American composer John Harbison has won the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship. He’s written music for most of the nation’s great musical institutions, including the Minnesota Orchestra, which named Harbison its Season Composer for 2018-19.
This is Harbison’s 80th birthday year, and he’s spending much of this week with us here in Minneapolis. You’ll have several chances to hear his music and even see him in person. Perhaps Gov. Dayton will pick a day and proclaim it John Harbison Day.
On Friday and Saturday, Harbison will be at Northrop for the world premiere of his organ concerto “What Do We Make of Bach? for Orchestra and Obbligato Organ.”Osmo Vänskä will lead the Minnesota Orchestra in the first public hearings of the Northrop’s restored, historic, majestic and rare Aeolian-Skinner organ, built in the 1930s. After 18 months and $3 million – and many years of silence – the mighty instrument (with nearly 7,000 pipes, from the size of a pencil to 32 feet tall) is ready for its big comeback. Organ virtuoso Paul Jacobs will be the featured soloist. The concert will also include music by Bach and Saint Saëns. 8 p.m. both nights. FMI and tickets ($102-12). Limited availability; if you don’t have luck through Northrop (612-624-2345), try the Minnesota Orchestra (612-371-5656), and vice versa. Pre-signed copies of Harbison’s newly published memoir (also titled “What Do We Make of Bach?”) will be available for purchase.
Read More...

Altoona Symphony soars in season opener

October 9, 2018 – The Altoona Mirror
The Altoona Symphony Orchestra began its 11th season under conductor Teresa Cheung at the renovated but still historic Mishler Theatre on Saturday night. It was a colorful program of orchestral showpieces with a virtuosic conclusion featuring piano soloist Misha Dichter
World-renowned pianist Misha Dichter joined the ensemble for Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” — essentially a piano concerto in variation form. He displayed a command over the wide-ranging demands for the soloist while keeping an eye on Maestra Cheung’s numerous tempo changes in this quintessential Romantic work…Dichter’s solo in the famous 18th variation was a high point… After one of the longest ovations in recent memory, it was clear that [this performance] set the bar high for this season.
Read More...

On Friday, Sept. 28, five-time Grammy nominated pianist, Ursula Oppens, performed for Humboldt State University students.
“This is my first time up in Northern California, the redwood forest is very beautiful,” Oppens said. “I just wish it was easier to get here.”
The pieces played were unique, and there was a mixture of modern/contemporary pieces with compositions from the romantic era. Oppens could have performed pieces from famous composers like Beethoven or Mozart, but instead chose to perform pieces from lesser known composers. This helped introduce these composers to the audience…
Read More...

The week's five best Twin Cities classical concerts

October 7, 2018 – The Minnesota Star-Tribune
Northrop's great pipes
When renovations began at Northrop auditorium in 2011, all 7,000 pipes of the hall's mighty Aeolian-Skinner organ were crated and cataloged, pending a restoration that would cost an extra $3 million. With the organ's re-installation finally complete, the Minnesota Orchestra unveils the instrument's splendor with a concert featuring Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony. Also on the program is John Harbison's "What do we make of Bach?" for organ and orchestra, with the outstanding Paul Jacobs as soloist. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Northrop auditorium, Mpls.; $30-$97, 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org)
Read More...

Ian Hobson to raise bar for UNK students

October 6, 2018 – Kearney Hub
As a young piano student, Nathan Buckner knew of the fame of Ian Hobson.
“I had read about him when he won the Leeds competition,” said the University of Nebraska at Kearney music professor. “When I was going through school, Ian Hobson was kind of a legend. As is always the case, with extraordinary performers like him, what’s important is what he went on to do.”
After winning first prize in the 1981 Leeds International Pianoforte Competition at the age of 29, the British-born musician made his United States’ debut two years later.
“Beyond having won a major international competition like that, he is certainly very prolific in a number of ways,” Buckner said. “I know Ian Hobson’s name, in part, because he did an anthology of recordings called ‘The London Piano School’ focusing on English piano music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.”
Hobson will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday as part of the Concerts on the Platte series and the Nebraska Music Teachers Association’s state conference. The concert takes place in the Fine Arts Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.
Admission is free.
Read More...

ABEL Time and Distance

October 5, 2018 – Gramophone Magazine
Mark Abel’s fourth CD on Delos is rich in those moments of inspiration when a composer first comes under the spell of poetry. His marriages of subtly charged music with an eclectic modernist twist to emotionally provocative, introspective texts work best in Those Who Loved Medusa, set to Kate Gale’s haunting poem, in which Hila Plitmann gloriously evokes Medusa deep in a lover’s night: ‘Turn me into that thing you fear. Make me monster … wet, ripe, swollen.’ While Delos founding director Carol Rosenberger, returning to the recording studios for the first time in recent years, infuses the involving piano part with characteristic chaste beauty, percussionist Bruce Carver adds whisks and whips of colour to the feminist drama…
Read More...

Composer Mark Abel has been a lot of things in his life: a classical musician, a denizen of the post-punk music scene in New York in the late '70s and early '80s, a newspaper journalist, and a classical musician and composer again. All of these things have a home in his creative glossary. As with much of Abel's music, his latest album, Time and Distance, uses the centuries-old vehicle of art song to engage with contemporary issues-both the global and the personal.
In this interview, Second Inversion's Dacia Clay speaks with Abel about what art song is, why it's his musical form of choice, and what he's doing to bring it into the 21st century. They also talk about the pieces on his new album, which deal with everything from Medusa and the #MeToo movement to his own personal "disgruntlements," and his first go at making a music video.
Read More...

Two special guests join the Altoona Symphony Orchestra Saturday at the Mishler Theatre — pianist Misha Dichter and composer James Cohn…
After intermission, the symphony will perform Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise to prepare the audience for the highlight of the evening — celebrated pianist Misha Dichter will join the ASO on Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini.”
“A rhapsody is a musical work that is known for its virtuosity,” Cheung explained. “And for this particular rhapsody, it is also known to be one of the most beloved by the audience because of its beauty. The theme in “Variation No. 18” is famously used in the movie “Somewhere in Time,” starring Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour. “It is a work that truly reflects its composer, who was known to instill both virtuosity and lyricism in his music. Misha will no doubt be bringing us a fantastic performance on this monumental masterwork.”
Read More...

OT's early fall playlist

October 3, 2018 – The Bay Area Reporter
Here's a tip from those of us who have access to review copies and other advance media: Sometimes there's no better source for ear candy than the San Francisco Public Library, which has a wealth of audio-visual material for lending. As well as books! "What's a book, Grandpa?"
We just returned lots of CDs (though we could have renewed, by phone or online), so go get them!
"The People United Will Never Be Defeated" — Frederic Rszewski (Ursula Oppens, Jerome Lowenthal, duo-pianists), with "Four Hands" (Cedille). 36 variations on "El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido" by Sergio Ortega, composed in 1975 as part of the Chilean New Song Movement. Oppens: "The variations explore all of piano history; that's why so many pianists like to play them. History changes, but people need to remain united in recognition of the great varieties among us."
Read More...

Mark Abel Named Delos Co-Director

October 2, 2018 – Delos Music
Carol Rosenberger, General Director of Delos, announced today that composer Mark Abel will become Delos Co-Director as of October 1, 2018. Abel, whose work has been featured on four Delos recordings, has also been a journalist and editor in his varied career. For over ten years he was Foreign Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, California’s second largest newspaper.
“Mark and I have worked together in the studio and on other projects,” Rosenberger said. “He has already been helping us with a number of activities. He has a rich perspective on the world of music and recordings, stemming from a lifelong interest in the field. And now that he has moved up to Sonoma from the mid-coast area of California, the entire Delos team is looking forward to his joining us.”
Read More...

Pianist Jon Nakamatsu returned for a scintillating performance of the warhorse Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor by Tchaikovsky.
Nakamatsu’s draws a startling range of sound and color from the piano. The slow movement had moments where the upper tones had a flute-like shimmer. The broad melodies of the opening movement shifted between dark-hued in dramatic sweeping lines to an autumnal warmth in the second theme.
The finale sounded more flinty in its fierce dance.
He has all the technical skills that one expects from a winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competetion, and he employed them judiciously. The enormous virtuoso passages in the outer movements flew by with clarity and purpose.
But it is never virtuosity of an empty quality, phrases were shaped with mastery and nothing felt disconnected.
Read More...

Things to do today: Sept. 29, 2018

September 29, 2018 – West Virginia Gazette-Mail
WEST VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12. “Opening Night Spectacular” with guest pianist Jon Nakamatsu. Call 304-561-3570 or visit www.theclaycenter.org.
Read More...

West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg to kick off new season

September 27, 2018 – The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg will begin its new season with Music Director Lawrence Loh at the helm and a special guest appearance from fan-favorite pianist Jon Nakamatsu on Sept. 30 in Parkersburg.
The concert will be 3 p.m. Sunday at Blennerhassett School on Jewell Road near Parkersburg.
Read More...

Falling in love with the piano was Nakamatsu's first step into music

September 26, 2018 – West Virginia Gazette-Mail
There’s kind of an expectation in music. Rock and pop musicians can come from the garage, but symphony performers come from music conservatories. They studied music at well-known schools or were raised by celebrated musician parents.
Pianist Jon Nakamatsu, who performs Saturday with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra for its 2018-2019 season kick-off, grew up in Sunnyvale, California, the son of an electrical engineer and a civil servant.
But he worked hard, had good grades and when he graduated from high school in 1986, he went to Stanford, where he earned an undergraduate degree — in German Studies, followed by a Masters of Arts degree in Education.
Read More...

WV Symphony to give performance on Sept. 29-30

September 26, 2018 – The Herald-Dispatch
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO), begins "Our Most Exciting Season Yet!" with Music Director Lawrence Loh and a special guest appearance from pianist, Jon Nakamatsu on Sept. 29 and 30 in Charleston and Parkersburg.
Starting off the show will be a modern composition, Torke's Javelin, which was performed for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Nakamatsu returns to Charleston to perform Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 on the same piano he helped the WVSO choose during a selection process more than 10 years ago.
Read More...

Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
Paul Jacobs, organ
The Grammy Award-winning organist performs a free concert. (free)
Read More...

Putnam Review Calendar: Sept. 26-Oct. 2

September 26, 2018 – The Putnam Review
Saturday, September 29th, 2018
WVSO Concert: The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert, featuring a guest appearance by pianist Jon Nakamatsu, at 7:30 p.m. at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences in Charleston. Tickets start at $12 each and can be ordered at wvsymphony.org or by calling 304-561-3570.
Read More...

Daniel Ficarri’s Exultation for solo organ

September 25, 2018 – Gramophone
…When Ficarri arrived at Juilliard he had a great love for both organ and orchestral repertoire. ‘My teacher, Paul Jacobs, was the first person I encountered to fuse these two worlds of music. He works tirelessly to expand the audience for organ music and to increase its repertoire, especially in orchestral settings. Some of my most memorable and influential experiences have been hearing him perform works for organ and orchestra by Christopher Rouse, Wayne Oquin, James MacMillan and other composers. Witnessing large audiences embrace the organ in his performances opened my eyes to the incredible possibilities in store if the organ is to be continually incorporated into new settings.’
Ficarri describes his teacher’s approach to the organ ‘as an instrument with the potential to affect positively anyone with an open mind and heart, rather than an exclusive machine that can only be fully appreciated by the elite of music lovers. His attitude, I believe, is essential to the future health of organ music.’ Aiming to follow in his teacher’s footsteps, Ficarri is currently organ scholar at the Church of St Paul the Apostle in Manhattan, where he directs a concert series providing organ music to the Lincoln Center neighbourhood. ‘This fall,’ he adds, ‘I am looking forward to continuing my studies at the Juilliard School as a Master of Music student in the organ studio of Dr Jacobs’…
Read More...

Michael Hersch Featured in New York Times

September 22, 2018 – The Peabody Post
Composition Department Chair Michael Hersch (BM ’95, MM ’97, Composition) was chosen by the New York Times as one of the five best classical music events for the week for his program at National Sawdust. This program was also reviewed in New York Classical Review.
Read More...

Tafelmusik captivates with Mozart season opener

September 21, 2018 – The Toronto Star
So much of the time, Toronto looks to match cultural gold standards from other parts of the world. But in the case of the Tafelmusik Orchestra, we have the gold standard for others to emulate.
Tafelmusik’s season-opening, all-Mozart program at Koerner Hall offers a brilliant demonstration of their exalted status. Celebrating the start of their 40th-anniversary year on Thursday night with music director Elisa Citterio up front and centre, their playing was nothing short of captivating.
Read More...

Concert featuring director/violin soloist Elisa Citterio and bassoonist Dominic Teresi. Sep 20-23, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 3:30 pm. $36 & up, with discounts for seniors, 19-35, and under 18.
Program features Symphony 40; the overture to La finta giardiniera; Violin Concerto in D Major K. 218; and Concerto for bassoon in B-flat Major. 
Read More...

For InConcert Sierra’s upcoming 2018-19 season, Artistic Director Ken Hardin has once again curated an exciting Third Sunday Series that draws the best and brightest in classical music to Nevada County.
“Next season we are happy and proud to present another remarkable line-up of fantastic musicians. I was surprised and pleased to have the opportunity to book two of the finest pianists in the world, Anne-Marie McDermott and Marc-André Hamelin, both of whom I’ve been hoping to bring to our community for some time now,” Hardin said. “We’re also delighted to have one of the finest organists in the U.S. — Paul Jacobs — coming to Grass Valley”…
In April 2019, Grammy-award winning organist Paul Jacobs gives a solo recital. As chair of the Organ Department at Julliard, Jacobs is credited for his influence upon the revival of symphonic works featuring the organ. He has been hailed as “one of the major musicians of our time” by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross.
Read More...

It was Béla Bartók who titled one of his chamber works Contrasts. But the king of contrast in concert music today is surely Michael Hersch, as Tuesday night’s recital of his music at National Sawdust, by violinist Miranda Cuckson and the composer as pianist, vividly demonstrated.
In fact, if Hersch has musical heroes, Bartók, with his ferocious dissonances, is likely one of them. Another might be Messiaen, of the long thoughts and sensuous spirituality.
Read More...

Michael Hersch joins Miranda Cuckson on stage to perform his music, including excerpts from in the snowy marginsFourteen Pieces, and more.
Tuesday, September 18 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $20
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Read More...

One of today’s leading champions for bringing vibrant, new audiences to the “King of Instruments” is Paul Jacobs, chair of the organ department at Juilliard and the only organist to win a Grammy award.
His passion for the instrument has inspired a new generation of organists, including his former student, Greg Zelek, Madison Symphony Orchestra’s principal organist and curator of the massive German-built Overture Concert Organ, also known as the “Mighty Klais.”
“Many of my students, both current and former, are redefining career expectations for organists,” says Jacobs, who has been hailed by The Economist as “America’s leading organ performer.” “For too long, organists have been on the periphery of classical music.”
Jacobs will be at Overture Hall on Oct. 23 to play an adventurous all-Bach program as part of MSO’s upcoming Concert Organ Season.
Read More...

5 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend

September 13, 2018 – The New York Times
MIRANDA CUCKSON AND MICHAEL HERSCH at National Sawdust (Sept. 18, 8 p.m.). A leading composer, noted for works of bleak despair, as well as a notable pianist in his own right, plays with our leading contemporary-music violinist, able to take on the most difficult of works with seeming ease. Their concert should be among the more special ones you will hear at the start of the new season. Selections from Mr. Hersch’s music include “The Vanishing Pavilions,” “In the Snowy Margins,” “Fourteen Pieces” and “One Day May Become Menace.”
646-779-8455, nationalsawdust.org
Read More...

Pianist Norman Krieger, Presented by Key Pianists

September 13, 2018 – Broadway World Listings
The Key Pianists Series, which features musicians in programs of significance to the artist, presents pianist Norman Krieger in solo recital. Mr. Krieger will perform Brahms’s Piano Sonata No. 1, Henri Lazarov’s 3 Preludes, Michael Fine's Six Little Preludes, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata (Op. 31, No. 2), and Chopin’s Nocturne in B-Flat Minor (Op. 9, No. 1) and Etudes in A-Flat Major (Op. 25, No. 1) and C Minor (Op. 25, No. 12). 
Read More...

Back home at Carnegie Hall for the third year running, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation's annual gala concert, one of the most highly anticipated operatic events of the season, will take place on Sunday, October 21.The concert will feature 2018 Richard Tucker Award winner Christian Van Horn, as well as a lineup of opera luminaries including Stephanie Blythe, Javier Camarena, Yusif Eyvazov, Michael Fabiano, Christine Goerke, Quinn Kelsey, Angela Meade, Anna Netrebko, and Nadine Sierra. A post-concert gala dinner will be held at the Plaza Hotel. This star-studded evening of beloved arias and ensembles from the works of the opera greats will be led by Marco Armiliato, with the New York Choral Society and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Read More...

In May 2017, pianist Daniel Ciobanu won the Audience Favorite prize and Silver Medal at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition. Ciobanu is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) and has studied under the tutelage of Aaron Shorr, Steven Osborne, and Pascal Devoyon. Ciobanu currently resides in Berlin. His program will include works by Enescu, Stravinsky, Scriabin, and Mussorgsky. 
Read More...

Key Pianists Series Launches 2018/19 Season At Weill Recital Hall

September 12, 2018 – Broadway World Classical
With a "reputation for intelligent virtuosity and solid musicianship" (Jed Distler, Classics Today 2017), noted American pianist Norman Krieger will be presented in solo recital by Key Pianists, Wednesday evening, October 17, 2018, 8 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 154 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019. His program will include Beethoven's "Tempest" Sonata and Brahms' Sonata in C Major, Op.1, as well as works by Henri Lazarof, Chopin, and Michael Fine. Of his program, Mr. Krieger notes: "The compositions I have chosen for my recital include works I have lived with for many years and others that are recent additions to my repertoire. From my perspective, these composers reveal, celebrate, and illuminate revolutionary concepts in their music composed for the piano."
Read More...

John Frayne | A preview of Krannert events: Part II

September 9, 2018 – The News-Gazette
On Sunday, Oct. 14, Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana (BACH) will offer a recital of baroque music played by Rachel Schiff, who plays the classical guitar.
Schiff, who is a Champaign-Urbana native, is now based in Germany. She will perform in the Chapel of St. John the Divine in the Campustown section of Champaign at 7:30 p.m.
Ian Hobson will lead the Sinfonia da Camera in a concert on Saturday, Oct. 20, in which Arsenii Mun, a 19-year-old winner of the Arthur Rubinstein Competition, will perform as solist in the famous Peter Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1.
Read More...

Jon Nakamatsu and the Boise Philharmonic

September 7, 2018 – Boise Weekly
The 2018-19 season promises to be game-changing for the Boise Philharmonic, and it's kicking it off with a guest performance from international pianist sensation Jon Nakamatsu. An accomplished soloist, Nakamatsu was just 29 years old when he won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and has dropped 12 CDs. Two days running, Nakamatsu will perform Camille Saint-Saens' second piano concerto with The Phil.
Read More...

Symphony Silicon Valley Promises Star Performers in 2018-19

September 6, 2018 – San Francisco Classical Voice
The Symphony Silicon Valley has an origin story worth repeating. Formed in 2002 after the dissolution of the former San Jose Symphony Orchestra, the group has risen to become “the greater South Bay’s premier orchestra,” with a practical business model and programming that keeps its audience in mind. For the 2018-19 season, the ensemble sticks close to the symphonic masters, while bringing back some favorite collaborators.
Carlos VieuThe orchestra’s “Classics Season” series features six different conductors in seven programs from October to June. Carlos Vieu returns Oct. 27 and 28 with a program of Richard Strauss and Debussy, which showcases Argentine soprano Daniela Tabernig in Strauss’s Four Last Songs. Tatsuya Shimono leads two programs, in May and June, built around Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, respectively; Bay Area-native Jon Nakamatsu makes a return solo engagement with the Rachmaninoff. SSV principal clarinetist Michael Corner is the soloist in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in December, a program topped off by two favorite Mendelssohn works (the “Scottish” Symphony and A Midsummer Night’s Dream) led by English conductor William Boughton. And John Nelson and violinist Anne Akiko Meyers are the artists for a prominent March concert that includes Barber’s Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.
Read More...

Orlando Arts Season Preview 2018-19: Classical & Choral

September 6, 2018 – Orlando Sentinel
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park
Concerts for the organization’s 84th season are at various venues on the Rollins College campus, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. Season subscriptions and student discounts are available. Details: bachfestivalflorida.org or 407-646-2182…
Bach Festival: Performances are in the Knowles Memorial Chapel.
PAUL JACOBS, ORGAN: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15; free.
Read More...

September 6, 2018 – Musical America
The young Romanian pianist Daniel Ciobanu will be presented in solo recital by the American Friends of the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society, Thursday evening, October 18, 2018, 7 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (154 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019). Mr. Ciobanu was awarded the Second Prize and Audience Favorite Prize at the 2017 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel-Aviv, Israel; his program will include works by Enescu, Mussorgsky, Scriabin, and Stravinsky.
Read More...

September 6, 2018 – Musical America
The young Romanian pianist Daniel Ciobanu will be presented in solo recital by the American Friends of the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society, Thursday evening, October 18, 2018, 7 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (154 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019). Mr. Ciobanu was awarded the Second Prize and Audience Favorite Prize at the 2017 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel-Aviv, Israel; his program will include works by Enescu, Mussorgsky, Scriabin, and Stravinsky.
Read More...

Critic Picks for 2018-2019 Season

September 3, 2018 – New York Classical Review
Miranda Cuckson and Michael Hersch. September 18. National Sawdust.
Michael Hersch’s dense, dissonant, passionate music can seem stupefying when it shows up amid a program of more easily grasped fare. This September, however, National Sawdust dedicates a whole evening to this underappreciated composer, with performances by the fearless violinist Miranda Cuckson and a rare appearance by the composer himself, a fiery and proficient pianist.
Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. May 19. David Geffen Hall.
We’ve been lucky in New York to have Manfred Honeck as a frequent guest conductor. This spring, New York audiences will get to hear him with his own ensemble, the superb Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, as part of Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series. They bring an unapologetic program of Beethoven warhorses: Symphony No. 5 and the “Emperor” Concerto with pianist Till Fellner. lincolncenter.org (ES)
Read More...

The Krannert Center opened in 1969, so this season will feature the center's 50th anniversary in 2019. This anniversary celebration will have resonances during the whole 2018-19 season…
The Sinfonia da Camera, conducted by Ian Hobson, will start its season on Saturday, Sept. 22, with the all-French program "Siren Songs." The first half will feature Georges Bizet's delightful "Symphony in C Major," which was written as a student exercise close to Bizet's 17th birthday. It remained, unplayed, in the Paris Conservatory archives until 1933, when it was rediscovered and quickly became part of the orchestral repertory. Gabriel Fauré's suite of incidental music, "Masques et Bergamasques," will round out the first half.
In the second half, Claude Debussy's "Nocturnes" consists of his impressionist tone paintings of "Clouds," "Festivals" and "Sirens," in the last of which female members of the UIUC Oratorio Society will sing a wordless female choral part. Debussy's mysterious music suggests the allure of Sirens, without the destructive associations with their name. Both the men and women of the Oratorio Society will take part in the Bacchanalian orgy of sound that concludes Maurice Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloé, Suite No. 2." This suite is often played, but seldom with chorus. (7:30, Foellinger Great Hall)
Read More...

Mark Abel, Time and Distance

August 30, 2018 – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
So one is rewarded in the exploration of such musical territory with riches at times, sometimes very exceptionally so, times that make it all worthwhile. I speak today of such a thing, namely  composer Mark Abel's new program of World Premier Recordings of his songs, Time and Distance (Delos 3550). These are most definitely songs for our time, Modern surely, not outgoingly in the sense that they are not in an avant garde mode so much as they resound with a most thoroughgoing, advanced harmonic-melodic musicality…
These are songs to grow into. I find them the more sublime the more I listen to this program. There is an endless musicality to them that never grows stale. They are I believe milestones in song for today, and to me very beautiful indeed. So I recommend strongly that you hear them.
Read More...

You won't want to miss Boise Phiharmonic's 2018-2019 Season Opener, featuring guest soloist Jon Nakamatsu on piano. You'll enjoy a journey of greatness and grandeur with Anna Clyne's Masquerade, which pays homage to the original mid-18th century promenade concerts held in London's pleasure gardens. Nakamatsu will join the orchestra for Saint-Saens' mercurial and virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 2. They'll conclude with Brahms' beloved Symphony No. 1, the beginning of the Phil's multi-season celebration cycle of his four masterful symphonies. Take your seats early for the Pre-Concert with the Phil event with Jamey Lamar at 6:30 p.m., then stick around for the post-concert event with Music Director Eric Garcia immediately following the performance.
Read More...

You won't want to miss Boise Phiharmonic's 2018-2019 Season Opener, featuring guest soloist Jon Nakamatsu on piano. You'll enjoy a journey of greatness and grandeur with Anna Clyne's Masquerade, which pays homage to the original mid-18th century promenade concerts held in London's pleasure gardens. Nakamatsu will join the orchestra for Saint-Saens' mercurial and virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 2. They'll conclude with Brahms' beloved Symphony No. 1, the beginning of the Phil's multi-season celebration cycle of his four masterful symphonies. Take your seats early for the Pre-Concert with the Phil event with Jamey Lamar at 6:30 p.m., then stick around for the post-concert event with Music Director Eric Garcia immediately following the performance.
Read More...

Geneva Concerts announces 2018-19 lineup

August 28, 2018 – The Daily Messenger
Geneva Concerts Inc. announced its schedule of performances for the 2018-19 season. Subscriptions are on sale now…
RPO will return Feb. 1, 2019, with music director Ward Stare. The concert will include Jon Nakamatsu as he performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the orchestra, as well as Rachmaninoff’s “Isle of the Dead” and Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.”
Read More...

Lineup Announced for the WA CONCERT SERIES at Tenri Cultural Institute

August 27, 2018 – Broadway World Classical
After two resoundingly successful seasons, the WA Concert Series is expanding its offerings this year. Seven concerts, led by renowned clarinetist Charles Neidich, are slated to take place at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011, from September 2018 to May 2019. Inspired by the Japanese word "wa"-meaning circle, but also harmony and completeness-each performance will be supplemented by carefully curated culinary offerings.
These programs, conceived by Mr. Neidich and his wife and fellow clarinetist Ayako Oshima, are intended to bring lesser-known composers and works to the attention of the international music community, synthesizing Mr. Neidich's lifetime of musical knowledge, exploration, and thoughtful reflection.
Read More...

After two resoundingly successful seasons, the WA Concert Series is expanding its offerings this year. Seven concerts, led by renowned clarinetist Charles Neidich, are slated to take place at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011, from September 2018 to May 2019. Inspired by the Japanese word "wa"-meaning circle, but also harmony and completeness-each performance will be supplemented by carefully curated culinary offerings.
These programs, conceived by Mr. Neidich and his wife and fellow clarinetist Ayako Oshima, are intended to bring lesser-known composers and works to the attention of the international music community, synthesizing Mr. Neidich's lifetime of musical knowledge, exploration, and thoughtful reflection.
Read More...

Rhythmic fireworks to cap off chamber music fest

August 23, 2018 – Wicked Local Provincetown
The Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival concludes its 12-concert run this summer with a program titled “Finale Fireworks” this Friday evening at the Wellfleet Congregational Church. The featured performers are the up-and-coming Parker String Quartet and the two artistic directors of the festival, clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu, playing works by Khachaturian, Ravel and Dohnanyi…
Read More...

The internationally celebrated American organist Paul Jacobs, who has performed in all fifty states, expands the repertoire for organ and orchestra still further during the 2018-19 season.
In October 2018, Mr. Jacobs is slated to unveil Pulitzer-Prize winning composer John Harbison’s What Do We Make of Bach? for organ and orchestra in its world premiere with the Minnesota Orchestra and conductor Osmo Vänskä…
Read More...

Misha and Cipa Dichter have toured the world for decades, often seated side-by-side on a piano bench, performing and championing compositions for four hands and for two pianos.
The husband-and-wife pair met as students at Juilliard and have been married for 50 years. Their first concert in Aspen was in 1974, and they've since become a staple of the Aspen Music Festival — keeping alive the classical repertoire for duo piano. The Dichters return Wednesday evening for a recital at Harris Concert Hall…
Read More...

CD Review: ‘Time and Distance’ by Mark Abel

August 6, 2018 – Culture Spot LA
Composer Mark Abel’s 2018 DELOS CD release, Time and Distance (DE 3550), features acclaimed Los Angeles area vocalists, soprano Hila Plitmann and mezzo-soprano Janelle DeStefano. Their task was immense in this endeavor — to mediate operatic texts by Abel and area poets Joanne Regenhardt and Kate Gale that address difficult social, psychological and political issues. The collection has a unique LA sound and attitude that makes it a fine example of the creativity and currency of the local chamber music scene. Abel’s settings fuse chamber and contemporary styles seamlessly together to achieve a spacious feel with only a small ensemble. Ethereal swaths of sound contrast with minimalist passages to support flowing lyrical vocal lines. There is just enough complexity to pique the mind and attune the ear to it without overpowering the verse. In addition to Abel on percussion and organ, the ensembles include pianists Tali Tadmor and Carol Rosenberger and percussionist Bruce Carver.
Read More...

Michael Hersch, End Stages Violin Concerto, Patricia Kopatchinskaya

August 3, 2018 – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
To my mind Michael Hersch has become one of the leading luminaries in High Modernism today. He convinces us that there is plenty of stylistic room at the top for the extension of the tradition into living times--and that he is charting a major foray into the zone with every new work. I am not alone in thinking that. If we needed further indication it has arrived decisively and happily in the major new disk that is upon us, a premier recording of end stages violin concerto (New Focus Recordings FCR 208).  The 2015 "Violin Concerto" spotlights Patricia Kopatchinskaja as the solo violinist with the International Contemporary Ensemble in the capable hands of Tito Munoz. "End Stages" (2018) gets the attention of the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble. Both are essential; the final result shows an enlightened pairing…
Read More...

Welcome to "For the Record," Violinist.com's weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!
Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja performs Michael Hersch's "Violin Concerto" with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in a recording that also includes Hersch's "End Stages," performed by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. According to violinist Kopatchinskaja, for whom the Violin Concerto was written, the formidably difficult work is as raw as an "an open wound." She said the music "moves me so deeply, makes me speechless, tolerates neither doubt nor objection. It is like a mountain one can’t ignore....Everything is crystal clear, there is no decoration, no superficial beauty, no compromises. Everything is exactly in place, has found its perfect form." Kopatchinskaja premiered the concerto in Saint Paul, Minnesota then gave its West Coast premiere at the 2018 Ojai Music Festival, where Kopatchinskaja was Music Director and Hersch was composer-in-residence. BELOW: Patricia Kopatchinskaja performs Michael Hersch's Violin Concerto (first movement) at the Lucerne Festival.
Read More...

In May 1997, Jon Nakamatsu was a German teacher. By June, he was an internationally known concert pianist.
That’s because in June 1997, Nakamatsu won the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. It changed Nakamatsu’s life forever. In addition to international notoriety, his winnings included a debut recital at Carnegie Hall, concert tours, two years of professional artist management and a record deal. His career as a concert pianist had officially begun.
Read More...

Quartets fill monthlong chamber-music festival

July 26, 2018 – Cape Cod Times
A new venue, another season of great string quartets, a continuation of the influential residency program, and an usual pairing of narrator and music all highlight the 39th annual Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival.
A new venue, another season of great string quartets, a continuation of the influential residency program, and an unusual pairing of narrator and music all highlight the 39th annual Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival.
The festival opens Wednesday with the esteemed Emerson Quartet in Wellfleet, the first of a dozen performances that will blanket the Cape during the month. Emerson won’t be starting festival fans off with anything easy either: The program, which repeats the next evening at the Simon Center for the Arts at Falmouth Academy, includes two late, challenging works by Beethoven: the opus 130 and 131 quartets.
“This season has so many wonderful highlights,” say co-artistic directors Jon Nakamatsu and Jon Manasse in a joint email. “We are thrilled to open our newest venue in Falmouth, with the legendary Emerson Quartet.”
Read More...

Bargemusic This Weekend, with Jazz!

July 25, 2018 – Brooklyn Heights Blog
The weekend begins riding on a jazz note on Friday evening, July 27 at 8:00 when the Endangered Heart Quartet (photo) presents works by Roy Nathanson, Beatles/Jesse Mills, Bach/Tim Kiah, and Jesse Mills. On Saturday evening, July 28 at 6:00, the Peskanov Duo, consisting of Alexander Peskanov on piano and Lu Ann Peskanov on flute, perform works by Alexander Peskanov, Frank Martin, Schubert, and Poulenc. At 8:00 that same evening, Alexander Peskanov returns to play works by Alexander Peskanov, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Czerny-Peskanov. On Sunday afternoo n, July 29 at 4:00, pianist Ursula Oppens will play an all Schubert concert. There are details for each concert and you may buy tickets here.
Read More...

World-renowned pianist Jon Nakamatsu to perform a recital

July 17, 2018 – The Chautauquan Daily
There’s no direct path to success.
“It’s been an amazing, strange, wonderful journey that didn’t have a pattern in a traditional sense,” Jon Nakamatsu said. “I feel lucky every time I get to walk onto a stage. It’s like living a dream.”
The world-renowned pianist will perform in a recital at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. He will also teach a master class at 4 p.m. Thursday in Sherwood-Marsh Studios.
Read More...

Ursula Oppens, cinque volte nominata ai Grammy Awards, è una pianista leggendaria per le sue interpretazioni di musica americana contemporanea. Jerome Lowenthal, anche lui artista di fama internazionale, è capo del dipartimento di pianoforte della Juillard School di New York. Insieme sono attesi per il nuovo recital dell’Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, martedì 17 luglio, nella storica chiesa di San Domenico a Maiori (ore 21, ingresso libero)…
Read More...

Eastern Music Festival: North Carolina's Musical Treasure

July 16, 2018 – Classical Voice of North Carolina
Week Three of Eastern Music Festival's five-week season brings vibrant music and energy to a variety of Triad venues.
On Wednesday, July 11, EMF piano faculty Awadagin Pratt performs a solo recital at Guilford College's Dana Auditorium. Pratt is a world renowned Pianist and we are delighted to share this performance with the Greensboro community.
The Eastern Festival Orchestra Concert Series continues this week featuring some of the best musicians in the country and the world. On July 14, at 8:00 p.m., Eastern Festival Orchestra presents Crossing Currents, spotlighting world-renowned Pianist Misha Dichter who will perform Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F in Guilford College's Dana Auditorium. Crossing Currents is inspired by a concert written by the American composers Gershwin and Bernstein and the French composer Ravel.
Read More...

It was time to put away the plaster busts of Beethoven, Schumann and Liszt Sunday night at Hunter July 16, 2018 – New York Classical Review
College’s Kaye Playhouse, as pianist Jerome Rose demonstrated what loose cannons those canonical composers really were.
How better to kick off the 20th annual International Keyboard Institute and Festival—two intense weeks of recitals, master classes and lectures about the piano—than with a program of piano pieces that dared all in their day, and still challenge the understanding of performer and listener alike?
Read More...

The new classical series Only at Merkin with Terrance McKnight, featuring, among others, the world-renowned pianists André Watts and Ursula Oppens; the world premiere of a piano quintet by acclaimed new music composer Laura Kaminsky; and presentations by Academy and Grammy Awards winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen); Emmy, Tony, Grammy and Academy Awards winner Bobby Lopez (Frozen); Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal); and 10-time Tony winner Maury Yeston (Titanic, Nine) are among the numerous highlights of the Kaufman Music Center's diverse 2018-19 season at Merkin Hall.
Read More...

Ursula Oppens, cinque volte nominata ai Grammy Awards, è una pianista leggendaria per le sue interpretazioni di musica americana contemporanea. Jerome Lowenthal, anche lui artista di fama internazionale, è capo del dipartimento di pianoforte della Juillard School di New York. Insieme sono attesi per il nuovo recital dell’Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, martedì 17 luglio, nella storica chiesa di San Domenico a Maiori (ore 21, ingresso libero)….
Read More...

Professori di pianoforte, in arrivo dagli Stati Uniti e dalla Cina, in scena ad Amalfi. Al museo diocesano, lunedì 16 luglio (ore 21, ingresso libero) si tiene, infatti, il recital “Meet the Faculty” che impegnerà rinomati maestri arrivati in costiera per le masterclass dell’Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival. Ad alternarsi al pianoforte saranno Hong Xu, James Giles, Ursula Oppens, Jerome Lowenthal, Thomas Lymenstull, e Bernadene Blaha con Kevin Fitz-Gerald.
Read More...

This Week in Wilkes: Guide to upcoming entertainment

July 13, 2018 – Wilkes Journal-Patriot
When you’re looking for something fun to do each week, check our guide to what’s going on in Wilkes County and the area from July 13-17…
Sunday, July 15    
Eastern Festival Orchestra (symphonic music) featuring guest pianist Misha Dichter; 3-5 p.m. at the Schaefer Center in Boone; tickets $20-$30.
Read More...

High notes: This week at the Santa Chamber Music Festival

July 13, 2018 – Santa Fe New Mexican
The People United Will Never Be Defeated!
Political engagement and serious concert music don’t intersect very often. Of course, Beethoven has a choir proclaim that all men are brothers, in his Ninth Symphony, but the list of composers who repeatedly brought their art to bear on specific sociopolitical issues is modest: Cornelius Cardew, Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and a few others.
Then there’s Frederic Rzewski, a venerated American composer and pianist who turned eighty this past April. On Tuesday, July 17, in the first noontime concert of this season’s Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the pianist Ran Dank devotes his hourlong recital to a single work, Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (36 Variations on “¡El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido!”), which is every bit as politically potent as its title suggests. One of the towering masterpieces of 20th-century piano literature, it was composed in the autumn of 1975 and was premiered in February 1976 by Ursula Oppens at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on a concert series designed to provide perspective on the bicentennial of the American Revolution.
Read More...

Award-winning pianist Misha Dichter will perform Saturday at the Eastern Music Festival, soloing on Gershwin’s Piano Concerto with the faculty’s Eastern Festival Orchestra.
The Saturday concert will complete week three of the five-week festival, which brings student musicians and professionals from around the world to Guilford College.
Dichter brings impressive credentials. At age 20, while enrolled at The Juilliard School, he won the silver medal at the 1966 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. That helped launch his international musical career…
Read More...

Franz Schubert - Moment Musicaux No. 4, D780, Till Fellner

July 11, 2018 – Klassiek Archief YouTube Channel
Till Fellner, piano
Opname: 24 juni 2018, Angelika Kauffmann Hall, Schwarzenberg
Bron: Radio 4 Zomeravondconcert 9 juli 2018
Read More...

Mr. Dichter to perform as soloist in Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, as well as in chamber recital alongside wife and long-time collaborator, pianist Cipa Dichter.
Pianist Misha Dichter will perform Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F as part of the Eastern Music Festival’s “Festival Orchestral Series” at Guildford College’s Dana Auditorium (710 Levi Coffin Dr, Greensboro, NC 27410), Saturday evening, July 14, 2018 at 8 pm. This program will also include Ravel’s Tzigane featuring violinist Eva Wetzel, as well as works by Bernstein and Griffes…
Read More...

Time and Distance (Delos) consists of world premiere recordings of works for voice and piano, plus organ and percussion, by Mark Abel. "Those Who Loved Medusa," to verse by Kate Gale, recycles Greek mythology for the #MeToo era. Medusa, it seems, had many suitors back in the day but spurned them all, until the god Poseidon came along and raped her in a temple. "You wore red," the goddess Athena scolds after the fact, blaming the victim. "You smiled." Post-Poseidon, her hair now a mass of hissing snakes, the monster Medusa survives to receive lovers in her island cave. "It isn't true," she insists towards the close, "that all of them died." Scorching stuff, savagely sounded by the soprano Hila Plitman, partnered by Carol Rosenberger, piano, and Bruce Carver, now glittering, now thunderous, on percussion.
Read More...

The Oregon Bach Festival continues its second week of performances with the world premiere of “The Passion of Yeshua,” a commissioned work from renowned American composer Richard Danielpour, on Sunday, July 8.
Upcoming OBF highlights include:
Friday, July 6, 7:30 p.m.: Paul Jacobs All-Bach Organ Recital, Central Lutheran Church, $45.
Read More...

The Sonic Fury of the Ojai Music Festival

July 2, 2018 – The New Yorker
The wildfires that consumed large tracts of Southern California last December came close to ravaging the rustic-bohemian town of Ojai, which has long been the seat of the Ojai Music Festival, America’s most vibrant new-music gathering. Advancing from the north, the east, and the south, the fires got within a few miles of the town before a determined firefighting effort and a lucky shift in the wind held them back. Today, if you survey the Ojai Valley from an overlook you will see charred mountainsides looming over an island of green. Not surprisingly, the 2018 festival, which took place over four days in early June, felt different from past editions, which have unleashed wild sounds in idyllic surroundings. The idyll remained, but it seemed more fragile this time. The sounds could be heard as flashbacks or as forebodings.
The Moldovan-born violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, this year’s music director, had selected her programs long before December, but they spoke with eerie aptness to a town that had faced an apocalypse. The central composer was the twentieth-century Russian ascetic Galina Ustvolskaya, who wrote spiritual music of flagellating force. A world première by the Baltimore-based composer Michael Hersch harrowingly evoked the spread of cancer in a body. Works by György Ligeti and György Kurtág mixed bleakness with black humor. The concerts were heavy going at times, but Kopatchinskaja invested them with vital purpose.
Read More...

Listings, Week of July 16

June 23, 2018 – Chicago Classical Review
July 23
Misha Dichter, pianist
Cipa Dichter, pianist
Schubert: Fantasy in F minor
Copland/Bernstein: El Salón México
Ravel: La Valse
Scriabin: Étude in B flat minor
Scriabin: Étude in F sharp minor
Schubert: Piano Sonata in A Major
3 p.m. Ravinia/Bennett Gordon Hall
Read More...

Advance tickets go on sale today for the Richard Tucker Music Foundation's annual gala concert, one of the most highly anticipated operatic events of the season. Coming to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Sunday, October 21 at 6pm, the concert features bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, winner of the 2018 Richard Tucker Award, with a host of opera luminaries from around the world: soprano Anna Netrebko, tenors Javier Camarena and Yusif Eyvazov, and five past Tucker Award-winners: sopranos Christine Goerke, Angela Meade, and Nadine Sierra; mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe; and tenor Michael Fabiano. This starry lineup will join forces for an evening of favorite arias and ensembles under the baton of Marco Armiliato, with the support of the New York Choral Society and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The gala concert is presented by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
Read More...

In honor of the 50th anniversary of his debut at the Ravinia Festival, pianist Misha Dichter will perform with the Argus Quartet in chamber music recital at Bennett Gordon Hall (201 St Johns Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035) on Tuesday evening, July 24, 2018, at 6 pm. The program will include piano quintets by Shostakovitch and Dvořák, featuring Mr. Dichter alongside the Argus Quartet's violinists Clara Kim and Dana Kelley, violist Jason Issokson, and cellist Joann Whang…
Read More...

In honor of the 50th anniversary of his debut at the Ravinia Festival, pianist Misha Dichter will perform with the Argus Quartet in chamber music recital at Bennett Gordon Hall (201 St Johns Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035) on Tuesday evening, July 24, 2018, at 6 pm. The program will include piano quintets by Shostakovitch and Dvořák, featuring Mr. Dichter alongside the Argus Quartet's violinists Clara Kim and Dana Kelley, violist Jason Issokson, and cellist Joann Whang…
Read More...

Richard Tucker Music Foundation Announces Gala Lineup

June 20, 2018 – Broadway World Opera
Advance tickets go on sale today for the Richard Tucker Music Foundation's annual gala concert, one of the most highly anticipated operatic events of the season. Coming to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Sunday, October 21 at 6pm, the concert features bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, winner of the 2018 Richard Tucker Award, with a host of opera luminaries from around the world: soprano Anna Netrebko, tenors Javier Camarena and Yusif Eyvazov, and five past Tucker Award-winners: sopranos Christine Goerke, Angela Meade, and Nadine Sierra; mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe; and tenor Michael Fabiano. This starry lineup will join forces for an evening of favorite arias and ensembles under the baton of Marco Armiliato, with the support of the New York Choral Society and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The gala concert is presented by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
Read More...

Hae-Sue Lee was named first-prize winner in the 2018 Primrose International Viola Competition, which were announced Saturday at the Colburn School…
Jury members for 2018 include Lynn Harrell (Chairman), Roland Glassl, Kazuhide Isomura, Jon Nakamatsu, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Xidi Shen, Lars Anders Tomter.
For the Finals, each of the three violists performed Brahms Trio in A minor, Op. 114, in a chamber round on Saturday morning with cellist Lynn Harrell and pianist Jon Nakamatsu.
Read More...

Faculty artist Michael Hersch (BM ’95, MM ’97, Composition) was featured in an article in the New York Times. The article talks about the Ojai Music Festival, for which he is the featured composer and discusses at length a new piece to be premiered at the festival. Hersch was also featured in the Los Angeles Times, talking about his new piece.
Read More...

Oh! Oh! Ojai: The Week in Classical Music

June 15, 2018 – The New York Times
Classical lovers! When the week began, I was still in hot-yet-ever-so-chill Ojai, Calif., for the tail end of the Ojai Music Festival, one of music’s most lovably idiosyncratic, sunnily relaxed yet rigorous events…[You should by all means take in the following video’s dreamy set by the pianist and composer Michael Hersch and the saxophonist Gary Louie…
Read More...

OJAI AT BERKELEY For the eighth time, Cal Performances welcomes Ojai at Berkeley. The famous Southern California music festival is re-imagined in four concerts curated by and featuring Ojai’s music director, Patricia Kopatchinskaja (left). The program includes the Bay Area debut of Kopatchinskaja’s semi-staged Bye Bye Beethoven, which features the Bay Area debut of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She says the work is a commentary on “the irrelevance of the classic concert routine for our present life.” The festival also includes a program of music by Michael Hersch (including the Bay Area premiere of his “I hope we get a chance to visit soon”), a performance of Moldovan and Romanian folk music featuring a performance by Kopatchinskaja with her parents; and concludes with a finale performance of 20th-century chamber works by Bartók, Stravinsky, and Ligeti, performed by Kopatchinskaja and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Thursday, June 14, 8 p.m., Friday, June 15, 8 p.m., Saturday, June 16, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.
Read More...

The Aloha International Piano Festival, Competition and Piano Academy is the premiere destination for pianists of all ages, teachers and music lovers from near and far…
The Festival’s popular and low-cost recital series welcomes the greater community and features free admission to the Aloha International Piano Competition.  
Everyone is invited to enjoy beautiful music performed by world-class artists in a family-friendly setting.
World renowned pianists Jon Nakamatsu, Ory Shihor and John Bayless will join forces with artistic director Lisa Nakamichi to bring attendees an exciting week of music…
Read More...

Modernism Revived at Ojai 2018

June 12, 2018 – San Francisco Classical Voice
Patricia Kopatchinskaja arrived in Ojai (by way of Moldova and Bern, Switzerland) with the energy of a zealot, the violin artistry of a virtuoso, and the political agenda of an agent provocateur. Her goal was to unsettle the 2018 Ojai Music Festival audience by dancing on the graves of the Viennese classics. Her spokespeople would be the European modernists such as Bartók, Berio, Kurtág, and Ligeti and their contemporary American avatar, Michael Hersch, all known for their embrace of a darker reality and the rejection of populism…
Read More...

On Friday night, Michael Hersch’s “I hope we get a chance to visit soon,” a relentlessly grim musical immersion in a cancer ward, was the weekend’s major world premiere…
The first movement from Michael Hersch’s Violin Concerto, written for Kopatchinskaja, added its own harsh, hollow, crunching character. Trombones marched down the aisles, calling out the dead before Ustvolskaya’s unleashing of heaven’s fury…
For Kopatchinskaja, the highs needed the lows, and nothing was lower than Hersch’s new piece, which uses the emails of a friend of the composer describing the horrors of her terminal cancer and its treatment. Sopranos Ah Young Hong and Kiera Duffy wept and wailed. Nine players from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Tito Muñoz, interjected what you might expect the devastation of the flesh to sound like, with no recourse to sonic anesthesia.
Read More...

With apologies to Charles Dickens, Monday's Faculty Artist Concert in Packard Hall at the 2018 Colorado College Summer Music Festival earned the right to be titled "A Tale of Two Concerts." Superb and electric performances seemed the only commonalty of the first and second parts of the afternoon's music…
The trio at hand, [pianist Jon Nakamatsu] on piano; Andrew Wan on violin in just his second season at the festival; and Ying on cello; reached for and attained the heights of the artistic experience…
As our community has gradually learned over the course of the festival's 34 years, there's really not a note of music, from either faculty or festival fellows, that doesn't deserve to be heard.
Read More...

With her impassioned performance style and innovative programs linking early music and contemporary works, Patricia Kopatchinskaja wants to revolutionize the classical music world — or at least make it sit up and take notice.
The Moldovan-Austrian violinist, who is based in Switzerland, is the music director and featured artist of this year’s Ojai Music Festival, and this weekend, she’s bringing a sample of the Southern California contemporary music event to Cal Performances.
“Ojai at Berkeley” offers four programs curated by and featuring Kopatchinskaja — each designed to showcase her skills as producer and performer…
Performances continue on Friday with “The Music of Michael Hersch,” including the American composer’s “I hope we get a chance to visit soon.” A dramatic cantata for two sopranos and ensemble, it features vocalists Ah Young Hong and Kiera Duffy. Hersch will also be on hand to play one of his works for solo piano.
Read More...

Ojai Music Festival 2018: Ojai Talks with Michael Hersch and Ah Young Hong

June 11, 2018 – Ojai Music Festival YouTube Channel
Thursday, June 7, 2018: 2:15-3:15pm Ojai Presbyterian Church
Not Your Average Composer Michael Hersch and Ah Young Hong with Ara Guzelimian
Read More...

Mark Abel's Art Songs CD Time and Distance

June 10, 2018 – Opera Lively
To escape reality or to confront it.
Opera Lively interviewee Mark Abel has released his fourth CD with Delos. This one contains two short song cycles and three additional art songs. Read the composer's interview [here], and reviews of his chamber opera Home is a Harbor[here], and of his excellent song cycle The Palm Trees are Restless[here].
Those familiar with his two works above-mentioned will find some old friends here. The poetry of Kate Gale had already been set to music and recorded by Abel, Plitmann, and Tadmor in The Palm Trees are Restless, and Janelle DeStefano sang the double roles of Linda and Lenore in the composer's chamber opera.
These talented artists are again put to good use. The two singers do very well, with Grammy-winning Hila Plitmann once again displaying her agility, range, and purity of sound (I particularly loved her in "The Benediction"), while DeStefano is warm and engaging in the reflexive and melodious The Ocean of Forgiveness
Read More...

To escape reality or to confront it.
The 2018 Ojai Music Festival music director, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, leaps full force into the latter, a message she conveyed in an introductory appearance Thursday afternoon and reinforced that evening with an intriguing community concert while strolling through Libbey Park’s leafy grounds…
Saturday evening concerts begin at 7:30 with the JACK Quartet in works by John Dowland, Tigran Mansurian and Pauline Oliveros, and continue at 9 p.m with the U.S. Premiere of “Dies Irae” conceptualized by Kopatchinskaja; the first movement of a violin concerto by Michael Hersch, and works by Antonio Lotti, Galina Ustvolskaya and Ligeti.
Read More...

Joshua Kosman’s classical music picks, June 10

June 7, 2018 – San Francisco Chronicle
Ojai at Berkeley: The Ojai Music Festival makes its annual northward trek, this year under the direction of the visionary violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja who brings programs devoted to Beethoven, Michael Hersch, and composers of Eastern Europe. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, June 14-16. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley.  www.calperformances.org
Read More...

Classical music and dance listings

June 7, 2018 – San Francisco Chronicle
Ojai at Berkeley “Bye Bye Beethoven.” 8 p.m. Thurs., June 14. Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin; Mahler Chamber Orchestra. 8 p.m. Fri., June 15 Tito Muñoz, conductor; Ah Young Hong and Kiera Duffy, sopranos; Michael Hersch, and Amy Yang, piano; Gary Louie, alto saxophone; Members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Works by Michael Hersch. 2 p.m. Sat., June 16 Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin; Viktor Kopatchinsky, cimbalom; Emilia Kopatchinsky, violin; Amy Yang, piano. Works by Kurtág, Enescu, 8 p.m. Sat., June 16 Philipp von Steinaecker, conductor; Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin; Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Works by Bartók, Stravinsky, Ligeti. $20. Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft Way at Dana St., Berkeley .www.calperformances.org
Read More...

Composer Michael Hersch, who battled cancer in 2007 at age 36, was composing an elegy to a close friend who died of ovarian cancer at 45 when he got the news: His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"It was such a surreal experience," Hersch said. "There are a lot of collisions that are hard to explain. This is not a normal situation. We're talking about people getting cancer in their 30s and 40s."
Read More...

The imaginative and increasingly important Key Pianists concert series, founded by pianist Terry Eder in 2015, embarks on its fourth season with a recital by Norman Krieger, who "owns a world of technique" (Los Angeles Times), on Wednesday evening, October 17, 2018 at 8 pm at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. His program will include Brahms' Sonata in C Major and Beethoven's Sonata in D minor, as well as works by Chopin, Lazaroff, and Fine. On Tuesday evening, February 26, 2019 at 8 pm, pianist Jason Hardink-dubbed "a pianist of such extraordinary power-and memory-that he is difficult to forget" by ConcertoNet's Harry Rolnick (14 Dec 2015)-will give a recital of 19th- and 20th-century gems by Eckardt, Debussy, Liszt, Xenakis, and Messiaen. To close out the season, series founder Terry Eder, noted for her "fascinating [performances] full of life and risk" (New York Concert Review, Summer 2006), performs Schubert's Impromptu in F Minor, Op. 142, No. 1 and Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 28, as well as works by Debussy, Dohnanyi, and Kodály.
Read More...

Patricia Kopatchinskaja Directs Her First Ojai Festival

June 5, 2018 – San Francisco Classical Voice
The souvenir button struck for the 2018 Ojai Music Festival identifies the festival’s music director-du-jour simply as “PatKop.” For all practical purposes, the name Patricia Kopatchinskaja may be too long to fit comfortably on a button, so PatKop it is. But habitual pilgrims to this long-running, compulsively adventurous little festival will get used to saying her full name quickly enough…
“I am on a permanent mission for composers like Galina Ustvolskaja, György Ligeti, György Kurtag, and Michael Hersch,” Kopatchinskaja said in an e-mail from Switzerland. “Fortunately, two of them (Ustvolskaja and Hersch) had never been played in Ojai, also Ligeti’s Violin Concerto is new for Ojai, as are the monumental Kafka Fragments for voice and violin by Kurtag. So these four composers became an obvious backbone for the program. But also Horatio Radulescu’s Before the universe was born, Georg Frederick Haas’s String Quartet No. 9 written for the JACK quartet, Hans Abrahamsen’s Schnee — all that will heard for the first time in Ojai.”
Read More...

“Bleak” is the predominant adjective in writing about Michael Hersch’s music. “Dark,” “somber” and “anguished” are also omnipresent. Little wonder, given that his subjects have included the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Dante’s “Inferno,” the Holocaust and conditions found in a 1960s psychiatric ward.
But the quality the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja most associates with Mr. Hersch’s music? Necessity.
“The despair in the music makes it a necessary experience, to play and to listen to,” she said in a phone interview recently. “There is nothing you can compare it to.”
Read More...

Classical Music in New York City This Week - June 3-June 10

June 3, 2018 – NYC’s Original City Guide
Thomas Nickell, Piano | Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago - Carnegie Hall (Zankel Hall)
June 03, 2018 - New York
Nineteen-year old American pianist Thomas Nickell will perform as soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago and conductor Mina Zikri, presented by the Alexander & Buono Foundation. The program will also include Liszt’s Totentanz and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, as well a composition by Mr. Nickell.
Read More...

The Harlem Chamber Players held their 10th Anniversary concert Friday night at Miller Theatre, their “birthday concert,” as the group’s president Thomas Pellaton pointed out in some opening remarks. Ten years is a healthy age for a small classical music organization, and chamber music years might be something like dog years. Judging by Friday’s performance and the ambitious season the group will launch in the fall, the Harlem Players are entering maturity in excellent shape.
Friday night’s program provided an opportunity for the chamber orchestra to show their stuff. But the dominating feature was the five singers—sopranos Janinah Burnett and Brandie Sutton, mezzo Lucia Bradford, tenor Courtney Packer, and baritone Kenneth Overton—who sang a selection of arias from operas by Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, and a few others…
Read More...

The New York Choral Society, which has provided New Yorkers with a wonderful variety of mainstream and neglected choral works. Alongside Beethoven’s Ninth, Brahms’ German Requiem, and Berlioz’s Grande messe des morts, their recent programs have included Hindemith’s When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, Holst’s The Hymn of Jesus, Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum, MacMillan’s St. Luke Passion (New York premiere), Mendelssohn’s Paulus (St. Paul), and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. Next season, we have Tippet’s A Child of our Time,Finzi’s Requiem da Camera, Honegger’s Le roi David, and Randall Thompson’s Requiem to look forward to. One can only admire their comprehensive representation of the choral repertoire.
Earlier this month, The New York Choral Society, under the direction of their Music Director, David Hayes, presents something of a curiosity in this day and age, when a chorus of forty is considered a large one in the music of J. S. Bach: the Mass in B Minor sung by close to two hundred people with a sizable orchestra of modern instruments.
Read More...

May 25 Listings

May 24, 2018 – New York Classical Review
June 1: Harlem Chamber Players
“Harlem Songfest”
Janinah Burnett and Brandie Sutton, sopranos
Lucia Bradford, mezzo-soprano
Chauncey Packer, tenor
Kenneth Overton, baritone; David Gilbert conductor
Music of Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Offenbach, Gounod and Bizet
7 p.m. Miller Theatre, brownpapertickets.com
June 3: Thomas Nickell, pianist
Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago
Mina Zikri, conductor
Beethoven, Liszt, Thomas Nickell
1:30 p.m. Zankel Hall/Carnegie Hall
carnegiehall.org
Read More...

Look who's performing at the 2018 Ojai Music Festival

May 24, 2018 – Ventura County Star
Composer/pianist Michael Hersch will present a world premiere composition June 8 at the Ojai Music Festival.
Read More...

The National Society of Arts and Letters will present a special concert, “Masters of the Music,” at 7 p.m. — featuring internationally renowned flutist Carol Wincenc — which offers guests free admission to the concert and Chautauqua Institution grounds and parking lots.
In addition to Wincenc, the concert will also feature appearances by the National Society of Arts and Letters’ 2018 Woodwinds Competition judges: William Ludwig on bassoon; Charles Neidich on clarinet; and Mark Ostoich on oboe. The group will also be joined by pianists Colette Valentine and Patti Wolf.
Read More...

On 3 June, 19-year-old Thomas Nickell will make his debut in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall as soloist in Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto, accompanied by the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago under the baton of Mina Zikri. The program will also include Liszt’s Totentanz and one of Nickell’s own compositions. It should be a defining moment in the young musician’s career, but Nickell, an artist demonstrating an incredible level of artistic maturity for his age, is trying to remain level-headed about it.
In a recent discussion, we talked about his background and the choices he has consciously made regarding his budding career.
Read More...

Monday night at the Colburn School’s Zipper Concert Hall, a large sold-out sign was posted by the box office for a Monday Evening Concerts program built around Eastman’s 70-minute “Femenine”…
The pianists were Gloria Cheng and Ursula Oppens, and they did their own bit of cultural restoration. Monk’s piano pieces are often relegated to the bin for enviable naiveté. But there was nothing childish about the eerily exacting playing from two pianists known for their phenomenal control and uncompromising musicianship.
When Oppens’ right hand in the solo, “Paris,” suddenly broke away from the beat into fluttery extravagance, a stationary bird might have thrust in sudden flight — not out of fear, but just because it could. The significance of that for Eastman was everything.
Read More...

Leora Zeitlin Honored For Interviews On KRWG-FM's "Intermezzo"

May 22, 2018 – New Mexico State KRWG TV/FM
KRWG-FM host Leora Zeitlin was honored by the New Mexico Press Women for interviews conducted on "Intermezzo," which is broadcast weekdays from 2pm to 4pm.  The interviews included: “Irish Fiddle Master Brian Conway" and “Legendary pianist Misha Dichter.”
Read More...

In the absence of anything truly new, the programs that fill the remaining six weeks of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s subscription season include several works of lesser importance by important composers…
Krivine’s “Organ” Symphony was in keeping with modern interpretations that favor classical clarity over rich color and flamboyant drama. He tended to push and pull rather than sustain a taut through-line, as Charles Munch was able to do so thrillingly more than 50 years ago. Where intensity was applied, it was applied from without. The result was exciting enough — how could it not be, with Chicago’s formidable brasses blazing forth in the finale? — but something essential was missing.
Not so in soloist Paul Jacobs’ magisterial playing of the organ part, which built to a thrilling roar of low pedal sonority in the final pages that must have set off every seismograph in the state.
Each soloist delivered a solo piece of J.S. Bach at encore time. Faust was quiet eloquence personified in the largo movement of the Sonata No. 3 in C (BWV 1005). Jacobs threw out just about every stop on the organ console with his turbocharged reading of the Fugue in A minor (BWV 543).
Read More...

Emmanuel Krivine was back on the podium for his second week this season with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra…Krivine was more in his element in his compatriot Saint-Saëns’ mighty “Organ” symphony (No. 3). Yet here too the opening section would have benefited from greater rhythmic finesse, the shifting tempos sometimes sloughed over…
With Paul Jacobs once again at the console, as in the last CSO performance four years ago, the organist handled his primus inter pares contributions with taste and thunder as needed.  He was given a rare opportunity for a solo encore with Bach’s Fugue in A minor, BWV 543.
Read More...

La perfomance della "Messa in SI minore" è andata in scena alla Carnegie Hall di New York. Uno spettacolo di musica che lascia senza fiato…
Read More...

Pianist Misha Dichter will appear in chamber music program with violinist Mark Peskanov and cellist Julian Schwarz as part of the Bargemusic Masterworks Series, Saturday evening, May 26, 2018 at 6 pm and Sunday afternoon, May 27, 2018 at 4 pm, featuring the New York premieres and world premiere of Gerard Schwarz's Three Duos for violin and cello. The program will also include Schubert's Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, D. 898 (Op. 99).
Read More...

Distinguished pianist Misha Dichter will appear in recital alongside pianist Cipa Dichter, as part of Bargemusic's Masterworks Series, Sunday afternoon, May 13, 2018 at 4 pm. The pair will perform Schubert's Fantasy in F minor for four-hands Op. 103, D. 940; Mr. Dichter will also perform with Schubert's Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 959.
Read More...

Maria Nockin Reviews Time and Distance in Fanfare

May 2018 – Fanfare Magazine (reprinted with permission by Delos Music)
Composer Mark Abel’s new disc, Time and Distance, contains the world premieres of two song cycles and three substantial individual works I hope to hear at a live recital in the near future. Recitals need not be filled with museum pieces. There are audience-worthy new works being written every day. Abel combines tuneful original passages with rock and jazz elements to form unique tonal structures. With a colorful blend of styles, he communicates the nature of each work, often with a powerful emotional punch. Mezzo-soprano Janelle DeStefano and soprano Hila Plitmann are “crossover” singers who straddle the void between concert, opera, and musical theater. Both sing with the kind of diction that makes it possible to walk across the room or even do a chore and not miss a word of the poetry.
Read More...

No such risk was run at Geffen Hall as Austrian pianist Till Fellner made his New York Philharmonic, taking on the concerto under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach. The German-born Eschenbach is no stranger to Mozart Concerti, having made his own New York Philharmonic debut as soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 in 1974
The 22nd concerto is an elegant even stately work that provided Mr. Fellner ample opportunity to display once again why he is one of the world's leading Mozart specialists…
Mr. Fellner's playing was regal, brisk and confident and displayed dazzling moments of impressive virtuosity. In the final movement, soloist and orchestra took an interesting approach. Rather than the more bombastic manner which most performances typically employ, Mr. Fellner and Maestro Eschenbach chose a slightly lighter approach, a more delicate one, stressing elegance, detail and color over thunder and grandiosity.
Read More...

Ah Young Hong

May 1, 2018 – Burning Ambulance
I need to get this on the record from the start: Soprano Ah Young Hong is a wonder. She has a remarkable sound and seemingly limitless technique. Her performance of the two daunting works on this disc, Milton Babbitt’s Philomel and Michael Hersch’s a breath upwards, is nothing short of breathtaking. While the two pieces have a good deal in common—angular vocal lines, rhythms free from the constraint of an audible pulse, and harrowing subject matter—they occupy distinct emotional worlds.
Read More...

Zeitgenösissches amerikanisches Kunstlied

April 30, 2018 – Pizzicato
Der amerikanische Komponist Mark Abel, der sich früher der Rockmusik, dann dem Journalismus verschrieben hatte, ist zu einer der interessanten Figuren zeitgenössischer Musik in den USA geworden.
Dieses Album stellt ihn als Komponisten des Kunstlieds vor. Die Lieder entstanden entweder auf eigene Texte oder auch, wie der Zyklus ‘The Ocean of Forgiveness’ auf Gedichte von Joanne Regenhardt. Es sind alles Texte mit durchaus aktuellen Bezügen (etwa im Song ‘The Benediction’ über ein zerrissenes, gespaltenes Amerika), auch wenn einige soweit zurückgehen wie auf die griechische Mythologie.
Read More...

CSO releases schedule

April 30, 2018 – Current
The Carmel Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2018-19 schedule, beginning Oct. 13 with an Orchestral Showcase featuring Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5.”
Pianist Jon Nakamatsu on “Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” will be featured Nov. 10. Clay Township presents Side-by Side with Carmel High School is set for Nov. 18. CSO’s Young Artist Competition Winner will be included. The IU Health Holiday Pops concert set for Dec. 8 will feature vocalist Sarah Watson and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
Read More...

Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival (CCCMF), celebrating 39 years as Cape Cod's premiere presenter of summer chamber music, announces its 2018 summer season, presenting 12 compelling concerts from August 1 through 24, 7:30 pm, at locations throughout the region. The Festival is programmed under the leadership of Artistic Directors Jon Nakamatsu and Jon Manasse, and Executive Director Elaine Lipton.
"We eagerly await the month of August every year!" shares Artistic Director Jon Nakamatsu. "Not only do we enjoy performing with some of the finest musicians from across the world, but we all delight in sharing these incredible concerts with music lovers across Cape Cod."
Read More...

Chamber players celebrate Bolcom’s 80th in diverse style

April 30, 2018 – New York Classical Review
William Bolcom’s emotionally direct, often witty music has won him many admirers over the last half-century, and they were out in force Sunday night at Merkin Concert Hall for a chamber-music concert to celebrate the composer’s upcoming eightieth birthday.
At about 50 minutes from opening bars to final cheers and flowers for the composer, the program consisting of a world premiere plus favorites from his catalogue didn’t delay the post-concert party long. Nevertheless, it managed to suggest the wide range of styles and expression Bolcom has brought to the table, from the somber musings of Dark Dreams that Will Not Disappear, the world-premiere piece for viola and piano, to the racy stories and seductive strains of this composer’s trademark cabaret songs.
Read More...

"Ecstatic" is too strong. "Transported," however, is just right.
After Saturday's performance by the Cleveland Orchestra, the last in a three-part exploration of ecstasy in music, listeners were nowhere (besides Severance Hall) if not in a state of transcendence…
[If] anything pushed Saturday over the top, near the "ecstatic" realm, it was the presence at night's end of organist Paul Jacobs. Playing the Norton Memorial Organ (with pipes partially exposed by the set of "Tristan and Isolde"), the virtuoso held the house in the palm of his hand with an epic Fantasy and Fugue by Liszt.
A postlude to end all postludes, the stunning, two-part trip on a chorale by Meyerbeer ranged wildly and expansively from old-school fire-and-brimstone to hushed, new-agey introspection, all of it brilliantly colored by frequent changes of registration and volume. Jacobs deserves plaudits for his vigorous pedal-work alone, but on top of that came enough music to keep two brains and four hands fully occupied.
Read More...

WV Symphony season includes appearances by Lee Greenwood, Bugs Bunny

April 26, 2018 – Charleston Gazettte-Mail
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) has announced its 2018-2019 season, which will include appearances by country music star Lee Greenwood and cartoon legend Bugs Bunny, plus a new City National Bank Casual Classics Series that brings orchestral music to two Charleston churches…
The Elliot Foundation Symphonic Series begins Sept. 29 with the WVSO’s “Opening Night Spectacular.” Guest pianist Jon Nakamatsu will play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The concert includes “Torke’s Javelin” and Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances.”
Read More...

Unfinished Symphony?

April 26, 2018 – ConcertoNet
The house was completely full this night as even the top balconies had all of their seats occupied when the young Austrian Till Fellner came out to intone the 22nd Concertoof Mozart. He immediately established a benchmark of elegance and a strong control of dynamics combining delicacy and power. Maestro Eschenbach kept his instrumental forces in check and there were moments of exceptional orchestral color such as the duet between flute and bassoon in the Andante. The bucolic theme of the final movement was developed joyously in a very sophisticated manner. This particular merger of soloist and conductor – himself a world-class pianist – came off close to perfectly. All seemed right for an engrossing performance of the Bruckner.
Read More...

NYChoral has been a major player in New York’s cultural scene for decades. It is referred to as an “avocational” chorus – which is to say, volunteer. The appellation hardly refers to a lack of professionalism; the members are trained and rehearse assiduously. Many of the 170 singers have professional-quality voices and many were music majors, but they have made other career choices and are not pursuing singing as a profession. And nobody who has heard their grand sound ever questions their quality.
In the past six years, since the arrival of David Hayes, formerly Music Director of the critically acclaimed professional vocal ensemble The Philadelphia Singers (the resident chorus of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2000-2011) and still Music Director of the Mannes Orchestra and Staff Conductor of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, NYChoral has sharpened its profile, its sound and in many ways its approach to the music it sings.
Read More...

The Weekender: 5 Things To Do April 27-29

April 25, 2018 – Cleveland Magazine
Divine Ecstasy Lose yourself in the music at this otherworldly orchestral experience. With a show that encourages personal and theological reflection, Cleveland Orchestra's Divine Ecstasy spotlights pieces that explore the intersection between the worlds of music, religion, and mysticism. Come early to meet organist Paul Jacobs and trumpeter David Rothenberg at a free concert preview. Then settle in for your own moment of musical enlightenment. $40-$160. April 28 8 p.m., Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, 216-231-7373, clevelandorchestra.com
Read More...

New York Woodwind Quintet to perform Tuesday

April 25, 2018 – Union College Press
The New York Woodwind Quintet, one of the oldest continuously active chamber music ensembles in the United States, will give two performances on Tuesday, May 1. 
Flutist Janet Arms (performing in the place of Carol Wincenc, who is unavailable that day) and pianist Mihae Lee will join the quartet. Current members include Carol Wincenc, flute; Stephen Taylor, oboe; Charles Neidich, clarinet; Marc Goldberg, bassoon; and William Purvis, horn. Established more than 60 years ago, the New York Woodwind Quintet was ensemble-in-residence at the Juilliard School of Music for 25 years.
Read More...

Eastern Music Festival returns for its 57th summer on June 23, with more than 60 performances during its five-week run.
Among guest artists who will perform in the classical music festival are violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Anne Akiko Meyers and Stefan Jackiw, and pianists William Wolfram, Misha Dichter and Kun-Woo Paik.
Read More...

Wa Concert Series presents Schubert Masterworks in Review

April 24, 2018 – New York Concert Review
Clarinetist Charles Neidich impeccably curates a gem of a concert series called Wa (circle, harmony, completeness) at New York’s Tenri Cultural center. Not all of the important musical events in a city as rich in them as New York take place in the “big” venues. Each Wa concert also comes with hand-crafted snacks before the concert and dinner with wine after, made by Mr. Neidich’s wife Ayako Oshima ,herself an accomplished clarinetist. On this occasion, Mr. Neidich enlisted the services of one of the nation’s eminent chamber groups: the Smithsonian Chamber Players, to perform a single masterwork: Schubert’s epic-sized Octet in F major, D. 803…
These players gave a triumphant reading of the piece, full of sensitive detail and shaping, with full emotional commitment and harmonic direction. In the case of the Octet, as with most of Schubert, remote keys are visited with such rapidity and fluidity that it can all pass by too easily unless the performers make real events from them.
I’m tempted to say: “There are only two kinds of clarinetists: Charles Neidich, and everyone else.” Perhaps this is unfair to the many great players out there, but every time I’ve heard Mr. Neidich this season, I come away with the same stunned revelation of superb lyricism coupled with supernatural breath control. He possesses that nearly untranslatable German quality of Innigkeit (inwardness, combined with emotional intensity). He also has a great deal of wa.
Read More...

Jon Nakamatsu returns to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

April 24, 2018 – Eye on Annapolis
Award-winning pianist Jon Nakamatsu joins the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra for the final Masterworks concert of the season. The concert will take place May 4 and 5 at 8:00pm at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. For his return performance, Mr. Nakamatsu will perform Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the full Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Led by its longest-serving Music Director, José-Luis Novo, the concert will also feature Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito Overture and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. A free Pre-Concert Lecture led by Dr. Rachel Franklin begins at 6:45pm.
Read More...

Concert Review: Deep Space Ninth

April 21, 2018 – Superconductor
A good idea is a good idea. That might be the rationale between this weeks New York Philharmonic program which pairs Mozart’s charming Piano Concerto No. 22 with Anton Bruckner’s sprawling, ambitious and ultimately unfinished Symphony No. 9 under the baton of guest conductor Christopher Eschenbach…
Mr. Eschenbach, who was a protege of Herbert von Karajan is a fair pianist himself. However, in this concert he left the keyboard duties to. Philharmonic newcomer, the Austrian pianist Till Fellner. Mr. Fellner engaged fully with the spirit of this work’s first movement, a stately and aristocratic sonata form given measured and regal accompaniment by Mr. Eschenbach. The pianist luxuriated in the lengthy cadenza passage, meant to,show Mozart’s own virtuosity as a performing musician.
Read More...

Ian Hobson concluded his six-recital series of the complete solo piano music of Debussy and Ravel with his finest playing of the season. His customary technique did not fail him, but he added elements of dynamic control and total emotional involvement that rendered many moments simply breathtaking…[On] this occasion, I had no reservations. The program consisted almost entirely of valedictory pieces, the last works of each composer, with one relatively early work by Debussy. The common threads: the only toccata by each composer, music inspired by wartime, and neo-Baroquism.
Mr. Hobson began with Debussy’s “updated Baroque” homage, the suite Pour le piano (1900/01), giving it one of the finest renditions I have ever heard live. The energy of the opening Prélude was fierce, and he respected the very long pedals requested by Debussy, which I have heard other pianists try to “neaten up,” thereby falsifying an important part of the color. Then came the Sarabande, a slight revision of an earlier work, redolent with the influence of Satie. Here Mr. Hobson became revelatory, with a mournful, dignified tempo and gorgeous chord balancing. Of course, his reliable nimble fingers gave us the perfect Toccata.
Read More...

New York Philharmonic - Mozart & Bruckner - 04/19/18

April 21, 2018 – Classical Music Rocks
One of Mozart’s loveliest creations in a wide-ranging œuvre containing many timeless works, his Piano Concerto No. 22 kicked off the concert with brisk elegance in a very full David Geffen Hall. Still as youthful-looking and reserved as I remembered him, [pianist Till Fellner], who was making his long-overdue New York Philharmonic debut on Thursday evening, focused squarely on the music, delivering a wonderfully pristine and quietly thrilling performance.
The cadenzas of the first and third movements in particular, by Paul Badura-Skoda and Johann Nepomuk Hummel respectively, spontaneously brought to mind a gently lilting stream as his fingers were working at break-neck speed. After an assertive Allegro, the Andante unfolded delicately introspective and slightly mysterious, before the exciting last movement, a personal favorite in no small parts due to all those hints at Le nozze di Figaro, came out radiantly colored and smartly paced. The collaboration between piano and orchestra was organic and respectful, and strove on subtlety.
Read More...

…In all three movements [of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22], Eschenbach kept the Philharmonic trained evenly on the concerto’s regal poise, its agreeable changes of palette and mood, and its lively collaboration with piano. That’s not to say Eschenbach was providing cover for Till Fellner, who, in his Philharmonic debut, played with enough clarity to not require any overt, assistive quiet from other instruments.
In the first movement Allegro, with its air of brisk, finely appointed leisure (think royal garden party), Fellner…quickly hit his stride. He was more than a match for the surrounding forces and for Mozart’s intricate writing. There were passages, especially in the finale, when the entire orchestra seemed to float up from Fellner’s fingers right along with the rippling lines and arpeggiated waves of piano…
Read More...

AT 24 MINUTES 24 SECONDS
A Belated Debut
At 46, the elegant, lively pianist Till Fellner made his debut with the New York Philharmonic this week. It’s about time. This thoughtful Austrian artist first came to international attention in 1993 when he won the Clara Haskil Competition. He has made some outstanding recordings — the best, for me, is his 2004 survey of Bach’s Well-Tempered Klavier, Book I. For his Philharmonic debut (there are two more performances, on Saturday and Tuesday) he plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat, one of the pieces with which he scored his Haskil victory and recorded back then. The third movement, a Rondo, begins with a deceptively simple, seemingly cute little tune. But a minute or so in, Mozart explores the complex implications of that theme in an inventive episode that Fellner plays brilliantly, with a touch of slyness. ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Read More...

7 Classical Music Concerts to See in NYC This Weekend

April 19, 2018 – The New York Times
ENSEMBLE ÉCHAPPÉ at St. Peter’s Church (April 20, 8 p.m.). Going wherever the violinist Miranda Cuckson takes you is sound policy, and in this case, it’s to the New York premiere of Michael Hersch’s Violin Concerto. There is also the premiere of a clarinet concerto, “Astounding Angels,” by Jonathan Dawe — with Vasko Dukovski as the soloist — and music by Phil Taylor and Nina C. Young.
Read More...

WVSO unveils 2018-’19 season lineup

April 19, 2018 – The Dominion Post
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) unveiled its new 2018-’19 season that includes an all-American performance featuring country music legend Lee Greenwood, Bugs Bunny and friends set to live music, and a new City National Bank Casual Classics Series that takes orchestral music inside two stunningly beautiful Charleston churches.
“This is our most exciting season yet,” said WVSO President Joe Tackett. “We are offering more concerts, a great mix of classic orchestral music featuring some outstanding guest soloists”…
The Elliot Foundation Symphonic Series kicks off Sept. 29 at the Clay Center. The WVSO’s “Opening Night Spectacular” features guest pianist Jon Nakamatsu playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and includes WVSO performances of Torke’s Javelin and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances…
Read More...

The Week Ender: Happenings April 20-22

April 19, 2018 – The Yale Daily News
Smithsonian Chamber Players
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments’ concert series, which features a performance of the Schubert Octet by the Smithsonian Chamber Players, led by Kenneth Slowik, with violinist Vera Beths, clarinetist Charles Neidich, and Yale School of Music faculty hornist William Purvis. Tickets: $15-$28. 15 Hillhouse Ave. 3 p.m.
Read More...

Guest conductor Andrew Grams launched New West Symphony’s concert-opening salvo with Beethoven’s energy-charged “The Creatures of Prometheus” and maintained a vivid pace throughout the rest of the April 13 performance in Oxnard Performing Arts Center. The concert was repeated April 14 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
Grams was compellingly partnered with guest pianist Till Fellner in the first half of the program as they and the orchestral forces briskly rendered Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major. Austrian born and based Fellner exhibited amazing dexterity as his fingers flew through the constant ripple of Mozart’s fleetly paced concerto, then found a graceful caress for the composer’s gentle moments of meditative balance.
The performance was replete with flashes of brilliance as Fellner’s almost nonstop finger-work flawlessly set the pace of the work’s major moments while never neglecting nuance. While Mozart had not yet reached 30 when he wrote the lively concerto, Fellner and Grams, both about a decade older, captured the essence of a young heart overflowing with music that moves the spirit.
Read More...

Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750) - Mass in B minor, BWV232
Read More...

Composer Mark Abel is clearly at home writing for the human voice. An interview with the composer by Fanfare contributor Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold confirms as much (printed in issue 39:6—head over the Fanfare Archive to find a couple of sound samples). The musical vocabulary on display here is approachable, mostly easy on the ear and also somewhat timeless. The first piece, The Invocation, sets a text by the composer on life’s ambiguities. At once an acceptance of the human condition and an extended musical question mark, it is given in an assured performance by mezzo Janelle DeStefano…
Read More...

Lex54 Concerts presents a program of premieres, including the New York premiere of Michael Hersch’s Violin Concerto, featuring violinist Miranda Cuckson. Also on the April 20 program are three other premieres: Jonathan Dawe’s brand new clarinet concerto, Astounding Angels; the New York premiere of Nina C. Young’s Vestigia Flammae; and the world premiere of Ensemble Échappé-commissioned Snowlight by Phil Taylor.
Friday, April 20 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $25, $15 students
St. Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
Read More...

Music Under Glass concert features pianist Thomas Nickell

April 13, 2018 – The Northwest Indiana Times
Thomas Nickell will be showcasing his unique compositions during the Music Under Glass concert April 14 at Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago.
Nickell, who was given a Young Steinway Artist honor, is making his Chicago premiere with this show. Less than 80 pianists in the world have been given the prestigious Young Steinway Artist honor.
"I'm excited to be performing in Chicago," said Nickell. "Chicago is one of the major cities in the world that has great classical music”…
Read More...

For its 2018-2019 season, Shriver Hall Concert Series will present another starry assortment of soloists and ensembles performing a broad range of repertoire…
Other exceptional pianists will be featured in collaborations with likewise notable artists. Marc-Andre Hamelin and the Pacifica Quartet will perform music of Beethoven, Schumann and Hamelin; Shai Wosner will accompany violinist Jennifer Koh in works by Beethoven and Vijay Iyer; and Till Fellner will join cellist Johannes Moser for a program of Beethoven, Debussy, Webern and Stravinsky…
Read More...

…In the 2018/2019 season, Honeck will return to the New York Philharmonic in a Viennese-inspired program highlighting the music of Johann Strauss (ii) in November 2018 and Mozart's Requiem in March 2019. In May 2019, Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform in New York at David Geffen Hall, part of Lincoln Center's Great Performers series, in a program featuring Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor" with Till Fellner, and Mahler Symphony No. 5…
Read More...

8 Classical Music Concerts to See in NYC This Weekend

April 12, 2018 – The New York Times
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC at David Geffen Hall (April 19, 7:30 p.m., through April 24). Mozart and Bruckner are on the bill this week, with Till Fellner playing the Piano Concerto No. 22 and Christoph Eschenbach conducting it, and Bruckner’s frightening, unfinished Symphony No. 9.
212-875-5656, nyphil.org
Read More...

Paul Jacobs: The Grammy-winning organist plays a solo recital of works by J.S. Bach and Franz Liszt. [3 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]
Read More...

SFChronicle critics’ picks: What to do the week of April 8

April 6, 2018 — San Francisco Chronicle
JOSHUA KOSMAN’S CLASSICAL MUSIC PICKS
Paul Jacobs: The dynamic young American organist performs music of Bach and Liszt. 3 p.m. Sunday, April 8. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F. www.sfsymphony.org
Read More...

A Breath Upwards, Ah Young Hong Sings Works by Milton Babbitt and Michael Hersch

April 4, 2018 — Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
Powerful High Modernism today from vocalist Ah Young Hong on the recent CD A Breath Upwards (Innova 986). The album features two brilliant and dramatic American works, one by Milton Babbitt and one by Michael Hersch, of course both major voices in New Music avantism past and present. From Babbitt there is "Philomel" (1964) for soprano and computer electronics; from Hersch the title work (2014)  for soprano and chamber ensemble.

Both scores call for dramatic and demanding soprano roles. Ah Young Hong is a phenomenal vocalist best associated with Hersch's operatic monodrama On the Threshold of Winter. Her pitch and timbre control are outstanding and the dramatic verve she brings to the music is exactly what is needed to put these works in an ideal place…
Read More...

Pianist Terry Eder to perform at Tenri Cultural Institute, April 8, 2018

April 4, 2018
Founder of the critically acclaimed Key Pianists series, pianist Terry Eder will give a solo recital at the Tenri Cultural Center on Sunday afternoon, April 8, 2018 at 3 pm, followed by a brief reception. Her program includes selections by Beethoven, Chopin, and Brahms.
This concert will benefit the Leschetizky Assocation’s biennial Concerto Competition for pianists age 17 and under. Tickets at $40 are available in advance through Event Bee as well as at the door.

Performing arts calendar: April 6-13

April 4, 2018 – Lincoln Journal Star
Monday, April 9, 2018
Lysander Piano Trio with clarinetist Charles Neidich — Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music, 7:30 p.m. (pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m.), Johnny Carson Theater, 11th and Q streets. 402-472-4747.
Read More...

The music of birds has served as inspiration for composers since the beginning of time. In 2016,Classical-music.com, the official website of BBC Music Magazine, honored their 50,000 Twitter followers by naming the six best compositions inspired by birdsong. The list included Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, Respighi’s Gli uccelli (The Birds), Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, Elgar’s Owls, and Messiaen’s Le merle noir (The blackbird). Also on that list is Jonathan Harvey’s Bird Concerto with Pianosong.
On Friday, April 6 at 8:00 pm in Warner Concert Hall, pianist Ursula Oppens will join the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble for a performance of Harvey’s colorful work which features the sounds of 40 Californian birds, including the indigo bunting, orchard oriole, and the golden crowned sparrow. Under the direction of Timothy Weiss, the program also includes Christopher Stark’s True North, Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint, Jesse Jones’ Snippet Variations, and Lee Hyla’s Polish Folk Songs. The concert will be streamed here. Oppens will also present a master class on Wednesday, April 4 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Conservatory’s Bibbins Hall, room 224…
Read More...

Shriver Hall Concert Series announces 2018-19 season

April 3, 2018 – Washington Classical Review
The Shriver Hall Concert Series has announced its lineup for the 2018-2019 season. Highlights include a concert by the Pacifica Quartet, in their Baltimore debut, with virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin; the Baltimore recital debut of English pianist Imogen Cooper; and pianist Piotr Anderszewski playing Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations
Read More...

Classical music and dance listings

March 29, 2018 – San Francisco Chronicle
Paul Jacobs Organ. Works by Bach, Liszt. 3 p.m. Sun., April 8. $28-$38. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F. www.sfsymphony.org
Read More...

New York Choral Society Spring Gala

March 29, 2018 – New York Social Diary
The New York Choral Society (NYCHORAL) will hold its annual Spring Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Club (1 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022) on Thursday evening, April 5, 2018, starting at 6:00 pm. The organization will honor renowned opera singer and recitalist Stephanie Blythe with the NYCHORAL Music Excellence Award for her contributions to the musical profession, as well as Sylvia R. Hoisington who is celebrating her 50th season with the chorus. Produced in partnership with the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, the evening’s showcase performance will feature soprano Amanda Majeski and tenor Ben Bliss, both of whom will be participating in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of "Cosi fan tutte" from March 15 to April 9, 2018. Members of the NYCHORAL Chamber Ensemble will also perform. The evening will feature a silent auction of unique items and experiences. The program is as follows: 6:00 pm Cocktail Reception 7:00 pm Dinner and Awards 8:30 pm Gala Entertainment Showcase 9:00 pm Dancing and Silent Auction Proceeds from NYCHORAL’s Spring Gala serve as a source of key financial support, helping the organization bring great performances of choral music to New York audiences.
Read More...

The New York Choral Society (NYCHORAL) will hold its annual Spring Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Club (1 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022) on Thursday evening, April 5, 2018, starting at 6:00 pm. The organization will honor renowned opera singer and recitalist Stephanie Blythe with the NYCHORAL Music Excellence Award for her contributions to the musical profession, as well as Sylvia R. Hoisington who is celebrating her 50th season with the chorus. Produced in partnership with the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, the evening’s showcase performance will feature soprano Amanda Majeski and tenor Ben Bliss, both of whom will be participating in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Cosi fan tutte from March 15 to April 9, 2018. Members of the NYCHORAL Chamber Ensemble will also perform. The evening will feature a silent auction of unique items and experiences.
Read More...

Besides the Triangle's long-established chamber music series, Chamber Music Raleigh and the Chamber Arts Society of Durham, the Arts Council of Moore County's Classical Concerts Series has racked up an impressive roster of performances since its founding in 1981. The four-concert seasons are held in the intimate Sunrise Theater, located just across from Southern Pines' iconic historic train station. Since the Moore County Arts Council took over the series, it has been directed by Chris Dunn. This concert featured sonatas by Muzio Clementi (1752-1832), Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), and Johannes Brahms (1833-97).
Pianist Jon Nakamatsu has been one of the most popular soloists across this state's venues since he won the Gold Medal of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Festival in 1997. He is the only American to have won the medal since 1981. He also tours with clarinetist Jon Manasse in the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. This duo also succeeded Nicholas Kitchen, of the Borromeo Quartet, as directors of the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts which was founded by Samuel Sanders in 1979.
Nakamatsu has shown musicological curiosity in both his programing and recorded repertoire since the start of his career. Long-forgotten sonatas by contemporaries or revivals of Beethoven, such as Joseph Wölfl (1773-1812) or Muzio Clementi (1752-1832), have been featured. Italian Clementi developed and established his career in London, England, where his life was centered on the piano as composer, performer, teacher, manufacturer,* and music publisher. He is credited with having composed more than 100 piano sonatas, several of which were admired by Beethoven…
Read More...

Jon Nakamatsu and Symphony Silicon Valley Go Big and Bold

March 21, 2018 – San Francisco Classical Voice
Carlos Vieu conducted Symphony Silicon Valley in a bold and vivid program of a variety of music on Friday, March 16. I heard it from the front balcony of San José’s California Theatre, always a sonically exciting place to sit.
Pianist Jon Nakamatsu was the headliner, but not the only soloist of distinction. Many orchestra members stepped up admirably. The caressing, offstage trumpet of John King in Respighi’s Pines of Rome, an exotic, North African-sounding turn on English horn by Patricia Emerson Mitchell in the same work, the surefooted flute of Sarah Benton in Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, the cool, brassy French horn of Meredith Brown in Inocente Carreño’s Margariteña, and a grand melody from the entire rejuvenated cello section under Evan Kahn in the same work were particular highlights.
Read More...

Wa Concert Series Presents Hidden Masterpieces in Review

March 19, 2018 – New York Concert Review
A riveting program of clarinet music, artfully curated by Charles Neidich, was heard Sunday, March 11, at the Tenri Institute. It included works by Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996), Vassily Lobanov (b. 1947), and Alexander Lokshin (1920-1987), three musicians who composed with great power and originality through years of Soviet oppression. Aptly named “Hidden Masterpieces” this program’s treasures have gradually been pulled from an obscurity that came not from mere happenstance but from countless deliberate obstacles including condemnations, imprisonments, murders of family and friends, threats, and lies. Some of this music has only in the past few decades become familiar to musicians, let alone the wider public, so a concertgoer might have been satisfied with the novelty of readings by even a journeyman clarinetist; on the contrary, though, we heard none other than Charles Neidich himself, who could be described (and has been) as arguably the finest clarinetist in the world. What a concert!
Read More...

Jon Nakamatsu: The San Jose piano great joins Symphony Silicon Valley under the direction of Argentine maestro Carlos Vieu in a program including Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Carreño’s “Margariteña,” Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.” [2:30 p.m., California Theatre, 345 S. First St., San Jose]
Read More...

The immensely versatile and renowned pianist Ian Hobson, whose playing has been described by Gramophone as "intensely alive to expressive nuance, textural clarity and elastic shaping," will continue his Sound Impressions: The Piano Music of Debussy and Ravel, on Wednesday Evening, April 4, 2018, 7:30pm, at SubCulture, 45 Bleecker Street (between Bowery and Lafayette Streets.)
Read More...

New York Choral Society Spring Gala

March 16, 2018 – Socially Superlative
The New York Choral Society (NYCHORAL) will hold its annual Spring Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Club (1 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022) on Thursday evening, April 5, 2018, starting at 6:00 pm. The organization will honor renowned opera singer and recitalist Stephanie Blythe with the NYCHORAL Music Excellence Award for her contributions to the musical profession, as well as Sylvia R. Hoisington who is celebrating her 50th season with the chorus. Produced in partnership with the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, the evening’s showcase performance will feature soprano Amanda Majeski and tenor Ben Bliss, both of whom will be participating in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Cosi fan tutte from March 15 to April 9, 2018. Members of the NYCHORAL Chamber Ensemble will also perform. The evening will feature a silent auction of unique items and experiences.
Read More...

The New York Choral Society (NYCHORAL) will hold its annual Spring Gala at New York's Metropolitan Club (1 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022) on Thursday evening, April 5, 2018, starting at 6:00 pm.
The organization will honor renowned opera singer and recitalist Stephanie Blythe with the NYCHORAL Music Excellence Award for her contributions to the musical profession, as well as Sylvia R. Hoisington who is celebrating her 50th season with the chorus.
Produced in partnership with the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, the evening's showcase performance will feature soprano Amanda Majeski and tenor Ben Bliss, both of whom will be participating in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Cosi fan tutte from March 15 to April 9, 2018. Members of the NYCHORAL Chamber Ensemble will also perform. The evening will feature a silent auction of unique items and experiences.
Read More...

Harlem Chamber Players Present HARLEM SONGFEST, 6/1

March 16, 2018 – Broadway World Classical
The Harlem Chamber Players will celebrate its tenth anniversary season with Harlem SongFest at Columbia University's Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027), Friday evening, June 1, 2018, 7 pm, featuring Met Opera sopranos Janinah Burnett and Brandie Sutton, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford, tenor Phumzile Sojola, baritone Kenneth Overton, and conductor David Gilbert, Music Director and Conductor of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra…
Read More...

Two artists who have won rave reviews at Symphony Silicon Valley are returning for three performances by the orchestra at the California Theatre.
Conducted by Argentine conductor Carlos Vieu, the program features pianist Jon Nakamatsu, gold medalist at the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997. Nakamatsu will serve as soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and Vieu, who conducted Symphony Silicon Valley’s “Misa Tango” performances last season, completes this weekend’s program with Carreño’s “Margariteña,” Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” and Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”
Read More...

Jon Nakamatsu: The pianist joins the Symphony Silicon Valley under the direction of Carlos Vieu in a program featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Inocente Carreño’s “Margariteña,” Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.” [8 p.m., California Theatre, 345 S. First St., San Jose]
Read More...

Every time Van Cliburn Competition-winning pianist Jon Nakamatsu teams with Symphony Silicon Valley,  beautiful things seem to happen. He’s back in San Jose this weekend and a Beethoven concerto has his name on it. Meanwhile, the global theater/cabaret icon Ute Lemper marks her only U.S. appearance in 2018 with a sure-to-be campy performance at Stanford.
Read More...

Paul Jacobs, Organ — 4 p.m. May 6, Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown. $7-$12. 330-259-0555 or http://www.stambaughauditorium.com.
Read More...

Waco: Grammy-winning organist comes to town

March 15, 2018 – KWTX 10
He's the only artist to have won a Grammy for playing the organ, and he has come to Waco.
Paul Jacobs is performing Thursday night as a part of Baylor's Distinguished Artists series.
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the Jones Concert Hall inside the McCrary Music Building on Baylor campus.
Jacobs won a Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without an orchestra).
He is on a tour of southern states and says he using the opportunity to share the music of one of his favorite composers.
"If you've never attended an organ concert, I would encourage anybody to be there- not just to hear my work but to hear the music of Bach," says Jacobs.
"This is one of the great spirits of all time, and his music is sure to lift you up."
Baylor's organ professor also studied with Jacobs at Juilliard, where he now teaches and serves as the chair of the organ department.
Read More...

Ian Hobson on March 9 led the Sinfonia da Camera in an all-Beethoven concert in the Foellinger Great Hall in which he directed the orchestra while playing the piano solo in Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 10.
As might be expected from an evening with Beethoven, high drama was on the menu, but there were blissful quiet stretches in which Beethoven used alluring melodies to relax his audience before the storms broke.
The opening playing of the "Coriolan" Overture was performed with strong impulse and precision. In the quiet placating section, the Sinfonia strings were outstanding…
Read More...

Top organist will play Stambaugh

March 13, 2018 – The Vindicator
Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs will come to Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., on May 6 for a 4 p.m. concert.
Tickets range from $7 to $12 and are available by phone at 330-259-0555, online at stambaughauditorium.com, and at the box office, which is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jacobs is said to transfix audiences with his imaginative interpretations and stage presence. As an advocate of organ repertoire, he performs and encourages the composition of new works that feature the organ.
The Washington, Pa., native is the chairman of the organ department at the Juilliard School.
He joined Juilliard’s faculty in 2003, becoming one of the youngest faculty appointees in its history.
At age 23, he made history when he played Bach’s complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance.
Read More...

“Harlem Songfest” Concert Coming June 1st

March 12, 2018 – Polite on Society
Spring is nearly here. As the season approaches, a number of events will take place. One event that fans of music should keep in mind is the upcoming Harlem Songfest. Presented by The Harlem Chamber Players, Harlem Songfest is a classical music concert that will take place at Columbia University’s Miller Theater on Friday, June 1st, 2018 at 7pm. This year will be the tenth anniversary season.
Janinah Burnett, who is one of the singers that will perform at the concert gives us an idea of what attendees can expect. “Each time I’ve sung with the Harlem Chamber Players has been a tremendous joy for me; we’ve been working together for four years now. We last collaborated on excerpts from Harriet Tubman When I Crossed That Line to Freedom, words and music by Nkeiru Okoye; coming up this June 1st I’ll be singing “Mi tradi quell’alma ingrata” from Don Giovanni by Mozart.  Even though I’ve sung the roles of both Donna Elvira and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, it will be my first time singing this incredible aria. I very much look forward once again to performing with the incomparable Harlem Chamber Players.”
Read More...

Think this centennial season is special? Wait until you see what the Cleveland Orchestra has in store for next year.
This 100th anniversary season does indeed boast its share of special projects and guests, but the 2018-19 season announced Sunday also stands apart as a year full of debuts, premieres, unusual repertoire, and significant undertakings.
Thursday-Sunday, March 14-17, 2019: Welser-Most, conductor; Paul Jacobs, organ; Haydn: Symphony No. 34; Bernd Richard Deutsch: "Okeanos" (for organ and orchestra); Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
Read More...

Jon Nakamatsu Is Ready for the Next Step of the Journey

March 9, 2018 – San Francisco Classical Voice
Lately, beginnings are big in the life of San José native Jon Nakamatsu. The 48-year old pianist is a new father and parent with his wife, Kathy Nakamatsu, of their two-year-old son, Gavin. One year into joining the piano faculty at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he is for the first time unpacking the pleasures of ongoing connections to students, instead of the temporary one-offs of master classes. Appearing March 16–18 with Symphony Silicon Valley under the direction of Argentine maestro Carlos Vieu at San José’s California Theatre, he will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37. In an interview, Nakamatsu says that to achieve a peak performance of the virtuoso concerto, he must be instantly dextrous, limber, and ready to arrest the audience from the very first note played.
We began our conversation with the compromises he has made or is making as he has moved from working as a Mountain View high school teacher of German to winning the 10th Van Cliburn Competition in 1997 to two decades as a well-regarded concert pianist…
Read More...

This Week At Baylor: March 11-17, 2018

March 9, 2018 – Baylor Media Communications
Distinguished Artist Series: Paul Jacobs — Paul Jacobs, the only organist to have won a Grammy Award, will come to Baylor University for a concert at 7:30 p.m. [on Thursday, March 15th] in Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, 110 Baylor Ave. Jacobs transfixes audiences, colleagues and critics alike with imaginative interpretations and charismatic stage presence. Hailed as “one of the major musicians of our time” by the New Yorker’s Alex Ross, Jacobs has been an important influence in the revival of symphonic works featuring the organ, drawing from his deep knowledge of Western music to enlighten listeners, and is a true innovator in the advocacy of organ repertoire, performing and encouraging the composition of new works that feature the organ. Tickets for this Distinguished Artist Series concert are available online through the Baylor University box office website or in person at the Bill Daniel Student Center. The telephone number is 254-710-3210. General admission tickets are $15. Tickets for students, senior citizens and Baylor faculty and staff are $10.
Read More...

Grammy-winning organist Paul Jacobs to play Baylor recital

March 8, 2018 – Waco Tribune-Herald
Unlike many classical musicians, an organist can’t travel with his or her instrument, but has to perform on someone else’s. At the same time, it takes an organist’s individual talent and interpretation to bring that instrument to life, notes Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs.
Jacobs, chair of the Organ Department at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, brings his own keyboard talent to Baylor University for a March 15 performance on the Jones Concert Hall organ.
It’s the final concert in the Baylor School of Music’s Distinguished Artist Series and brings Jacobs to the campus where his former Juilliard student Isabelle Demers heads the organ department…
Read More...

Christoph Eschenbach will conduct the New York Philharmonic in a program of works by Austrian composers: Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22, with Austrian pianist Till Fellner as soloist in his Philharmonic debut, and Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 (Ed. Nowak), Thursday, April 19, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 21 at 8:00 p.m.; and Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m…
Read More...

Sinfonia da Camera goes all Beethoven on Friday with the composer's "Overture to Coriolan," which was written for Heinrich Joseph von Collin's 1804 tragedy of the same name. The play and the composition narrate the end of the life of Roman General Gaius Marcius Coriolanus, a warrior known for his exceptional valor. Also: "Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major."
Following intermission is Beethoven's "Symphony No. 7 in A Major." Richard Wagner characterized the work as "the Apotheosis of the dance itself: it is dance in its highest aspect, the loftiest deed of bodily motion, incorporated into an ideal mold of tone."
Staff writer Paul Wood talked with Sinfonia founder IAN HOBSON about the concert, and his life today…
Read More...

When I stopped in [at Subculture] Wednesday night to hear pianist Ian Hobson perform part six of his eight-part concert series of Debussy and Ravel pieces for piano, I figured he must know his way around the instrument quite well. After all, the now highly-selective venue booked him for eight programs. And my hunch was correct: Hobson, a native Englishman, channeled every ounce of impressionistic beauty in selections from two of France’s beloved composers…
Read More...

Key Pianists presents Misha Dichter in Review

February 26, 2018 – New York Concert Review
Legendary pianist Misha Dichter is the next musician recognized by Terry Eder’s unique series Key Pianists, whose mission is to recognize musicians who aren’t necessarily before the public eye right now, or whose commitment to a certain repertoire might marginalize them in the cutthroat commercial concert world.
Mr. Dichter hasn’t played a major solo recital in New York since 1999, having suffered a disability of the worst kind that threatens the pianist’s primary tool: the hand. I won’t enumerate here, but he underwent successful surgery and rehab. Thank goodness for that. He has made enormous contributions in both live and recorded performance, and his commitment to duo-piano playing (at one and two keyboards) with his wife [Cipa Dichter] has always been in the forefront, unusual for most virtuosi…
Read More...

Symphony Silicon Valley: 8 p.m. March 16-17, 2:30 p.m. March 18, California Theatre, 345 S. First St., San Jose. Pianist Jon Nakamatsu will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The remainder of the program includes works by Debussy, Carreno and Respighi. $45-$90.
Read More...

I was sad to miss the performance this week of Christopher Rouse’s Organ Concerto, with Paul Jacobs as the soloist, to inaugurate the newly installed Noack pipe organ at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown. But I heard the concerto last spring, when the Los Angeles Philharmonic performed it with Mr. Jacobs playing Hurricane Mama, as Walt Disney Concert Hall’s stunning organ is known. The piece is three movements and roughly 20 minutes, though it has the feel of one long, rollicking finale, in which Mr. Rouse repeatedly subverts centuries-old clichés of the organ repertory. You can hear an example in this clip from the concerto’s 2016 premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The organ briefly stands alone with a calming drone reminiscent of ecclesiastical music — only to be smashed away by loud tone clusters in the orchestra. In St. Paul’s, moments like this must have been all the more exhilarating. JOSHUA BARONE
Read More...

Two Grands

February 22, 2018 —WNYC Radio, Fishko Files
A new CD showcases the two-piano collaboration of two star soloists, [Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin]. WNYC's Sara Fishko has more, in this edition of Fishko Files.
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Other Works for Two Pianos Four Hands is available on iTunes and Amazon.
Read More...

At 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the PAC, the so-called “Spring” symphony will round out a bill featuring Gioachino Rossini’s “Overture” to “La Cenerentola” and Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2. All three scores are lions in the canon, familiar to classical radio stations across the Western world.
“This should be a meat and potatoes or comfort food performance for the audience,” said Danny Miller, the GSO’s principal cellist. “This is sort of an experience where you’re able to sit down and just be in one place sonically for a long period of time. And for those people who are hungering or longing for that, that escape, this is a great opportunity.”
The most ambitious offering of the evening is Brahms’ masterpiece, which spans well over a half-hour.
“It’s huge. It’s got four movements. It’s long. It’s very difficult to play,” Miller said. “It’s the texture of bringing up the whole canvas of foreground, background.”
Soloist Jon Nakamatsu will return for a third concert with the GSO to bring the work to life. But unlike most piano concertos, within the sheet music lies more solos for cello, oboe, clarinet, flute and horn.
Read More...

Famed Pianist Returns to the New York Stage After Hand Surgeries

February 21, 2018 — The Wall Street Journal
When Misha Dichter appears at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall on Wednesday, it will mark the New York-based pianist’s first major solo program in the city since 1999.
His absence hardly has been by design.
The 72-year-old Mr. Dichter, who rose to fame after winning the silver medal in the 1966 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, has been sidelined at various points with Dupuytren’s contracture, a hand deformity.
The condition, which as its name implies causes the fingers to contract, forced the pianist to undergo surgeries on both hands, the last one as recently as September 2016…
His program, which is being presented by the Key Pianists series, serves as something of an overview of his life and career…
Read More...

An Organ — and Soon Another — Lands on Broadway

February 16, 2018 – The New York Times
To hear Julian Wachner tell it, playing the organs of Trinity Church Wall Street in recent years has posed risks to both body and spirit…But all that will soon change. Some of it already has…
But first things first: the installation of the Noack organ will be celebrated with an inauguration festival at St. Paul’s from Feb. 19 to 24. On opening day, Mr. Wachner and Jonathan Ambrosino, Trinity’s organ consultant, will demonstrate the instrument, which was purchased for $1 million from the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Mass; there will also be a concert with Mr. Wachner conducting the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra in works of Duruflé and Bach; and an organ recital by the noted performer Peter Sykes. On Feb. 22, Paul Jacobs, himself a grand New York institution, will play concertos by Poulenc, Christopher Rouse and Mr. Wachner, who will also conduct Novus NY, Trinity’s contemporary-music ensemble…
Read More...

The Cosmopolitan Review: Feb. 15 - Feb 21

February 16, 2018 – Amsterdam News
Oh February, what a beautiful month tis thee! Febrero in Spanish, Fevrier in French, Febbraio in Italian, Er yue in Mandarin, Februar in German and Februari in Swahili. Although Swahili is spoken by more than 100 million Africans on the continent, did you know that there are 11 other popular African languages that are used when doing business, enjoying tourist destinations and experiencing the diverse cultures? Just a little bit of culture, now don’t you feel a bit more continental?
The Harlem Chamber Players perform in their 10th annual Black History Month Celebration at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The concert features Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s nonet for piano, winds and strings, with Major Scurlock making his debut with The Harlem Chamber Players. Soprano Andrea Bradford and baritone Kenneth Overton will perform music by H. Leslie Adams and selected spirituals. Admission is or was free, depending on whether you have picked up your copy of the New York Amsterdam News, the minute it hit the stands…
Read More...

Pianist Jon Nakamatsu to Give Solo Recital at Sunrise

February 15, 2018 – Sandhills Sentinel
The distinguished American pianist Jon Nakamatsu will perform in solo recital with Arts Council of Moore County at the Sunrise Theater (250 NW Broad St, Southern Pines), Sunday evening, March 26, 2018 at 8 pm.
Initially brought to global attention in June 1997 by being named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Jon Nakamatsu has an expanding career based on his deeply probing and illuminating musicality as well as his quietly charismatic performing style.
Mr. Nakamatsu’s program will include selections by Beethoven, Brahms, and Clementi.
Read More...

Symphony, opera celebrate black history

February 14, 2018 – The Toledo Blade
To celebrate Black History Month and Toledo’s rich history as a safe haven along the Underground Railroad, the Toledo Symphony, the Toledo Opera Association, and the Toledo Lucas County Public Library are teaming up in a three-month festival of music known as the North Star Festival. The endeavor explores the musical contributions of black Americans on our nation’s history…
Duo Pianists Philip Moll and Ursula Oppens host a free master class at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Bryan Recital Hall. They give a duo performance with the BG Philharmonia 8 p.m. Saturday in Kobacker Hall; tickets are $10-$13..
Read More...

Entering the sixth decade of a noted global career, Misha Dichter will perform solo piano works by Schubert and Scriabin. With his longtime collaborator and wife, pianist Cipa Dichter, the Dichter Duo will offer piano duets by Schubert and Copland.
Praised for their superbly polished synchronicity and fiery interpretations, Misha and Cipa began performing together during their time at The Juilliard School, making their debut as a duo in 1972. They have become frequent and popular guest artists in recital and symphonic collaboration across the United States and Canada, with The New York Times writing after a previous Mostly Mozart appearance: “One was struck not only by the synchronism of their musical impulses, but also by the vigor and elegance of the execution.” This performance is presented by Key Pianists.
Read More...

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announces 2018/19 season

February 13, 2018 – Monroe County Post
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra recently announced its 2018/19 season to a packed house in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre during its fourth-annual Season Preview Concert…
Stare will conduct Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and Rachmaninoff’s “Isle of the Dead” on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, 2019. Van Cliburn gold medalist Jon Nakamatsu will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2…
The series will continue on Oct. 26-27 with “Broadway Today.” “Giants of Music: 1900-1925” on Nov. 16-17 will feature the music of Joplin, Berlin and Gershwin with Van Cliburn gold medalist Jon Nakamatsu on piano and Broadway star Doug LaBrecque on vocals. Tyzik will lead his 25th Gala Holiday Pops on Dec. 19-23. 
Read More...

Ursula Oppens Performs Modern Piano Classic In Midtown, March 2

February 13, 2018 – Broadway World Detroit
The 20th-century's greatest set of piano variations will be played by the artist for whom the work was written, when Ursula Oppens performs Frederic Rzewski's "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!" on the Chamber Music Society of Detroit's Midtown Series Friday, March 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM. The concert takes place at Schaver Music Recital Hall, located at 480 W. Hancock (between Cass & Second Avenues) in Detroit on the Wayne State University campus…
A legend among American pianists, Ursula Oppens is widely admired particularly for her original and perceptive readings of new music, as well as her knowing interpretations of the standard repertoire.
Read More...

What's New: String Quartet Smackdown

February 13, 2018 – WBAA Radio
A smackdown is a bitter contest or confrontation, often associated with wrestling – not chamber music! But there’s an annual competition in Austin, Texas that pits string quartet versus string quartet for one night only.
We’ll hear two evening length quartets in a new release smackdown of sorts – Michael Hersch versus John Luther Adams with two incredible groups, the FLUX and JACK Quartets on today’s What’s New.
Read More...

Spinning the globe for a spot where it can play for a knowledgeable crowd, conduct cultural diplomacy, and woo some important patrons, the Philadelphia Orchestra has put its finger on Israel. The ensemble will perform in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa the first week in June, after another leg of the tour takes them to Vienna, Paris, and smaller European cities…
Concerts from Vienna, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem will be simulcast to the U.S. by WRTI-FM (90.1), and the Vienna and Tel Aviv performances will be recorded for delayed broadcast across Europe and Israel. Pianists Hélène Grimaud and Jean-Yves Thibaudet will join the orchestra as soloists, as will organist Paul Jacobs
Read More...

This Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast features the first program of the Orchestra’s three-week Festival of the British Isles.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a program that begins with the first Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Sir James MacMillan’s A Scottish Bestiary, for Organ and Orchestra, with Grammy-winning organ soloist Paul Jacobs.
Read More...

Vast and inscrutable, serene or raging, no earthly place has inspired more Romantic visions than the sea. Sunday afternoon in Carnegie Hall, an oceanic presence loomed over three Romantic/neo-Romantic works in vivid performances by the New York Choral Society and Orchestra under David Hayes.
After Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides” Overture as appetizer, the program bypassed familiar maritime fare by Liszt, Wagner, Debussy, and Vaughan Williams in favor of two lesser-known but superb works, Charles Villiers Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet (1910) and Frank Ticheli’s Symphony No. 3 “The Shore,” composed in 2013 and receiving its East Coast premiere…
Read More...

Michael Hersch and Ah Young Hong to Present Program

February 10, 2018 – The Peabody Post
On Saturday, February 10, at 4:00 pm, Faculty artists Michael Hersch (BM ’95, MM ’97, Composition) and Ah Young Hong (BM ’98, MM ’01, Voice) will present a program, “Recording the Vocal Works of Michael Hersch with Soprano Ah Young Hong.” Early 2018 sees the commercial release of two new recordings by Hong singing recent vocal works by the composer. Together, Hong and Hersch will present excerpts and discuss the collaborative process with a reception following. The event will take place at the Peabody Institute Centre Street Performance Space, and is free and open to the public.
Read More...

Rippling Account: Among many accomplishments, the pianist Ian Hobson has an enormous repertoire. He has been recording the complete piano works of Chopin on the Zephyr label. (He’s up to Volume 12.) And starting last November, he began a six-program series at SubCulture on Bleecker Street, playing the complete piano works of Debussy (in honor of the centennial of the composer’s death) and (for contrast? for fun?) Ravel. The highlights of the third program this week included a rippling account of Ravel’s pathbreaking “Jeux d’eau,” two Debussy rarities, and Debussy’s familiar first book of “Images.” Mr. Hobson also plays lots of music by living composer, like this 2016 premiere at Merkin Concert Hall of Robert Chumbley’s “Three Etudes (by any other name…).” The spacious, hazy second one is especially appealing. (His next Debussy/Ravel program at SubCulture is Feb. 28.) ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Read More...

Michael Hersch is an extraordinary composer. His chamber opera titled On the Threshold of Winter, which recently was presented in an astonishing production by the NOVA Chamber Music Series, makes as huge demands on audience members as it does on the soprano and the chamber orchestra that accompanied her…
In a performing arts genre that has been obsessed with death even as it has romanticized it to the point of paradoxical pop cultural appropriation, Hersch’s opera, a monodrama set for one singer, is an emancipating work. Soprano Ah Young Hong, the definitive performer for the opera, brings forth every bit of poetic impact from the libretto Hersch composed from the final set of poems that Marin Sorescu, a Romanian poet, satirist and playwright, wrote during the last five weeks of his life in 1996. It is a remarkable display of endurance for a two-hour work. Her vocal musicianship is a mastery of breath control and phrase articulation that amplifies the rhythmic textures of Sorescu’s original verses. The emphasis is not in soprano’s familiar domain of the higher register but on the darker, visceral textures in the lower ranges. Hong’s dramatic presence astounds at every turn…
Read More...

Concert Review: The Pointillist Procedure

February 8, 2018 – Superconductor
The pianist and academic Ian Hobson may not be as well-known as the flashy virtuosos who pack the schedule of major concert venues. However, sometimes the best recitals are those that are on a more intimate scale. On Wednesday night, Mr. Hobson, a veteran soloist and conductor and recording artist who also teaches music at Florida State came back to New York for the third of six recitals this season at SubCulture. Tucked downstairs on Bleecker Street, this funky downtown performance space is currently in a struggle to reclaim its spot at the front of the cutting edge of Gotham performance venues…
Read More...

2018-2019: 2 world premieres, more 360 concerts in PSO new season

February 7, 2018 – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
On the heels of its recent Grammy win, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday announced its 2018-2019 lineup, complete with a pair of world premieres, a return to New York City’s Lincoln Center and four additional PSO360 performances, which seat audience members onstage with the musicians…
Outside of the traditional “Messiah” concert and the gala, the symphony’s other specials include a visit from violinist Joshua Bell in June and a pair of concerts with pianist Till Fellner, one in Pittsburgh and one in New York City’s Lincoln Center in May.
Read More...

NATS 2018 Art Song Composition Award goes to Benjamin C.S. Boyle

February 6, 2018 – National Association of Teachers of Singing
Composer Benjamin C.S. Boyle has won the National Association of Teachers of Singing 2018 Art Song Composition Award for his composition, Spirits in Bondage. The work is based on the poetry of C.S. Lewis and arranged for Baritone and Piano…
Second place was awarded to Tawnie Olson for her composition, Three Songs on Poems by Lorri Neilsen Glenn. On this work Thomas commented, “The poetry in ‘Three Songs On Poems By Lorri Neilson Glenn’ is contemporary and beautiful.  The settings are evocative and there are many beautiful moments.”
Honorable Mention was given to Mark Abel for his composition, The Ocean of Forgiveness. Serving as preliminary judges were Arlene Shrut, David Sisco, and Dorea Cook.
Read More...

The New York Choral Society will present a concert dedicated to the sea entitled “Where Even the Sea Sings.”
The program will include the East Coast premiere of the Frank Ticheli’s Symphony No. 3, “The Shore,” which conveys the power, beauty, and mystery of the sea. The piece has been described as a subtle but commanding score set to poetry in which the sea is a metaphor for life’s journey, from childhood to redemption. David St. John’s poetry provided a rich palette of musical moods evoked by the sea.
The program will also include Charles Stanford’s “Songs of the Fleet!” featuring rising star Baritone Jarrett Ott. It will conclude with Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, which was inspired by the composer’s visit to Hebrides islands off the west coast of Scotland.
Read More...

STRAVINSKY Rite of Spring. Concerto for 2 Pianos

February 5, 2018 – Gramophone
…That this superiority is not an automatic thing in actual performance is shown by Barenboim and Argerich, who, despite using two instruments, are neither as idiomatic nor as polished as their finest single-piano counterparts. But now comes a version that flies as high as the two Frenchmen, and in some respects arguably even higher. The differences in approach are very soon apparent. The Introduction to Part 1 shows that [Marc-André Hamelin and Leif Ove Andsnes] are a degree more vividly recorded and that their instruments – perhaps also their touch – are more brightly coloured. After this brighter stage-lighting Guy and Bavouzet sound unduly muted. On the other hand the French pair contrive to work in more of the ‘missing’ orchestral texture, be it from the alternatives noted in the published duet score or details gleaned from the orchestral score itself (in which respect Barenboim and Argerich scarcely bothered at all). So pretty soon there are swirls of figuration from the Frenchmen, suggesting, perhaps, the mists of time as Stravinsky transports us to his mythical pre historic arena…
Read More...

Temple University Jazz Band At The Appel Room

February 1, 2018 – All About Jazz
Jazz is an ongoing educational experience, above all teaching that music cannot thrive without love. Not only between musicians and what they play, but also between musicians as they play. I have rarely seen that theory put into such genuine practice as when the Temple University Jazz Band, under the direction of Terell Stafford, filled Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room with some of the brightest young talents I've heard in a long time…
Read More...

There were seasons past when the Dallas Chamber Music Society was the most conservative of presenters, offering nothing but string quartets. Programming has been far more varied in recent years, but still Monday night's concert by the Imani Winds was said to be the first in decades by a wind quintet.
The program, at Southern Methodist University's Caruth Auditorium, was certainly anything but business as usual. The only piece of standard wind-quintet rep was the Poulenc Sextet for piano and winds, in which pianist Jon Nakamatsu joined the ensemble. Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral chestnut Scheherazade was presented in a shortened arrangement by Jonathan Russell.
Read More...

Lincoln Center Announces 2018/19 Great Performers Season

January 30, 2018 – Broadway World Classical
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced its 53rd season of Great Performers, dedicated to presenting many of the world's most accomplished and inspirational artists in the concert halls and performance venues across the institution's storied campus. This coming season brings distinguished soloists, orchestras, chamber ensembles, and conductors from across the globe, showcasing them at the height of their artistry.
Highlights of the 2018/19 season include performances by Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the Philharmonia Orchestra in back-to-back concerts featuring Bruckner's Seventh Symphony and the conductor's own work. Closing out the season, Manfred Honeck conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in a blockbuster program of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto with pianist Till Fellner and Mahler's Symphony No. 5.
Read More...

Sounds of music will be heard Thursday at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center as renowned American composer Michael Hersch will be in town to hear his two-act monodrama "On the Threshold of Winter."
This performance, sponsored by the NOVA Chamber Music Society and Utah Opera, caps off a weeklong celebration called "American Visionary," which has highlighted Hersch's music. This season marks NOVA's 40th anniversary of making music in the Beehive State.
"I'm just deeply honored to be part of it," Hersch said. "These are extraordinary musicians, so I know that the piece will be presented in a manner that it was intended”…
The performance will feature soprano singer Ah Young Hong in the leading role — a part that she performed to rave reviews in New York City in 2014. Hong has been a member of several symphonies, including the Phoenix Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, among others. She is also on faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, where she serves as the voice department chair…
Read More...

In one of the most adventurous explorations of music by an American composer whose career and approach are unique in many ways, the NOVA Chamber Music Series is presenting this week a festival of three concerts featuring several major works by Michael Hersch, including the production of his chamber opera and monodrama On The Threshold of Winter
The week’s concerts culminate in the performance of Hersch’s first chamber opera On The Threshold of Winter, completed a few years ago. It features soprano Ah Young Hong of Peabody Conservatory who premiered the work. A chamber orchestra of Utah musicians will be led by Tito Muñoz, Phoenix Symphony’s music director. The performance takes place Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the Rose Wagner Center for the Performing Arts.
Read More...

 Rivals on Xbox, Partners Onstage

January 29, 2018 – The New York Times
January 29, 2018 – The New York Times
It was a day off for Broadway’s two Farinellis. The man who plays the role and the man who sings the role were instead focused on a big-screen television. They were feverishly toggling Xbox One controllers — novices trying to figure out how to make animated soccer players properly execute a cross.
Sam Crane and Iestyn Davies both portray the famed 18th-century Italian opera singer in “Farinelli and the King,” a play by Claire van Kampen now at the Belasco Theater.
Read More...

The immensely versatile and renowned pianist Ian Hobson, whose playing has been described by Gramophone as “intensely alive to expressive nuance, textural clarity and elastic shaping,” will perform a six-recital cycle of the complete solo piano works of Debussy and Ravel at New York’s downtown venue SubCulture over the course of six months, from November 2017 to April 2018.  All recitals take place on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm.
Mr. Hobson’s recitals will explore Debussy’s revolutionary quest to reach beyond traditional harmonic means to portray people and nature in an ambiguous yet still immediate reality; as well as Ravel’s brilliant, sometimes darkly-menacing solo piano works which tease the imagination with skillfully wrought intimations of spooky fairy tales, faraway places, and Gothic fantasies.
Read More...

The Temple University Jazz All Star Concert brings together three generations of musicians to celebrate jazz education, featuring the Terell Stafford Quintet, with Bruce Barth, Tim Warfield, Rodney Green, and David Wong; the Temple University Jazz Band, directed by Terell Stafford; and special guests Joe Lovano, Jimmy Heath, René Marie, Dick Oatts, John Clayton and John Faddis.
The Temple University Jazz Band has performed with some of the top names in jazz and each year, headlines at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and at national and international festivals. This concerts brings students, Temple University faculty and guest artists together for a special night of jazz.
Read More...

Temple University Jazz All Star Concert

January 26, 2018 – WRTI Radio
A band led by one of the great innovators of jazz education is gearing up for a big night in the Big Apple.  The Temple University Jazz All Star Concert is on January 30th, 8 pm, in the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and leader Terell Stafford has assembled some of the finest all-star guests imaginable.
Read More...

Temple University Jazz All Star Concert

January 26, 2018 – Round.nyc
The Temple University Jazz All Star Concert brings together three generations of musicians to celebrate jazz education, featuring the Terell Stafford Quintet, with Bruce Barth, Tim Warfield, Rodney Green and David Wong; the Temple University Jazz Band, directed by Terell Stafford, and special guests Joe Lovano, Jimmy Heath, René Marie, Dick Oatts, John Clayton and Jon Faddis.
Read More...

Orchestra Hall could do much, much worse than having Manfred Honeck back on the podium to prep the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Riccardo Muti’s return next week, when the music director will lead a world premiere to precede a two-week tour of the East Coast in early February.
If that was a coincidental benefit rather than the intention behind the CSO’s re-engaging the charismatic Austrian conductor for his second set of CSO concerts of the season, that was the effect…
The Mozart performed before intermission benefited from a similar meeting of sensibilities, in this case those of Honeck and his fellow Austrian, the stylish and absorbing pianist Till Fellner. These artists have collaborated before with the CSO, in Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto, in 2012, but their Mozart C major concerto was, if anything, even better.
Fellner’s pianism reminded one of the patrician Mozart performances here of his great teacher, Alfred Brendel (whose cadenza he played): limpid and rounded of tone, singing of line, cultivated but not mannered of phrasing. His sound was always present, always well supported by the orchestra, notably in those pages where the piano and solo woodwinds engage in quasi-operatic song. The unhurried finale wore a Viennese smile to complement its tasteful classical manners. I found much to enjoy here, and so, evidently, did the audience, which called the pianist back for bow after bow.
Read More...

Honeck leads CSO in an individual and triumphant Mahler Fifth

January 26, 2018 – Chicago Classical Review
…Mozart often makes a congenial prelude to Mahler and so it proved again with his Piano Concerto No. 25 performed by Till Fellner on the first half.
Like his compatriot Honeck, Fellner is often at his best in the central Austro-German cornerstone repertoire. He is a superb Mozartian, playing with easy fluency and pearly tone, ideally suited to this music. His singing way with a phrase in the Andante and buoyant articulation in the gently galumphing Allegretto finale were all pleasure…
Read More...

WHAT’S GOING ON

January 26, 2018 – Our Time News Press
…The Second Harlem Classical Music Celebrations, co-hosted by Opera Ebony, Three on 3 Presents, Opera Noire of New York, the Harlem Chamber Players and Harlem Opera Theater, present the works of renowned operatic and spiritual composers in symposium and in concert. This collaboration series runs from February 1-24 at multiple venues and includes program titles like “A Tribute to the Spiritual”, symposium and concert; Opera Ebony and Three on 3 Presents with Jasmine Muhammad and Christopher Cooley; A 10th Annual Black History Month Celebration with works by H. Leslie Adams, spirituals and Nonet by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; “Lift Every Voice and Sing”: A Tribute to John Rosemond Johnson; a two-act theatrical work, Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom; and the David I. Martin Music Guild of the National Association of Negro Musicians 2018 Scholarship Local Competition Winds & Percussion. For full calendar of events, visit HarlemOperaTheater.org; Harlemchamberplayers.org; Operaebony.org…
Read More...

Recommended Chicago-area classical concerts for Jan. 26-Feb. 1

January 25, 2018 – The Chicago Tribune
Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Manfred Honeck directs Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, with pianist Till Fellner as soloist; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Edman Chapel, Wheaton College, 401 E. Franklin Ave., Wheaton; $15-$85; repeated 8 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Orchestra Hall; $36-$250. Riccardo Muti returns to lead the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Low Brass Concerto, a CSO co-commission, with orchestra trombonists Jay Friedman, Michael Mulcahy and Charles Vernon, and tubist Gene Pokorny, as soloists. The subscription concerts also hold works by Stravinsky and Britten, and mezzo-soprano Clementine Margaine will sing Chausson’s “Poems of Love and the Sea”; 8 p.m. Thursday (repeated Feb. 2 and 3); $34-$220. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.; $34-$221; 312-294-3000,www.cso.org
Read More...

Classical music and dance listings

January 25, 2018 – SFGate
Manasse-Nakamatsu Duo Jon Manasse, clarinet; Jon Nakamatsu, piano. Works by Brahms, Kabalevsky, Debussy, Paco D’Rivera, Goodwin, J. Novacek. 7 p.m. Sun., Feb. 4. $20-$50. Kohl Mansion, 2750 Adeline Dr., Burlingame. www.musicatkohl.org
Read More...

Critic’s Choice

January 24, 2018 – Chicago Classical Review
This coming week is one of the most packed on Chicago’s music beat of the season. Among the riches are the Minnesota Orchestra coming to town on Sunday, a fine Mozart concertante program from Music of the Baroque, and the final weekend of the Winter Chamber Music Festival featuring the Dover Quartet and violinist Jennifer Koh. But two events stand out from the crowd.
Manfred Honeck, one of the most esteemed and popular of Chicago Symphony Orchestra guest conductors, returns Thursday to lead performances of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Music of Mahler has lost some of its historic CSO visibility in the Riccardo Muti era. And with Honeck figuring high on any short list of Muti successors, the implications are clear for the Austrian conductor’s first Mahler program with CSO, beyond this week’s actual performances. Till Fellner performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 on the first half.
Read More...

Organ Recital: Organist Paul Jacobs performs pieces by Bach and Liszt. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sun., 7 p.m. $10-$50. (714) 755-5799.
Read More...

Most composers when they evoke the experience of death or dying — think of Gustav Mahler and Dmitri Shostakovich and John Adams — create listener empathy through the emotional distancing that music, perhaps uniquely so, is able to provide.
Michael Hersch has no use for obliqueness. Confrontation is his thing. His first opera, a song cycle/monodrama called “On the Threshold of Winter,” which had its Chicago premiere by Ensemble Dal Niente last week at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, makes the suffering of his protagonist, a terminally ill cancer patient modeled on the Romanian poet Marin Sorescu, our suffering, our existential crisis, our anguished wrestling with mortality.
The writer’s final poems, penned shortly after he won the Nobel Prize and before he succumbed to liver cancer in 1996, are an unremittingly bleak inner journey that Hersch’s musical settings confront head-on.
But whatever compassion we are supposed to feel toward the dying woman (portrayed with soul-baring intensity by the fearless soprano Ah Young Hong at the Saturday night performance) must be snatched from the few chinks of daylight that poke through the unrelenting wall of eruptive dissonances and fractured rhythms that is Hersch’s 2012 score. 
Read More...

…In brief spoken remarks before the performance, [composer Michael Hersch] said he waited until he had found the right soprano for this demanding work before he would sanction the first performance of On the Threshold of Winter.
Clearly he found her in Ah Young Hong, who was the soloist in the two previous rounds of performances of Hersch’s monodrama and repeated that role in this Chicago premiere.
Clad in a white, hospital-like gown, the petite soprano was a fearless presence, wielding her unamplified, bell-like voice like a weaponized instrument. Hong delivered a tour de force vocal performance in this almost unfathomably difficult music—attacking the dizzying high notes with surprising power,  racing through the rapid-fire desperation of agitated sections, and bringing a numbed, toneless sprechstimme and contralto-like darkness to the low tessitura. Her crystal-clear enunciation of the translated English texts made the projected surtitles largely irrelevant.
Yet in addition to the daunting vocal demands, of Hersch’s score, Hong brought blazing intensity to the crucial theatrical element as well. There was always a plaintive human vulnerability to her presence, whether she was sobbing, screaming, moaning in pain or pulling down the long, diaphanous curtains, and wrapping herself in them like a shroud.
Hong also directed the performance for the first time, “a logical progression” Hersch said, in what is essentially a one-woman show…
Read More...

Terry Eder’s Key Pianists concert series is full of surprises. Eder, a pianist herself, recruits fine musician who don’t necessarily have the highest-profile careers, and has them play the repertoire that appeals to them most—as opposed to what’s listed on the latest CD of the  musician.
It’s those individual choices that are the surprise and Thursday night’s concert at Weill Recital Hall was an example. Pianist Cecile Licad played music one expects at a piano recital by Liszt, as well as music that one is unlikely to ever hear.
That made for an enjoyable night via the unexpected yet pleasurable pairing of Liszt with Elie Siegmeister and Edward MacDowell.
Read More...

In between our conversation, renowned international Philippine pianist Cecile Licad played Liszt: Paganini Étude No. 6 in A Minor Fireflies. This piece would be part of her program in the upcoming concert at the Weill Recital Hall of the Carnegie Hall on January 18, 2018 at 8 PM, [presented by Key Pianists].
The long nimble fingers of the petite virtuoso produced music that’s simply breathtaking. There were fireflies in my head, jumping and swirling, as her rendition so evoked. Cecile’s West End apartment has two grand pianos, several photographs and paintings of family and herself, and a wall unit of CDs. Nothing frivolous or lavish – truly an artist’s haven.
Read More...

Critic’s Choice

January 16, 2018 – New York Classical Review
In 1981, at age 20, the Manila-born pianist Cecile Licad joined the likes of Van Cliburn, Eugene Istomin, and Joseph Kalichstein by winning the Leventritt Gold Medal.  After a decade or so in the superstar spotlight, Licad (like Kalichstein) turned chiefly to chamber music, collaborating with violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Arnold Steinhardt, among others.
But her occasional solo outings have shown that she’s still got the goods in that department. The Key Pianists series will present her Thursday in Carnegie Hall’s intimate Weill Recital Hall performing music alternately poetic and knuckle-busting by Liszt (Sonata in B minor, and the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 as “enhanced” by Ferruccio Busoni) and colorful rarities by American composers Edward MacDowell and Elie Siegmeister.  One can hope for some encores by New Orleans-born Louis Moreau Gottschalk, a Licad specialty.
Cecile Licad performs solo piano works by Liszt, Siegmeister and MacDowell 8 p.m, [presented by Key Pianists]. Thursday in Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall.  carnegiehall.org212-247-7800.
Read More...

Critic’s Choice

January 16, 2018 – Chicago Classical Review
Michael Hersch is among the most compelling of contemporary American composers. His style is personal and adheres to no dogma, feeling both traditional and modern. His most celebrated work, The Vanishing Pavilions, is characteristically ambitious, quirky and explosive, a work for solo piano that spans nearly 2-1/2 hours.
Dal Niente is presenting the Chicago premiere of Hersch’s On the Threshold of Winter in two performances this week. Inspired by the final poems of Martin Sorescu, this music-theater monodrama is a meditation on death. Soprano Ah Young Hong will reprise her role as the solo protagonist.
Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater.
Read More...

Even amid the shifting truths of our uncertain world, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Thursday audience surely had never heard an ode to the Cro-Magnon hyena. That otherworldly yelping came early on in James MacMillan’s A Scotch Bestiary, which opened the British Isles Festival with a state-of-the-art blast from the Kimmel Center’s Fred J.Cooper Memorial Organ and continued for a half hour in a manner that might leave longtime MacMillan watchers pleasantly appalled…
Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and organist Paul Jacobs had truly taken the measure of this bestiary — effectively introducing it in ways that made it more piquant than shocking to the receptive audience and delivering a more convincing performance than the composer-conducted Chandos label recording.
Nézet-Séguin knew how to maintain convincing momentum while the piece was going every which way, but being an opera conductor, he wasn’t about to downplay the theatricality. Jacobs thoughtfully colored and shaped the music’s numerous descriptive effects with expressive precision that brought out the music’s natural wit, but more important, its purpose…
Read More...

A Scotch Bestiary is a superb two movement work for organ and orchestra. It is in that most British of poetic forms – nonsense. Jabberwocky even. Homage is paid to Elgar; like the Enigma Variations, MacMillan confesses coyly that he is depicting characters and types he has encountered in Scotland over the years; the ultimate in-joke is reserved for MacMillan’s own personal delight – what we get is the fantastical animal forms, the “slithy toves who gyre and gimble in the wabe”. But lest we over-emphasize its Britishness, MacMillan is keen to mention that his motivation is just as much Disney; it premiered in the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles.
The work is a very funny riot, and Paul Jacobs on the organ, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the podium gave it the comic and rambunctious treatment it deserved…
Read More...

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s ongoing tradition of locale-themed “Winter Festivals” have, in recent years, highlighted the musical legacies of Paris, Vienna, and St. Petersburg. The 2018 Festival tours the British Isles over the course of three weeks, beginning with a program that puts one of the United Kingdom’s most respected living composers in conversation with two historical giants.
From the podium, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin described Sir James MacMillan’s A Scotch Bestiary: Enigmatic Variations on a Zoological Carnival at a Caledonian Exhibition as “a truly fun piece.” The massive concerto for organ and orchestra was premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2004 and receives its first local performances in this series, with Paul Jacobs as organ soloist…
Read More...

For pianist Till Fellner, it’s mostly Mozart and his brethren

January 11, 2018 – CSO Sounds and Stories
When Till Fellner returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for concerts Jan. 25-27 and 30, he will be performing a Mozart piano concerto. That comes as little surprise, since the Austrian-born pianist favors the Austro-Germanic repertoire. Alongside Mozart, the other composers he admires most are Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Schubert and Schumann.
It’s not that I don’t like Russian or French music,” Fellner said. “I play a little French music but not so much the Russian music. But it seems to me that Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Bach are so important, and it’s the most interesting music for me.”
Fellner, 45, who has in unassuming fashion built a world-class career beginning with his victory at the respected Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1993, is known for his probing, insightful interpretations. He prefers to delve deeply into the repertoire, and to do that, he has taken on a few large-scale performance projects. In 2008-10, for example, he presented the complete cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas in 10 cities worldwide, including London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Vienna and Washington, D.C., performing seven concerts at each locale.
Read More...

Recommended Chicago-area classical concerts Jan. 12-18

January 11, 2018 – The Chicago Tribune
Ensemble Dal Niente: Although music by the contemporary American composer Michael Hersch has been widely heard elsewhere, Chicago performances have been rare. Dal Niente will make amends with the Chicago premiere of Hersch’s 2014 instrumental monodrama “On the Threshold of Winter,” based on poems written by Romanian writer Martin Sorescu after he was diagnosed with cancer. 7 p.m. Thursday and Jan. 20, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.; $30; 773-871-3000, www.victorygardens.org
Read More...

Take a Trip to the British Isles Through Music

January 10, 2018 – Playbill
… “This is very important for me,” says Yannick of the Handel, “because I believe that The Philadelphia Orchestra can play Baroque music uniquely, retaining its color but also being lighter and transparent.” Also part of the first week’s program is a work by Scottish-born composer James MacMillan, A Scotch Bestiary for organ and orchestra, featuring soloist Paul Jacobs. Known for weaving Scottish tunes into his music, MacMillan describes this Carnival of the Animals-like piece as a caricature of “individuals and archetypes encountered in Scottish life over the years.” The concert concludes with another “water-influenced” piece, the Four Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes…
Read More...

..MUSIC TO OUR EARS: Internationally acclaimed pianists Jon Nakamatsu and Igor Resnianski are on the faculty for this year’s California Concerto Weekend, an amazing event that will bring together 14 amateur pianists for three days of coaching and rehearsal leading up to a gala concert with the Mission College Symphony on Sunday.
The pianists from all around the United States and Canada share a passion for a music but have generally unmusical professions as doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists and media executives. A rehearsal from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the West Valley College theater in Saratoga will be free and open to the public, with Resnianski coaching the pianists in the morning and Nakamatsu working with them in the afternoon.
Sunday’s concert begins at 2 p.m. at the West Valley theater with a program featuring selections from Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and more. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students and seniors, and West Valley and Mission College students get in free. Go to www.californiaconcerto.org for more information…
Read More...

Aldeburgh Festival 2018 programme revealed

January 9, 2018 – Rheingold Publishing
The Aldeburgh Festival will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2018, with a number of events looking back to the year of its launch (1948).
The connections between Britten, America, and Leonard Bernstein will be explored throughout the Festival, which will feature 15 world premieres, six Aldeburgh Festival commissions, five European premieres and five UK premieres, and includes events curated by this year’s artists in residence: violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, conductor John Wilson and flautist Claire Chase.
New works will include the world premiere of Emily Howard’s opera To See The Invisible, based on a short story by Robert Silverberg, as well as works by Vassos Nicolaou, Philip Cashian, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, and featured composers Michael Hersch and Simon Holt.
Read More...

The New York Choral Society (NYCHORAL), under the baton of music director David Hayes, will appear at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium (881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019) with Where Even the Sea Sings, Sunday afternoon, February 11, 2018, at 3 pm. This program juxtaposes three composers of very different backgrounds and styles, inspired by a shared commonality in theme: the grandeur of the "sea." Each composer responds to this theme in a different way, allowing the audience to experience a deep, personal, journey of the soul. It includes Sir Charles Stanford's Songs of the Fleet, Op. 117, featuring baritone Jarrett Ott and the East Coast premiere of American composer Frank Ticheli's Symphony No. 3 "The Shore."
Read More...

The New York Choral Society (NYCHORAL), under the baton of music director David Hayes, will appear at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium (881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019) with Where Even the Sea Sings, Sunday afternoon, February 11, 2018, at 3 pm. This program juxtaposes three composers of very different backgrounds and styles, inspired by a shared commonality in theme: the grandeur of the "sea." Each composer responds to this theme in a different way, allowing the audience to experience a deep, personal, journey of the soul. It includes Sir Charles Stanford's Songs of the Fleet, Op. 117, featuring baritone Jarrett Ott and the East Coast premiere of American composer Frank Ticheli's Symphony No. 3 "The Shore."
Read More...

Theater Review: ‘Farinelli and the King’

January 8, 2018 – The Epoch Times
Claire Van Kampen examines the healing power of song in her very absorbing work “Farinelli and the King.” Based on actual events and originally presented in London in 2015, the play is now making its North American debut at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway…
It actually takes two people to bring the character of Farinelli to life on stage. Crane handles the acting duties, while Iestyn Davies delivers a superlative performance in the singing department. Davies’s performances hush the audience and bring a few tears to the eyes by the time each piece ends.
Read More...

What a scoop: ice cream shop mystery solved

January 6, 2018 – The Times
…But there’s this new British place on Broadway that is even more exclusive. At the Belasco Theatre a small, mostly British cast is midway through a run of Farinelli and The King. Sam Crane plays Farinelli, the renowned 18th century Italian castrato, and the countertenor Iestyn Davies does his singing voice. Davies lurks behind Crane on stage, in an identical outfit, ready to burst into song. Sir Mark Rylance plays Philip V of Spain, on the brink of madness and seeking solace in the vocal stylings of Farinelli.
Meanwhile, to stop all the actors losing their minds, a drinking den has been set up in the basement. “We’ve got a pub set up down there,” Davies said. There’s a table tennis table, sofas, a TV and a fridge well stocked with beer. “Guests like Steven Spielberg come down there and have a drink,” he said…
Read More...

..As spring break approaches on the UI campus, the Sinfonia da Camera, led by Ian Hobson, will perform on March 9 in Foellinger an all-Beethoven concert, beginning with the intense "Coriolan" Overture. Then Hobson will play solo at the piano and conduct Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major. The program will end with Beethoven's rhythmic whirlwind, the Symphony No. 7 in A Major…
Read More...

An Autumn of Pianists in New York

January 3, 2018 – New York Arts
…[Pianist Marc-André Hamelin], through this program, which was very much about the piano and virtuoso, has his own view of Liszt, which encompasses both the dualistic and the unitarian view of him. Certainly, like Brendel, Hamelin understands him as a composer rooted in the classics, Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach…

If I remember correctly, this is Kimiko Ishizaka‘s second New York recital. Of mixed German-Japanese parentage, she resides in Cologne with her American husband. To judge by her concert programs and recording releases so far, she specializes in the music of Bach, but she is constantly exploring other composers, notably Chopin, who, given his devotion to Bach, above all to the Well-Tempered Clavier, is closely knit with her more public interests…

My season of piano recitals closed, most gratifyingly, with two programs from Ian Hobson’s New York season, which is ongoing at SubCulture, with concerts coming up on February 7th and 28th as well as April 4th and 18th. In his biennial cycles, Hobson concentrates on a particular composer or theme…

Read More...

18 winter classical music highlights for 2018

January 2, 2018 – The Chicago Tribune
…Ensemble Dal Niente: Although music by American composer Michael Hersch has been widely heard elsewhere, Chicago performances have been rare. Dal Niente will make amends with the Chicago premiere of Hersch’s 2014 instrumental monodrama “On the Threshold of Winter,” based on poems written by Romanian writer Martin Sorescu after he was diagnosed with cancer. Jan. 18 and 20, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.; $30; 773-871-3000, www.victorygardens.org...
Read More...
The first international organ competition to take place in the People’s Republic of China was held in Shanghai in September 2017. The Shanghai Conservatory of Music International Organ Competition was part of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music International Organ Festival (September 12-17), which took place at Shanghai Oriental Art Center and Shanghai Conservatory. The event was planned with the purose of promoting the development of Chinese organ education, promoting international interaction, and being a first-class organ art center with an international perspective…
Paul Jacobs and Xuntian He served as presidents of the jury, which included John Walker, Aude Heurtematte, Cherry Rhodes, Jürgen Kursawa, Thierry Mechler, and David Hamilton…The Festival concluded with a recital by Paul Jacobs. His stunning performance conquered the hearts of the audience, making a successful ending to the entire event…
Read More...
  HOME
NEWS
ABOUT US
ROSTER
CONTACT