More about her is in the New York Times, which you can read here.
Martha Prewitt sang on the operatic stage for 15 years. After the death of her father, she gave up opera to take over the family farm.
More about her is in the New York Times, which you can read here.
Apple has purchased classical streaming service Primephonic, and will be shutting it down in just over a week. Subscribers to Primephonce will be pushed to Apple Music, which is planning to add classical streaming.
More details can be found here.
German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott has just released a new disk, "Echoes of Life", on which she frames the 24 Preludes of Chopin with more contemporary works, including two written for her.
Of the album she said: “Echoes Of Life is a personal reflection on the thoughts and moments that influence and change our lives. It also portrays the journey and transformation I took to become the person and artist I see myself as today. In interpreting music from composers who, in their own time, challenged the system and redefined music, I see it as my role as a classical musician to carry this spirit forward by not insisting on reproducing bygone traditions and limitations.”
Ott was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in early 2019, after beginning to experience some health issues in late 2018. She shared that news via social media.
An article describing her illness and how she shared it can be found here.
Earlier this week, the Baltimore Symphony fired its principal flutist, Emily Skala, reportedly over her social media posts. She had been with the orchestra for 33 years.
The Baltimore Sun has the entire story here.
On Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 1pm, the Boston-based Neave Trio will perform on two concerts presented as part of Bard Music Festival’s 12-concert series, Nadia Boulanger and Her World. The concerts will be performed for a live audience at the Fisher Center’s LUMA Theater at Bard College (Manor Ave.) and livestreamed online.
The Bard Music Festival returns for its 31st season with an exploration of the life and work of Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979), the pioneering Parisian pedagogue, composer, conductor, pianist, organist, and indomitable personality who shaped more than a generation of American musicians. Through a series of themed concert programs, lectures, and panel discussions, Nadia Boulanger and Her World pays tribute to one of the most important female figures in the history of classical music.
On Program Two, “Contemporaries and Colleagues,” August 7 at 1pm, Neave Trio will perform Ravel’s Piano Trio on a concert which traces Nadia Boulanger’s early musical relationships. The program couples songs she wrote in her teens with chamber works by then-preeminent Debussy, her composition teacher Fauré, and renowned classmates George Enescu and Ravel. Ravel composed his only piano trio after nearly six years of sketching and planning. But following the beginning of World War I in 1914, Ravel was motivated to quickly complete the work before enlisting in the French army. In a letter to Igor Stravinsky, he wrote, “The idea that I should be leaving at once made me get through five months’ work in five weeks! My Trio is finished.” Complete program and ticket information: https://fishercenter.bard.edu/events/boulanger-p2/
On August 8 at 1pm, Program Four, “The Epitome of Chic: Paris Between the Wars,” offers a snapshot of post-World War I era through vocal and chamber works by both Boulanger sisters and a host of their fellow Parisians. Neave Trio will perform Tailleferre’s Piano Trio. Tailleferre was the sole woman composer of Les Six. She composed her melodically captivating and boldly rhythmic trio between 1916-17, but did not publish the work until after she revisited it 60 years later around 1978.
For more details on performances and tickets, click here.
Katarzyna Musial is a quite talented Polish-Canadian pianist, having won multiple competitions and issuing a commercially released disk entitled "My Spanish Heart". She is also founder of and Artistic Director of the Stella Musica Festival which promotes women in music, and she performs around the world.
But during the pandemic, well, let's just say that musicians left to their own devices can do things that are a little different. Katarzyna produced a series of videos entitled "Pianist in Quarantine" in which she both plays and dances.
One of the episodes can be found here.
Make your own judgments.
The Amherst Early Music Festival will be held July 17-25, but this year will be a hybrid festival. Concerts will be available online only, but there will be in-person classes in four different cities as well as online classes.
For details on the festival, events, and tickets, click here.
This almost got past us without our notice, but Jeanne Lamon, longtime Music Director of Tafelmusik passsed away on June 20 of cancer. She was 71.
A tribute can be found on the Tafelmusik web site here.
The Chicago Symphony today announced Hilary Hahn as their artist-in-residence, beginning September 1.
Her appointment will last two years, and she'll be showing up in Chicago for multiple appearances during each season.
The official announcement and a video of Hilary discussing her appointment can be found here.
OPERA America is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Discovery Grants from the Opera Grants for Women Composers program. These composers will receive a total of $100,000 to support development activities of seven new theatrical works for the trained voice and instrumental ensemble.
Opera Grants for Women Composers promote the development of new works by women and raise the visibility of women writing operas. The grants are made possible through the generosity of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
This year’s recipients are:
• Gelsey Bell for mɔːnɪŋ
• Christina Campanella for The Visitation
• Asako Hirabayashi for Hebi-onna (Snake Woman)
• Angel Lam for Lost Shanghai
• Shuying Li for When the Purple Mountains Burn
• Nicole Paris and Katherine Skovira for ?this is my Body
• Bora Yoon for ‘아가씨’ Handmaiden [Mademoiselle]
In addition to the cash awards, OPERA America invites and provides travel support for all grant recipients to attend its annual Opera Conference and New Works Forum, enabling them to develop relationships with potential creative partners and producers. Grant recipients also receive mentorship on the artistic and business aspects of new work development.
Grantees were selected from an applicant pool of 57 composers by a panel of industry leaders consisting of Kelvin Chan, general director, Vital Opera; Mila Henry, artistic director, The American Opera Project; Laura Kaminsky, composer; Sarah Meyers, stage director; Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, librettist; Damien Sneed, composer and conductor; and Karim Sulayman, tenor.
“Until the launch of Opera Grants for Women Composers in 2013, fewer than five percent of the organization’s grants for repertoire development had been awarded to works by women composers,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Thanks to the generosity of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and initiatives like the Discovery Grants, we’ve been able to increase and diversify the voices, perspectives, and stories that comprise the American repertoire.” OPERA America is committed to increasing gender parity across the field through multiple initiatives. These include the Opera Grants for Women Composers program’s Discovery Grants and Commissioning Grants, Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors (generously supported by the Marineau Family Foundation), the Mentorship Program for Women Administrators, and the Women’s Opera Network. Since the inception of its granting programs, OPERA America has awarded over $20 million to the opera field to support the work of opera creators, companies, and administrators.
Lean more about OPERA America's grant programs here.
I'm a classical radio announcer, blogger, and musician.