Here's a pretty good report from Ken Mills.
The handwriting has been on the wall in Houston since the new leadership came in, but now its all over: Houston's only classical radio outlet has been sold.
Here's a pretty good report from Ken Mills.
I know some people will disagree vehemently with me when I say that in the 20th century, what we refer to as "classical" music took what I'll refer to as a wrong turn for a while. While the second Viennese school may have been intellectually appealing to some, it's hard to find much else to love there.
Thankfully, beginning in the mid to latter part of the century (and now into the 21st century), classical music has come back to the center. Composers like Rick Sowash and Eric Ewazen have found the balance between modernity and traditionalism, and write music that is aurally appealing.
Pictured here is the newest disk featuring music by Eric Ewazen, which I received in the mail a few days ago. As a former trombonist, I suppose I'm a little partial to music for the instrument, but I find much of the music on this disk to be quite appealing regardless of the instrumentation. My favorite from the disk is the Trio for Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, and Piano. To my ear, this is a prime example of what contemporary music ought to be: tonal with melodic and rhythmic appeal.
I also received recently a new disk featuring music by Rick Sowash, and a composer heretofore unfamiliar to me, named Mark Louis Lehman. I became acquainted with Rick not long after I began my work as music director of a public station. There were a couple of disks of his music on the shelf, left behind by my predecessor. As I was unfamiliar with him, I almost disposed of the disks, but took a chance and listened to them, and was blown away. I hadn't realized that 20th century composers were writing music that was so accessible. I looked him up and e-mailed him, and have had a cordial relationship with him ever since.
The new disk is entitled: Notes from the Midwest--seven chamber works by two Cincinnatians. The works by Rick are typically pleasing, and the works by Lehman are also quite charming.
The Ewazen disk was issued on the Albany label. Rick Sowash has his own publishing company.
Newly discovered Handel cantata
Gramophone is reporting that a new Handel cantata has been discovered. It's actually an earlier version of the cantata HWV 171, and the manuscript was discovered in the collection held by harpsichordist and conductor Ton Koopman.
The cantata will premiere in Amsterdam on April 9. The entire report can be read here.
Joel Krosnick, cellist with the Juilliard Quartet, gave his last performance with the ensemble last night at Alice Tully Hall.
He'll be replaced by Astrid Schween, formerly a member of the Lark Quartet.
Death of conductor Louis Lane
Conductor Louis Lane passed away yesterday at the age of 90.
Lane served as apprentice to George Szell before becoming a resident conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra. He also served as conductor of the Akron Symphony and the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he served as a guest conductor for the Dallas and Atlanta Symphonies.
2016 Classical Grammy Winners
Best Engineered Album, Classical
WinnerAsk Your MamaLeslie Ann Jones, John Kilgore, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum & Justin Merrill, engineers; Patricia Sullivan, mastering engineer (George Manahan & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)
Label: Avie Records
Producer Of The Year, Classical
WinnerJudith Sherman• Ask Your Mama (George Manahan & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra) • Fields: Double Cluster; Space Sciences (Jan Kučera, Gloria Chuang & Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra) • Liaisons - Re-Imagining Sondheim From The Piano (Anthony de Mare) • Montage - Great Film Composers & The Piano (Gloria Cheng) • Multitude, Solitude (Momenta Quartet) • Of Color Braided All Desire - Music Of Eric Moe (Christine Brandes, Brentano String Quartet, Dominic Donato, Jessica Meyer, Karen Ouzounian, Manhattan String Quartet & Talujon) • Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Ursula Oppens) • Sirota: Parting The Veil - Works For Violin & Piano (David Friend, Hyeyung Julie Yoon, Laurie Carney & Soyeon Kate Lee) • Turina: Chamber Music For Strings & Piano (Lincoln Trio)
Best Orchestral Performance
WinnerShostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow - Symphony No. 10Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Best Opera Recording
WinnerRavel: L'Enfant Et Les Sortilèges; ShéhérazadeSeiji Ozawa, conductor; Isabel Leonard; Dominic Fyfe, producer (Saito Kinen Orchestra; SKF Matsumoto Chorus & SKF Matsumoto Children's Chorus)
Best Choral Performance
WinnerRachmaninoff: All-Night VigilCharles Bruffy, conductor (Paul Davidson, Frank Fleschner, Toby Vaughn Kidd, Bryan Pinkall, Julia Scozzafava, Bryan Taylor & Joseph Warner; Kansas City Chorale & Phoenix Chorale)
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
Label: Cedille Records
Best Classical Instrumental Solo
WinnerDutilleux: Violin Concerto, L'Arbre Des SongesAugustin Hadelich; Ludovic Morlot, conductor (Seattle Symphony)
Track from: Dutilleux: Métaboles; L'Arbre Des Songes; Symphony No. 2, 'Le Double'
Label: Seattle Symphony Media
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album
WinnerJoyce & Tony - Live From Wigmore HallJoyce DiDonato; Antonio Pappano, accompanist
Best Classical Compendium
WinnerPaulus: Three Places Of Enlightenment; Veil Of Tears & Grand ConcertoGiancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer
Best Contemporary Classical Composition
WinnerPaulus: Prayers & RemembrancesStephen Paulus, composer (Eric Holtan, True Concord Voices & Orchestra)
Track from: Paulus: Far In The Heavens
Label: Reference Recordings
A lovely video from Philippe Quint
Here's a nice new video from violinist Philippe Quint, also featuring Christine Rocas of the Joffrey Ballet. It's entitled "Valse Triste".
You can link to the video by clicking here.
Soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan has been named the Ojai Festival Music Director for the 2019 season. She is known worldwide as a soprano of vital expressive force directed by exceptional technique, who is now bringing that same high energy and expertise to her varied activities as a conductor while continuing to work as a singer. This last fall she made her North American conducting debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, while singing at the same time, in a program of Nono, Haydn, Mozart, Ligeti, and Stravinsky.
In January 2016 she released the recording of Hans Abrahamsen's let me tell you, and performed the work with The Cleveland Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra in Cleveland, Boston, and New York's Carnegie Hall. Hannigan pressed for the Berlin Philharmonic to commission this Grawemeyer Award-winning piece after she was asked to sing at a surprise birthday party for her friend, writer and critic Paul Griffiths. let me tell you gives Ophelia the opportunity to retell her own story, using only the 481-word vocabulary given to her in Shakespeare‘s Hamlet. Read The New York Times review here and The Boston Globe profile here.
From a much applauded debut conducting Stravinsky’s Renard at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Hannigan has gone on to work with orchestras including the Gothenburg Symphony, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, and l’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. As a performer herself, she enjoys a warm rapport with orchestral players, and this communicates itself in her concerts, while her programming has music old and new striking sparks off each other. Her conducting debut at the Concertgebouw with Ludwig Orchestra won the Ovatie 2014 award for best classical concert of the year in the Netherlands.
CBSO names new conductor
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is delighted to announce that Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla has been appointed as its 12th Music Director, beginning September 2016 for an initial three-year period.
Gražinytė-Tyla made her debut with the CBSO in July 2015 and impressed the Orchestra so much that she returned last month to conduct a specially arranged concert featuring works by Debussy, Schumann and Sibelius. Following an extensive search process led by a committee made up of CBSO musicians, board members and management, and with strong support from Orchestra and audience alike, a unanimous decision was made by the board of trustees to invite Gražinytė-Tyla to be the CBSO’s next Music Director. She succeeds Andris Nelsons, who held the position from 2008-2015.
The CBSO is known for performing the widest range of orchestral and choral music, and Gražinytė-Tyla will continue this tradition in her role as Music Director. Her artistic plans with the CBSO will range widely from Mozart and Haydn to 20th century classics and works by living composers. Coming from the strong choral traditions of the Baltic states (her father is a choir conductor in Lithuania), and following her role in Salzburg, she will also lead opera projects in Birmingham and will work closely with Simon Halsey CBE, CBSO Chorus Director, on projects with the CBSO’s internationally renowned choruses. Full details of the CBSO’s 2016-17 concert season in Symphony Hall, Birmingham will be announced in April 2016.
Combining the dynamism of youth and a profundity beyond her years, conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla is a creative and technical force. At the age of 29, she has already enjoyed meaningful and lasting relationships with top orchestras all over the world. Notably, Gražinytė-Tyla was named Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in February 2016. She made her debut with the orchestra in July 2015 and returned in January 2016. In becoming the Music Director, Gražinytė-Tyla follows in the footsteps of Sir Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons.
Previous CBSO Chief Conductors and Music Directors:
Appleby Matthews (1920 – 1924), Sir Adrian Boult (1924 – 1930) (1959-1960), Leslie Heward (1930 – 1943), George Weldon (1944 – 1951), Rudolf Schwarz (1951 – 1957), Sir Andrzej Panufnik (1957 – 1959), Hugo Rignold (1960-1969), Louis Frémaux (1969 – 1978), Sir Simon Rattle (1980 – 1998), Sakari Oramo (1998 – 2008), Andris Nelsons (2008 – 2015)
I'm a classical radio announcer, blogger, and musician.