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.
Max Richter's 'Voices' envisions a better world / NPR Q&A
Posted: August 1, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
When thinking about putting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to music on Voices, Composer Max Richter tried to capture the essence of "the world we haven't made yet."
Richter has scored soundtracks and had his music placed across film and television, including recent Hollywood movies such as Mary Queen of Scots, Hostiles and Ad Astra. But Richter's also a composer who's not afraid to take on political issues in his music. In his previous works, he's responded to the conflict in Kosovo, the Iraq War and the 2005 London terrorist attacks. On his latest album, Voices, he takes inspiration from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
NPR's Gemma Watters spoke to Max Richter about the echo between the post-World War II world and today, finding a narrator after watching If Beale Street Could Talk and the way the album fits into the present moment, even though he started work on it 10 years ago.
Over a decade after its inception, ground-breaking composer Max Richter announces the release of VOICES – a major new recording project inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first single from his uplifting new work, which he describes as "a place to think and reflect", is out today via Decca Records. It is the latest album from the innovative, billion-streaming artist behind landmark 2015 composition SLEEP, which continues to evolve five years on with the launch of a new app. Available to download now, the app enables listeners to reimagine the 8-hour Deutsche Grammophon recording in custom-made musical sessions to help with focus, meditation and sleep. At the heart of both VOICES and SLEEP is a profound sense of global community, born out of Richter's career-long view of music as activism and his desire to unite audiences worldwide.
Max Richter's score for the 2018 drama Never Look Away is released on DG. The latest from director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarch (Lives of Others), Never Look Away is inspired by the life of artist Gerhard Richter through the story of an art student in post-war East Germany. The film was selected as the German entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards and stars Tom Schiling, Sebastian Koch and Paula Beer.
Composer Max Richter has written a compelling and dramatic score for the upcoming historical drama, Mary Queen of Scots. Directed by Josie Rourke and starring Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, the movie explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart and her attempt to overthrow her cousin, Elizabeth I, Queen of England. The lavish orchestral score features a full orchestra and eclectic vocal pieces.
Max Richter wrote the score for White Boy Rick, the story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison. Directed by Yann Demange and starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the film arrives in theaters September 14.
DG releases a new, deluxe edition of Max Richter's The Blue Notebooks to celebrate its 15th anniversary with brand new artwork as well as new arrangements, remixes and a previously unreleased new track. Written in 2003, The Blue Notebooks was originally composed in protest to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and features readings by Tilda Swinton of selections from Kafka's The Blue Octavo Notebooks and Czesław Miłosz's Hymn of the Pearl and Unattainable Earth.
The latest film from director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), Hostiles stars Christian Bale as a legendary Army captain in 1892 who reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and his family through dangerous territory. The Hostiles soundtrack features music by composer Max Richter (The Leftovers, Sleep). Richter has received both Grammy and Emmy nominations for his work in film and television. Recent awards include The European Film Academy Award for Waltz with Bashir, the International Film Music Critics Award for The Leftovers, and a German Film Award and Australian Film Critics Award for Lore.
Following the success of SLEEP, Max Richter reveals his latest recording project – a new album entitled - Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works. It's drawn from his music to Wayne McGregor's award-winning Royal Ballet production Woolf Works – inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf – and will be released on Deutsche Grammophon on January 27, 2017. Woolf Works returns to the Royal Opera House in London, with performances beginning on January 21 and continuing on February 2,4,8,11,13 & 14. There will also be a worldwide cinema broadcast on February 8 with subsequent screenings.
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