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.
BEAUTIFUL tells the inspiring true story of Caole King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, ｳto becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than BEAUTIFUL music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.
In 1943, Decca Broadway released the first-ever cast album of all time. The musical was Rodgers and Hammerstein's groundbreaking Oklahoma!. Fast forward 76 years, the newly-relaunched Decca Broadway, part of Verve Label Group, announces the release of the new cast recording for the revival of Oklahoma!
The 2019 revival of Oklahoma! is making history as the first time the Rodgers and Hammerstein estate has allowed new arrangements of the original score. The New York Times said of these new versions, "The well-known melodies have been reimagined – by the brilliant orchestrator and arranger Daniel Kluger – with the vernacular throb and straightforwardness of country and western ballads." Daniel Fish's reimagined revival of Oklahoma! officially opened April 7 at Circle in the Square Theatre. The cast is led by Rebecca Naomi Jones as Laurey and Damon Daunno as Curly and the cast album will be produced by Dean Sharenow and Daniel Kluger.
In 1943, Decca Broadway released the first-ever cast album of all time. The musical was Rodgers and Hammerstein's groundbreaking Oklahoma!. Fast forward 76 years, the newly-relaunched Decca Broadway, part of Verve Label Group, announces the release of the new cast recording of the hit musical Tootsie.
The new comedy musical Tootsie, adapted from the 1982 film, began previews on Broadway March 29, following an acclaimed out-of-town tryout in Chicago last fall. Variety called Tony-winner David Yazbek's score "strikingly over-the-top: You know something's right when the music itself feels witty." Meanwhile, The Chicago Tribune commented, "The sound has a movie-score quality… many of his tempos are arrestingly up – so much so…that they keep amping the pleasures of the piece." Tootsie officially opens at the Marquis Theatre April 23. Tony nominee Santino Fontana leads the cast as Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime – as the star of a new Broadway musical.
TOOTSIE features an original score by Tony Award-winner DAVID YAZBEK (The Band's Visit, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), a book by ROBERT HORN (13; Dame Edna, Back with a Vengeance), choreography by Tony Award nominee DENIS JONES (Holiday Inn, Honeymoon in Vegas), and musical direction by ANDREA GRODY (The Band's Visit). TOOTSIE will be directed by eight-time Tony Award nominee and Olivier Award winner SCOTT ELLIS (She Loves Me, On the Twentieth Century).
Sony Masterworks Broadway announces today's release of RENT – ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK OF THE FOX TELEVISION EVENT, featuring music from the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical RENT, as performed by the star-studded cast of FOX's television event, the soundtrack is produced by Stephen Oremus, executive-produced by Marc Platt and co-produced by Derik Lee.
The soundtrack features performances by actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens (Maureen Johnson), singer/songwriter Jordan Fisher (Mark Cohen), recording artist Tinashe (Mimi Marquez), actress Kiersey Clemons (Joanne Jefferson), newcomer and singer/songwriter Brennin Hunt (Roger Davis), R&B/Pop superstar Mario (Benjamin Coffin III), performer Valentina (Angel Dumont Schunard) and Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Brandon Victor Dixon (Tom Collins). Additionally, Keala Settleperforms the iconic solo from "Seasons of Love."
THE PROM – ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING is available on from Sony Masterworks Broadway. Produced by Scott M. Riesett and Tony Award Nominee Matthew Sklar, with music by Sklar and lyrics by four-time Tony Award Nominee Chad Beguelin, the album is also available to stream and download everywhere now. The Prom cast celebrated the release with two CD signing events – at the annual BroadwayCon fan convention and at Theatre Circle.
The producers of Head Over Heels, the new musical comedy featuring the iconic songs of The Go-Go's – the most successful female rock band of all time, and Sony Masterworks Broadway today release The Original Broadway Cast Recording. Included in the 20-track cast album is a true bonus from The Go-Go's themselves: an exclusive new recording of one of the band's most popular songs, "This Town," which marks their first studio recording in more than 17 years since their album God Bless The Go-Go's (2000). The track, produced by Scott Sigman, was recorded exclusively for the Broadway collection by members Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine and Jane Wiedlin. The album is produced by Scott M. Riesett and Tom Kitt with co-producers Louise Gund and Christine Russell, engineered by Isaiah Abolin and Lawrence Manchester, and was recorded at the DiMenna Center in New York City on August 26-28.
The Original Cast Recording from the hit musical comedy Desperate Measures is now available digitallyfrom Masterworks Broadway, with the CD set for release August 10. With music by David Friedman (Listen to My Heart) and lyrics by Peter Kellogg (Anna Karenina), the album is produced by 7 time Grammy and Tony NomineeRobert Sher (Patti LuPone's Gypsy, Daniel Radcliffe's How To Succeed…) with liner notes by Peter Filichia. The album is Executive Produced by Mary Cossette (The Will Rogers Follies; Woody Sez; Carol Welsman'sWhat'Cha Got Cookin'?) and Willette Klausner (The Band's Visit; Smokey Joe's Café; Latin History For Morons). Described by the Huffington Post as "a good old-fashioned musical comedy… a happy surprise of a show filled with enjoyable songs," Desperate Measures is currently playing at New World Stages in New York City and tickets are on sale at: www.DesperateMeasuresMusical.com
The Original Cast Recording of SpongeBob SquarePants – The New Musical - album features a score of original songs unlike anything Broadway has ever heard and is produced by Scott Riesett and Tom Kitt, with executive producers Scott Farthing, Doug Cohn and Susan Vargo. A special two-LP vinyl version of the recording will be released November 3, in anticipation of the show's Broadway performances which begin November 6 at the Palace Theater in New York City.
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