Inspired by her own mixed-race heritage and career-long engagement with diverse musical traditions, pianist Lara Downes creates and curates a new digital recording venture, Rising Sun Music, that sheds a bright light on the music and stories of Black composers over the past 200 years. Featuring a wide range of leading instrumentalists and vocalists (including Ms. Downes) whose work defines the creative energy of this generation and the next, the series presents a new EP of music-each exploring a different theme -to be released the first Friday of every month starting February 5. Featured performers include Nicole Cabell; Regina Carter; Anat Cohen; Lara Downes; Randall Goosby; Stewart Goodyear; Ivalas Quartet and more.
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The Violin Channel recently caught up with Grammy Award-winning violist and pedagogue, Kim Kashkashian, on her concert series "Music for Food" - a musician led initiative for local hunger relief. The "Music for Food" events are donation–based fundraising concerts, where the presenters and artists pledge to give all proceeds and fees to local food banks and pantries. The initiative was inspired by fellow violist, Carol Rodland's, Rochester–based food drive concerts entitled "If Music be the Food." Now celebrating its 11th season, "Music for Food" has provided over one million meals to cities around the U.S. and the world. We sat down with Kim to discuss this project, its beginning, and what she sees in its future.
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Violins of Hope is an artistic and educational project composed of instruments that were owned by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust. Violins in the collection were played in the concentration camps and ghettos, providing a source of comfort for some and a means of survival for others. The project was founded by Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshalom, Israeli luthiers who collect these instruments, refurbish them to concert quality, and bring them to communities all over the world, so that their voices can be heard again. The Violins of Hope have traveled to Jerusalem, Sion, Madrid, Maastricht, Monaco, Rome, Berlin, London, Bucharest, Dachau, Dresden, and Auschwitz. In the United States, the project has been presented in Charlotte, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Washington, D.C, Cincinnati, Nashville, Birmingham, Knoxville, Phoenix, Louisville, Fort Wayne, and San Francisco.
Niv Ashkenazi: Violins of Hope is the first solo album to be recorded on one of these instruments. Niv Ashkenazi is the only violinist in the world to hold an instrument from the Violins of Hope collection on a long-term loan, and this album was conceived as a way to create a lasting record of the voice of that violin. Ashkenazi is joined on the album by his fellow Juilliard graduate, pianist Matthew Graybil, and the duo first worked together on the project at various ‘Violins of Hope' events in Sarasota Florida in 2017. The Weinstein family commented; "Niv is the only violinist we trust absolutely to bring out the sounds of long gone horrors, with an honest sound and much love for this music and our legacy."
The music on Niv Ashkenazi: Violins of Hope was chosen to reflect the life and experiences of the violin. Many of the composers featured were directly affected by the Holocaust. Robert Dauber composed his only surviving work, the Serenade, in 1942, while he was interned in Theresienstadt. He died in Dachau of typhoid in 1945 at the age of 26. Szymon Laks was a Polish composer whose successful career in Paris was cut short in 1941 when he was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. While in Auschwitz, Laks served as the concertmaster of the Birkenau Men's Camp Orchestra. Other composers, such as Paul Ben-Haim and Julius Chajes, fled Europe in the 1930s to escape the oppressive creative and political situation they faced. Also included is John Williams's iconic Theme from Schindler's List, written for Itzhak Perlman.
The album alsoincludes a commission from award-winning Israeli-American composer Sharon Farber, an adaptation of the final movement of her cello concerto Bestemming. Bestemming tells the true story of Holocaust survivor and Dutch Resistance hero Curt Lowens in his own words. The final movement of the concerto; ‘Triumph' was arranged for violin, piano for four hands, and narrator. Farber plays one of the piano parts on the recording, and actor Tony Campisi provided the narration.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, major Violins of Hope events taking place in Los Angeles in March and April 2020 have now been tentatively postponed until January and February 2021. Once rescheduled, these events will include a day honoring Violins of Hope at Los Angeles City Hall, educational events for thousands of students, an exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, as well as scores of concerts hosted and produced by numerous partner organizations throughout Southern California, including; The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, the Long Beach Symphony, and others. 2020 Violins of Hope events still planned are slated for cities in Virginia and New Jersey. Additionally, the program will also be presented as a residency in Sarasota this November.
Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi has captivated audiences with his heartfelt musicianship and emotional performances. An accomplished soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School. Pianist Matthew Graybil has performed throughout the United States and Canada since making his orchestral debut at age 14. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, he is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
ARCHI Magazine reviewed the recording which appears as this story's cover image
York Daily Record - Mike Argento writes......Robin Spielberg was looking forward to a good 2020. The pianist and composer was working on her 19th record and had a tour scheduled with legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb, who penned such iconic songs as "By the Time I Get to Pheonix," "Galveston," "Wichita Lineman," "Up, Up and Away" and countless other timeless tunes.
She had toured with Webb before – her husband, producer and talent agent Larry Kosson represents Webb, among other artists – and it was always a great time. "I'm Jimmy's driver, shoe-shiner, everything," Spielberg said. "I always joke with him in the car, telling him, ‘You're an icon." And he would say, ‘Say that one more time and I'll slap you in the face.' So then, I'd have to say it over and over again."
She was also eager to get back on the road to promote her new record, "Love Story," released Feb. 7, her 19th record and first to be pressed on vinyl - bright red vinyl at that.
They played one date of the 20-city tour and were scheduled to play in her adopted home, York County, on March 28. Then the pandemic began. And everything changed.
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The Korea Times - Kwon Mee-yoo writes.....Pianist Cho Seong-jin will premiere an unheard piece by Mozart in Salzburg on the occasion of the classical composer's 265th birthday. Cho will play Mozart's "Allegro in D K626b/16" at the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation, Wednesday, which mark's the Austrian composer's birthday as well as the opening date of the first-ever virtual edition of Mozartwoche, or Mozart Week, festival. "It is a great honor to be invited to give the premiere of a formerly unknown work by Mozart in the city of Salzburg, where the composer was born," Cho wrote on his Twitter, Friday.
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From a deeply stirring Mass to hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces, composer LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood encompasses 25 years of vocal and choral works by the innovative American- Canadian composer. The composer-portrait album features new and compelling performances from The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY conducted by Julian Wachner, cellist Matt Haimovitz, soprano Devon Guthrie, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata, and Broadway actress Nancy Anderson.
In her penetrating album notes, The New York Times contributing writer Corinna Da Fonseca- Wollheim comments, "Luna Pearl Woolf trains a zoom lens on the collective experience, sometimes plunging us right into the midst of destruction and anarchy only to pull back, in one swoop, to a clear-eyed plane of compassion." These arresting works include her frequently-performed cello- choir concerto, Après moi, le deluge, which emerges from the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; and the dramatic, low-voiced To the Fire, with its prophetic, Old Testament text. In One to One to One, "three female singers reflect and refract the male gaze in an uproar of vocal virtuosity" (Da Fonseca-Wollheim); while Missa in Fines Orbis Terrae journeys to the ends of the earth in search of revelation, mercy, peace.
Released by Pentatone/Oxingale Series, LPW discusses 'Fire and Flood' with Pennsylvania's WVIA Public Media host Erika Funke for 'Arts Scene.' LISTEN
Multi Grammy & Emmy nominated recording artist, TV star and activist Jon Batiste announces a new single "I Need You" from his forthcoming ‘black pop' album WE ARE. The album is set for worldwide release on March 19 (Verve Records). On "I Need You" Batiste showcases his vocal range, accompanied by his once-in-a-generation musicianship. Produced and written in collaboration with songwriter Autumn Rowe and producer Kizzo, the song is communal and deceptively sophisticated. It fuses the sound of early 20th century black social music, with modern pop production and a hint of hip-hop storytelling. He expertly alternates between belting high notes in full voice, to singing harmony with himself on the choruses, to delivering the verses in a ‘farm rap' style. Batiste then dives into two killer instrumental breaks on both piano and saxophone - all in less than 3 minutes. Says Batiste, "This song is a vibe cleanse. After 2020, this is like a warm hug," says Batiste. "Let's bring the vibes back!"
Watch Batiste Lindy Hop his way through new single on the attached video. About the video, boingboing's GARETH BRANWYN writes.... "Jon Batiste everybody." One of the upsides of COVID-19 isolation has been getting to know Stephen Colbert and his musical director, Jon Batiste, a lot better. During the Trump Virus shit-show, Jon has been a little nightly dose of heartfelt music and unwavering positivity. In this video, the single to his forthcoming record, We Are, a group of Lindy Hoppers in a gallery photograph come to life and dance with him and another female patron. Sadly, upon seeing this, my first thought was: Where are their masks?
SEE THE boingboing PAGE & WATCH THE VIDEO
An ensemble that attracts rave reviews and sell-out crowds at prestigious venues everywhere from Vienna to New York, the sensational SIGNUM saxophone quartet are now set to present their first Deutsche Grammophon album.
Lang Lang set for Queensland & Sydney Symphony / The Australian
Posted: May 20, 2016 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Lang Lang's energy is a formidable thing. Classical music's $US20 million man is speaking to Review just before midnight, fresh from a three-hour concert recital in Frankfurt's Alte Oper, but despite the late hour and marathon performance, he is all spark and snap. Tired? Not the Chinese keyboard virtuoso, who played gamely through a food poisoning attack in Munich the week before. "If I am hungry, angry, tired, I still play the same. Once on stage, I forget everything and somehow just go into the music world - even last week, when I ate something wrong and my stomach was all over rumbling, ha ha!" You can't help but laugh in return. Lang Lang, 33, comes across like an agreeable child (fittingly his name is derived from the Chinese character for "brightness and sunshine"). He speaks in long, singsong sentences, his guttural native Shenyang accent mixed with a strain of east coast American, crossing from critics, commerce and cultural barriers to how the piano is like a drug addiction: "After three days off, I feel like something is wrong with the world."
"This is a very important dream-come-true moment", says Lang Lang. The superstar pianist, who waited 20 years before playing Johann Sebastian Bach's monumental composition in public, has finally achieved his goal of recording the Goldberg Variations. The result of two decades of deep study and personal reflection, his vision of Bach's Aria and 30 Variations is out now onDeutsche Grammophon.
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.
The ineffable magic of New York City fires the imagination of superstar pianist Lang Lang on his new album New York Rhapsody (Sony Classical) available September 16, 2016. He is joined by a wide array of special guests including Andra Day, Herbie Hancock, Jason Isbell, Jeffrey Wright, Kandace Springs, Lindsey Stirling, Lisa Fischer, Madeleine Peyroux andSean Jones.From the haunting reveries of Gershwin and Copland to the in-the-moment intensity of songs made famous by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, Lou Reed and Don Henley, New York Rhapsody rediscovers the dazzle and the soul of America's most symbolic city. Following the release of the album, a star-studded concert special Live From Lincoln Center will air on PBS on November 25, 2016 as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. The video for "Empire State of Mind" with Lang Lang and singer Andra Day premiered on Town & Country.
14 NEW 122 TOTAL
SYND: C24, CBC Direct: AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis, New Orleans, Detroit, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, Cincinnati, Tampa, Salt Lake, Madison WI, Hartford CT, Knoxville TN, Honolulu INTER: Canada, Italy, China Online: The Nerdist, Metro, Yahoo, Town & Country, AP, The Classical Arts, Comicbook, Gettyimages, The Jewish Voice, Wall Street Journal, Wireimage, Daily Herald, Music Aficionado, Green Arrow Radio, MSN Music Radio, BroadwayWorld.com, China Buzz, io9gizmodo, dnainfo, slashfilm.com, We The Unicorns, JazzTimes, billboard, Dirty Dog, WSJ, Jazz Weekly, The Jazz Intersection
Ever since his first visit to the magical space that is the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, Lang Lang had dreamed of performing there. When his dream came to fruition in the form of a special recital on June 22, 2015 he chose Chopin's four momentous Scherzi and Tchaikovsky's rare but masterly cycle The Seasons to present to his audience. A studio recording of the repertoire was made in the Salle Liebermann at the Opéra Bastille and the live concert was filmed in 4K in the Hall of Mirrors for release on DVD and Blu-ray.
Sony Classical is delighted to announce Lang Lang's first albumentirely devoted to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozartavailable September 30. World renowned pianist, Lang Lang, will be joined by the legendary Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Harnoncourt is famous for his ability to match deep knowledge of 17th and 18th century musical language with an interpretative mind of outstanding originality.
46 NEW 117 Total
SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Cincinnatti, Austin, St. Louis, Portland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Louisville, Honolulu, Columbus OH, Madison WI, Canada Online: Taintradio, Classical Candor, ClassicallyHip
The world's best-selling pianist, Lang Lang, joins one of the most renowned orchestras, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle for Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto and Bartók's Second Piano Concerto.
'I've wanted to record with Maestro Rattle and his orchestra for a long time. The Berliner Philharmoniker is extraordinary to work with – the winds and brass are from a different planet and Sir Simon creates a depth of tone with the orchestra, particularly when playing quietly, that's unique. Some of my happiest musical experiences have taken place with this orchestra. We performed the Prokofiev 3 in 2007 in Salzburg and I gave four performances of the Bartók 2 earlier this year with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Both works have such life and such rhythmic vitality that to my ears they sound absolutely contemporary. I believe these concertos have a musical relevance that's absolutely right for our time," - Lang Lang
14 New 'ON' this week 115 Total
SYND: Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM / Symphony Hall, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, New Orleans, Detroit, Pitsburgh, Cincinnati, Memphis, Indianapolis, Albuquerque, Mamphis, San Antonio, Louisville Online: Taintradio, RadioIO, WGOE
Sony Classical is proud to announce its debut release "Live In Vienna" from one of the most thrilling and inspiring musicians of our time, the world-renowned pianist Lang Lang. Recorded and filmed live in Vienna's legendary Musikverein concert hall, the Sony Classical debut will be available on August 24 in multiple formats. This release represents Lang Lang's second live recorded recital to date after the best-selling "Live at Carnegie Hall" in 2004, which marked his international breakthrough as a recording artist. He has performed the new album's program at the world's major concert venues and will continue to tour with it throughout 2011.
12 New 'ON' this week: 116 Total
Synd: PRI/Classical 24, NPR/TTBOOK, WFMT Net/The Romantic Hours, BETTERTV Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Denver, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Porland, Baltimore, Detroit, Portland, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, Salt Lake, Honolulu, Austin, Berkeley CA, Indianapolis, Louisville, Columbus OH Online: RadioIO