. Interchanging Idioms: January 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

CD Reviews

Here are some of the other CD reviews done by Interchanging Idioms

This page will be updated with other reviews as they appear on the website
Nicola Benedetti Italia
Drew Baker Stress Position
Hilary Hahn - Charles Ives Violin Sonatas
Dale Trumbore Snow White Turns 60
Pierre-Laurent Aimard The Liszt Project
Meerenai Shim Sometimes the City is Silent
Nicholas Vasallo
Anna Netrebko Live at the Met
James Newton Howard Water for Elephants Dave Camwell Bach-centric
Nicola Benedetti Tchaikovsky & Bruch: Violin Concertos Anna Netrebko In the Still of the Night
Bryn Terfel Bad Boys
Yuja Wang Transformation
Daniel Hope Air - a Baroque Journey
Verismo - Renée Fleming
If On a Winter's Night - Sting
Chopin - Ingrid Fliter
Bach Partitas 1, 5 and 6
Bernstein: Mass for Singers, Players and Dancers
From the Top at the Pops
Ravel Daphnis et Chloé
Caminos del Inka (Fort Worth Symphony)
Caroline Goulding
Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem (Boston Symphony)
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 (San Francisco Symphony)
Angels & Demons
Beethoven: Complete Works for Piano and Cello
Tiempo Libra: Bach in Havana
The Composer's Voice (Fort Worth Symphony)
Childsplay: Waiting for the Dawn
I Capuleti E I Montecchi
Tasmin Little "Partners in Time"
Emerson String Quartet "Intimate Letters"
Mark O'Connor: String Quartets No.'s 2 & 3
Bruckner Symphony No 4 - Original Edition
Experience: Live from New York
Americana Symphony
The Red Sox Album
Sonatas & Etudes
Trios & Duos: Chamber Music 1993 - 2001
Quiet Beauty: Heartsongs for Cello and Piano

Friday, January 29, 2010

Concert of Chamber Music a Success - Music by Chip Michael

I am very please to say last night's concert of my music went VERY well.

Here are a few of the pieces from it:

    Bamboo Suite
      Caitlin Conklin – Oboe, Danielle Smoot - English Horn, Adam Lusk - Bassoon
      Bamboo Suite is a piece written for a trio of double reeds. In four movements, the piece covers a great deal of territory concerning 20th century music. The opening, First Sprouts - Simplicity, explores interval based music. The piece is written taking a root note with notes one semi-tone up, two semi-tones up and 5 semi-tones up. A pitch class of four notes was chosen to cross beyond the three instruments – require more than one note per player to complete the set. Scherzo – The Great Grass, takes the motive of the first movement and plays with the rhythm obscuring the pulse again and again in a playful manner. The Choral – Delicate Blossoms explores the tonal color of the various instruments utilizing alternate fingerings as well. Finale – Versatility is a “neo-romantic” piece taking elements of the other movements and weaving them together to show a commonality and versatility to each, throwing in some jazz “riffs” for fun.
      Erica Hogalund - Mezzo-Soprano, Ani Gyulamiryan - Piano
      L’Infinito is an exploration of both writing in Italian and hexads, chords comprising six of the twelve notes. I don’t speak Italian but adore the sound of it; it lends itself beautifully to music. The key to Hexads is to use six of the twelve notes and then follow with the remaining six notes. So shifting between harmonies encompasses all twelve notes. Luigi Dallapiccola was more rigid in this technique, but even loosely applied it can produce some wonderfully ethereal sounds, which is what the poem is all about.
    País Más Allá
      Zach Manger - Guitar, Lucien Daigle – Tenor
      País Más Allá is a wonderful poem by David Rosenmann-Taub and a chance for me to explore writing in Spanish (another language I don’t speak). Because of the South American roots of the poet I chose to use a guitar with many of the flourishes we expect in Spanish classical music.
      País Más Allá
    Piano Preludes 3, 4, 8, 9 & 10
      Ani Gyulamiryan – Piano
      These were written to explore the relationship of bi-tonality, two keys playing simultaneously. The first Prelude starts with both hands in the key of C, but as they progress one hand moves up the circle of fifths, the other down. So, for example, in Prelude 3 one hand is playing in the key of D, while the other is playing in B-flat. While the pieces were originally conceived this way, for ease of performance they have been re-written with accidentals, rather than key signatures, but the two keys remain in the lines of the music.
      Prelude 3
      Prelude 4
      Prelude 8
      Prelude 9
      Prelude 10
    Easy on the Tonic
      Reggie Berg - Piano
      Easy on the Tonic is a solo jazz piano work. Much of my music is jazz influenced so I felt it was important to include something on the program that is completely devoted to that side of my musical taste.
      Easy on the Tonic

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mark O'Connor Annouces "Illuminating" 2010 String Camps in New York City and Tennessee

O'Connor Violin Method Gaining Traction Among Teachers, Students

Mark O'Connor, the multi-Grammy-Award-winning composer and violinist, has announced the opening of registration for his 2010 String Camps in New York City and Tennessee. O'Connor has gathered the world's top violinists, violists and cellists to give intermediate, advanced and professional string players an extraordinary week of instruction and performance at each camp.

The camps will also offer teacher training courses in the new O'Connor Violin Method, which has been widely praised since its debut in fall 2009 as "an American grown rival to the Suzuki method" (The New Yorker). It was inspired by his students and by his belief that those who learn to play the "rich stream of American music" (as the Wall Street Journal recently described the O'Connor Method) will enjoy playing music for a lifetime. Teachers who have been trained in the Method have been wildly enthusiastic, calling it "inspiring" and "an incredible opportunity to enrich and engage future generations."

The second annual New York City camp will run July 26-30, 2010 at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and the Society for Ethical Culture. More than 200 students at the inaugural camp in 2009 experienced an inspiring week of instruction in a multitude of string playing styles from O'Connor and from some of the world's finest performers and teachers in jazz, classical, folk fiddling and world music.

O'Connor's first Fiddle Camp was held in Tennessee in 1994. This year, the camp will take place June 21 - 25, at the campus of the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City, TN. To register and for more details and a list of instructors, visit MarkOConnor.com.

TONIGHT: Cleveland Orchestra and New World Symphony Benefit Concert for HAITI

"Musicians for Haiti" - a Benefit Concert - Wednesday January 27th 8pm at Lincoln Theatre, Miami

Musicians from The Cleveland Orchestra and the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), will join forces to present “Musicians for Haiti,” a concert to benefit Haiti, Wednesday, January 27 at 8:00 P.M. at the Lincoln Theatre (541 Lincoln Road). The performance will be conducted by The Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and NWS Conducting Fellow Teddy Abrams.

The performance, the latest collaboration between the two prestigious institutions in a relationship that began nearly 18 years ago, will include Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Elgar’s Nimrod from Enigma Variations, Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

All ticket sales, sponsorship money and donations will benefit Partners In Health (PIH, www.pih.org), an organization that has been working on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years and is helping those affected by the recent earthquake. The work of PIH has three goals: to care for patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. PIH works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries around the world. Based in Boston , PIH employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, including doctors, nurses and community health workers. The vast majority of PIH staff are local nationals based in the communities served.

All tickets for the concert are $35, and are available by calling the New World Symphony box office at 305-673-3331 or online at www.nws.edu. Patrons may also make additional donations, above the price of the ticket, at the time of ticket purchase or at the performance.

Marvin Hamlisch returns to Colorado for Pops Concert featuring the Music of Lerner and Loewe

Marvin Hamlisch conducts the Colorado Symphony Orchestra with selections from My Fair Lady to Brigadoon and Gigi. Saturday's concert will present the music of Lerner and Loewe, who created a lasting legacy on Broadway, as well as a songbook of hits that transcend generations. Join Marvin Hamlisch as he leads the CSO, CSO Chorus and three acclaimed vocalists in some of the most memorable music of the 20th century.

The Music of Lerner and Loewe
CSO Pops
Sat | Jan 30
Marvin Hamlisch, principal pops conductor
Lauren Dennis, soprano | Drew Frady, tenor
Stephen Day, baritone
Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra SuperPops Kicks-off BSO Under the Big Top Festival with Mysterioso: Music, Magic, Mayhem & Mirth, March 4-7

Jack Everly and the BSO team up with magicians and comedians

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, led by BSO Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, will open its four-week BSO Under the Big Top festival with Mysterioso: Music, Magic, Mayhem & Mirth on Thursday, March 4 at 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore and Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The program features quick-change artists David and Dania and the comedic magic act of Les Arnold and Dazzle. This family-friendly program marks the start of the BSO’s four-week festival of circus-themed programming, titled BSO Under the Big Top—the cultural centerpiece of the Orchestra’s 2009-2010 season.

This program combines a variety of musical styles with winning visual performances. The concert features Les Arnold and his daughter, Alex, also known as “Dazzle,” who offer impressive magic with a comedic flair, set in the timeless era of the 1930s and 1940s. The father-daughter pair brings a satirical look at the stereotypical “stuffed shirt” magician and his obnoxious, scene-stealing assistant. Dazzle’s costume, hairstyle and makeup are over the top, while Les, with his pencil-thin mustache, grandiose floor-length cape and top hat, attempts to be the ultimate in understated elegance. Also on the program are quick-change artists David Michael Kaas and Dania Kaseeva, whose elegant ballroom sequences combined with a series of dramatic and colorful costume transformations have audiences asking, “How did they do that?”

BSO Superpops: Mysterioso: Music, Magic, Mayhem & Mirth
Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—The Music Center at Strathmore
Friday, March 5, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Jack Everly, conductor
Les Arnold & Dazzle, comedy magic
Joseph Gabriel, magician and illusionist
David & Dania, magical transformations
Christiana Bianco, vocalist

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.

Jack Everly, conductor
Jack Everly is the principal pops conductor of the Baltimore and Indianapolis symphony orchestras, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa). He is widely known for his innovative approach to programs that have brought new audiences to the time-tested and beloved symphonic pops genre. This season he makes his Cleveland Orchestra debut at Blossom Music Center and appears as guest conductor in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Toronto, Cincinnati and Detroit.

Mr. Everly is the Music Director of Yuletide Celebration, now a 24-year tradition. These theatrical symphonic holiday concerts are presented annually in December in Indianapolis and are seen by more than 40,000 concert-goers. Mr. Everly led the ISO in its first Pops recording, Yuletide Celebration, Volume One, including three of his own arrangements.

Originally appointed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mr. Everly was conductor of the American Ballet Theatre for 14 years, where he served as music director. In addition to his ABT tenure, he has teamed with Marvin Hamlisch in Broadway shows that Mr. Hamlisch scored including The Goodbye Girl, They’re Playing Our Song and A Chorus Line. He conducted Carol Channing hundreds of times in Hello, Dolly! in two separate Broadway productions.

In television and film, Jack Everly has appeared on “In Performance at the White House” and conducted the songs for Disney’s animated classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He has been music director on numerous Broadway cast recordings, and conducted the critically praised, Everything’s Coming Up Roses: The Complete Overtures of Broadway’s Jule Styne. A CD released in July 2005, In the Presence, features tenor Daniel Rodriguez with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Prague conducted by Mr. Everly.

In 1998, Mr. Everly created the Symphonic Pops Consortium serving as music director. The Consortium, based in Indianapolis, produces a new theatrical pops program each season providing a superior quality artistic program for all. In the past nine years, more than 225 performances of SPC programs have taken place in 25 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

Les Arnold & Dazzle, comedy magic
Les Arnold and his daughter, Alex Dazzle, have show business running through their veins. The Arnold magic bloodline originated with Mr. Arnold’s grandfather, The Great Leon, a vaudeville headliner and creator of the celebrated act “Fire & Water.” Mr. Arnold’s mother was a dancer in vaudeville and performed in a 1930’s bicycle act and his uncle was a magician and sound engineer. Mr. Arnold started performing magic when he was only 10 years old. While still in his teens, he developed a love for building magic props and soon had enough illusions to perform a 30-minute show. In 1975, he started dating and eventually married Charlee Ann, who became his new assistant, adding elegance to the show that quickly became booked at the Magic Castle, resorts, colleges and various events. Together they had a daughter, Alexandra, who by the age of 3 had sealed her fate as a fourth-generation magician. In addition to performing as Dazzle, she has also teamed up with friend Britney Cole in “The Dupree Sisters.”

Joseph Gabriel, magician and illusionist
Joseph Gabriel’s creativity and power of performance has brought him to the forefront as one of the leaders in shaping the future of magic. After launching his career in 1983 as a guest on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” he appeared on virtually every major television variety show, most notably the televised “President’s Command Performance” for President Reagan. He made is Las Vegas debut in Lido de Paris at the Stardust Hotel in 1984. He was the starring act in City Lites at the Flamingo Hilton from 1986-1996. He left Vegas in 1996 for Broadway, where he created and opened his own full evening show Magic on Broadway. The show opened to rave reviews and ran for an unprecedented 18 months. Within the first three months, Joseph’s show broke all box office records at the Lamb’s Theatre. After returning to Las Vegas, he performed at Caesar’s Magical Empire in Caesar’s Palace.

David and Dania, magical transformations
Dania Kaseeva is the daughter of Russian circus legend Rustan Kaseev. She began training at age 6 in sport-gymnastics and later in acrobatics and dance. Combining these techniques to create a unique hula-hoop act, she made her professional debut at 14 in a touring production of the Moscow Circus. Her finely polished technique coupled with dynamic choreography and a magnetic stage personality soon earned her work an international reputation as the world’s greatest hula-hoop act, winning the Gold Medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris in 1988. A headliner of the Moscow Circus from 1981 to 1990, she has performed extensively in Europe, South America, Asia and North America. In 1991-1992, she was a featured attraction of the Big Apple Circus at New York’s Lincoln Center and on tour.

David Maas trained in acrobatics, dance and theatre. At age 19, he embarked on a 12-year journey as the singing ringmaster for major shows in the U.S., Canada and England, including Circus Circus Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada, and Fountain Blue in Miami Beach, Florida. In 1994, he won the Bronze Medal at the International American Performing Arts Festival.

Together, they have appeared with the National Basketball Association halftime as the featured act, appeared at the Arnold Schwarzenegger TV Classic, perform throughout the year at the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and are entertainers of the year at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City.

Christina Bianco, vocalist
Christina Bianco recently starred off-Broadway in Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab and received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her work in the production. She originated the role of Dora in the long-running national tour of Dora The Explorer Live, performing for families all over the country, including an unprecedented sold-out run at Radio City Music Hall. Ms. Bianco received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from New York University. A proud member of The Actors Equity Association, Ms. Bianco’s other professional credits include Broadway roles in Raffi On Broadway, off-Broadway’s Forbidden Broadway, Dances With The Stars and Tony and Tina’s Wedding. She also works as a voice-over artist, jingle singer and can be heard singing lead vocals on many Stage-Star Records instructional albums including Beauty & the Beast, Les Miserables, Into the Woods and The Little Mermaid (Ariel). An active cabaret artist, she received a 2009 MAC Award nomination for her solo cabaret debut, Small Wonders. She currently performs to sold-out crowds with the New Orleans funk-style band Brother Josephus, and is a lead female vocalist for the band Celebration with Jason-Craig Entertainment.

Enchantment Theatre Company Joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to bring Arabian Nights to Life, March 6

Mei-Ann Chen leads Orchestra in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Enchantment Theatre Company, under the direction of Assistant Conductor and League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow Mei-Ann Chen, will perform the fantastic tales of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (based on Arabian Nights) as part of the BSO Family Concert Series on Saturday, March 6 at 11:00 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The production also includes excerpts from Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and Mussorgsky’s dramatic favorite Night on Bald Mountain.

During the winter of 1887, while working to complete Alexander Borodin's unfinished opera Prince Igor, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composed an orchestral piece based upon stories and pictures from Arabian Nights. The Enchantment Theater Company will help bring this tale to life using masks, puppets, magic and movement to support the symphonic music of Rimsky-Korsakov in telling Scheherazade’s 1,001 tales.

The BSO encourages patrons to arrive early to participate in the BSO Family Fun Zone, beginning at 10 a.m. in the lobby. Children and their families can take advantage of numerous free, age-appropriate activities, including Port Discovery Children’s Museum’s interactive World Rhythm Drum Circus, the Maryland Zoo’s ZOOmobile, an instrument petting zoo and face painting.

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Born in Taiwan, Mei-Ann Chen has lived in the United States since 1989. Ms. Chen’s most recent engagement was as assistant conductor of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Robert Spano. This young conductor received the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship (TCCF) in 2007, which provided the opportunity to appear jointly with Marin Alsop and Stefan Sanderling in subscription concerts with the Baltimore, Colorado and Florida Symphony Orchestras. Founded by Marin Alsop in 2002, the TCCF is a unique opportunity for young women conductors to immerse themselves in the art and business of performing classical music under the leadership of Marin Alsop. The first woman to win the Malko International Conductors Competition (2005), Ms. Chen served as assistant conductor of the Oregon Symphony from 2003 to 2005. In 2002, she was unanimously selected as music director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic in Oregon, the oldest of its kind and the model for many of the youth orchestras in the United States. During her five-year tenure with the orchestra, she led its sold-out debut in Carnegie Hall, received an ASCAP award for innovative programming, established new partnerships with Oregon Symphony and Chamber Music Northwest and developed new and unique musicianship programs for the Orchestra’s members. She was honored with a Sunburst Award from Young Audiences for her contribution to music education.

Family Concert Series: Scheherazade
Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Enchantment Theatre Company

Doors open at 10:00 a.m. for the BSO Family Fun Zone.

Tickets for these performances range from $12 to $20 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

Opera Colorado Announces 2010-2011 Season

La Bohème | Rusalka | Cinderella

General Director Greg Carpenter will announce plans for Opera Colorado’s 2010-2011 season at a special reception for donors at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Tuesday, January 26th.

“Opera Colorado continues to expand our repertoire selection during the 2010-2011 Season,” Carpenter said. “We launch our season with one of the most beloved operas of all time. We then explore unfamiliar territory with some exciting new repertoire. Our final opera has not been seen on the Opera Colorado stage since 1995. During the entire season, we will welcome many new artists who will be joining us along the way for the very first time.”

By including a very familiar title along with two works that are new or less familiar to the Colorado audience, Carpenter hopes to appeal to a broad spectrum of opera fans with next season’s repertoire. “We’ve selected operas that we believe will interest both seasoned opera lovers and audiences new to the art form.”

Season tickets will go on sale to existing season ticket-holders beginning January 27. The general public will be able to purchase tickets beginning March 15. Individual tickets for the operas will go on sale next fall. More information is available at the Opera Colorado website (www.operacolorado.org) or by calling the Opera Colorado box office at 303.468.2030.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ebène Quartet Returns to North America for Nine-City Winter 2010 Tour

Taking in LA, NYC (Le Poisson Rouge) and DC (Kennedy Center)

Ebène’s Virgin Classics Debut Release of Debussy, Ravel and Fauré Won Gramophone “Recording of the Year” Award
“Even in a scene chock-full of excellent young groups, the Ebène Quartet stands out for the intensity of its performances and its striking sonic range, as heard on a recently-released Virgin Classics CD nicely filled with exacting, atmospheric accounts of quartets by Fauré, Debussy, and Ravel.” – Time Out New York

Described in a New York Times headline as “A String Quartet That Can Easily Morph Into a Jazz Band,” the Paris-based Ebène Quartet, winner this season of Gramophone’s coveted “Recording of the Year” award, returns to North America for a nine-city tour from February 5 – 23. The tour will feature the celebrated ensemble in performances of music heard on its first two releases for Virgin Classics, as well as signature jazz and pop interpretations. The winter tour kicks off in Appleton, Wisconsin (Feb 5) and includes two performances in Los Angeles (Feb 13 and 14), a return for the second consecutive season to New York’s popular music club, Le Poisson Rouge (Feb 16), and a concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (February 23). Last season, the group played Debussy’s String Quartet – featured on its award-winning album – at [Le] Poisson Rouge; one of its disc-mates, the Ravel Quartet, will be on the program there this year, along with jazz standards and improvisations that have set the group apart as one of classical music’s most adventurous ensembles.

Last season, the Ebène Quartet made huge waves with much-discussed live performances in the U.S. and with its debut recording for Virgin Classics, an all-French album featuring quartets by Debussy, Ravel, and Fauré. For its second release for the label – issued in the States in October 2009 – the Ebène offered an all-Brahms program, pairing the composer’s String Quartet No. 1 with his Piano Quintet. Japanese pianist Akiko Yamamoto joins the quartet for the latter.

Ebène Quartet – North American tour dates/programs February 2010

Friday, February 5

Appleton, WI

Lawrence University

(Masterclass day of concert)

Haydn: Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3, “The Rider”

Brahms: Quartet in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1

Debussy: Quartet in G minor, Op. 10

Saturday, February 6

Columbia, MD

Candlelight Music Society

All-Beethoven program (part of ongoing multi-group cycle)

Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1

Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1

Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Monday, February 8

Toronto, ON

University of Toronto

Haydn: Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3, “The Rider”

Brahms: Quartet in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1

Debussy: Quartet in G minor, Op. 10

Wednesday, February 10

Tucson, AZ

Arizona Friends of Chamber Music

Mozart: Divertimento in F major, K. 138

Fauré: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 121

Mendelssohn: String Quartet in F minor, Op. 80

Saturday, February 13

Los Angeles, California

Da Camera Society

All-Beethoven program (part of ongoing multi-group cycle)

Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1

Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1

Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Sunday, February 14

Los Angeles, CA

The Clark Library/UCLA

Ravel: Quartet in F major

Fauré: Quartet in E minor, Op. 121

Debussy: Quartet in G minor, Op. 10

Tuesday, February 16

New York, NY

[Le] Poisson Rouge

Ravel: Quartet in F major


Friday, February 19

Burlington, VT

UVM Lane Series

Haydn: Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3, “The Rider”

Brahms: Quartet in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1

Debussy: Quartet in G minor, Op. 10

Sunday, February 21

Athens, GA

University of Georgia

Office of Performing Arts

All-Beethoven program (part of going multi-group cycle)

Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1

Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1

Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Tuesday, February 23

Washington, D.C.

Washington Performing Arts Society

Beethoven: Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1

Fauré: Quartet in E minor, Op. 121

Mendelssohn: Quartet in F minor, Op. 80

Anne Akiko Meyers on tour with Chris Botti

Virtuoso violinist performs acclaimed jazz trumpeter’s GRAMMY-nominated Emmanuel on select dates throughout the US

This month the versatile and innovative violinist Anne Akiko Meyers goes on tour with the world’s most celebrated jazz trumpeter, Chris Botti. The first concerts took places earlier in January in Greensville (SC), Morristown (NJ) and Portland (ME) with future dates in Durham (NC) on January 25th and 26th and West Palm Beach on January 28th with more to be announced in the spring. On the program Meyers joins Chris Botti in his GRAMMY-nominated Emmanuel from Botti’s latest recording project Chris Botti in Boston.

Both Anne Akiko Meyers and Chris Botti are former Indiana University Music School classmates -- and mutual admirers. In December, when Botti was urgently seeking a world-class violinist to join him right away on his nationwide tour, he asked Meyers -- who had just completed a tour with singing supergroup Il Divo -- to join him and was honored when she enthusiastically agreed. The pair’s chemistry is proving to be a resounding success with critics who are calling their performance “heartstopping” and “enchanting.”

Meyers relishes the opportunity to share her artistry with diverse audiences who may be new to classical music. "It is so fantastic to reconnect with Chris Botti musically, personally and professionally after growing up together when we studied in Indiana all those years ago,” she says. “The trumpet and violin are so well-suited to sing as a duet-it has been a joy to work with him and his incredibly talented bandmates."

Rafal Blechacz, 2005 Chopin Competition Winner, Releases New Recording of Chopin Concertos

2010, Chopin’s bicentennial, will feature the next edition of the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Poland. Surely one of the great recordings to coincide with the celebrations and competition will be Rafał Blechacz’s interpretations of both Chopin piano concertos on Deutsche Grammophon. Since winning the 2005 competition (the last to take place) his career and international reputation have both steadily grown: he now performs around the world in both concert and recital and continues to focus on his beloved Chopin.

The idea for this recording took shape immediately following Blechacz’s unprecedented triumph at the 2005 Chopin Competition where he won the main prize as well as special prizes in all four individual categories. On that occasion he played the E minor concerto. Since then, he has introduced himself to the world, many times playing either the E minor or the F minor concerto, and has consistently earned the highest critical praise. Along with his extraordinary talent, Blechacz possesses an exceptional intelligence that allows him to understand in depth the music he performs and a degree of perception that allows him infallibly to grasp the aesthetic and spiritual dimensions of the compositions he interprets.

The pianist is joined by Jerzy Semkow and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for these two performances.

Alan Gilbert Departs for First European Tour with New York Philharmonic: 13 Performances in Nine Cities

Features Guest Soloists Yefim Bronfman and Thomas Hampson

After a string of highly-acclaimed performances in their home hall, the New York Philharmonic and its Music Director, Alan Gilbert, head out this week for their first European tour. EUROPE/WINTER 2010 comprises 13 performances in nine European cities: Barcelona, Zaragoza, and Madrid, all in Spain; Zurich, Switzerland; Frankfurt, Cologne, and Dortmund (the Orchestra’s debut there) in Germany; Paris, France; and London, England. Joining Gilbert and the orchestra on tour are soloists whose recent performances with them in New York were lavishly praised: pianist Yefim Bronfman, who will reprise Prokofiev’s devilishly difficult Piano Concerto No. 2, and baritone Thomas Hampson, the Philharmonic’s Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, who will once again sing John Adams’s heart-wrenching Whitman setting, The Wound-Dresser.

Also on the tour programs are the European premieres of Magnus Lindberg’s EXPO, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for the opening this season of Gilbert’s tenure as Music Director, and Sibelius’s sweeping Symphony No. 2, a work Gilbert and the Philharmonic have never yet performed together. This tour marks the Philharmonic’s first return to Spain since 2001. The Orchestra last performed in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1985, in Cologne in 2007, and in Frankfurt, Paris, and London in 2008. This will be the Philharmonic’s debut in Dortmund.

Soon after, they return to New York where they will perform the world premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Odna Zhizn, a New York Philharmonic commission, on a program at Avery Fisher Hall also featuring two works by Mozart: his Sinfonia Concertante for Winds (with four soloists from the Orchestra: Liang Wang, Principal Oboe; Mark Nuccio, Acting Principal Clarinet; Judith LeClair, Principal Bassoon; and Philip Myers, Principal Horn) and “Jupiter” Symphony (Feb 10-12 & 16).

On Saturday, February 13, Gilbert and the orchestra return to New York’s Carnegie Hall for a single concert showcasing the U.S. premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s landmark Clarinet Concerto with soloist Kari Kriikku, for whom the work was written, alongside Wagner’s Rienzi Overture and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2. Lindberg is the Philharmonic’s Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence.

Cleveland Orchestra negotiations reach tentative agreement

The Musicians’ Union and Management of The Cleveland Orchestra reached a tentative agreement early this morning for a new three-year contract through September 2, 2012.

The agreement calls for a two-year wage freeze through August 2011, followed by semi-annual wage increases of 3% and 2% in the subsequent year. In addition, the Musicians will donate up to 10 services, which will provide cost relief and additional revenue for the Musical Arts Association. Musicians will increase their medical premium contribution beginning in July 2011.

The agreement was announced by the Musicians’ Committee Chairman, Jeffrey Rathbun, and the Orchestra’s Executive Director, Gary Hanson.

Mr. Rathbun said, “We are very happy that management has heard our message and agreed not to further erode our base compensation allowing us to stay as competitive as possible with the marketplace. We look forward to working together to build our base of support and continue our tradition of excellence.”

Mr. Hanson said, “Both sides worked effectively through a difficult process to reach an unprecedented agreement that will do much to help the Association’s finances going forward. I am very grateful for the Musicians’ passion and abiding concern for the Orchestra’s artistic excellence.”

Upon ratification, the agreement will bring to an end a strike by the Union representing the musicians, Local 4 of the American Federation of Musicians, which began at midnight on January 18. The short strike caused the postponement of a scheduled Residency by the Orchestra at Indiana University . The Orchestra’s Miami Residency performances will proceed as scheduled.

San Francisco Opera announces Casting and Season

Ten Productions Including Cyrano de Bergerac with Plácido Domingo

San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley today announced repertory and casting for the Company’s 88th season to begin Friday, September 10 with Music Director Nicola Luisotti leading a gala opening performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s grand Egyptian opera, Aida. Highlights of the 2010–11 Season include the return of legendary tenor Plácido Domingo in the title role of Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac and Karita Mattila’s role debut as Emilia Marty in Leoš Janáček’s The Makropulos Case. The season will culminate with three complete cycles of Richard Wagner’s magnum opus for the lyric stage, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), as conceived by director Francesca Zambello and conducted by Donald Runnicles.

Sixty-six performances of ten opera productions—seven of which are new to San Francisco audiences—are planned for the 2010–11 Season, bringing internationally renowned opera singers, conductors and directors together with the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the latter directed by Ian Robertson. The operas are Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida; a new production of Jules Massenet’s Werther; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro); Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly; the Company premiere of Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac; a new production of Leoš Janáček’s The Makropulos Case; and Richard Wagner’s epic four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), comprised of Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. The season runs September 10 through December 5, 2010 and May 29 through July 3, 2011. Subscriptions go on sale to renewing subscribers on January 19, 2010.

Music Director Nicola Luisotti, the Company’s “ideal new maestro” (The New York Times), will conduct Aida, Le Nozze di Figaro and Madama Butterfly. Former Company music director and acknowledged Wagner authority Donald Runnicles will return for the complete Ring cycle in the summer of 2011. Making their San Francisco Opera debuts will be conductors Jiří Bĕlohlávek, a renowned Janáček specialist, for The Makropulos Case; French conductor Patrick Fournillier for Cyrano de Bergerac; and Julian Kovatchev conducting the November performances of Madama Butterfly. San Francisco Opera welcomes back Emmanuel Villaume to lead Werther and the Company’s Assistant Music Director Giuseppe Finzi to conduct encore performances of Aida in November and December.

San Francisco Opera Artistic Adviser Francesca Zambello continues her relationship with the Company by directing the first complete performances of her new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle in 2011. Acclaimed directors Jo Davies (Aida), Petrika Ionesco (Cyrano de Bergerac) and Francisco Negrin (Werther) make their San Francisco Opera debuts, and the Company welcomes back John Copley (Le Nozze di Figaro), Jose Maria Condemi (Madama Butterfly) and Olivier Tambosi (The Makropulos Case).

“Despite the challenging economy, I believe the timing is right to move ahead with our plans to present the complete Ring next year directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Donald Runnicles,” said David Gockley. “With the Ring requiring so many of our resources, I’m excited that we could offer such quality and quantity in the balance of the fall season. In fact, I’m proud to say that five of our six fall season productions will be new to San Francisco audiences. We also look forward to the return of Plácido Domingo, who returns to the War Memorial Opera House to perform on the stage that he identifies with so many of his earlier successes.”

Grammy Award-winning new music sextet eighth blackbird takes Steve Mackey’s Slide on tour

brings Steve Reich’s Pulitzer-winning Double Sextet to Philadelphia and L.A

Highlights of eighth blackbird’s spring 2010 line-up include Rinde Eckert and Steve Mackey’s new music-theater piece Slide, which the sextet premiered last summer and to which it now devotes a three-city U.S. tour (March 3 – April 10). The group’s spring programs also showcase Steve Reich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet in performances at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute (Feb 24), the L.A. County Museum of Art (April 28), and the ensemble’s Winnipeg and Minneapolis debuts (Feb 11 and May 1, respectively). Both works, like Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérez’s new composition, Five Memos, that the Grammy-winning group will premiere at New York’s Look & Listen Festival (May 7), were commissioned by and written especially for eighth blackbird. For its L.A. gig, the sextet will also reprise its recently-premiered new production of Schoenberg’s expressionist masterpiece Pierrot lunaire. With frequent performances of the “Meanwhile” program, academic residencies, and a special benefit on March 15 besides, eighth blackbird’s spring looks to be a very full one.

EMI Classics Signs Chinese Pianist Yundi

First Release Is the Complete Chopin Nocturnes

“Yundi Li, the brilliant young Chinese pianist…has proved a technically astounding pianist who is by turns elegant and rambunctious, coolly expressive and white hot.” — The New York Times

EMI Classics has signed the “superlative young Chinese pianist”* Yundi, formerly known as Yundi Li, winner of the 14th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Appropriately, Yundi’s first EMI release (due out in the U.S. on April 6) will be the complete Chopin nocturnes, issued to commemorate the composer’s 200th birthday in 2010. Together Yundi and EMI Classics plan to record Chopin’s complete works for solo piano.

Stephen Johns, Vice President, A&R, EMI Classics, said: "We are extremely pleased to be welcoming Yundi to the EMI Classics label. Yundi's musicianship and artistry have already captivated audiences around the world, and his desire continually to seek new challenges mirrors our own ambitions to bring great music in new and innovative ways to a wide public. We are particularly excited by Yundi's championing of the music of Chopin, especially in this, his anniversary year."

Since the competition that catapulted Yundi onto the international stage, his recitals and appearances with orchestras in Europe, Asia and the United States have been hailed by critics extolling his precise, crystalline technique, keyboard fluidity and boundless enthusiasm. His personality and artistry appeal to audiences of all ages, and he is an icon in his native China, where as the Prince of the Piano” he has inspired millions of young people. He is the toast of national leaders and has been invited to perform for the Chinese ambassador in Washington, D.C. and for the president of China, Hu Jin Tao, at Government House in a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China.

Miraculous Logic: The Music of Jean Sibelius and the London Philharmonic Orchestra January 27th

The London Philharmonic Orchestra presents a complete cycle of Sibelius's symphonies set amongst some of his lesser known works.

Osmo Vanska, one of the world's leading interpreters of Sibelius's music and a regular collaborator with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, curates a four-concert cycle of the composer's symphonies. Osmo is joined by one of Finland's best-kept vocal secrets Helena Juntunen, whose deliveries exude a radiance and Nordic charm all of their own and rising Norwegian star Henning Kraggerud in the opening concert for Sibelius's Six Humoresques.

The festival also allows the Orchestra's Principal Cellist Kristina Blaumane an opportunity to demonstrate her fine skills as soloist in Sibelius's Cantique and Devotion for cello and orchestra.

Wednesday 27 January - Friday 5 February
Royal Festival Hall

Thursday, January 21, 2010

TONIGHT: Live from Lincoln Center's "Joshua Bell with Friends @ the Penthouse"

At Home With Friends CD comes to Live on PBS

Joshua will perform duets with Sting, Renee Fleming, Regina Spektor, Tiempo Libre, Chris Botti, Jane Monheit, Marvin Hamlisch, Nathan Gunn, Frankie Moreno, Carel Kraayenhof and more!

For local listings, please visit: www.pdb.org.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cypress Quartet announces new album - Elena Ruehr's How She Danced - available Feb 23

“music with heart and...a forceful sense of character and expression” – The Washington Post

The Cypress String Quartet (Cecily Ward, violin; Tom Stone, violin; Ethan Filner, viola; and Jennifer Kloetzel, cello) announces the commercial release of How She Danced: String Quartets of Elena Ruehr on Tuesday, February 23, 2010. The album, which includes Elena Ruehr’s String Quartets No. 1 (1991), No. 3 (2001), and No. 4 (commissioned by the Cypress Quartet in 2005), will be available on iTunes, CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, and other major retailers. The disc was produced by Cypress first violinist Cecily Ward and Mark Willsher, and recorded at Skywalker Sound.

The album’s release coincides with the world premiere of another string quartet commissioned by the Cypress Quartet from Ms. Ruehr, which is based on Ann Patchett’s novel Bel Canto. The premiere performance will take place on Friday, February 26 at 8pm at Herbst Theatre (401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA). A second performance will take place on Sunday, February 28 at 3pm as part of the Montalvo Arts Center’s Villa Chamber Music Series (15400 Montalvo Rd., Saratoga, CA).

Known for their elegant performances, the Cypress’s sound has been called “beautifully proportioned and powerful” by The Washington Post, and the ensemble has been singled out by Chamber Music Magazine as “a Generation X ensemble to watch.” This disc follows the success of the ensemble’s recent recording of Beethoven’s Late Quartets Op. 131 and 135, which Gramophone magazine praised as “revealing artistry of uncommon insight and cohesion.”

Elena Ruehr has been called a “composer to watch” by Opera News, and her music has been described as “stunning . . . beautifully lighted by [a] canny instinct for knowing when and how to vary key, timbre, and harmony” by The Boston Globe.

The Cypress Quartet came to know Ms. Ruehr’s music through a blind listening process. Each year, the ensemble commissions a number of new works for string quartet, and selects composers based solely on whose music speaks to all four of them. Over just a decade, the Cypress has commissioned and premiered more than 30 new works, four of which are now included on Chamber Music America’s list of 101 Great American Ensemble Works.

Of the music included on How She Danced, Ms. Ruehr said, “The three quartets here span about 15 years of my work. Each is quite different and reflects my interests, which include opera, poetry, and literature. I treat the instruments either as voices or as drums, with long lyrical lines and a dance-like sense of rhythmic drive. In addition, the quartets all specifically refer to older music, ancient and traditional source, from folk songs to specific classical repertoire.”

Cecily Ward describes their relationship as simpatico. “Elena has described a credo she has had since her 20s: ‘The surface is simple, but the structure is complex,’” she said. “That’s probably why we get along; it’s what our quartet does!”

Conductor Günther Herbig to Replace Jiří Bělohlávek for BSO Concerts, Jan. 22-24

First half of program remains unchanged;
Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 replaces Dvořák’s Othello Overture and Janáček’s Taras Bulba

Due to back injuries sustained in an accident over the holiday season, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra regrets to announce that Jiří Bělohlávek has cancelled his upcoming engagement to conduct the BSO and pianist Garrick Ohlsson in the January 22-24, 2010 concerts.

In his place, the BSO is pleased to welcome back internationally acclaimed German conductor Günther Herbig. Maestro Herbig is a frequent collaborator with the Baltimore Symphony, having conducted the Orchestra more than 20 times over the past 20 years, most recently leading Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in June 2009. The first half of the program will remain unchanged, featuring Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and the distinguished pianist Garrick Ohlsson performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. In the program’s second half, Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 will replace the previously scheduled Dvořák’s Othello Overture and Janáček’s Taras Bulba.

Though the injuries were such that Maestro Bělohlávek’s doctor recommended rest, he does expect to make a full recovery and be back on the podium within a few weeks.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pianist Inon Barnatan touring NYC

This month pianist Inon Barnatan is making appearances at several different NYC venues. This weekend he is sharing an evening downtown with the Amsterdam-based electronic pop duo Controllar at the multimedia art café Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. The program fuses poetry of T.S. Eliot, Samuel Coleridge and others with music of Dowland, Ravel, Thomas Adès and Gregory Spears.

Mendelssohn is the main event for Barnatan's January 23 concert uptown with the Shanghai Quartet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seeking Mendelssohn: Lost Works & Found Treasures" will showcase rarities by the 200-year-old composer. Barnatan will play the world premiere of a rare edition of Songs without Words, Op. 19, No. 2 - a Mendelssohn autograph from Horowitz's personal library, as well as two other U.S. premieres. WQXR's Elliott Forrest hosts a pre-concert panel discussion.

Upcoming highlights for the 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner include a solo recital at London's Wigmore Hall in May and his Philadelphia Orchestra debut this summer at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Hits The Road

O'Connor To Join Kennedy Center's Grappelli and Reinhardt Tribute Jan. 16

Composer and virtuoso violinist Mark O'Connor has announced the live return of his critically acclaimed band Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing -- O'Connor's tribute to friend and mentor Stephane Grappelli -- with a January tour.

On January 16, Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing will perform as part of the Kennedy Center's 102nd anniversary of the birth of violinist Stephane Grappelli. The concert will close with a rousing finale featuring O'Connor's Hot Swing with his powerhouse duo of guitarists Frank Vignola and Julian Lage, along with French guitarist Dorado Schmitt of the Django Reinhardt Festival. Together, the groups will recreate the 1930's heyday of Reinhardt and Grappelli's Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

The group will then tape a live session of Mountain Stage in Morgantown, WV on January 17.

The Chicago Sun-Times raved that Hot Swing brings "this infectious art form to a new height, both technically and musically." The Chicago Tribune called 'Hot Swing!' "one of the finest discs of his career and one of the greatest jazz violin albums ever," continuing, "[Grappelli] would have blushed with pride."

Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing is just one of many projects for the prolific musician. Most recently, he has developed an innovative school of teaching violin: The O'Connor Violin Method, which focuses on American music and is the first new method of its kind in decades.

Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing also features guitarist Frank Vignola, bassist Gary Mazzaroppi (Lionel Hampton), vocalist Heather Masse (The Wailin Jennys). Guitarist Julian Lage will join the band at the Kennedy Center and Mountain Stage while guitarist Matthew Munisteri will join the tour following those performances.

Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Tour:

Jan 16 - Washington D.C. - Kennedy Center
Jan 17 - Morgantown, WV - West Virginia University: Creative Arts Center
Jan 18 - Kent OH - The Kent Stage
Jan 20 - Minneapolis, MN - The Dakota Jazz Club
Jan 21 - Columbia, Missouri - Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts
Jan 22 - Fayettville, AK - Starr Theater at Walton Arts Center
Jan 23 - Kansas City, KS - Folly Theater

Love Themes: Kelley O'Connor Sings Lieberson's Neruda Songs

Making her Colorado Symphony Orchestra debut, mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor sings Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs, based on love poems written by Pablo Neruda. Composed for his wife, the sensational mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Peter Lieberson chose O'Connnor as his wife's successor in performing this work. Also on the program, Maestro Kahane conducts Berlioz's Overture to Beatrice and Benedict and "Love Scene" from Romeo and Juliet, as well as Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture.

Tchaikovsky, Berlioz and Lieberson
CSO Masterworks
Fri-Sun | Jan 15-17
Jeffrey Kahane, music director
Kelley O'Connor, mezzo-soprano

BERLIOZ Overture to Beatrice and Benedict
BERLIOZ "Love Scene" from Romeo and Juliet
TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet Overture

WQXR Classical 105.9 FM Ranks #1 in Weekly Audience Among Public Radio Stations in the December Arbitron Book

WQXR Named New York Philharmonic Radio Home for 2010/2011 Season

WQXR Classical 105.9 FM, New York City ’s sole dedicated classical music station, ranked the highest cumulative audience among public radio stations in the December Arbitron ratings book, with 842,200 weekly listeners. The second-ranking public radio station in the December book had 833,400 weekly listeners.

WQXR achieved this milestone in only its second full month as a public radio station. In October 2009, WNYC Radio acquired WQXR from The New York Times Company as part of a three-way deal with Univision, which entailed moving the WQXR signal from its longtime home at 96.3 FM to 105.9 FM.

WQXR’s December ratings are comparable to those the station enjoyed as a commercial station.

WQXR has also announced a sponsorship agreement with the New York Philharmonic which names WQXR as the Radio Home for the New York Philharmonic for the 2010/2011 season. The New York Philharmonic will actively promote WQXR’s broadcast of their concerts and the organizations will collaborate on online video and audio content for www.wqxr.org and www.nyphil.org and membership events.

“We are thrilled that so many WQXR listeners took the journey up the dial with us,” said Laura Walker, President and CEO of WNYC. "We acquired WQXR because we believe deeply that New York City deserves a 24/7 classical music station, rooted in the vibrant musical life of this city, and that as a public radio station, we can serve listeners with more music and fewer interruptions. We are gratified to know we are meeting our mission, and now, in a significant partnership with the New York Philharmonic, we can provide listeners with broader access to New York City 's classical music community.”

As part of the transaction in October, Univision paid the Times Company $33.5 million to exchange the FCC 105.9 FM broadcast license and transmitting equipment for the Times Company’s license, equipment, and signal at 96.3 FM. At the same time, WNYC purchased the FCC broadcast license for 105.9 FM, all related transmitting equipment, and WQXR’s call letters and Web site from the Times Company for $11.5 million.

Matt Haimovitz enters the new decade with an wide array of performances - from Elliot Carter to Victor Herbert, and from Shostakovich to Mark O’Connor

Matt Haimovitz brings his FIGMENT program for solo cello to the west coast with performances in Seattle, Portland and Eugene (Jan 20-22), based on his newest CD, which has been called “spellbinding” (Time Out Chicago), “a sound voyage that constantly surprises with its sonic landscapes and its playfulness ... monstrously inventive” (Valley Advocate) and was one of the Boston Herald’s Top Ten CDs of the 2009. The West Coast Figment dates will also integrate the groundbreaking Seven Ricercare for Violoncello Solo by Domenico Gabrielli (1651-1690). These precursors to the Bach Cello Suites will be interwoven with the modern works by Elliott Carter, Ana Sokolovic, Luna Pearl Woolf, Gilles Tremblay and Steven Stucky.

Haimovitz returns to New York to celebrate the 150th birthday of popular composer Victor Herbert with the Little Orchestra Society on February 1 at Alice Tully Hall. He performs Herbert’s Cello Concerto No.2.

The next day, Matt Haimovitz arrives in Cleveland where he is featured in six concerts over five days with CityMusic, the Cleveland chamber orchestra that brings free performances to different neighbourhoods across the city. In addition to the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1, Haimovitz will bring along the orchestra post-performance to the Anatolia Cafe for a special late-night performance of Vivaldi Concerti and multi-cello jazz arrangements on Saturday, February 6 at 10:15.

Matt then heads to Toronto when he will perform in the Canadian premieres of Mark O'Connor's String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3, featuring O'Connor and Ida Kavafian (violins) and Paul Neubauer (viola) at the new Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music on February 13. The CD of this repertoire released last spring is nominated for a 2009 GRAMMY Award (Producer of the Year).

Spoleto Festival USA Announces 2010 Program to Be Held May 28 – June 13 in Charleston , SC

Reopening of the restored Dock Street Theatre with a Spoleto production of Flora, an Opera, the first opera ever performed in the American colonies

Nigel Redden, General Director, today announced the 2010 Spoleto Festival USA season, an expansive program showcasing internationally and nationally acclaimed artists in approximately 45 productions. Held annually in historic Charleston , South Carolina, the 34th festival runs from May 28 through June 13 and features numerous U.S. and festival debuts and the return of several audience favorites along with the reopening of the newly restored Dock Street Theatre, Charleston’s most beloved theatrical space.

After a meticulous three-year restoration, the Dock Street Theatre reopens with a series of high-profile events including a new production of Flora, an Opera, an 18th-century English ballad opera with a deep connection to Charleston . Delightfully enchanting yet shrewdly satirical, Flora was the first opera ever performed in the American colonies in Charleston in 1735. The performance proved such a success that it was re-staged the following year in what was then the brand-new Dock Street Theatre, America’s first purpose-built theatre. Nearly 300 years later, Flora returns to the Dock Street stage having been re-orchestrated by composer Neely Bruce (who also conducts the Spoleto performances) and staged by British director John Pascoe who also designed the sets and costumes. Soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird returns to the festival as the heroine Flora alongside baritone Tyler Duncan in the role of her suitor Mr. Friendly.

In another Dock Street Theatre homecoming, longtime festival favorite, Ireland’s Gate Theatre, brings Noël Coward’s sparkling comedy of manners Present Laughter, applauded by the Irish Mail on Sunday as a “brilliantly comic production of a beautifully structured, witty play,” to Charleston . Audiences will also welcome the return of the Bank of America Chamber Music Series to the Dock Street Theatre. Back in its traditional venue, the series will again offer the signature twice-daily concerts, with Geoff Nuttall in his new role as the Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director for Chamber Music and host and a roster of musicians including pianist Pedja Muzijevic, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and violist Hsin-Yun Huang as well as the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

Another operatic highlight of the festival will be the first U.S. production of Wolfgang Rihm’s Proserpina. Composed by one of Europe’s most prolific and influential composers and named 2009’s World Premiere of the Year by Opernwelt magazine, the work depicts the tragic legend of the Roman deity Proserpina, Greek mythology’s Persephone, goddess of springtime and queen of the underworld. Scored for soprano and an all-female chorus, the opera’s title role will be sung by Heather Buck and will be directed by Obie Award-winning director Ken Rus Schmoll with John Kennedy conducting the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra.

Ancient gods also take center stage in the Colla Marionette Company’s Philemon and Baucis, a marionette opera composed by Franz Joseph Haydn for Prince Esterházy on the occasion of a 1773 royal visit by Empress Maria Theresa. Philemon will be performed by a cast of lavishly costumed, handcrafted marionettes with singers and Spoleto Festival Orchestra members performing from the pit. The Milan-based marionette company will also present the classic fairy tale Cinderella in a staging of the well-known fable.

In his own self-described “scary fairy tale with a happy ending,” Daniel MacIvor, one of Canada ’s most respected performers, returns to Charleston for the third time with the U.S. premiere of his newest solo show This Is What Happens Next, hailed by the Montreal Gazette as “genius…a high-octane blend of autobiography, anecdote, philosophical musing and fairy-tale fantasy.” In another engaging one-man show, the jazz/new music composer and improviser Erik Friedlander recounts anecdotes from family road trips in Block Ice & Propane. A collection of cinematic cello compositions, Friedlander’s music and stories are paired with family and “road-cycle” images by his father, celebrated photographer Lee Friedlander, family snapshots by his mother Maria Friedlander, and short films from the filmmaker/director Bill Morrison.

Shifting to the playfully dark side of family dynamics are the brother–sister duo of Astrid and Otto Rot of Die Roten Punkte, a German post-punk/electro/rock band that sings, dances, and drums its way through a set of mock-serious musical send-ups in a late-night, cabaret-style performance.

The 2010 dance program embraces both the classical and contemporary poles of dance. Representing classical ballet at its most pure is Nina Ananiashvili, the legendary prima ballerina, along with her Tbilisi-based troupe the National Ballet of Georgia in a dreamily metaphysical Giselle. At the other end of the classical spectrum, the all-male ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo performs Peter Anastos’s witty Go for Barocco in an irreverent and loving homage to the art form.

The dance program also looks at a range of contemporary work, with Tel Aviv’s Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company’s Oyster, a mélange of phantasmagoric and comic vignettes that is part dance, part theater and part carnival sideshow; New York-based Gallim Dance performs I Can See Myself in Your Pupil, a riveting suite of dances set to an eclectic score by Balkan Beat Box. Also on the dance program is the much-praised revival of Lucinda Childs’ groundbreaking 1979 work Dance, set to an original score by Philip Glass and framed by a black-and-white film by artist Sol LeWitt.

The 2010 music program includes three virtuosic string-based ensembles: the internationally renowned Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, celebrated for their lively interpretations of West African Bambara music; New York’s Ebony Hillbillies, whose roots in jazz, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock-and-roll, and country are credited with rejuvenating traditional African-American string band music. Also rooted in the string-band tradition, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, known for expanding the rich tradition of fiddle and banjo music of the Carolina Piedmont region, will headline the Festival Finale.

Three female vocalists with diverse artistic sensibilities will appear in the renowned Wachovia Jazz Series: Lizz Wright, whose “smoky voice makes you hold your breath” (The New York Times); legendary British vocalist (and 2009 Grammy nominee) Norma Winstone along with her trio; and Fabiana Cozza, hailed for her sensuous sound and devotion to the rich heritage of Afro-Brazilian music.

Featured instrumentalists will include Polish pianist Leszek Możdżer, whose masterful interpretations of Chopin, Ellington and Nirvana have made him a jazz giant in Europe; Nailor “Proveta” Azevedo, recognized as Brazil’s finest saxophonist and clarinetist; and the prodigiously talented 21-year-old guitarist Julian Lage, whose debut album Sounding Point is nominated for a 2010 Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

Spoleto Festival USA artistic associate John Kennedy’s thought-provoking Music in Time Series spotlights the work of festival opera composers including Chiffre-Zyklus by Wolfgang Rihm of Proserpina and compositions by Neely Bruce, the orchestrator and conductor of Flora, an Opera. Other concerts include Merce by the composer Christian Wolff; and two performances by Brooklyn Rider, a genre-defying string quartet long associated with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, now pioneering new paths in post-classical music.

Emmanuel Villaume, the Christel DeHaan Music Director for Opera & Orchestra, will lead the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in two concerts: The first program will feature Ravel’s La Valse, an early 20th-century masterpiece evoking the unsettled mood of European society after World War I, and Richard Strauss’s epic tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra. The second program will include Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 and Coriolan Overture, Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, and Wagner’s tender symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll.

The renowned Westminster Choir, Spoleto Festival USA’s longtime chorus-in-residence, can be heard in a variety of settings throughout the festival. Under the baton of Artistic Director for Choral Activities Joseph Flummerfelt, the choir joins with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra for an evening of music including Mozart’s majestic Coronation Mass and Brahms’s Schicksalslied. The choir will also offer their traditional a cappella concerts at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul along with a special concert featuring Charpentier’s Litanies de la Vierge and compositions for the men of the Westminster Choir. Joe Miller, director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College, will conduct.

The Intermezzi Series will feature chamber ensembles from the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in performances to include Rossini’s Overture to L’italiana in Algeri, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. Singers from Flora, an Opera will offer a lively recital of art songs and arias.

The visual arts component of the 2010 festival will include partnerships with both the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. At the Gibbes, JoAnn Verburg’s captivating photographs of Spoleto , Italy , will be displayed in the exhibition Interruptions. And at the Halsey, Call and Response: Africa to America presents an arresting juxtaposition of artist Nick Cave’s “Soundsuit” sculptural works and Phyllis Galembo’s photographs of West African masqueraders.

The Opening Night Fête, immediately following the May 28 performance of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, will celebrate the start of the festival with a festive party in the beautiful gardens of the Spoleto headquarters at the Murray Center, 14 George Street. Tickets can be purchased online at spoletousa.org or by phone at 843.579.3100. Beginning April 19, tickets may be purchased in person at the Spoleto Festival USA box office at the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun Street .