Showing posts from 2011

Music Innovation vs Music Perfection

I think in 21st century terms. My music is 21st century music. But am I an innovator or a perfecter of the art form? There is an interesting anomaly in the way humans think. Concepts we consider common-place are actually elements we have been developing over centuries of thinkers and provocative thought. For example, personal faith, the concept of GOD as an individual communicator has it's roots in the Confessions of St Augustine. The very way he describes his personal relationship with GOD is unique in world literature, yet paved the way for massive tomes on the topic. Before you get too incensed feeling as though you have always had a personal relationship with GOD and have never read the writings of St Augustine, this example is based how humans transmit concepts from one to another. Someone comes up with an original thought (rare, but it does happen), and they write it down. Someone else reads the thought, causing them to ponder and eventually accept the concept. They

Martin Luther King Jr. concerts & Peacemakers world premiere Jan 15-16

Distinguished Concerts International New York Presents a weekend of concert in honor of the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Psalms & Songs for the New Year An Afternoon of Beautiful & Inspirational Choral Works Sunday, January 15 at 2:00pm ~ Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center & The Peacemakers WORLD PREMIERE by Karl Jenkins Over 300 musicians join together for the first world premiere of major work by Karl Jenkins to take place in the US, featuring text by Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 16 at 7:00pm ~ Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) presents two sublime concerts of choral music on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, inspired by Dr. King and peacemakers the world over. The concert on Sunday, January 15 at 2pm at Avery Fisher Hall welcomes 2012 with Psalms & Songs for the New Year, featuring John Rutter’s magnificent and emotionally-charged Mass of the Children , Leonard Bernstein’s colourful C

Violinst Nigel Armstrong Makes LA Chamber Orch Debut - Mostly Mozart Concert-Jan 21-2

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), noted for discovering and showcasing stellar young artists early their careers, presents the dynamic and uniquely talented 21-year-old violinist Nigel Armstrong in a Mozart (Mostly) program led by LACO Principal Cello Andrew Shulman, in his LA conducting debut, on Saturday, January 21, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, and Sunday, January 22, 7 pm, at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Armstrong, a finalist in the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, held every four years and considered “classical music's equivalent of the Olympics” (Los Angeles Times), has been hailed as “gifted” and “blazing” (Chicago Tribune). The California native and recent graduate of The Colburn School Conservatory of Music performs Mozart’s stunning Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K. 216. This is the fist time Armstrong has performed publicly in California since being named a finalist in the prestigious competition and marks his LACO debut. In addition, Shulman condu

St. Louis Symphony Presents the Movie Music of John Williams

Music from Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark Included in Dec. 29 & 30 Concerts His works are etched on our collective memories—now the Movie Music of John Williams is coming to Powell Hall December 29 and 30. Williams composed such classic movie scores as Star Wars , Saving Private Ryan and Close Encounters of the Third Kind , and many of his most famous works will be performed by the St. Louis Symphony during the Movie Music of John Williams concerts at Powell Hall on December 29 and 30. Music Director David Robertson will lead the Symphony in this celebration of some of the most beloved and recognizable movie music ever written. As an extra treat for patrons, more than a dozen costumed characters from the Star Wars films will be stationed throughout Powell Hall during the concerts and will be available for photo opportunities.

This Week's TOP TICKET in Denver: A Night in Vienna

Celebrate the final evening of 2011 with the Colorado Symphony at A Night in Vienna. Ring in the New Year with this Viennese style concert featuring polkas, waltzes, and marches performed by the Colorado Symphony. Afterwards, take a stroll down to the 16th Street Mall for the fireworks display and still get home long before the clock strikes midnight. Get Tickets Online

Denis Matsuev US Recital Appearances January 2012

World Acclaimed Pianist Visits Seattle, Los Angeles and New York City to Perform Repertoire of Schubert, Beethoven, Grieg and Stravinsky “Mr. Matsuev, wielding his athletic virtuosity and steely power, gave a chiseled, hard-driving yet transparent performance.” The New York Times In January 2012, Denis Matsuev returns to the United States as part of a massive world-wide tour reaching Europe, Asia, Israel and beyond. The pianist received critical acclaim for his sold-out Carnegie Hall recital in February of 2010 – an evening about which the New York Times noted, “he superbly offered a primal performance….atmosphere was electric.” In May 2011, Matsuev enjoyed another string of successful American solo appearances in Washington DC, San Francisco and Boston. Matsuev begins the next leg of his US recital tour on January 22ndat Benaroya Hall in Seattle. From there he goes on to Los Angeles to appear at UCLA’s Royce Hall on January 24thand finishes the tour at New York City’s Carnegie

Luca Pisaroni Returns to Met Stage for All-Star Baroque Tableau Enchanted Island

Looks Ahead to Chicago Lyric Opera Debut as Argante in Handel's Rinaldo Luca Pisaroni is coming off rave reviews for his performances as Leporello in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Don Giovanni ("charismatic and compulsively watchable," according to the New York Observer ). Next, the Italian bass-baritone will take another featured turn on the Met stage as Caliban, alongside Plácido Domingo and Joyce DiDonato, in The Enchanted Islan d – the company's freshly conceived Shakespearean tableau of music by Handel, Vivaldi, and Rameau, conducted by renowned Baroque authority William Christie (Dec 31-Jan 30). In the new year, Pisaroni makes his Chicago Lyric Opera debut, reprising his acclaimed portrayal of Argante for a new production of Handel's Rinaldo (Feb 29-March 24). The Enchanted Island is the Met's version of the Baroque tradition of pasticcio – a light pastiche of operatic snippets woven into a dazzling tableau, this time with the lov

Danielle de Niese Beauty of the Baroque out on Decca Jan 10th

Danielle de Niese’s third Decca album, Beauty of the Baroque is released as the soprano stars in the world premiere of Enchanted Island at the Metropolitan Opera With her third solo album, soprano Danielle de Niese embodies the Beauty of the Baroque with an album of treasured arias from the English, German, and Italian traditions to be released by Decca on January 10th, 2012. She is accompanied by leading European Baroque orchestra, The English Concert under Harry Bicket, a conductor whom De Niese calls “a musician’s musician” who “gives you wings to fly.” Danielle de Niese is also joined by renowned countertenor Andreas Scholl for duets including Monteverdi’s ravishing duet “Pur ti miro.” The album, already released in the UK in summer of 2011, has garnered four star reviews, and was hailed by The Independent , The Sunday Times and The Telegraph praising de Niese’s “vivacity and fresh-toned sweetness” and describing the program as a “charming recital that shows this popular sopr

As Thomas Hampson’s “Song of America” Radio Series Takes Off, Baritone Returns to US for Concerts

As his 13-week “Song of America” radio series fans out successfully across the American airwaves, Thomas Hampson returns to the US for a series of high-profile concerts, recitals and a company role debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, all featuring signature repertoire. He begins by collaborating for the first time with Gustavo Dudamel, with whom he will perform Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Jan 13-15). “Song of America” recitals, with pianist Craig Rutenberg, follow at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (Jan 22), and in Clinton, MS (Jan 24), Nashville, TN (Jan 26) and Sarasota, FL (Jan 30). Hampson then teams up with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for Brahms’s Requiem and Dvorák’s Bible Songs (Feb 3-5), before heading to New York for his company role debut as Verdi’s Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera (six performances March 15 – April 9). Hampson’s “Song of America” project reached a new high this fall with the intro

Stephen Costello Makes House Role Debut as Alfredo in La traviata at London’s Royal Opera House on January 2

“ A prodigiously gifted singer whose voice makes an immediate impact. ”– Associated Press “Stephen Costello stole the show,” reported the Guardian when Stephen Costello made his 2009 house debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Spectator magazine was moved to predict: “Stephen Costello will be a big star.” Now the American tenor returns to the fabled London venue for his company role debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata . His five appearances (Jan 2–20) come in a revival of Richard Eyre’s celebrated staging, with Maurizio Benini on the podium. For the first three performances, Costello’s Violetta is Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho; for the final pair, he is rejoined by Anna Netrebko, with whom he recently made waves in the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere production of Anna Bolena . Costello and Netrebko’s first appearance together in Donizetti’s tragedy was at the Met’s season-opening Anna Bolena this past fall. The Associated Press noted, “As the hapless Percy, Ann

Jurowski's Mahler Symphony No. 2 on the LPO Label receives Praise from Gramophone

" Jurowski wipes the floor with the recent Rattle and Jansons accounts and is probably now the prime recommendation, the "library" choice, that has for so long eluded us. " Gramophone Magazine Recording of the Month, August 2011 " As engaging as it gets " BBC Music Magazine *****

2012 Arts in Society Conference, Art and Design Academy, Liverpool, UK, 23-25 July - Call for Papers

SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE ARTS IN SOCIETY 23-25 July 2012 Art and Design Academy, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK Art and Design Academy announces the Call-for-Papers for the Seventh International Conference on the Arts in Society. The conference and its companion journal provide a scholarly platform for discussions of the arts and art practices, enabling an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the arts in society. They are intended as a place for critical engagement, examination and experimentation of ideas that connect the arts to their contexts in the world - in studios and classrooms, in galleries and museums, on stage, on the streets and in communities. In addition to an impressive line-up of international plenary speakers, the conference will also include paper presentations, roundtable discussions, workshop and interactive presentations, poster or exhibit sessions, and colloquia submitted by pr

Amadeus Press publishes "Michael Rabin: America’s Virtuoso Violinist" by Anthony Feinstein

Michael Rabin: America’s Virtuoso Violinist (Amadeus Press, $22.99) by Anthony Feinstein is the poignant story of the life and career of one of history’s greatest violinists. As a child prodigy, Rabin had the classical music world at his feet. Notable successes included a coveted EMI contract, recording the soundtrack for an Elizabeth Taylor movie, and guest appearances on “The Milton Berle Show” and “ The Bell Telephone Hour.” But, no sooner had Rabin taken his place alongside such illustrious contemporaries as Heifetz, Milstein, and Stern than he abruptly and inexplicably disappeared from the concert stage. For three years, the public saw and heard little of him. In the mid-1960s, Rabin resurfaced and painstakingly began rebuilding a once-great career. Then one morning, in January 1972, the music world awoke to news of his sudden, mysterious death at age 35. For the first edition of this biography, Feinstein had unprecedented access to Rabin’s private papers and medical histo

Houston Grand Opera Brings Recognition to UNESCO-Protected Mariachi with Opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna

"A tremendous and moving work of exceptional melodic beauty." — Classical TV After last December's premiere run in Houston of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna , the world’s first mariachi opera, the Houston Chronicle called the piece "a bold first-time fusion" that "succeeded on all fronts." With the November announcement by UNESCO that mariachi has been added to its World Heritage List, Cruzar is now at the forefront of the effort to gain international recognition for this vibrant genre of music. Those who were not able to see the September performances of Cruzar at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris will be able to experience the work stateside, in performances to be announced soon. More immediately, the Albany Records album of Cruzar is available on CD and in digital form. Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera through its "Song of Houston: Mexico 2010" project (in celebration of the anniversaries of Mexican independence and revolution), Cruzar

Scottish Chamber Orchestra in January - Emannanuelle Haim, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Ticciati & Ligeti

SCO welcomes in the New Year in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care Handel Water Music and Rameau with Emmanuelle Haïm Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Brahms Piano Concerto No 2 Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati celebrates the music of György Ligeti, with associated study day The Scottish Chamber Orchestra welcomes in 2012 with a traditional Viennese New Year concert, in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. A Night in Old Vienna is conducted by Nicholas McGegan, a favourite with SCO audiences. The programme includes much-loved waltzes, polkas and marches by the Strauss family, including The Blue Danube , Champagne Polka and the Radetzky March . Young soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, recipient of a 2011 Borletti-Buitoni Award and already a regular at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, joins McGegan and the Orchestra to perform arias from Viennese operetta. The concert takes place on 1 January 2012 at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, before heading to Dumfries, Ayr and Perth (3, 4 & 5 January).

This Week's TOP TICKET in Denver: Limited View Seats - $35 for Bugs Bunny at the Symphony

Colorado Symphony has limited and obstructed view seats left for Bugs Bunny at the Symphony. While you may not see the movie screens, you'll still get a view of the musicians and will delight in hearing your favorite Looney Tunes! Warner Bros. presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, the celebrated sequel to Bugs Bunny on Broadway, features a new fusion of on-screen Looney Tunes with live Colorado Symphony accompaniment. Spotlighting original classics and an enlarged “cast” of Warner Bros. animated characters and cartoons, this is a great opportunity to expose the younger generation to the classical music and classic animation you treasured as a child. POPS SERIES Warner Bros. Presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony FRI 12/30 - 7:30 p.m. Boettcher Concert Hall

On December 26, Offers a Free Full Day of Viewing – Plus Holiday Gift Cards Are Available Now

“A seismic shift in the world of classical music.” – Toronto Star on The go-to site for experiencing world-class classical performances on the Web – – will be offering all music lovers in the U.S. an unlimited free day of viewing on December 26 of the myriad programs in the site's pay-per-view library. Much of the live programming on is available free throughout the year, but on the day after Christmas, the pay-for-view archival programs will be free, too – as a gift to the site's fans and new friends. What's available on now includes more opera than ever before – including acclaimed productions from the UK and Paris with such top stars as Jonas Kaufmann, Natalie Dessay, and Gerald Finley. There are also live Webcasts of top-tier orchestral concerts, vocal performances, and chamber recitals, along with vintage documentaries and music films – including the much-lauded Christopher Nupen catalog. For the holiday season, is als

Houston Grand Opera Commissions Two Chamber Operas in Its East + West Initiative for Premieres in 2012

One Focusing on City's Vibrant Iranian Community, Another on Its Cambodian Community As part of HGOco's cross-cultural East + West initiative, Houston Grand Opera has commissioned two chamber operas to be premiered in spring and summer 2012. The first, The Bricklayer , focuses on Houston's vibrant Iranian community, with a libretto by Iranian-American writer Farnoosh Moshiri and music by composer Gregory Spears. This piece will debut March 15, 2012, with a run of three to five performances at the Wortham Center's Cullen Theater. The second East + West commission, New Arrivals , centers on Houston's Cambodian community, with a libretto by playwright Catherine Filloux and music by composer John Glover. HGO plans to perform this work four times in June 2012. For its East + West programs, HGOco spotlights communities and cultures having vital, active presences in Houston. The Iranian community is just such a community, with Persian culture in Houston widely celebrat

Interview with pianist Alice Sara Ott

The soloist talks about Liszt, Beethoven, audiences, and her choice of footwear German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott is sort of a dark-horse among the classical stars (At least here in the US), but she does have a few things going that allow for her to get a bit more exposure. For starters, she was tapped to step in and replace Lang Lang for a concert at London's Barbican with Daniel Harding and the LSO last year. The Guardian's Tim Ashley describes it so sweetly : Liszt's Concerto plays fast and loose with form, jettisoning traditional movements in favour of evolving thematic development. The soloist, replacing Lang Lang at short notice, was Alice Sara Ott, who gave the kind of gawp-inducing bravura performance of which legends are made. The heft of her playing contrasts with the elegance of her platform manner. Harding's conducting was all monumentality and fire – it felt a bit superhuman, as Liszt always should-- Tim Ashley, The Guardian This plus the lady

Nick Vasallo to release new CD Momuments Emerge with Innova Recordings

Kick Starter Campaign started to help fund the project Innova Recordings is planning on releasing a CD of my new works entitled Monuments Emerge (nearly 70 minutes of music composed between 2007 and 2011). This is not only a rare and wonderful opportunity for me but all the musicians involved as well. With the state of classical music today, not to mention new art music, this is not intended as a lucrative endeavor. This is purely from a let's get the music heard standpoint. Although Nick is a relatively unknown composer, this recording will help get his music to more listeners than he might otherwise reach. Even a single dollar will help tremendously! Please consider being a part of this meaningful project. Your contribution will not only nurture the growth of American New Music - which is an integral aspect for the progress of art, but it will also help promote the idea of cross pollination and the beauty which stems from combining different entities; a truly American idea

Don't be Afraid of the Word No. Artists prefer NO to Nothing

For those organizations, ensembles or performers who receive unsolicited scores, don't be afraid of giving a negative response. This week I ran a little survey on Twitter asking three simple questions: How often do you send unsolicited scores to ensembles in a year If you send an unsolicited score, would you prefer to hear back if the ensemble does not choose to perform your work? Have you ever had an unsolicited score performed? The results weren't really surprising to me, as they fell in line with what I personally felt. They also coincide with another survey done of authors about rejection notices by Janet Reid. Artists would rather hear a "no" response than nothing at all. In my own survey, the number of composers who send scores out once or twice a year is about the same as those who send there more more. Half of the respondents don't send out unsolicited scores. I didn't ask why, but suspect composers who don't send scores out either don&#

Enjoy a Different Holiday Concert This Year: “Naughty & Nice,” featuring the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles Dec 17

Featuring Special Guest Melissa Manchester The renowned Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) spices up the season with two performances of its annual holiday spectacular, “Naughty & Nice,” featuring the 200-voice chorus and special guest Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, actress and composer Melissa Manchester – hailed as an “icon” (Huffington Post) and a “heart-on-her-sleeve singer-songwriter (Toronto Sun) – Saturday, December 17, 8 pm, and Sunday, December 18, 2010, 3 pm, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Artistic Director E. Jason Armstrong conducts a sleighful of beautifully arranged holiday classics, sing-alongs, hand bells, and special holiday fare both humorous and poignant – replete with dazzling choreography. The family-friendly concert opens GMCLA’s 2011-12 season, its 33rd. In addition, GMCLA returns to an old tradition of holding a “Community Prelude” – a fully staged dress performance (without the guest star and fewer numbers) – on Saturday, December 17, 3

Christine Brewer Sings Wagner, Strauss, & Beethoven with Orchestras in San Francisco, St. Louis, & Boston

Dominant as ever in the concert hall this winter, Christine Brewer – styled “the ideal modern Wagnerian soprano” by the Los Angeles Times – joined the San Francisco Symphony and guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen for three concert performances of excerpts from Götterdämmerung , the closing chapter of Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle (Dec 8-10). Following her recent account of the German composer’s Wesendonck Lieder with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, “a performance that was a model of vocal allure and musical intelligence” ( South Florida Classical Review ), Brewer reprises the work – coupled with Beethoven’s “Ah! perfido” – with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Ward Stare (Jan 20 & 21). She returns to Beethoven for four performances of the Missa solemnis with the Boston Symphony led by Kurt Masur, first at the orchestra’s Boston home (Feb 23-25) and then at New York’s Carnegie Hall (March 6). Early in the new year, the “superlative Strauss singer” (New York

Trinity Wall Street Takes Messiah Uptown for Debut at Lincoln Center, Then Launches Twelfth Night Festival

When Trinity Wall Street’s Director of Music and the Arts, Julian Wachner, led the resident Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah last season, the New York Times praised the performance’s “juxtaposition of serene introspection and ebullient release.” Now the same forces reprise this holiday favorite for their Lincoln Center debut at Alice Tully Hall on December 19. Trinity Wall Street’s seasonal offerings continue with the launch of the first annual Twelfth Night Festival , created in collaboration with many of New York City’s leading early-music ensembles: the Green Mountain Project, TENET, Les Sirènes, and the Sebastian Chamber Players. The festival’s inaugural season (Dec 26 – Jan 6) is framed by the six cantatas that make up J.S. Bach’s exuberant Christmas Oratorio and also includes the Vespers of 1640 by Monteverdi. Today, Handel’s Messiah is a perennial holiday favorite that reliably draws sellout crowds. In the United States, Trinity Wall Street

Young American Theater Director Arin Arbus Discusses Her Operatic Debut

Her New Production of Britten’s Rape of Lucretia Opens at Houston Grand Opera, Feb 3, 2012 A brief conversation with Arin Arbus: Q: How did the opportunity to direct Britten’s Rape of Lucretia at Houston Grand Opera – your debut opera production – come about? AA: HGO’s previous General Director, Anthony Freud, contacted me. He came to New York City and saw my production of Othello at the Theatre for a New Audience, and later he came and saw my production there of Measure for Measure. He called and suggested I consider doing Britten’s Rape of Lucretia in Houston, knowing that I had never directed an opera before. I listened to the music, which I was hearing for the first time, and quickly came to love it. Lucretia has a reputation for being a problematic piece dramaturgically. Some people find the ending unsatisfying. After Measure for Measure, which is commonly thought as one of Shakespeare’s “problematic” works, perhaps he thought I was a good match for the piece. Q: What a

Pianist Jonathan Biss & Onyx Classics Release the 1st Volume of a Nine-Disc Survey of the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas Jan 9

First CD features Piano Sonatas Nos. 5, 11, 12 & 26 Pianist Jonathan Biss has described the task of recording all 32 of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata’s as a pianist’s “Mount Everest”. He has begun his own ascent with the first volume of Piano Sonatas Nos. 5, 11, 12 and 26 to be released on Onyx Classics today, January 9. The cycle of sonatas will be spread over nine CDs to be released over the next nine years. In his liner notes for the inaugural recording, Mr. Biss describes the 32 sonatas as “32 masterpieces, 32 distinct structures, 32 fully realized, often awe-inspiring, always unique emotional universes. As individual works, each is endlessly compelling on its own merits; as a cycle, it moves from transcendence to transcendence, the basic concerns always the same, but the language impossibly varied.” Thirty-one-year-old Mr. Biss says the project’s lengthy span is due to him being reluctant to record the sonatas until he has performed each of them live, giving him the oppor

Violinist Nicola Benedetti Makes Her Decca Classics Debut with Italia, Available Jan 24

“…a lively celebration of Benedetti’s Italian roots, shot through with some laser-sharp pyrotechnics…” – BBC Music Magazine For her Decca Classics debut album, violinist Nicola Benedetti makes her first recording of baroque violin repertoire. Recorded in Edinburgh, Italia celebrates Benedetti’s Scottish-Italian heritage as she plays virtuoso Italian masterpieces, accompanied by the leading chamber orchestra of her native Scotland, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Italia will be released on January 24, 2012. The album includes both popular highlights of the baroque repertoire as well as some overlooked gems. Benedetti includes one concerto from Vivaldi’s enduring masterpiece, The Four Seasons, as well as Tartini’s Devil’s Trill . In addition the generous selection ranges from the sparkling virtuosity of the opening Vivaldi Concerto Grosso Mogul, to the poignant lament of the Veracini Largo and the lyrical beauty of the two arrangements of Vivaldi vocal works, including the haunt

Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbird scores new Grammy nods for Lonely Motel

eighth blackbird enjoys a happy relationship with the Grammys, having won a nomination and two awards, including the one for “Best Chamber Music Performance,” in 2008. Now nominations for the 54th Grammys are in, revealing that the new-music sextet has drawn away from the pack once again with a full three nods – one for “Best Small Ensemble Performance” among them – for Lonely Motel: music from “Slide.” Released in September by Cedille Records, Lonely Motel features music from Steve Mackey and Rinde Eckert’s Slide, the genre-defying new music-theater piece that eighth blackbird commissioned and premiered as the centerpiece of the 2009 Ojai Music Festival*. As Tim Munro, the sextet’s flutist, explains: “This project has been a decade-long labor of love for eighth blackbird, and we are excited that the Grammy Academy members love Steve Mackey and Rinde Eckert’s crazy, fascinating, passionate work as much as we do. What an honor!” The three nominations for the disc are in the fol

Iestyn Davies Caps High-Profile U.S. Season with Carnegie Hall Debut on December 15

A widely anticipated debut recital at Carnegie Hall on December 15 is among the highlights of countertenor Iestyn Davies ’s remarkable autumn, which saw the U.S. release in October of his most recent recording, Porpora Cantatas , a solo album on the Hyperion label that is already a sensation in Europe, and rave reviews for his Metropolitan Opera debut in Rodelinda in November. Named 2010’s Royal Philharmonic Young Artist of the Year and described as having “one of the most glorious countertenor voices in the world today” (Independent – UK), the British singer will perform at Carnegie Hall with pianist Kevin Murphy, recreating much of their Phillips Collection program in Washington, DC, on December 4. At Carnegie Hall they will add the world premiere of folksong arrangements by New Yorker Nico Muhly, alongside works by Britten, Purcell, and Bach. Muhly’s opera, Two Boys , was recently given its debut at English National Opera, consolidating his reputation as an “important artist” (New Y

London Symphony Orchestra Performs music by Thomas Ades Conducted by Antonio Pappano and Thomas Ades

The London Symphony Orchestra performs two concerts in January featuring music by Thomas Adès, one of Britain’s leading composers. On 10 January the LSO, conducted by Antonio Pappano will perform dances from his chamber opera Powder Her Face, which Adès conducted with the LSO at the Barbican in 2006. Following the exploits of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, Powder Her Face was written in 1995 and has been performed worldwide. The work is part of an all-British programme which also features Walton’s Viola Concerto with soloist Antoine Tamestit and Elgar’s Symphony No. 1. There is a free pre-concert performance of music by Sir William Walton at 6pm in the Barbican Hall given by artists from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Adès himself conducts the London Symphony Orchestra on 15 January in a performance of his own ‘In Seven Days’ for piano and orchestra (performed by Nicolas Hodges), and the orchestral work Tevot. Premiered in 2007 by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Tevot

Macy's Decorators "Deck the Halls" at Powell Hall St. Louis

St. Louis Symphony’s Holiday Celebration Concerts December 16-18 The St. Louis Symphony will have some expert help getting its home ready for the rest of the holiday season. Expert decorators from Macy’s Visual Department will come to Powell on Wednesday, December 14 at 1pm to help transform the hall into a true winter wonderland. As part of a special holiday partnership, a window featuring the St. Louis Symphony is also included at the downtown St. Louis Macy’s store. The halls will be fully decked at Powell just in time for the St. Louis Symphony’s four Holiday Celebration concerts on December 16-18. The program features fantastic music from the St. Louis Symphony, favorite carols and even a special surprise or two from Santa. The holiday fun is presented by Macy’s. Tickets may be purchased on-line at or by phone at 314-534-1700. In addition, the St. Louis Symphony is offering “gift packages” for Mom, Dad and families. These special ticket deals of

I don't go to the concert hall enough

My life has been in upheaval for the past 6 months. After graduating my post graduate studies, getting to the "next thing" took some time, during which I haven't really gotten much chance to get into the concert hall. That changed yesterday (thank heaven!). I went to see Pacific Symphony perform Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" along with Corelli's "Christmas Concerto" last night. Wow, what a joy it was to actually sit and listen to classical music live! I work for Pacific Symphony, so it is not appropriate for me to provide a review. What I can say is I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Live music has a way of connecting performers with their audience in a manner that's just not possible any other way. Vivaldi, Corelli and Greig --the three composer's of the night, aren't really composers I would typically pay to hear performed. I'm more of late 20th, early 21st century music lover. There is a lot of great music from the common pr

Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams to Serve as Music Consultants for the 84th Academy Awards®

Oscar® -winning composer Hans Zimmer and Grammy® Award-winning songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams will serve as music consultants for the 84th Academy Awards, telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer announced today. This will be the first time the composers have worked on the Oscar show. "Hans is one of the most accomplished and creative film composers of our time, and Pharrell is a phenomenal songwriter with an amazing list of credits," said Grazer and Mischer. "This is an exciting and prestigious collaboration that promises to take the audience on a musical journey." "It is a great privilege to serve the Academy in this role and to help celebrate and honor this year's incredible artistry," stated Zimmer. "I am honored to work with my mentor and teacher, Hans Zimmer and I have wanted to collaborate with Brian Grazer on something for years," said Williams. "I cannot believe I will be joining them and their teams on t

Colorado Symphony Board Appoints Gene Sobczak President and CEO

Six New Members elected to Board of Trustees The Colorado Symphony Board of Trustees announced today that it has appointed Gene Sobczak as its new President & CEO. In addition, six new trustees have been elected to the board. Gene Sobczak currently serves as Executive Director of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and has held the position since 2007. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President for the Colorado Symphony from 2002-2007. While at the Arvada Center, Sobczak has increased market recognition, centralized business operations, and developed successful programming, sales and marketing strategies. At the Colorado Symphony, he was instrumental in building and growing online ticket sales, plus generated an overall 47% increase in ticket sales. Sobczak serves on the Arts for Colorado Board of Trustees and the Colorado Task Force for Arts Education in Workforce Development, among other board positions. “I am honored to have been asked by the musicians and

New Year's Eve at the Colorado Symphony features A Night In Vienna

This New Year's Eve, let the Colorado Symphony transport you to the ballrooms of Vienna This New Year's Eve, take a beautiful musical journey with the Colorado Symphony and "A Night in Vienna," Denver's iconic New Year's celebration that will transport you to the magical world of 19th century Europe. On Saturday, December 31 at 6:30 p.m., join resident conductorScott O'Neiland the Colorado Symphony for an evening of the music that madeVienna's ballrooms famous – music that continues to thrill audiences worldwide. The centerpiece of this special celebration is the music of the "Waltz King," Johann Strauss Jr., and his legendary waltzes and polkas, such as the Kaiser-Walzer (Emperor Waltzes) and Unter Donner und Blitz (Thunder and Lightning Polka). The evening would not be complete without concertgoer favorites such as On the Beautiful Blue Danube, plus new surprises that make this New Year's Eve concert a treasured ritual for many music

Trey Anastasio announces first-ever orchestral tour

Guitarist/singer Trey Anastasio will launch his first-ever orchestral tour on February 9, 2012, performing with the Atlanta Symphony at the Atlanta Symphony Hall. The Trey Anastasio Winter Symphony Tour will also include performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony (2/14), the Colorado Symphony (2/28) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic (3/10). The programs, conducted by Scott Dunn in all four cities, will feature orchestrations of classic Phish songs and solo Anastasio compositions. A founding member of the GRAMMY®-nominated, genre-melding rock band Phish, Anastasio has also released eight solo albums, A curious and constant composer, he draws inspiration from experimental jazz, classical, pop, reggae, metal and barbershop music. In 2009, Anastasio made his debut with the New York Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony in programs that featured his concerto for electric guitar and orchestra, Time Turns Elastic, as well as original compositions. The New York Times hailed Anastasio’s Carneg

Warner Bros. Presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony with the Colorado Symphony

Conducted by Emmy Award™ winner George Daugherty, Bugs Bunny at the Symphony celebrates the world's favoriteLooney Tunes characters on-screen with live symphony orchestra accompaniment Timed perfectly for holiday celebrations, this concert celebrates the most famous animation in the world – and its equally famous music – on Friday, December 30 at 7:30 p.m. Warner Bros. Presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony stars all your favorite Looney Tunes® characters on-screen with live, full symphony orchestra accompaniment by the Colorado Symphony. It's a rare opportunity for adults to enjoy the cartoons they loved as children while introducing the magical world of animation and classical music to children. Conducted by creator George Daugherty, the concert showcases the music ofHollywood composers Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn, as inspired by the extraordinary classics of Wagner, Rossini, Smetana, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Donizetti, Offenbach, Liszt, and many others. Only obstructed

Grammy Nomination for Composer Jefferson Friedman - Chiara Quartet Album on New Amsterdam Records

Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartet No. 3 Nominated for a GRAMMY for “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” Recorded by the Chiara String Quartet New Amsterdam Records Composer Jefferson Friedman's String Quartet No. 3, part of the Chiara String Quartet's Jefferson Friedman: Quartets album released in April on New Amsterdam Records, has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category (#76). The 54th Grammy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, at 8pm EST on CBS. Jefferson Friedman: Quartets also includes the composer’s String Quartet No. 2 and two remixes of the quartets by electronica duo Matmos. Grammy-winning engineer Judith Sherman (who is also nominated this year in the Classical Producer of the Year category) produced the recording. The album has drawn significant praise since its release. The Boston Globe reports that String Quartet No. 3 shows “astonishing imaginative breadth,” while The San Francis

TriPlay Launches Custom MyMusicCloud App to Conduit's Network of 260,000 Publishers and 250 Million Users

New MyMusicCloud App, Powered by Conduit, Enables Users to Play Music Collections Directly from their Browsers Enjoy your music collection directly from your browser! The new MyMusicCloud app enables users to listen to their music continuously, via Conduit-powered Community Toolbars, while surfing the web without locking them to a single website. MyMusicCloud uniquely addresses the needs of users who want to access and play music – online or offline – on any mobile device, tablet, or personal computer from anywhere in the world. MyMusicCloud enables users to synchronize their iTunes and other media players across virtually every type of device including BlackBerry, Samsung, Android phones, HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Apple's iPhone or iPad. For example, users can listen to all of their Apple iTunes collection and other media players on an Apple iPad together with an Android, BlackBerry or Nokia phone. “I've tried numerous cloud and online music services and M

Joseph Calleja Headlines 2011 Nobel Prize Concert on Dec 8

Joseph Calleja is the latest world-class artist to be chosen as the featured soloist at the Nobel Prize Concert, held annually in Stockholm on December 8 in honor of the year’s Nobel Laureates. For the 2011 concert, Calleja – “one of the finest lyric tenors before the public today” (Associated Press) – will perform a selection of favorite Italian and French opera arias with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Marcello Mottadelli. It was with a similar program that the singer’s most recent solo album, The Maltese Tenor, debuted last month in the number one spot on the Billboard Classical Traditional Chart in the US, having already topped similar lists in the UK and Germany. The disc includes an aria from Gounod’s Faust, and it is in the title role of a new production of this grand opera that Calleja returns to New York’s Metropolitan Opera in January 2012. Held annually before an audience that includes the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal family, the Nobel Prize Concert plays