In 1968, a 16-year-old jazz fan at Palo Alto High School in California decides to hold a concert in the school's auditorium to raise funds for its International Club-and convinces Thelonious Monk's manager that his client should be the headliner. (Not surprisingly, the student, Danny Scher, would soon become a major force in the live-music production world.) As concert day approaches, one of the school's janitors, an audio enthusiast, offers to tune the piano in exchange for recording the show, a deal that's quickly agreed to. On the afternoon of October 27, the Thelonious Monk Quartet gives its only known high-school performance. Afterward, the janitor (his name apparently lost to history, though researchers are no doubt still working on that) hands the young promoter a tape. It goes in a box, where it sits for the next 50 years. When its owner rediscovers it, he contacts Monk's son T.S., who-first tickled by the story, then impressed by the recording's quality-sanctions its release.
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UK singer and producer Labrinth just scored his first-ever Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics thanks to his Euphoria soundtrack standout, "All For Us." The song, which ended the emotional rollercoaster first season, was nominated alongside Pharrell and Chad Hugo's "Letter to My Godfather" from The Black Godfather, Thomas Mizer and Curtis Moore's "One Less Angel" from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' "The Way It Used to Be" from Watchmen. Reznor and Ross won the Emmy for the dramatically-titled Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special award.
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Some years ago, I was stopped at a traffic light and heard Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 1 on the radio. It dawned on me (after many times listening and playing it in orchestras on the violin) that Brahms channeled his predecessor, Ludwig van Beethoven.
The young Brahms cleverly passed this famous rhythmic tattoo among the various voices in the orchestra. Sometimes it's in your face. Sometimes it's subtle like this:
There are other nods to Beethoven in Brahms' First Symphony that have been well pointed out. For instance, the nature of the broad, stately theme in Brahms' finale has been compared to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."
The pressure of such high expectations terrified him. That's why Brahms took nearly two decades - from early doodles and sketches to final product - to complete that first symphony. Once he cleared that hurdle, the music flowed freely. He completed his other three symphonies each in less than a year.
The looming shadow of Beethoven was and is legendary; intimidating numerous composers who followed him. Besides Brahms, great symphonists like Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler felt his presence.
David Korevaar, a concert pianist and Distinguished Professor in the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder, said Beethoven had a similar effect on his contemporaries, including his teacher.
"Poor Haydn," Korevaar said.
Franz Josef Haydn realized his student's genius and changed his focus as a composer. Haydn pretty much stopped writing instrumental music and turned his attention largely to choral works instead.
"Beethoven by the late 1790s made such an impact that Haydn - who, after Mozart's death, briefly got to revel in being the greatest composer in Vienna - found himself again eclipsed," Korevaar said.
Two centuries later, Beethoven continues to intimidate.
"There's this kind of masterpiece complex where we say, 'Do you dare to play this music?' Well, why not?" Korevaar said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Korevaar challenged himself to record all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, mostly in his home living room The goal was to complete the cycle in 60 days. He did it in 41.
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In May, 2020, Anthony McGill launched a powerful musical protest video urging people to #TakeTwoKnees in demonstration against the death of George Floyd and historic racial injustice
Today, the Avery Fisher Artist Program of Lincoln Center, in New York City, announced American clarinetist Anthony McGill as the 2020 recipient of the prestigious US $100,000 Avery Fisher Prize, in recognition of outstanding achievement and excellence in music.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Anthony currently serves as the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic and holds teaching positions at The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, and Bard College Conservatory of Music.
His #TakeTwoKnees video went viral this May, and hundreds of artists and citizens responded to the initiative with their own videos using the hashtag.
"Thank you to the Avery Fisher Artist Program for this incredible honor. I never imagined as a young music student that one day I would be where I am today. None of it would have been possible without people truly believing in me. I'm grateful for this recognition of my life's work as I continue to advocate for the next generation of young musicians," Anthony said.
A virtual 2020 Avery Fisher Prize award ceremony will take place on Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 PM (EDT) and will be streamed live on The Violin Channel's Facebook.
Previous recipients include Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Pamela Frank, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Edgar Meyer, Midori, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Leila Josefowicz, and the Emerson and Kronos String Quartets.
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NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein about her new album, A Character of Quiet, which she recorded at home during the pandemic.
Life right now is a lot of things - unsettled, scary, quiet - rush-hour traffic mostly gone, the thrum of our daily routines suspended. For concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein, that has meant no touring, no concerts. Instead, she has recorded a new album at home during quarantine and chosen music that speaks to a sense of the world slowing down. It's called "A Character Of Quiet." And Simone Dinnerstein joins us now from New York.
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Bettye LaVette's big ears, wide-open mind and ability to get inside a song's lyric, melodic line and harmonic implications "LaVetticize" every song she interprets. Her career parallels the rise of soul music, and she's among a tiny handful of her contemporaries who continue to create vital recordings.
She was born Betty Jo Haskins on January 29, 1946, in Muskegon, Michigan. Bettye's family moved to Detroit when she was six years old. Her parents sold corn liquor and her living room was often visited by The Soul Stirrers, The Blind Boys of Mississippi, and many other traveling gospel groups of the day. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Bettye did not get her start in the church, but in that very same living room, where there was a jukebox, filled with the blues, country & western, and R&B records of the time. The "5" Royales, Dinah Washington, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Red Foley: these were her roots.
"My Man - He's a Loving Man," Bettye's 1962 debut single, hit #7 on the R&B charts and sent her on tour with fellow newcomer, Otis Redding. Moving to New York, she joined the Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford Review as a featured singer, recorded "Let Me Down Easy" and toured with James Brown. Bettye played (and tap-danced) the role of Sweet Georgia Brown in the Broadway musical, "Bubbling Brown Sugar" on tour for four years.
In recent years, Bettye's recording and performing career has only picked up speed. She has received the W.C. Handy Award for Comeback Blues Album of the Year, the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, Best Soul Blues Female Artist from The Blues Foundation, and three Grammy nominations. Her new Blackbirds,' lbum was released via Verve in August 2020.
Listen to Jon Floridis Montana Public Radio's Musician's Spotlight Broadcast: for for 9/15/20.
Pianist Igor Levit has released a very personal double album marked by a desire for encounter and togetherness. The program includes rarely played arrangements of Bach and Brahms by Ferruccio Busoni and Max Reger, as well as Palais de Mari – Morton Feldman's final work for piano. "Encounter" is the pianist's sixth disc released on the Sony Classical label and conveys the urgent desire for human togetherness – at a time when isolation is the order of the day.
For September 15 2020, Igor Levit - Encounter is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
In the fall of 1968, a sixteen-year old high school student named Danny Scher had a dream to invite legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and his all-star quartet to perform a concert at his local high school in Palo Alto, CA.
Violinist Daniel Hope spent his period of social distancing by performing chamber concerts online from his living room in Berlin with specially invited guests including Christoph Israel, Till Brönner, Matthias Goerne and more.
World-renowned singer-songwriter Melody Gardot announces her long-awaited new album along with the release of a highly anticipated single which sees her join forces with 17-time Grammy Award winning music icon Sting.
Rachel Barton Pine was inspired to record the set after performing a marathon concert of all of them in 2011 (three weeks after the birth of her first child!). It was hearing the cycle together that helped her see how each of the concertos are distinct. "I don't believe in doing marathon concerts for their own sake… in other words, the audience isn't there to just see if I can get through it – that's not the point. But whether I do the six Bach sonatas and partitas or the 24 Paganini caprices or whatever it is in a single evening, it's really about the musical journey, and hearing each of these great works in the context of its fellows gives you insights that you would have never heard if you just experienced them in isolation... If I play them each like 'nice Mozart' and do that five times, it's going to be a bit boring, like the same thing over and over again. So I needed to define for myself what makes number 3 unique, and different from number 4 and from number 5?" She says while the 5th is the one she would want to analyze and show respect to, the third is more of a friend. "There's something about number 3, it just has a personal feel, a friendliness to it. It's not up on a pedestal, but it's like your good friend, that you're hanging out with. It just puts a smile on my face."
Listen to the attached Interview with Rachel Barton Pine and KDFC: San Francisco - State Of the Arts host Jeffrey Freymann
Chart-topping, international violin soloist Rachel Barton Pine, joined by multi-faceted conductor Teddy Abrams and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, releases Dvořák and Khachaturian Violin Concertos, on AVIE on November 1. The album, featuring Dvořák's Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 53 and Khachaturian's Violin Concerto in D minor, highlights each composer's prominent use of his own traditional ethnic music.
Dvořák and Khachaturian Violin Concertos marks Pine's 39th recording and fifth album on AVIE records (AV 2375). Pine's previous four AVIE albums, Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner; Bel Canto Paganini: 24 Caprices and other works for solo violin; Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violinby Johann Sebastian Bach, and Elgar & Bruch Violin Concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton all debuted on the classical charts.
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine, Cedille Records' best-selling artist and longtime advocate for music by Black composers, performs a program of blues-influenced classical works for solo violin and violin and piano by Black composers of the 20th and 21st centuries on Blues Dialogues: Music by Black Composers, her newest Cedille Records album. Pianist Matthew Hagle, Pine's longtime recital partner, joins her on their third album together on Cedille and Pine's 21st for the Chicago-based label.
'Blues Dialogues' features several world-premiere recordings: Noel Da Costa's A Set of Dance Tunes for Solo Violin, Dolores White's expanded, four-movement version of her Blues Dialogues for solo violin, and Billy Childs's Incident on Larpenteur Avenue, a single-movement violin sonata exploring the events and impact of the 2016 killing of Philando Castile by a Minnesota police officer.
Billboard chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pine debuts Elgar & Bruch Violin Concertos, recorded with Maestro Andrew Litton and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The album marks her 36th recording and fourth album on Avie records (AV 2375). Pine's previous three Avie albums, Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner; Bel Canto Paganini: 24 Caprices and other works for solo violin; andTestament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach, all debuted at the top of the Billboard Classical charts (positions 3, 3, and 1, respectively).
Rachel Barton Pine has released - Bel Canto Paganini: 24 Caprices and other Works for Solo Violin. A musical tightrope that samples virtually all of the most challenging techniques possible on the violin, this, Pine's 35th album will mark her third release on Avie records and makes her the first American-born female violinist to record this repertoire. In tribute to Paganini's legendary cultivation of his devilish reputation, the album was released in stores in May, the same month as his death
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RACHEL BARTON PINE RELEASES TESTAMENT:
COMPLETE SONATAS AND PARTITAS FOR SOLO VIOLIN BY JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
ON AVIE RECORDS
Pine Is The Only American Gold Medalist of the J.S. Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, Germany
Album Release Coincides with Bach's March 21 Birthday
In celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach's March 21 birthday, Billboard chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pine releases her recording Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach.
The album – her second on Avie Records – is available for sale on April 1.
Johann Sebastian Bach's contributions to classical music are universally acknowledged and celebrated as among the most significant and profound. His contrapuntal writing continues to set the standard by which any musical composition is judged. Among the greatest examples of his mastery of counterpoint, the Six Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin are a cornerstone of every violinist's study and repertoire.
In connection with Mozart's birthday on January 27, Billboard chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pine debuts on AVIE records performing the five Mozart Violin Concertos and the Sinfonia Concertante K364 with Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. The two-album set will be released January 13 and also features the recording debut of violist Matthew Lipman.
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Billboard chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pine performs early Romantic concertos by Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann with Christoph-Mathias Mueller conducting Germany's Göttinger Symphonie Orchestera on the new album Mendelssohn & Schumann Violin Concertos (Cedille Records CDR 90000 144). Following critically praised and commercially successful recordings of the violin concertos of Brahms and Beethoven, the internationally acclaimed musician interprets two more major works of the violin literature.
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