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.
READ THE FULL York Daily Record ARTICLE
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.
Ron Howard's serious look at Luciano Pavarotti / The Spokesman-Review
Posted: July 3, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Director Ron Howard's recent interest in documentary filmmaking has created three productions that share a similar musical baseline but are very different in design and texture. "Made In America," a backstage look at Jay-Z's music festival, had a raw chaotic nature to it, while "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week" took a more intimate approach in looking at the Fab Four.
Howard's third and latest offering, "Pavarotti," takes a more traditional approach to storytelling. In a three-act design, Howard shows the life and legend of Luciano Pavarotti, the man dubbed "The People's Tenor." Through a standard mix of interviews and archival footage, Howard tells a warm and inviting story of the singer from his humble beginnings to the almost godlike status he achieved in the opera world. The thread that holds the project together is how genius can be both a blessing and a curse.
To coincide with the theatrical release of the highly anticipated Ron Howard-directed documentary "Pavarotti," Decca Recordsreleases the original soundtrack, Pavarotti: Music From The Motion Picture. from Decca/UMG.
Pavarotti: Music from the Motion Picture draws from Pavarotti's rich recorded catalog and follows the arc of the film. It features selections from operas such as "Turandot," "La bohème," "Aida," "Tosca" and more as well as Italian songs and collaborations with friends such as Plácido Domingo, José Carreras ("‘O sole mio"), U2, Brian Eno, Passengers ("Miss Sarajevo"), and others. Touchingly, the complete recording of Puccini's "Donna non vidi mai," which Pavarotti dedicated to Princess Diana, is included. In addition to a special unreleased song with Andrea Bocelli, the soundtrack also features Pavarotti's duet of "Ave Maria" with Bono, available for the first time commercially. The song, recorded live during the 2003 "Pavarotti & Friends for SOS Iraq" benefit concert in Modena, Italy, is available now for streaming and as an instant grat download with digital pre-order.
To coincide with the theatrical release of the highly anticipated Ron Howard-directed documentary "Pavarotti," Decca Recordsreleases the new 3-CD best of collection titled Pavarotti: The Greatest Hits from Decca/UMG.
The complementary releases both feature previously unreleased music and superstar duets with the likes of Bono, Elton John, James Brown, Lou Reed, and more.
Pavarotti's incredible repertoire can be explored in depth with the new three-disc/digital best of collection, Pavarotti: The Greatest Hits, which serves as a companion to the soundtrack and film. The anthology features 67 of the world-renowned tenor's most well-known recordings and collaborations and includes the best of his "Opera Arias," "Italian Songs & Sacred Arias" and"Great Duets." Fittingly opening with his iconic performance of "Nessun dorma," the "Opera Arias" disc spans the opera legend's entire career and includes beloved performances from "La bohéme," "Rigoletto," "Pagliacci," "Tosca," "Carmen" and"Madama Butterfly." More than 20 of Pavarotti's most powerful works including "O Sole Mio," "Caruso," "Volare," "O Holy Night," "Mama" and"Funiculì, funiculà" are collected together on "Italian Songs & Sacred Arias."
Pavarotti 50 Greatest Tracks commemorates Luciano Pavarotti's 50th anniversary with Decca Records, and an unforgettable legacy of recorded music from one of the greatest voices of our time. This definitive collection encompasses iconic Pavarotti selections, including ‘Nessun Dorma,'‘Caruso,' ‘La Donna E Mobile,'and ‘Granada,' to incredible duets with fellow superstars Frank Sinatra, Bono, Eric Clapton and Sting. Numerous milestones in the late-opera star's unprecedented career are captured here, including the first ever recording of Pavarotti's voice. The historic recording of the aria from La Bohème, ‘Che gelida manina' (‘Your tiny hand is frozen'), has been lying dormant in the archives for 50 years, only now to be unearthed by Pavarotti's widow, Nicoletta Mantovani Pavarotti, re-mastered and made commercially available for the first time. The 50 Greatest Tracks will be available October 22nd in the U.S. on Decca.
16 New 'ON' this week: 46 Total
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