lorna Aizlewood, Vice President Business and Legal Affairs of EMI Classics.

Opera News focuses on Contes d’Hoffmann

December’s Opera News dedicates most of its pages to Jacques Offenbach’s masterpiece, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, which is receiving a new production this month at the Met. First is the cover story on tenor Joseph Calleja, who takes on his first career role debut at the Met this month in the vocally- and psychologically-demanding part of the title character. Calleja, who just turned 31, has made headlines in the opera world since his debut a dozen years ago. In a review of his 2006 Met debut as the Duke in Rigoletto, Opera News wrote: “From his first notes, it was clear that we were in the presence of a star tenor. With its idiosyncratic fast vibrato, Calleja’s is a distinctive voice, but also quite beautiful. It has uncommon carrying power, almost as if Calleja had a megaphone in his throat. ... In his ability to send a lyric sound ringing throughout the house, though, as well as in his crystalline diction, Calleja was reminiscent of the young Luciano Pavarotti.” Features Editor Brian Kellow has a “high-speed conversation” with Calleja, while, in “Bartlett’s Quotations”, Barry Singer reports “Hoffmann” director Bartlett Sher’s observations on his second production at the Met, after his hugely successful 2006 Barbiere di Siviglia. In “Sound Bites”, Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll introduces young soprano Kathleen Kim – the “living doll” portraying the mechanical doll Olympia, whose charms entrance Hoffmann, in the Met’s new production. Writer Patrick Dillon examines the composer’s seldom-fulfilled intention to have a single soprano portray all four of Hoffmann’s loves: Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta, and Stella. Finally, a Hoffmann-related “Coda” column by Marjorie Sandor details “Sleepless Nights with E.T.A. Hoffmann”, the author whose life and works inspired Jacques Offenbach’s only grand opera.

Other Opera News articles include Scott Rose’s attempt to unlock the secrets of Richard Strauss’s most problematic heroine, Elektra; and a profile by Richard Christiansen of Chicago-based director Gary Griffin, who makes his operatic debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago this month with The Merry Widow. Subscribers to Opera News and Met patrons have exclusive access to internet-only features at www.operanews.com, which this month include a Contes d’Hoffmann audio sampler of key excerpts from the finest recordings of past and present, and a conversation with Bernard Labadie, music director of Les Violons du Roy, who discusses pacing the peaks and valleys of Handel’s Messiah, which he leads this month at Carnegie Hall.

The Metropolitan Opera Guild’s popular and growing series of public lectures – nearly doubled this season because of the Guild’s superb new Opera Learning Center – is slightly abbreviated in December because of the busy holiday season. But there are no fewer than six December lectures in the fascinating “Masterly Singing” series, which is aimed at young performers, showcasing opera’s most valuable assets (the directors, coaches, conductors, and singers of our stage), and there is a pre-performance lecture for the opening night of the Met’s new Contes d’Hoffmann.

For those of you in Colorado who took in Opera Colorado's own production of "Tales of Hoffman" these articles will also appeal to you.

What Christmas CD are you playing?

Every year my wife and add a new Christmas CD to our (already huge) collection. We have everything from Renaissance albums by chamber choirs to Classical collections from know and unknown performers. There are also the "pop" collections whether these are by an individual artist (like Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby) to the assorted artists which may or may not help some cause. Some of these CD's fall in the favorite category, such as Vanessa Williams Christmas Collection and are played several times each year. Others don't fare so well and may just fill a space in the collection but not actually get any playtime one year to the next.

With such a large collection you might think it would be impossible to find new CD's to add to it - and sometimes it is. This year, however, we have been blessed with the newest Yo-Yo Ma CD Songs of Joy & Peace. It really is wonderful.

It features Yo-Yo Ma, but also a host of other notable artists, such as Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Renée Fleming, Paquito D'Rivera and more. There are some classical pieces, such as the opening Dona Nobis Pacem and Panxoliña: a Galician Carol to jazz tunes like You couldn't be cuter and Dona Nobis Pacem - yes, that's right, an improvised version with Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer - destined to become one of all time favorites.

You can get the CD online from iTunes or at Amazon... or, if you would like a chance to get this great music for free SUBSCRIBE to Interchanging Idioms and comment on one of the posts. You could find the CD Songs of Joy & Peace arriving in your mailbox with still time to enjoy it before the season is over.

For more details and contest rules see the previous post here

Nash Ensemble is joined by mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill in the Wigmore Hall

The Nash Ensemble is joined by mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill on Saturday 5 December for a programme of music by Fauré, Falla, Ravel, Debussy and Franck at the Wigmore Hall. The concert is part the Ensemble’s Wigmore Hall 2009/10 season, L’Invitation au Voyage, exploring the music of France and Spain.

In the first half, domestic duets by Fauré and Ravel’s intense duo Sonata frame Cargill’s performance of Manuel de Falla’s rarely heard set of French songs and his elegant period piece Psyché. In the second, Debussy’s atmospheric harp showpiece Danse sacrée et danse profane precedes one of the masterpieces of French Romanticism, the passionate Piano Quintet by César Franck.

Saturday December 5th 2009, Wigmore Hall
NASH ENSEMBLE
Karen Cargill soprano
Ian Brown piano
Charles Owen piano
Marianne Thorsen violin
Paul Watkins cello
Lucy Wakeford harp

Fauré Dolly Suite for piano duet (selection)
Falla Trois melodies for voice and piano;
      Psyché for mezzo-soprano, flute, harp and string trio
Ravel Sonata for violin and cello
Debussy Danse sacrée et danse profane for harp and strings
Franck Piano Quintet in f minor

Wigmore Hall Box Office: Tel 020 7935 2141 online www.wigmore-hall.org.uk or in person 7 days a week 10.00 am – 7.00 pm

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Comment and get a chance to WIN Yo-Yo Ma's new CD Songs of Joy & Peace

Subscribe to Interchanging Idioms and post a comment and you would win this fabulous CD featuring the amazing Yo-Yo Ma

This is your chance to get this wonderful holiday album completely free, and in time for the holidays. The contest will end December 1st so SUBSCRIBE today!

The contest rules are simple. Once you have subscribed to Interchanging Idioms, find a post featuring Yo-Yo Ma and post a comment. Send me an email with your Name and Address AND the text of your comment so I can verify you are the person making the comment. (I need your name and address so I know where to send the CD if you win).

IF you just can't wait for the CD you can purchase it online at iTunes or at Amazon.

Either way, don't miss out on the Classical Holiday CD for 2009.

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops bring their Beloved Christmas Tradition to Cities in the Northeast

“America's Orchestra" to perform in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island with Concerts on Dec 5-6, 12-13, 17 & 19

The Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart launch their ever-popular Holiday concert series throughout the Northeast on December 5, sharing a cherished New England holiday tradition with audiences throughout the region. The series begins on Saturday, December 5 at the Jorgenson Center for the Performing Arts in Storrs, Connecticut, and continues to the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on the C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University, in Brookville, New York, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey, on December 6. The series continues the following weekend with performances at Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, in Massachusetts on December 12 and the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire on December 13. The series concludes with performances at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on December 17 and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, on December 19. These Boston Pops holiday concerts coincide with their holiday series at Symphony Hall in Boston, which runs this year from December 9 to 27.

Mr. Lockhart will lead the Boston Pops, joined by the young a cappella group the Swingle Singers, in a host of familiar holiday favorites such as the Pops’ signature “Sleigh Ride,” the traditional “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and the Pops’ show-stopping new arrangement, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Additionally, each family-friendly evening of classic seasonal favorites concludes with a visit from Santa and a holiday sing-along featuring “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Let It Snow,” “The Christmas Song,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Jingle Bells.”

The Boston Pops recently released their popular arrangement of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” for download at www.BostonPops.org/digital. The piece is available in three formats: standard MP3 (320 kb/sec) for $3.99; AIFF hi definition stereo for $4.99; and WMA Windows Media hi-definition for $4.99. The new arrangement “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by Broadway composer and arranger David Chase, was recorded live at Symphony Hall during the 2008 Holiday Pops season and features the Boston Pops Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival chorus under the direction of Keith Lockhart.

Boston Pops Holiday concerts began in 1974 with a three-concert series at Symphony Hall. Since then, public demand for the performances has increased dramatically, and this holiday season the Boston Pops will offer 32 concerts at Symphony Hall, in addition to its tour performances.

Boston Pops 2009 Holiday Tour

December 5 Storrs, Connecticut
Jorgenson Center for the Performing Arts 8:00 p.m.

December 6 Brookville, New York
Tilles Center for the Performing Arts 2:00 p.m.

December 6 Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Performing Arts Center 7:00 p.m.

December 12 Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell Memorial Auditorium 7:30 p.m.

December 13 Manchester, New Hampshire
Verizon Wireless Arena 2:30 p.m.

December 17 Uncasville, Connecticut
Mohegan Sun Arena 7:30 p.m.

December 19 Providence, Rhode Island
Dunkin’ Donuts Center 7:30 p.m.

Composer & vocalist Lisa Bielawa launches her "Lend Me Your Ears" guest blog from Rome for WQXR's Q2

Bielawa will contribute from Rome for “Lend Me Your Ears,” her new series on WQXR.org’s “Do You Q2” blog

New York, NY, November 17, 2009 —Composer and vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize Winner in Musical Composition. She is currently spending a year composing at the American Academy in Rome , situated on the Janiculum, Rome 's highest hill.

Bielawa will chronicle her residency in Rome for WQXR as a guest blogger for “Do You Q2,” the music blog of Q2, WQXR’s music stream dedicated to contemporary composers. “Do You Q2” shares insights and exclusive multimedia features from musicians, composers, critics, producers and artists working in the field of contemporary classical music. Bielawa’s posts, under the header “Lend Me Your Ears,” will describe her musical and daily life with 27 other fellows in the Academy’s multi-disciplinary, collegial environment. Her personal commentary will give the inside scoop about performances she’s preparing, new works she’s composing, and the inspiration she’s imbibing from her sojourn in The Eternal City.

Bielawa’s first post is now online. She writes:

“In the last two months, I’ve taken intensive Italian lessons, visited ancient Roman sites off-limits to the public, spent a long weekend in Venice (the dying city) and enjoyed the 11 amazing meals a week prepared for us by the Rome Sustainable Food Project--our resident chefs from Chez Panisse in Berkeley , CA . I also hit the ground running with my work, composing the first section of my Rome Prize project piece, a flexible-length, modular piece for the Brooklyn Rider string quartet and myself as vocalist, inspired by French theorist Roland Barthes’s encyclopedic meditation on romantic love, A Lover’s Discourse . . .”

Check in on Bielawa’s adventures every two weeks at www.wqxr.org/blogs/q2-blog/.

About Lisa Bielawa:
Born in San Francisco into a musical family, Lisa Bielawa played the violin and piano, sang, and wrote music from early childhood. She moved to New York two weeks after receiving her B.A. in Literature in 1990 from Yale University , and became an active participant in New York musical life. She began touring with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992, and in 1997 co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers. In addition to her work with the Philip Glass Ensemble, she tours and records with John Zorn and has premiered and recorded works by many other composer colleagues.

Ms. Bielawa frequently takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. The New York Times describes her music as, “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart,” and Time Out New York praised her "prodigious gift for mingling persuasive melodicism with organic experimentation."

Recent performances of Ms. Bielawa’s work include the premiere of Double Violin Concerto, written for violinists Colin Jacob sen and Carla Kihlstedt and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP); the premiere of In medias res, a concerto for orchestra also written for BMOP; the premiere of Portrait-Elegy by pianist Bruce Levingston; and the premiere of The Project of Collecting Clouds at Town Hall in Seattle by cellist Joshua Roman and chamber ensemble. Other recent highlights include performances of Chance Encounter at the Whitney Museum of American Art; unfinish’d, sent by the Yerevan Ensemble of Soloists in Armenia; of Topos Nostalgia from Chance Encounter with Ms. Bielawa as the soprano in Salzburg; of Hurry at Carnegie Hall during Dawn Upshaw’s Perspectives series; the premiere of The Right Weather by the American Composers Orchestra during Zankel Hall’s inaugural season; and the premiere of The Lay of the Love and Death at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

Ms. Bielawa’s music is available on the Tzadik (A Handful of World), Albany Records (First Takes), and Innova (Hildegurls: Electric Ordo Virtutuum) labels. Upcoming releases in 2010 include The Lay of the Love on Premiere Commission Recordings, Chance Encounter, and an orchestral disc on BMOP/Sound.

In addition to the 2009 Rome Prize, Ms. Bielawa has received fellowships and awards from the Alpert-Ucross Foundation, Creative Capital, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, ASCAP, and the Fondation Royaumont in France. In 2007-2008, Lisa Bielawa was a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, and from 2006-2009 she was Composer in Residence at BMOP, as part of Music Alive, a joint program of Meet The Composer and the League of American Orchestras.

An enthusiastic advocate for the field, Ms. Bielawa now serves on the board of the MATA Festival. In addition to being a vocalist with the Philip Glass Ensemble, she tours and records with John Zorn and has premiered and recorded works by numerous composer colleagues.

Friday, November 20, 2009

British Composer Award nomination for SCO/Drake Music Scotland commission

Composer Howard Moody has been shortlisted for a British Composer Award for his groundbreaking work, Moving Music, which was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Drake Music Scotland.

Moody has been nominated in the Community or Educational Project category for Moving Music, which gave eight secondary school pupils with physical or visual impairment from Ashcraig School in Glasgow the chance to perform alongside orchestral musicians, by using the latest music technology.

The piece was written for Soundbeam technology – a movement sensor system connected to a computer, programmed with thousands of live instrument samples. It was adapted to react to the slightest movements and allowed those unable to use conventional instruments to take part in a live performance.

Howard Moody said he took inspiration both from the pupils themselves, and some of the feelings they experienced, as well as birdsong and the words of 13th century poet Rumi. It was divided into six distinct sections; Longing, Shy and Elusive, Vulnerable, Expressive, Unusual, Nocturnal.

Moving Music was performed at Platform in Easterhouse on 2 June 2008, and the children were joined by a choir from the school, as well as SCO musicians.

“We are delighted that Howard Moody’s expertise has been recognised in this nomination. It is the combination of his extraordinary skills that made this project such a success.” - SCO Education Director, Lucy Perry

Howard Moody said there was a real “joyfulness” in the sessions at Ashcraig. “My personal interest was to make the process of playing soundbeams feel the same as playing an acoustic instrument. There was a real sense of collaboration between all those who participated.”

The British Composer Awards will be held at the Law Society in London on Tuesday 1 December, and the ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday 2 December at 7pm.

Yours Truly, Chip Michael, was entered for the International Award. The International Award received its largest entry for the three years it has been contested. There were 19 nominations for works receiving their UK premiere in the qualifying period. The nominations in this category go to John Adams, Peter Helmut Lang and Magnus Lindberg. While I wasn't short listed, it's nice to be included in such illustrious company.

Colorado Symphony Orchestra & Colorado Public Radio Announce Historic Fund Drive

Colorado Public Radio (CPR) will conduct a one-time only on-air fundraising campaign, Bringing the Music to Life, on behalf of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO). The drive will begin November 30th and culminates on December 2nd with a live broadcast of the Orchestra's sold out performance with musical icon Yo-Yo Ma.

"Colorado Public Radio recognizes the CSO's unique role as one of Colorado's key cultural assets and petitioned the Federal Communications Corporation (FCC) for permission to conduct a one-time only, on-air fundraising drive to support its major classical music provider, the Colorado Symphony," stated CPR President Max Wycisk, who also emphasized that the FCC has not granted permission to conduct this type of drive since 1993.

Across the country, arts organizations are struggling with the effects of a difficult economy. Most recently, the Honolulu Symphony was forced to declare bankruptcy and suspend its season. The CSO is not immune to the challenges presented by a lagging economy, and has felt the impact of the recession through decreased contributed support.

Despite the economy, there is a renewed sense of excitement and momentum surrounding the CSO - the Orchestra is attracting the best talent from around the world, both on- and off-stage. And the search is on for a top-notch successor to beloved music director Jeffrey Kahane.

When the current worldwide economic crisis hit, the CSO was in a period of transition- with vacancies in several key leadership positions, which presented special challenges for the organization. The Colorado Symphony is committed to operating in a fiscally responsible manner and took several key steps to balance its budget for the 2009-2010 season.

In total, the CSO reduced its operating budget by nearly $2.5 million. First, the CSO made careful and responsible reductions in operational expenses and negotiated reduced fees with its guest artists for the 2009-2010 season. Colorado Symphony musicians played a proactive and collaborative role in balancing the CSO's budget by creating a package of salary and benefit concessions, which included a 12.5 percent pay cut, up to four weeks of unpaid furloughs and suspension of employer contributions to the musicians' retirement fund. The musicians agreed to these concessions to ensure that the CSO could continue performing a full season of concerts - both in Boettcher Concert hall and in local parks for its free summer concert series. The musicians' extraordinary and generous sacrifice also allows the CSO to maintain its commitment to bringing music education to schools throughout Colorado.

CSO President and CEO James W. Palermo said, "The musicians of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra have stepped up to the plate in a major way to keep the institution sound. We are so grateful for their collaborative spirit in helping us chart a successful course for the institution's future. This drive on CPR will help kick start all the wonderful work the musicians, board and staff are doing to take the Orchestra to the next level."

Finally, there was 100 percent participation by members of the Colorado Symphony Board of Directors in financial commitments to the orchestra. This, plus active fundraising in the community, raised a significant amount of money to balance the 2008-09 budget and ensure that the CSO would end the year in the black. The CSO continues to pursue significant commitments to its capital campaign to upgrade concert hall facilities, and will focus more on this project as the national economy continues to gain stability.

Through the collaborative spirit and generous sacrifices from orchestra musicians and staff, combined with prudent reductions to operating costs, the CSO continues to deliver the world-class concerts and music education programs that Colorado residents have come to expect from the state's largest performing arts organization.

Having already reduced its budget by $2.5 million, additional cutbacks would jeopardize the CSO's ability to present a full season of concerts and inhibit the orchestra's ability to attract internationally-renowned guest artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Olga Kern and Lang Lang to Colorado. The CSO would also be forced to reduce the number of music education opportunities available to Colorado's young people in a time when arts education budgets are being reduced or eliminated.

The CSO has a new senior leadership team in place, which was drawn from the best talent in the orchestra world through a series of national searches. The CSO senior leadership team is committed to building the CSO's audiences and fundraising capacity for the future.

The CSO has a plan to successfully navigate this difficult economy, and early results are very encouraging. Performances with Olga Kern and the Rachmaninoff Festival, Lang Lang, and Yo-Yo Ma have significantly exceeded ticket budgets and produced sold out halls. But like in every business endeavor, results take time. This historic, CPR on-air campaign will provide the CSO with bridge funding that ensures ongoing financial stability for the orchestra while the CSO's new audience development and fundraising initiatives take root.

"The Colorado Symphony Orchestra is a great asset to the City of Denver and a cornerstone of our cultural community," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. "This exciting partnership between the CSO and Colorado Public Radio is an innovative model for fundraising in this challenging economy. We applaud the sustainable changes the CSO is making to ensure the organization's viability well into the future."

Permission to grant this special one-time-only fundraising campaign for the CSO on CPR was based on the CSO's financial need and history of CPR's reliance upon the CSO for a major portion of its on-air program content. This unique collaboration presents an unprecedented opportunity for CPR to help the CSO successfully navigate this challenging economy by avoiding future budget deficits and offsetting potential shortfalls in earned and contributed support.

"I am thrilled and excited that CPR is dedicating three entire days of on air time to help raise money for the Colorado Symphony," said Board Chair Kevin V. Duncan. "What a remarkable gift this is to the Symphony and proof positive that CPR is dedicated to making the arts thrive in Denver and the Front Range."

Particularly in a tough economy, music provides a much-needed escape and release. Coloradans need music now more than ever - and with multiple sold-out performances, the community is reaching out to feel the transcendent power of music through the CSO as never before. However, ticket sales account for just half of the Colorado Symphony's annual budget. Each year, the CSO must raise more than $5 million in donations to continue Bringing the Music to Life in Colorado - in the concert hall, at education programs for young people, and at free summertime performances in the parks. The City of Denver recognizes the importance of the CSO to the community and shares its commitment to building a rich cultural life for Denver and the state of Colorado.

"We are dedicated to the long term success of our partners at the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the primary tenant of Boettcher Concert Hall and host of an annual free summer concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre," said Jack Finlaw, Director of Denver's Division of Theatres & Arenas. "We share a common goal of providing enriching cultural experiences for residents and visitors to our region. Theatres & Arenas will continue to support the CSO in its efforts to grow and adapt to the changing economy in any way possible."

CPR and the CSO ask all who care about music and music education for Colorado's young people to help in Bringing the Music to Life through this special on-air fundraising campaign conducted on CPR stations KCFR and KVOD November 30 through December 2. Gifts will help sustains the CSO's tradition of providing outstanding symphonic music and music education programs to our community.

Travels in Time and Place at the East Neuk Festival, Scotland

Monumental Works Written in Remarkable Times Featured Composer Benjamin Britten Plus a Star Turn for the East Neuk itself

“You can hear the swing of the sea….East Neuk Festival is special because it’s not in the city, not in concert halls, not in tents – it uses the local living landscape.” (Dr Richard Holloway at the East Neuk Festival 2009)
Despite leaner budgets this year the East Neuk Festival’s persistently ambitious artistic director, Svend Brown, has again engaged a host of world class musicians for five days of music-making in the Kingdom of Fife, including the Belcea and Elias Quartets, Tallis Scholars, London Winds, Russian virtuoso pianist Alexander Romanovsky, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, French jazz star Renaud Garcia Fons, and pianist Malcolm Martineau with young singers Katherine Broderick and Robin Tritschler. Monumental works such as the Victoria Requiem and Spem in Alium for 40 voices anchor the ‘ancient’ programme, while a central strand of Benjamin Britten’s themes and inspirations spans the centuries from Purcell to Schubert. The East Neuk itself is the subject of a specially commissioned film and exhibition. MUSIC - Renaissance Polyphony to Jazz Combo Benjamin Britten is the featured composer of the 2010 festival presented alongside his musical idols Schubert, Mozart and Purcell. “I sense a strong kinship between Britten’s beloved Suffolk and the East Neuk – and being in this lovely stretch of Scottish coastline can only enhance your pleasure in hearing his music” comments Svend Brown. He has programmed the Festival with Britten’s folk song arrangements and the string quartets, which stretch across the full scope of the composer’s career from the early first two created in the 1940s to the poignant last in 1975 just before his death. The Elias String Quartet takes on this repertoire (which they are also releasing on CD in Spring 2010 on the Sonimage label), pairing each quartet with appropriately influential works by composers Schubert, Purcell and Mozart. Britten’s much loved arrangements of British folk songs are performed by one of his finest interpreters, pianist Malcolm Martineau, with multi award winning young singers Katherine Broderick and Robin Tritschler.

Britten is also obliquely laced into the Festival’s centerpiece concert in the imposing Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews. Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten opens an evening of monumental works written in remarkable times including Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, a pinnacle of Renaissance polyphony Spem in alium for 40 solo voices and Strauss’s Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings. The legion of superior soloists required for this programme comes from the peerless Tallis Scholars joined by the East Neuk Singers (assembled and trained by James Waters), the renowned Belcea Quartet and Scottish Chamber Orchestra directed by violinist Alexander Janiczek.

Chamber music remains at the very heart of the East Neuk Festival, being entirely suited to the uniquely atmospheric churches in which it is performed. The esteemed Belcea Quartet follows in the venerable footsteps of previous East Neuk visitors such as the Alban Berg and Skampa Quartets with a concert featuring some of the brightest jewels of the classical repertoire including Haydn, Szymanowski and Mozart. They also team up with the London Winds for the Festival’s richly Romantic opener which pairs Brahms’s second String Quartet with Schubert’s Octet in F major.

Another monumental work, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, is showcased in splendid isolation by another young star of the piano world, young Russian virtuoso, Alexander Romanovsky who has already attracted the attention of Gergiev, Pletnev - and the Pope. His other recital delivers another single masterpiece, Rachmaninov’s Etudes-Tableaux, Op 39.

Opening the window on the 21st century is the charismatic French bassist Renaud Garcia Fons and his ensemble of accordion, flamenco guitar and percussion. Linea del Sur is his latest project, a piece that reflects the many musical styles – Latin, Mediterranean, flamenco and jazz - that illuminated his childhood. With his customized five string bass he wraps up heart and soul with virtuosity and generous melodies, shared with his equally inspiring and individual fellow instrumentalists.

For more information on this delightful music festival in Scotland, visit www.eastneukfestival.com

Pianist Yuja Wang’s Recording Sonatas and Etudes Wins International Piano Award for Best Debut Album of 2009

Read my review of this CD on Interchanging Idioms... We loved it first!

International Piano magazine has announced that twenty-two year old pianist Yuja Wang’s recording Sonatas & Etudes has been selected as the International Piano Awards Best Debut Album of 2009. Now in its fourth year, the 2009 International Piano Awards celebrate the best piano recordings, sheet music, books and DVDs released between October 2008 and November 2009. The complete list of winners will be published in the November/December 2009 issue of International Piano and can be found online at www.rhinegold.co.uk and www.international-piano.com.

Yuja Wang is an exclusive artist for Deutsche Grammophon. Her debut album, Sonatas & Etudes, released in the spring of 2009 “suggests a combination of blazing technique and a rare instinct for poetry.” [Gramophone] The recording includes works by Chopin, Ligeti, Scriabin and Liszt.

“What marks out the playing of Yuja Wang is the mix of superb technique, a remarkable sensitivity and formidable musical intelligence. She traverses a wide repertoire with ease. Still, there is no doubt that there is room for her to grow, and that makes tracking her career all the more exciting.” said Chloe Cutts, editor of International Piano.

Recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist, Yuja is noted for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire, the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and graceful, charismatic stage presence. She has been praised for her controlled, prodigious technique and her command of the piano has been described as “astounding” and “superhuman.”

Following Yuja’s Carnegie Hall debut performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Charles Dutoit earlier this season, The New York Times wrote “the evening’s most breathtaking moments were provided by the pianist Yuja Wang…She seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder and interpretive nuance.” This season Yuja will also make her Kimmel Center recital debut, appear as soloist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Russian National Orchestra during their U.S. tours, and perform with the Indianapolis Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, and the New World Symphony. She will also perform the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s piano concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra led by Andrew Litton and give recitals in San Francisco, Vancouver, Detroit, and Washington DC , among other cities. Yuja was also recently name the named the Classic FM Gramophone Awards 2009 Young Artist of the Year.

Apologies for the Last Week

My sincere apologies for all my loyal readers who have been wondering what's up with the last week - and a serious lack of anything new.

I am currently studying for my Masters in Music Composition at Denver University and this week (Nov 16-23) is the final week of the quarter. So, everything is due NOW and there was a lot of it. Add to this a number of concerts, recitals and other events to attend and I've been a bit distracted.

The week isn't over, but I am finished with most of the work so I should be able to get back to regular posts and updates as to what's happening in the classical music world. I've been reading my inbox and there are only 50 or so messages. Hopefully that will be caught up by the end of the weekend.


On a side note, I do have a concert of my music coming January 28th. For those of you in Denver look for updates on this blog. If you're not in Denver at that time I'll try and post a few highlight mp3's here in the week or so following.

Giuliano Carmignola Featured in World-Premiere Recordings

World-Premiere Recordings of 18th Century Italian Violin Concertos available Nov 24

For his sixth album on Archiv Produktion/Deutsche Grammophon, Giuliano Carmignola continues to explore the virtuoso Italian violin repertoire of the 18th-century with selections by little-known contemporaries of Vivaldi. Three of the four concertos featured on this album are presented in world-premiere recordings; yet, this was no archaeological dig for Carmignola, rather he “was struck by the sheer quality of these works.” Andrea Marcon and the Venice Baroque Orchestra once again partner Carmignola for their fourth recording project together on Archiv Produktion.

Though all four composers presented on this album are not well-known, Antonio Lolli is perhaps the least obscure. Lolli’s concerto, his op. 2, was dedicated to the famous violin virtuoso Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The 19th-century music critic Eduard Hanslick called Lolli “the forerunner and prototype of Paganini and the spiritual father of all violin virtuosos.” Needless to say, Lolli’s work is filled with challenging virtuosic flights and daring technical hurdles – all of which Carmignola easily conquers.

The other three composers (Domenico Dall’Oglio, Michele Stratico and Pietro Nardini) are less well-known and their individual works are here recorded for the first time. In fact, all three works were discovered in manuscript form in Berkeley at the University of California Music Library . Each composer was certainly influenced by Vivaldi and Tartini and they even worked alongside these better-known masters at various times. Like Vivaldi, each composer places great demands on the technical skill of both the soloist and orchestra.

Carmignola and Marcon have lovingly rescued these works from obscurity and shed light on the musical scene in Italy during the 18th-century. Many composers in addition to Vivaldi, Tartini and Locatelli were successfully composing and expanding the technical and musical possibilities for the violin during this time as this recording demonstrates.

Giuliano Carmignola was born in Treviso , where his violinist father discovered and encouraged his son’s passion for music and where the Vivaldi renaissance began 50 years ago. Luigi Ferro, his first teacher at the Venice Conservatory, was a soloist with the Scuola Veneziana Orchestra that Angelo Ephrikian created in 1947 to perform Vivaldi’s music. Since his 2005 debut on Archiv Produktion, Carmignola has gone on to release a total of six albums.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Q2’s Debut Live Performance Featured a David Lang American Premiere Streamed Live from The Greene Space

WQXR Introduces “Q2”: a New Web Stream Providing a Multiplatform Destination for Adventurous Music

WNYC, with its proud 85-year history of championing new music, complements the new Classical 105.9 WQXR with the launch of Q2, a vibrant 24/7 music stream presenting contemporary classical fare. Q2, available at http://www.wqxr.org , offers recordings by some of the most passionate and plugged-in musical minds of today, as well as notable live events from venues around New York, including WNYC’s newly-opened broadcast studio and performance venue, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and the hugely popular Le Poisson Rouge. The first live stream event, the American choral premiere of David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Little Match Girl Passion, took place on November 8 at The Greene Space. The audio of this performance was webcast live on Q2, and the event was (video) streamed live at http://www.wnyc.org/thegreenspace.

Also on November 8, a record release party and performance celebrating Terry Riley’s “In C Remixed” at Le Poisson Rouge, emceed by Radiolab host and “In C” remixer Jad Abumrad, was recorded for Q2; this will run multiple times during the week of November 23.

Limor Tomer, WNYC’s Executive Producer for Music, describes the new Q2 stream as “a virtual meeting place for passionate music lovers, a center for ideas, rants, opinions and conversation, and a guide to the musically curious. Q2 is a New York-based, internationally connected, inclusive musical playground rooted in the music of our times and the radical composers of the past.”

A radio version of Q2 also airs on WQXR 105.9 FM once a week on Saturday evenings from 10pm-midnight, hosted by Terrance McKnight.

Fall highlights:

November 8: First live stream: David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion live from The Greene Space
Week of November 23: Terry Riley’s “In C Remixed” Recorded at LPR on November 8
Post-produced event with Radiolab host and “In C Remixed” remixer Jad Abumrad, hosting from LPR; streamed multiple times during the week of November 23.
November 30: First live stream from Le Poisson Rouge John Hollenbeck plays Hollenbeck + Meredith Monk, John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Future Quest and Hollenbeck/Reynolds/Moran trio.
December 10-16: Maximum Steve: Celebrating Steve Reich An audio-sensory immersion into the heart and mind of Steve Reich. Reich introduces his pieces on Q2; other composers/performers contribute audio/video including Michael Lang, Michael Gordon, Meredith Monk and many more.