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Showing posts from July, 2011

Colorado Symphony's Popular Inside The Score Series Returns With "Henry & Me"

Film composer Charles Denler joins the Colorado Symphony for an exploration of how film scores come to life; audiences enjoy a Special Sneak Preview of animated feature film "Henry & Me"Emmy Award-winning composer Charles Denler joins resident conductor Scott O'Neil and the Colorado Symphony for "Henry & Me" – an exploration of how a film score comes to life – as the Colorado Symphony's popular Inside the Score series returns on Friday, October 7, 2011. Each season, Inside the Score offers an insightful, humorous and entertaining look at the world of symphonic music that appeals to both new concertgoers and classical music fans alike. At "Henry & Me," Denler and O'Neil will present an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the little-known world of film scoring. Then, concertgoers will enjoy a full screening and live orchestral accompaniment of the animated feature film "Henry & Me," starring Richard Gere, Chazz Palmint…

WQXR Names IMG Artists Vice President Martha Bonta Executive Producer, Live Events and Special Programming

Martha Bonta, a classical music administrator with wide-ranging experience in classical music programming and management, has been named Executive Producer, Live Events and Special Programming, announced WQXR Vice President Graham Parker today. In this role, Bonta will be responsible for shaping WQXR’s extensive live broadcasts, including the groundbreaking series ‘Carnegie Hall Live,’ season-long partnerships with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Met Opera, as well as distinctive relationships with the Frick Collection, Le Poisson Rouge and Merkin Concert Hall. In The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space – WQXR's innovative multiplatform live event venue – Bonta will envision a diverse range of live events, festivals and artist residencies with emerging and popular classical artists. In collaboration with the Executive Producer of The Greene Space, Bonta will execute community programming that immerses the live studio audience, as well as an online aud…

Joshua Bell To Open Coloraodo Symphony 2011/12 Masterworks Series

Classical music superstar Joshua Bell joins Colorado Symphony, led by Peter Oundjian, for thrilling one-night-only concert eventSuperstar violinist Joshua Bell joins conductor Peter Oundjian and the Colorado Symphony on Sunday, September 18 for a spectacular evening celebrating the opening of the Colorado Symphony's 2011/12 Masterworks Series. This one-night-only concert event spotlights a unique program, personally selected by Bell and featuring several of the repertoire's most beloved works for the violin. While the full program will not be revealed until closer to the concert date, Bell has already shared that he will perform the first movement of Bruch's highly popular Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. Currently, tickets for Joshua Bell with the Colorado Symphony are only available to Colorado Symphony season subscribers. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on August 1 and start from $29. Bell, who has enchanted audiences worldwide with his breathta…

Classical 105.9 FM WQXR to Celebrate Mostly Mozart with Live Broadcasts and Web Exclusives

Station to Present First Live Video Webcast of Festival on August 8 at www.wqxr.org/q2All-Mozart Webstream, Special Performances and Live Broadcasts Offered All Month Long at www.wqxr.orgThroughout the month of August, Classical 105.9 FM WQXR will celebrate MOSTLY MOZART FESTIVAL’s 45th season with an array of interviews, live radio broadcasts and online web exclusives. On Tuesday, August 2 at 8pm, WQXR – New York’s sole dedicated classical station – will kick off MOSTLY MOZART with WQXR hosts Jeff Spurgeon and Terrance McKnight. The opening night concert, featuring Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra conducted by Louis Langrée, will be presented from Avery Fisher Hall and complemented by interviews with Langrée, Christian Tetzlaff (Violin), Antoine Tamestit (Viola) and Susanna Phillips (Soprano). (full broadcast schedule below) Q2, WQXR’s webstream dedicated to new music, will also take part in the festivities, offering a live video webcast for the first time in MOSTLY MOZART’s hi…

Digital Self-Promotion: an example of doing it right

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by Jess AlbertineWe've been talking a lot lately about how to promote your music online. Here is an example of someone who, in my opinion, is doing it right. Jaime Ibarra is a flamenco guitarist and photographer. He's a member of the online art community deviantArt, and has quite a following as a photographer with almost 1.5 million pageviews over 5 years. Recently he posted a journal entry discussing his work on an upcoming album. Here is what he had to say:
I have always (even today) considered myself to be a better musician, than a photographer. Many people do not know...for the past 7 years, I've been working on my newest CD, tentatively titled, "The Virru Project". By "trade", I am a Flamenco guitarist...but for this project, I really wanted to collaborate with some of my musical heroes from around the planet. The biggest challenge was actually getting in contact with those I wanted to invite into the project. Not an easy task, as most of them ha…

James Conlon Receives A 2011 Echo Klassik Award

Conductor James Conlon has been honored with a 2011 ECHO Klassik Award, one of the most established and well known music awards in the world, in the category “Music DVD Recording of the Year (Documentation)” for his performance in the film A Surprise in Texas: The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The prize will be awarded to Mr. Conlon, as well as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, during a ceremony to be held October 2, 2011 at the Konzerthaus Berlin. The documentary follows James Conlon and the competitors of the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition during the rigorous three-week competition, offering an intricate view into the inner workings of the world's most prestigious piano competition, including intense rehearsals, preconcert rituals, and finally the receipt of the gold prize. The documentary features pianists Haochen Zhang of China , 19 – the youngest competitor – as well as blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, 20, of Japan and Yeol Eum So…

Operalia Winners Announced

Plácido Domingo's Operalia, which this year took place in Moscow, concluded Sunday with two first-prize winners, each of whom receives $30,000. Laureates soprano Pretty Yende of South Africa and tenor Rene Berbera of the U.S. were also the audience favorites. The ceremony began with Domingo receiving the Order of Friendship for his efforts in developing cultural exchange between Spain and Russia. He was presented the prize by Yuri Laptev, a former opera singer who is now a presidential aide. "Twenty years ago Domingo came to Saint Petersburg to perform at the Mariinsky Theater in Otello," said Laptev from the stage. "I could not even think then that we would be sharing one stage on an occasion like this." Domingo declared Order of Friendship "especially dear to me."Past winners of the competition, established in 1993, include Rolando Villazón, Erwin Schrott, and Joyce DiDonato.

First Fully-Staged New York Production of Richard Strauss’s Opera Die Liebe der Danae Opens Friday, July 29 at Bard SummerScape

“Bard's annual opera has become an indispensable part of the summer operatic landscape because the choice of works is invariably inspired and their productions distinctively creative.” – Musical AmericaBard SummerScape presents the first fully-staged New York production of Richard Strauss’s unjustly neglected opera Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae, 1940), opening Friday, July 29 at the celebrated Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College (five performances through August 7). The production stars soprano Meagan Miller, a grand finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and will be directed by dynamic young opera and theater director Kevin Newbury; both are making their SummerScape debuts. Set designs are by the renowned Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. The opera’s five performances (July 29 & 31; August 3, 5, & 7) feature the festival’s resident American Symphony Orchestra and music director Leon Botstein, whose 2001 Telarc recording of th…

No Response: What does it really mean in the Classical Music World?

We live in a civilized world, and part of being civilized is being polite. I wonder, however, if classical musicians have developed the habit of being too polite.I've made lots of comparisons to the classical music world and the publishing world. Partly, this is because my wife is an author and I see firsthand the process of getting new work noticed, but mostly as a process of trying to understand how the classical music world works (or doesn't). I don't know if I'm any closer to understanding, but some possibilities have occurred to me recently.
As a composer, I am constantly trying to get my music played. There are several conductors who like and perform pieces I've written (even commissioned new works). This is good. Wanting to gain a wider audience, I've sent dozens of scores to other conductors often getting no response --not even an "Thanks, but I'm not interested at this time."
I've been called narcissistic, and perhaps wanting fe…

Soprano Aleksandra Kurzak Releases Her Decca Debut Album, Gioia!, Available September 13th

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Kurzak to Appear With Both the Los Angeles Opera and Metropolitan Opera In 2011
Decca is proud to present Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in her Decca debut recording: Gioia! Kurzak, supported by conductor Omer Meir Wellber and the Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana, performs arias by Rossini, Mozart, Donizetti, Strauss II, Puccini, Verdi, Bellini and Moniuszko. The album will be released on September 13th in advance of Kurzak’s performances with the LA Opera in Così fan Tutte and the Metropolitan Opera in Hansel and Gretel.

Originally, Aleksandra Kurzak trained to be a violinist in her native Poland and only took her first voice lessons a mere three weeks before auditioning to study voice at the Karol Liniński Musical Academy. She was accepted and started on the road that would eventually bring her to the major opera houses of the world. Though Kurzak won many prizes in competitions, it was Plácido Domingo’s Operalia event in 2000 when she didn’t win a prize that had the most imp…

Why Symphony Tweets aren't getting the responses they should

Every major orchestra uses twitter now. Sometimes they post marketing blurbs, or links to marketing blurbs. Sometimes they pay for other people to put their tweets into various hash (#) groups to get broader focused attention. But mostly they are thinking the wrong way about tweets.


There is a wonderful article on The Secret to Using Twitter by Jason Seiden. He talks about what twitter really is - rather than linear thought as in a discussion, it's more an inner dialog.


Mostly the article talks about how people tweet and therefore how to glean information about them by their tweets --reading their minds, so to speak.


However, look at it inversely, how are my tweets coming across? What are people engaging in on Twitter and how? You'll find people are engaging in short "conversations" or status updates that require additional information to be a complete thought.


So, rather than tweeting,

"X_Symphony is performing Dvorak's 9th Symphony, New World tonig…

Video Game Heroes with the London Philharmonic Orchestra Sept 2nd

Come and hear the music that brings video games alive. The evening offers a rare opportunity to enjoy a captivating experience that conjures up both a taste of nostalgia and a sense of adventure. The evening's playlist includes music from Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, Super Mario Bros, Angry Birds, Little Big Planet, Heavenly Sword and more. Suitable for gamers & non-gamers, young & old! Andrew Skeet conductor Part of the Vision Sound Music festival at Southbank Centre
Friday 2 September 2011 | 7.30pm
Royal Festival Hall, LondonTickets for this concert are only available from the Southbank Centre Ticket Office £16-£39
0844 847 9920 (Daily, 9am-8pm)

Joseph Calleja Is “Live from Jerusalem” in Theaters across America on July 28

“The Maltese tenor’s beautifully rounded voice oozes old-school class – he’s shiveringly good.”– Times (London)Music lovers across America from Albuquerque to Zanesville can see and hear Joseph Calleja on Thursday, July 28, when he stars in “Live from Jerusalem”: a special one-night event to be beamed (with a time delay) to 480 U.S. theaters. The concert will present the Maltese tenor in a program of opera arias and duets, featuring renowned soprano Renée Fleming and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. For this special occasion (honoring the legacy of the great American tenor Richard Tucker), the two celebrated singers will perform excerpts from Verdi’s Rigoletto and La traviata, Puccini’s Tosca and Madama Butterfly, Gounod’s Faust, and Massenet’s Cléopâtre. When Calleja teamed up with Fleming for a recent Covent Garden production of La traviata, the Sunday Times observed: “Fleming gets luxury support from Joseph Calleja’s elegantly phrased Alfredo… . Not …

Deutsche Grammophon Releases Ildebrando D’Arcangelo’s All-New Recording of Mozart Arias, Available September 13th

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The Bass-Baritone Makes His LA Opera Debut in Così fan Tutte this September
Italian bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo returns to the start of his international career with his new Deutsche Grammophon recording of Mozart arias. He is joined by conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino for a selection of both popular and rare opera and concert arias, available September 13th in advance of his performances at the LA Opera in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte.

“Mozart is my god,” says Ildebrando D’Arcangelo simply. “He is the composer who inspired in me the passion for music and my career.” Right from the bass-baritone’s 1994 breakthrough performance in Parma as Leporello under Gardiner which established the young singer as a velvet-voiced charmer, to the recent triumphant addition of Don Giovanni to his repertoire, Mozart has been central to the singer’s work. “I feel that he is my ‘house composer’, and I think – I hope – my voice is ready to do him justice.”

D’…

Single Tickets for Colorado Symphony 2011/12 Season Available August 1st

Ticket sales for holiday and one-night-only events such as Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, Patti LuPone and Celtic Woman also available to public Monday, August 1
The Colorado Symphony announced today that single tickets for all 2011/12 season concerts will go on sale Monday, August 1 at 10 a.m. The Colorado Symphony's 2011/12 season line-up features a dynamic array of programs that speak to the passions and personal favorites of all music lovers. Among the stars joining the Colorado Symphony during the 2011/12 season are virtuoso violinists Joshua Bell and Karen Gomyo, GRAMMY®-nominated country music artist David Nail, the "First Lady of Broadway" Patti LuPone, Ireland's Celtic Woman, acclaimed pianists Valentina Lisitsa and Olga Kern, beloved soprano Renée Fleming, and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance company. These artists and many more are featured in a stellar line-up of concerts that form the Colorado Symphony's Masterworks, Pops, Inside the Score, Family and Holi…

Hilary Hahn Releases Charles Ives: Four Sonatas on October 11, 2011

She couldn't release it one day earlier for my birthday???
Hilary Hahn will release her newest album Charles Ives: Four Sonatas on October 11, 2011. Of recording these seldom-performed pieces, Hahn writes, "Their brooding, plotted beauty, their wit, their quicksilver modernity, and the dreams they evoke of a changing time and place, drew us through every hour." Hahn's long-time collaborator, pianist Valentina Lisitsa, joins her on the album.

This Deutsche Grammophon disc contains all four of Ives's sonatas for violin and piano. The First Sonata is relatively conservative: dense but mostly tonal. Packed with quotations from American folk music, the First Sonata in many ways evokes, in Ives's own words, "the sadness of the old Civil War days." The Second Sonata is split into three movements, each carrying an affective name: "Autumn", "In the Barn", and "The Revival". This sonata is, as album liner notes written by Robert K…

The World will Always have Entertainment, but will it always have Orchestras

The survival of the orchestra in its current form is in question -- not the music they play, just the form of the orchestra, and its role in the concert hall.
Orchestras are struggling for money, but the problem isn't the music they play; it's how they market themselves. They are approaching pops audiences with the same approach as they do lovers of Mozart or Beethoven. Summer concert goers are drastically different from the regular season audience as are the way orchestras play/perform their Summer shows verses their Winter ones. New forms of communication and media are being given the same marketing brush as previous forms of printed media. But, like the difference between Summer and Winter, the audience is different.


Studies show people under the age of 40 are 80% more likely to get their news from the internet than they are from printed media. Less than 5% of the people under the age of 30 even list printed media as a source for their news. When choosing what resta…

Review of “Amaranthinesque” - a pianist's report of my music with a sample

Constant, perpetual, everlasting piano duet by Chip Michael
Wow, it's hard to express my excitement.
It is always nice to get feedback, thank you.
Music ought to be fun to play as well as to listen to.
Based on this review it sounds like I hit the mark with Amaranthinesque.
Yay!!!


Thanks again Anne...

Marketing Classical Music - Is the Music Enough?

Gidon Kremer wrote a letter to the Verbier Festival withdrawing from the performance: "Gidon Kremer: why I quit the celebrity rat race"
There are some important elements in the letter I'd like to point out. The letter is overall a comment on the sensationalism of the current classical music culture, the need of stars to draw crowds, and Kremer's desire to no longer be part of that culture. After stating he is withdrawing from the festival, in the second paragraph he says, "I can only imagine how disappointed you will be." That one line speaks volumes. It has an arrogance that implies he feels he is so important his appearance (or lack of) will be damaging to the festival. Looking at the list of performers at the Verbier Festival Kremer is hardly the star attraction --rather one of many.


In Jessica Duchan's article about Kremer's letter, "Kremer versus...?" she points to several young artists which are exceptional performers --perhap…

Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival: New York Philharmonic Opening Night Tonight

Violinist Veronika Eberle joins the New York Philharmonic and Conductor Alan Gilbert for Dvorak's Violin Concerto.
Join Bravo as it welcomes the prestigous members of the New York Philharmonic to Vail for it's 2011 residency, July 22-29. This is the ninth annual residency for the Philharmonic in Vail. Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. Since its inception, it has played a leading role in American musical life, championing new music of its time with commissions and world premieres of important works.

Led by Music Director Alan Gilbert, the Orchestra has become renowned around the globe, having appeared in 425 cities in 59 countries on five continents. Get tickets now to see one of the world's preeminent orchestras perform in the beautiful setting of Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

TONIGHT, July 22

Tickets start at $24

6:00 pm - Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

Alan Gilbert, Conductor

Ver…

Get Seats Now for the 24th Annual Gala, Dinner, Dance & Auction for Bravo! Vail Valley Music

Alice in Wonderland themes this season's signature extravaganza.
Don’t be late for this very important date! Fall down the rabbit hole and spend a whimsical evening with Bravo this Saturday night at the 24th annual gala--Through the Looking Glass. Enjoy a night filled with cocktails, dinner, dancing, silent and live auctions, and a performance by the New York Philharmonic.

The Gala is at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and begins at 5:00 pm with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Guests will then proceed to the New York Philharmonic concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater featuring Music Director Alan Gilbert and sensational violin soloist Augustin Hadelich. Programming includes Mozart’s Violin Concerto and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.

Immediately following the concert, guests will return to the gala tent for a seated dinner provided by Vail Catering Concepts, a live auction, and dancing to the music of The Nacho Men. All proceeds from the gala benefit Bravo’s Music Matters…

Jurowski conducts Liszt's A Faust Symphony 26 July

Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra will appear at the BBC Proms on Tuesday 26 July. The all-Hungarian programme begins with Kodály's Dances of Galánta before pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet joins the Orchestra for Bartók's Piano Concerto No.1. Liszt's A Faust Symphony concludes the programme.

This performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and will be shown on BBC Four on 29 July.

To book tickets

Tuesday 26 July 2011 | 7.30pm

Here's a great way to find Classical Music on Spotify

Jeremy Denk’s High-Profile Summer Includes Hollywood Bowl Debut and Mostly Mozart Appearances

“Hearing Mr. Denk’s bracing, effortlessly virtuosic, and utterly joyous performance,
one would never guess how phenomenally difficult the piano part is.”– New York Times
Pianist Jeremy Denk looks forward to a high-profile summer across the U.S., performing works by Beethoven and John Adams at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival (Aug 12-13) before playing more Beethoven for his debut performance at the Hollywood Bowl (Aug 18). He also plays a typically wide range of repertoire at top chamber music festivals, from Brahms and Ives in Seattle (July 15-17) to Brahms, Fauré, and Weinberg in Santa Fe (Aug 3-7).

For Mostly Mozart, Denk performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in an all-Beethoven program with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra under Louis Langrée. Before each of the concerts, which take place in Avery Fisher Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center on August 12 and 13, audiences will have the chance to hear Denk in a 7pm pre-concert recital playing John Adams’s Phrygian Gate…

Working with Online Music Options - SoundCloud, Spotify and Reverbnation

I've only be using the first two options for a week now, and I'm certainly I don't have all the ins-and-outs figured out. I just opened a Reverbnation account today. Still, they all have different advantages and uses, so here are some of my thoughts into the process.

Sound Cloud:

A nice place to start. With a basic subscription I was able to upload 2 hours worth of music, join groups and share my music with friends, family and other artists. There is a limit of only 3 sets (playlists) of music, but a workable limitation.

I only joined 11 groups and posted a piece to each one, so several of my pieces didn't get posted at all. I also posted links to the pieces (or the sets) on facebook and twitter. The end result is nearly 100 plays in just a week.

Top songs are

Easy on the Tonic performed by Reggie Berg: 15 plays

Taken for Granite performed by the Edinburgh Quartet: 11 plays

Piano Prelude 3 performed by Ani Gyulamiryan: 9 plays

Trusting performed by Reggie Berg and Drew…

Idina Menzel at Red Rocks, Enough Personality to Fill the Rocky Mountains

From barefoot entrance to delightful banter with Marvin Hamlisch, Idina charmed her fans at Red Rocks
I knew of her from Wicked and her role as Elphaba, the 'Wicked' witch. She a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Maureen in Rent and is now part of the television hit show "Glee." Knowing all this didn't prepare me for the overwhelming personality she has on the concert stage.


In tonight's concert she wasn't just saying pre-prepared lines of a character created by someone else. Many of the songs she sang were from her previous performances, but it was her personality that really filled the 9000+ venue of Red Rocks. She gallivanted on stage in a light yellow dress and bare-feet. From that first bubbly step she had the audience enamored.


Her set list included "I'm not that girl" where she ripped our hearts out with the agony she portrayed as the character Elphaba, "Poker-face" which was the song she sang on her first appearance…

BBC Wales Orchestra Taps New Chief Conductor

Thomas Søndergård, principal conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, will succeed Thierry Fischer as principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) starting in September 2012.

Søndergård's first outing with the orchestra, in December 2009, was apparently a mutually satisfactory experience. "It was an amazing moment for me," said the conductor, "and I retain a vivid memory of the players' involvement and sheer enthusiasm from the very first note."

BBC NOW Executive Director David Murray concurred: "Thomas has won over the Orchestra with his natural musicianship, dynamic drive and deep commitment.''

A Tale of Two Press Conferences: NYC Opera, Before and After

There were two press conferences at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Tuesday. At 1 p.m., and by invitation only, New York City Opera officially announced its slimmed down, multi-venue 2011-2012 season. At noon, and open to anyone who would listen, members of the NYCO orchestra and chorus gathered to protest the dismantling of the New York City Opera as it has been known for 45 years -- a full-season opera company with a permanent chorus and orchestra.

The "legit" event was hosted in the museum's theater by City Opera General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel; the union rally took place just outside on the sidewalk, and was hosted by local leaders of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). Both sides called themselves the New York City Opera. Both sides claimed to be "the people's opera," referencing Fiorello LaGuardia's famous moniker for the company. "Those people can't say they a…

EMI Classics & Virgin Classics Celebrating Liszt’s Bicentennial with CD Set

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The July 2011 releases from EMI Classics and Virgin Classics, drawn from their illustrious catalogues, offer an enormous variety of music suited for all tastes – perfect for hours of satisfying summer listening. Liszt – The Piano Collection, a beautifully packaged ten-CD set, celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of composer/virtuoso Franz Liszt, one of the greatest pianists of all time, and a composer whose works were, by turns, dazzlingly difficult, emotionally gripping, and transcendent.

Franz Liszt (1811-86) was one of the very greatest piano virtuosos of all time. He created works that not only required extreme dexterity but also demanded a strong sense of emotion and musicianship. Together with his sensational piano music, Liszt’s flowing hair and good looks caused audiences to adore and idolize him, but he was also an artist of questing spirituality and a forward-looking composer whose advanced harmonies opened a window through which many future composers would pass.

To hon…

Jessica Rivera wins praise for Górecki & Adams

Soprano Jessica Rivera is winning a lot of acclaim as an inspired interpreter of 20th- and 21st-century composers, from Benjamin Britten (in whose "Spring" Symphony she joined Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony and was declared "radiant" by Atlanta critic Pierre Ruhe) to Henryk Górecki and John Adams. "Jessica embodies the music she sings," says conductor Michael Christie, with whom the Californian performed Górecki's Symphony No. 3 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs") at the Colorado Music Festival (July 7 & 8). "She brings out the humanity of this music and touches the heart with it." Read the review: "Orchestra, Rivera, stunning in minimalist symphony" --Daily Camera, 7/8/11

Praising Rivera's late May performances of the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" with Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic, Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times referenced Dawn Upshaw's iconic Nonesuch recording of the piece. He…

Thomas Hampson Creates Title Role in Heart of a Soldier, Opening at San Francisco Opera in September

Thomas Hampson’s 2011-12 season will begin on September 10 at San Francisco Opera, where he will create the role of Rick Rescorla in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier. The new opera (seven performances through September 30), commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, features a libretto by Donna Di Novelli and is directed by Francesca Zambello. Based on the 2002 book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart, the opera is inspired by the true story of Rescorla, his wife, Susan, and his friend Daniel J. Hill, culminating in Rescorla’s tragic death in the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Center following his heroic evacuation of all 2,700 employees of Morgan Stanley. “This role is a great challenge and I feel honored – and very motivated – to meet it,” says Hampson.

medici.tv’s exclusive webcasts of the Verbier Festival TONIGHT July 15

For five consecutive seasons, medici.tv has been the place for classical music lovers around the world to enjoy the spectacular array of top artists who perform at the Verbier Festival, which this summer takes place July 15 – 31. As Martin T:son Engstroem, the festival's founder and executive director, says: "Verbier is a tiny Swiss mountain village, far from any big towns, but we can connect with the global internet community and share our wonderful programs with a worldwide audience. People have followed our concerts from some mind-boggling places. Hats off to medici!" This summer, medici.tv will stream concerts again from Verbier, with more than 20 live events from the 18th annual festival; tomorrow’s festival opening-night concert features the Verbier Festival Orchestra under music director Charles Dutoit, performing Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 with soloist Nelson Freire and Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

The freshly redesigned medici.tv has reaped acclaim as one of …

Bravo! Vail Valley Music: TONIGHT! Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Saturday Carmina Burana

Exhilarating. Passionate. Charismatic. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg performs Bruch's Violin Concerto, Prokofiev and Brahms with The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is known for her exhilarating performances, passionate interpretations, musical depth, and unique charisma. Music Director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, in 2010-11 Nadja led this 19-member string orchestra into their third season, which included a U.S tour. Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s energetic personality has served her well in numerous environments: on camera, in a commercial for Signet Bank, hosting a Backstage/Live from Lincoln Center program for PBS, appearing in the PBS/BBC series The Mind, even talking to Big Bird on Sesame Street. She was the subject of the 2000 Academy Award-nominated film, Speaking In Strings, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Visit Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival for more details and tickets.

Call for Scores: Juventas New Music Ensemble due July 15th

Juventas New Music Ensemble announces its 2011-2012 Season Semi-Annual Call
for Scores. Compositions selected from this call will go into Juventas's
repertoire for programing in the 2011-2012 season and beyond.

Juventas is seeking chamber works by young, living composers for any
instrumentation or length, however preference will be given to works that
draw on the Juventas core instrumentation: flute (including piccolo and/or
alto flute), clarinet (including Eb, Bb, and bass clarinet), violin, viola,
cello, and piano. Additionally, all composers must be age 35 or under as of
Janurary 1st of the present year to be eligible for consideration.

The application deadline is July 15, 2011.

Details and application instructions are available at www.juventasmusic.com.

Another Orchestra in Trouble: Players reject Louisville Orchestra offer

If the Bankruptcy of Philadelphia Orchestra wasn't bad enough, or the players strike in Detroit, now there's the ultimatum by management and rejection by the players in Louisville to shake up the classical music world.

Management offered a "per-service" model, basically stripping the musicians of collective bargaining. (which seems to be the trend, note Wisconsin) However more than 40 musicians and music patrons delivered letters and emails on Wednesday to the orchestra management. Gathered outside the orchestra offices, they answered questions about the progress.

The Louisville Orchestra filed for Chapter 11 back in December and have been without a contract since the end of may.

The letter, from CEO Robert Birman, was sent to players individually and as such could be grounds for a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board. The players, however, just want to get back to the bargaining table.

These kinds of labor struggles are unfortunately not new. Colorado…

Update on using foursquare

Lesson: Always read the fine print
Foursquare is "a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges."

I don't have a smartphone so I'm SOL... nice. While I understand the concept, knowing this I find it even harder to believe it's going to be a measure of Social Media. According to TechZone360 about 1/4 of a million people use smartphones, primarily for the internet. Considering there are 310 million people according the US Census 2010, that means .16% of the country is even eligible to be social media savvy. According to Internet World Stats over 77% (240m) of the US population are connected to the internet now. Facebook has more than 750m users (over twice the US population); Twitter passed the 300m mark recently. In comparison it seems Foursquare is barely a drop in the bucket --har…

Getting Lost in the Social Media Maze

Previously on Interchanging Idioms: Trying to Managing All the Online Resources
Well, klout is going to add foursquare to their algorithms. Not sure why Google+ isn't on their list, but I figured, since I'm trying to keep abreast of what's going on in the social media world, ahead of the game in terms of what it means to be truly effective with social media and I don't have enough to do right now (ok, that last one isn't true)... I thought I'd open a Foursquare account.

Hmmmm, 30 mins later, added 3 restaurants, 2 performance venues and not sure I get the concept. I'll venture back again later today, but not sure the relevance in terms of social media. Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn I get. Google+ is too new (and still beta) so not sure it's viable, yet.

If I were the folks at Klout I'd look at finding a way to add blogs and websites to people's personal klout scores. They seems to me to be much more viable in terms of social/internet re…

This week's Top Ticket in Denver: Idina Menzel

Broadway powerhouse Idina Menzel – the Tony award-winning "Elphaba" from international blockbuster Wicked – returns by popular demand for one-night-only at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with the Colorado Symphony. With a diverse repertoire of classic pop, musical theater favorites (including hits from Wicked, Rent and Glee) as well as songs from her album "I Stand," Idina Menzel demonstrates why she is one of the great vocal performers of our time.


SYMPHONY ON THE ROCKS
Idina Menzel
7/17 - 7:30 p.m.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Marvin Hamlisch, conductor

Tickets are available online at coloradosymphony.org or call the box office at 303.623.7876.

Sony Masterworks Releases 2cellos (Sulic & Hauser) Debut Recording On July 19

Discovered Via YouTube For Their Fresh And Unique Covers of Hit Rock And Pop Songs Recreated On Their Cellos
Living in a small town in Croatia, 24-year-old music students, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, are living a dream come true – and quickly! After posting a self-made music video of them performing Michael Jackson's “Smooth Criminal” on their cellos, the longtime friends received more attention than they ever expected.

Within days, the video became a viral sensation and received millions of views. It got the attention of Sony Masterworks who signed them to a record deal. Concurrently, they received a phone call from legend Elton John who invited them to join him on his European tour this Summer and Fall. They recently made their U.S. TV debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where they performed “Smooth Criminal.” (see my post here for the video)

“I feel so blessed that all of this is happening – a record deal with Sony Masterworks and a tour with Elton John – who would have imagine…

The Boston Symphony Orchestra Opened Its 2011 Summer Season At Tanglewood With An All-Italian Program, Under The Direction Of Charles Dutoit, On July 8

From an all-Italian Opening Night Boston Symphony Orchestra program under the direction of Charles Dutoit on July 8, four appearances by living legend Yo-Yo Ma (June 28, 29, August 13, 14), a Boston Pops Cole Porter tribute led by Keith Lockhart (July 17), and the incredibly popular Film Night with John Williams (August 20), to the welcome returns of Itzhak Perlman (August 27) and Christoph Eschenbach (July 30, 31, August 2) and special appearances by favorite artists Joshua Bell (July 10), Stephanie Blythe (August 10, 14), Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (August 2, 5, 12, 14), Christoph von Dohnányi (August 13, 19), Kurt Masur (July 15, 17), and Peter Serkin (July 30) to the closing BSO performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the direction of Lorin Maazel (August 28), Tanglewood 2011 brings classical music lovers and Boston Pops fans a wonderfully wide-ranging selection of artists and repertoire.
From a world premiere performance by the Mark Morris Dance Group (June 28, 29), two all…

ONErpm Launches Facebook App to Help Musicians Connect with and Sell Music to their Fans

ONErpm.com announces the debut of its Facebook App, ONErpm, a robust social commerce application enabling musicians and labels to market and sell their music globally to fans right from their Facebook page. Artists can sell by territory, set pricing tiers, and offer free downloads in exchange for an email address. Emphasizing globality, ONErpm also supports multiple currencies and languages including English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The ONErpm application features a one-click install with no restriction on the number of albums, making it an ideal solution for artists or labels with large catalogs. Payment processing also occurs within Facebook (unless the user opts for PayPal) to make the experience seamless for the fan. ONErpm also boasts some impressive promotional features for the artist, including “fan-gating” whereby a listener is encouraged to “Like” an artist’s page before listening to the music; numerous sharing options; email list sign up; and listener comments.

One of ONErpm…

Getting Heard: Trying to Manage all the Online Resources

There was a flurry of resources and options tossed out at me after my post on Getting Heard: Making Noise in a Digital World". I already had this blog and my website, but it seems to really get heard by the general public I need to do more.

My Myspace account wasn't a musician's account so I couldn't effectively post music. In the end I deleted the old account, waited 4 days and made a new one. Because of the cross pollination with Facebook, I had a bunch of friends from the get go. However, there's been almost no traffic to it since I put it up 3 days ago.

My twitter, Facebook and Linked In accounts were already really active. But managing them is a chore, even with all the linking apps they have. So, I added TweetDeck to my desktop to keep on track of whose saying what where, and make relevant posts, re-tweets and comments as necessary.

Add to this I'm also up on Google+ which isn't very active yet... but, knowing Google it will be.

I've had accoun…

The joy of music, for the sake of music

A friend, fellow composer and previous instructor posted some of his music on SoundCloud the other day (actually he posted his links to SoundCloud on Google+ which is where I caught them). So, I took a moment to listen. We don't always see eye-to-eye in terms of what is listenable music. To my great delight, his posted pieces were really interesting, very much in "his sound" and just delightful to listen to.

It made me reflect on my own recent writings. Much of what I've been attempting to do is complicate the music, obfuscate the rhythms, add greater angularity to the melodies, harmonies and tonality to veer away from romantic tonality. The result has been an increased sense of frustration on my part, with no better results in terms of getting pieces performed.

While I still like a couple of my most recent orchestra pieces, Insecta and Chasing Dark Matter Galaxies, and Flute Toys (still in progress) has been enjoyable to write, however a little piece for flute …

Getting Heard: Lead by Example (with a letter to Orchestra's Senior Management)

Start from the top if you want to get something doneThe actual letter is toward the bottom
I posted an article the other day that pi**ed a fair number of musicians off. It seems many of them felt I was saying they were lazy for not getting involved in the social media revolution. My sincere apologies... I didn't mean to suggest anyone was lazy.


Worse thing about the whole affair is I may have shot myself in the foot (although this wouldn't be the first time). You see, I'm a composer, not a composer/performer; I need musicians in order to get my music played. Since I write primarily orchestral music, I need a lot of musicians, a whole orchestra full of them! Pi**ing them off isn't a great way to get my music played.


All the furor over my comments got me to thinking. The problem isn't about having passion - I KNOW musicians have passion - it takes far too much effort to be involved in the modern classical world - you would never do it if you were not passion…

Michael Hersch World Premiere Commission Will Celebrate the Eastern Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary

Michael Hersch’s new horn concerto, a sheltered corner, will receive its world premiere during the 50th-anniversary season of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina this summer. A commission for the festival, it is his first large-scale work for horn and orchestra. Hersch, one of the most gifted composers of his generation, has been a prolific writer of orchestral, chamber, and choral works. Music critic Tim Page heralded his arrival on the international stage more than a decade ago, referring to him in The Washington Post as “a Promethean creator who has been charged with relaying his particular message. He combines a mixture of urgency and facility that is dazzling.” The New York Times said, “If the symmetries and proportions of Mr. Hersch’s music evoke the grounded fixity of architecture, its dynamism and spontaneous evolution are those of the natural world. Its somber eloquence sings of truths that are personal yet not confessional.”

The premiere of a sheltered co…

Colorado Symphony Celebrates Legacy Of Arthur Fiedler And Bostonpops

The Colorado Symphony returns to the Arvada Center in a wonderful evening of music under the stars with their much-anticipated tribute to Arthur Fiedler on Thursday, July 21. A long-time conductor of the Boston Pops, Fiedler (1894 - 1979) brought fresh life to the "pops orchestra" sound and pioneered lighter concerts of popular masterworks, as well as the tradition of outdoor summer concerts and fifteen minute intermissions. In its tribute, the Colorado Symphony will perform an array of popular classics: works that hold both mass appeal and emotional ties for many music lovers. Concertgoers can look forward to works ranging from Johann Strauss Jr.'s Tales from the Vienna Woods to John Williams' score for E.T.: Adventures on Earth, as well as Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever and Willson's Symphonic Impressions from the score for the Broadway hit, The Music Man.

Two members of the Colorado Symphony also shine in this exceptional concert. Associate concertmaster…