Showing posts from February, 2010

Eric Whitacre - Rock Star

Judging by the reaction of the young people in last night's audience in the Gates Concert Hall at Denver University you would have thought a Rock Star had taken the stage. Granted, Eric Whitacre certainly is charismatic and engaging. After one of his witty song introductions the young man sitting behind me exclaimed "He is the coolest guy in the world!" Cool is a great quality to have in a performer - but how does this translate in the music? The first half of the program was played by the Lamont Wind Ensemble with varying degrees of success. The first piece, October was composed for Grade 3 high school musicians, and while lush and pretty in the end run was rather forgettable. Ghost Train Trilogy made a far larger impression due primarily to the amazing way Whitacre manages to create the sounds of a train on stage. The percussion section gets a real chance to shine during the three movements, and judging by the enormous grins on their faces they were enjoying every

Putting my Two Cents In

I am usually lurking behind the scenes of this Blog - proofing posts, suggesting concerts that Chip should review, loudly proclaiming my opinions and hoping that he will agree with some of them and generally making a nuisance of my self. Last night however, we discussed my taking a more active role, for two reasons: I am unemployed and have the time, and his graduate studies are subsuming so much time that the Blog is suffering. My input will bring a slightly different flavor to these pages - unlike Chip I am not classically trained from birth. Although I have been singing since I was 3 years old, all of my training was by ear, and by the time I was taking choir in school I could anticipate music well enough to never bother learning to truly read music. This led to trouble when the two of us attempted to write our first musical together. I had definite ideas of what the music he set to my words should do, but I had no language to convey them - we teetered on the brink of divorce eac

Performing music by Eric Whitacre

If you don't know the music of Eric Whitacre you're missing out on one of the bright stars in the classical music world and probably the greatest US choral composer is history. And he's young, so there's still time for LOTS more music. However, the point of this post to two fold: 1) Apologize for not posting much this month 2) Comment about a recent performance of Eric's music The month of February has been beyond busy (and its not over yet). My graduate studies have taken on a whole new level of activity and so, unfortunately, my posting has suffered. I've also missed a dozen or more really great concerts in the Denver area this month. So, while I am very much enjoying the learning - the lack of getting to concerts and telling you all about them as been painful!!! March should be much better. As for performing the choral music of Eric Whitacre... This was a real treat. I hadn't heard of him prior to coming to Denver University. I

Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, March 25-27

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, singers from the Washington National Opera’s (WNO) Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and dancers from Baltimore School for the Arts in Hearts, Cards & Carnival on Thursday, March 25 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 28 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. This program features Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella performed with dancers from the Baltimore School for the Arts and semi-staged presentations of two 20th-century American operas, Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge and George Gershwin’s Blue Monday . A shortened Casual Concert program will be presented on Saturday, March 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and includes Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite. A performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella will be performed in an Off the Cuff concert on Saturday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Keith Lockhart And Boston Pops Celebrate Orchestra's 125th Anniversary Season, May 4 - June 20, 2010

World Premiere Of "The Dream Lives On: A Portrait Of The Kennedy Brothers," By Composer Peter Boyer And Lyricist Lynn Ahrens, To Take Place May 18 Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops announce details of the orchestra’s 125th anniversary season, May 4-June 20, 2010, outlining programs that celebrate the orchestra’s rich tradition of performing the great music of this country’s past and present, for which the Boston Pops is so well known. Season details are also available at TICKETS FOR THE 125TH BOSTON POPS SEASON, PRICED FROM $20-$99, GO ON SALE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, THROUGH BOSTONPOPS.ORG OR BY CALLING 888-266-1200. SEASON OVERVIEW The 125th season opens on May 4 with a gala concert featuring multiple Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel and the inimitable Doc Severinsen, who holds the distinction of having performed under the batons of Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart—a perfect addition to a program honoring the leadership legacies of the th

Fidelity Futurestage® Launches 2010 National Music Program With Celebration And Surprise Instrument Donations At Boston’s Symphony Hall

Fidelity Investments® and the Boston Pops today announced the kickoff of the 2010 Fidelity FutureStage® Music Program, part of a national initiative to support and strengthen public school arts programs and to provide unique educational opportunities for student musicians to explore and develop their individual talents. The celebration event at historic Symphony Hall was part of a four-city simulcast, connecting more than 1,500 high school students via satellite from Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Houston Symphony’s Jones Hall and Kenwood Academy in Chicago. The event brought together Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart, 2009 FutureStage music competition student winners Chris Middleton and AnJalique Perry, and special guests from every city via simulcast, including event host Dominic Monaghan and musician/actor Jamie Foxx in Los Angeles and actress Joan Cusack in Chicago. Highlights of the event included the announcement of four Boston area public high schools select

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symhony, Winners of 3 Grammys at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, to make 5-city US Tour in March

Tour Includes Two Carnegie Hall Concerts, Which Mark Orchestra’s 25th Visit to the Hall Read Interchanging Idiom's Review of their award winning album. Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will make a five-city U.S. tour from March 18 to 26 with performances in Champaign-Urbana, IL (March 18); Ann Arbor, MI (March 19 and 20); Philadelphia (March 23); Washington, D.C. (March 24); and in New York at Carnegie Hall (March 25 and 26). The March 25 and 26 concerts mark the Orchestra’s 25th engagement at Carnegie Hall since its first appearance there in 1947. The tour repertoire features violinist Christian Tetzlaff performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and soprano Laura Claycomb and mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. Symphony No. 2 has been recorded by the San Francisco Symphony as part of its Mahler Project, which to date has won seven Grammy Awards, including three Grammys for Mahler Symphony No. 8 and the Ada

American Symphony Orchestra Announces its 2010-11 Season as It Returns to Carnegie Hall, the Group's Original Home

Under founder Leopold Stokowski, the American Symphony Orchestra performed its debut season at Carnegie Hall in 1962. The ASO returns to its original home with the 2010-11 season, a six-concert series that kicks off in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on October 6. The orchestra's 48th season opens with a characteristically distinctive program revolving around James Joyce and his iconic influence (with the ASO giving the U.S. premiere of Mátyás Seiber's cantata Ulysses ) and his musical inspirations (including George Antheil's futurist Ballet Mécanique ). This season will also see Leon Botstein conduct – in his 18th season as ASO music director – Albéric Magnard's 1909 opera Bérénice and the U.S. premiere of Paul Dessau's Passover choral work Haggadah shel Pesach . The ASO series at Carnegie Hall will also include thematic programs titled "Music and the Bible", "Before and After the Spanish Civil War", and "American Harmonies: The Music of

Deborah Voigt performs Wagner to Strauss, Puccini and Bernstein

Deborah Voigt, one of the great American voices, continues her stellar international season, showing her range from Wagner and Strauss to Puccini and Bernstein. The soprano is currently singing her first Isolde in Barcelona, with the Gran Teatre del Liceu production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde running until February 20. It was her inimitable way with this iconic, ultra-demanding role that led to a 20-minute ovation at the Vienna State Opera, an event reported on CNN, and to acclaimed performances of it at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and Chicago’s Lyric Opera. A week after her Isolde in Spain, Voigt makes her Zurich Opera debut, singing the title role of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (Feb 27) – an especially promising prospect if, as the New York Times claims, “Almost any Strauss role the voice of Deborah Voigt touches turns to gold!” Illustrating another side of her art, she will perform a recital in Zurich on March 15, singing material by Verdi, Strauss, and Respighi,

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra to play Brahms Valentine's Day Weekend

This Valentine’s Day weekend, join Music Director Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for the perfect celebration of romance and love. Pushing the outer edge of the orchestra’s repertoire, this program features the rapturous, heartfelt music of Johannes Brahms, one of the most sensitive and contemplative composers. World-renowned violinist Viktoria Mullova returns to Philharmonia Baroque for a performance of his stunning Violin Concerto that features one of his most well-known and well-loved slow movements. Also on the program, Brahms’ First Serenade, written when he was just 25 years old. Join “the most exciting American period-instrument ensemble” for the first historically informed performance of works by Brahms on the West Coast. “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Philharmonia Baroque plays Brahms? Can this be true? Has Nic lost his mind?’” says Music Director Nicholas McGegan. “Our orchestra plays music on period instruments and we must remember that a lot of modern o

Give Your Valentine The Gift of Music in Denver

Bring your Valentine to Boettcher Concert Hall for the perfect special date. You'll think the Piano Man himself joined the CSO – Michael Cavanaugh, original star of Broadway's Movin' Out, sings all your favorite Billy Joel tunes plus the music of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John and more! The program features hits like, "New York State of Mind," "Crocodile Rock," "Just the Way You Are," "Miles Away," "Uptown Girl" and much more! for tickets visit

The Cleveland Orchestra presents fully staged performances of Così fan tutte at Severance Hall March 2, 4, 6 and 8

Music Director Franz Welser-Möst to conduct Zurich Opera production of Mozart’s comic opera The Cleveland Orchestra brings Mozart’s comic opera Così fan tutte to Severance Hall for four performances of a fully staged production from the Zurich Opera March 2, 4, 6 and 8 at 7:00 p.m. Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts the production, which he previously led in Zurich . A collaboration with stage director Sven-Eric Bechtolf, set designer Rolf Glittenberg, and costume designer Marianne Glittenberg, Così fan tutte features an international cast of soloists with members of the Cleveland Orchestra Opera Chorus, prepared by Robert Porco, appearing as soldiers, servants, and sailors. The singers for the Cleveland performances are Malin Hartelius, soprano (Fiordiligi); Anna Bonitatibus, soprano (Dorabella); Martina Janková, soprano (Despina); Javier Camarena, tenor (Ferrando); and Ruben Drole, baritone (Guglielmo), all of whom appeared in the Zurich production. They will be joined

The Dallas Opera Presents World Premiere of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick on April 30, 2010, Starring Tenor Ben Heppner as Captain Ahab

Production Is First World Premiere at Dallas’s New Winspear Opera House The first world premiere at the new Winspear Opera House here will be an epic event: The Dallas Opera's spring production of Moby-Dick by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, based on Herman Melville's iconic American novel of 1851. Tenor Ben Heppner stars as Captain Ahab. Jake Heggie has said that Melville's book isn't only operatic in scope: music virtually rises from its pages. "There is so much music with the sea and the wind and that sort of universe that Melville created, the ship floating on the ocean just as the planet floats on the universe. There were bells on the whaling ships, the whales themselves made very percussive noises." As he and Scheer worked to distill a huge, classic book into a two-act, three-hour operatic story, the composer felt "the musical world reveal itself" with grand orchestration and a 40-voice men's chorus. The six-per

Royal Opera of Liège proudly presents OperaLive

If you love opera, but don't live in a city with a major opera house OR just want to see more of it... Royal Opera of Liège presents OperaLive: the live broadcast of a selection of operas on the internet. The live broadcast can be watched on demand up 'till five days after the performance. Forthcoming broadcasts are: “Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi, Tuesday March 23rd at 8pm (GMT+1) and “Rita ou le mari battu & Il Campanello di notte” by Gaetano Donizetti, Tuesday May 11th at 8pm (GMT+1).

The Opera Orchestra of New York Appoints Alberto Veronesi as Music Director Beginning with the 2011-12 Season

Eve Queler to Become Conductor Laureate Norman Raben, Chairman and Eve Queler, Music Director of The Opera Orchestra of New York today announced that Italian conductor Alberto Veronesi has been appointed Music Director effective in the 2011-12 season. Mr. Veronesi will succeed The Opera Orchestra of New York founder Eve Queler, who will become Conductor Laureate once Mr. Veronesi’s initial 5-year tenure begins. During the Opera Orchestra’s 2010-11 40th-anniversary season, Mr. Veronesi will serve as Music Director Designate and conduct an opera-in-concert performance. He will also work with the Board of Directors, Ms. Queler and the administrative staff to program and cast future seasons. The complete 2010-11 season, which will include two opera-in-concert performances, a recital and additional events, will be announced at a later date. Born in Milan , Alberto Veronesi is Music Director of the Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago, Artistic Director of the Filarmonica del Teatro Comu

Keith Lockhart adn Fidelity Futurestate to Surprise 200 Boston Area Students with $100k worth of New Musical Instrument, Feb 9th

Kicking off Fidelity FutureStage 2010, 200 students—representing Boston Arts Academy, Boston Latin Academy, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, and the Roland Hayes School of Music—are sure to be in for a big surprise when Keith Lockhart and Fidelity FutureStage unveil $100,000 worth of new musical instruments to be donated to the four Boston Public Schools, Tuesday, February 9, at 1 p.m. at Symphony Hall. At the same time of the Boston event, Fidelity FutureStage will present instrument unveilings to hundreds of students in their three other partnering cities—Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles- with all four events being linked by satellite. Actor and musician Jamie Foxx in LA, and actor Joan Cusack in Chicago, along with Keith Lockhart in Boston, will host these instrument unveilings, representing a total worth of more than $500,000 in new instruments for students in the four cities. The Boston event will feature Fidelity FutureStage 2009 competition winners AnJalique Perry (Roland Hayes

"Rusty Musicians" in Baltimore HUGE Success

On Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at the Music Center at Strathmore, approximately 200 musicians joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra onstage to perform the first part of a two-night event titled “Rusty Musicians with the BSO.” Envisioned by Music Director Marin Alsop, local amateur musicians who played an orchestral instrument had the rare chance to perform with a professional symphony orchestra, as part of the BSO’s celebration of its fifth year at The Music Center at Strathmore, the Orchestra’s second home located in Bethesda, Md. A second crop of 200 “Rusty Musicians” will repeat the experience this evening. A palpable buzz was in the air and ‘Rusty’s’ and BSO musicians alike raved about the novelty and fun of this grand experiment.

Marin Alsop lead trio of ensembles in Corigliano's "Circus Maximus," March 18-21

Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony, University of Maryland Wind Orchestra and Members from U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” in John Corigliano’s “Circus Maximus,” March 18-21 BSO Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, members from The U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” and the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra in John Corigliano’s monumental Symphony No. 3, “Circus Maximus” on Thursday, March 18 at 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore and Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The program also includes David T. Little’s Screamer and Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf . These concerts are part of the centerpiece of the Orchestra’s 2009-2010 season, the BSO Under the Big Top Festival. John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 3, “Circus Maximus” explores the aural extremes, swinging “…dramatically from apocalyptic chaos to pastoral serenity to urban turmoil to farce, e

Boston Symphony Orchestra Win Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Perfromance

James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloé, featuring the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver, conductor, the Grammy Award in the category of Orchestral Performance at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010. This is the first Grammy Award for the orchestra on its own label, BSO Classics. Daphnis et Chloé was produced by Elizabeth Ostrow, with recording engineers John Newton and Jesse Lewis. Dirk Sobotka served as editing engineer and Mark Donahue was mixing and mastering engineer. All engineers on this project are with Soundmirror in Boston, MA. The Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of James Levine, will perform Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé at Carnegie Hall on Monday, February 1 at 8 p.m. Read Interchanging Idiom's review HERE .

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Cirque de la Symphonie Combine Circus Feats with Classical Masterpieces, March 11-14

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of BSO Music Director Marin Alsop, lends musical panache to the impossible exploits of talented contortionists, aerialists, strongmen and more in Cirque de la Symphonie on Thursday, March 11 and Friday March 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 14 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, March 13 at 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore. In the tradition of a European circus, the concert hall turns into a Big Top as Cirque members perform on and above the stage. Maestra Alsop dons the top hat of ringmaster to lead Francis Poulenc’s Les Biches Suite, Erik Satie’s Parade , Copland’s Billy the Kid Suite and Béla Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin Suite . Due to popular demand, Cirque de la Symphonie returns again this year to perform with the BSO, having performed four sold-out shows with the BSO last season. These Cirque artists include world-record holders and gold-medal winners of international competitions. Among t

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces Immersive Summer Music Training Program for Amateur Musicians

Ground-breaking BSO Academy involves amateurs playing side-by-side with a major U.S. symphony orchestra The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced today a new summer music training program, the BSO Academy, in which amateur musicians are invited to perform alongside a top professional orchestra. Taking place in Baltimore from Sunday, June 13 through Saturday, June 19, 2010, the BSO Academy will accommodate approximately 120 participants in its first year. The program signals an increasing demand from music audiences for greater levels of participation in creative music-making. In addition to performing side-by-side with members of the BSO under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop, adult amateur musicians will experience an intensive week of studying, rehearsing, chamber music and coaching. The Academy will become a vital new component of the Orchestra’s annual summer schedule, made initially possible by principal leadership funding of $950,000 over three years from The Andrew

Nilolaj Znaider Performs Four Great Violin Sonatas at the Wigmore Hall

One of the world’s greatest violinists, Nikolaj Znaider will perform four sonatas with pianist Robert Kulek at the Wigmore Hall on Wednesday 3 March. Two Viennese classics, Beethoven’s E-flat sonata from opus 12 and Schubert’s D minor Sonatina are played alongside Franck’s Sonata from 1886 and Poulenc’s Sonata, written during the Second World War and dedicated to the memory of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. Znaider’s recent recording of the Elgar Violin Concerto, with the Dresden Staatskapelle conducted by Sir Colin Davis, has been received to outstanding critical acclaim. In 2009 he was named the world’s top violinist by Classic FM Magazine . Wednesday 3 March, 7.30pm, Wigmore Hall Nikolaj Znaider violin Robert Kulek piano Poulenc Violin Sonata | Beethoven Violin Sonata No.3 in E-flat Op.12 No.3 | Schubert Violin Sonata (Sonatina) in D D384 | Franck Sonata in A for violin and piano Tickets: £15 £20 £25 £30 – 020 7935 2141 – k

Scottish Chamber Orchestra's February Concerts

Scottish Chamber Orchestra Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen continues the Orchestra’s February concerts, directing renowned Russian pianist Polina Leschenkco and the SCO in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 2 on 11- 13 February in St Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Polina Leshenkco has continued to make a big name for herself throughout Europe and the Americas since last performing with Swensen and the Orchestra in 2007. The concert will conclude with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 3 ‘Scottish’. On 18 and 19 February, Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati directs four masterworks from Eastern Europe: Ligeti’s Ramifications, Bartók’s Rumanian Folk Dances and Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in which the soloist is the SCO’s Principal Bassoonist Peter Whelan. The concert provides another opportunity to hear Mozart’s Symphony No 38 ‘Prague’, which appears on the Orchestra’s award-winning album, Mozart Symphonies 38-41, released in 2008. Scottish mezzo soprano Karen Cargill, who is the SCO’s featured artist

The Dallas Opera Presents World Premiere of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick on April 30, 2010, Starring Tenor Ben Heppner as Captain Ahab

Production Is First World Premiere at Dallas’s New Winspear Opera House The first world premiere at the new Winspear Opera House here will be an epic event: The Dallas Opera's spring production of Moby-Dick by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, based on Herman Melville's iconic American novel of 1851. Tenor Ben Heppner stars as Captain Ahab. Jake Heggie has said that Melville's book isn't only operatic in scope: music virtually rises from its pages. "There is so much music with the sea and the wind and that sort of universe that Melville created, the ship floating on the ocean just as the planet floats on the universe. There were bells on the whaling ships, the whales themselves made very percussive noises." As he and Scheer worked to distill a huge, classic book into a two-act, three-hour operatic story, the composer felt "the musical world reveal itself" with grand orchestration and a 40-voice men's chorus. The six-per