Showing posts from October, 2011

The Lincoln Trio: On New Music and Performance

The trio talks to Chris McGovern backstage at Le Poisson Rouge before their concert Chicago-based ensemble The Lincoln Trio have invited me to come hear them at Le Poisson Rouge in NY--And I sadly had to leave early to get a train back to CT (long story; it's always trains, cabs, directions and timeline issues with me). What I did manage to hear was such a great program of works (some brand new) by Lera Auerbach, Stacy Garrop and Joan Tower among others, and there was absolutely nothing regrettable about having a chance to hear any of that, particularly the jarring modernism of the Stacy Garrop piece Seven (I have to stress that when I hear new music, I'm usually watching it played by people dressed in street clothes or the color black; these people had gowns and a nice suit on, and it has to be the first time I've seen a lady in a gown so gorgeous as Marta Aznavoorian's while she was playing inside the piano). Sitting down with them before the show backstage, the

ACO Underwood New Music Readings & Commission EarShot Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Readings

Deadline is Dec 2nd EarShot Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra New Music Readings Feb. 22-24, 2012, Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, NY EarShot, the National Composition Discovery Network and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra announce their second annual New Music Readings, a professional development program for emerging composers. BPO associate conductor Matthew Kraemer directs, with mentor composers Margaret Brouwer, Michael Gandolfi, and Derek Bermel. Submission deadline extended: Dec. 2, 2011. For more information

The MET: Live in HD presents Siegfried with Jay Hunter Morris in the 3rd Installment of the Ring Cycle

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT The third installment of Robert Lepage’s visually stunning new staging of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen follows the adventures of opera’s ultimate hero, a valiant warrior who literally does not know the meaning of the word “fear.” Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads an all-star cast featuring Jay Hunter Morris in his first Met performances of the title role, one of the most challenging in the entire operatic canon. Deborah Voigt returns as the warrior maiden Brünnhilde, Bryn Terfel is the mysterious Wanderer, Patricia Bardon is the ancient earth goddess Erda, and Gerhard Siegel and Eric Owens are the nefarious brothers Mime and Alberich.

Hilary Hahn announces online contest to select the 27th encore for her "In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores"

At age 31--32 on November 27--Hahn has already made a lasting impact on the violin repertoire, premiering a concerto by Jennifer Higdon in addition to another by Edgar Meyer and championing both well- and lesser- known works in performance and recording. This season, Hahn delves deeper into the world of contemporary classical music, commissioning over two dozen composers to write short-form pieces for acoustic violin and piano. She will tour these new works over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons and then record them. The project is called In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores. The 26 commissioned composers represent a large range of contemporary music being written today. Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Lera Auerbach, Richard Barrett, Mason Bates, Tina Davidson, David Del Tredici, Avner Dorman, Søren Nils Eichberg, Christos Hatzis, Jennifer Higdon, James Newton Howard, Bun-Ching Lam, David Lang, Edgar Meyer, Paul Moravec, Nico Muhly, Michiru Oshima, Krzysztof Penderecki, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Max

Metropolitan Opera Guild Salutes Marilyn Horne at 77th Annual Luncheon at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria

On Monday, October 31, the Metropolitan Opera Guild pays tribute to the legendary American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, one of the greatest singers of our time, at the Guild’s 77th annual luncheon, a perennial highlight of the opera season. “Jackie! Celebrating Marilyn Horne” will feature tributes from her colleagues; live and prerecorded performances, including a musical tribute by acclaimed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe; and other surprises. Among the 800 guests expected to attend are a bevy of stars and fans of opera, as well as an array of New York’s society, business and civic leaders. Current Met stars Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt will be on hand, along with many Met stars of the past, including Martina Arroyo, Richard Bonynge, Roberta Peters, Renata Scotto, and Frederica von Stade. Also attending will be Miss Horne’s friends, such as stage and screen actress Tyne Daly (who recently starred to great acclaim in a revival of Terrence McNally’s play Master Class ), TV and stage a

Violinist Mikhail Simonyan is joined by Kristjan Järvi and the Absolute Ensemble for an Evening of Music

The young violinist celebrates the release of his Deutsche Grammophon debut recording, Two Souls, with Järvi and the London Symphony Orchestra Following recital and concerts around the world, violinist Mikhail Simonyan will release his Deutsche Grammophon debut recording, Two Souls , on November 1 in the United States. To mark the occasion Simonyan will present a 7:30pm concert at New York’s renowned (le) Poisson Rouge featuring an eclectic program of works by Ysaÿe, Tchaikovsky, and Milstein. For an evening of energetic and undoubtedly exciting music making, Simonyan will be joined by his good friend maestro Kristjan Järvi (who leads the London Symphony Orchestra on Simonyan’s new album) and Järvi’s Absolute Ensemble in re-imagined settings of music inspired by folk influences, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, and more, written by ensemble member Gene Pritsker. Still in his twenties, Mikhail Simonyan is already recognized as one of the most celebrated talents of his generation. The New Yor

American Contemporary Music Ensemble: A Night of New Classical at Joe's Pub

ACME in Concert, Joe's Pub, NYC, October 25, 2011 Other than my highly-expensive coke and chocolate brownie (Thanks, Joe's Pub food policy), the evening for the chamber group American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) left me feeling much more assured and happy I was there to capture it. It was quite a crisp, vital program in the intimate setting of Joe's Pub, a place that one associates more with indie rock, but these days there's hardly a chasm between the two anyway. The ensemble, featuring the compelling violist Nadia Sirota and, on a few works pianist Timo Andres (Christian Carey's work and a great solo-piano piece by David Smooke called Requests ), blazed through 11 relatively short pieces for varied instruments by 11 composers--9 of which that were chosen from over 200 that applied for the event--Carey and Hayes Biggs were judges and also had pieces on the program. The highlights of this program for me were: a) The world premiere of Christian Carey&#

Deborah Voigt Makes Brünnhilde Debut This Week in Met’s New Production of Wagner’s Siegfried

Deborah Voigt continues the journey of her first complete cycle of Wagner’s monumental Der Ring des Nibelungen with her role debut this week as Brünnhilde in Siegfried . The three fall performances (Oct 27, Nov 1, Nov 5) of this, the third opera in the Ring tetralogy, precede Voigt’s second Brünnhilde debut of the season, when the soprano portrays the character in Götterdämmerung (Jan 27 – Feb 11), the climactic conclusion to Wagner’s incomparable epic. The four Ring operas return to the Met in April for three complete cycles (April 7 – May 12), with Voigt’s Brünnhilde taking center stage in a cast of today’s most acclaimed Wagnerians, including Bryn Terfel as Wotan. The Met’s new productions of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung – directed, like their predecessors, by Robert Lepage – will also be transmitted to movie theaters worldwide as part of the Met’s popular Live in HD series on November 5 and February 11, respectively. Voigt recorded Brünnhilde’s music in Siegfried on an

St. Louis Symphony's Spooky Halloween Weekend

Powell Hall is truly THE place to be Halloween weekend for ghouls and goblins of all ages. The St. Louis Symphony is pleased to present two special and spooky programs: The Phantom of the Opera and Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead . Powell Hall will return to its roots as a movie house for The Phantom of the Opera , Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29. The original silent film from 1925 will be shown and St. Louis Symphony musicians will provide a live score that’s sure to leave everyone on the edge of their seats. Then on Sunday, October 30, audiences will delight in The Composer is Dead , the first Family Concert of the 2011-2012 season. Children’s author Lemony Snicket wrote the text and St. Louis Symphony musicians play a central role in this suspenseful whodunit designed to introduce children to the orchestra and its instruments. Renowned St. Louis storyteller Bobby Norfolk will narrate this special presentation. Costumes are encouraged! Tickets for all

The San Francisco Symphony Launches American Orchestra Forum Sunday October 23, 2011

First of three live events presented as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Centennial Season The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will host the first event in its new American Orchestra Forum series this Sunday with a public forum titled “Talking About Community” from 2PM to 5PM at Davies Symphony Hall. Full schedule follows. This event is the first of three such public discussions hosted by the San Francisco Symphony that instigate a season-long, nationwide dialogue on the 21st century American orchestra, in conjunction with the visits of six other major American orchestras during its Centennial 2011-12 season. San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert are the keynote speakers for two future free events during the season. The San Francisco Symphony has also launched an American Orchestra Forum website at, as a hub for the ongoing conversation. Over the course of the year,

"First Lady of Broadway" Patti Lupone Joins Colorado Symphony in Broadway Celebration

Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone joins Colorado Symphony for one-night-only tribute to LuPone's personal "Best of Broadway" "First Lady of Broadway" Patti LuPone joins the Colorado Symphony, led by resident conductor Scott O'Neil, for an evening showcasing her favorite selections from "the Broadway that raised her" on Saturday, October 29 at Denver's Boettcher Concert Hall. LuPone, whose unforgettable performances on the New Yorkmusical stage include Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes , Rosamund in The Robber Bridegroom , and the title role in Evita , personally selected the songs for her Colorado Symphony appearance. Concertgoers can look forward to classics such as "I’m In Love With A Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific , "Don't Rain On My Parade" from Funny Girl , "Easy To Be Hard" from Hair , "As Long As He Needs Me" from the musical film Oliver! , "Everything’s Coming Up Roses" from Gypsy , a

Drew Baker's new recording Stress Position

Drew Baker displays an array of works that are all very stark in nature but vary in intensity The works on Drew Baker's New Focus recording Stress Position are puzzling to analyze. As a listener of new music, it is compelling to hear, but to put in any kind of verbal language after only experiencing it a few times is like trying to describe how you feel after your first taste of a new cuisine. What is very apparent on this recording is that the works are a continuation of the ever-ongoing adventure of examining different ways of performing piano (in this case its amplification), Baker's use of piano resonance and visceral sound in general, done successfully by pianist Marilyn Nonken and (on the piece Gaeta ) the percussionists Sean Connors and Peter Martin. Gaeta , scored for Water Percussion and 2 Pianos (the second piano part provided by the composer), is a piece that interchanges the shrill, tinny sound of the percussion with the sonic booms of the low-end of 2 keyboa

WQXR’s Movies on the Radio to Broadcast World Premiere Of John Williams’ Soundtrack for “War Horse”

Saturday, October 22 at 9pm on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and On Saturday, October 22 at 9pm, MOVIES ON THE RADIO – WQXR’s Saturday evening program devoted to film music, produced and hosted by David Garland – will present the exclusive premiere of the five-time Academy Award-winning composer’s soundtrack for the forthcoming Spielberg film, War Horse. Slated to open Christmas Day 2011, War Horse – based on Nick Stafford’s best-selling novel and now a hit Broadway play – tells the inspiring story of a brave young man and his bond with an extraordinary horse, set against the backdrop – and on the frontlines of – World War I. Listeners will hear tones of beauty and quiet majesty in the score, inspired by the dramatic countryside of the British landscape. “I’ve always been impressed by the range of John Williams’ mastery,” said Garland. “From comedies to thrillers, sci-fi epics to love stories, he always finds the most expressive way to enhance a film with his music. Wa

Get Noticed if you really want to Follow the Money in Classical Music

Good classical music isn't about money, but it's still important to understand where money comes from in the the classical music world in order to continue to do what we love - create music. Concert goers like to think their tickets are the sole funding for an orchestra, and in an ideal world that would be true. However, most orchestras get somewhere between 30-50% of their budgets from actual ticket sales. So, next time you're in a concert (even a sold out one), look around and image that at least twice as many people would need to be seeing this performance for it to really balance the books. Recently there were discussions about how Opera is for the Rich, and yet ticket prices for the opera tend to me considerably less than for those of say Lady Gaga or Cold Play. Opera companies, like orchestras, depend in large part on donations and corporate sponsors.  Even commercial/pop artists make more money from their music sales than they do from concert appearances. Lady Ga

Anne Akiko Meyers releases The Bach "Air" Album this February

The world-class violinist speaks about working on the new recording and shares details about other things, including her valuable Strad Molitor By Chris McGovern Scheduled to be released on February 13, 2012 (Just in time for that Valentine's Day gift, music lovers) is Anne's new CD The Bach 'Air' Album , a CD that will feature the Bach Violin Concertos, including the Double Violin Concerto where Anne will be performing both solo parts; one of them on the famous 1697 Strad Molitor that she acquired recently (More about this later), and the 2nd one on her 1730 Strad. Anne continues to perform numerous classics on the concert circuit as well as premiering new works by David Baker, Mason Bates, Jennifer Higdon, Arvo Part, Somei Satoh, and John Corligliano. She's also collaborated with artists as diverse as Ryuichi Sakamoto and Michael Bolton. CM: Anne, the forthcoming Bach CD looks very promising! You recorded both solos on the Concerto for 2 violins, usually th

This week's Top Ticket in Denver - The Devil's Fiddler: 10/28

The phenomenal Gypsy fiddler Roby Lakatos is a rare musician who defies description. A scorching virtuoso equally comfortable performing classical, jazz and his own Hungarian folk idiom, Lakatos and his ensemble join the Colorado Symphony for an explosive mix of authentic Gypsy music with great themes from all around the world. With superb panache, Roby, his ensemble and the Symphony offer an electrifying program. INSIDE THE SCORE The Devil's Fiddler 10/28 - 7:30 p.m. Boettcher Concert Hall

Conductor David Robertson Named “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”

On the evening of Friday, October 14, at Powell Hall in St. Louis, conductor David Robertson, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony, was made a “ Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres ” by the French Republic’s Ministry of Culture. The award and medal were presented to Mr. Robertson by Marie-Anne Toledano, Cultural Attaché of the Consulate General of France in Chicago, at a festive reception after the St. Louis Symphony concert. This concert, led by David Robertson, gave the U.S. premiere of French composer Philippe Manoury’s Synapse, with violinist James Ehnes as soloist. It was supported by FACE, the French-American Fund for Contemporary Music created by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in 2004. Additional works on the program were the Overture to Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1. The “Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” (Order of Arts and of Letters) was established on May 2, 1957, by the French Minister of Culture, and ratified as part

Gareth Davies, London Symphony Orchestra Principal Flute, Performs Nielsen's Flute Concerto with the LSO, conducted by Xian Zhang

LSO Principal Flute Gareth Davies will perform Nielsen’s Flute Concerto with the Orchestra, conducted by Xian Zhang, at the Barbican on Wednesday 9 November. Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite and Zemlinsky’s The Mermaid complete the programme. Gareth Davies joined the LSO as Principal Flute in 2000 and is a prolific blogger for the Orchestra on tour. Gareth’s blog posts can be found at . Gareth has recorded Nielsen’s Flute Concerto for the Naxos label. Xian Zhang performs regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra and is Music Director of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi and Artistic Director of the NJO / Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy. The performance of Nielsen’s Flute Concerto complements the Orchestra’s ongoing cycle of Nielsen’s Symphonies with Sir Colin Davis which comes to a close in December, with performances of Symphony No 2 ‘ The Four Temperaments ’ (4 & 6 December) and Symphony No 3 ‘ Sinfonia espansiva

Are You Building Friendships or Clientele with your Twitter Account?

Too often Arts Organizations use Twitter to Market themselves and miss the opportunity to build lasting Friendships of their fans There are some great orchestra twitter accounts online right now: Dallas Orchestra LA Chamber Orchestra Regina Symphony London Symphony Hamilton Philharmonic What makes these twitter accounts so wonderful?  They are engaging, personal and friendly.  They don't just talk about what's happening in the next week or month, or post links to press releases.  Pretty much every day they engage with their audience, fellow Twitterers creating an online personality that invites. There are numerous other symphonies and orchestras on Twitter.  I follow nearly 100 different organizations, but the five listed above really stand out. The point of social media is to be "social." The organizations that succeed at this have tweets with personality.  They achieve this by: Listening (and responding) to tweets about their organization (even the

Getting to Know You: A way for Orchestras to Reach out to their Audience

Connecting with our audience has never been more important - particularly in this economic climate Erica Sipes recently blogged about a performance tour of her and her husband. Prior to the performance they would greet and talk to the audience members as the audience came into the hall. This type of "showmanship" isn't new as "barking" -standing out front calling attention to both yourself and your upcoming performance- has been around since the earliest performers. Standing out front where your audience can connect with you and talking to them creates a sense of accessibility like no other. Audience members want to connect with performers. If they feel like they know you, the connection is stronger. The reason tabloid papers sell so well is because these personal stories of the stars, whether they are true or not, give people the feeling they are learning something they wouldn't get from just the performance --a deeper sense of connection. What w

Composing while Driving

I often find myself singing an ever changing melody while I am on long distance drives. Unfortunately, there's no way to write any of these improvisations down as I keep my eyes on the road. My wife and I love to drive. Our poor vehicles have logged thousands of miles as we've traveled back and forth from California, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and the pretty much the entire isle of UK from John O'Groats to Plymouth.  While driving we chat about pretty much everything.  Occasionally, the day gets warm or the night gets long and my wife drifts off for a brief nap. It is during these 'quiet' moments that I sing to myself.  Sometimes it's jazz influenced, other's are far more classical in nature, even venturing into Baroque stylings. Most of it is pretty useless, variations droning on with no real direction.  However, every now and then, I glob onto something I really enjoy, a melodic line that

10-CD Box Set to Honor the 400th Anniversary of Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Death

Ensemble Plus Ultra and Director Michael Noone Have Recorded More Than 90 Works and Will Give Concerts in Boston and New York in October 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of famed Spanish Renaissance composer Tomás Luis de Victoria. Arguably the finest composer of Spain’s Golden Age, the famed polyphonist is frequently compared to Palestrina and Lassus and is equal to their greatest achievements. Ensemble Plus Ultra has newly recorded 93 works by Victoria to honor this anniversary, and Deutsche Grammophon & Archiv Produktion released this monumental 10-CD box set on September 27, 2011. Though Victoria may not be as well known today as in the 16th century, Ensemble Plus Ultra and these new recordings afford the opportunity for a sizeable reassessment of his work. The group has been dedicated since its foundation in 2001 to the music of the glorious Spanish Renaissance and after ten years has a strong history of performing and recording this music. On this serie

Emerson String Quartet - Mozart The Prussian Quartets Available Oct 18

Their first recording of Mozart quartets in 20 years The Emerson String Quartet stands alone in the history of string quartets as musicians of unrivaled eminence with an incomparable list of great recordings over three decades. For its debut on Sony Classical, the Quartet has selected Mozart’s last three string quartets, the “Prussian” quartets K. 575, K. 589 and K. 590. Available on Tuesday, October 18, the recording will coincide with a series of international concerts featuring the program of the CD. Mozart’s three last string quartets, written in 1789 and 1790 after a visit to the royal court in Berlin, were commissioned by the King of Prussia. The King himself played the cello and accordingly, Mozart set out to provide the cello with an especially prominent part. These, Mozart's last quartets, represent the distillation of a lifetime of writing for string instruments in various combinations and genres. Described by Time Magazine as “America's greatest quartet”, t

MET OPERA SERIES - 4 new sets on CD for the first time!

HISTORIC BROADCASTS REMASTERED ON CD FROM THE MET ARCHIVES: LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT (1940), MIGNON (1945), CARMEN (1952) AND LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN (1955) – THE FIRST OFFICIAL RELEASE OF PERFORMANCES BY SUCH ICONIC ARTISTS AS PIERRE MONTEUX, ROBERTA PETERS, EZIO PINZA, LILY PONS, FRITZ REINER, RISË STEVENS AND RICHARD TUCKER Sony Classical, in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera, adds to its acclaimed series of releases drawn from the illustrious Met archives with four multi-disc sets that represent the first official release on CD of these historic Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts, which date from 1940 to 1955. On November 1, 2011, Sony Classical issues complete live performances – freshly remastered from the original sources – of Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment (1940), Ambroise Thomas's Mignon (1945), Bizet's Carmen (1952) and Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann (1955). The four new CD sets star such legendary singers as Roberta Peters, Ezio Pinza, Lil

Hilary Hahn touring "In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores"

October 15 - Central Moravian Church; Bethlehem, PA October 17 - Presented by the Seattle Symphony; Benaroya Hall; Seattle, WA October 19 - The Paramount Theater; Charlottesville, VA October 21 - The Center for the Performing Arts; Carmel, IN October 23 - Symphony Center; Chicago, IL October 27 - Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University; Atlanta, GA October 29 - Mondavi Center, UC Davis; Davis, CA November 1 - Presented by LA Philharmonic; Hollywood Bowl; Los Angeles, CA November 6 - The Broward Center; Ft. Lauderdale, FL After two sold-out CD launch concerts at The Stone in New York City's lower east side on Monday night, and the release of Charles Ives: Four Sonatas yesterday, Hilary Hahn embarks on her US recital tour this week. At the Monday night events--which served to both celebrate Charles Ives: Four Sonata s and to raise money for The Stone--Hahn played Ives sonatas 1 and 4, hosted a conversation with composer John Zorn and Ives biographer Jan Sw

Alan Gilbert’s Fall Guest Conducting Engagements in America and Europe

After an extraordinarily busy start to his new season with the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert hits the road in October for a series of guest conducting engagements with major orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. His debut with the Munich Philharmonic (Oct 16, 18, 19) will include his first performance of Janácek’s thrilling Sinfonietta. A program of Haydn and Beethoven with the San Francisco Symphony (Oct 27–29) will also include Dutilleux’s L’arbre des songes, a violin concerto to be performed by Renaud Capuçon. Concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra (Nov 11–13) will feature Schoenberg’s hauntingly beautiful Pelleas und Melisande, which Gilbert conducted to great acclaim in his first season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, and last season with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. With Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra (Dec 1–3), Gilbert will conduct – among other works – Brahms’s grandly scaled Piano Concerto No. 2, with guest soloist Yefim Bronfman. In two Pa

Luca Pisaroni Kicks Off 2011-12 Season as Leporello in Met’s New Don Giovanni>

Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni looks forward to a stellar 2011-2012 season, beginning with two starring turns at the Metropolitan Opera. Pisaroni plays Leporello under Fabio Luisi in the Met's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni (October 13-November 11). Then he appears as Caliban alongside Plácido Domingo and Joyce DiDonato in The Enchanted Island, the Met's freshly conceived Shakespearean tableaux of music by Handel, Vivaldi and Rameau, conducted by William Christie (December 31-January 30). He makes his Chicago Lyric Opera debut in February 2012, reprising his acclaimed portrayal of Argante for a new production of Handel’s Rinaldo (February 29-March 24). After playing a signature role – Mozart's Figaro – in Munich and Vienna in the spring, Pisaroni returns to the U.S. next summer to take on the title role in the Rossini rarity Maometto II at Sante Fe Opera, a world premiere of the score's new critical edition. Pisaroni turned heads as Leporello in

Teaching to the Interest not the Known

The music industry is evolving. What composers can do now to earn a living is vastly different than even 20 years ago. The styles of music composers can draw on are also different, as are composers backgrounds and musical interests. Music Educators, more than ever, need to teach to the students' interests and break out of their comfort zone of known musical styles and options. The statement "every student is unique" has been said ad nauseum to the point one wonders how: can every student be unique and yet teachers still follow some sort of curriculum?  In terms of music students, particularly composition students, the key is to discover the unique qualities of the student and highlight what they learn with an eye on what makes them unique. While there are certainly general "skills" every student needs to learn, as the student progresses into Masters studies, their individuality needs to be encouraged. For students to succeed, they will need  to enhance the

Violinist Mikhail Simonyan Releases His Deutsche Grammophon Debut, Two Souls, November 1

“…a flawless, liquid line and ravishing tone.” – The Washington Post Violinist Mikhail Simonyan has covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Born in Novosibirsk he traveled to the US when he was 13 to study. Since then he has traveled the world giving concerts and performing concertos with conductors such as Valery Gergiev and Kristjan Järvi and even launched a private initiative, “Beethoven Not Bullets”, to assist the newly founded Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. For his Deutsche Grammophon and concerto recording debut he has chosen the concertos of Khachaturian and Barber to reflect the two dominant aspects of his life. He is joined by conductor Kristjan Järvi and the London Symphony Orchestra. The album will be released on November 1, 2011 in the US. Mikhail Simonyan is of Armenian and Russian heritage and began playing the violin at the age of 5. (Interestingly, violinists Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov are both natives of Novosibirsk.) When he

Who Says Classical Music Doesn't Make an Economic Impact to the Local Economy?

The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival Reports a $16.1M Dollar Direct Economic Impact in Eagle County Annual attendance at Bravo! Concerts and Events in 2011 was 59,212 The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival reports a total direct economic impact of $16,102,427 on Eagle County after the conclusion of its 2011 season, an increase of nearly 3 million dollars from the Festival’s economic impact on Eagle County in 2010. In the Town of Vail alone, the Festival had a $7,615,119 direct economic impact. Bravo hired BBC Research and Consulting to estimate the direct economic impact created by the 2011 Bravo Festival on Eagle County. This is the first year the Festival hired a professional firm to calculate its economic impact, said Julie Johannes, Bravo’s CFO. BBC determined that the total direct spending of Bravo concert-goers and orchestra members was $15,406,419. Tax revenue was $696,008 resulting in a total direct economic impact of $16,102,427. Total orchestra spending was more than 1 m

Boston Pops Provides Soundtrack for the World's Most Beloved Christmas Story on New Release of Jan Brett's The Night Before Christmas

FIRST-EVER AUDIO DVD BOOK BY THE BOSTON POPS FEATURES MUSICAL PERFORMANCE BY ORCHESTRA AND NARRATION BY GRAMMY AWARD-WINNER JIM DALE The Boston Pops will bring the world’s most beloved Christmas story to life this season, with a new release of Jan Brett’s New York Times #1 bestseller, The Night Before Christmas. The book’s November 1 release date marks the first time the orchestra has released an audio DVD book. The new deluxe book and DVD edition of The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Ms. Brett, features a Boston Pops recording of A Visit from St. Nicholas (“Twas the Night Before Christmas”) with narration of Clement Moore’s classic Christmas poem by Grammy award-winner Jim Dale. Ms. Brett’s gorgeous artwork will pair with the music and narration (DVD) in a deluxe hardcover edition of her popular The Night Before Christmas picture book. The Boston Pops will perform The Night Before Christmas and other holiday tunes during concerts at Symphony Hall from December 7-24. Night

Hilary Hahn: Ives CD release party at The Stone

By Chris McGovern The Stone is a very small, limited space venue in the area of New York known as Alphabet City. I get there and the place is totally covered in metal guards with no sign. If it weren't for the small but devoted conglomerate of people waiting to get in for the first of 2 sets of the CD party, I would have completely missed the place. Fast-forward through the long but adventure-packed wait to be let in, and when we sat down, the chairs were set up in diagonal rows facing the middle of the floor where the grand piano was (Was it a baby grand? There wouldn't have been room for a concert one), and each chair had 3-page leaflets with Hilary Hahn and Charles Ives' pictures on the front with the words "The Hilary Hahn Hymnbook" underneath, and on the other pages were the lead sheets of 4 hymns. I immediately knew that these songs were related to the Ives Violin Sonatas as all 4 sonatas are filled with them. More people were let in and told to stand b

Post Post-Graduate Composing

An observation into my personal approach to composition after my post-graduate degree Piano concerto 1st mvt - Intense Relationships by Chip Michael For the last couple of years I've been heavily into composing music at the behest of my professors in the pursuit of a Masters in Music, Composition. Many of the projects I was involved with were specifically focused toward a particular style or ensemble at the university. As such, these compositions were educational, but few have any lasting value in terms of adding to my body of works. After graduation, I felt the need to write something I could honestly say was from my heart and not for a project or grade --something I could put in my "list of compositions." I'd met a conductor and his phenomenal piano playing wife while at university. While he's studying conducting, he is also the conductor for a community orchestra. In April prior to graduation, I suggested the idea of a piano concerto, something

Pianist Yuja Wang Embarks on a Twelve City North American Tour

Recent Recipient of the Echo Klassik Award for Newcomer of the Year (Piano) in Germany for her Deutsche Grammophon Album, Transformation The 24-year-old piano virtuoso, who has repeatedly and consistently left critics and audiences searching for superlatives, returns to North America for a twelve city recital tour. An exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon, the pianist was recently awarded the Echo Klassik in Germany for “Newcomer of the Year (Piano)” for her second DG album, Transformation. Earlier this year she released her third album on DG, Rachmaninov, which included both the Piano Concerto no. 2 and Variations on a Theme of Paganini with Claudio Abbado conducting. This recital tour started in Denver (10/4) and received both critical and popular praise. “From one moment to the next, her petite frame would burst forth with an astoundingly powerful flash of sound, only to be followed by the most tender, velvety whisper of sound … her delivery was as grand and g