Showing posts from February, 2011

Congrats to the Grammy Winners!

Best Classical Album Verdi: Requiem Riccardo Muti, conductor; Duain Wolfe, chorus master; Christopher Alder,producer; David Frost, Tom Lazarus & Christopher Willis, engineers/mixers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Ildar Abdrazakov, Olga Borodina, Barbara Frittoli & Mario Zeffiri; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Chicago Symphony Chorus) Best Instrumental Composition The Path Among The Trees Billy Childs, composer (Billy Childs Ensemble)Track from: Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz - Chamber Music Vol. 2 Best Orchestral Performance Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony; Deus Ex Machina Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Terrence Wilson; Nashville Symphony) Best Opera Recording Saariaho: L'Amour De Loin Kent Nagano, conductor; Daniel Belcher, Ekaterina Lekhina & Marie-Ange Todorovitch; Martin Sauer, producer (Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Rundfunkchor Berlin) Best Choral PerformanceM Verdi: Requiem Riccardo Muti, conductor; Duain Wolfe, chorus master (Ildar Abdr

Poor, Pale Rusalka Beautiful Beyond Words (and music)

Opera Colorado Performed Dvořák's Rusalka Last Night at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver Additional Performances: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm Opera Colorado took the plunge and gave the Colorado Premiere of a rarely-performed opera by Antonín Dvorák. The music was stunning, but visually Wendall K. Harrington (Projection Designer), Erhard Rom (Set Designer) and Robert Wierzel (Lighting Designer) made the production breath-taking, more than just transporting us to the dark underworld of the water spirits, creating a world of passion and torture for characters and audience alike. The designers captured the sense of music visually, perfectly. For a story that mirrors Little Mermaid but with dark overtones, Rusalka paints the interaction between humans and the fairy world with Cimmerian color --images and music I'm not soon to forget. Stefan Szkafariwsky plays the sometime humorou

Vadim Repin Releases All-New Recording of Sonatas on Deutsche Grammophon

Russian violinist Vadim Repin teams up with pianist Nikolai Lugansky for their first studio recording together. Having collaborated for a number of years, they decided to program their first recording together just as one would encounter them in the concert hall. The three contrasting sonatas by Janáček, Grieg and Franck give the artists opportunities to explore a myriad of colors and array of emotions throughout the program. Deutsche Grammophon will release the album on February 1, 2011. Repin and Lugansky, though frequent collaborators on stage, had never recorded together until this recital. During an unusually hot period of time in July 2010, the two artists worked with ferocious intensity to record these three sonatas. According to Repin: “Recording is a very tough thing. It’s great when the CD is finished, but the sessions are very hard work because you have to be at your best for every take, and at the end of the day you feel completely wrung out by emotional exhaustion.

Susan Graham Returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Iphigénie, in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride

“Susan Graham, one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of our time,…is in her absolute prime.”– Denver Post (July 2010) On February 12, the Grammy Award-winning mezzo Susan Graham returns to the Metropolitan Opera to sing the “role she was born to sing”, starring opposite Plácido Domingo in the title role of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride . After taking her celebrated portrayal of Iphigénie to many of the world’s great opera houses, Graham returns home to the Met for the revival of its Stephen Wadsworth production, as originally mounted for her in 2007. Next, at Houston Grand Opera, she reprises her “breath stopping” ( Independent , UK) portrayal of the Composer in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos , and with the Philadelphia Orchestra, she sings Marguerite in Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust , in which role the New York Times pronounced her “terrific.” When Graham made her Metropolitan Opera house role debut in Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Iphigénie en Tauride , the New York Times ’s An

Decca Releases Rossini’s Armida Starring Renée Fleming

Filmed as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series In April of 2010 the Metropolitan Opera mounted the company premiere production of Rossini’s opera Armida starring American soprano Renée Fleming in the title role. Fleming had previously triumphed at the opera house in other lesser-known operas ( Il Pirata, Thaïs, Rodelinda and others) and so it was with great acclaim that the Met staged this bel canto rarity specifically for the soprano. The May 1, 2010 performance was broadcast as part of the Met’s Live in HD series and it is now brought to DVD by Decca – available February 15, 2011. For this new production and Met premiere, the opera company not only engaged Renée Fleming for the title role but also enlisted a stellar supporting cast, including Lawrence Brownlee as Rinaldo. Having previously triumphed in La Cenerentola (available on DVD from Deutsche Grammophon) at the house, Brownlee brought the audience to its feet with his warm, lyric voice and thrilling

Yuja Wang & Claudio Abbado: Rachmaninov out March 8th, 2011

Yuja Wang & Claudio Abbado, Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 Grammy-nominated pianist joins the legendary maestro in her first orchestral album to be released March 8th, 2011 “Wang doesn’t merely provide listeners with technically dazzling and heart-stoppingly beautiful accounts of the keyboard repertoire, she seems to be redefining what is possible with the instrument.” San Francisco Chronicle On March 8th, Deutsche Grammophon releases Grammy-nominated pianist Yuja Wang’s first orchestral album with Rachmaninov’s challenging Piano Concerto No. 2 . She pairs this seminal work with the daunting Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini , the composer’s last composition for piano and orchestra and a keystone of his symphonic œuvre. Claudio Abbado joins Yuja conducting his Mahler Chamber Orchestra. The 23-year-old Yuja Wang, Gramophone’s “Young Artist of the Year” 2009, hearkens to the no-holds-barred pianistic sensations of the 19th century. She has been described as “A pianist of ra

Colorado Symphony Announces Annual Ball

Motown legends The Temptations will bring down the house at 2011 Symphony Ball An extraordinary evening awaits Denver on Saturday, May 7 when the Colorado Symphony Ball welcomes one of the most popular vocal groups in music history, The Temptations. With The Temptations on-board, the Colorado Symphony Ball is redefining this unique fundraising evening. You can guarantee The Temptations will light up the night with their fabulous harmonies, unforgettable melodies, smooth-stepping, fine-tuned choreography and, of course, the famous Temptation Walk . The 2011 Ball will create a stirring atmosphere, bridging generations and musical genres, and reflecting the exhilarating array of concert experiences music lovers have come to love and expect from the Colorado Symphony. The 2011 Host Committee includes Symphony supporters Michael and Tauna Dowling, Kevin and Leanne Duncan, John and Carolee Hayes, Gary Lutz and Margaret Johnson, Heather and Mike Miller, and Willie and Sarah Shepherd. Julie

Nicola Benedetti to Release Tchaikovsky/Bruch: Violin Concertos

Benedetti Records Romantic Violin Repertoire Released February 22nd, 2011 Performances in Atlanta, South Carolina, North Carolina and Pittsburgh in February and March “Freely expressive…spontaneous and from the heart. Altogether a very competitive coupling of two of the great violin warhorses, a credit to a fine young artist and her associates. “Gramophone On February 22nd, Deutsche Grammophon will release violinist Nicola Benedetti’s fifth recording for the label, Tchaikovsky and Bruch’s beloved Violin Concertos. Recorded with the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of conductor Jakub Hrůša, the disc has already received accolades from critics in her native Britain, where the Herald Scotland called the recording “the most important thing she has ever done…a momentous disc.” At the age of 23, several years into a professional career which began at 16 with a hugely popular victory in the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year competition, Nicola Benedetti is finally recording two of

Bard SummerScape 2011 Explores Life and Times of Jean Sibelius with Seven-Week Arts Festival in New York’s Hudson Valley

July 7 – August 21, 2011 - Includes 22nd Bard Music Festival, “Sibelius and His World”, and New York’s First Staged Production of Richard Strauss’s Opera Die Liebe der Danae Scandinavia’s rich cultural heritage, and the question of artistic conservatism in the modernist age, will be explored at the eighth annual Bard SummerScape festival, which once again features a sumptuous tapestry of music, opera, theater, dance, film, and cabaret, keyed to the theme of the 22nd annual Bard Music Festival. Presented in the striking Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and other venues on Bard College’s bucolic Hudson River campus, the seven-week festival opens on July 7 with the first of four performances by Finland’s Tero Saarinen Company, and closes on August 21 with a party in Bard’s beloved Spiegeltent, which returns for the full seven weeks. This year’s Bard Music Festival explores “Sibelius and His World,” and some of the great Finnish symphonist’s most fascinating contemporari

Michael Tilson Thomas & the San Francisco Symphony Release 2 New Recordings

Ives’ A Concord Symphony , orchestrated by Henry Brant, Copland’s Organ Symphony featuring Paul Jacobs and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Piano Concerto No. 4 with Emanuel Ax Following the conclusion of their seven Grammy Award-winning Mahler recording cycle, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will release two new hybrid SACD recordings on February 8, 2011. The recordings will be available for pre-release by download exclusively from Apple’s iTunes Music Store beginning February 1. To be released by SFS Media on February 8 are recordings of Charles Ives’ A Concord Symphony , orchestrated by Henry Brant, and Copland’s Organ Symphony , with soloist Paul Jacobs, a 2011 Grammy Award nominee. A recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is paired with Piano Concerto No. 4 with soloist Emanuel Ax. All material was captured live in concerts held at Davies Symphony Hall. A Concord Symphony was recorded February 3-6, 2010; Copland’s Organ Symphony on Sep

The Dallas Opera Leads Off 2011 with Roméo et Juliette, Followed by Rigoletto

The Dallas Opera’s 2010-11 season revolves around “Dangerous Desires,” a theme of romantic drama and political intrigue, and the February 11-27 production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in the celebrated Winspear Opera House presents that most iconic story of love and conflict, starring two vocal up-and-comers, Russian soprano Lyubov Petrova and New York-born tenor Charles Castronovo. The star-crossed lovers’ tale will be followed by Verdi’s tragi-comedy Rigoletto (March 25-April 10); a production originally created for London’s Covent Garden, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (April 1-17); and the premiere of a song cycle by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer (April 8). The Boris Godunov production will be the Dallas Opera’s first staging of the Russian epic and the first time Mussorgsky’s opera has been produced in Dallas in more than 30 years. Starring as Juliette, Petrova previously appeared with the Dallas Opera in The Marriage of Figaro , her performances prompting Scott Cantrell of the D

Michael Tilson Thomas & the San Francisco Symphony to Premiere Keeping Score: Mahler on PBS Summer 2011

Orchestra’s acclaimed Keeping Score Project Also Features New Interactive Companion Web Site, National Public Radio Series, Home Video on DVD and Blu-Ray The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas will present new episodes of their acclaimed Keeping Scor e television series on PBS in Summer 2011 (check local listings), exploring the life and music of Gustav Mahler. In a year marking the centenary of both the death of Gustav Mahler and the birth of the San Francisco Symphony, the Orchestra’s Keeping Score project focuses on the enigmatic composer with two one-hour documentary-style episodes, two live-performance programs, new Mahler-related content at and a 13-part national radio series. The Keeping Score project is a natural outgrowth of the San Francisco Symphony’s almost century-long commitment to make classical music more accessible and meaningful to people of all ages and musical backgrounds. National broadcast dates on PBS will be announ

Janine Jansen plays a program of French music with recital partner Itamar Golan to be Released February 22nd

“At once elegant and electrifying, the beautiful Dutch violinist has taken the concert world by storm with her jewel-like sound and innovative yet impeccable sense of musical style.” Town & Country “Exuberant and just plain dazzling.” Los Angeles Times On February 22nd, Decca will release violinist Janine Jansen’s seventh studio album and her first recital recording. Entitled Beau Soir after Debussy's evocation of evening, the album by the “extravagantly gifted” (Vogue) Dutch virtuoso takes us from dusk to the moonlit night, from lullabies into sleep, from dreams to awakening and recollection. Jansen’s regular recital partner, pianist Itamar Golan joins her in this journey through the night. Popular classics such as Fauré’s Berceuse and Après un rêve , Debussy's Claire de lune and Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne are contrasted with three substantial works; sonatas by Debussy and Ravel, and Messiaen's Theme and Variations .

This Week's Top Ticket in Denver: Faun, Fleisher & Fantastique

Join the Colorado Symphony for piano great Leon Fleisher followed by the classic Symphonie fantastique . MASTERWORKS SERIES Faun, Fleisher & Fantastique 2/26 - 7:30 p.m 2/27 - 2:30 p.m. Boettcher Concert Hall Douglas Boyd, principal guest conductor Leon Fleisher, piano DEBUSSY / Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun RAVEL / Piano Concerto for the Left Hand BERLIOZ / Symphonie fantastique Principal Guest Conductor Douglas Boyd leads a program of sumptuous French works. The languid strains of Debussy are complemented perfectly by Ravel's jazzy Concerto for the Left Hand, featuring the legendary Leon Fleisher. The program concludes with Symphonie fantastique, complete with a "March to the Scaffold" and "Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath." Come early Saturday or Sunday and enjoy a Prelude conversation to the performance, or stay after Saturday's for a Talkback session with Principal Guest Conductor Douglas Boyd. Tickets available online at

Sony Classical Releases Nikolaus Harnoncourt Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem

With Vienna Philharmonic, Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Baritone Thomas Hampson And Soprano Genia Kühmeier Sony Classical announces the release of conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, op.45 available Tuesday, February 1, 2011. As with many Harnoncourt releases, he shows the world just how “new” old music can sound. In recent years, Harnoncourt has been giving audiences a fresh view on some of the masterpieces of Romantic and late-Romantic music. This is not the first time that Harnoncourt tackled Brahms’s “German Requiem,” but it is the first time that he explored the composer’s ideas on how it should be performed. Brahms originally conceived the piece to be performed by smaller groups. However, as the Requiem gained popularity (after the first concert performance in 1869), it was mostly performed by large choirs and orchestras. Brahms also made an intimate version to be performed by a few voices and two pianos. A preview of this work took place in Dessau

Opera Colorado congratulates Ryan Speedo Green, winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Rocky Mountain regional competition

Ryan Speedo Green, an ensemble member of Opera Colorado's Young Artists, won the Rocky Mountain regional competition of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on Saturday, January 29, and advances to the national semi-final competition in New York City in early March. The competition took place at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver and featured eleven singers competing for the chance to compete on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. The National Council Auditions have helped to discover many major opera talents over the past 56 years. Approximately 100 former participants in the auditions appear on the Metropolitan Opera's roster every season. Nearly half of those are former national winners. Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Deborah Voigt and many other opera luminaries were once winners of the Met Auditions. "Ryan's performance brought about an electricity in the audience that was thrilling to feel," said Step

Great Idea to Get People Using the stairs

Here is a video of how some engineers encouraged people to take the stairs...