He performed at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. Two years earlier, at the age of 17, he won the BBC's Young Musician Competition. And he's appeared on Britain's Got Talent with his six musical siblings. Yet, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who is just 20 years old and still studies at the Royal Academy of Music, is grounded in the music he loves. He's just released his second solo recording. It features Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor and other pieces that are close to his heart.
"What I'm always searching for is the most convincing and expressive way to play the music that I'm playing. There are lots of pieces of music that I really, really want to learn. I think meaningful playing is what I practice for."
READ & LISTEN TO MPR: New Classical Tracks:
One of the greatest losses to both avant-garde music and cinema in the past decade was the tragic death of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Known best for his score for Mandy and his work with Denis Villeneuve on films like Sicario and Arrival, Jóhannsson's work became quickly beloved by cinema-heads the world over, which made his passing at 48 even more bitter; he had a lot of life yet to live and a lot more work to do. This included a burgeoning directorial career of his own - a year before his passing, the composer premiered his first film, an adaptation of Olaf Stapleton's sci-fi classic Last and First Men (which influenced the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, C.S. Lewis, and Arthur C. Clarke, and which you should really check out given that it's available for free online), in a work-in-progress exhibition at the Manchester International Film Festival, which he scored live alongside a narration done by Tilda Swinton.
Well, a completed version of Last and First Men will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival next week, and it already has a trailer ready to go. Take a look at this and tell us that you aren't intrigued.
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British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor presents a new recording of two concerto favorites: Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on Decca Classics. Recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), the record marks Benjamin's fifth album on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
These works have been an active part of Grosvenor's repertoire since his early teens: "Chopin was the first composer to whom I felt a strong connection as a child. I have always been drawn to his music, and his piano concertos are among some of the finest in the repertoire." Of the new recording, which came to fruition following a successful performance of the Piano Concerto No.2 with Elim Chan and the RSNO in 2018, Benjamin notes: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Elim and the outstanding musicians of the RSNO." Benjamin appears this spring in the US performing the Piano Concerto No.1.
In conjunction with this new release, BG has made some time available TODAY!, February 29 to speak with classical radio in the US. Watch for our tweets throughout the day
It's a well-known predicament - the idea of ferrying someone to your mind space. When sitarist Anoushka Shankar takes us there as she translates loss, separation and pain in her personal life in Love Letters, she is accompanied by German-Turkish singer-songwriter Alev Lenz's voice. Through a string theory that Shankar builds with her sitar in Bright Eyes - a heaving piece from Love Letters - Lenz's bare voice fits like a glove. It's as if it was made to be sung along with the sitar. She modulates her voice, goes up and down the scales effortlessly and finds minor yet majestic inflections that make the song a very tightly-knit merger (fusion is a wretched word, as most serious musicians believe). On Friday, at Delhi's Siri Fort auditorium, when she sat behind a piano and sang, the now very famous piece, live, along with Shankar, among other accompanying artistes, she built on the sense of catharsis that the two found while creating Love Letters.
"It was really natural," she says. "We were just two friends making songs that we felt were important and things we wanted to communicate as women. It was creatively the most satisfying process. We didn't have the usual pressure that people do while making an album. Since both of us were dealing with heartbreak around the same time, it became a common process," says Lenz.
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27-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor is considered to be one of the greatest pianists of his generation, or any other generation, for that matter. Ever since emerging in his teens as a prodigy mature beyond his years, Grosvenor continues to evolve artistically, as he builds a legacy of recordings that often achieve reference status, such as his Chopin Scherzos and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, and a new release encompassing both Chopin Concertos.
This week, Grosvenor will be the featured guest on Episode 243 of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, hosted by The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence, composer/pianist Jed Distler. "Benjamin was an absolute delight to interview," says Distler. "He's warm, affable, unassuming, yet completely comfortable with his high place in the pianistic firmament, and passionate about a wide range of music. Long after our official conversation ended, we kept on talking shop and sharing repertoire ideas. No wonder all of my pianist friends adore Benjamin, personally and artistically."
Grosvenor's new recording of two concerto favorites: Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on Decca Classics, was recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The album marks Benjamin's fifth on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
Tune in to Between the Keys this Tuesday February 18th at 10:00 PM with special guest Benjamin Grosvenor, including musical selections by Ravel, Mendelssohn, Bach, Chopin and Brett Dean, only here on The Classical Network and WWFM.org New Jersey.
Ted Poor, who the NY Times wrote; "a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," isn't your typical jazz drummer, and either is his New Deal/Impulse! debut recording 'You Already Know.' If you're at all familiar with the Seattle-based Poor's explorative career-or the wide-ranging work of his principal collaborators here, the deeply influential guitarist-producer Blake Mills and the saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo-this should come as no surprise.
Poor's album release show is set for the Columbia City Theatre on March 7,8
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Robert Plant, Karen Dalton, Elton John, Stephen Malkmus, Maria McKee, Shabaka Hutchings and Iggy & Bowie – plus our CD of the month's best music – all feature in the new Uncut, dated April 2020 and available to buy in UK shops from February 20. Inside the issue, you'll find: SHABAKA HUTCHINGS: The cosmic torchbearer of the London jazz scene, lynchpin of Sons Of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming and Shabaka And The Ancestors, invites Uncut round to talk "ecstatic improv", radical reinvention and esoteric philosophies. On March 13, Shabaka & The Ancestors will make their Impulse! debut with the band's sophomore album 'We Are Sent Here By History.'
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Milan Records today releases THE NEW POPE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK FROM THE SKY – HBO – CANAL+ SERIES produced by FREMANTLE'S THE APARTMENT and WILDSIDE, co-produced with HAUT ET COURT TV and THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO) with music by LELE MARCHITELLI.
Referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele," Jake Shimabukuro is a true virtuoso, and exhibits his talents once again with the release of ‘Trio', available February 14th through Music Theories Recordings.
You Already Know, the New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer Ted Poor-"a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," per the New York Times-isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so.
Eldar Djangirov Is On: HUFFPOST Radar with new 'Breakthrough' CD. The NYC based Pianist actually does a Bo Jackson here simultaneously releasing Bach/Brahms/Prokofiev, working both the jazz and classical side of the street. READ THE FULL ARTICLE.
Few artists could record two albums over the course of one week in different musical genres, with disparate personnel, and at separate studios. Yet New York City-based pianist Eldar Djangirov has done just that, and proven himself musically ambidextrous as evidenced by two remarkable, self-produced recordings for his debut on the maverick, multi-Grammy® nominated Motéma Music this April and May.
Djangirov's Bach/Brahms/Prokofiev marks the pianist's second solo release, and his debut album in the classical genre. It expands, with fervor and finesse, upon the much-lauded classical pieces interspersed on Eldar's 2011 solo piano debut Three Stories. Chronological, it captures Bach's 1720s playfulness on "Partita #2 in C minor, BWV 826" and Brahms' 1870s harmony on "Eight Piano Pieces, Op. 76." Eldar, a native of the former Soviet Union, further showcases his roots through Prokofiev's "Sonata #7 in Bb major, Op. 83" from the 1940s.
7 NEW 100 Total Stations/Shows
SYND: PRI/Classical 24, Bloomberg, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Miami, Baltimore, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Columbus OH Online: Taintradio, WGOE, RadioIO
During his momentus week at the Blue Note, Eldar had the pleasure of recording this CD with magnificent musicians. The positive energy from a live audience inspired the band to push the boundaries of the music to new heights as the week progressed. During the sessions, Chris Botti conveyed the charm and the delicacy of his tone poems, and Roy Hargrove brought the fire and raised the temperature in the club.
5 New "ON" 137 Total "Stations/Shows"
SYND: PRI: Jazz After Hours Direct: XM, Sirius, WorldSpace Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Seattle(ADI), Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Houston, Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinatti, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Louisville, New Orleans, Sacramento, Tucson, Orlando, Tampa, Madison WI, Raliegh NC, Omaha NE, Las Vegas, Nashville, Memphis, Columbus OH
Since signing with SONY MASTERWORKS at the age of 17, the young pianist Eldar has worked tirelessly on the road and in the studio to deepen his exploration of the traditions of jazz-bebop, post-bop and beyond. With the release of Three Stories, his first solo recording on MASTERWORKS Jazz, Eldar pays homage to his classical roots by combining his musical passions, jazz and classical. 'The title has a double meaning,' he explains. 'First, it is the name of a three-movement composition which consists of three musical 'narratives,' each telling a distinct story. Second, the album consists of my interpretations and arrangements of predominantly three musical facets: standards, originals, and classical.
11 New 'ON' this week: 232 Total
Synd: NPR/Weekend Edition Sunday, PRI/Jazz After Hours, Voice Of America, Sixty Second CD
Direct: SiriusXM/Real Jazz Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Houston, Cleveland, Baltimore, Denver, San Diego, Detroit, Portland, New Orleans, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Memphis, Austin, Tucson, Albuquerque, Salt Lake, Honolulu, Canada
Online: Taintradio, RadioIO, The Jazz Intersection, WGOE, GreenArrow, Jazz Excursion, Live 365, Pure Jazz Radio, Aggie Radio, MP3, ECAV, Jazz & Blues Report
Billboard calls Eldar 'astonishing,' and by breaking new creative ground on his third album: re-imagination, Eldar displays bold originality. DJ Logic, guests, and the super group includes: Mike Moreno, drummer Terreon Gully, Ali Jackson Jr., and bassists Earl Travis, and Carlos Henriquez.
11 New "ON" this week: 167 "Total"
TV: CBS Saturday Early Show, Jimmy Kimmel, The Weather Channel SYND: NPR:Morning Edition, Jazz with Bob Parlocha, PRI:Jazz After Hours Direct: XM: Beyond Jazz, Sirius:Disorder & Planet Jazz, Music Choice:Jazz Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Minneapolis, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, San Diego, Austin, Kansas City, Portland, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Louisville, Columbus OH, Raleigh NC, San Antonio, Sacramento, Columbus OH, Tucson, Buffalo, Madison WI
Sony Masterworks is pleased to announce the release of Virtue, a new recording from jazz keyboard virtuoso Eldar. His fourth album on Sony Masterworks, Virtue affirms his position at the forefront of contemporary jazz and is a fitting follow-up to his 2008 Grammy-nominated album, re-imagination. Partnered by bassist Armando Gola and Ludwig Afonso, Virtue features mostly original compositions by Eldar and demonstrates the continued development of his writing. Eldar also welcomes guest appearances by trumpeter Nicholas Payton and saxophonists Joshua Redman and Felipe Lamoglia.
1 New ON this week / 185 Total
Synd: PRI/Jazz After Hours, WFMT/Jazz w Bob Parlocha, Sixty Second CD, Voice of America Direct: Music Choice, Sirius/XM: Real Jazz Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, San Diego, Portland, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Memphis, Albuquerque, Orlando, Jacksonville, Salt Lake, Louisville, Honolulu, Canada Online: Moja, RadioIO, Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, M3, Pure Jazz Radio, Jazz & Blues Report