Joshua Bell and Lang Lang help pay tribute to longtime GRAMMY producer in epic sendoff / CBS NEWS

It was music's biggest night – but this year's Grammy Awards took on a mournful tone as stars and fans paid tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant. The show opened with tributes to Bryant from Lizzo and host Alicia Keys. The Los Angeles Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash earlier Sunday. The Grammys were held in the Staples Center, where the Lakers play their home games. In a tribute to longtime Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich, Camila Cabello, Gary Clark Jr and John Legend were joined by Ben Platt, Debbie Allen, Joshua Bell, Common, Misty Copeland, Lang Lang  and The War and Treaty to help say goodbye with a performance of "I Sing the Body Electric" from the movie musical "Fame." Ehlrich personally chose the song as a way to acknowledge the importance of music education in schools. Ehlrich first produced the Grammys in 1980, the same year "Fame" was released. Ehlrich previously announced that he will be stepping down after this year's award ceremony.  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 CBS NEWS ARTICLE
Bookmark and Share

Dave Soldier's latest majestic epic is joyfully rhythmic, ultra-infectious flamenco fire, that illuminates Spanish history / Deep Roots

Flamenco guitarist, composer, multi-instrumentalist and musical visionary Dave Soldier has been blazing fascinating, culturally transcendent boundaries his whole life, from founding a string quartet that fused punk, classical and R&B to playing punk Delta Blues and starting the Thai Elephant Orchestra with real pachyderms. So we shouldn't be surprised that on his latest majestic epic, Zajal, he surrounds his joyfully rhythmic, ultra-infectious flamenco fire with a vast palette of sweeping musical colors and intricate, exotic textures that illuminate a fascinating slice of Spanish history. On the 11-track collection, which features a large global ensemble of vocalists, musicians and dancers, Soldier showcases the fruits of his personal exploration of popular song, mining pure sonic gold and spirited adventures from a spot 1000 years ago at the intersection of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in the Andalusian region of southern Spain. SEE THE FULL Deep Roots PAGE
Bookmark and Share

Igor Levit@Barbican brings thought, colour and feeling to every phrase of Shostakovich 24 Preludes and Fugues / theartsdesk

"Citizen. European. Pianist," declares Russian-born, Berlin-based Igor Levit on the front page of his website. One should add, since he wouldn't, Mensch and master of giants. High-level human integrity seems a given when great pianists essay epics: certainly true of Elisabeth Leonskaja and Imogen Cooper tackling respective sonata trilogies by Beethoven and Schubert, or András Schiff in Bach's Well-Tempered Klavier. Last night was on that level. Questions may linger over the nature of Shostakovich's many-headed hydra of a homage to Bach, but none about Levit's expressive intent and execution in every phrase. Levit let nothing escape his rigorous but always expressive focus. That made the relatively few outbursts of violence, above all in the whirlwind of the D flat major Fugue, and the cumulative fugues at the end of each set of 12 - Shostakovich clearly divides up his sequence, making a new pure beginning with the F sharp major Prelude and Fugue of No. 13 - all the more overwhelming. Any sense of technical bursting at the seams was reined in with the pianist's intense rhythmic sense, and very rarely did he resort to the sustaining pedal to help with welters of sound. 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 artsdesk REVIEW
Bookmark and Share

Jennifer Higdon wins 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Contemporary Classical Composition' for her 'Harp Concerto' on 'American Rapture'

Azica Records release of American Rapture featuring harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Ward Stare is an album includes the world premiere recording of Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon's Harp Concerto. Higdon's piece was written for and dedicated to Yolanda Kondonassis. The album also includes; Samuel Barber's Symphony No. 1 in One Movement, Op. 9; and the world premiere recording of Patrick Harlin's Rapture. The album is designed to highlight three generations of American composition and, as defined by Harlin in the context of his work, to depict rapture not as a religious event, but as an experience of extreme human emotion. Congratulations to Jennifer Higdon winning 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Contemporary Classical Composition' for her 'Harp Concerto' on 'American Rapture.' Jennifer Higdon, composer (Yolanda Kondonassis, Ward Stare & The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra) 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}
Bookmark and Share

Joyce DiDonato wins 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Classical Solo Vocal Album' for 'Songplay'

With her album Songplay, Joyce DiDonato takes a new and creative angle on vocal music from the Baroque and Classical periods, as well as from the 20th century. The 14 tracks on Songplay succeed in being simultaneously familiar and unexpected. The album serves up music by Vivaldi in both its customary Baroque purity and swinging to the heady rhythm of a samba. It brings a tango sizzle to an aria by Vivaldi's contemporary Marcello, and it plays with the voice of Bach in George Shearing's ‘Lullaby of Birdland'.    "Songplay, as a title, suggests exactly what this album is," says the pianist Craig Terry, who developed the concept for the album along with Joyce DiDonato Joyce DiDonato wins 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Classical Solo Vocal Album' for 'Songplay.' DiDonato is joined on the album by Craig Terry, Charlie Porter, Chuck Israels, Jimmy Madison & Lautaro Greco.       Winner:    ; Chuck Israels, Jimmy Madison, Charlie Porter & Craig Terry, accompanists (Steve Barnett & Lautaro Greco) 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}
Bookmark and Share

Marsalis/Benedetti wins 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Classical Instrumental Solo' for 'Violin Concerto; Fiddle Dance Suite'

Nicola Benedetti's Decca Classics album features premiere recordings of two works written especially for her by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis: Violin Concerto in D and Fiddle Dance Suite for Solo Violin. Benedetti performs Violin Concerto in D with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Cristian Măcelaru who has collaborated with the violinist to perform the work six times. The concerto was co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Ravinia, LA Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Benedetti performed the world premiere with the LSO under conductor James Gaffigan in London in November 2015.  Congratulations \to Wynton Marsalis & Nicola Benedetti winning 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Classical Instrumental Solo' for 'Violin Concerto; Fiddle Dance Suite' with Cristian Măcelaru, conductor (Philadelphia Orchestra).
Bookmark and Share

Hildur Guonadottir wins 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media' for 'Chernobyl'

Based on an untold true story, "Chernobyl" is a five-part miniseries airing on HBO. Writer, creator and executive producer Craig Mazin began researching the Chernobyl disaster in 2014, using a wide variety of materials, including several books, government reports from inside and outside of the Soviet Union and first-person accounts. He spoke to nuclear scientists to learn how a reactor works and interviewed former Soviet citizens to gain a better sense of the culture in 1986. The haunting score is by Hildur Guðnadóttir, Icelandic composer, cello player, and singer, who has composed a number of film scores for films. Congratulations to Hildur Guonadottir winning 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media' for 'Chernobyl' 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}
Bookmark and Share

Angelique Kidjo wins 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best World Music Album' for 'Celia'

Angélique Kidjo's Celia (Verve/Universal Music France), is an album that honors Celia Cruz, widely known as "the Queen of Salsa" and the most popular Latin artist of the 20thcentury.  On Celia, Angélique explores the African roots of the Cuban-born Cruz and reimagines selections from Cruz's extraordinary career in surprising new ways, infused with an explosion of sounds and rhythms from Cuba, Africa, the Middle East, America and beyond.  The album includes performances by Tony Allen (Fela Kuti) on drums, Meshell Ndegeocello on bass, and British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchins plus his band Sons of Kemet.    Congratulations to Angelique Kidjo winning 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best World Music Album' for 'Celia' 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}
Bookmark and Share

Nadia Shpachenko wins 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Classical Compendium' for 'The Poetry of Places'

Nadia Shpachenko's The Poetry of Places on Reference Recordings features World Premiere works for solo piano, for two pianos, percussion, electronics, voice, and toy piano in a fascinating mélange inspired by great architecture and places. The eight compositions monumentalize places as wildly diverse as the Copland House in Cortlandt, NY, The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Louis Kahn's National Assembly Buildings in Bangladesh, Newgrange Ancient Temple in Ireland, and Frank Gehry's House in Santa Monica, CA. Included is a significant new work from Andrew Norman, Frank's House, for two pianos and percussion, and another large work from Nina C. Young, Kolokol, for two pianos and electronics (a ‘fantasy' inspired by Russian Orthodox Church Bells), recorded with Los Angeles Philharmonic pianist Joanne Pearce Martin and Los Angeles Percussion Quartet artists Nick Terry and Cory Hills. Additionally, six solo works were written specifically for this project by Amy Beth Kirsten, Hannah Lash, James Matheson, Harold Meltzer, Lewis Spratlan, and Jack Van Zandt. The composers use very different musical approaches and sonic techniques in response to their chosen spaces. Congratulations to Nadia Shpachenko and Marina A. Ledin & Victor Ledin, producers for winning 2020 GRAMMY Award 'Best Classical Compendium' for 'The Poetry of Places'
Bookmark and Share

Three young musicians are making musical history with classical GRAMMY nominations / yahoo news

Three young musicians are making a little piece of musical history as some of the first female Grammy nominees in the classical field. British violinist Nicola Benedetti, Lithuanian conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla and Icelandic composer Hildur Gudnadottir are all nominated for the first time, highlighting their contributions to music in three different disciplines. Nicola Benedetti, 32, is being recognised in the category of Best Classical Instrumental Solo. In addition, American Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for his "Violin Concerto in D Major", written for Benedetti and on which she plays. She is the youngest ever female nominee in her category. Hildur Gudnadottir is nominated for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for her work on HBO's television show "Chernobyl". The 37-year-old previously won an Emmy for the same title. She also took home a Golden Globe for Original Score for her soundtrack to Todd Phillips' box office smash "Joker" and subsequently received an Academy Award nod for Best Original Music Score for that film. Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, 33, is nominated for Best Orchestral Performance for her recording of "Weinberg: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 21", performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Making Grammy history as the first ever female conductor nominated in that category, Grazinyte-Tyla would be the youngest female conductor to get a Grammy in any category if she were to win, according to her publisher. Reflecting on her achievements in the industry, Grazinyte-Tyla surmised: "Where is the right balance, men, women? What do we have to do to arrive to the right one? I'm happy to be a good example for those social issues but I really want to stay focused on what I'm doing because I think this is at the end the answer." All three women are still in their 30s and have the potential to break records at this year's Grammys. They all hoped their successes would inspire other girls to pursue a career in music. 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} span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre} READ THE FULL yahoo news ARTICLE
Bookmark and Share

2020 GRAMMY Awards' finale performance will be a family reunion for Lang Lang / yahoo entertainment

The acclaimed Chinese concert pianist will join friends like violinist Joshua Bell and dancer Misty Copeland for the night's final performance to honor Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich. Watch the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, hosted by Alicia Keys and broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT on CBS and CBS All Access. WATCH THE yahoo entertainment VIDEO p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}
Bookmark and Share

The Bay Bridged connects with Ben Cooper (aka Radical Face) on 'Ghost' reinterpretation in advance of 'August Hall' show

Thirteen years after the release of Radical Face's Ghost in 2007, Ben Cooper (aka Radical Face) has re-released the album with completely new interpretations of the original tracks. Songs like "Welcome Home, Son" (which has been the Nikon theme song for eight years) have bolstered a cult following and have been given a fresh and gentle new breath of life. We connected with Cooper on his choice to reinterpret the album. He told The Bay Bridged, "The impetus was pretty practical. The rights to that album were returning to me and I could finally reprint the record on my own label. I play a lot of songs from Ghost live all the time, but it had been years since I'd heard the original recordings. Upon review, I was struck by how much they'd changed from touring them for years. Some were like night and day. So I thought a fun update would be to record all those evolutions, and show what live performance does to songs I had never even intended on playing live in the first place." Radical Face is playing February 1 at August Hall as part of his North American tour. SEE THE Bay Bridged PAGE 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}
Bookmark and Share

Top 10 Albums for January

Colin Stetson :

Color Out of Space

Milan Records today releases COLOR OUT OF SPACE (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) with music by GRAMMY® Award-winning saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer COLIN STETSON.  Available everywhere now, the soundtrack features music written by Stetson for the Nicolas Cage-starring, sci-fi thriller, which debuts in theaters today.  A highly-coveted collaborator to Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, LCD Soundsystem, The National and more, Stetson brings with him an expansive body of work that includes both genre-defying, avant-jazz records as well as critically-acclaimed original scores for major film, television and game titles (Ari Aster's Hereditary, Red Dead Redemption 2). 
Lorne Balfe :

Bad Boys for Life OMPS

Sony Music today releases BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SCORE) with music by GRAMMY Award-winning, EMMY- and BAFTA-nominated composer LORNE BALFE (Ad Astra, His Dark Materials, Gemini Man).  Available everywhere now, the album features score music written by Balfe for the third and final installment in Sony Pictures' Bad Boys trilogy starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, in theaters everywhere now.  Of the score, composer LORNE BALFE says, "Of the score, composer LORNE BALFE says, "Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are the future of film making. Working with them and Jerry Bruckheimer have been an amazing experience. Having been a fan of the original Bad Boys, it was an honor to be part of the franchise." 
Ted Poor :

You Already Know

You Already Know, the New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer Ted Poor-"a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," per the New York Times-isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so. But if you're at all familiar with the Seattle-based Poor's explorative career-or the wide-ranging work of his principal collaborators here, the deeply influential guitarist-producer Blake Mills and the saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo-this should come as no surprise.
Robert Thies - Damjan Krajacic :

Blue Landscapes III Frontiers

Mindfulness music leader Real Music presents Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers, the pioneering third album in the award-winning Blue Landscapes series from internationally renowned pianist Robert Thies and flutist Damjan Krajacic. The instrumental album ushers in the new new age by generously offering 15 improvisational tracks; Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers is scheduled for worldwide physical and digital release and available everywhere music is sold on January 24, 2020; visit myndstream or Blue Landscapes for more information and music.  ALL PRESS SECURED BY BETH ANN HILTON@THE B COMPANY 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}
Thomas Newman :

1917 OMPS

Sony Music announces the December 20 release of 1917 (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) with music by GRAMMY®, EMMY® and BAFTA® Award-winning composer THOMAS NEWMAN. Most recently nominated for "Best Original Score" by the Golden Globe Awards, the album features music from Oscar®-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes' visceral new epic which was released by Universal Pictures and Amblin Partners on Wednesday, December 25, 2019.  The score is the latest in a long series of collaborations between Thomas Newman and director Sam Mendes. The two artists previously worked together on titles including Skyfall, Spectre, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, American Beauty and more.  Also making its debut today alongside album preorder is the soundtrack's lead offering "The Night Window."
Dustin O'Halloran :


Deutsche Grammophon is proud to announce the signing of Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning composer Dustin O'Halloran and his release of a new EP, Sundoor. The EP features a single 20-minute piece entitled "196 Hz," adapted from a 2017 site-specific composition for cross-disciplinary American artist Slater Bradley's Sundoor at World's End – an installation at the Church of Mary Magdalene in Venice during the city's Biennale.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason :

Elgar w/London Symphony Orchestra - Rattle

Award-winning cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason returns with Elgar, a new album of works anchored around Elgar's Cello Concerto – arguably the best-known work in the classical canon written for solo cello, which saw the 100th anniversary of its first performance this month. Recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), and conducted by one of Sheku's lifelong heroes, Sir Simon Rattle, the work is a statement of intent from the 20-year-old musician whose rise to being "the world's new favourite cellist" (The Times) has taken nothing away from his ambition to continue evolving and learning as an artist. Sheku explains, "It's how I feel about the music that really motivates me to work and discover and develop my own ideas – that's what keeps me going."
Joey Alexander :


Today, Joey Alexander, the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer and bandleader announces the release of his major label debut album, WARNA (Verve Records).  Slated for release January 31, the album is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new and original music by an experienced and confident musician. You can pre-order the album here.   Translating as "color" from Alexander's native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics' and readers' poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. Joining Alexander on the new album are bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Kendrick Scott, who comprise the core piano trio. On select tracks, Venezuelan-born percussion Luisito Quintero, and flautist Anne Drummond, join on to stunning aural effect. 
Andrea Bocelli :

Si Forever

Following over 1 million album sales of his No. 1 album ‘Si' worldwide, Golden Globe-winning operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli is back with an extended special edition, to be released on Decca/Sugar on 8th November, with brand new tracks recorded with some of the best and most exciting names in pop, plus a few of Andrea's famous friends! The first of these newly-recorded duets is released on 3rd October, and features BRIT Award-winning, Grammy-nominated British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. Speaking about their collaboration on the powerfully emotional track, ‘Return to Love', Andrea said, "Ellie Goulding is the perfect singer for this track. She has a beautiful voice which I loved right away." Ellie was similarly delighted to be approached to record with Andrea: "It was a huge honour that the legendary Andrea Bocelli wanted me to feature on this song with him. I have always had an affinity with classical music and I'm a sucker for a love song. It was fun and enlightening to sing in Italian - a real joy to record."
Alexandre Desplat :

Little Women OMPS

Sony Music announces the release of LITTLE WOMEN (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) with music by Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and GRAMMY® Award-winning composer ALEXANDRE DESPLAT.  Available for preorder now, the album will be available in digital, CD and vinyl formats beginning Friday, December 13.  Recorded in New York City under the leadership of Desplat, who conducted a chamber orchestra to perform his original compositions, the score serves as a sonic companion to the film's coming-of-age narrative.  Making its debut alongside album preorder is the title track from Desplat's score – listen to "Little Women" now.  Directed by Greta Gerwig, Sony Pictures' Little Women will make its highly-anticipated theatrical debut on Wednesday, December 25.