Roberto Prosseda, the celebrated pianist known for his solo work and extensive playing with world-renowned orchestras, will bring his musical mastery to the Jan Popper Theater at the University of California, Los Angeles, tonight; Thursday, Feb. 21. Prosseda is a master interpreter of the catalog of Felix Mendelssohn, having recorded the composer's complete piano works over the course of 10 years for Decca. He will bring his expertise to UCLA with a special mini-recital that features Mendelssohn's Rondò Capriccioso, along with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Fantasia K 475 and Franz Schubert's 4 Impromptus op. 90.
After Prosseda plays these special selections, he will join with students from UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music and lead a master class that goes over the following compositions: Claude Debussy's Bergamasque Suite (two movements), Ludwig van Beethoven's Concerto #4 (first movement) and Johann Sebastian Bach's Chaconne. Prosseda has played with the likes of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic and Moscow State Philharmonic, among many others. He is also a go-to performer of the pedal piano, having offered more than 50 concerts playing the instrument.
Recently Hollywood Soapbox Q&A'd with Prosseda about his upcoming recital. Questions and answers have been slightly edited for style. READ IT
Taking an extraordinarily bold step just five years into her recording career, Lyn Stanley showcases her stylistic range and heartfelt intuition as a vocalist on this epic, warmly produced, playfully titled 17 track tribute to legendary jazz and pop singer Julie London. While emotionally resonant, Stanley's voice isn't anywhere near as husky and smoky as her muse's, but she makes each song he own - beautifully conveying a sense of hushed intimacy on ballads like "Cry Me A River" and "I've Got a Crush on You" and subtle swing on various tunes, including "Blue Moon" and the lively opener "Goody Goody."
READ THE FULL JWVIBE REVIEW
With her Warner Classics album; Songplay, Joyce DiDonato takes a new and creative angle on vocal music from the Baroque and Classical periods, as well as from the 20th century. The 14 tracks on Songplay succeed in being simultaneously familiar and unexpected. The album serves up music by Vivaldi in both its customary Baroque purity and swinging to the heady rhythm of a samba. It brings a tango sizzle to an aria by Vivaldi's contemporary Marcello, and it plays with the voice of Bach in George Shearing's ‘Lullaby of Birdland'. "Songplay, as a title, suggests exactly what this album is," says the pianist Craig Terry, who developed the concept for the album along with Joyce DiDonato.
In conjunction with the album release, JD has agreed to sit down with radio stations throughout the US, today - February 21. Please watch for our tweets throughout the day updating the proceedings.
For centuries, the world of classical music has been a proverbial boys club: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Herrmann, Bernstein, Williams. Now, it's the ladies' turn with "Holes in the Sky," a pioneering national tour that launches this Saturday night at Sixth & I in Chinatown presented by Washington Performing Arts. "This is all music by women," pianist Lara Downes told WTOP. "I'm doing a bunch of solo stuff with everything from Billie Holiday and Nina Simone and Jodi Mitchell to world premieres by composers who are living and working today. It's very genre-fluid, all over the musical map."
The project is spearheaded by Downes, whose "America Again" was named one of NPR's "10 Albums that Saved 2016" and whose follow-up "For Lenny" won the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award. The live show will also feature Grammy-winner Rhiannon Giddens, star of CMT's "Nashville" and recipient of the 2017 MacArthur "Genius Grant."
READ THE WTOP Q&A & LISTEN
Something happens when you get a chance to see Afro-Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez perform. First of all, his smile radiates. It's hard to imagine someone happier than he is to make music in front of people; and as we saw during his turn behind Bob Boilen's desk, he mesmerizes with this almost otherworldly talent on congas. His hands can be a blur because they move so quickly. To the untrained eye, it's hard to see exactly what he is doing to draw out the sounds he does from his drums. I even know a little about playing hand drums and it still doesn't make it easier to fathom his remarkable talent.
Pedrito Martinez has gathered around him musicians who are helping him make the music he hears in his head. As you'll hear, it's full of twists and turns and unexpected stops that resolve into grooves so ferocious it's hard to resist moving your entire body in appreciation.
This particular performance at the Tiny Desk is highlighted by a stunning, unaccompanied conga solo that dazzled both neophytes and long-time fans of Afro-Cuban music.
WATCH THE SEGMENT
Defining ‘contemporary classical' music is fraught with complications: should we include film music, for example, and what about music that uses amplification? From Adès to Zimmer, the canon is thrillingly diverse, and features various nooks and crannies within which exciting sounds emerge. It's a soundworld that listeners are just as likely to encounter via curated streaming platforms as in major venues, on the small and silver screen, and in clubs as well as concert halls.
Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons (2012) is a key example of this collision of classical-electro-ambient music, a strange juxtaposition of old and new, high versus so-called ‘low' art. It is akin to listening to a Cubist version of the Vivaldi classic, with fragmented melodies that are looped and overlaid, shared between laptop and strings. Richter is one of a new school of composers who combine multiple stylistic ideals.
Various names have been given to this particular branch of contemporary music: alternative classical, neo-classical, post-classical. In a digital world, life becomes easier if we can define a searchable genre. But when a style is in its infancy, this can be restrictive.
Critics of this soundworld claim that many of the pieces are unimaginative pastiche. Writing in The Wire, Philip Clark asked ‘how you would feel if visiting Tate Modern you found the Rothkos, Matisses and Picassos had been replaced by Athena poster art', in the context of Deutsche Grammophon's decision to include the likes of Richter, Karl Jenkins and Ludovico Einaudi alongside its starry back catalogue of 20th-century composers.
DG continues its commitment to this music with the recent re-release of Richter's 2004 The Blue Notebooks, with words adapted from Kafka's Blue Octavo Notebooks, and the upcoming release of Recomposed by Peter Gregson: Bach – The Cello Suites, which follows in Richter's footsteps.
Post-classical music attracts a broad audience, in part because the music is becoming so widely accessible. Composers such as Ólafur Arnalds, whose atmospheric solo albums sit alongside his screen writing (such as the soundtrack to TV series Broadchurch) are attracting an increasing listenership. The late Jóhann Jóhannsson found popularity with his soundtrack to The Theory of Everything and his disc Orphée (DG, 2016), as well as gaining fans for his more experimental music, including a suite for string orchestra and a retro IBM computer.
Another example is Dustin O'Halloran, who scored Amazon show Transparent, for which he won an Emmy Award. O'Halloran is also one half of duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen who performed at a BBC Prom co-curated with BBC Radio 6 Music in 2015 – another indication that boundaries are shifting.
While historically post-classical music was the preserve of smaller, independent labels – such as FatCat and Erased Tapes – the last few years has seen greater interest from larger-scale organisations. In the spring, Sony Classical announced that it had signed German pianist-composer Volker Bertelmann – known to fans under the moniker Hauschka – with a collection of solo piano works in the pipeline. Hauschka is part of a group of performers who are re-energising interest in prepared piano, adding modern-day extras – ping-pong balls and pegs – to change timbres and bringing newcomers to the world of John Cage.
In 2017, Decca Records launched Mercury KX, an imprint for post-classical music. ‘I felt that a new label, with no specific ties to any one genre, was the best way to achieve the best possible environment for these artists to thrive and to speak to their specific audience,' says Alex Buhr, Mercury KX founder.
The freedom encourages experimentation with technology in ways that artists may not have been able to with more traditional routes. Mercury KX artist Arnalds has just started working with his Stratus Pianos: two self-playing, semi-generative player pianos that are triggered by a central piano played by Arnalds himself, using custom-built software created by the composer and audio developer Halldór Eldjárn.
READ THE FULL BBC Music Magazine ARTICLE
Grammy Award-winning cellist and activist Yo-Yo Ma is planning a Day of Action in Flint on Feb. 28 - hosting a local exhibit of the arts, meeting with residents and hosting a conversation with community leaders. The event - called "Flint Voices: Culture, Community, and Resilience" - includes more than 30 Flint-based organizations and partners exploring the power of culture to create lasting change in a community. Ma will participate alongside community partners, local artists, and activists to discuss how to build a connected, thriving community.
A free, public celebration is being hosted by Ma from 4-6 p.m. at Berston Field House, featuring performances and presentations that show off Flint's cultural attributes, diversity, and story. Notable Flint artists, including musician Tunde Olaniran, artist Natasha Thomas-Jackson, and Kevin Collins' African Drum and Dance, are among the participants. "Culture matters because it helps us connect and understand one another," Ma said, "And it's only through connection and understanding that we can create strong, inclusive, and resilient communities and build a better future. I have watched with the nation as Flint has done just that." The visit is part of Ma's Bach Project, launched in 2018. The Bach project uses Johann Sebastian Bach's 300-year musical legacy as an example of how culture spans generations and connects people of all backgrounds. His Days of Action are public events and creative experiences that aim to mobilize communities to build new relationships and create change using culture as the impetus.
READ THE FULL Flint Side ARTICLE
The Comet Is Coming - Trust In The Life Force Of The Deep Mystery
In a world narrative dominated and controlled by powerful, wealthy individuals with vested interests in skewing the truth, what trust can be placed in our governments, our leaders and our sources of information to guide us to evolve as a species?
The great weapon is art.
I have dreamed about The French Suite Kit ever since I first heard Glenn Gould talk about the possibility of a "New Listener" who would take some measure of control over their participation in the listening process.
A selection of Coltrane's 1963 Impulse! recordings, derived from the original albums Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, Dear Old Stockholm, Newport ‘63 and Live at Birdland
In the brief, bright arc that is the career of John Coltrane, 1963 marks a point of transition between past jazz masterpieces and future work, which would transcend the boundaries of the music itself.
At the suggestion of bandoneonist, arranger, and composer Raúl Jaurena, I set out to create a body of work for bass and string quartet, in order to feature the bass not only as foundation and a melodic instrument, but as a driver of rhythm.
READ THE TRANSCRIPT - "It doesn't feel like it's dead," says composer John Lunn. "It took a while. We had almost six months of parties. There was a wrap party when they stopped filming. There was a post-production party, a party for the screening of the final episode. It's never felt like the end because there's always been another party about the end of it."
Evidently, that's how you say goodbye to one of the most popular PBS shows ever, Downton Abbey. Composer John Lunn has been immersed in the series for the past six years, and has compiled Downton Abbey, The Ultimate Collection as a musical souvenir. He says you'll recognize plenty of these melodies which symbolize your favorite characters, like Mary and Matthew Crawley. " 'Such Good Luck' was actually a massive theme that came in the beginning of series two, and it was when Mary and Matthew were on a train station and they'd been together at the end of series one and they'd kind of fallen out and were no longer together, and obviously there was a germ of something still there. She says goodbye to him and he's going off to the First World War, he's going off to fight. And the producers wanted me to give people an idea that not only was she saying goodbye to Matthew; I knew at the end of that series he was going to propose to her and she was going to accept. And so I had this sort of idea of trying to make a piece of music that would actually cover both. And there's a hint in the train station cue that actually some good might come out of this. And I was really sort of pleased with that tune. And consequently, the more I've been asked about the music, the more and more I've sort of realized that actually the music is not specifically about one character or about one emotion, but it's about the relationships between people."
Fans weren't the only ones upset when the Matthew Crawley character died at the end of season three. "Oh, he took some of my best tunes to the grave with him," Lunn mourns, "but there is a scene, I think it's the penultimate episode for you, where Mary does go back to his grave and she needs to ask him a question. I mean, realistically, she knows she's not going to get an answer, but it's a symbolic moment. And it was just ideal to bring back that tune. But I was very angry with him when he left; in fact, I've told him that as well, he made my life hell once he'd gone."
Your other favorite couple is probably Anna and Mr. Bates. You'll hear their relationship represented in a piece titled, "Damaged." "I was looking for an idea to signify Bates, and it was before [he and Anna] were even remotely together," Lunn says, "but there was a hint that there might be something, and she sort of took pity on him more than anything else. And he had a limp. And I don't know why - it's kind of slightly odd thinking back on it now - but I came up with this sort of piano tune sort of thing had a sort of stutter to it, a bit like a limp. And it was a bit slower than that, actually. And then I did a sort of viola tune to that which was sort of Anna in a kind of English sort of folk element to it. And the combination of those two things, that tune and that lilting, slightly stilted piano, repeated piano refrain, has actually been there since episode one, series one, and has gone all the way through to series six."
There are certainly elements of classic English composers in this music. Lunn cites Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughn Williams as major influences. You'll hear hints of pop music and jazz. While much of the music is carried over from each series, Lunn says there's also a new element in each episode. For series six, it's the New Gladiators. "I think that's one thing about the whole of series six, there's this idea that the world is changing and it's still almost 100 years ago but it's becoming more familiar to us now, whereas when the series started in 1912, you could say it was like a foreign country," Lunn says. "Whereas things like having a Formula One race, something we still have now … so there was a feeling that the music should kind of reflect that change as well. So in fact, I slightly changed the orchestration, had some trumpets, French horns. And actually the music is probably more like 1950s film score. It could be James Bond-ish if that makes any kind of sense."
John Lunn commented that the final series doesn't end the way he expected, so I asked him if he could elaborate on that? "I think I was expecting us to … leave the house. Or the house gets sold or … something happens to bring it to an end. And actually, it doesn't. But it's no less satisfying. In fact, in many ways, it's more satisfying the way it does end."
As you prepare to say goodbye to the colorful characters, the gorgeous costumes, and the vintage cars, John Lunn reminds me that this period PBS program has made a lasting impression. "The theme tune has just become so famous now that it just seems to be instantly recognized the world over. ITV, who televise it, who broadcast it here [in the U.K.], they've been going for 60 years and they've had a whole television series about the best theme tunes … and Downton was number six. And I just … I think that's probably quite an achievement. I never thought that would happen. Of all the things I've done … I think I've written something that people will remember me for years."
Valley of the Boom explores the dot-com era during Silicon Valley's unprecedented tech boom of the 1990s and subsequent bust. The six-part limited series tells the wildly true stories of the epic browser wars and the companies that shaped the internet. Starring Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris, John Karna, Dakota Shapiro, Oliver Cooper and John Murphy, Valley of the Boom makes its debut on National Geographic Sunday, January 13.
Created, directed and executive produced by Matthew Carnahan, Valley of the Boom is National Geographic's newest American docudrama.
Sony Music, Netflix, Participant Media, and Esperanto Filmoj present the Motion Picture Soundtrack of ROMA, which is available through all digital platforms, on the same day that the film premieres on Netflix.
Curated by the director Alfonso Cuarón and the soundtrack producers Lynn Fainchtein and Randall Poster, the soundtrack of ROMA brings us back to the sonic Mexico of the 1970s, when the famous XEW, a reference of Mexican radio, transmitted English pop and rock, while gradually introducing the new Mexican pop, through performers like José José, Juan Gabriel, and Rigo Tovar, musical icons that in the present, have remained as references of Mexican and Latin American music.
Drawing nearly 10 million viewers, NBC's highly anticipated special event "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" received rave reviews for its production, calling it "genuinely thrilling" (The New York Times), "truly transcendent" (Hollywood Reporter) and "the best live TV musical yet" (The Daily Beast). Today, Masterworks Broadway is excited to release the Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert – Original Soundtrack of the NBC Television Event, which features lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, via all digital service providers.
Madison Gate Records and Sony Classical proudly announce the release of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), a mix of 80s pop, classical compositions & songs by singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens, including two new songs written specifically for the film. The soundtrack to the new film by Luca Guadagnino will be released on CD on November 17. The film will be released in the U.S. on November 24.
SYND: The Score, Afropop Worldwide, The Romantic Hours Direct: MOOD, Stingray Markets include: New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Portland, St. Louis, Tucson, Barcelona MI(Statewide) INTER: Canada, UK, Spain Romania Online: Vogue, New York Times, The New Yorker, Music To Heal the Heart, Bustle, Jezebel, Out, Pitchfork, Jazz From Gallery 41, Vulture, theguardian, independent
A Bad Moms Christmas follows our three under-appreciated and over-burdened women as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas. And if creating a more perfect holiday for their families wasn't hard enough, they have to do all of that while hosting and entertaining their own mothers. By the end of the journey, our moms will redefine how to make the holidays special for all and discover a closer relationship with their mothers.
SYND: The Score Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: Wash DC, St. Louis, Portland, Claremont, Cupertino CA, Marquette, Astoria OR, Abilene TX, Fairbanks AK INTER: Canada, Romania Online: Music To Heal the Heart
Sony Classical proudly announces the release of THE BREADWINNER (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) with an original score by Academy Award®-winning composer Mychael Danna and Emmy nominated composer Jeff Danna. The soundtrack will available digitally and on CD November 17. The film will also be released in the U.S. on November 17th. The Breadwinner tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her, and ultimately risks her life to discover if he is still alive. Equal parts thrilling and enchanting, The Breadwinner is a timely and inspiring tale about the transcendent power of stories, and their potential to unite and heal us all.
27 TOTAL Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Louisville, Sacramento, Reno, Honolulu, CA(Statewide), Canada Online: CalmRadio, Musicas Imaginadas, Global Roots and Culture, Soundtrack Geek
Sony Music proudly announces the release of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) with an original score by Academy Award®-nominated composer Patrick Doyle, including a song performed by Michelle Pfeiffer with lyrics by Kenneth Branagh. What starts out as a lavish train ride through Europe quickly unfolds into one of the most stylish, suspenseful and thrilling mysteries ever told. From the novel by best-selling author Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells the tale of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, where everyone's a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
SYND: The Score Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD, Stingray Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland, Portland, Detroit, Albuquerque, San Antonio, El Paso, MI(Statewide), AL(Statewide), Canada Online: GURU