New York Public Radio (NYPR), home of WNYC, Gothamist, WNYC Studios, WQXR, and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, announced today that Edward Yim has been named Chief Content Officer for WQXR, New York City's classical music station. His appointment will take effect on September 28th.
In this role, Yim will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategic vision that helps WQXR reach a broader, more inclusive audience, drives digital innovation, bolsters WQXR's role in New York City's arts and culture ecosystem, and increases WQXR's relevance and service to the city's communities. Collaborating with teams across NYPR, Yim will oversee all of WQXR's programming and operations, from live broadcasts, podcasts, and digital content, to strategic partnerships, events and community engagement. He will also be responsible for managing the station's operating budget, and fundraising across NYPR's diversified revenue base of members, donors and sponsors. Yim will report to NYPR President and CEO Goli Sheikholeslami.
Yim brings to WQXR over two decades of experience at several of the country's premier music institutions, including American Composers Orchestra (ACO), where he has served as President and CEO since 2017. There, he led the organization's strategic planning, staff and fundraising while working closely with the artistic leadership to create the organization's profile and activity. During his tenure, ACO pursued its mission to perform, promote, celebrate, and commission music by American composers -- with particular focus on women, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming artists, Black and Latinx artists, and immigrant artists -- and championed works that challenged the notion of a core repertoire. Prior to ACO, Yim held senior positions at several of the nation's most significant music institutions, including the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, IMG Artists, and The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.
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It is hard to imagine a more energentic ambassador for the classical guitar than Sharon Isbin. With more than 30 albums to her credit, Isbin has made waves in the music world not only by premiering important works for the instrument but by seeking out cross-genre collaborations with such musicians as Steve Vai, Thaigo de Mello, Joan Baez, and many others.
Now as the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzes live music everywhere, Ms. Isbin has released two albums highlighting the possibilities of collaboration across national boundaries and genres. On August 4th she discussed the recordings and her career with Peter Haney of WORT's Back Porch Serenade.
In "Affinity," Isbin revisits concert favorites and debuts new works written for her by noted contemporary composers from three continents. These include Chris Burbeck's jazz-influenced concerto "Affinity," the album's title track, which Isbin performed in Madison with the Madison Sympohony Orchestra in 2017. In a second release titled "Strings for Peace," Isbin makes her first foray into Indian classical music, playing compositions in the Hindustani tradition by the noted Sarod virtuoso Amjad Ali Khan, together with the composer and his sons, who are also masters of the instrument. This release follows a successful tour of India that Isbin undertook with Khan in 2019.
Together, the two releases call for cooperation across boundaries of nation and faith at a time of increasing world tension and division. Although Sharon Isbin is not currently touring live, she did participate in the 2020 Colorado Music Festival, and the virtual concert, recorded in her living room, is still available for free viewing (registration required). Isbin hopes that these two new releases and her virtual performances will provide comfort to music lovers as everyone continues to struggle with restrictions on concerts due to the ongoing public health crisis.
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The American composer John Finbury writes his music thinking of whole America, Brazil and all South American countries. His music is interpreted by singer Magos Herrera on four of the seven songs, Chano Dominguez on piano, John Patitucci on double bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. The production is by Emilio D. Miller. The music was recorded in two sessions in New York in 2019, before the virus changed everything. As always, for his part, the music is fascinating and the songs are a continuous change of South American rhythms coming from the various traditions of the continent. Everything is perfect in production, there is very little to complain about, the record is a perfect meeting between producer, composer and musicians. Salón Jardínhe is in a trio, with the pianist taking the applause for how he manages to interpret a bolero rhythm in such a sensual way, but to underline it is also the solo of John Patitucci who transforms his bulky instrument into a kind of guitar.
The lyrics are singer in Spanish and English with the sensual and sometimes dramatic voice of
Magos Herrera , as on All The Way To The End . Great album, a very high level production in the genre.
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No doubt, you've heard some new music in rotation lately on KXPR - music that seemingly stands a bit outside of what you are used to hearing on the classical station. There's no question that the standard European repertory that we've come to associate with classical music is important. The music is beautiful, powerful, and well, classic. But there's a whole world of amazing and unique classical music either rarely presented or being created right now across the globe. On KXPR, we want to bring you examples of the diverse face of classical music today. Among our few examples of the broad classical music reach we're spinning, from Manhattan (New York OR Kansas) to Mumbai is....Amjad Ali Khan - "Love Avalanche" - Performed by Sharon Isbin.
Guitarist Sharon Isbin has been incredibly busy of late. One of her three albums released within the last year is called "String for Peace."
The record is Isbin's first foray into the intriguing sounds of Indian classical music. It's not always easy to separate classical music from its traditional European roots. But when I listen to the music of Amjad Ali Khan, I am reminded that there is so much more out there.
Isbin and Ali Khan have been working on making this collaboration happen for nearly a decade. Isbin's guitar is paired with traditional Indian instruments including the sarod, played by Amjad and sons, and the tabla. Ali Khan says of the collaboration, "The idea is to achieve a cross-fertilization at both the cellular and cosmic levels of two classical music traditions, which are often held to be radically different."
You can hear more about the recording on a recent episode of New Classical Tracks from Minnesota Public Radio.
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No doubt, you've heard some new music in rotation lately on KXPR - music that seemingly stands a bit outside of what you are used to hearing on the classical station. There's no question that the standard European repertory that we've come to associate with classical music is important. The music is beautiful, powerful, and well, classic. But there's a whole world of amazing and unique classical music either rarely presented or being created right now across the globe. On KXPR, we want to bring you examples of the diverse face of classical music today. Among our few examples of the broad classical music reach we're spinning, from Manhattan (New York OR Kansas) to Mumbai is....Jean Michel Blais - "Nostos" - Performed by La Pieta
Jean Michel Blais draws inspiration from a lot of composers, but is probably most akin to minimalists like Philip Glass and Steve Reich. "Nostos" was improvised initially on the piano in the composer's bedroom in Montreal and recorded on a Zoom microphone, a style of collaboration all too familiar to many of us these days.
On the album "Pulsations," the work is arranged for string orchestra and the cinematic qualities of the piece are very apparent. "Nostos" is chock-full of emotional, sweeping melodies and lush textures. The title in Greek refers to an epic journey by sea like the one found in Homer's "Odyssey," and the piece sounds as though it could easily be the accompaniment to a hero's return to his loved ones from battle.
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No doubt, you've heard some new music in rotation lately on KXPR - music that seemingly stands a bit outside of what you are used to hearing on the classical station. There's no question that the standard European repertory that we've come to associate with classical music is important. The music is beautiful, powerful, and well, classic. But there's a whole world of amazing and unique classical music either rarely presented or being created right now across the globe. On KXPR, we want to bring you examples of the diverse face of classical music today. Among our few examples of the broad classical music reach we're spinning, from Manhattan (New York OR Kansas) to Mumbai is....
Caroline Shaw - "And So" - Performed by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Anne Sophie von Otter. I just love how this song begins: A harpsichord and a voice, that's all. The way that something so simple can command your attention is a testament to how great a composer Caroline Shaw is.
She utilizes the rest of the orchestra very carefully as they pluck their way through the second verse, all the while momentum builds in the stunning mezzo-soprano voice of opera star Anne Sophie von Otter. Caroline Shaw is an expert at writing gorgeous melodies that weave through unique textures in the ensemble. "And So" is part of a larger song cycle called "Is A Rose" that juxtaposes 18th and 21st-century poetry and music.
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Award-winning violinist Ray Chen, described as "the ray of sunshine in the violin world" by The Times, has announced his new studio album Solace, professionally recorded and released from his home during the global lockdown, will be digitally released on 7 August 2020. Solace features six movements from J. S. Bach's Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin representing the personal and powerful feelings Ray Chen has experienced this year.
Violinist Ray Chen will digitally release his new Bach album ‘Solace', recorded from his home during lockdown, on 7 August 2020.
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The first-time teaming of Poland's dynamic Marcin Wasilewski Trio and big-toned US tenorist Joe Lovano brings forth special music of concentrated, deep feeling, in which lyricism and strength seem ideally balanced.
Sony Music Masterworks today releases Not Our First Goat Rodeo, the long-awaited follow-up album to the GRAMMY Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile.
Blues Hall of Famer Bettye LaVette has decided to release her stirring rendition of "Strange Fruit" ahead of schedule as it says as much about the history of American racism and the state of the country today.
Milan Records announces the Friday, August 21 release of I Am Woman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), an album of music from the biographical film surrounding Australian singer Helen Reddy as performed by Chelsea Cullen.
Praised by The Washington Post for playing with "an easy warmth, drawing the orchestra after him like a halo around a candle flame," cellist Kian Soltani follows his DG debut album, Home, with a Dvořák album centered on the famous cello concerto.
David Shifrin, clarinet • Carol Rosenberger, piano • Hila Plitmann, soprano Fred Sherry, cello • Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker, violin Dominic Cheli, piano • Sarah Beck, English horn
This album sings and dances, with Mark Abel's "colorful blend of styles that serve the emotional nature of each work to bracing and poignant effect" (Gramophone) and further clarifies why Abel is "one of the most interesting figures in American contemporary music" (Pizzicato).
Abel's idiom eludes easy pigeon-holing-its contours extend from art song to larger forms with orchestra to a full length chamber opera, Home Is a Harbor.
The program begins with Intuition's Dance, a combination of frolic and dreamy ruminations featuring the incomparable clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Carol Rosenberger. (Together again for the first time since their memorable albums for Delos, recorded in 1984!) Next comes the remarkable Hila Plitmann singing the powerfully moving Four Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva-the first-ever setting of Tsvetaeva's poetry in English translation. Plitmann is joined by Rosenberger and English hornist Sarah Beck.
The California-based composer Mark Abel, who "employs a colorful blend of styles that serve the emotional nature of each work to bracing and poignant effect" (Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone, August 2016) has released a new recording-his fourth in recent years-entitled Time and Distance on the Delos label. Drawing on a variegated lifetime of artistic, journalistic, political, and poetic endeavors, Mr. Abel has composed five art songs for voice and piano, three of which are based on his own texts, one on a poem by Kate Gale, and one composed to five poems by Joanne Regenhardt. Time and Distance features performances by Grammy Award-winning soprano Hila Plitman; mezzo-sorpano Janelle DeStefano, pianist Tali Tadmor, pianist Carol Rosenberger, Bruce Carver on percussion, and Mr. Abel at the organ.
Mark Abel's critically heralded previous release on Delos, the orchestral cycle The Dream Gallery, signaled a radical and culturally relevant new approach to the American art song. With TERRAIN OF THE HEART, Abel takes a fresh look at the idiom while working within the genre's more traditional framework: as a recital vehicle for solo voice and piano. Abel's lyrics leave a lasting impression. They burrow all the deeper into one's consciousness when amplified by his sophisticated musical fusion of classical and rock, aimed at broad-minded listeners – classically couth or not.
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American composer Mark Abel's song cycle, The Dream Gallery: Seven California Portraits, will be released by Delos Music digitally March 6 and on CD March 27, 2012. With The Dream Gallery, Abel has written both music and lyrics to a 70-minute work that explores a character-driven psychogeography of modern California, a state that he has been continually fascinated by and sometimes frustrated with over three decades of living there. A former rock musician-producer on the cutting-edge New York scene of the late '70s, Abel shifted careers to become a top journalist in San Francisco. He has devoted himself to composition in recent years, releasing two previous albums featuring a wide array of his "postmodern art songs." For The Dream Gallery, the composer sought out some of California's most talented, sympathetic singers and players to bring his latest creation to vibrant life.
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