Myung Whun Chung conducts Seoul Philharmonic's performance of Unsuk Chin's Su / The Guardian review

It's not often that a western-style concerto for a non-western instrument works as well as Su, written by the South Korean composer Unsuk Chinfor the Chinese sheng player Wu Wei. This was the highlight of the?Seoul Philharmonic's debut Prom, under Myung-Whun Chung. The sheng is a kind of ancient Chinese mouth-organ. Visually, it's a foot-high nest of upward-striving tubes. Imagine someone tore off a corner off the Sagrada Familia and stuck in a mouthpiece. It sounds like a harmonica but also, when played with Wu's virtuosity, like almost any other instrument too. It emerges seamlessly from the violins, traces long arcs of reedy breath like a clarinet, tremolos like a mandolin, or makes sudden, percussive mini-explosions. In Chin's concerto, which holds the serious and the playful in fabulous balance, we can barely tell where the sheng stops and the orchestra begins. The music hangs in the air, or dances in a frenzy, but all the time it seems the other instruments are tracing the aura the sheng leaves in its wake. READ THE FULL Guardian REVIEW HERE
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Billy Childs and Friends - Map To The Treasure: Laura Nyro Reimagined / Downbeat review

Laura Nyro was an intensely emotional powerhouse of a singer-songwriter who, over the course of a 30-year career, wrote huge hits for others. One measure of her impact is that, for two weeks in 1969, she had written three songs in Billboard's Top 10. Yet, as a performer, she never won a Grammy award or earned a Top 40 single before her untimely death in 1997 at the age of 49. A new album of her songs by Grammy-winning composer-pianist Billy Childs and all-star cast of singers and musicians seems likely to win Nyro new fans and reinvigorate her musical legacy. Much more than a tribute album, Map To The Treasure: Laura Nyro Reimagined (Sony Masterworks), which is set for release on Sept. 9, boldly reinterprets and recontextualizes her songs, drawing on jazz and chamber music, while retaining the joyous blend of Brill Building pop, soul, gospel and jazz that made Nyro such an original.
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Igor Levit - Bach Partitas is KDFC 'Download Of the Week'

Each week KDFC - San Francisco member can download a free mp3 from some of the biggest releases in the world of Classical music, Igor Levit has recorded the Partitas by this incommensurable Bach, BWV 825-830: it's the second release by the 27-year-old pianist, whom many regard as the greatest talent of his time. With his début album, featuring the late Beethoven sonatas, Levit already enjoyed great success and international critical acclaim: the album rose to no. 46 in Germany's Top 100 album charts. Download a free mp3 of Levit performing the overture from Bach's Partita #4 in D, BWV 828
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Nina Kotova - Bach Cello Suites / Crossradar review

We don't tend to cover a lot of classical music here at Crossradar – perhaps a bit of crossover stuff from time to time – so when something as beguilingly strong and confident as Nina Kotova's The Cello Suites(renditions of works by J S Bach), it's a real breath of fresh air. Opening with Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G, Kotova's delivery is immediately arresting and listenable, lingering at times allowing space to savour certain notes. Over the six tracks that make up the first suite, there is a paradoxical feeling of speed and being whisked away with the music, while simultaneously being given the time to pause and observe the skill being presented. READ THE FULL Crossradar REVIEW
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Crossover Media Artists set to perform at 2014 iTunes Festival / Classic FM

Crossover Media's classical artists are confirmed to play the iTunes Festival in Camden, London! Violinist Nicola Benedetti, trumpeter Alison Balsom and guitarist Miloš are set to play this year's iTunes Festival on September 28th. They'll be performing alongside a host of big-name pop acts including Pharrell Williams, David Guetta and Calvin Harris appearing at iconic venue The Roundhouse throughout September, for 30 nights of live music. Tickets for the concerts are not available to buy; anyone who wants to see the artists perform must enter a ticket draw online , with winners being announced 72 hours before the concerts. The performances will also be streamed live online, and available to watch on the iTunes store after the event.
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Maya Beiser - Uncovered / A Beast in a Jungle review

Led Zeppelin, Howlin' Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Gershwin by way of Janis Joplin, Nirvana, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and AC/DC are the composers and inspiration on cellist Maya Beiser‘s new album Uncovered. Go ahead and remove the word "crossover" from your mind when thinking about why the classically trained cellist decided to take this latest turn in her continuing exploration of the instrument's use beyond the confines of classical music's accepted boundaries, however malleable. Beiser's doing it because she can, and the results are convincing. It may not satisfy purists on either side of the spectrum, but these are legitimate interpretations with a distinct appeal that adhere to the melodies and dynamics of the originals while bowing to Beiser's sonic vision. READ THE FULL A Beast in a Jungle REVIEW.
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Max Vengerov brings his festival to Israel

"Israel is dear to my heart," says internationally acclaimed violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov in a phone interview from Switzerland. "Several members of my family live there, and we own a home in Migdal near Lake Kinneret. I like Israeli audiences a lot - they are well educated, attentive and responsive, with many Russian immigrants among them. It's a pity that I don't appear in Israel enough, but here finally is a chance!" Vengerov, who currently makes France his home, is referring to his new two-day festival, which will take place in Tel Aviv at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium on September 19 and 20.

In 2013 Vengerov inaugurated an annual festival in Tokyo, which featured concerts and master classes, with great success.

"So I asked myself, Why not in Israel?'" he says. READ THE FULL Jerusalem Post ARTICLE HERE
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Alisa Weilerstein plays Dvorak Cello Concerto with Czech Philharmonic / The Guardian review

Nobody does Proms encores like the Czech Phil. The Czech repertoire is shot through with dances whichever way you cut it, and Jiří Bělohlávek's orchestra rounded off this programme with a generous three of them: a Dvořák Slavonic Dance, a scurrying Skocna by Smetana, and Nedbal's Valse Triste, all delivered with effortless poise and style. In fact the whole of the second half had, in its way, been one long dance. "The apotheosis of the dance" is how Wagner famously described Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, and that is how the work sounded here under Bělohlávek's neat direction. The phrasing was fluid, the playing elegant; but nothing mattered so much as the rhythm, whether it came courtesy of the lower strings pushing their way onwards over the higher violins as the slow movement built up its juggernaut momentum, or the horns unleashing brief but jubilant fanfares in the final pages. If the orchestra hit its real stride only in the second half, there was some refined playing in the first half too. The overture to Janáček's bleak, prison-set opera From the House of the Dead brought intensity, especially from the two solo violins at the start, and apt sound effects from a percussion player shaking his chains, but the piece itself seemed to tick the Czech box rather than fit with the rest of the programme. It was a world away from the romantic breadth of Dvořák's Cello Concerto, especially with the solo part played with such focus and sweep as it was here, by Alisa Weilerstein. They all recently recorded the work together, and it showed – perhaps not so much at the beginning, when things took a little while to settle, but very much so in the spacious slow movement, beautifully drawn out by Weilerstein and with the orchestra in complete sympathy. Weilerstein's encore, a solo Bach Sarabande, was from the same mould – smooth, deliberate and perfectly controlled.-Erica Jeal
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Maya Beiser - Uncovered / The Wall Street Journal

The cellist Maya Beiser remembers when, as a teenager in Israel, she first heard Janis Joplin's voice. It more than moved her. "It just shook me to the core," said Ms. Beiser. "It was this revelation, that someone can be so raw and give it all." Living on a kibbutz at the time, she added: "Right then and there, I thought, 'This is how I want to be playing my cello.' " Today, Ms. Beiser, 49 years old, is not only playing the way Joplin sang but is actually playing the singer-songwriter's voice on her cello. On Tuesday, August 26th the label Innova Recordings releases the cellist's latest album, Uncovered, a collection of covers-although Ms. Beiser stresses they are artistic reimaginings, not imitations-of rock tunes by artists such as Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters and, of course, Joplin. READ THE FULL Wall Street Journal ARTICLE.
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Break of Reality - Ten / Daily Local News review

Imagine four classically trained musicians with a passion for rock and roll combined with the creative courage of improvisational jazz, and you've defined the group "Break of Reality." Featuring Patrick Laird (cello), Laura Metcalf (cello), Adrian Daurov (cello) and Ivan Trevino (drums and percussion), Break of Reality offers an eclectic array of captivating original and interpretational cover music. Celebrating a decade together, Break of Reality's latest album release, "Ten," (the follow-up to its "Covers" album in 2012) offers 10 vibrant, original compositions. Showcasing the band's diverse talents, the album is sure to indulge a variety of musical tastes. READ THE FULL Daily Local News Entertainment ARTICLE HERE
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Bruce Levingston combines artistry and altruism at the University of Mississippi

Playing music and changing lives are Bruce Levingston's passions. So when the renowned concert pianist was offered an opportunity to combine artistry and altruism at University of Mississippi, he immediately obliged. Levingston will work with students to develop their interests and opportunities, both in the arts and in general. "So much about life is learning to take a series of variables or situations and making something really positive and productive out of them, which often requires spontaneous and creative thinking," he said. "My hope is that whether or not students pursue a career in the arts, they will learn to be thoughtful, innovative and resourceful, so that they may build fulfilling and meaningful lives for themselves and for the communities in which they live and work." READ THE FULL Hotty Toddy ARTICLE HERE
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Joshua Bell plays Mostly Mozart Festival / New York Times review

Musical lines are like sentences, and their character can vary as much as sentences do. Soem players will produce a given passage plainly, like a quotation from John Grisham. But on Wednesday evening at Avery Fisher Hall. with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra under David Zinman, the star violinist Joshua Bell was like a Henry James in tone. READ THE FULL New York Times ARTICLE HERE
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Top 10 Albums for September

Bebel Gilberto :


World renowned, multi-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Bebel Gilberto will heat up the summer season with her trademark blend of warm Brazilian rhythms and ethereal vocals when her first new studio album in five years, Tudo, is released August 19 on Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks.    The intoxicating new 12-track collection celebrates Gilberto's penchant for sonically transporting listeners to Brazil, with bright, incandescent bossa nova-infused melodies, lyrics about love, and a lilting performance style that has earned her a devoted fanbase worldwide.   40 TOTAL SYND: NPR/First Listen Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Wash DC., Cleveland, Seattle, Miami, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, San Diego, Orlando, San Antonio, Memphis, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA Madison WI, Honolulu, Canada Online & Press: Wall Street Journal, thebestofbrazil, Republic of Jazz, Jazz From Gallery 41, MOJA, Audiophile Audition
Somi :

The Lagos Music Salon

Few contemporary albums bare as particular a narrative as The Lagos Music Salon. The new album by the superb chanteuse Somi, finds her breaking new ground with a hybrid style of music that organically integrates the essence of jazz and soul with the musical depth of her African heritage. "It's the first time ever that I put all other pursuits on hold to focus solely on the creative process," says Somi, who decided to move to Lagos, Nigeria from her New York home base without a game plan but with a passionate desire to find a new direction for her vision and voice.  21 NEW ON - 65 Total SYND: NPR/All Things Considered & Weekend Edition Sunday, PRI/Jazz After Hours, UnderCurrents  Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Minneapolis, San Diego, Houston, Seattle, Denver, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, Buffalo, Honolulu INTER: UK Press & Online: Huffington Post, PopMatters, Downbeat, Jazz From Gallery 41, AXS, Critical Jazz, Live 365, Step Tempest, Wondering Sound, iRock Jazz, Taintradio,, Okayafrica
Maya Beiser :


"Cello goddess" (The New Yorker) Maya Beiser releases her next album Uncovered on August 26, 2014 on the Innova label, followed by a US tour beginning September 2014 to cities including New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Portland and more. (Tour schedule included at the end of this release.) Uncovered is an album of startling classic rock tunes, re-imagined and re-contextualized, in stunningly moving performances by Maya Beiser. A cover tune can be an homage to the original, but these "uncovers," in new arrangements by Evan Ziporyn, attempt to do more – to evoke the unprecedented power of the music of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Howlin' Wolf, King Crimson, Muddy Waters, and AC/DC as musical masterpieces and as totems of our collective consciousness. 18 NEW   24 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Echoes & The World Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Albuquerque, Chatanooga TN< Madison WI Online & Press: GreenArrow, Taintradiio, Flavorwire, NYTimes, Blogcritics
Time for Three :


Time for Three – violinist Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violinist Nicolas (Nick) Kendall and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer – defy traditional genre classification happily and infectiously, with an uncommon mix of virtuosity, creativity and showmanship.  The American trio who thrive on originality will release their Universal Music Classics self-titled debut. The album showcases not only the trio's melody-rich string weave but also its unique flair for collaboration.  It was these compelling qualities that led Universal Music Classics to sign the trio as their first U.S. act to their newly branded label.   Time For Three features tracks co-produced by Rob Moose from Bon Iver and Grammy-winning producer David Lai, and memorable pairings with pop singer-songwriter Joshua Radin, jazz saxophone icon Branford Marsalis,  Decca's young cello star Alisa Weilerstein, ukulele ace Jake Shimabukuro, and folk-pop sister duo Lily & Madeleine. 28 NEW   139 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Echoes & Classical 24, FolkScene Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Austin, Denver, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Louisville, Columbus & Toledo OH Online & Press: the indie,, Classically Hip, wildmansteve, Taintradio, NYTimes
Dom Flemons :

Prospect Hill

Dom Flemons - founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and American Songster - will release his third solo album'Prospect Hill' on July 22 on Music Maker Relief Foundation. 'Prospect Hill' finds Flemons digging deeply into ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern folk music, string band music, jug band music, fife and drum music, and ballads idioms with showmanship and humor, reintrepreting the music to suite 21st century audiences.
Orbert Davis :

Sketches Of Spain

The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, celebrating its upcoming tenth anniversary year, releases its second full-length album, Sketches Of Spain [Revisited], an orchestral transformation of the 1960 iconic original by Miles Davis and Gil Evans. For this reinterpretation of the 1960 classic recording, CJP artistic director and composer Orbert Davis created two new compositions, incorporated traditional African and Middle Eastern instruments, and made numerous modifications in ensemble orchestration. The result is an intimate yet powerful performance that transports the listener to a different world. 15 NEW   82 TOTAL SYND: CBC Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Portland, New Orleans, Detroit, San Diego, Las Vegas, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, Long Is. NY, San Antonio, Montreal Madison WI, Honolulu INTER: Canada, Australia, South Africa Online & Press: GreenArrow, Taintradiio, Audiophile Audition, Classical Candor, Live 365, AXS
Benjamin Lapidus :

Ochosi Blues

World-renowned Cuban tres and guitar virtuoso Benjamin Lapidus and his new group Kari-B3 release his long awaited 7th Latin jazz recording and 8th as a bandleader. The album features heavyweights from the Latin and jazz worlds such as Pedrito Martínez, NEA Jazzmaster Cándido Camero, 7-time Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria, Jared Gold (organ), Frank Anderson (organ), saxophonist Paul Carlon, NYTimes bestselling author T.J. English, trumpet sensation Greg Glassman, vocalist Bobby Harden, organist Frank Anderson, reed legend Walter "Gene" Jefferson, vocalists Enid Lowe and Hiram Remón, Latin-Grammy nominee Charlie Sepúlveda (trumpet), trombonist and vocalist Elizabeth Frascoia, and Chicago R&B session guitar ace Aaron Weistrop. 15 NEW   72 Total  Markets include: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Austin, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Long Is. NY, Orlando, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu, Canada Online: Taintradio, Latin Jazz Corner, Green Arrow Radio, Live 365, Jazz From Gallery 41, The Jazzy Vegetarian, Paul Leslie, Latin Jazz Network
Various :

Red Hot + Bach

Red Hot + Bach charts a new pathway into the musical universe of Johann Sebastian Bach. Through the collaboration of performers, producers, DJs and artists from around the world and across the spectrum of contemporary music, different facets of Bach's centuries-old masterpieces are transformed with fresh energy and modern virtuosity that know no limits. The creators of Red Hot + Bach embrace Bach as a living artistic force, as real and as vital today as he was when he lived (1685-1750). They range across nineteen freely imagined tracks from mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (Nickel Creek, The Punch Brothers), singer/songwriters Gabriel Kahane and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), jazz legend Ron Carter, DJ/producer King Britt and the Icelandic band amiina, to imaginative classical artists such as the Kronos Quartet, composer Max Richter, violinist Daniel Hope and organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter.  13 NEW   64 TOTAL SYND: NPR/Hearts Of Space, PRI/Echoes & Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque, Pittsburgh, Austin, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Louisville, Berkeley CA Online & Press:  Taintradio, MOJA, Bass Musician Magazine
Gustavo Santaolalla :


Gustavo Santaolalla's solo instrumental album Ronroco was a game-changer for the visionary artist when it was released in 1998. Camino, released by Sony Music Masterworks is the long-awaited follow up to that album – a rich, beautifully crafted instrumental journey illuminating Santaolalla's unmistakable sound. Camino again features the Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning composer playing the ronroco, his signature 10-string Andean folk instrument similar to the charango, as well as other instruments that he has mastered including the guitar, guitarron, oud, cuatro, toba violin, and bouzouki. The album includes 12 new tracks, along with one of the featured tracks from Santaolalla's recent BAFTA Games-nominated soundtrack to Sony PlayStation's The Last of Us. 18 NEW - 42 Total SYND: PRI/The World Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Houston, St. Louis, Portland, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, Rochester NY Online: Taintradio, All Music,, Pop Matters
Gabriel Kahane :

The Ambassador

From Die Hard to the architecture of Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler, from Blade Runner to the fiction of James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler, and from fires, riots, and earthquakes to the lives of so many Americans who have looked to Southern California as a panacea, Gabriel Kahane's The Ambassador (Masterworks)draws its inspiration from a multitude of sources to tell intimate, human stories against the backdrop of Los Angeles architecture and popular culture.  42 TOTAL Markets include: New York, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Honolulu Online & Press: The NYTimes