Showing posts from October, 2010

James Conlon conducts LA Opera’s Recovered Voices Series released on DVD and Blu-ray by Naxos

LA Opera’s productions of rarely performed works as part of the Company’s Recovered Voices series conducted by Music Director James Conlon were filmed for release on DVD and Blu-ray. The 2008 double-bill of Alexander Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg (The Dwarf) andViktor Ullmann’s Der zerbrochene Krug (The Broken Jug) is available now, and the 2009 presentation of Walter Braunfels’ Die Vögel (The Birds) will be released on November 16, 2010. The videos, released on the Arthaus Musik label, will be distributed by Naxos Music. James Conlonconducts all of LA Opera’s Recovered Voices presentations, an initiative that began when he became Music Director of the Company in 2006. “The creativity of the first half of the 20th century is far richer than generally known,” said Mr. Conlon. “We have taken an important step toward reviving the music of those composers whose lives were impacted and whose music was banned by the Third Reich between 1933 and 1945. For complex reasons much of it remained unplaye…

Bryn Terfel's Carols & Christmas Songs out Tuesday, November 2nd

Bryn Terfel Celebrates the Holidays with Traditional Songs and Welsh Favorites out November 2nd on Deutsche Grammophon
Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera led by Tecwyn Evans with guests Rolando Villazón, Catrin Finch, Only Men Aloud and Bing Crosby
“Terfel’s powerful vocal presence is born of physical presence and he harnesses words, in any language, like few others.” GramophoneThe holidays conjure images of crackling fires, luminous trees, family gatherings and warm baked treats. This season, Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will provide the accompaniment to this joyful time with his new release Carols and Christmas Songs available from Deutsche Grammophon on November 2nd, 2010.The highlight of the new album is a duet of “White Christmas” with the legendary Bing Crosby. The vocals were taken from the original recording as performed by Bing Crosby With The Ken Darby Singers & John Scott Trotter & His Orchestra. Terfel then focuses on his favorite traditional songs of…

от силы в силу, Alexander Polianichko goes from Strength to Strength with the Colorado Symphony performing music by the Russian Masters

Jordan Bisch sang Bass and the Colorado Symphony Chorus, under the direction of Duain Wolfe, joined the Colorado Symphony for a powerful program of the Russian Mastersот силы в силу means from Strength to StrengthRussian music has a power all its own. With Alexander Polianichko at the podium the Colorado Symphony performed a solid concert of Russian music moving from strength to strength. As the program progressed the music and the performances kept improving. The evening began with the "Procession of the Nobles" from Mlada by Rimsky-Korsakov. This piece features the brass and the amazing Colorado Symphony brass section were up for the challenge. Some of the rapid fanfare leaps were boldly present in the music and really set the stage for a night of immensely powerful music. Jordan Bisch was featured as the bass soloist for Aleko's Cavatina from Aleko by Rachmaninoff. The orchestra started at a whisper to preface the first note by Mr Bisch which wasn't much …

Offensive Language on Stage

When is language offensive and if Theatre and Opera are to push the bounds, to make us think when (if ever) is censorship appropriate?When writing "Gee, Officer Krupke" for West Side Story, Stephen Sondheim attempted to be the first Broadway lyricist to say the word "fuck." “I realized, once I thought of the title, that the song would afford me the opportunity of being the first lyricist to use a serious four-letter obscenity in a Broadway musical … [but] such language had never been heard in a musical, and here was my chance to make my mark by having a loud choral 'Fuck you!' as the punchline of a song …. All was well until we played it for the producers … I was in despair until Lenny came up with ‘Krup You!’, which may be the best lyric line in the show … ”For those that don't know, I recently ran into the same sort of censorship. Last Winter I wrote a short opera entitled "DINKs." The subject matter is the day in the life of a young co…

Attend an Open Rehearsal with the Colorado Symphony

This Friday enjoy an Open Rehearsal conducted by Alexander Polianichko. Experience the Colorado Symphony as they prepare for performances! Friday, October 22, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Alexander Polianichko, conductorRIMSKY-KORSAKOV "Procession of the Nobles" from Mlada
RACHMANINOFF "Aria" from Aleko
TCHAIKOVSKY Suite from Swan Lake
BORODIN "Polovtsian Dances" from Prince Igor
MUSSORGSKY "Coronation Scene" from Boris Godunov
TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 OvertureTickets are available at the door the morning of the rehearsal for $5, payable by check, cash or credit card. See Education Director Nora Robinson upon arrival for admission. Then come to the concert Friday Night! Alexander Polianichko leads the combined orchestra and chorus forces in a varied program of Slavic chestnuts, including Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances,” and the “Coronation Scene” from Boris Godonov. This Russian extravaganza concludes with Tchaikov…

Violinist Mikhail Simonyan to Replace Midori for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Concerts, October 21-23

Program will remain unchanged and features Shostakovich’s First Violin ConcertoDue to a sudden back injury, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra regrets to announce that violinist Midori has cancelled her upcoming engagement to perform with the BSO in the concerts on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Friday, October 22, 2010 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Conductor Gilbert Varga is still scheduled to lead the program. Midori expressed her regret, “I’m so disappointed to miss the opportunity to play with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Varga! I have strained my back and have been strongly advised against physical exertion at this time. I greatly appreciate the graciousness and understanding of the BSO, and look forward to re-scheduling our collaboration at the earliest opportunity.”

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Recreates Infamous 1910 Meeting of Mahler and Freud in Analyze This, Nov. 5-6

Music Director Marin Alsop commences 2010-2011 Off the Cuff series with symphonic play illustrating the meeting of a creative genius and intelligent mindMusic Director Marin Alsop teams up with writer and stage director Didi Balle in co-creation Analyze This: Mahler and Freud to be performed on Friday, November 5 at 8:15 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore and Saturday, November 6 at 7 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. In Analyze This, actors Richard Pilcher and Tony Tsendeas and mezzo-soprano Kristina Lewis will reenact the 1910 meeting between Gustav Mahler and famous psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud as Maestra Alsop shares historical content and interesting little-known facts, interspersed with selections from Mahler’s most famous works. The BSO’s Off the Cuff series offers a fresh take on classical music by exploring the lives of the composers, making the performances fun and engaging for music enthusiasts of any level. After two successful seasons at the Joseph Meyerho…

"Met Mastersingers: René Pape", Oct 27 at NY's Town Hall

Star of Met’s New Boris Godunov Is Second Honoree in Metropolitan Opera Guild’s “Met Mastersingers” Series at New York’s Town Hall on Oct 27On Wednesday, October 27, the Metropolitan Opera Guild presents the second installment of its exciting new series: “The Met Mastersingers”. This season’s honoree is star bass René Pape – soon to appear in the title role of the Met’s new production of Boris Godunov – who will join the Guild’s executive producer Paul Gruber in an informal conversation about his life and career. The event will take place at New York’s Town Hall and will feature screenings of highlights from the Pape’s most celebrated filmed performances from the Metropolitan Opera and Europe, including many never shown in the U.S., and a new video profile, especially created for the occasion. Pape will also perform some of his favorite songs, with pianist Brian Zeger. Ticket and other information for “The Met Mastersingers: René Pape” follows below. Among the filmed performances…

Robin Ticciati extends contract with Scottish Chamber Orchestra until 2015

Robin Ticciati has extended his contract as Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for a further three years until 2015. Ticciati, who opens the Orchestra’s 2010/11 Season this evening with a concert performance of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, took up the post of Principal Conductor in September 2009 for an initial three-year period. The young British conductor is already enjoying considerable international success: as well as his position with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, he is Principal Guest Conductor of the Bamberger Symphoniker and has received re-invitations to the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He made his conducting debuts at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival this year. In the 2010/11 Season, he makes his debuts with the Wiener Symphoniker, Royal Concertgebouw, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras.

YouTube Announces Launch of “YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011” Culminating in a Performance at Sydney Opera House

With Michael Tilson Thomas, London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Sydney Symphony, and Other Leading Institutions & Figures of Classical Music WorldAfter a sold-out performance last year at Carnegie Hall, YouTube opens online auditions for a second global collaborative orchestra to perform at a week-long summit at Sydney Opera House in March 2011.YouTube™ today announced a collaboration with Sydney Opera House, Grammy Award-winning conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, the London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, and many other leading institutions and figures of the classical music world, to launch the "YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011", a global online audition for a collaborative orchestra where amateur musicians can share their knowledge and experience of making music with the support of some of the world’s leading classical artists. Musicians selected for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 will be invited to a week-long classical music summit of…

Bryn Terfel: Carols & Christmas Songs

Bryn Terfel Celebrates the Holidays with Traditional Songs and Welsh Favorites out November 2nd on Deutsche GrammophonThe holidays conjure images of crackling fires, luminous trees, family gatherings and warm baked treats. This season, Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will provide the accompaniment to this joyful time with his new release Carols and Christmas Songs available from Deutsche Grammophon on November 2nd, 2010. The highlight of the new album is a duet of “White Christmas” with the legendary Bing Crosby. The vocals were taken from the original recording as performed by Bing Crosby With The Ken Darby Singers & John Scott Trotter & His Orchestra. Terfel then focuses on his favorite traditional songs of the season including O Holy Night, In the Bleak Midwinter and Away in a Manger. Tenor Rolando Villazón joins Terfel in a performance of El Nacimiento while Welsh harpist Catrin Finch duets on Silent Night and What Child is This. “Music is always a constant background ac…

Rufus Wainwright performs the World Premiere of his Five Shakespeare Sonnets with San Francisco Symphony

Jeffrey Kahane conducts the Orchestra in Weill’s Symphony No. 2 and leads from the keyboard in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major On November 11, 12 and 13 at Davies Symphony Hall, Jeffrey Kahane leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and vocalist Rufus Wainwright in the world premiere of the singer’s SFS-commissioned Five Shakespeare Sonnets. For these concerts Kahane will also conduct the Orchestra in Kurt Weill’s Symphony No. 2 and lead from the keyboard in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major. These concerts mark Rufus Wainwright’s debut with the San Francisco Symphony. Rufus Wainwright composed and orchestrated Five Shakespeare Sonnets, his song-cycle of Shakespeare’s Sonnets numbers 43, 20, 10, 129 and 87. He first composed these for a small ensemble to perform as part of Shakespeares Sonette, a play directed by avant-garde theater visionary Robert Wilson. The play was staged in April 2009 at the Berliner Ensemble, the German theatre company established by playwright Bertolt Bre…

Pluhar, Jaroussky and Fray: Not a Law Firm, But Three Virgin Classics Artists Bound for the Big Apple

Three remarkable Virgin Classics artists are headed this fall to New York, where they will appear in two concerts at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Early music maverick Christina Pluhar, leading her dynamic Baroque ensemble L’Arpeggiata, will team up with French star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky in a performance on Friday, October 29 that will feature “Teatro d’amore”, a Monteverdi-inspired program recorded previously for Virgin Classics. The concert marks their Zankel Hall debut. The following month, the charismatic young French pianist David Fray returns to New York City to perform a program of Schubert and Bach, composers who were featured on Fray’s first three much acclaimed Virgin Classics albums. The recital on Tuesday, November 16 will mark Fray’s New York recital debut. With their singular approach combining early music performance practice with the inspiration of folk, jazz and popular music, Christina Pluhar and L’Arpeggiata present audiences with an experience that might b…

The Met Live in HD presents Boris Godunov in theaters Saturday, October 23

The Met: Live in HD continues its fifth season with Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov in movie theaters worldwide this Saturday, October 23 at 12:00 pm ET. Boris Godunov is an epic spectacle that captures the suffering and ambition of a nation; with René Pape performing one of the greatest bass roles in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth. Valery Gergiev conducts an enormous cast that also includes and Aleksandrs Antonenko, Vladimir Ognovenko, Ekaterina Semenchuk, and a chorus of 120 singers. Boris Godunov’s intermission features will include interviews with director Stephen Wadsworth joined by Andrey Popov (Holy Fool) and Mikhail Petrenko (Pimen); Ekaterina Semenchuk (Marina) and Aleksandrs Antonenko (Grigori); and Donald Palumbo with chorus members Jean Braham & Rob Maher. Anna Netrebko and Mariusz Kwiecien will also be interviewed about their appearances in the upcoming The Met Live: in HD presentation of Don Pasquale on November 13.

Sir Colin Davis to Conduct the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra thru Bruckner Symphony No. 7

On 25th October, Sir Colin Davis takes to the platform at the Barbican Hall to conduct the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra perform Bruckner’s Symphony no. 7, the overture to Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Mozart’s Horn Concerto no. 4. The concert features horn player Lauren Reeve-Rawlings who is a student at the Guildhall School and in 2009 was finalist of the BBC Radio 2 Brass Young Musician. As part of the Centre for Orchestra initiative, the musicians are coached by London Symphony Orchestra players prior to the performance. Centre for Orchestra is a unique collaboration between the LSO, Guildhall School and Barbican creating a forum in London for orchestral development in the 21st century. The concert will be preceded by a free performance:
6:00 pm, Guildhall Artists at the Barbican: Mozart Lieder Tickets £15 and £10 (£5 concessions) available from the Barbican Box Office 020 7638 8891

Legendary Sitarist Ravi Shankar Returns to the Meyerhoff for 90th Birthday World Tour, Nov. 5

Dubbed “the godfather of world music” by friend, pupil and Beatle George Harrison, the legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar returns to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for a one-night engagement Friday, November 5, 2010 as part of his 90th birthday world tour. A renowned virtuoso, Ravi Shankar has performed throughout the world for eight decades. In addition to his mastery of the sitar, he is a writer, a teacher and his compositions for orchestra and film have won him high praise, including a Grammy Award and Oscar nominations. Ravi Shankar is widely credited for bringing Indian classical music to the attention of the world in the 1960’s. Originally a means of spiritual meditation dating back 2,000 years to ancient Hindu scripture, the art form combines melodies and rhythms into distinct modes, ragas, each of which is associated with a specific mood and season. Performing on traditional instruments, including the sitar and tabla (drum), musicians improvise within ragas, with an aesthet…

Honesty in Music Education - or Getting to the Truth When Writing Music For Musicians

A few days ago several of my chamber pieces were performed at the Newman Center in Denver. While having my music performed is always a thrilling experience, there are some events around that performance that I found interesting and disturbing in terms of how student musicians responded to music written by a fellow (albeit a graduate) student. Two specific events stand out and highlight a problem composers face in writing within the educational establishment. Both of these events illustrate the same dilemma: how do we learn to write professional level music if we're expected to write for students? The first event took place four days prior to the performance. I received a rather frantic call from one of the performers who had been in possession of the music for weeks. "Chip, I don't know how to say this, but I can't play this, not as it's written..." The musician then went on to say just why the music I'd written couldn't be played. Unfortunatel…

Slavic Music Comes to Denver with Mixed Results

Slava! A two week Slavic Music Festival began tonight with Peter Oundjian conducting the Colorado SymphonyLise de la Salle on piano and Justin Bartels on Trumpet were featured in Shostakovich' Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and StringsTonight was the opening concert of a two week Slavic Music Festival with the Colorado Symphony. With composers like Tchaikovsky, Shostakovic, Janáček and Rimsky-Korsakov the program was filled hard hitting, rich music with extensive use of brass. Much of the music is related to war and conflict, complete with fanfares and angular shifts in mood. It is powerful music stirring the emotions of the audience into a frenzy. These composers are real crowd pleasers and the audience was thrilled with every one. The opening salvo was Tchaikovsky's March Slave, Op. 31, based on Serbian folk tunes and designed to encourage the Czar into war against Turkey. The familiar melody from God Save the Emperor, also used in the 1812 Overture had the low brass …

New Music by Chip Michael

A chamber concert of some of Chip's music was performed at the Newman Center in Denver on October 12th, 2010.The pieces performed:Quattro Canzoni Degli Umori – Hannah Barton, Lotti Dorkota - Violin, Erica Green – Viola, Keith Kroesen - Cello
A Minus – Reggie Berg - Piano
Trusting – Drew Rackow - Baritone, Reggie Berg - Piano
Vikingr Harmr - Traci Nelson, Arthur Camargo Zanin - Trumpet, Brittany Binder - French Horn, Drew Rackow – Baritone, Jameson Bratcher - TubaHere is the recording of that concert

Remembering Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Berstein was both a great composer and a great conductor. His influence in the world of music is still being felt by people who watch his Norton lectures for the first time (or the 5th which is what I'm on and still amazed by what I learn from them), or listen to recording of his performances or his music performed live by orchestras around the world. There are numerous conductors, such as Marin Alsop, who still comment on how influential he was in her career as a mentor. Personally, I feel his music is still teaching me things about where modern classical music is headed. It's been twenty years since he passed and still he is very present in the world of music. As a music blogger I get emails from all different sources, requesting I write about this or that, publicize this artist or promote this new album. As a graduate student I don't always have time to get to every request... but every so often one comes in that has to take a moment of my time - and sho…

Sir Colin Davis To Conduct The Guildhall Symphony Orchestra

Performing Bruckner Symphony No. 7 And Mozart Horn Concerto No. 4On 25th October, Sir Colin Davis takes to the platform at the Barbican Hall to conduct the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra perform Bruckner’s Symphony no. 7, the overture to Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Mozart’s Horn Concerto no. 4. The concert features horn player Lauren Reeve-Rawlings who is a student at the Guildhall School and in 2009 was finalist of the BBC Radio 2 Brass Young Musician. As part of the Centre for Orchestra initiative, the musicians are coached by London Symphony Orchestra players prior to the performance. Centre for Orchestra is a unique collaboration between the LSO, Guildhall School and Barbican creating a forum in London for orchestral development in the 21st century. The concert will be preceded by a free performance:
6:00 pm, Guildhall Artists at the Barbican: Mozart Lieder
The Guildhall School is provided by the City of London.Tickets £15 and £10 (£5 concessions) available from the Barbican Box …

Legendary Singer Judy Collins Performs in Concert, Nov. 4 in Strathmore

The Grammy Award-winning performer of “Send in the Clowns” brings her solo show to the Music Center at Strathmore for one night onlyGrammy Award-winning singer Judy Collins will perform her solo show on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Judy Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide for more than 50 years with her unique blend of interpretive folksongs and contemporary themes. Collins began playing music at the age of 13, making her public debut on piano with teacher Antonia Brico at her side. Soon after, Collins developed an interest in folk music and left the world of classical music. Elektra Records signed Collins when she was just 22 years old and produced her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow. In the early 60’s, she sang traditional folk songs or music written by others, such as Bob Dylan. In 1966, her musical style began to change, and she began drawing from influences such as the Beatles, Jacques Brels and Kurt Weill. In 1967, Collins …

Opera Colorado presents five performances of Puccini classic La Bohème

Saturday, November 6, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, November 9, 7:30 pm
Friday, November 12, 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 14, 2:00 pm
Tuesday, November 16, 7:30 pmA chance meeting between a young poet and the beautiful young woman next door ignites one of the most romantic love stories of all time in Opera Colorado's upcoming production of La Bohème. Puccini's classic opera has enchanted generations of opera-lovers and introduced millions to the art form over the years. Due to the popularity of the opera, Opera Colorado has added an additional fifth performance to the schedule. La Bohème will be performed at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex at the corner of 14th and Curtis in downtown Denver. The opera opens on Saturday, November 6 at 7:30 pm with additional performances on Tuesday, November 9 and Friday, November 12 at 7:30 pm and a 2:00 pm Sunday matinee on November 14. The additional fifth performance is scheduled for Tuesday, November 16 at 7:30 pm. Ti…

René Pape is Boris Godunov at the Met, in new production opened Monday

René Pape will make his house role debut as Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera (Oct 11-30, with October 23 "Live in HD" broadcast). The press is eagerly anticipating Pape’s first Met portrayal of the Russian tsar, giving the ‘glorious and powerful’ bass star coverage in several notable publications. Pape graced the cover of Opera News’s September issue, and in the New York Observer Zachary Woolfe writes about what New York audiences can expect to see and hear when the singer assumes his crown: “The sheer beauty of the voice can make you forget how thoughtful the portrayals really are, how carefully each word is considered. He does the thing that great operatic voices do so well, particularly in his repertoire of conflicted gods and wounded kings: combining authority with vulnerability and tenderness. There are no broad effects, no yelling or sobbing, just a truthfulness that makes his characters' emotions seem, in the wa…

SEVEN IS THE MAGIC NUMBER - Aronowitz Ensemble and chamber music in the heart of London's Camden Town

The Borletti-Buitoni Trust is supporting a series of four concerts this season at The Forge in London’s Camden Town, From One To Seven, created to showcase the adaptability of this highly-praised ensemble of seven very individual musicians and its range of repertoire, including new, neglected and familiar works about which they are especially passionate. The programmes begin with a lone musician and build to the full septet on stage. October’s concert adds another factor of seven by featuring composers from seven different countries. THE FORGE
3-7 Delancey Street, Camden Town, London NW1 7NL

Sunday 24 October 2010
Concert starts 8.30pmTickets £12 at

Christine Rice Performs Russian Songs With The Nash Ensemble At The Wigmore Hall

Mezzo-soprano Christine Rice joins the Nash Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall on Saturday 6 November in a programme of Russian Songs. Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky songs are performed alongside Borodin’s songs with obbligato cello. Arensky’s string quartet with two cellos, written in memory of Tchaikovsky, is paired with Tchaikovsky’s own much-loved slow movement from his String Quartet No. 1, and Beethoven’s String Quintet in C Op. 29. The Nash Ensemble’s 2010/11 Wigmore Hall season, its first as official Chamber Ensemble in Residence at the prestigious London venue, explores Beethoven’s links to Russia, and his influence on Russian chamber music. Music by Beethoven is combined with works from the rich Russian tradition, presenting well-known masterpieces and lesser-known gems.

“Two Performances In Honor of Judson” To Celebrate Avant Garde Dance Pioneers Oct. 29-30

Two Performances In Honor of Judson with work by choreographers, composers and performers Toby Armour, Arthur Aviles, Remy Charlip, Malcolm Goldstein, Aileen Passloff, Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, and Elaine Summers will take place Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, in New York City. Tickets are $20 (students/seniors $10) and can be purchased at or by calling 917-727-0431. The program (in process of finalization) will include: • Welcome, by Toby Armour • Dance for Corola (excerpt), choreography by Elaine Summers, music by Malcolm Goldstein • Sounding, by Malcolm Goldstein • Trio A (excerpt), choreography by and performed by Yvonne Rainer • Falling Dance, based on the drawings of Remy Charlip, interpreted by Arthur Aviles and Aileen Passloff • A Lesson in French, choreography by EmmaGrace Skove-Epes • Nocturne, choreography by Aileen Passloff • Lateral Splay…

Pianist Jonathan Biss to Tour 10 U.S. Cities with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Oct 22-Nov 6

Mr. Biss to lead the ensemble from the keyboard performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto Nos. 9 & 12Pianist Jonathan Biss will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K271 & Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K414 with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 10 North American cities in October and November 2010, directing these works from the keyboard. The all-Mozart tour programs will include: Symphony in D Major, K196/121, La finta giardiniera; Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K201; Divertimento in D Major, K136; and Cassation No. 1 in G Major, K63; led by director Kenneth Sillito. (See below for program details for each city.) The tour begins on Friday, October 22 in Austin, TX and then travels to Spring, TX (10/23), Waco, TX (10/25), Dallas, TX (10/26), Conway, AR (10/28), Fayetteville, AR (10/29), Thomasville, GA (11/1), North Bethesda, MD (11/3), Selinsgrove, PA (11/4), and Greenvale, NY (11/6). Mr. Biss says these concerts will reacquaint him with a familia…

Rehearsing a New Work

Way back in May of 2008, I remarked on the first night of rehearsal with the Edinburgh Symphony. Well, last night I was treated (if that's the right word) to yet another rehearsal of my music (as conductor) with the Boulder Symphony Orchestra. Interesting how similar and yet very different these rehearsals were. I learned from that first rehearsal to write in reminder accidentals. My string writing in Exchanging Glances is much stronger than when I first wrote "You Can't Catch Rabbit's With Drums." Phrases, bow marking and use of divisi is much better. However, my music is more rhythmically intense now. "Rabbit's" is pretty strong rhythmically, but Exchanging Glances is quite a bit more difficult. The way the rhythms shift within the meter is more subtle and thus much more difficult to handle both as a conductor and as a performer. It was the musicians first glance at the music last night and they did extremely well handling all the off…

Elīna Garanča releases new CD Habanera available Oct 26th

Released October 26th in time for Carmen performances at the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall appearance with AlagnaDeutsche Grammophon releases Elīna Garanča’s Habanera. On this album, Garanča’s supple, seductive mezzo is aflame with the neon hues and rhythmic dash of Romany in excerpts from beguiling Gypsy roles from opera, operetta and song. With gorgeous pieces eliciting every gift Garanča boasts as a musician, Habanera's instrumental accompaniments – whether RAI’s full orchestra, small ensemble or guitar – add to the sultry atmosphere. Conductor Karel Mark Chichon contributes taut yet elastic leadership that enhances the charm and variety of Elīna Garanča’s selections. On this album, the dialects derived from Gypsy musical language include Bizet’s Carmen, Bernstein’s Candide, Lehar’s Zigeunerliebe and little-known gems like Obradors’ El vito making for a musically enlightening and delightful program. Every generation has its “must see” Carmen. In 2010, the list of defin…

New Release from Cecilia Bartoli "Sospiri" On Decca

Decca Releases Cecilia Bartoli’s Sospiri – A Collection of her Most Beautiful Recordings, Available November 2, 2010Last year Cecilia Bartoli released Sacrificium which immediately topped charts around the world (#1 debut on Billboard’s Classical Chart, platinum in France, Belgium and the Netherlands and gold in Switzerland) and became her fast-selling album ever. This year, Decca pays tribute to the mezzo’s art with Sospiri, a 2-CD collection of her most beautiful recordings including two never-before-released tracks. Presented in deluxe packaging, this truly collectible edition will be released on November 2, 2010. Cecilia Bartoli is loved the world over for vocal fireworks and spectacular coloratura, but she is also adored for her spine-tingling pianissimi and her ability to shape endless, velvety phrases. It is this softer, more sensual side to her singing that Decca celebrates with the release of Sospiri. Bartoli’s remarkable technical ability and breath control are put on d…

Decca to Release All-New Recording of Eric Whitacre’s Choral Music with Whitacre Conducting for the First Time on Recording

Album Includes Three World-Premiere Recordings and Guest Appearances by the King’s Singers and Other ArtistsIn May 2010, Eric Whitacre joined a handful of composers to have secured an exclusive, long-term recording contract with a major label when he agreed to a global deal with Decca. Whitacre recorded his debut Decca album Light & Gold in London at the beginning of August with a choral group including the Eric Whitacre Singers and Laudibus (“It truly feels like driving a Ferrari” Whitacre said of working with the choir of elite professional choral singers). The album, to be released on October 19th, includes some of Whitacre’s best-loved choral works as well as three world-premiere recordings. This will be the first time Whitacre has both recorded and conducted his own music. The Five Hebrew Love Songs will feature the excellent Pavao Quartet, and The Stolen Child will feature the incomparable King’s Singers. All of the soprano solos will be sung by Grace Davidson. Whita…

Sony Music Entertainment Launches Groundbreaking Classical Music Store

One-stop shopping solution for classical CDs and digital downloads from more than 50 major and independent labelsSony Music Entertainment today launches the public beta for, a new online store dedicated to classical music that revolutionizes how fans can discover and conveniently acquire classical music on the web. Offering music from more than 50 major and leading independent labels, Ariama is an elegant one-stop destination for CDs, high-quality MP3s and lossless digital downloads. Ariama optimizes the online buying experience by combining this unrivaled convenience and choice for purchasing recordings with powerful new search and discovery tools designed specifically for the needs of classical music shoppers. The site’s rich search function extends beyond the limited track/artist/album filter options and offers users the ability to browse and filter music by important elements like composition, period, instrumentation, conductor, ensemble, and soloist. “We are thrilled …

Castleton Festival Announces National & International Partnerships & Expanded Program

2011 Festival to open Friday, June 25 and run through to Sunday, July 24Opening night gala to feature a new production of Puccini's La Bohème conducted by Lorin Maazel and directed by William Kerley in an unconventional, intimate staging. New productions of Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges to be featured at the 2011 Castleton Festival in Rappahannock County, Virginia The Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas , Virginia to host three Castleton Festival performances A new partnership with China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) to begin in 2011 with two concerts by the Castleton Festival Orchestra in Beijing July 29 & 30 The Castleton Festival & NCPA to co-produce a new staging of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville to be premiered in Beijing November 2011 and to open the 2012 Castleton Festival Castleton Festival productions of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring to be presented by Cal Performances in Be…

Gilmore Artist Kirill Gerstein Plays Rachmaninoff with Semyon Bychkov at Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony

It’s no secret that 2010 Gilmore Artist Kirill Gerstein has a way with the music of Rachmaninoff, consistently drawing raves for his “rhapsodic intensity and big-hearted Russian lyricism” (Chicago Tribune).  In conductor Semyon Bychkov it seems Gerstein has found a kindred spirit; like the pianist, Bychkov is an “eloquent champion” (Sunday Times) of Rachmaninoff’s work, and when the two performed the composer’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in Cologne, Gerstein “made the piano sing” (Kölner Rundschau).  Now pianist and conductor reunite to take their rendition of the Rhapsody to two of America’s top orchestras, making multiple appearances with both the Cleveland Orchestra (Oct 7-10) and the San Francisco Symphony (Oct 14-17).  This fall also sees the release on Myrios Classics of Gerstein’s new solo recital disc, which presents the premiere recording of Ophelia’s Last Dance by Oliver Knussen.
Gerstein has cemented his reputation as a Rachmaninoff interpreter with a number of key work…