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Showing posts from January, 2011

Milton Babbitt dies at 94

One of the giants of the Avant-garde movement in music, Milton Babbitt passed away Saturday, January 29th, 2011. He was 94. Composing for more than 60 years, an educator, innovator, founder of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for "life's work as a distinguished and seminal American composer."

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein’s first album on Sony Classical Bach: A Strange Beauty

The Only Traditional Classical Artist To Appear on the Billboard Top 200“Dinnerstein brings out the luminous, off-kilter splendor of this music in a way that is both fearless and sly.” - San Francisco ChroniclePianist Simone Dinnerstein’s latest album, Bach: A Strange Beauty (Sony Classical), makes its debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart. Dinnerstein is also the only Traditional Classical artist to grace the Billboard Top 200 chart which compiles the entire music industry’s top selling albums. In addition, this week the album is No. 4 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart (new artists across musical genres). Bach: A Strange Beauty also spent time as the No. 1 top selling album on Barnesandnoble.com and No. 2 selling album on Amazon.com, in good company with The Decemberists, Cake, The Black Keys and Bruno Mars. Last Sunday Dinnerstein was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Bach: A Strange Beauty, which is Dinnerstein’s first orchestral disc as well as her fi…

Juanjo Mena leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Pianist Sensation Yuja Wang in Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, Feb 10-13

Young Chinese pianist Yuja Wang joins forces with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), under the direction of Juanjo Mena, in a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto on Thursday, February 10 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Friday, February 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 13, 2010 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. This program will also feature the BSO’s first performance of Bruckner’s Sixth symphony since 1988. The monstrous solo part and lush orchestral writing of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto has made it one of his most popular works. Rachmaninoff composed this work after a bout with depression following his poorly received first symphony. The success of this work revitalized his composing career and brought him international fame as a concerto composer. The difficult virtuoso solo part finds itself in the capable hands of Yuja Wang, whom Gramophone magazine named the 2009 Young Artist of the Year. Like other major symphon…

Bernard Labadie Conducts Mozart's Requiem

All-Mozart program showcases the Oboe Concerto - a masterwork of immeasurable beauty featuring Colorado Symphony principal oboist Peter CooperJanuary may be one of the darkest months of the year, but the Colorado Symphony's upcoming all-Mozart concerts are sure to diffuse radiance and light throughout Denver. On January 28, 29 and 30, concertgoers will experience three Mozart masterworks, including a rare production of Mozart's illustrious Requiem featuring the Colorado Symphony Chorus, internationally-acclaimed vocalists, and the much-anticipated return of Bernard Labadie - one of today's leading conductors of the Baroque and Classical repertoire. Featured vocalists include soprano Shannon Mercer, mezzo-soprano Anita Krause, tenor James Taylor and bass Jeremy Galyon. These Colorado Symphony performances also include the Overture to The Magic Flute and the Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 314 featuring Colorado Symphony principal oboist Peter Cooper. For generations of music…

Colorado Symphony Family Series Presents Dvorák Comes To America

Family Series offers music lovers of all ages chance to explore Czech favorites, highlighting works by DvorákThe Colorado Symphony's acclaimed Family Series continues on Sunday, January 23 with "Dvorák Comes to America." This family-friendly concert features an engaging multi-media exploration of Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World," as well as his Carnival Overture. Parents, grandparents and children alike will enjoy learning about these great masterworks in a welcoming setting amid the excitement of a visit to Boettcher Concert Hall. The Denver Young Artists Orchestra will join the Colorado Symphony onstage for this "Side-by-Side" concert featuring the musicians of the Young Artists Orchestra, who range in age from eight to 23. In this annual musical collaboration, the Young Artists Orchestra performs alongside the musicians of the Colorado Symphony. Combined, the two orchestras will celebrate Czech favorites together! Dvorák's ni…

Leif Ove Andsnes Performs Brahms’s Epic Piano Concerto No. 2 with Jansons/Concertgebouw and Muti/CSO

“One of the most gifted musicians of his generation.”– Wall Street JournalFollowing performances with his hometown orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, as part of a season-long residency there, the celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes teams up with Mariss Jansons and the world-renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for concerts at home and on tour. Andsnes will alternately play two concertos – Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor (K. 491) and Brahms’s monumental, four-movement Piano Concerto No. 2 – with Jansons and the orchestra in Amsterdam (Feb 2 & 4) and on a six-city tour with stops in Hamburg, Germany (Feb 6), Copenhagen, Denmark (Feb 7), Oslo, Norway (Feb 8 & 9), Stockholm, Sweden (Feb 11), Luxembourg (Feb 13), and Paris, France (Feb 14). Soon after, Andsnes heads to the U.S. for further performances of the Brahms with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and its new music director, Riccardo Muti (Feb 17-19), before returning to Europe for concerts with the Ber…

Gilmore Artist Kirill Gerstein Kicks Off New Year with High-Profile Concerto Engagements

Kirill Gerstein, winner of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award and of lavish praise for his most recent solo recording, launches the New Year with high-profile concerto performances across Europe and the US. The last two weeks of January see the pianist performing Shostakovich’s Second with Esa-Pekka Salonen in Wales, Beethoven’s “Emperor” in Germany, Rachmaninoff’s First with the Baltimore Symphony, and the Shostakovich again with the St. Louis Symphony. Then in February Gerstein plays Brahms’s Second in Iceland and Venezuela, the latter performance under Gustavo Dudamel. Gerstein’s new solo recital album, released in early November by Myrios Classics, features Schumann’s Humoreske, Liszt’s B-minor Sonata, and the debut recording of contemporary British composer Oliver Knussen’s Ophelia’s Last Dance, which Gerstein premiered at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in May 2010. The New York Times lauded the disc as being “played with exquisite technique, refined musicianship, an…

Classical Musicians Need to Commit - to the point they make mistakes

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No guts no gloryThere are numerous discussions about what's wrong with Classical Music.... and this article is no different - except that what I'm asking Classical Musicians to do is break out of the rut they're in and start making mistakes, big ones, BOLD ones - ones that take them out of the "wasn't that nice" into the "wasn't that amazing." Greg Sandow wrote an article on the The classical music aura which talks about how some performances of classical music tend to be so "classical" they're off putting. I attend a number of classical music concerts in the Denver area. While the performances are excellently played, there is always an air of caution, an exactness in the performance that keeps it from going over the edge - so precise and technically perfect it's lost something. Now watch a performance by a pair of young cellists performing a cover of "Smooth Criminal". There are lots of classical elements in the…

Val Tidone International Music Competitions Announced

In 2011 five International Music Competitions will be organized: - "Val Tidone" Young Talents Competition
    Sections: Piano, Accordion, Strings, Chamber Music
- "Silvio Bengalli" Piano Prize
- "Contessa Tina Orsi Anguissola Scotti"
    Chamber Music Prize
- "Carlo Civardi" Accordion Prize
- "Egidio Carella" Composition CompetitionBesides that, a Special Prize for Folk Music will be assigned. We will offer money prizes and concerts in Europe and Asia (2011 edition total prizes amount: euro 26.000,00 + 10 concerts), publication and performance of the selected scores. The Val Tidone International Music Competitions require high professional standard. Therefore a prize obtained in those contests represents a valuable passport toward an international career. For more information visit www.valtidone-competitions.com

Second Annual Rusty Musicians Event with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announced for April 14 at Strathmore

Amateur conductors invited to participate in a master class with Music Director Marin AlsopThe Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announces the return of “Rusty Musicians with the BSO” on Thursday, April 14 from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Amateur musicians are invited to join members of the BSO on stage to rehearse and perform Sibelius’ Finlandia and Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave led by BSO Music Director Marin Alsop. The evening will include two 60 minute sessions, beginning at 8 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. Previous Rusty Musician events offered 40 minute sessions. This new format responds to qualitative feedback from previous Rusty Musicians requesting more time on stage to collaborate and perform with the BSO musicians and Marin Alsop. Registration for “Rusty Musicians” is now open at BSOmusic.org/rusty. Concert attendance is free and open to the public. Also new this session, the BSO will offer a one hour-long master class with Music Director Marin Alsop for tw…

Sony Classical Presents CD's and DVD's from the Met

ALL AVAILABLE JANUARY 25, 2011Sony Classical, in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera, proudly presents the first in a line of CD and DVD releases drawn from both the storied Met broadcast archive and the acclaimed series "The Met: Live in HD." On January 25, 2011, Sony Classical issues four multi-disc sets that represent the first official release on CD of historic Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts from 1947 to 1962, with complete live opera performances freshly remastered from the original sources. All-star vocal greats like Licia Albanese, Carlo Bergonzi, Jussi Björling, Franco Corelli, Giuseppe di Stefano, Lily Pons, Leontyne Price, and Bidù Sayão at the height of their careers. Also on January 25, Sony Classical releases four DVDs capturing some of the most acclaimed and requested recent productions from the award-winning, groundbreaking series "The Met: Live in HD": Puccini's Madama Butterfly, John Adams' Doctor Atomic, Verdi's Simon Boccaneg…

Unsuk Chin's Cello Concerto Receives U.S. Premiere

New York's Talea Ensemble Presents Unsuk Chin Composer Portrait Unsuk Chin's Cello Concerto (2009) will receive its U.S. premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Susan Mälkki with cellist Alban Gerhardt on February 10-12, 2011. The concerto, for which Chin received a British Composers Award, is dedicated to Gerhardt and was commissioned by the BBC Proms. It is Chin's fourth instrumental concerto to date, following her Grawemeyer Award-winning Violin Concerto. The U.S. premiere follows a hugely successful world premiere at the BBC Proms in August 2009 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Of that performance, the Sunday Times (London) wrote: "The greatest compliment you can pay a new work is the desire to hear it again, as with Unsuk Chin's Cello Concerto... (It) is surely destined for the repertoire." The work will also have German and Korean premieres in 2011. Chin describes the work as "antithetical to (her) other con…

"STREETCAR JOURNEY" CD Release on Feb. 5 features original Alex North Soundtrack to 1951 Film Classic

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Pianist Chie Sato Roden & chamber jazz ensemble Fire in July celebrate the release of their CD "Streetcar Journey," featuring the music of beloved American film composer Alex North (1910-1991) and his magnificent, jazz-inflected score to the 1951 classic "A Streetcar Named Desire." The concert takes place on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm at the Tenri Cultural Institute (www.tenri.org), located in New York’s Greenwich Village on the ground floor of 43A West 13th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Admission is free. Call 646-338-7456 for more information. The performance will feature Chie Sato Roden, piano, and Fire in July: (Jody Redhage cello, voice, compositions, arrangements; Alan Ferber trombone, compositions; Ken Thomson clarinet, bass clarinet; Tom Beckham vibraphone; Fred Kennedy drums & percussion) Chie Sato Roden, (www.chiesatoroden.com) a passionate proponent of new American and Japanese solo piano repertoire, was investigating potentia…

Pierre-Laurent Aimard Joins Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and on Tour

It was with the Cleveland Orchestra that Pierre-Laurent Aimard launched the current season, releasing his landmark all-Ravel album with the ensemble this past October. The partnership proved, as it has in the past, to be a winning one: BBC Music magazine pronounced the disc “utterly sublime,” Cleveland’s Plain Dealer deemed it “glorious,” and the Los Angeles Times and Chicago’s WFMT were among those that included it in their “Best of 2010” lists and holiday gift guides. Now Aimard rejoins the orchestra under its music director, Franz Welser-Möst, for three weeks of concerts, crowned with a Carnegie Hall appearance on Saturday, February 5. In New York, as at the orchestra’s Miami residency (Jan 28 & 29) and on tour in Ann Arbor (Feb 1) and Newark (Feb 6), the pianist will perform Schumann’s sole Piano Concerto (1845). Additionally, for three concerts at the Cleveland Orchestra’s Severance Hall home (Jan 20-22), at its Indiana University residency (Jan 25), and on tour at Chicag…

The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst’s first Indiana University Residency to take place January 24-26

Groundbreaking residency will involve every principal musician of the Orchestra teaching and the IU Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra musicians sharing the stage in rehearsal Centerpiece of the residency is a concert by The Cleveland Orchestra led by Franz Welser-Möst on January 25 with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard as soloist at the IU AuditoriumMusic Director Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra’s first residency at Indiana University will take place January 24-26 in Bloomington, Ind , with the scope of activities providing students with unprecedented access and exposure to one of the country’s major Orchestras over three days. On Monday, January 24 all 17 of The Cleveland Orchestra’s principal musicians will lead orchestral repertoire master classes with students from the Indiana University (IU) Jacobs School of Music. Musicians in the IU Orchestra will also have the rare opportunity to sit side-by-side with Cleveland Orchestra players in a shared rehearsal led by…

San Francisco Opera Announces 2011-12 Season

San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley today revealed repertory plans, casting and productions for the 2011–12 Season, the Company’s 89th season. Nine operas will be presented: Heart of a Soldier, a world premiere commissioned on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks; three Company repertory premieres of Lucrezia Borgia, Xerxes and Nixon in China; two new San Francisco Opera production premieres—Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute; a new co-production of Attila with Teatro alla Scala; and Turandot and Carmen, revivals of two classic productions popular with San Francisco audiences. Seventy-four opera performances will be presented at the War Memorial Opera House beginning Friday, September 9 with a gala opening of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot. Throughout the season, San Francisco Opera will present some of the world’s leading singers including Renée Fleming, Francesco Meli and Vitalij Kowaljow (Lucrezia Borgia); Melody M…

Alberto Veronesi Conducts Giordano’s Fedora On a New Recording to be Released by Deutsche Grammophon on Tuesday, January 25

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Alberto Veronesi conducts Umberto Giordano’s Fedora featuring Angela Gheorghiu in the title role of Princess Fedora Romazov, Plácido Domingo as Count Loris Ispanov, and the Orchestre symphonique et Chœurs de la Monnie, on a new recording to be released in the U.S. on Tuesday, January 25 by Deutsche Grammophon. In an early review of the recording, The Times (London) wrote: “Veronesi, with the orchestra and chorus of La Monnaie in Brussels, lavishes affection on Giordano’s score.” The album also features soprano Nino Machaidze as Countess Olga Sukarev and baritone Fabio Maria Capitanucci as De Siriex. Fedora is Mr. Veronesi’s sixth album in an ongoing collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon of recordings of lesser known works of the Italian verismo operatic repertoire. Previously released albums in the series include the critically acclaimed complete recording of Puccini’s early opera Edgar with Plácido Domingo in the title role (2006); an album of original editions and alternative ve…

Decca Signs Exciting Polish Soprano Aleksandra Kurzak

Decca Classics has signed an exclusive recording contract with the young Polish soprano, Aleksandra Kurzak, who, as one of the most exciting young singers on the international opera stage, has been thrilling press and public alike with performances in Europe and the US. Aleksandra Kurzak’s debut recording with Decca – which will be released in Autumn 2011 – will be a showcase of contrasting lyric and coloratura arias. Just recorded with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, conducted by its dynamic young Music Director Designate Omer Wellber, the album will focus on roles which she has either performed or is preparing to sing on stage: Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, bel canto roles from Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Bellini’s I Puritani and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, plus the First Act scena from La Traviata, which showcases Kurzak’s effortless agility as well as the full, warm intensity of a Verdi lyric soprano. The disc also acknowledges the soprano’s roo…

Denver's Top Ticket: Mozart's Requiem

Bernard Labadie makes a triumphant return after highly successful Mozart concerts last season, this time with three other Mozart masterpieces: Overture to The Magic Flute; the Oboe Concerto with Principal Oboe Peter Cooper; and Requiem, featuring the magnificent Colorado Symphony Chorus. Tickets available online at www.coloradosymphony.org or call the box office at 303.623.7876.MASTERWORKS SERIES
Mozart's Requiem
1/28 - 7:30 p.m
. 1/29 - 7:30 p.m.
1/30 - 2:30 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall

Bernard Labadie, conductor
Peter Cooper, principal oboe
Shannon Mercer, soprano
Anita Krause, mezzo-soprano
James Taylor, tenor
Jeremy Galyon, bass
Colorado Symphony Chorus / Duain Wolfe, director

MOZART / Overture to The Magic Flute
MOZART / Oboe Concerto
MOZART / Requiem

Music From Japan Festival 2011 Celebrates Japanese Flutes and Song in NYC and Washington DC

Music From Japan and its Artistic Director, Naoyuki Miura, are thrilled to present Festival 2011: a weekend of events in New York City’s Baruch Performing Arts Center (Feb 12 & 13, 2011), and a concert at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC (Feb 16). Now in its 36th season, the festival introduces the worlds of Japanese song and flutes, showcasing the talents of leading exponents of both art forms through traditional and contemporary music, including world premieres of two new Music From Japan commissions. In New York the festival is presented in two programs: “Flutes from the East and the West,” which explores the relationship between these two great musical cultures from multiple perspectives, and “Song from the Spirit of Japan,” which celebrates the nation’s enduring song-setting tradition. “Flutes from the East and the West,” at the Baruch Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 12, features Kohei Nishikawa and Elizabeth Brown performing new and traditional music for We…

The Dallas Opera Is Proud to Announce “Tragic Obsessions” – Its Third Season in the Winspear Opera House

The Dallas Opera is pleased to announce the five darkly dazzling operas that comprise the company’s 2011-12 season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. With opening night on Friday, October 21, 2011, the 55th international season – “Tragic Obsessions” – will showcase compelling works by Donizetti, Janácek, Wagner, Verdi, and Mozart, and will include an outstanding Dallas opera-in-concert, important debuts, and some of the company’s most renowned productions. Each opera will feature the superbly talented Dallas Opera Orchestra and Dallas Opera Chorus and will be performed in its original language, with English translations projected above the stage at every performance. Exclusive subscriber extras include “A Cabaret Evening with Patricia Racette” and a fun-filled family concert starring soprano Ava Pine and the Dallas Opera Orchestra.

Denver's Ellie Caulkins Opera House Free and open to all

This month, you're invited to be part of the excitement as opera's future stars compete for a chance to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions begin with Preliminaries on Friday, January 21 at 9:30am. District Finals follow Saturday, January 22, at 12:30pm, and the Rocky Mountain Regional Finals will be held Saturday, January 29 at 1:30 pm. All auditions will be held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 950 13th Street. They are free and open to the public. Winners of the Regional competitions advance to the National Finals on the Metropolitan Opera stage in March 2011 where they compete for a $15,000 prize. Approximately 100 former participants in the National Council Auditions appear on the Met roster every season and nearly half of those are National Winners. Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Deborah Voigt, and many other opera luminaries were winners …

Simone Dinnerstein returns to Bach on her first orchestral disc

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PIANIST SIMONE DINNERSTEIN Bach: A Strange Beauty“an utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation” – The New York TimesSimone Dinnerstein’s first album on Sony Classical Bach: A Strange Beauty sees the pianist return to Bach, this time combining three transcriptions of his Chorale Preludes with one of his English Suites and two of his Keyboard Concerti. Simone Dinnerstein’s special affinity to the music of Bach was cemented when her self-funded recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations took the US Billboard charts by storm on its release in 2007. The album drew intense critical acclaim and Dinnerstein’s unique playing garnered such impressive reviews as that from The New York Times "An utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation". Her intense and expressive playing style as well as her individual approach to Bach’s music is also revealed in her debut on Sony Classical. The mixed programme offers a range of sonorities and textures betwee…

Juanjo Mena leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Brahms’ Violin Concerto, January 27-29

Guest violinist Augustin Hadelich makes BSO debutViolinist Augustin Hadelich makes his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) debut, under the direction of Juanjo Mena, in a performance of Brahms’ Violin Concerto on Thursday, January 27 at 8 p.m. and Friday, January 28 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, January 29 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Audience-favorite Juanjo Mena will also lead the BSO in Roberto Sierra’s Sinfonia No. 4, commissioned by the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 85, “La Reine.” Johannes Brahms composed his violin concerto at the peak of his career, to be performed by his good friend, Joseph Joachim, who premiered the work in 1879. The concerto was a product of these close colleagues’ collaboration, with Brahms frequently conferring with Joachim about figurations and orchestral balance to compliment the violin. The piece finds itself again in able hands, performed by young virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, …

Decca Releases World-Premiere DVD Recording of Halévy’s Clari Featuring Cecilia Bartoli

Famed mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli recreates the 1828 triumph of the legendary Maria Malibran – original star and dedicatee of Halévy’s “tragi-comedy”, Clari – in this newly recorded DVD from Decca. Bartoli’s fascination with Malibran is well documented, most dramatically with the mezzo’s recording project, Maria, from 2007. This now forgotten opera received the star treatment from Bartoli and the Orchestra ‘La Scintilla’ of the Zurich Opera in this new production.

Tenor Joseph Calleja Reprises His Star-Making Role in Rigoletto, January 11-27

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Joseph Calleja, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2006 as Verdi’s Duke of Mantua, returns to the role at the Met in a January 11-27 run of Rigoletto. This season sees Calleja as a fixture at the great New York house; he began with performances as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème in December, inspiring the Associated Press to remark that he had “a voice unlike anyone else on the operatic scene today” and that there was “an alluring sweetness” and “irresistible tenderness” to it. After Rigoletto, the Maltese tenor returns to the Met in February and March to sing Edgardo opposite Natalie Dessay in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, which will be transmitted live on March 19 to movie theaters around the world, as part of the “Met: Live in HD” series. In addition to Calleja’s stage performances, January sees the U.S. release of EMI Classics’ DVD of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra from Covent Garden, starring Plácido Domingo in the title role and Calleja in his role debut as Gabriele Adorno.…

Iceland Symphony Orchestra Names Ilan Volkov Music Director Designate

Assumes Music Director and Chief Conductor Post in 2011–2012 SeasonIceland Symphony Orchestra announced today the appointment of Israeli conductor Ilan Volkov as Music Director and Chief Conductor. He will assume the role at the beginning of the 2011–2012 season with an initial three-year contract. The 2011-2012 season will also be the orchestra’s first in the brand new Harpa concert hall, a landmark building in Reykjavík’s waterfront area. During Volkov’s first season as Music Director and Chief Conductor in 2011–2012, he will conduct a minimum of six weeks during the regular concert season. He will conduct a minimum of nine weeks each season through to the end of his initial contract in 2014. In addition, the orchestra is planning international touring with Volkov during the contract period. Volkov will also curate an annual festival of contemporary music in Harpa concert hall, the first taking place in March 2012. “I am delighted to be taking up the post of Music Director and …

eighth blackbird takes Manhattan, with return to Carnegie Hall and launch of new “Tune-In” festival

“eighth blackbird is so good it’s dangerous.” – Boston Globeeighth blackbird’s last New York appearance in May moved New York Times critic Steve Smith to “env[y] a composer’s opportunity to challenge these versatile, expressive performers.” It is an opportunity that many of today’s most important composers are taking. On January 31, the Grammy Award-winning sextet returns to New York with further examples of the wealth of new music it has inspired, commissioned, and premiered, including Stephen Hartke’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Meanwhile, when it takes the playful and popular “Still Life” program to Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Then, still in the city on February 16-20, eighth blackbird helps launch the new “Tune-In” festival at the Park Avenue Armory, not only as performers but also – following its success as the collective music director of the 2009 Ojai Music Festival – as Tune-In’s curator. Festival highlights include the New York premieres of the group’s new, two-part “PowerFUL/LE…

Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, January 21-22

Concert part of the BSO's conversational Off the Cuff seriesMusic director Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony to be performed on Friday, January 21 at 8:15 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Saturday, January 22 at 7 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall as part of the BSO's Off the Cuff series. Alsop walks the audience through a time of political unrest in 1930's Russia that ultimately influenced Dmitri Shostakovich's epic Symphony No. 5. In this program, the Fifth symphony, allegedly subtitled, "the creative reply of a Soviet artist to justified criticism," vividly portrays Shostakovich's triumph over adversity. The BSO's Off the Cuff series offers a fresh take on classical music by exploring the lives of the composers, making the performances fun and engaging for music enthusiasts of any level. Please see below for complete program details. Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his fifth symp…

Opera Colorado presents the Rocky Mountain regional premiere of Dvorák's fairytale opera Rusalka

Opera Colorado presents Antonín Dvorák's rarely-performed masterpiece Rusalka for four performances only, February 12 through 20 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. This dynamic and visually compelling production will be the first time the opera has been performed in Colorado and the company's first opera performed in Czech. Rusalka will star soprano Kelly Kaduce in the title role. Opera News praised her work, writing, "Kaduce sings with a bell-like purity and silvery sweetness, and she suspends her legato with an effortless, sensual spin. A born actress, Kaduce is also a masterful illuminator of text." Rusalka is the story of a water sprite who longs to become human so she can be with the mortal man she loves. Rusalka sings the haunting "Song to the Moon," begging the celestial orb to tell the Prince of her love. The witch Jezibaba makes Rusalka's dreams come true. But when the Prince she loves is unfaithful, there are tragic results for all. Rusalka is…

The Airborne Toxic Event Joins Forces With Colorado Symphony For Rare, Unforgettable Concert Experience

"Nothing short of amazing," Airborne crosses musical boundaries with symphony collaborationThe Airborne Toxic Event "Poetry you can dance to...nothing short of amazing." – Los Angeles Times "The best debut CD of 2008." – The Boston Herald"Occasionally you get lucky and stumble across a band at the very moment they ignite the engines and blast off into the heavens. The Airborne Toxic Event just gets louder and richer until the music practically bursts at the seams and spills its steaming guts across the stage." – NME"Profoundly uplifting songs...a slice of Springsteen-sprinkled, classic indie rock." – QOn Saturday, January 22, Indie rock heroes The Airborne Toxic Event will join the Colorado Symphony for a rare collaborative performance at Denver's Boettcher Concert Hall. For one night only, concert-goers will undoubtedly learn that – contrary to popular belief – symphony orchestras can rock the house. The Colorado Symphony, led by…

Sondra Radvanovsky and Dmitri Hvorostovsky Release Verdi Opera Scenes Disc This February

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Any other startling secrets you’d like to share?
Sondra Radvanovsky: We are both goofballs. Every show of Trovatore, he’s done something to me onstage.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky: Anything, you know, to make her laugh in front of the audience.
S.R.: He blacked out a tooth. He painted a devil the size of a fist on his chest—and right when I’m singing to him, he pulls his shirt open and shows it. I lost it.
D.H.: Eyeballs!
S.R.: Oh, yes, he drew eyeballs on his eyelids. I mean, seriously. "True Verdi soprano" (Opera News) Sondra Radvanovsky and Dmitri Hvorostovsky--"the Verdi baritone of our time" (Los Angeles Times)--will release an album of Verdi Scenes with encores digitally on February 1, 2011 and physically on February 22, 2011. Fresh from their respective solo disc triumphs, Radvanovsky and Hvorostovsky are thrilled to come together for this project. Verdi Scenes will be available before its official release at the Metropolitan Opera gift shop during a signing with…

Members of YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 Announced Today

101 Musicians from more than 30 Countries will perform for a global audience at Sydney Opera House in March, 2011YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 is a partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Sydney Symphony, and other leading institutions of the classical music world.YouTube today announced the 101 musicians who have been selected to form YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 at Sydney Opera House. The announcement was made after a global audition held online at YouTube.com/Symphony. The winning musicians will be flown to Sydney for a week of rehearsals and concerts from March 14-20, 2011, with a final performance on March 20 that will be live-streamed around the world. The 97 members of YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 come from more than 30 countries, and range in age from 14 to 49 years old. They include amateur and professional musicians, students and teachers, and include some who have never set foot outside their home country. In addition, four soloi…

Colorado Symphony Appoints Scott O'Neil Resident Conductor

Colorado Symphony associate conductor O'Neil renews contract through 2012/13 seasonDENVER – January 10, 2011 – The Colorado Symphony is honored to announce the appointment of Scott O'Neil as resident conductor. O'Neil, who currently serves as the Symphony's associate conductor, has renewed his contract through the 2012/13 season. In his expanded role as resident conductor, O'Neil will focus on artistic leadership in programming, with particular emphasis on the Symphony's new Inside the Score series, in addition to leading performances throughout the season. "Scott O'Neil is an integral part of the Colorado Symphony and we're delighted that he will have the opportunity expand his role in artistic planning and program development as resident conductor," said James W. Palermo, president and CEO of the Colorado Symphony. "Scott has the wonderful combination of conducting talent and visionary leadership in developing programs. He also has an …

Tenor Joseph Calleja, a Fixture at the Met This Season, Reprises His Star-Making Role There: The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto

Joseph Calleja, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2006 as Verdi’s Duke of Mantua, returns to the role at the Met in a January 11-27 run of Rigoletto. This season sees Calleja as a fixture at the great New York house; he began with performances as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème in December, inspiring the Associated Press to remark that he had “a voice unlike anyone else on the operatic scene today” and that there was “an alluring sweetness” and “irresistible tenderness” to it. After Rigoletto, the Maltese tenor returns to the Met in February and March to sing Edgardo opposite Natalie Dessay in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, which will be transmitted live on March 19 to movie theaters around the world, as part of the “Met: Live in HD” series. In addition to Calleja’s stage performances, January sees the U.S. release of EMI Classics’ DVD of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra from Covent Garden, starring Plácido Domingo in the title role and Calleja in his role debut as Gabriele Adorno.…

Explore Dvorák's "New World" with The Colorado Symphony's "Inside The Score" Series

DENVER – January 7, 2011 – The Colorado Symphony's exciting new Inside the Score series continues in 2011 with "Dvorák's New World," an exploration of Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 in E Minor "From the New World" on Friday, January 21 at 7:30 p.m. During the first half of this Inside the Score concert led by Scott O'Neil, concertgoers experience a multi-media journey through this engaging masterwork, from its context in history to how it fits into the composer's output of works to the details of Dvorák's life that influenced its creation. During the second half, concertgoers experience the sparkling orchestration and melodic gifts of the full Symphony No. 9. Dvorák's ninth and final symphony – popularly known as his "New World Symphony" – is a masterwork that has stirred debate about uniquely "American music," the specific influences on the piece and Dvorák's own Bohemian musical heritage. Most appreciably, Dvorák'…

Experience "The Four Seasons" With The Colorado Symphony

Masterworks by Bach and Vivaldi create a perfect Denver evening with the Symphony DENVER – January 7, 2011 – Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," one of the most loved masterworks of all time, is the centerpiece of three must-attend concerts with the Colorado Symphony on January 14, 15 and 16. Vivaldi's masterpiece of charm and warmth will fill Boettcher Concert Hall with pure musical delight as acclaimed violinist Jennifer Koh and conductor Matthew Halls join the Colorado Symphony for a concert of undoubted Baroque favorites. Two Bach masterworks complete this beautiful program: Bach's Suite from the Easter Oratorio and Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D major – both long heralded as works of genius and inspiration that are an undoubted pleasure for audiences and musicians alike. The evening begins with Bach's joyous celebration of Easter. Triumphant in rich orchestration and breathtaking energy, the Orchestral Suite captures the spirit of the Easter Oratorio. It's n…