Showing posts from March, 2011

Three NYC Poetry Month Performances for Lunatics at Large's Sanctuary Project

APRIL 8, 10 and 21, 2011 An exciting selection of established and emerging poets and composers have been commissioned by the New York City based new music ensemble Lunatics at Large ( to write works on the theme of “sanctuary,” which is a “sacred, holy place or a place of refuge.” After its multi-disciplinary opening performance at Weill Recital Hall on March 21, 2011, where Lunatics at Large recently premiered the five commissioned chamber pieces and poets read their Sanctuary poems (which were also commissioned by Lunatics at Large), the program is now being re-performed several times in actual sanctuaries (a church and a synagogue) in New York City and at WMP Concert Hall. “The Sanctuary Project” features composers André Brégégère, Mohammed Fairouz, Raphael Fusco, Laura Koplewitz, & Alex Shapiro; Their music is paired with poetry by Rob Buchert, Joanna Fuhrman, David Shapiro, Yerra Sugarman, & Ryan Vine. April 8, 8pm: Christ and Saint Stephen’

Colorado Symphony hosts well-known artists in a diverse April line-up

Itzhak Perlman, Jorge Federico Osorio, Andrew Grams, Juanjo Mena and Pink Martini among artists headlining April concerts April at the Colorado Symphony features an array of concert events for all music lovers, including the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the virtuosity of violinist Itzhak Perlman in Denver. April opens with Classical Top 40, the latest installment in the Colorado Symphony's popular Inside the Score series featuring works by Ravel, Bach, Mozart, Wagner, Pachelbel and much more. The excitement continues with Carmina Burana – one of the most undeniably riveting and wildly popular choral masterworks in the repertoire. Then, the inimitably glamorous Pink Martini brings its unique blend of elegant cocktail-hour fusion – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop – to the Colorado Symphony Pops Series. April continues with conductor Juanjo Mena and pianist Jorge Federico Osori o – two luminaries of the Spanish repertoire featured in a tr

Bass-Baritone Luca Pisaroni Makes Houston Grand Opera Debut with Role Debut as Almaviva in Figaro

An up-and-comer on both sides of the Atlantic, Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni will make his Houston Grand Opera debut in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro during an April 15-30 run that marks his debut in the role of Count Almaviva. Pisaroni has already made a name for himself in the opera’s title role, having been the Figaro of choice for three new music directors this season: Nicola Luisotti at San Francisco Opera, Philippe Jordan at Opéra National de Paris, and Franz Welser-Möst at the Vienna State Opera. Switching roles in Mozart’s subversive comic masterpiece – from Figaro to his nemesis, the Count – is a “thrilling opportunity,” Pisaroni says: “After 100 performances as Figaro, it will be so interesting to play his opponent. I love Figaro, and this role will stay in my repertoire for many years, but it’s time to explore the opera’s other major male character. Mozart wrote fantastic music for the Count. Especially the second act and the beginning of the third act, which are

Tenor Stephen Costello Makes Two Role Debuts at San Diego Opera, Starting April 3

“A prodigiously gifted singer whose voice makes an immediate impact.” – Associated Press Philadelphia-born tenor Stephen Costello has arrived on the West Coast for a month-long stay at San Diego Opera, where he will make two role debuts: the Italian Singer in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (April 3-12), and the title role in Gounod’s Faust (April 23, 26, 29 and May 1). Costello will be documenting his experiences with the company in an “Opera Diary” published by the San Diego Union-Tribune. The first of seven installments in the series is available here. Later this spring, Costello makes his Glyndebourne Festival debut as Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (June 9 – August 4), and this fall he reprises the role of Percy in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena , opening the Metropolitan Opera’s new season on September 26, 2011, in a new production featuring Anna Netrebko in the title role. Speaking of the role of the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier , which received it

Get 25 % OFF This Week's Top Ticket from the Colorado Symphony

Discounted tickets are available online at or call the box office at 303.623.7876 - Use promo code: RAVEL25 Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena has chosen to pair two great impressionistic works which conjure dreamy images of the Andaluz region. Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio also performs solo works of Granados before the program concludes with Ravel's sensual ballet Daphnis and Chloë .

American Music Center and Meet The Composer, Two of America’s Leading New Music Organizations, Announce Merger Plans

American Composers Forum Will Assume Membership and Professional Development Services From American Music Center The American Music Center (AMC) and Meet The Composer (MTC), two of America’s three leading organizations in the field of new music, announced today their intention to merge into a new advocacy and service organization. New Music USA will reach composers, performers, and listeners in all 50 states and project a more visible and audible profile for new American music all over the world. New Music USA will operate in two broad program areas: grant-making and media. The media programs will embrace new media in its many forms as a vehicle for connecting musicians and audience members. The grant-making programs will build on the rich histories of support within each organization by working to galvanize composers, ensembles, and communities to create, embrace and disseminate the varied and vibrant new music of today. The American Composers Forum will take on AMC’s former me

The Met: Live in HD presents Rossini's Le Comte Ory in theaters April 9

The Metropolitan Opera’s new production and company premiere of Rossini’s final comic opera Le Comte Ory will be transmitted Live in HD in movie theaters worldwide on Saturday, April 9 at 1:00 pm ET. Rossini’s vocally dazzling comedy stars bel canto sensation Juan Diego Flórez in the title role of this Met premiere production. He vies with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, in the trouser role of Isolier, for the love of the lonely Countess Adèle, sung by soprano Diana Damrau. Bartlett Sher directs the “lively, colorful and inventive production” ( New York Times ) and Maurizio Benini conducts. “To holders of tickets to the live HD movie-theater broadcast of “Comte Ory” on April 9, I can say: Don’t worry, you’ll have a great time” wrote The Washington Post

Virgin Classics Releases Ebène Quartet’s Fiction in U.S. as French Foursome Heads to North America for Twelve-City Tour (Mar 31 – Apr 17)

The dynamic Paris-based Ebène Quartet begins a twelve-city North American tour next week with its debut at the Savannah Music Festival (March 31), hot on the heels of the release of its new Virgin Classics album, Fiction . On tour, the Ebène will play works from the great chamber music repertoire – including the quartets of Debussy, Fauré, and Ravel, heard on the group’s debut album, which won the coveted Gramophone Award – as well as music from Fiction, a program of 16 pop and jazz tracks boasting guest appearances by drummer Richard Héry and a quartet of female stars: Natalie Dessay, Stacey Kent, Fanny Ardant, and Luz Casal. The tour also includes debuts for the Ebène in Syracuse, NY (April 2), Storrs, CT (April 6), Philadelphia, PA (April 7), Montreal, QC (April 10), Indianapolis, IN (April 13), Urbana, IL (April 14), and Houston, TX (April 15). The quartet’s New York City engagements include an appearance at Town Hall (April 3); a performance chat at WQXR’s Jerome L. Greene Perf

The Cleveland Orchestra Announces 2011-12 Season

Franz Welser-Möst will begin his tenth season as Music Director The Cleveland Orchestra has announced its 2011-12 season with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. Highlights of Franz Welser-Möst’s tenth season with the Orchestra include opera-in-concert performances of Strauss’s Salome at Severance Hall and Carnegie Hall and a three-week festival featuring Brahms masterworks: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 and the Violin Concerto. Returning conductors and artists who appear regularly with the Orchestra will include Pierre Boulez, Mitsuko Uchida, and Artist-in-Residence Ton Koopman. Sean Shepherd, the Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow, begins his two-year tenure in the 2011-12 season. Since becoming Music Director in 2002, Franz Welser-Möst has expanded the programming of The Cleveland Orchestra to include staged opera, led performances of Bruckner symphonies in the United States , Europe, and Asia , welcomed new audiences with Fridays@7, and returned the Orchestra to perform at p

Global Music Effort Launches "Songs for Japan" Album on iTunes to Benefit Japan Disaster Relief

Proceeds from Star-Studded Album to Support Disaster Relief Efforts of Japanese Red Cross In what stands as a major global music relief effort to benefit those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, over 30 of the biggest names in contemporary music have joined together for the worldwide release of "Songs for Japan," an unprecedented compilation of 38 chart-topping hits and classic tracks, available worldwide on the iTunes Store for $9.99 starting today ( Proceeds from the album's sale will benefit the disaster relief efforts of the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Elias String Quartet: The Beethoven Project

STARTING - AND SHARING - A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY “Having revealed themselves as superb exponents of Mendelssohn’s music, the Elias players now seem natural Brittenists, but the styles are not without their common features: clarity, economy, lyrical decisiveness, faultless technique.” The Sunday Times (London) Now it’s time for Beethoven. Not only is this highly acclaimed quartet embarking on a three year journey to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets, but it is also inviting the public to share the experience with them via a dedicated interactive website, supported by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. The website, which is launched 30 March 2011, has been conceived by the Elias String Quartet to encourage a wider audience appreciation of these masterpieces, some of the most profound works in the string quartet repertoire. Rather than just hear the finished result on the concert platform, the Elias players are willing to share their immersion in study, analysis and dis

Opera Colorado Announces 2012 Season "A Voyage of Discovery"

General Director Greg Carpenter announced plans for Opera Colorado's 2012 Season. Building on recent artistic successes, the new season reflects Opera Colorado's continued dedication to presenting traditional favorites of the operatic repertoire as well as a commitment to exploring new artistic territory. "In recent seasons, our audience has expressed an interest in seeing less familiar and rarely performed works," Carpenter said. "We've seen great success presenting rarely performed works such as Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and Dvořák's Rusalka. In both cases, Opera Colorado presented the Rocky Mountain regional premieres of these masterpieces and audiences embraced them enthusiastically." In addition to a regional premiere of a contemporary work and a traditional Mozart favorite, the 2012 Season will feature a Verdi opera not seen on the company's stage for 27 years. The company will also continue its tradition of introducing exciting ne

Organist Paul Jacobs Appears on Pipedreams

Spring Tour, 11-12 Dates Announced Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs performed Bach's magisterial Clavier-Übung III in November 2010 as part of Lincoln Center's White Light Festival. The performance, which celebrated the reinstallation of the 1974 Kuhn pipe organ at Alice Tully Hall, can be heard during the current week on American Public Media's Pipedreams. Pipedreams is a weekly national program hosted by Michael Barone and broadcast by more than 150 radio stations with listeners numbering around 250,000 and more over its website. The program can also be heard in full here. The show includes the pre-concert discussion with Ara Guzelimian, in which Jacobs talks about his love of Bach, the historical context of the work, and what he thinks about Alice Tully Hall's newly refurbished organ. Jacobs' recording of Messiaen’s Livre du Saint Sacrement was released by Naxos in September 2010 and received a Grammy Award in the category of Best Instrumental Solo

Deutsche Grammophon Releases “Stabat Mater: A Tribute to Pergolesi” Featuring Anna Netrebko – Available April 26, 2011

The famed soprano is joined by mezzo Marianna Pizzolato and conductor Antonio Pappano for Stabat Mater and other works by the Italian composer Opera superstar Anna Netrebko, who has recorded numerous chart-topping albums for Deutsche Grammophon, now turns her attention to sacred music for the first time on the Yellow Label with works by the Italian composer Giovanni Pergolesi including his famous Stabat Mater . Netrebko is joined by mezzo-soprano Marianna Pizzolato and maestro Antonio Pappano who conducts the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Deutsche Grammophon will release the album in the US on April 26, 2011. Anna Netrebko has built a career singing in operas and on concert stages with unbridled enthusiasm and a rich voice on unusual beauty and color. Her roles have included both the comic and the tragic, and she fearlessly commands the stage in Russian, Italian and French repertoire. For her concerts in Baden-Baden in July, 2010, Netrebko deci

Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Song of the Earth, May 6-8

Program also includes Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony Mezzo-soprano Theodora Hanslowe and tenor Simon O’Neill make their Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) debuts, under the direction of BSO Music Director Marin Alsop, in a performance of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (“Song of the Earth”) on Friday, May 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 8 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and Saturday, May 7 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Also on the program is Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian.” Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian” was inspired by the young composer’s trip to Italy. Commissioned by London Philharmonic society, now known as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the work premiered in 1833 in London under Mendelssohn’s baton. While many music critics classify it as one of his most perfectly conceived symphonic works, the composer was not happy with the work and continued to revise it until his death. The work was finally published posthumously. In th

Conductor Cornelius Meister Makes BSO Debut Leading Brahms’ Second Symphony, April 28-30

BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney will perform Bruch’s Second Violin Concerto Young German conductor Cornelius Meister makes his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) debut leading the BSO in Brahms’ Second Symphony on Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. and Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Also on the program will be Mahler’s arrangement of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride Overture and Bruch’s rarely heard Second Violin Concerto, featuring BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney. Johannes Brahms composed his ebullient and tender Second Symphony at the peak of his career. Brahms began work on his second symphony in the summer of 1877, while on vacation in a country retreat in Pörtschach, and later premiered the symphony in Vienna in December of the same year. Making his debut performance, the BSO welcomes young German conductor Cornelius Meister, who also holds the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Performs Score to Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, April 15-17

The Gold Rush film to be shown in its entirety BSO Music Director Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the original musical score from Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The Gold Rush, the film that Chaplin repeatedly stated he wanted to be most remembered for, will be shown in its entirety on a screen above the orchestra. Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush was nominated in 1943 for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording for its musical score he created with the assistance of Max Terr. Previously, the film had been entirely silent, but among the edits that Chaplin made for the re-release of his favorite film was the addition of the music score. Set during the time of the Klondike Gold Rush, the film was one of the first of Chaplin’s classics to be converted into sound a

Full of Sound and Fury: Connections between Mahler and Modern Metal

by Jess Albertine Most critics are so prone to discussing this music in generalities that anyone unfamiliar with a particular composition would be led to suppose that it, too, was full of sound and fury signifying nothing. This is the stuff of living music. - Aaron Copland (paraphrased) When studying classical music from before 1900, we are surrounded by an impressive amount of idealism. The music that makes up the bulk of commonly played repertoire comes from the Romantic era, which largely advocated what we have come to think of as Beethoven’s idealistic, heroic conquering of any obstacles. Looking back at it from a post-modern perspective, it seems strikingly naïve. How can we say the hero always wins, or that there even is a hero? We all saw what happened in the World Wars, Vietnam, the constant wars in Africa and the Middle East, and countless other tragedies. There were no all-conquering heroes there, and no way to win without taking more than a few hits along the way. For

St. Louis Symphony Dedicates Mahler 2 Concerts April 8-10 to the Memory of Chorus Manager Richard Ashburner

The St. Louis Symphony is dedicating its performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection,” April 8-10, 2011, to the late Richard Ashburner, who passed away Friday, March 18. Ashburner had been the manager of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus since 1989, having joined it as a tenor eight years earlier. Symphony President and CEO Fred Bronstein said of Ashburner: “Richard was a longtime, remarkably devoted member of the St. Louis Symphony staff, and a very important part of the success of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus over many years. He was a dedicated educator, passionate music lover and a warm, gentle person. Richard's impact and absence will be felt for a long time to come. We mourn his passing.” Ashburner was also an administrator with the Special School District and received national recognition for his work in the field of speech pathology. More recently, he worked with the Symphony's Education and Community Partnership Department to help musicians develop effective

Colorado Symphony features all-star cast in Carmina Burana April 2-3

Conductor Antoni Wit leads all-star cast featuring Stacey Tappan, Nicholas Phan and Hyung Yun in music's most daring, audacious choral masterwork April at the Colorado Symphony begins with one of the most thrilling choral masterworks of all time: Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Acclaimed conductor Antoni Wit, soprano Stacey Tappan, tenor Nicholas Phan, baritone Hyjng Yun, and the Colorado Symphony Chorus and Colorado Children's Chorale are featured in this all-star cast for two performances on Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3. Composed in 1837, Carmina Burana remains one of the most popular works in the classical music repertoire thanks to its universal appeal, risqué and provocative subject matter, and pure "rock concert appeal." Today, O Fortuna - the opening and closing to Carmina Burana - can be heard in films ranging from Excalibur to Natural Born Killers to The Hunt for Red October, as well as dozens of action movie trailers and commercials. Often regarde

to Miri Ben-Ari's Promoter: What have Breasts Got To Do With It???

Grammy Award-Winning artist, Miri Ben-Ari, also known as the hip-hop violinist, has been invited by First Lady Michelle Obama to perform at the annual celebration of Women’s History Month on Wednesday, March 30th 2011. Ok, perhaps the title is a bit mis-leading based on the tag line. But I get lots of requests to publicize arts of all types. Without casting any aspersions on the award winning artist or her talents, I find it odd that the picture I received as part of the request for publicity has Ms Ben-Ari in a rather seductive post with her Breast displayed prominently. I'm as much man as the next and I do happen to like breasts, but I am not sure their relevance to the news at hand. Does Michelle Obama prefer women to display their breasts? I suppose hip hop artists need to display a certain amount of sex appeal to attract an audience. But Miri Ben-Ari is an accomplished violinist. She played with the Israeli String Quartet and won numerous awards. Maybe some of the

"Brilliant" Pianist Jenny Lin plays a not-to-be-missed Ligeti Program, March 31

Featuring ten of György Ligeti’s Études pour Piano, Musica ricercata, and Continuum for Harpsichord Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 8 p.m. Greenwich House, NYC Greenwich House Music School (GHMS) is pleased to present a not to be missed all-Ligeti program by one of today’s most respected young pianists, Jenny Lin, on Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m. Hailed as “brilliant” and “beautifully attentive” (Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times), Lin will perform ten of György Ligeti’s Études pour piano (1985-2001), as well as his Continuum for Harpsichord (1968), and Musica ricercata (1951-3). The concert is presented as part of the 25th anniversary season of North River Music – one of New York City’s first concert series devoted to new and experimental music and founded by Frank Wigglesworth in 1985. The concert will be followed by a reception.

Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena leads Colorado Symphony in works from the Andaluz region

Juanjo Menu is joined by Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio. Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena has chosen to pair two great impressionistic works which conjure dreamy images of the Andaluz region. Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio also performs solo works of Granados before the program concludes with Ravel's sensual ballet Daphnis and Chloë . Ravel's Daphnis and Chloë 4/8 - 7:30 p.m. 4/9 - 7:30 p.m. 4/10 - 2:30 p.m. Boettcher Concert Hall

Free April 28 concert features premiere of Marvin David Levy's "Atonement"

Boris Lurie Art Foundation Presents Premiere of Marvin David Levy’s Oratorio Atonement, Sung by Ana María Martínez and Michael Fabiano and Narrated by Mario M. Cuomo, in Free Concert at Temple Emanu-El on April 28 On April 28, the Boris Lurie Art Foundation will present a free concert at New York’s historic Temple Emanu-El. On the program is the world premiere of Marvin David Levy’s oratorio Atonement , a reworking of three of Levy’s previous pieces that have never before been performed in New York City. Exploring three critical moments of Jewish history – “Holocaust”, “Inquisition”, and “Masada”, Atonement will be performed by Grammy Award-winning soprano Ana María Martínez and tenor Michael Fabiano, a Grand Prize Winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, with narration by Mario M. Cuomo, former governor of the state of New York and father of current governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Eugene Kohn, who boasts an extensive recorded discography with Plácido Domingo, w

Leif Ove Andsnes Heads to U.S. for Four-City Tour

Two Beethoven Sonatas Are Centerpiece of Recital Program After solo recitals in Copenhagen (for the benefit of Amnesty International) and Bergen, the celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes will head to the U.S. for a four-city recital tour that includes performances in Boston, MA (April 1), Chicago, IL (April 3), Champaign-Urbana, IL (April 5), and New York, NY (April 7 at Carnegie Hall). Two Beethoven Sonatas, No. 21, “Waldstein,” and No. 32, Op. 111, bookend works by Brahms (Four Ballades, Op. 10) and Schoenberg (Sechs kleine Klavierstucke, Op. 19). After his U.S. performances, Andsnes returns to Europe for additional solo recitals in eleven cities, beginning in Rome on April 13 and ending in Toulouse, France on May 16. Also this spring (on April 19 in the U.S.), EMI Classics releases Andsnes’s recording of Schumann’s complete works for piano trio with violinist Christian Tetzlaff and cellist Tanja Tetzlaff.

Joyce DiDonato Stars in New Met Production of Rossini’s Le Comte Ory

“Indeed, Ms. DiDonato seemed the perfect 21st-century diva – an effortless combination of glamour, charisma, intelligence, grace, and remarkable talent.” — New York Times Gramophone’s Artist of the Year Joyce DiDonato returns to the Metropolitan Opera to make her role debut as Isolier in Rossini’s Le comte Ory , which opens tonight, Thursday, March 24. Directed by Bartlett Sher, this new production stars Diana Damrau as Countess Adèle and Juan Diego Flórez as the title character. Didonato’s April 9 performance will be broadcast around the world as part of the Met’s “Live in HD” series; encore broadcasts will be presented in the U.S. on Wednesday, April 27, and in Canada on Saturday, May 7 and Monday, June 13. DiDonato’s return to the Met follows a busy winter, which included an eight-city recital tour, the world premiere of a song cycle by renowned American composer Jake Heggie, about which the New York Times exclaimed, “The piece ebbed and flowed beautifully, its whispered nuanc

YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011's Grand Finale in Sydney Breaks YouTube Records

YouTube’s Most Watched Streaming Event to Date Had More Than 30 Million Views, Three Times More Than for U2 Concert Who said Classical Music was dead??? Who said classical music is dying? Not only was the grand finale concert by the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 on March 20 at the Sydney Opera House the most watched classical concert in history: it was also the most viewed live streaming event ever seen on YouTube. With more than 30 million views, it drew a virtual audience three times bigger than U2's YouTube concert. The culmination of a week of rehearsals, concerts and master-classes in Sydney, the YouTube Symphony's finale also proved to be the most watched live mobile stream on record, with nearly 3 million views on mobile devices. Each viewer of the live webcast watched the Sydney concert for an average of 25 minutes. It was a massive internet event, with the total stream (ie. combining the live and 24-hour looped repeat streams) transferring 422TB of data – the equ

The ADHD world of Art Music

I was listening to some "new" music the other day, several different composers presenting their version of new music. Most of them seemed to want to harken back to the neo-romantic era with sweeping melodies and lush harmonies. Other's tried to create something new by introducing new and unique ways to torture the instruments (and the audience). The problem wasn't that the "new" sounds weren't interesting; it's that the composers left little for the audience to remember, or so thoroughly drenched in it our minds wandered off mid piece and so, too, these pieces failed to impress. Why is it composers feel we either need to present 1000 different ideas and not let anything be repeated, lest it become stale and boring, OR they feel they the wheel worked so good for the romantic composers they repaint it and present it as a new wheel, when it's obvious to everyone it's not. Yes, as a composer, I struggle to find something new, retaining enoug

Jefferson Friedman: Quartets Chiara String Quartet & Matmos

Release Date: April 26, 2011 on New Amsterdam Records Jefferson Friedman: Quartets will be released on New Amsterdam Records, performed by the Chiara String Quartet (Rebecca Fischer and Julie Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello) and Matmos (Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt), on April 26, 2011. Included on the album are Friedman’s String Quartets Nos. 2 (1999) and 3 (2005), plus two remixes of the quartets by electronica duo Matmos. Grammy-winning engineer Judith Sherman produced the recording. On Friday, May 6, at 7:30pm, the Chiara Quartet, Matmos, and Friedman will celebrate the release of the new album with a live performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, NYC), in a shared bill with NOW Ensemble launching their New Amsterdam album, Awake (also released on April 26). William Brittelle, a co-founder of New Amsterdam Records, said, “These discs are a continuation of New Amsterdam’s commitment to robust new classical chamber music. Awake is a spirit

The Denial Rebellion

Why are we always rebelling and isn't rebelling against the rebellion just a rebellion? a response to the SoHotheDog blogpost which is a response to this NY Times pos t How loopy can we get with this concept? And yet, here we are, wondering what the future of classical music is going to be, with the educational establishment still clinging to the atonal/pitch class set/avant gard of 50+ years ago. Then again, establishment is just the kind of thing that gets railed against, so "down with the educational quest!" and on to something new... Reich, Glass and Adams are all rebelling against their own classical roots and yet they, too, have become the established. Perhaps the state the classical music industry is in will be explained when the psyco-babble of the philosophers of our day become part of everyday thought. It took René Descartes' Je pense donc je suis (I think therefore I am) of 1637 nearly 200 years to become absorbed into common thought which pro

The Hubris of Modern Classical Musicians (or lack there of)

Look at ME , not my music There is a lot of talk today about the "me" generation. This includes anyone born in between 1970 and 2000. Psychology puts the seeds of the "me" generation somewhere in the 1960's with the coming-of-age Baby Boomers. Academic studies maintain that young people are more narcissistic than their predecessors because of reality television, promoting themselves on YouTube the over emphasis on sports and entertainment stardom. While we have a host of new ways to get "noticed", there isn't any quality control on these new media forms; the most popular wins! These aspects have permeated all aspects of our society: How we think about social programs, taxes, warfare and the arts. A couple of hundred years ago the socialist revolution began resulting in the socialistic responses of European countries. The US was far enough away to avoid most of the major effects (as is evidenced by the US being the only first world country

One night only - Vilcek Foundation hosts Mari Kimura

Virtuoso violinist and composer to premiere new work and groundbreaking bowing technique On May 20, violinist Mari Kimura, whose playing the New York Times has called “chilling,” “gripping,” “charming,” “a virtuoso playing at the edge,” will take the stage at the Bohemian National Hall to showcase her talent as an interpreter of classical music, a performer/composer, and innovator in digital technology for musical expression. In addition to performing a short movement of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ms. Kimura will premiere new compositions, written especially for this concert, and demonstrate her revolutionary extended bowing technique, Subharmonics. On one of her new compositions “Duet x2” for violin, cello and interactive computer Ms. Kimura will be accompanied by Grammy Award-nominated cellist Dave Eggar. Wearing customfit sensor gloves, designed by Mark Salinas, the duo will implement a new technology, developed by the Realtime Musical Interaction Team at the Institut de Recherche et

Robert Spano to Aspen Music Festival

The Aspen Music Festival and School has chosen Robert Spano as its next music director, starting in summer 2012 and holding the title music director designate in the interim. Spano, 49, succeeds David Zinman who quit last year just before the festival started, the result of an internal power struggle with current CEO Alan Fletcher. Fletcher has instituted major changes at the festival, causing divisiveness among staff, board and musicians, many of whom are unhappy with Fletcher. If any one conductor can bring the flock back together, it is Robert Spano. When he arrived in Atlanta to take over as music director of the symphony some ten years ago, morale was at an all-time low. Musicians and the board were divided in their opinions about the music director and the rhetoric had gotten very heated. Within months of Spano’s arrival, the atmosphere began to change. Within a year, the orchestra was on an exciting new projectile—and playing better in the bargain.

Curtis On Tour with Ignat Solzhenitsyn Stops at New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge on April 5

On April 5, Curtis On Tour stops at the Greenwich Village club (Le) Poisson Rouge, a popular alternative classical venue. Each season, Curtis On Tour takes the artistry of the Curtis Institute of Music to audiences nationwide, with tomorrow’s leading musicians performing alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. For the 2011 tour, Curtis piano faculty member Ignat Solzhenitsyn is joined by Curtis students Kelly Coyle on clarinet and Ayane Kozasa on viola for the New York premiere of Book of Days (2010), a commissioned piece by Daron Hagen. The program also features Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio, the Op. 120 Sonatas of Brahms, and György Kurtág’s Hommage à R. Sch .

Synthesizer Legend Morton Subotnick Revisits 1967 Classic Album, Silver Apples of the Moon

A Lecture-Demonstration, Followed By A Short Performance Friday, April 8, 2011 at 6 p.m., 2011 Greenwich House Music School, NYC For the last installment of North River Music’s 25th anniversary season, Greenwich House Music School (GHMS) is pleased to present an evening with pioneer of electronic music and multimedia performance, Morton Subotnick, on Friday, April 8. The synthesizer legend will retrace the development of his 1967 classic album, Silver Apples of the Moon , which the Library of Congress inducted into the National Recording Registry in 2009. The lecture-demonstration will serve as an appendix to Subotnick’s appearance at Lincoln Center’s Unsound Festival New York on April 7, during which the composer will revisit this landmark composition with visual accompaniment from Berlin-based video artist Lillevan. The GHMS talk will be followed by a short solo performance by Subotnick. Morton Subotnick’s Silver Apples of the Moon was the first electronic work composed espec

Sapporo Symphony Orchestra Announces Benefit Concert for Japan Earthquake Victims

SOUTHBANK CENTRE’S ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL LONDON 23 MAY 2011 7.30pm The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, supported by Askonas Holt Ltd and Southbank Centre, announced today that its London concert is to be a benefit event for the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March. The entire proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund, both of which are distributing aid to help people in the affected areas. The London concert is part of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra’s 50th anniversary tour this May under the baton of its longtime Principal Conductor Tadaaki Otaka with a programme of Takemitsu’s How Slow the Wind , Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor – with celebrated Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai - and Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5 in D minor.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Presents A Tribute to Paul McCartney, April 7-10

Tony Kishman to Perform Paul McCartney’s Most Famous Songs The world’s most authentic Paul McCartney look- and sound-alike, Tony Kishman, joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and vocalist Jim Owen, lead by Michael Krajewski, in Live and Let Die: A Tribute to Paul McCartney on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Friday, April 8, 2011 and Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Since 1977, Tony Kishman has been recreating the musical genius of Paul McCartney, rising to fame for his unusual vocal and physical resemblance to the legendary Beatle. In addition to Live and Let Die, Kishman has starred in the Broadway hit Beatlemania, Beatles tribute show Twist and Shout and symphonic Beatles tribute Classical Mystery Tour in which he also collaborates with fellow Beatles performer Jim Owen. When describing his feelings after watching Kishman perform in London, Sir Henry George

The power of music

A friend of mine from Germany is currently in Peru. She wrote this: The old man came first. Small and incredibly thin, with gray curly hair and a drum, a hemp string around his sinewy upper arm. When the darkness came, people started to make a fire, a small fire, but enough for the drummers and flute players and people rolling their cigarettes. We crouched closer. The cultivated sykyscrapers of Miraflores looked watchfully down upon the grass on the cliffs to the Sea and us on it. The old man gave the beat, and the others fell in. Time passed, and the music rolled and rolled, all tunes intertwining und beautiful. Two girls danced as if they were talking to the fire. Their bodies knew no fear, only power and warmth. Every movement breathed energy. It smelled like smoke and sweat. The old man wiped his wet face with a cloth, while drumming on with one hand. A little boy beamed and his brown eyes glowed in the warmth, while his father whispered something in his ear, another child sa

Sweet Honey in the Rock Comes to the Meyerhoff for One Night Only, March 26

The Grammy Award-winning female a capella ensemble, Sweet Honey in the Rock, will perform one night only at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. The concert features spiritual, hand-clapping music of Southern Baptist churches blended with more modern genres such as hip hop and often accompanied by percussion instruments. The performance repertoire will include music from the ensemble’s Grammy nominated CD Raise Your Voice and their latest release Experience…101 .

Daniel Hope Pays Homage to 19th-Century Violinist and Composer Joseph Joachim with New DG Album

An exclusive DG recording artist, Hope has seen his discs on the famed Yellow Label reap critical hosannas. His 2009 DG Vivaldi album earned a Grammy Award nomination, and his 2010 release, Air. a baroque journey , is among the most celebrated in his sizable discography. Of that album, which features Bach, Handel and such lesser-known Baroque composers as Westhoff, Matteis, and Falconieri, Gramophone magazine declared: “This is an exciting disc, with a heady, pied-piper power over the listener that comes from realizing that the bright sense of discovery once felt by these composers is being experienced just as much by their modern-day interpreters. You can’t ask for much more than that.” Hope’s next DG album, to be released in the U.S. on March 22, is The Romantic Violinist: A Celebration of Joseph Joachim , a homage to the great 19th-century Austro-Hungarian violin virtuoso who was a friend and trusted collaborator of Brahms and the first interpreter and dedicatee – and reviser/ed

Yan Pascal Tortelier Leads the BSO and Pianist Orion Weiss in Grieg’s Piano Concerto, March 24-26

Program also includes Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales and Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra Pianist Orion Weiss joins forces with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), under the direction of Yan Pascal Tortelier, to perform Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto on Thursday, March 24 at 8 p.m. and Friday, March 25 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Also on the program are Ravel’s colorful Valses nobles et sentimentales and Lutosławski’s vibrant Concerto for Orchestra. In 1999, when American pianist Orion Weiss was just 17 years old, he filled in for legendary pianist André Watts, who had to cancel an upcoming performance with the BSO of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2. This debut launched Mr. Weiss’ international performing career. Recently, he was named the 2010 Young Artist of the Year by the Classical Recording Foundation. This year, he will release a recital album of Dvořák, Prokofiev and Ba