Bela Fleck's thoughts on Knoxville hosting Big Ears / Knoxville News Sentinel

Banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck has won 16 Grammy Awards, played at least 15 major festivals and recorded countless albums through his involvement in various music projects. Needless to say, with a list of accolades of that magnitude, his opinion on anything music-related should be valued. So what does he think about Big Ears in Knoxville?  "I think it's a really neat thing, and I'm amazed and thrilled that it's working so well," he said in an exclusive interview with Knox News. "I was hoping they'd ask me to be a part of it. Now that I'm in, I'll stay as long as I can."  Knox News caught up with Fleck backstage last Friday afternoon at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral following a remarkable collaborative performance with master harp player Edmar Castaneda.  READ THE Knoxville News Sentinel INTERVIEW 
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Singing with love: The Epoch Times Q&A's with Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli returned to The Metropolitan Opera stage for the first time in seven years on Feb. 10 and 17, inspired by the theme of love. Together with Aida Garifullina, Isabel Leonard, Nadine Sierra, Luca Pisaroni, members of the Met Orchestra, and guest conductor Eugene Kohn, the star performed iconic operatic pieces in a program showcasing "Three Centuries of Love." Bocelli was met with throngs of fans afterward, signing over 2,000 autographs. The Epoch Times caught up with the classical singer after the New York performances to discuss the concert, his recent album "Sì," the art of singing, and family.
PHOTO: Massimo Sestini READ THE Epoch Times Q&A p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px}
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Bruckner Orchestra of Linz - Isang Yun: Sunrise Falling is extraordinarily substantial / STAGEANDCINEMA

This is my first time hearing the music of Isang Yun, the South Korean composer who was once kidnapped from Germany and put on trial for his support of Korean reunification. Korean born, Berlin resident Isang Yun, who died last year at the age of 78 in Germany, achieved a certain notoriety by being imprisoned in his native country in 1967 (Stravinsky, Stockhausen, Boulez and Klemperer were among the individuals who petitioned for his release), and his music aimed to create a territory of its own between East and West. What that means for Sunrise Falling, Pentatone's two-disc collection of works by Yun, played by the Bruckner Orchestra of Linz conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, is music that veers to extremes, from harmonious beauty to soul-jarring atonalism, dissonance, and pounding. Yet it's also extraordinarily substantial, which is why it may take quite a few listens to wrap your brain around this vacillating music. Davies offers appreciation, mastery and respect, with some of the richest, crystalline and most extraordinary sound I remember hearing on a live recording (the double album is SACD). Whether or not it's listenable over and over again is something else entirely. Matt Haimovitz is jawdroppingly good as the soloist in the ferociously provocative, single-movement Cello Concerto from 1976, and Yumi Hwang-Williams is just as superb on the first of Yun's three concertos for violin, composed five years later - it is here that we get some of the gorgeous lyricism that kept pulling me back in. Both are works of unbelievable power, density, and intricacy, quite unlike anything else I've ever heard; the rest of the box set is a fascinating introduction to Yun's chamber works; solo instrumental pieces for cello and violin; a sonata (pianist Maki Namekawa ferociously attacks the keys in Gasa); and an orchestral showpiece in Fanfare and Memorial. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px} READ THE FULL STAGEANDCINEMA REVIEW
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Matthew Lipman joins IdeaStation's Mike Goldberg for 'Breakfast Classics'

The viola is not the most popular instrument, but Matthew Lipman is doing his part to bring it front and center. The young and emerging artist recently released his solo debut album "Ascent." The recording blends a variety of repertoire, all imaginative, improvisational works for viola and piano. Matthew collaborates on the album with pianist Henry Kramer, who just received a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant (Lipman received one in 2015). Of special note is the inclusion of a previously unknown impromptu by Dmitri Shostakovich. The other composers represented are York Bowen, Clarice Assad, Robert Schumann, Garth Knox and Franz Waxman. Take a listen to 93.1 and 107.3 WCVE Classical Music Host Mike Goldberg's recent chat with Matthew
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Remember the first time you heard a classical work that became a seminal moment for you? Mine came watching Disney's Fantasia. When I heard the pounding and mysticism and that swirl of orchestrated colors in Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps), I was hooked. It didn't hurt that I was watching gorgeous animation telling of the beginning of earth through earthquakes and the extinction of dinosaurs. Over the years, anyone who deviated from Leopold Stokowski's rendition - however edited for the 1940 film - got an immediate pooh-pooh from me. Even when I saw a reconstructed version of choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky's original ballet on the hundredth anniversary of the ballet - which depicts a virgin sacrifice in an ancient pagan Russia wherein a maiden is chosen to die and must dance herself to death - I found something lacking. Now, finally, I have heard a conductor that can stand proudly next to my beloved Stowkowski: Jaap van Zweden, who, in his first weeks as music director of the New York Philharmonic, recorded live Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps and Debussy's La Mer, which together make up this third NY Phil album from Decca Gold. (NY Phil's first album with van Zweden contained Beethoven 5 and 7, taken from performances prior to his advent as music director.) READ THE FULL STAGEANDCINEMA REVIEW
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Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra - Tale of Two Cities at the NAC is - Gig Pick

Perhaps the most remarkable baroque orchestra in the world will perform at Southam Hall this month. Certainly the most inventive. Yup, the words "inventive" and "baroque" live comfortably together in this orchestra. Tale of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffeehouse is an imaginative multimedia concert by Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and featuring Trio Arabica, with music by J.S. Bach, Handel, and Telemann. It's 1740. In Leipzig, Bach is conducting top-notch musicians in a coffeehouse every Friday night. In Damascus, singers and instrumentalists get together to share classical Arabic music and to accompany famous storytellers. I can hardly wait to see what Tafelmusik conjures up! Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is performing Tale of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffeehouse in Southam Hall at the National Arts Centre on Tuesday March 26, 2019.    p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px} SEE THE VIDEO via
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Win a pair of tickets to see Katie Melua at Cheltenham Jazz Festival / SoGlos

A pair of tickets and a signed CD are up for grabs for one SoGlos reader. A definitive highlight of Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2019, Katie Melua will delight audiences on Monday 6 May 2019 in the Henry Westons Big Top. Teaming up with SoGlos, Cheltenham Festivals is offering one SoGlos reader the chance to bag some of the best seats in the tent for what will be an incredible evening of stunning live music. With platinum selling albums, Katie Melua will bring her signature spellbinding melodies to Cheltenham and crowds can look out for her biggest hits including ‘9 Million Bicycles' and ‘The Closest Thing To Crazy' Featuring a bigger line up than ever before, Cheltenham Jazz Festival will run from Wednesday 1 to Monday 6 May 2019. To enter this competition SEE THE SoGlos PAGE
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Will Ackerman's 'Gathering4Guitars' set for Livermore PAC / The Livermore Independent

Grammy Award-winning music producer and guitarist Will Ackerman is universally recognized as the pioneer in new age music. He single-handedly fostered the careers of generations of acoustic guitarists and pianists through his groundbreaking work at Windham Hill Records. Ackerman will take the stage at the Bankhead Theater on March 28, 2019 for a "Gathering4Guitars." In this evening of acoustic music, Ackerman will be joined by kalimbatar/guitarist Trevor Gordon Hall, Imrat guitarist Todd Mosby and acoustic guitar maestro Vin Downes. Ackerman began as a musician and the founder of Windham Hill Records, discovering major talents such as George Winston, Michael Hedges, Liz Story and Alex de Grassi. He quickly earned a reputation as an exceptional producer and Windham Hill influenced a generation of contemporary music, emanating from folk roots, acoustic guitar, and a sleek piano sound. Ackerman won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album in 2004 for "Returning" and is the recipient of more than 27 platinum and gold records internationally. His first "Gathering" CD won the coveted ZMR Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album awards. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px} READ THE FULL Livermore Independent ARTICLE
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In her wonderful mezzo-voice, Joyce DiDonato presents an album of new takes on 'Arie Antiche' / Classical101:WOSU

Ask most any singer today what they were first taught to sing, and they'll produce a beat-up copy of a yellow-covered volume from G. Schirmer called 24 Arie Antiche. These are Italian songs from the 17th and 18th centuries, many of them arias from obscure operas. They are considered good for students because they do not require an extended vocal range. They do require, and they are used to teach, the ability to sing a clean line, to string one note after the other in a seamless way. "Like pearls" was the old adage. Joyce DiDonato's new recording features some of these Arie Antiche that she probably learned to sing in the ninth grade. The difference between DiDonato and the rest of us is that she has a sumptuous, wonderful mezzo-soprano voice, and she is an artist without peer. READ THE FULL Classical101:WOSU - Columbus OH ARTICLE p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px}
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SilkRoad Ensemble set for UNCW's Kenan Auditorium / StarNewsOnline

Seven-members from the The Grammy-winning Silkroad Ensemble from Boston founded by the famed cellist travels between the music of Europe and the East on March 27 at UNCW's Kenan Auditorium. It is the essence of romantic adventure. Caravans crossing thousands of miles of high desert, sometimes within sight of heaven-stretched mountains, following the headwaters of great rivers, skirting China's Great Wall, arriving at one end in the thriving port of Shanghai, and at the other in ports of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, stopping at the occasional life-sustaining oasis along the way. READ THE FULL StarNewsOnline ARTICLE
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Romero Lubambo joins Sharon Isbin for Kean University Series / Guitar Girl Magazine

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin who will be featured at Kean University's Kean Stage Series on Friday, April 5 at 7:30 pm.  The concert will take place at Kean University's East Campus' Enslow Hall, 215 North Avenue in Hillside, New Jersey.  Isbin will be joined by guest artist, Brazilian jazz guitarist and Latin GRAMMY winner Romero Lubambo.  Tickets are $40-$60 with discounted student tickets the week of the show and can be purchased at the Kean Stage Box Office in Wilkins Theatre on Kean's Main Campus, 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, by phone at (908) 737 7469, or online at  Isbin will be joined by Brazilian jazz guitarist Romero Lubambo, who was Isbin's guest on her Guitar Passions release and tour and included in the award-winning documentary Sharon Isbin: Troubadour.  They share a lyrical sensibility that makes their duets a natural elision of improvisation, classical music, and cross-cultural exploration and their New York performance last spring for an audience of 1400 had press exclaiming, "the audience was amazed at the pair's sensitivity, technique, and chemistry." The program will feature a combination of South American and Spanish flavored classical, jazz and bossa-nova featuring solos and duos by Albéniz, Granados, Tárrega, Falla, Rodrigo, Lubambo and Vincente Amigo, among others. READ THE FULL Guitar Girl Magazine ARTICLE
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Wounded soldiers and their communities find healing in Ensemble Galilei's music, poetry and memoir / Philadelphia Inquirer

Carolyn Surrick, poet and viola da gamba player in the Ensemble Galilei, has never been to war. But along with her fellow musicians, who played Irish and Celtic tunes for seven years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital in Bethesda, Md., she has witnessed the toll of war, not only on the badly wounded, but also on families and communities. Based on that experience, Ensemble Galilei has joined with veteran NPR war correspondents Neal Conan and Anne Garrels to present "Between War and Here," a program that combines music, poetry and memoir to explore "honor, courage, loss and hope." A limited tour of churches on the East Coast will bring them to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill on March 31. "Walter Reed isn't a concert hall," said Surrick, 59. "We played in the corner of the hospital lobby while people were having lunch. Patients or family members or staff would stop or sit a little away from us or hide at the top of the stairs or the balcony, sort of looking."   PHOTO: CAROLYN SURRICK p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px} READ THE FULL Philadelphia Inquirer ARTICLE
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Top 10 Albums for March

The Comet Is Coming :

Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

The Comet Is Comingreleases their Impulse! Debut - Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery US tour starts March 12. Includes; Los Angeles, SXSW, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Big Ears, Bonnaroo The Comet Is Coming, "an improvisational, intergalactic mash-up" (The Guardian), will release their Impulse! debut, Trust In the Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, on March 15. Their first-ever US tour begins in Los Angeles on March 12 and takes them through SXSW, NYC, Philadelphia, DC, Big Ears Festival and finally lands them in Bonnaroo on June 13. The first track from the album, "Summon The Fire," is available today. The Comet Is Coming, who in 2016 were shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize, is comprised of King Shabaka (Shabaka Hutchings) on saxophone, Danalogue (Dan Leavers) on keys/synth, and Betamax (Max Hallett) on drums. On this album, Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, the trio envisage a 21st century take on spiritual jazz that is part Alice Coltrane, part Bladerunner.
Joni Mitchell :

TMCP-Joni 75 - A Birthday Celebration

Honoring musical icon Joni Mitchell's legacy and 75th birthday, Decca Records will release The Music Center Presents Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration on March 8, 2019. On Joni's 75th birthday last November, a star-studded roster of musicians gathered together to pay tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter. The evening was recorded and is now subsequently being released. It features performances by Brandi Carlile; Glen Hansard; Emmylou Harris; Norah Jones; Chaka Khan; Diana Krall; Kris Kristofferson; Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Cesar Castro & Xochi Flores; Graham Nash; James Taylor; Seal; Rufus Wainwright; and more. The full track list is below.  Recorded at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, a stage on which Mitchell twice performed in 1972 and 1974, the album includes performances and interpretations of classic Mitchell  songs, including Brandi Carlile & Kris Kristofferson performing "A Case of You," Seal's version of "Both Sides Now", Diana Krall singing "Amelia", Rufus Wainwright's "Blue", Norah Jones' version of "Court And Spark", and many more. 

Enchanted Isle

The British vocal ensemble VOCES8 is proud to inspire people through music and share the joy of singing. Touring globally, the group performs an extensive repertory both in its a cappella concerts and in collaborations with leading orchestras, conductors and soloists. Versatility and a celebration of diverse musical expression are central to the ensemble's performance and education ethos. Voces8 releases Enchanted Isle, a new album of music reminiscent of rolling hills, green valleys, rugged mountainsides, and sleepy villages. Enchanted Isle features reimagined pieces originally written for film or television (such as Lord of the Ringsand Game of Thrones), new arrangements of Scottish and Irish melodies, and compositions set to texts by great English poets.
Lang Lang :

Piano Book

One of the world's biggest classical stars, Lang Lang, returns with his brand new solo album ‘Piano Book' – a collection of pieces which first inspired him to play the piano and led him on his path to international stardom. The recording, his first new studio album in three years, marks his return to Universal Music Group and Deutsche Grammophon – the label he first signed to in 2003. Lang Lang says: "I want to take every music lover on a journey through my favourite piano pieces. I hope to inspire as well as motivate every piano student to remain focused during daily practice, and to play and understand these essential pieces for what they really are: true masterpieces!" ‘Piano Book' gathers together many of the miniatures that generations of amateur pianists have grown up with. Lang Lang holds them in the highest regard, believing them to be classics in their own right. He wants to encourage piano students across the world to fully appreciate them.
Jan Lisiecki :

Mendelssohn w/Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Acclaimed 23-year-old Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki joins forces with the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra to release Mendelssohn on Deutsche Grammophon on February 1. The album explores a pair of early Romantic masterpieces: Mendelssohn's Piano Concertos in G minor and D minor, complemented with a selection of Mendelssohn's most brilliant pieces for solo piano: the Variations sérieuses, the Rondo capriccioso and the "Venetian Boat Song" from the Songs without Words. Felix Mendelssohn was a year younger than Lisiecki is now when he wrote his First Piano Concerto in G minor; the work was dedicated to the seventeen-year-old pianist Delphine von Schauroth. Cast in three movements, it is a lively, spirited work, at times requiring lightning-quick playing. Lisiecki finds it remarkable that the concerto begins as if "in the middle of a piece," and particularly appreciates the buoyancy of this early work – he thinks of it as like "a nature trip" and notes that its "lightness of touch ... reminds [him] very much of playing Mozart." 
Lara Downes :

Holes In the Sky

On March 1, 2019, American pianist Lara Downes releases her new album, Holes in the Sky, on Portrait, an imprint of the Sony Music Masterworks label. Holes in the Sky is a genre-fluid collection of music written and performed by today's leading female artists, celebrating the contributions of phenomenal women to the past, present, and future of American music. The music of Holes in the Sky tells the story of what women and girls can contribute to the world when they are given a chance - their dreams can make holes in the sky. Lara collaborates with an extraordinary multi-generational group of female guest artists on this album, including the iconic singer / songwriter Judy Collins, boundary-breaking violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, fast-rising cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing, and the urban youth vocal ensemble Musicality. The album is presented in direct support of PLAN International Because I Am A Girl, bolstering the rights and empowerment of girls and young women around the globe; Women's Empowerment in Sacramento, ending homelessness one woman - and one family - at a time; the Downtown Women's Center in Los Angeles, a permanent and supportive housing and healthcare provider for women; Girls on the Run in Spokane, teaching life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, breaking the cycle of poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial, and environmental leaders.
Gernot Wolfgang :

Vienna and the West

Albany Records just released composer Gernot Wolfgang's chamber music CD VIENNA AND THE WEST. The album is a follow-up to his CD PASSING THROUGH, which received rave reviews and went on to be nominated for a 2016 GRAMMY Award in the category Best Classical Compendium. VIENNA AND THE WEST was recorded from May 15-18, 2018 in Los Angeles by some of the city's finest classical musicians, among them members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, first-call studio musicians and several GRAMMY nominees (including one winner). GRAMMY nominated Rich Breen was the engineer for these sessions.  p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px}
The New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden :

Stravinsky - Le Sacre, Debussy - La Mer

The New York Philharmonic's third album with Decca Gold will be released physically and digitally on February 22, 2019. The album features performances by the New York Philharmonic of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps and Debussy's La Mer from Jaap van Zweden's opening weeks (September-October 2018) as Music Director. It is now available for pre-order on and through this link. Of the Opening Gala performance of Le Sacre du printempts, The New York Times wrote "Mr. van Zweden drew incisive, blazingly powerful and vehement playing from the Philharmonic." Two weeks later, The Times described the performance of La Mer as "bold, almost cinematic."
Andris Nelsons - Boston Symphony :

Dmitri Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow Sym 6&7

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andris Nelsons continue their critically acclaimed Under Stalin's Shadow series on Deutsche Grammophon with the release of Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7 together with the composer's Suite from the Incidental Music to King Lear and the Festive Overture on February 22.  The new double-disc set follows the 2018 release of a compelling pairing of Shostakovich's Fourth and Eleventh Symphonies, which has been nominated in the Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered Album (classical) categories for the 2019 Grammy Awards.
Seiji Ozawa :

Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 w/Mito Chamber Orchestra

45 years after his debut Philips recording of Beethoven's Ninth, Seiji Ozawa returns to this epic masterpiece with the Mito Chamber Orchestra. This new recording features star players Radek Baborák (horn), Ricardo Morales (clarinet), and Philippe Tondre (oboe) as well as the German baritone Markus Eiche, who leads a quartet of Japanese soloists and the Tokyo Opera Singers in a riveting performance of the famed final movement.