. Interchanging Idioms: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For a limited time, save $10 on all tickets to all performances of La Bohème - Denver

5 performances: November 6-16 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Use the Special Offer Code PARIS when you order your tickets online or when you call 800.982.ARTS. This offer expires Thursday, September 30 so do not delay! Order online now for best selection.

This offer cannot be applied to previously purchased tickets. This offer is not valid with any other offer or discount. All tickets are subject to Ticketmaster convenience fees. All sales are final; no exchanges or refunds.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Opera Colorado launches "Czech Point Denver"


Join Opera Colorado's city-wide cultural festival centered on its production of Dvorak's Rusalka, Opera Colorado's first production of a Czech opera and the regional premiere of the work opening at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in February 2011. Czech Point Denver is a far-ranging celebration of Czech arts and culture scheduled for January and February 2011, leading up to the performances of the opera. The festival is a cooperative project between several Denver non-profit arts and cultural organizations and will include classical music, theatre, visual arts, film, and multi-media experiences for the general public.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Composer-Vocalist Lisa Bielawa’s The Trojan Women performed by the Miami String Quartet coming Sept 28

On Tuesday, September 28, 2010, the New York Foundation for the Arts and innova recordings celebrate 25 Years of New York New Music with the release of The NYFA Collection. The recording features works by 52 NYFA fellows and includes Lisa Bielawa’s quartet, The Trojan Women, recorded by the Miami String Quartet.

Lisa Bielawa’s The Trojan Women is written in three movements, each based on the particular sufferings of women who lost husbands and sons in the notorious brutality of the Trojan War – “Hecuba,” “Cassandra,” and “Andromache.” This version for string quartet was composed in 2000 based on musical materials from Ms. Bielawa’s 1999 score for Euripides’ tragedy, The Trojan Women, and was premiered by the Miami String Quartet at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Ms. Bielawa says that the piece was inspired by “the nature of public and private grieving.”

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

Recent highlights include performances of Ms. Bielawa’s chamber music in New York at Judson Memorial Church, The Brooklyn Museum, and Symphony Space. Her work, Chance Encounter, a piece comprising songs and arias constructed of speech overheard in transient public spaces, has been performed by soprano Susan Narucki and The Knights in Seward Park in Lower Manhattan and at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; and by Ms. Narucki, the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, and the Rome-based Blue Chamber Orchestra on the banks of the Tiber River and as part of the opening of the celebrated new MAXXI Museum in Rome. Additional highlights included the world premiere of Portrait-Elegy, written for pianist Bruce Levingston, in New York; the world premiere of The Project of Collecting Clouds at Town Hall in Seattle by cellist Joshua Roman and chamber ensemble; and the world premiere of In medias res, a concerto for orchestra commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the culmination of Ms. Bielawa’s three-year residency with that orchestra.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

17-year-old Ilyich Rivas Makes Conducting Debut with Baltimore Symphony, Oct. 14-16

Prodigy Markus Groh performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Shostakovich’s First Symphony on Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 8 p.m. and Friday, October 15, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Continuing this season’s focus on youth, 17-year-old BSO-Peabody Bruno Walter Assistant Conductor Ilyich Rivas makes his subscription concert debut with Shostakovich’s First Symphony, written when the composer was only 18. Joining Rivas is young German pianist Markus Groh, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The program also includes Brahms’ collegiately inspired Academic Festival Overture and Mahler’s Blumine in celebration of this season’s other theme: the life and music of Gustav Mahler.

BSO-Peabody Bruno Walter Assistant Conductor Ilyich Rivas makes his subscription concert debut conducting this ambitious program. Born in Venezuela in 1993 into a distinguished musical family, Mr. Rivas’ talent was evident at a young age. In 2009, he was selected to participate in the Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop in California, where he made a significant impression on both Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier. After an audition in front of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, he was awarded the position of BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship starting in September 2009. This two-year position permits him to study conducting at the Peabody Institute under Meier's guidance, and to work closely with Marin Alsop and the BSO.

The young pianist Markus Groh will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the BSO. Groh’s repertoire includes all of Beethoven’s piano concertos that according to The Florida Times-Union, are “a perfect showcase for the German pianist's elegant but controlled power” and “effortless” technique. At just 22 years old, Beethoven brought the beginnings of his Piano Concerto No. 2 to Vienna in 1792 when he studied under Haydn. The Viennese aristocracy received Beethoven as the most popular pianist in Vienna and Mozart’s heir. Beethoven, while reminiscent of Mozart, displayed a new proto-Romantic style to break free of direct comparison to his predecessor.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

San Francisco Opera's Grand Opera Cinema Series to Air on KQED Public Television

San Francisco Opera's Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, Samson and Delilah and La Rondine to Air On KQED Public Television, August 26 - September 23, 2010

San Francisco Opera today announced plans to return to KQED Public Television 9, Northern California’s preeminent public broadcast station, with four grand operas recorded live in high definition at the historic War Memorial Opera House. The four opera series for television will be distinguished by program host Rita Moreno, a celebrated artist and recipient of the four most coveted awards in the entertainment industry: the Oscar, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy.

Each airing will be enhanced with backstage interviews with singers, conductors, directors and other members of the artistic and creative team in order to offer greater perspective on the music and production of each opera to the audience. Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, La Rondine and Samson and Delilah will presented in their original languages and will feature English subtitles. Each opera will air beginning on a Thursday evening at 8 p.m., with numerous additional airings in subsequent days; check local listings for complete information.

“San Francisco Opera’s return to KQED TV promises to be a thrilling experience, and I couldn’t be happier to showcase four of our operas recorded in high definition. I’m very proud of our broadcast series and believe it will translate well for television, providing many more viewers the opportunity to experience the grandeur of San Francisco Opera.” - David Gockley, general director of San Francisco Opera.

San Francisco Opera’s Grand Opera Cinema Series on KQED Public Television coincides with the opening of the Company’s 88th season, beginning September 10, 2010. The cinema series is one of the many electronic media initiatives launched under the direction of General Director David Gockley. These include the Company’s free live simulcasts, one of the first innovations of Gockley’s tenure and part of the Company’s campaign to bring opera into the community. Since 2006, San Francisco Opera has presented seven free live simulcasts at venues throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco ’s AT&T Park , for nearly 120,000 fans. San Francisco Opera’s simulcasts and cinemacasts are made possible through the technology of the Company’s Koret-Taube Media Suite, the first permanent HD broadcast-standard video production facility installed in an American opera house.

Hilary Hahn and Jennifer Higdon CD Release Event Announced for September 20th at Housing Works Bookstore Café

7-8:30 p.m. Housing Works Bookstore Café
126 Crosby Street
NYC 10012
Free and open to the public

On Monday, September 20th, violinist Hilary Hahn and composer Jennifer Higdon will discuss the upcoming Deutsche Grammophon Higdon & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos CD at the Housing Works Bookstore Café in New York City. The event will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. Hahn and Higdon will chat about the two works on Hahn's upcoming album: the concerto Higdon wrote for her (recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music) and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. The evening will feature a conversation between these two artists about how the commissioned concerto came to be and how the pieces relate to one another, as well as a few detailed examinations of specific musical passages. There will be time for questions and mingling at the Housing Works Bookstore Café after the event, and advance copies of the disc, which will be released the following day, will be available for sale. Please note that Hilary Hahn will not perform, and proceeds from CD sales will be donated to Housing Works. Seating for this event will be limited; please R.S.V.P. to guarantee a seat.

Higdon & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos will be released on Deutsche Grammophon on September 21, 2010, demonstrating Hahn’s commitment to exploring new music while embracing the masterworks of the past. The disc features the world premiere recording of Jennifer Higdon's Violin Concerto. Higdon developed an intimate familiarity with Hahn's impeccable artistry after serving as the virtuoso's twentieth-century music professor at the Curtis Institute. The concerto, hailed by the Baltimore Sun as "tailor-made to the violinist's unflappable technique and musical depth," appears along with Hahn's fresh take on the monumental Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. This album is not the first time that Hahn has explored the connections between two concertos that come from dramatically different origins; Barber & Meyer Violin Concertos (2000), Paganini & Spohr Concertos (2006), and the Grammy Award-winning Schoenberg & Sibelius Violin Concertos (2008)--which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard classical charts and was featured in Time Magazine--have all demonstrated Hahn's brilliant playing and her keen sensitivity to the violin repertoire.

Housing Works Bookstore Café is one of downtown New York’s most vital cultural institutions, presenting an eclectic mix of events--from readings and concerts to comedy nights and storytelling competitions--featuring many of today’s most exciting artists. The bookstore is staffed almost entirely by volunteers and 100% of its profits go to Housing Works, Inc., which provides housing, healthcare, job training, and advocacy for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. As an independent cultural center, it offers patrons a unique opportunity to join the fight against AIDS and homelessness simply by buying or donating books; eating at their café; coming to concerts, readings, and special events; or volunteering on the staff.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra Pays Tribute to Conductor Laureate Sir Charles MacKerras

Following the death of Sir Charles Mackerras, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra will dedicate the Opening Concerts of its 2010/11 Season – concert performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni – to the memory of the Orchestra’s beloved and venerable Conductor Laureate.

The performances – at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Thursday 7 October and Glasgow’s City Halls on Friday 8 October – will be conducted by the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati, and feature a world-class line-up of soloists including Florian Boesch, Maximilian Schmitt and Kate Royal. Sir Charles and the SCO were internationally renowned for their performances and recordings of Mozart’s music, including CD releases of seven Mozart operas and the recent multi-award winning disc of the composer’s last four symphonies. Don Giovanni was of particular significance to Sir Charles: in 1991 he conducted a new production of the opera at the re-opening of the Estates Theatre in Prague, scene of the work’s premiere, to mark the bi-centenary of Mozart’s death.

Roy McEwan, Managing Director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, said: “This will be the SCO’s first season without Sir Charles, and the opening concerts are a perfect opportunity for us to pay tribute to his life and career. We are particularly delighted that the Orchestra and Chorus along with our Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati will celebrate the many years of music–making we shared with Sir Charles through these performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which – following its performance at the 1995 Edinburgh International Festival – was one of the finest opera recordings we made together.”

Handel’s Messiah (25 & 26 November 2010)
Season Closing Concert – Mozart’s Requiem (13 & 14 May 2011)

Prodigy Stefan Jackiw Joins Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto

Marin Alsop leads BSO in Doctor Atomic and “New World” symphonies

The young and accomplished violinist Stefan Jackiw returns to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Jackiw last appeared with the BSO in 2008 when he performed Brahms’ Violin Concerto to rave reviews. Music Director Marin Alsop will also lead the BSO in John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto has been called the first truly Romantic violin concerto. Though generally considered conservative, Mendelssohn broke classical barriers by writing a score that alternates emphasis between soloist and orchestra. One of Stefan Jackiw’s past performances of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto was hailed by string music magazine The Strad as, “…truly sensational, showing a talent and maturity that belied his years.”

John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony is the symphonic score from his opera of the same name, which premiered in August 2007 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Set in the summer of 1945, the opera depicts the intense, long nights that led up to the testing of the atomic bomb. The composer of several other modern operas, Adams does not choose his subjects in an effort to be relevant or trendy. Instead, he seeks to bring out the universal and timeless elements in these stories.

Antonin Dvořák traveled to America in the early 1890s and became enraptured with American music and culture. The composer was especially inspired by African-American spirituals and supported the musical endeavors of African Americans. His Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” was influenced by many American classics, such as “Yankee Doodle” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Though the symphony revolves around American culture, Dvořák also infused techniques and sounds from his Czech roots. The BSO recorded this symphony on its first Dvořák album in 2007 and released a second Dvořák album of his Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8 in 2010. This November, the BSO will release its final album of the cycle, which features Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Opens 2010-2011 Season, Sept. 24-25

Music Director Marin Alsop leads BSO in Mahler’s Seventh Symphony

Music Director Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra kick off the 2010-2011 season with a performance of Mahler’s Seventh Symphony at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on September 24, 2010 at 8 p.m. and at the Music Center at Strathmore on September 25, 2010 at 8 p.m. Throughout the 2010-2011 season, the BSO explores the genius of Mahler through his compositions and arrangements of works by other legendary composers. The program begins with the BSO premiere of Mahler’s arrangement of J.S. Bach’s Suite, which includes the well-known “Air on a G-String.” The program concludes with Mahler’s Seventh Symphony, which was selected by the BSO musicians as a “Musicians’ Pick.”

This season’s repertoire contains works chosen by BSO musicians, titled “Musicians’ Picks.” Ranging from famous works to those more obscure to rarely performed masterpieces to personal favorites, the BSO musicians hope these selections entertain their listeners while rekindling their own passion for performing.

British musicologist Deryck Cooke hailed Mahler’s Seventh Symphony as “the most wildly fantastic [scoring] ever conceived by this most wildly fantastic of orchestrators—a continual feast for the ear.” The work’s middle movements explore different aspects of the night, including a portrait (perhaps inspired by Rembrandt) of night watchmen pacing their rounds, a spooky scherzo and a delicate nocturnal serenade featuring mandolin and guitar. The work’s celebratory finale provides a dazzling fanfare intended to represent “day” to the previous movements’ “night.”

When arranging Bach’s Suite, Mahler compiled the “greatest hits” from both Bach’s Orchestra Suite Nos. 2 and 3. He also expanded the number of musicians to create a sound richer than the original score. The Second Suite is the most intimate of the four, and the only one written in a minor key (B minor), a key Bach particularly favored for flute music. In the Third Suite, he made no musical changes, but filled his arrangement with the explicit dynamic and expressive marks he used in his own works.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Metropolitan Opera Guild Receives $1 Million Grant from US Department of Education’s Arts-in-Education Model Development and Dissemination Program

This Is Largest Education Grant Ever Awarded to Guild

The Metropolitan Opera Guild has received a $1 million grant, which will be awarded over the next four years, from the United States Department of Education (DOE) for the Guild’s Comprehensive Opera-Based Arts Learning and Teaching (COBALT) project. Of 200 applications reviewed by the Department of Education, the Guild’s ranked ninth among the 33 projects that received funding.

“This award is a sign of recognition of the high quality, depth, and rigor of the Guild’s innovative arts-education programs. Thanks to the Department of Education, we will be able to bring the Guild’s partnership model of opera-based arts learning to under-resourced public schools that will really benefit from it.” - Richard J. Miller, Jr., President of the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

Building on the Guild’s arts learning initiatives at Brooklyn’s PS 10, which have played a major role in the school’s transformation into a high-performing neighborhood magnet, the COBALT project will give the Guild a chance to study closely the effects of its opera-based, curriculum-connected approach on student achievement in three under-performing public elementary schools in Brooklyn. Opera is inherently multi-disciplinary, combining music, movement, theater, and the visual arts; as such it is an ideal vehicle for comprehensive arts instruction. In the Guild’s model, students as young as kindergartners create their own operas, choosing the subject (drawn from classroom curriculum), writing lyrics, composing music, staging scenes, setting movement and dance sequences, and sometimes even designing and constructing sets or props.

Going Against the Grain, Seraphic Fire Released Its Intimate Vision of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610

Led by conductor and founding artistic director Patrick Dupré Quigley, Seraphic Fire has returned the sound of Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610) to the composer's own age – the late Renaissance rather than the high Baroque of Bach or Handel most often heard on record. On its new recording of the Vespers – released August 10 via the Miami-based choir's own Seraphic Fire Media – the smaller forces and intimate atmosphere yield a version of Monteverdi's magnum opus that is finally in tune with the inscription on the score's title plate: "suited for the chapels and chambers of princes."

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Met Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of James Levine's Company Debut with Special Box Sets of DVDs

Limited edition collection includes previously unavailable recordings and videos conducted by Levine to be released September 21, 2010

The Metropolitan Opera celebrates the 40th anniversary of James Levine’s company debut with James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met, two special boxed sets of 21 DVDs and 32 CDs featuring highlights from the longtime Music Director’s record-breaking career with the company. The two sets contain 22 complete performances, 19 of which have never been previously available in any format. All titles have been digitally remastered in state-of-the-art sound. The 21-DVD set features 11 complete operas including such star-studded performances as Smetana’s The Bartered Bride from 1978 with Teresa Stratas, Nicolai Gedda, Jon Vickers, and Martti Talvela, and Der Rosenkavalier from 1982 with Kiri Te Kanawa, Tatiana Troyanos, Judith Blegen, Luciano Pavarotti, and Kurt Moll. The DVDs also include highlights from historic concerts in 1982 and 1983 featuring five legendary names, Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Tatiana Troyanos, Plácido Domingo, and Sherrill Milnes. The 11 historic performances on the 32-CD set range from early 1980s innovations like the Parade triple-bill (including Satie’s ballet Parade, and the operas Les Mamelles de Tirésias by Poulenc and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges by Ravel) to the world premiere of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby from 2000.

“No conductor has played a more vital role in the history of the Metropolitan Opera than our music director, James Levine,” said Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met. “I am so pleased that we can celebrate the 40th anniversary of his Met debut with this anniversary collection of some of his great Met performances.”

“This set contains performances that, for various reasons, are not in the commercial mainstream. The new collections come mostly from some less familiar masterpieces that were important for us in the development of our artistic quality—an especially exciting part of our work over these many years.” - James Levine

The collection highlights operas that Levine has made central to his work with the company, such as Berg’s Wozzeck and Lulu, each of which is presented in two different versions—one on DVD and one on CD. The performances of each opera are recorded years apart, with the Wozzeck DVD from 2001, featuring Falk Struckmann and Katarina Dalayman in the cast, and the CD version from 1980 with José van Dam and Anja Silja. Levine’s Lulu from 1980 with Julia Migenes in the title role is in the DVD set and his more recent performance from 2001 with Christine Schäfer is on CD.

All audio recordings are from live radio broadcasts. They include two works which Levine was responsible for bringing to the Met for the first time—Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini from 2003 and Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron from 1999—recorded in their premiere seasons. Two of the operas on CD are accompanied by bonus discs that include excerpts from other Met performances of the same opera. The complete Pelléas et Mélisande is from 1983 and has Jeannette Pilou, Dale Duesing, van Dam, and Jerome Hines in the cast. The bonus CD contains excerpts from two other performances: one from 1978 with Stratas, Gabriel Bacquier, and Hines, and a second from 1995 with Frederica von Stade and Dwayne Croft. The bonus CD accompanying the complete Lohengrin from 1998 with Ben Heppner, Deborah Voigt, Deborah Polaski, and Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, features excerpts from a 1985 performance with Domingo, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, and Eva Marton, as well as a 1976 version with René Kollo and Pilar Lorengar.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Son y Classical Releases Lang Lang "Live in Vienna" on Aug 24

Sony Classical is proud to announce its debut release “LIVE IN VIENNA” from one of the most thrilling and inspiring musicians of our time, the world-renowned pianist LANG LANG. Recorded and filmed live in Vienna’s legendary Musikverein concert hall, the Sony Classical debut will be available on August 24 in multiple formats. This release represents Lang Lang’s second live recorded recital to date after the best-selling “Live at Carnegie Hall” in 2004, which marked his international breakthrough as a recording artist. He has performed the new album’s program at the world’s major concert venues and will continue to tour with it throughout 2011.

As Lang Lang puts it: “For me, there are few halls around the globe that have the same prestige as Carnegie Hall and the Musikverein. Of course there are other great halls, but I always feel these two have a unique place in people’s hearts. So I felt that after Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein would be the place where I should do another live recording.”

The program for his Sony Classical debut features Lang Lang’s first-ever recording of Beethoven sonatas: The famous Appassionata, a milestone in the piano literature, is paired with the composer’s youthful C major Sonata op. 2, no. 3. Virtuosity of a different order is displayed in Albéniz’s impressionistic memories of his native Spain in Book 1 of Iberia. The program closes with one of Prokofiev’s explosive War Sonatas, the revolutionary Seventh Sonata. Finally, to celebrate the Chopin Bicentennial we hear three encores of this Polish genius’s most popular works: the “Aeolian Harp” Etude, the “Heroic” Polonaise in A flat major, and the sparkling Grande Valse Brillante No. 2.

This recital, one of 2010’s most eagerly-awaited classical recordings, will be released in its entirety on the following multiple formats: Deluxe limited edition, Blu-ray, DVD, LP vinyl and Digital formats. For the first time Lang Lang will be performing some of the album’s repertoire in the new spectacular 3D format which will be a bonus feature on the Blu-Ray. This will include the first movement of Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata, Evocation from Albeniz’s Iberia suite, the explosive finale of Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata and Chopin’s “Heroic” Polonaise. This forms part of Lang Lang’s commitment to reaching new audiences through innovative technologies, a goal he also aims to realize through his global brand ambassadorship with Sony Electronics. The Blu-Ray will be released in October 2010. The CD, DVD, LP vinyl and CD/DVD combo will release on August 24, 2010.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jeremy Denk performs at Bard, Mostly Mozart, and Tanglewood (Aug 13-21)

Pianist’s Hotly-Anticipated New Album – Jeremy Denk Plays Ives – Now Available on iTunes; CD Will Be Widely Released on October 12

“With a supreme command of the piano allowing endlessly varied color, touch, and chord voicing, all possibilities are seemingly open to him. And all possibilities are imaginable, thanks to a fine intellect. – David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

Jeremy Denk’s summer festival tour continues this week with appearances at three of the season’s most prestigious U.S. festivals: Bard (Aug 13-15), Mostly Mozart (Aug 17-19), and Tanglewood (Aug 21). In repertoire ranging from solo and chamber to orchestral, and from composers of the First Viennese School to those of the Second, the versatile pianist collaborates with leading artists including Joshua Bell and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The first of these appearances is at Annandale-on-Hudson’s Bard Music Festival, which has won international acclaim for its unrivaled, in-depth exploration of the life and works of a single composer and his contemporaries, offering, in the words of the New York Times, a “rich web of context” for a full appreciation of that composer’s inspirations and significance. A veteran of the festival, last season Denk impressed the New York Times’s Steve Smith with playing that juxtaposed “tenderness personified” with his “more athletic side.” At this year’s celebration of “Berg and His World,” the pianist performs two important chamber works by the groundbreaking Austrian composer: the Piano Sonata, Op. 1, for Bard’s opening-night concert on August 13, and – with Paganini Competition-winner Soovin Kim and members of the resident American Symphony Orchestra – the Kammerkonzert for piano, violin, and 13 wind instruments, Op. 8, for the close of the festival’s first weekend on August 15.

Joyce DiDonato Wins 2010 German ECHO Klassik “Singer of the Year” Award

Nominated for a 2010 Gramophone “Artist of the Year” Award

After a wildly successful season that included a critically acclaimed company debut with the Los Angeles Opera in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, after which the Los Angeles Times exclaimed that she “stole a show that was hard to steal”, and her role debut as Elena in La donna del lago with the Paris Opera, which the Financial Times hailed as “simply the best singing…heard in years,” mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato ends her 2009-10 season on a high note: nominated for a 2010 Gramophone “Artist of the Year” Award and winning a 2010 ECHO Klassik Award in the category of female “Singer of the Year” (tenor Jonas Kaufmann won the male equivalent). The prestigious award and nomination confirm DiDonato’s status as today’s “most user-friendly diva” (Opera News).

This year’s ten Gramophone Award “Artist of the Year” nominees are a wide-ranging and colorful group of personalities, united in their zealous commitment to their artistry and to connecting with audiences. Radio listeners and Gramophone readers are invited to vote for the artist they feel has made the most significant impact on the classical music scene in the past twelve months.

The ECHO Klassik Award – the German equivalent of the American Grammy Award – is presented by the Deutsche Phonoakademie, the cultural institute of the German Music Industry Association (BVMI). According to BVMI CEO Dieter Gorny, “Since 1992 the award ceremony of the German music ECHO Awards has been one of the highlights of the music year. It is the acknowledgement of great creative work. Being nominated means already being in a group of the world’s top artists. From rather modest beginnings, the German music ECHO Award has developed over the years into an honor recognized around the world."

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers Seasons…dreams New Album on E1 Music Streets September 28, 2010

Including works by Beethoven, Debussy, Fauré and Wagner alongside world premiere recordings of arrangements by Tyzik, Pritsker and De Rosa

On September 28, 2010, the innovative and versatile violinist Anne Akiko Meyers releases Seasons…dreams, her newest recording on E1 Music. One of the world’s premiere concert violinists, Anne Akiko Meyers has been celebrated throughout her nearly three-decade career for her exceptional musicianship, charismatic presence and creative diversity. On this new release, Meyers is joined by long-time collaborator Reiko Uchida on piano and the young harpist of the Paris Opera, Emmanuel Ceysson.

Seasons…dreams is anchored by Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24, “Spring.” This sets the stage for a series of lyrical pieces inspired by songs and poems which take us on a journey through the seasons and into reverie. Meyers presents familiar songs in unique arrangements and unexpected melodies mixed with traditional classical works. “I love the interchange of sound, the feeling of being a chameleon,” says Meyers of her constant exploration of different textures and sounds.

New Works for Chorus and Orchestra by Composer Karl Jenkins

“As a composer, he recognizes no boundaries – musical, commercial, geographical, or cultural. His is a way of thinking and composing that is perfectly in tune with the spirit of the times.” – Classic FM Magazine

Karl Jenkins’s newest composition, Gloria, was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall on July 11 by The Really Big Chorus, with the English Festival Orchestra and student vocal soloists conducted by Brian Kay. Abbey Road Live recorded the concert, which also featured Fauré’s Requiem, and the resulting CD was sold on the night to the performers and audience – the first time a world premiere has been recorded live and made available for sale immediately after the performance. The following day, EMI Classics released a studio recording of Gloria, paired with Jenkins’s Te Deum, featuring the composer conducting the National Youth Chorus of Great Britain and the London Symphony Orchestra with soloist Hayley Westenra.

Gloria is the first commission by The Really Big Chorus (TRBC), Britain’s largest choral society, which is made up of singers from hundreds of different choirs all over the UK, as well as of thousands of individuals.

Karl Jenkins: Gloria; Te Deum
Hayley Westenra
National Youth Chorus of Great Britain
London Symphony Orchestra / Karl Jenkins

CD and downloads available August 10 from EMI Classics

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

'Songs with Orchestra' Completes Michael Tilson Thomas & San Francisco Symphony's Mahler Recording Cycle

Available on CD September 14th and from iTunes on August 31st

The San Francisco Symphony’s Grammy®-winning Mahler recording cycle, launched in 2001 on its own SFS Media™ label, comes to a close this season with the release of Mahler’s Songs with Orchestra on CD September 14 and by download from the iTunes Store on August 31. Songs with Orchestra features Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas leading the Orchestra and Susan Graham performing Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder. Thomas Hampson and the Orchestra contribute performances of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and selections from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Rückert-Lieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen were both recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall during the SFS’s three-week Mahler Festival in September 2009. The selected songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn with MTT, Hampson and the Orchestra were recorded at Davies Symphony Hall in May 2007. The release coincides with worldwide celebration of the music of Mahler: 2010 is the 150th anniversary of Mahler’s birth, and 2011 marks the 100th year of Mahler’s death. The SFS and Michael Tilson Thomas, among the world’s leading interpreters of Mahler’s music, will play a significant role in the global commemoration of Mahler, through concerts, extensive media projects, and prominent international tour performances.

The SFS Media Mahler cycle has won seven Grammy Awards, including three for Best Classical Album. In January, its September 2009 release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and the Adagio from Symphony No. 10 garnered three Grammys in the categories of Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance, and Best Engineered Classical Album. The cycle has sold over 140,000 recordings.

The San Francisco Symphony will commemorate the completion of this ambitious recording cycle by introducing a complete CD Boxed Set and, for the collector, a limited deluxe vinyl edition. Further details about these collections will be forthcoming.

The release of Mahler’s Songs with Orchestra coincides with MTT and the San Francisco Symphony’s fall tour of Europe September 11-16 which includes performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 at the prestigious Lucerne Festival and in Turin, Italy. During May 2011 Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra perform Mahler’s Symphonies No. 2, 6 and 9 at Davies Symphony Hall and on tour in Europe including as part of a rare four-concert engagement at the famed Vienna Konzerthaus during the city’s commemoration of the Mahler anniversaries.

Decca releases two albums of the music of Nico Muhly, featuring the Los Angeles Master Chorale

This fall, Decca Classics will release two new albums featuring the music of eminent American composer Nico Muhly.

It is only natural that Decca Classics would wish to add this engaging musical figure to its impressive list of artists. The first Nico Muhly album Decca will release is A Good Understanding, a recording of six choral pieces performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, conducted by the chorale’s acclaimed musical director Grant Gershon. Muhly has said, “Writing choral music is one of my greatest pleasures in life,” and his joy in and connection to this genre are apparent in these works. A Good Understanding, which employs both adult and child voices, explores and expands upon traditional uses of music and text in religious and secular settings. This album will be released digitally as an iTunes exclusive on September 7 and physically on September 21.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Los Angeles Master Chorale,” said Paul Moseley, general manager of Decca. “Under Grant Gershon, the group has established itself as a premier chorus with innovative programming that presents important works by contemporary composers. Decca is delighted that our first disc with LAMC focuses on the choral music of Nico Muhly. His original yet accessible music continues in the line of Decca’s historical connections with composers such as Benjamin Britten, Michael Torke and Mark-Anthony Turnage."

The second album, I Drink the Air Before Me, will be released digitally and physically alongside the physical release of A Good Understanding on September 21. Conceived as the score for a dance work by choreographer Stephen Petronio and performed as part of the 25th anniversary of the Stephen Petronio Dance Company in 2009, the music of I Drink the Air Before Me received high praise throughout the press. The New York Times raved, "...the score, by Nico Muhly, evokes turbulent undercurrents in which the frantic sounds of flute and strings are woven with the more tumultuous notes of a trombone and piano. Without being literal, the music and choreography create a sonic, ephemeral wave." Following the release of the album, the full work will be performed in London's Barbican Hall on October 5 and 6.

Vladimir Ashkenazy Records Bach's 6 Partitas for the First Time

"Vladimir Ashkenazy is one of the great pianists of modern times, with a legacy of landmark solo and concerto recordings to challenge anybody's" – The Daily Telegraph

Vladimir Ashkenazy has been an exclusive recording artist with Decca since 1963, and in all his 200 albums as pianist or conductor he has never recorded Bach's monumental 6 Partitas (BWV 825-830). The "undisputed legend" (Time Out) brings a lifetime of musical discernment to these immense pieces, available from Decca on August 10, 2010.

Published under the general title of Clavier-Übung (Keyboard Practice), the 6 Partitas were immediately popular and quickly became core repertoire for all keyboard players. Each partita, or suite of dance movements, is unique in form and originality, and combines the engaging qualities of grace, playfulness and nobility.

These were the last set of suites for solo keyboard that Bach composed (though the first to be published) and are the most technically challenging. Brilliantly conceived with innumerable musical details to amuse and fascinate the most intellectual of listeners, these 6 partitas are also immensely charming and endlessly enjoyable to hear without focusing on the techniques being used by Bach.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces “Rusty Musicians with the BSO” Concert, September 21

February 2010 Rusty Musicians' event at Strathmore prompts Baltimore foray

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announces the much-anticipated “Rusty Musicians with the BSO” on Tuesday, September 21 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Amateur musicians are invited to join members of the BSO on stage to rehearse and perform Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and the finale from the 1919 version of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite led by BSO Music Director Marin Alsop. To accommodate a large amount of participants, the evening will be split into four separate sessions, beginning at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. “Rusty Musicians with the BSO” is in keeping with the BSO’s vision to increase the community’s involvement in music and serve as a cultural resource for the Baltimore-Washington region. Registration for “Rusty Musicians” is now open at BSOmusic.org/rusty. General admission tickets are available for $10.

For the first “Rusty Musicians with the BSO” held at the Music Center at Strathmore in February 2010, more than 600 amateur musicians signed up for a chance to perform with members of the BSO. Over the course of two evenings, amateurs from across the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area performed alongside the Orchestra for an informal audience at the Music Center at Strathmore led by BSO Music Director Marin Alsop. “By engaging patrons in this directly participatory experience, we are tearing down the walls that separate us from our audiences,” said Maestra Alsop.

The first “Rusty Musicians with the BSO” at the Music Center at Strathmore received rave reviews from participants and national media alike. “I'm 72 years old and have been playing in orchestras since I was 16,” Rusty participant Paul Silverman said. “In all of those years this was the most exciting and satisfying orchestral experience I've ever had.” Richard Lippman added, “This was an experience of a lifetime, an honor and a privilege to play with the BSO and a director who brings a joy to this orchestra and a commitment to the community like none other.”

To Register: Visit http://www.BSOmusic.org/rusty and fill out the application form. Acceptance is limited to the first 350 applicants. All participants must pay a $10 registration fee at check-in on the day of the event.

Rules: Participants must be age 25 or older and play a standard orchestra instrument from the following list: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, percussion or timpani. All participants will be placed in one of four time slots: 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Time slots will be assigned as instruments are needed. The BSO is unable to make accommodations for time changes or “swaps” between participants.

Deadlines: All applicants will be informed of their acceptance status by noon on Monday, August 2, 2010 through email. Applicants will have until noon on Monday, August 16, 2010 to inform the BSO of their intent to participate. Any applicant who does not respond by noon on Monday, August 16, 2010 will forfeit his/her space in the Rusty Musicians program. The BSO will fill all forfeited spaces with applicants who have been placed on the waiting list. Applicants who are on the waiting list and are later selected to participate will be informed of their acceptance by noon on Friday, August 20, 2010.

Christian Cudnik named host of SLSO live broadcasts on STL Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU is pleased to announce Christian Cudnik has been named the host of St. Louis Public Radio’s live broadcasts of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Wells Fargo Advisors Orchestral Series concerts which begin September 18.

Cudnik has served as the Saturday morning host of St. Louis Public Radio since 2003, and recently was named the broadcast voice of Classical 90.7 KWMU-3. A 17-year broadcast veteran, Cudnik attained the number one-ranked radio program in Philadelphia and was nominated for two Philadelphia AIR Awards including “Best Field Reporting,” for coverage of ‘Woodstock 99’ in Rome, New York, and “Best Evening Program Host,” at the heritage rock station WMMR. He has served as the host of several live radio broadcasts including concert coverage of The Rolling Stones, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and the Tibetan Freedom Concert from Washington DC.

“I am thrilled to be chosen as the host of this exciting new collaboration between these two great St. Louis institutions,” said Cudnik, “ I look forward to the new SLSO season and broadcasting live from historic Powell Hall.”

In addition to his radio work, Cudnik is an Emmy Award-winning producer having been honored in 2008 for “Best Historical Documentary” for the Higher Education Channel’s film Seeking Freedom. The documentary also earned him two 2009 Telly Awards. His biographical profiles and interviews are regularly featured on HEC-TV and in the Saint Louis Beacon. His photography received national exposure in 2005 in Pointe & Dance Magazine and this inspired the creation of his first independent documentary called, Enduring Tradition: Ballet in the Heartland. His second documentary, Collective Improvisation featuring the story of jazz in St. Louis, earned Cudnik one of three 2009 Telly Awards. Recently, Cudnik directed Wallace Herndon Smith: Artist without Boundaries, (premiered at the Sheldon Concert Hall in the spring of 2010), Footsteps Into the World Beneath (premiere scheduled for March 2011 at the Missouri History Museum) and a Native American-Archaeology documentary called, Uncovering Ancient Saint Louis (premiered in 2009 at the Missouri History Museum, and on The Archaeology Channel and aired on PBS affiliates in St. Louis, Southern Illinois, Springfield, Missouri and Topeka, Kansas).

Friday, August 6, 2010

London Philharmonic Orchestra 2010/11 Season begins at the Royal Festival Hall

Wednesday 22 September | 7.30pm
Mahler & Zemlinsky

Principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski opens the new season with the first of our Mahler Anniversary concerts. Mahler's magisterial Symphony No. 3 is a passionate portrayal of nature that balances the darkly primeval with utopian visions of the pastoral. Featuring the London Philharmonic Choir and the Trinity Boys Choir, this is sure to open the new season in style! This remarkable work is preceded by the haunting and deeply moving Six Maeterlinck Songs by Mahler's colleague and rival, Alexander Zemlinsky, sung by mezzo soprano Petra Lang.

Saturday 25 September | 7.30pm
Haydn, D'Amico, Dufay & Bartók

The Orchestra is joined by celebrated vocal quartet The Hilliard Ensemble for a vibrant programme that spans centuries and travels between the East and West. The Hilliard Ensemble will explore the Byzantine as they perform works by 15th century composer Dufay including his exquisite lament on the fall of Constantinople, and the world première of Matteo D'Amico's Flight from Byzantium. Haydn's Symphony No. 63 (La Roxelane) and Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin are also included in this fantastic concert.

Opera Colorado announces additional performance of La Bohème

Tickets on sale Monday, August 16 at 10 am,br> Special pre-sale event scheduled for Saturday, August 14

Opera Colorado announced today that tickets for the 2010-2011 season will officially go on sale to the general public on Monday, August 16 at 10:00 am.

Tickets will be available to Opera Colorado performances of Puccini's popular masterwork La Bohème. Performance dates are Saturday November 6, Tuesday November 9, and Friday November 12 at 7:30 pm and Sunday November 14 at 2:00 pm. The company announced that to accommodate public demand, a fifth performance of the opera would be added on Tuesday November 16 at 7:30 pm. All performances take place at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex at 14th and Curtis in downtown Denver. Ticket prices start at $30 and range to $165.

Tickets will also go on sale for the company's 2011 performances of Dvořák's Rusalka, the company's first Czech opera playing February 12, 15, 18 and 20, 2011. Also on sale will be Rossini's Cinderella (La Cenerentola), playing April 30, May 3, 6 and 8, 2011. Ticket prices for these performances range from $20 to $150.

The public has a one-day opportunity to purchase tickets with no service charges on Saturday, August 14 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. This special pre-sale event is the public's first chance to get tickets before the official on-sale date. This is the only day of the year when the public can avoid paying Ticketmaster service charges. The offer is only available at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Saturday the 14th. This offer is not available online or over the phone.

Additional information about all three performances in the Opera Colorado season is available at the company's website: OperaColorado.org or by calling the ticket office at 303.468.2030.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 2010 Gala Concert Features Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Sept. 11

Benefit tickets for Gala Celebration still available

Heralding the start of Baltimore’s social season, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual Gala Celebration and Concert on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The Gala Concert features Music Director Marin Alsop leading the BSO and world-renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg in Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Continuing the tradition of showcasing local artists at the Gala Concert, soprano Jennifer Edwards will sing Villa-Lobos’ “Aria” from Bachiana brasileira No. 5, and guitarists Petrit Ceku, Marco San Nicolas, Jeremy Lyons and Gonzalo Arias Contreras will play Rodrigo’s Allegretto from Concierto Andaluz. Washington, D.C.-based flamenco dancers Anna Menendez and Edwin Aparicio will perform to excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen. The program concludes with Salerno-Sonnenberg, the flamenco dancers and the guitarists joining forces in de Falla’s Spanish Dance No. 1 from La Vida Breve. In addition to kicking off the 2010-2011 season, the Gala Concert’s music and artists celebrate the upcoming National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15. Tickets for the Gala Concert are available for $50 and $75; benefit tickets for the Gala Celebration start at $500.

The Gala Celebration treats patrons to an evening of entertainment and fine dining provided by Classic Catering. Pre- and post-concert gala festivities will take place in a grand event tent located just outside of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. This year’s gala chairpersons are PNC Bank’s Regional President of Greater Baltimore, Lou Cestello, and his wife Millie. The BSO’s Gala Celebration is the organization’s largest and most important fundraising event each season, raising funds to support the Orchestra’s educational outreach programs in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.


Saturday, September 11, 2010 – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)

The Celebration Gala is a black-tie event.

6:30 p.m.— Gala Celebration, with dining and entertainment—Gala Tent
7:30 p.m.—Doors open for Gala Concert—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
8:30 p.m.—Gala Concert featuring violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg—JMSH
9:45 p.m.—Post-concert party and desserts—Gala Tent

Tickets for the Gala Celebration are available individually or in sponsor groups of 10, and start at $500 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Gala Celebration, contact the BSO Development Department at 410.783.8054.

Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. – JMSH

The Gala Concert is black-tie optional.

Marin Alsop, conductor
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin
Jennifer Edwards, soprano
Edwin Aparicio, flamenco dancer
Anna Menendez, flamenco dancer
Gonzalo Arias Contreras, guitar
Petrit Ceku, guitar
Jeremy Lyons, guitar
Marco San Nicolas, guitar

Ginastera: “Malambo” from Estancia
Bizet: Excerpts from Suite No. 1 and Suite No. 2 from Carmen
Villa-Lobos: “Aria” from Bachiana brasileira No. 5
Rodrigo: “Allegretto” from Concierto Andaluz
Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
de Falla: “Spanish Dance No. 1” from La Vida Breve
7:30 p.m.—Doors open for Gala Concert, refreshments available for purchase—JMSH
8:30 p.m.—Gala Concert—JMSH

Tickets for the Gala Concert are $50 and $75 and are available at the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin nominated for Gramophone Awards 2010 Artist of the Year

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, London Philharmonic Orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor, has been shortlisted for the 2010 Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year. Yannick is in fine company on a shortlist that includes such illustrious musicians as Plácido Domingo, Paul Lewis and Antonio Pappano.

You can support Yannick by voting for him at www.gramophone.co.uk

You will need to register to vote but this only takes a few moments. Voting is open until Tuesday 31 August.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Julia Fischer's recording of Paganini's 24 Caprices & DVD of her piano debut released by Decca Sept. 7

Digital downloads of the Paganini 24 Caprices available exclusively from iTunes August 31 and both releases available in stores September 7

Violinist Julia Fischer’s recording of Paganini’s 24 Caprices will be released by Decca in the U.S. digitally on August 31 exclusively at the iTunes store with the recording available in stores September 7. On the same day, Decca will also release a DVD of Ms. Fischer’s 2008 professional piano debut performing the Grieg Piano Concerto at a concert at which she also performed the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3.

Ms. Fischer signed an exclusive recording contract with Decca in 2008 and her first album of Bach Concertos recorded with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields was released in January 2009. Ms. Fischer hopes that her new recording will help to dispel the reputation of Paganini’s 24 Caprices as merely virtuosic showpieces: “The Caprices represent 24 moods – little musical ideas, each one different, each one appealing.”

Ms. Fischer, now 27, first heard the 24 Caprices when she was eight years old at a children’s music course at which Austrian violinist Thomas Zehetmair performed: “I thought, these are the most difficult things a violinist can play. When I was 10, I learned my first Caprice – number 17 –and I felt like I was a real, true violinist.”

Ms. Fischer, internationally renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, attributes her discovery of Robert Schumann’s transcription of the sixth piece, the ‘Trill Caprice’, to her desire to seriously study Paganini and ultimately to record the Caprices: “Unlike many critics and biographers, Schumann did not perceive this man as a ‘Devil’s Fiddler’ or a circus act. He recognized the musical power of these 24 miniatures, and what a musical poem he made out of it (the Caprice No. 6).”

To prepare for the recording, made at Munich ’s August Everding Hall, Ms. Fischer says she put down her violin and set aside any thought of the technical challenges the pieces present: “I looked at the score and the musical background of the pieces, completely forgetting the technical challenges. After making a musical idea in my head, I then tried to make it work.”

In seeking to unlock the meaning and emotion of each piece, she deliberated over bowings, over phrasing, over figurations and, contrary to her usual practice, did not insist on following exactly what was written in the score. For example, she recorded Caprice No. 6 with a mute and without, even though there is no indication in the score of a mute: “The one with mute clearly sounded better and more logical. Why shouldn’t a composer who spent his whole life exhaustively exploring the possibilities of violin playing, who thought up mixed bowings and left-hand pizzicato, not also have used a mute?”

Ms. Fischer says Paganini’s contribution to music extends far beyond the violin: “I think that we really forget that most of the music of the 19th century we would not have without Nicolai Paganini.”

Kristjan Jarvi Energizes National Repertory Orchestra with Expressive Grace

Breckenridge Comes Alive with Concert of Holst, Mozart and Bartók

Estonian-born, American raised Kristjan Jarvi conducted a blistering performance with the talented musicians of the National Repertory Orchestra at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center last night. Conducting both Holst's "Jupiter" from The Planets and Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra from memory, while highlighting soloists from the orchestra in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertanta in E-flat Major, Jarvi displayed mastery of the music and graceful expression drawing out a stunning performance from a talented, but young orchestra. Maestro Jarvi kept the energy from start to finish at a fevered pitch practically vaulting the audience out of their seats to applaud.

"Jupiter" is a popular crowd pleaser and started the concert on a high note. Jarvi took the entrance of the second theme faster than most creating a buzz of excitement leading up to the main chorale. He slowed the pace slightly for the horn entrance, but didn't lose any impact. As the piece continues to build from this point Jarvi extended his enthusiasm for the music through the orchestra to a glorious conclusion.

The Sinfonia Concertante featured a pair of young soloists from the orchestra, Assistant Concertmaster Karin Andraesen and Principal Viola Elizabeth Breslin. Jarvi captured the classical style of Mozart's music perfectly, emphasizing the occasional emphatic pulse in the double basses with shoulder shrugs, while icing over the flowing melodic lines with a gliding hand. The orchestra responded to Jarvi's every move, all the while providing perfect accompaniment to the talented soloists. The first movement was so entrancing the audience broke into applause without thought of more to come.

The National Repertory Orchestra is comprised of performers from all over the world selected from over 800 auditions. These talented musicians come together for a two month long performance run with concerts twice a week. Last night's concert was nearing the end and yet the was no evidence of exhaustion or fatigue. Quite the opposite, the ensemble seemed to be more energized than many professional orchestras I've seen. Obviously they thoroughly enjoyed playing with Kristjan Jarvi.

"He's really fun. He brings a lot of energy into the performance making a talented orchestra play even better."
- Brandi Phillips, Co-Concertmaster

The second half of the program was the incredible Concerto for Orchestra by Béla Bartók. This difficult piece was chosen to show off the many talented musicians in the orchestra and did extremely well at just that. The opening movement with the sombre theme in the low strings and the disjointed fanfare is a challenge to do well, yet the orchestra captured each moment beautifully. There was a moment when Jarvi wanted the tempo to speed up and the orchestra responded, not only matching his tempo but heightening the energy in the music. In the final movement, like he did with "Jupiter", Jarvi took the tempo up a notch or two. What is already a demanding piece of music, became frantic and frenzied. Yet, even as the fingers of the first violins practically burst into flame, the musicians maintained focus and control.

Kristjan Jarvi captured the essence of the very diverse musical program and yet brought his own fresh, vigorous style to it. Holst was heroic and then some. Mozart was classical and still nuanced. Bartók was bold and yet subtle. Jarvi kept the music flowing and dancing, swamming and pouncing, pounding and delicate. The concert ran the gamut from heroic to manic, delightful to breathtaking, full of energy and life.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra at Edinburgh International Festival with Norrington and Ticciati

SCO Principal Conductor, 27 year-old Robin Ticciati, makes his Edinburgh International Festival debut with a programme including the world premiere of a new work composed by Kevin Volans, while Sir Roger Norrington* steps up to the podium to replace the late Sir Charles Mackerras for a concert performance of Mozart’s heroic Idomeneo with the acclaimed SCO Chorus and a stellar cast including Joyce DiDonato, Rosemary Joshua, Emma Bell and Kurt Streit.

Mozart Idomeneo
A mythological story of love and jealousy, sacrifice and exile, natural disaster and divine intervention set in the aftermath of the Trojan Wars.
Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Roger Norrington
Joyce DiDonato Idamante
Rosemary Joshua Ilia
Emma Bell Elettra
Kurt Streit Idomeneo
The concert will be dedicated to the memory of Sir Charles Mackerras (Broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 18 September at 6.00pm)

Rebel Les Elémens
Kevin Volans Symphony: Daar Kom die Alibama (EIF commission, World Premiere supported by Donald and Louise MacDonald)
Poulenc Concerto for two pianos
Bizet Symphony in C
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Robin Ticciati
Katia and Marielle Labèque, piano
Another SCO highlight at the Edinburgh International Festival is Europe’s largest open-air classical music event, the Bank of Scotland Fireworks Concert on 5 September. This year the pyrotechnics are choreographed to the music of Hollywood including Bernstein’s score for Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront and Bernard Herrmann’s for Marnie. SCO will be conducted by Clark Rundell.

21st Annual Bard Music Festival “Berg and His World” Opens Friday, August 13 with “Alban Berg: The Path of Expressive Intensity”

First of Two Festival Weekends Presents Six Concerts Addressing “Berg and Vienna”, with Orchestral, Chamber, Instrumental, and Vocal Music by Berg, plus Contemporaries’ Compositions

The 21st annual Bard Music Festival opens here on Friday, August 13 for Weekend One: Berg and His World – Berg and Vienna. Leon Botstein, co-artistic director of the Bard Music Festival, delivers a pre-concert talk entitled “Alban Berg: The Path of Expressive Intensity,” which is followed by a chamber program tracing Berg’s stylistic development from early works like the Seven Early Songs (1905-08) to the maturity of his Lyric Suite (1925-26). While usually hailed as a pioneer of the modernist movement along with Schoenberg and Webern, at the Bard Music Festival Berg is considered in a richer and more nuanced context as a child of Johann Strauss II’s Vienna, and a contemporary of composers including Mahler, Zemlinsky, Pfitzner, Reger, Busoni, Karl Weigl, and Korngold. Each of the six concerts is augmented by a pre-concert talk by a distinguished scholar, namely Byron Adams, Antony Beaumont, Mark DeVoto, Christopher H. Gibbs, Sherry D. Lee, and Botstein himself; Botstein also leads the resident American Symphony Orchestra in the weekend’s two orchestral programs. Among the many notable musicians performing at the festival are singers Christiane Libor, Christine Goerke, Marnie Breckenridge, and Thomas Meglioranza; pianists Jeremy Denk, Alessio Bax, and Danny Driver; the Daedalus Quartet; and violinists Akiko Suwanai and Soovin Kim.

During this first weekend (a second follows on August 20-22), additional events shed further light on “Berg and Vienna”, contextualizing the composer within the cultural melting pot he shared with Schoenberg, Mahler, and Freud. Bard Music Festival audiences can take in a panel discussion on “Berg: His Life and Career” and attend a performance with commentary on “Eros and Thanatos,” the conflicting drives that Freud identified as governing human nature. “The Orchestra Reimagined” – the weekend’s final program, on Sunday at 5:30 pm – features Berg’s Kammerkonzert of 1923-25, his first work to use a tone row, alongside similarly pared-down orchestral works by Schoenberg, Busoni, and Hindemith. Round-trip transportation by coach from Columbus Circle for the Sunday late-afternoon performance is available (call 845-758-7900 for details).

Rarities offered over the weekend include early works by Berg and Webern; the music of Alma Mahler; and compositions by Berg and Schoenberg’s students, among them the eminent philosopher and sociologist Theodor Adorno.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Viktoria Mullova UBS Soundscapes: Artist Portrait with the London Symphony Orchestra

Viktoria Mullova, one of today’s great violinists, is the London Symphony Orchestra’s UBS Soundscapes: Artist Portrait in 2010. She will perform three violin concertos with the Orchestra: Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2, conducted by Andris Nelsons on 30 September; Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto conducted by Kristjan Järvi on 28 October and on 21 December, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Mullova will give a recital with fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, performing Beethoven and Schubert, on 22 October at LSO St Luke’s, and on 26 October her new musical project with the Matthew Barley Ensemble, The Peasant Girl will be presented as part of the UBS Soundscapes: Eclectica series. Joined in LSO St Luke’s by pianist Julian Joseph, they will explore the gypsy-rooted Hungarian folk music of Bartók and Kodály, as well as special arrangements by Matthew Barley of music by influential American jazz band Weather Report.

‘I’m very excited that I was chosen to be artist in residence with a great orchestra like the LSO. It was the first English orchestra I played with in England in 1985, so that’s very special.’ - Viktoria Mullova

On 1 October from 2.30pm – 4.30pm Mullova will be the LSO’s Artist in Conversation, with practical demonstrations, at LSO St Luke’s. The event is part of the Centre for Orchestra programme, a unique collaboration between the London Symphony Orchestra, Guildhall School and the Barbican creating a forum in London for orchestral development in the 21st century. The conversation will focus on Mullova’s transition from Russian folk music to Western Baroque repertoire.

‘What’s impressed me about Viktoria as an artist is how she’s continued to extend the way she perfoms, and how she thinks about her music making. For an artist focus that’s an essential dimension to have.’ - Kathryn McDowell, LSO Managing Director

Viktoria Mullova studied at the Central Music School of Moscow and the Moscow Conservatoire. Her extraordinary talent captured international attention when she won first prize at the 1980 Sibelius Competition in Helsinki and the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1982 which was followed, in 1983, by her dramatic and much publicized defection to the West. She has since appeared with most of the world's greatest orchestras and conductors and at the major international festivals. She is now known the world over as a violinist of exceptional versatility and musical integrity. Her curiosity spans the breadth of musical development from baroque and classical right up to the most contemporary influences from the world of fusion and experimental music.


UBS Soundscapes: LSO Artist Portrait Viktoria Mullova

Thursday 30 September, 7.30pm, Barbican Hall
UBS Soundscapes: Artist Portrait
WAGNER Overture: Tannhäuser
PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No 2

Andris Nelsons conductor
Viktoria Mullova violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Tickets: £8 - £32

Friday 1 October, 2.30pm, LSO St Luke’s
Artist Conversation with Viktoria Mullova
Admission free, booking essential

Friday 22 October, 8.00pm, LSO St Luke’s
UBS Soundscapes: Artist Portrait
BEETHOVEN Sonata in E flat Op 12 No 3
SCHUBERT Grand Duo in A major D574
BEETHOVEN Sonata No 9 in A major Op 47 ('Kreutzer')

Viktoria Mullova violin
Kristian Bezuidenhout fortepiano
Tickets: £8 - £22

Tuesday 26 October, 8.00pm, LSO St Luke's
UBS Soundscapes: Eclectica
BARTÓK (transcr BARLEY) Five Duos
WEATHER REPORT (arr BARLEY) Pursuit of the Woman
BARTÓK (transcr BARLEY) Four Duos
KODÁLY Sonata for violin and cello
BRATSCH (arr BARLEY) Er Nemo Klantz

Viktoria Mullova violin
Matthew Barley cello
Julian Joseph piano
Paul Clarvis drums
Sam Walton percussion
Tickets: £8 - £22

Thursday 28 October, 7.30pm, Barbican Hall
UBS Soundscapes: Artist Portrait
BRITTEN Four Sea Interludes from ‘Peter Grimes
STRAVINSKY Violin Concerto
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra

Kristjan Järvi conductor
Viktoria Mullova violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Tickets: £8 - £32

Tuesday 21 December, 7.30pm, Barbican Hall
UBS Soundscapes: Artist Portrait
WEBER Overture: Der Freischütz
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No 4 ('Italian')

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Viktoria Mullova violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Tickets: £8 - £32

Secure online booking at lso.co.uk (£1.50 booking fee)
Box office: 020 7638 8891 open Mon-Sat 9am – 8pm, Sun 11am-8pm (£2.50 booking fee)
In person at the Advance Box Office in the Barbican centre (no booking fee) (Mon-Sat 9am – 9pm; Sun 12pm – 9pm)

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's Project 440 advances to the second round

The first round of composers to be eliminated from Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's Project 440 will be announced live on New York Public Radio this morning. The project, which began with 60 composer candidates and will conclude with the selection of four Orpheus commission recipients later this year, offers the public a rare glimpse into the ways new commissions come to be. Today's announcement narrows the field from 60 nominees down to 30; a subsequent round of elimination on September 9 will see 12 candidates advance to the final round, and the four winners will be announced in mid-October.

Orpheus designed Project 440 in keeping with the passion for new music and for transparency of the creative process that has been a hallmark of the orchestra since its inception in 1972. The project is documented online on the WQXR website, where fans and members of the public have engaged in lively debate about each of the candidates and Project 440 as a whole. Each composer nominee has a profile page that features samples of his or her previous work and the opportunity for the public to post reactions and comments. The website has fostered dialogue about the nature of commissioning, elements of Project 440 that resemble a popularity contest, and a number of other topics. All of the decisions regarding the elimination of candidates are made by a Selection Committee comprised of Orpheus musicians and staff as well as previously commissioned composers.

Orpheus cellists and Selection Committee members Jonathan Spitz and Eric Bartlett have created a series of videos to document the project from their perspective as well. Those videos are available through the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra YouTube channel.

The 30 composers selected to advance to the second round in Project 440 are:

Timothy Andres
Preben Antonsen
Tyondai Braxton
Yu-Hui Chang
Yao Chen
Donnacha Dennehy
Benjamin Ellin
Devin Farney
Aaron Grad
Judd Greenstein
Eric Guinivan
Yotam Haber
Martin Kennedy
Christopher Lee
James Lee III
David T. Little
Alexandre Lunsqui
Zibuokle Martinaityte
Dylan Mattingly
A.J. McCaffrey
Alex Mincek
Polina Nazaykinskaya
Clint Needham
Andrew Norman
Paola Prestini
Jonathan Russell
Sean Shepherd
Daniel Wohl
David Wolff
Cynthia Wong