Showing posts from March, 2009

First Annual New Music Bake Sale and Concert in Brooklyn

Performances by So Percussion, Lisa Moore & Martin Bresnick, Lukas Ligeti, Newspeak, ACME, JACK Quartet, Dither, loadbang ensemble, & Ensemble de Sade On Friday, April 17, 2009 from 7 pm to midnight, the First Annual New Music Bake Sale, presented by Newspeak and Ensemble de Sade , will take over the First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights (124 Henry Street at Clark Street). This delicious event is a fundraiser and showcase for music organizations of all kinds, with each group supplying and staffing their own table of bountiful baked goods, CDs, buttons, T-shirts, bags, stickers, silent auction items, and other exclusive merchandise. The evening will feature musical performances by So Percussion, Lisa Moore and Martin Bresnick, Lukas Ligeti, Newspeak, ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), JACK Quartet, Dither, loadbang ensemble, and Ensemble de Sade. Other organizations participating in the Bake Sale but not performing include New Amsterdam Records, AME (Ameri

Yuja Wang: Sonatas & Etudes - precision perfect

Yuja Wang , the twenty-two year old, Chinese born, virtuoso pianist is due to release her first album with Deutsche Grammophon: Sonatas & Etudes . It is a wonderful mixture of Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin and Ligeti. My initial thoughts, prior to listening to the CD, was that Ligeti might seem a bit jarring with Chopin, Liszt & Scriabin, but Ms Wang pulls them together by providing flawless work on the keyboard. Sonatas & Etudes starts with Chopin’s Piano Sonata no. 2 in B flat minor op. 35. In the opening movement there is a subtlety of the repetitive figures that builds the tension in preparation of the slower section and the emotional release giving the piece a rich poignant flow. The Scherzo flowed from light to heavy and back again, giving the listener a chance to enjoy the subtlety of the waltz. Ms Wang chose to give the movement more rubato than might be danceable, but in terms of performance it is precisely what is called for. Perhaps the most recognizable

Cleveland Orchestra to Premiere new work by Jörg Widmann

German composer Jörg Widmann (pictured) is the Orchestra’s sixth Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow, serving for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. Mr. Widmann is a winner of the Claudio Abbado Composition Award of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Academy. He has been composer-in-residence at the Salzburg Festival, and his music has been performed by the Vienna Philharmonic. During a two-year relationship with the Orchestra, the Lewis Fellow composes a new piece for the Orchestra. He is in residence for two weeks, participating in rehearsals, master classes, and educational activities. The Young Composers Endowment Fund was established in 1997 by a $1 million gift from Jan R. and Daniel R. Lewis, who reside in Florida . Mr. Lewis is the Chair of the Musical Arts Association of Miami. Franz Welser-Möst will conduct the Cleveland premiere of Mr. Widmann’s Chor (for orchestra) at Severance Hall in October 2009, and guest conductor Jonathan Nott will lead the United States premi

The Cleveland Orchestra announces 2009-10 Severance Hall season

Staged opera at Severance Hall continues with Franz Welser-Möst conducting Mozart’s Così fan tutte , the second of three Mozart/Da Ponte productions from the Zurich Opera The Cleveland Orchestra has announced its 2009-10 season at Severance Hall. During his eighth season as Music Director, Franz Welser-Möst will conduct a wide range of works, including staged performances of Mozart’s Così fan tutte . The 2009-10 season will open with the launch of the Orchestra’s new Community Music Initiative, a series of programs aimed at expanding the Orchestra’s efforts to share music with the people of Cleveland . The week-long celebration of the Community Music Initiative includes The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst performing in-school and family concerts plus a benefit performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. The season also includes several new programs aimed at reaching new audiences, including a series of early Friday evening concerts with post-concert chamber music and ent

2009 Grand Teton Music Festival Provides Matchless Scenery as Backdrop to Unrivaled Music-Making

Guest Musicians and Top Festival Orchestra Led by World-Renowned Conductors Music Director Donald Runnicles; Guest Artists Christine Brewer, Michelle DeYoung, Thomas Hampson, Lynn Harrell, Frank Lopardo, and Eric Owens; Guest Conductors Osmo Vänskä and Nicholas McGegan; and Other Artists Will Participate in Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s Exciting Seven-Week Festival as It Continues to Grow to New Heights; Program Highlights Include World Premiere of New Work By Stephen Paulus Wyoming’s 48th Grand Teton Music Festival opens officially on Wednesday, July 1 with a spotlight concert by the genre-busting trio “Time For Three”, followed by two evenings of concerts featuring the Festival Orchestra with guest conductor Thomas Wilkins and violinist Cho-Liang Lin . The festivities really kick off on Saturday, July 4 with the 13th annual free outdoor Independence Day concert, tagged “Music in the Hole”. A picnic and other fun events precede a concert by VIP Grand Teton guest and powerhouse sopr

YouTube Symphony Orchestra Debuts Live at Carnegie Hall on April 15 at 7:30pm

Guest Artists Include Gil Shaham, Measha Brueggergosman, Mason Bates, Joshua Roman, Yuja Wang, and Students of Lang Lang, with Video Appearances by Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang The YouTube Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Artistic Advisor and Conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, and presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall, debuts live on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30pm. The event will feature soloists, chamber groups, chamber orchestra, larger orchestra, and electronica. A visual journey will accompany the music; multi-media projections mapped to the historical Carnegie Hall architecture will transform Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage into an immersive video experience. The program will sample diverse periods and styles of classical music, including works by Gabrieli, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Villa-Lobos, and John Cage. There will be a sneak preview excerpt from The B-Sides , a new piece by Mason Bates, due to be premiered in May by the San Francisco Symphony. Selected video e

Celebrated Guitarist Sharon Isbin’s Debut Sony Masterworks Album

Stars Legendary Folksinger Joan Baez and Violin Virtuoso Mark O’Connor, Featuring the World Premiere of Joan Baez Suite , Opus 144 Recognized as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time” ( The Boston Globe ) and “the Monet of the classical guitar” ( Atlanta Journal Constitution ), Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin makes her Sony Masterworks debut with Journey to the New World , to be released March 24, 2009. The extraordinary recording follows a musical progression from 16th century England, Ireland, and Scotland to the shores of America, with the music of the New World represented by Joan Baez -- Isbin’s first music hero -- and violin virtuoso/composer Mark O’Connor. “This ‘journey,’” explains Isbin, “brings together my passion for Renaissance lute music with the country fiddle virtuosity of Mark O’Connor, a lifelong love of folk music inspired by my parents who taught folk dancing, and with Joan Baez, whose magical voice has moved me to tears for as long as I can remem

Sony Masterwords Re-Releases Terry Riley's Pioneering "IN C"

The first ever re-mastering of the original session master tapes In Anticipation of Carnegie Hall’s Performance of In C on April 24th To celebrate the 45th anniversary of Terry Riley’s collaborative music piece In C — a landmark work that gave birth to the minimalist movement in the 1960s — Sony Masterworks is releasing the first ever re-mastering of the original session master tapes. The re-mastering lends an enhanced clarity and transparency to the piece’s joyful polyphony of overlapping musical motives. This reissue package features both the original material and new liner notes transcribed from recent interviews with Terry Riley; David Behrman, the project’s original session producer; and several of the performers from the original studio sessions. The new essay by Jackson Braider conveys the feeling of excitement, innovation, and camaraderie that must have hung in the air in the recording studio in 1968, four years after In C was first performed. The score of 53 motifs is r

Chicago Opera Vanguard makes Opera during Economic Crisis - By Taking it to the People

How does a young theater company produce a punk opera during an economic recession? Graffiti! by visiting , anyone can become an opera patron – and defile an opera set at the same time. For as little as $1, COV invites anyone and everyone to tag the GREEK Graffiti Wall . Each dollar purchases a 4x4 pixel on the virtual wall, each pixel can be filled with any upload-able image, and every image on the wall will be incorporated the final backdrop and video display of the production. Plus, every dollar contributed to Chicago Opera Vanguard’s production of GREEK constitutes a chance to win an exclusive VIP opening night package, including hotel, dinner and admission to the production. Chicago Opera Vanguard - the city’s new home for cutting edge musical theater – continues its inaugural Season Ø with the Chicago premier of GREEK by Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mead Composer in Residence Mark-Anthony Turnage . GREEK sets the ancient Oedipus myth in the ec

Joyce DiDonato’s Handel CD Furore Resounds in Europe, Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo Conquers Paris Opéra

She also stars in Handel Biopic on German TV The American Mezzo Will Return to New York in May to Sing the World Premiere of Peter Lieberson's New Song Cycle, The World in Flower , with the New York Philharmonic Led by Alan Gilbert Ecstatic reviews in the U.S. for Joyce DiDonato ’s Furore CD – 14 emotion-laden Handel arias – have apparently created a spike in European attention, while more rave reviews for her Paris Opéra performance in Mozart’s Idomeneo roll in from France, Germany, and England. And a German media campaign emphasizes her role in a Handel biopic shot on authentic locations by Germany ’s top ARD TV network for the anniversary of the composer’s death 250 years ago. It’s being shown all over Europe this spring, commemorating Handel’s death in April 1759. Performing Mozart in Paris , as reported in the London Times , “DiDonato made [her] arias sound more glorious than they really are … the American mezzo approached the sublime. This Idomeneo was worth catchin

René Pape’s Eagerly-Awaited Carnegie Hall Recital Debut on April 25

Closing out Met Season, German Bass Sings Two “Ring” Roles in April and May A Rich and Exemplary Selection of Beloved German Songs René Pape , a Metropolitan Opera regular for 14 seasons, has yet to indulge New York audiences with a solo recital, but the wait is nearly over: on Saturday, April 25, he gives his Carnegie Hall recital debut, partnered by pianist Brian Zeger, with a classic program of Romantic songs by Schubert, Schumann, and Wolf. For his long-anticipated Carnegie Hall recital debut, René Pape has chosen a classic program of great German Lieder, including many of the most popular of Franz Schubert’s enormous catalogue; Hugo Wolf’s rarer trio of Michelangelo Lieder ; and Robert Schumann’s complete Dichterliebe – and, if the audience is lucky, a few surprise encores. Each of the programmed songs is a major work in itself: as many recitalists confirm, a single song often presents a challenge as great as any full-length operatic role. René Pape will try out selection

Paavo Järvi Conducts Curtis Symphony Orchestra in All-Russian Program at Carnegie Hall

Carter Brey, Principal Cellist of New York Philharmonic, Performs Prokofiev’s Sinfonia concertante Paavo Järvi (pictured), music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Curtis alumnus, conducts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday, April 28 at 8pm in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. The all-Russian program features Stravinsky’s Petrushka (1947) and two works by Prokofiev: Suite No. 1 from Romeo and Juliet and Sinfonia concertante with cello soloist Carter Brey . The Curtis Symphony Orchestra has been called “an orchestra that any city would be lucky to have as its professional ensemble” ( Philadelphia Inquirer ) and has been praised for its “otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication” ( New York Times ). Recent visiting conductors include Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. This real-world training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in major orchestras across th

Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony in Copland's Symphony No. 3

Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Copland’s Symphony No. 3. The concert opens with Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn and will feature BSO concertmaster Jonathan Carney in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. A shortened program will be performed as part of the Casual Series on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. American composer Aaron Copland was recognized for creating music more quintessentially American than that of any of his peers. A witness to the effects of the Great Depression, Copland decided to address his music not to the elite few but to all music-lovers, while simultaneously refusing to compromise his own fierce integrity. His first large-scale symphony was Symphony No. 3, an end-of-war piece intended to reflect the euphoric spirit of the country at the conclusion of World War II. Divided i

Baltimore Symphony Associates’ 33rd Annual Decorators’ Showhouse

Sunday, April 26, 2009 through Sunday, May 17, 2009--1121 S. Rolling Rd., Catonsville, MD 21228 Hours: Tu, W, F, Sat: 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.; Th: 10:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. ; Sun: 12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Featuring Maryland’s leading interior designers, the Show House is an annual fundraiser to benefit the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s education programs. Baltimore architect William F. Stone, Jr. designed the “Arden House” in 1927 using stucco and stone exteriors with half-timbering, numerous Tudor arches and leaded glass elements combine to make it a fine example of Tudor Revival design. Tickets are $20 in advance and are available through the BSO Box office 410.783.8000, or the following ticket outlets: Graul’s Market, Bill’s Music House, Plymouth Wallpaper, Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, Obects Found, Catonsville Hair Co. and Hair-M Family Hair Care. Tickets are $25 at the door.

Countertenor David Daniels Performs Bach and Handel on Five-City North American Tour

Program Includes Music by Handel, Alongside Sacred Arias and Cantatas by Bach as Featured on Daniels’s Recent Recording for Virgin Classics “ The most electrifying singer of the present day … . A voice of matchless beauty at the service of the finest musical sensibility. ” – BBC Music magazine Following his recorded excursions into repertoire rarely sung by countertenors (Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été , also available on Virgin Classics), superstar countertenor David Daniels has been heard most recently on a stunning all-Bach recital with the English Concert and conductor Harry Bicket that features the composer’s incomparably sublime sacred arias and cantatas. The album was released in the fall at the time Daniels and the English Concert began a highly successful European tour. Now, Daniels and his disc-mates come to North America for a five-city tour that will feature works by the composer with whom Daniels is most closely associated – George Frideric Handel – alongside the m

35 Americans from 15 States Join Musicians from 29 Countries in the YouTube Symphony

The World’s First Online Collaborative Orchestra Will Perform at Carnegie Hall on April 15, 2009 35 Americans are among the 96 members selected to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, the world’s first orchestra formed entirely through online auditions. Ranging in age from 17 to 37, the Americans include students, professionals, and talented amateur musicians from 15 different states, from Nevada to New York and Maryland to Mississippi. They were selected by the global YouTube community and Artistic Advisor Michael Tilson Thomas from a list of 200 finalists. Violist Alissa A. Seavey of Wayne , Pennsylvania won the audition with a video entry she made using her home computer camera and a good-quality microphone. The 28 year-old violist got her master’s degree at Yale, and is now being coached by Philadelphia Orchestra violist Rachel Ku while she auditions for orchestra jobs. Kurt Hinterbichler heard about the YouTube Symphony Orchestra from his father, who is a prof

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Announces $1.3 Million in Cost-Saving Measures

Executive and Artistic Leadership, Administration, and Orchestra Musicians Take Steps To Counter Tough Economy Measures To Include Administration Pay Cuts, Furloughs, and A Hiring Freeze Say it isn't so... I applied for their webmaster position... The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s executive and artistic leadership, administration, and Orchestra musicians have taken steps to counter the tough economy. The ASO has announced pay cuts, furloughs, and a hiring freeze in the 2009 fiscal year, beginning with President and CEO Allison Vulgamore, who will take a minimum of 7% compensation reduction. Vice Presidents will take a 6% pay cut, and all other employees will take a 5% pay cut. These cuts will be effective beginning with the April 3, 2009 pay period, and will extend through May 31, 2009 — the end of the 2009 fiscal year. These reductions, combined with previous cost-cutting measures, will result in $1.3 million in savings for the 2009 fiscal year, and will enable the ASO to

The Phoenix Symphony Adds Special Encore to April Concerts

Record-Breaking Crowds Encourage Orchestra to Perform an Audience Favorite Following Each Concert in April PHOENIX ( ) - In appreciation and thanks for the outpouring of community support and loyalty from the Symphony’s new audiences and long time patrons, Michael Christie has announced that during the month of April, the orchestra will perform a special encore selection following each of the Classics concerts. “We want to embrace the tremendous buzz we are experiencing this spring, so we thought it would be appropriate to kick off the April encores by performing Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Flight of the Bumblebee following the April 2-3 Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances concerts. This is such a beloved, whimsical piece, perfect for spring and provides a great opportunity to showcase the orchestra’s tremendous skill and technical abilities and to celebrate achieving these sales. We will play our hearts out and let our fingers fly to show our immense gratitude to all of the p

Easter symphonic treat with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra kicks off the Easter weekend with two concerts featuring the Symphonies in C of Stravinsky and Bizet, in Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall (Thursday 9 April) and Glasgow’s City Halls (Friday 10 April). American conductor Andrew Litton (pictured) will direct the concerts and will be joined by leading English soprano Sally Matthews for Britten’s popular song cycle, Les Illuminations . Sally Matthews is a previous winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award and made her Royal Opera House debut in 2001. She performs regularly as a recitalist and opera singer throughout the world and last year debuted as recitalist at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam . She was also part of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme. Les Illuminations is based on the fantastical poem of Arthur Rimbaud, to which Britten instantly felt compelled to set music. It is scored for strings and voice and perfectly mirrors the fantasies of the text, complete with magic and monsters. Composed during th

Previous Van Cliburn Winners take the Stage in Dallas

The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is still two months away, but Dallas is already gearing up for the contest with a performance by some of the previous winners last night. The concert was entitled "Gold Fingers." As reported by Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News : The players, in various pairs and sometimes all four together, were Olga Kern and Stanislav Ioudenitch (who both took gold medals in 2001), Jon Nakamatsu (1997) and José Feghali (1985). With two big Steinways nestled cheek to tail, there was plenty of musical personality as well as flashy fingerwork. As Mr Cantrell's article continues it seems the evening was filled with fun and some fabulous piano playing (and several really remarkable gowns). Let's hope they decide to tour the show.

Brittish Library makes classical records accessible via the Internet

The British Library is making their classical music recordings available via the web, more than 1,000 titles, many of which are interpretations of well-known movements not generally available. This is all possible through the Archival Sound Recordings project. While the initial sentiment of such a project should be met with cheers, the recordings, for copyright reasons, will only be available through licensed UK higher and further education institutions or in the British Library reading rooms. Although, it is possible to explore the full audio holdings in the Sound Archive catalogue, include concertos and sinfoniettas from masters such as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms and Haydn.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra & Marin Alsop Announce 2009-2010 Season

Season-long theme fosters self-exploration of musical roots and region's ethnic diversity The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Marin Alsop announced today the Orchestra's 2009-2010 season, the third full season under the direction of Maestra Alsop. The 2009-2010 season is a pastiche of musical influences from around the world and from within local communities. In this dramatic season, the concert programs are generated by Marin Alsop's mission to encourage audiences to explore their own musical roots and pay tribute to the diverse heritages found in the Baltimore-Washington area. From a U.S. premiere from Finland, to a discovery of traditional Eastern European music; from a program called España that dances with rhythmic intensity, to an evening with soprano Kathleen Battle that captures the spiritual roots of the African-American experience—the upcoming season is devoted to drawing cultural connections beyond the context of the concert hall. "I'

World premiere of Swensen’s ‘The Fire and the Rose’

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra performs the world premiere of Joseph Swensen ’s Symphony for horn and orchestra ‘ The Fire and the Rose ’ in Glasgow City Halls on Friday 3 April, and Edinburgh Queen’s Hall on Saturday 4 April, conducted by Swensen (pictured) himself and featuring virtuoso horn player Radovan Vlatković , for whom the work was written. The new symphony is programmed alongside Sibelius’ Pelléas and Mélisande and Respighi’s The Birds . The Fire and the Rose is the largest scale work Swensen has written to date, both in length and instrumentation. Swensen took his inspiration from T.S. Eliot’s poem, Four Quartets , a poem that was written in response to Beethoven’s late string quartets. The two main themes are time and remembering, with many references to déjà vu in Eliot’s poem. Swensen has captured the essence of déjà vu by creating echoes of echoes which reverberate throughout the piece. The symphony features an extensive range of percussion, from cowbells to