A local report can be found here.
Janice Thomson, oboist with the Greater Miami Symphonic Band, fell on the stairs of their concert hall just prior to a performance on Sunday night, and passed away on Monday.
A local report can be found here.
On October 31, the College of the Holy Cross hosted the world premiere performance of "Falling Out of Time," the newest piece from renowned Argentinean-born composer and Loyola Professor of Music Osvaldo Golijov.
Golijov's poignant work is based on David Grossman's book by the same name, about a man dealing with such profound grief after the death of his son that he sets out on a journey "out of time" to find him, or to find answers. The piece is scored for three voices, that of Amsterdam-based soprano Nora Fisher, Biella Da Costa, one of Venezuela's most acclaimed and versatile vocalists, and Wu Tong, the renowned sheng player and vocalist from Beijing, as well as electronics, string quintet, kemanche, percussion, pipa, sheng and trumpet.
One of the most important contemporary classical composers of our time, Golijov's works — known for blending influences from many musical traditions to reflect the multicultural modern world — include the widely acclaimed retelling of the "St. Mark Passion," the opera "Ainadamar," song cycles, chamber music and film scores. He is the recipient of two Grammy awards and the coveted MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship.
A member of the faculty at Holy Cross since 1991, Golijov, who has a strong commitment to both his students and Holy Cross' mission, was delighted to be able to premiere his newest work at the College. "It's very hard for me to call a place home, but Holy Cross feels like home," he said. "I have had pieces premiere all over, but to have this premiere at home is much more meaningful."
The 310-year old violin left on a train by violinist Stephen Morris has been found.
A man picked up the violin and got off the train with it four stops after Morris left the train, but returned it once he became aware of its owner.
More on the story in The Independent here.
Stephen Morris, violinist with the Royal Philharmonic, left a 1709 Teccher violin on a commuter train last Tuesday night. He was preparing to play in concerts along with Andrea Bocelli.
He borrowed his wife's violin to perform with Bocelli as well in other performances over the weekend. The lost violin has not yet been found.
Morris has played on a number of film scores.
The Daily Mail has the story here.
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2020, OPERA America will embark on a yearlong celebration of 50 years of opera in America. The organization will commemorate a half-century of opera’s progress with a variety of initiatives, including an Opera Hall of Fame, Oral History Project and series of national events. It will also rally members of the opera industry to participate in a national promotional campaign, #meetopera, to inspire curiosity in the art form.
On January 6, 2020, OPERA America will launch a nationally coordinated, locally implemented promotional campaign designed to shift the public perception of opera. Developed with cohorts of field members, the #meetopera campaign invites arts enthusiasts and other potential operagoers to see opera as the vibrant and progressive art form that it is today. It is about showcasing the breadth of opera, the diversity of the people who make it and enjoy it, and the many ways it can be experienced.
“This is a ‘yes, and’ campaign,” says Timothy O’Leary, general director of Washington National Opera and board chair of OPERA America. “Opera is grand and intimate. It takes place in historic opera houses and local bars. It is in Italian, French, German and English, Spanish and Mandarin. It offers a special night on the town and a casual evening with friends.”
Opera Hall of Fame
OPERA America will honor leaders in the opera field in an Opera Hall of Fame. Building on the legacy of the NEA Opera Honors, produced by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with OPERA America from 2008 to 2012, this new initiative will recognize nine living American artists, administrators or advocates in its first year. These individuals, and those added in subsequent years, will serve to inspire the next generation of industry leaders. The first round of nominations is now open through January 15, 2020, at operaamerica.org/HallofFame.
Oral History Project
The shared stories of opera in America will be captured in an Oral History Project. OPERA America will gather interviews with at least 50 industry veterans who have helped advance the art form and the industry over the last five decades. A partnership with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and supported by the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation, the project will make audio recordings and transcriptions available to the public via a new OPERA America website launching in 2020 and at the library at Lincoln Center.
Raymond Leppard, long-time conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony, passed away Tuesday in Indianapolis at the age of 92.
More on his life and legacy can be found here.
Marin Alsop makes history once again this Thursday, October 24. Already the first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America and Britain, now she adds Austria to the list, when she inaugurates her tenure as the first female Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. To open the ensemble’s landmark 50th anniversary season, she leads a program pairing works by Hindemith with Rapture by her late friend and colleague, Christopher Rouse, and the world premiere of a new commission from award-winning Russian-American composer Lera Auerbach. Held at the Vienna Konzerthaus, where it will be recorded for a subsequent radio broadcast, the Opening Night kicks off the two weeks of concerts, masterclasses, talks and workshops that launch Alsop’s first Vienna RSO season. Showcasing the work of female composers and conductors with related educational initiatives, the orchestra’s 2019-20 programming reflects its new Chief Conductor’s pioneering role in the campaign for gender equality in music.
Looking ahead to her new tenure, Alsop says: “Vienna is a musical city like no other and was central to the careers of two of my idols – Mahler and Bernstein, both of whose compositions I have conducted with this orchestra and look forward to performing again this season. I am excited to get started with the Vienna RSO during its anniversary season and to work with these great musicians on a wide range of concert repertoire, including world premieres, as well as on recordings, tours and educational initiatives. It’s particularly meaningful to me to have the chance to work with emergent female conductors and conduct music by three terrific female composers.”
About Pulitzer- and Grammy-winning composer Rouse and his untimely death late last month, the conductor adds: “Chris Rouse’s passing is an enormous loss, both as an artist and a dear friend. I was able to spend time with him in his last weeks, and he was irreverent and profound, as always! I’ve been in love with his music since the 1990s; it grabs our hearts at the most fundamental, human core.”
In the light of allegations of sexual misconduct, Placido Domingo has resigned from his position as general director of the Los Angeles Opera, a company which he helped found. This just days after pulling out of scheduled performances with the Metropolitan Opera.
A more detailed article can be found here.
(Photo and obit from ECM)
Georgian composer Giya Kancheli has died in Tblisi, aged 84. A highly original musical thinker, Kancheli often attributed his artistic independence to his early listening. It was a love of jazz, firstly, that brought him to the composition classes of the Tblisi Conservatoire with dreams of writing for big band after the manner of Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton. A performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring turned his world upside down, as he put it, as did exposure to the music of Bartók and Webern. “If everything had happened in logical sequence”, Kancheli once said, “my scale of values would have been different, and I would, correspondingly, have written different music.” Coming late to the full scope of contemporary composition, hard to hear in the Soviet Union of the 1950s, he looked to Shostakovich’s work for guidance: “His symphonies were almost my only models of contemporary art under the conditions of my information isolation.” Lasting friendships were gradually formed with other composers of his generation, composers with whom he felt a spiritual affinity, including Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt and Valentin Silvestrov. Kancheli’s music however is its own universe, often distinguished by extreme dynamic contrasts, from a whisper to a thunderous roar. At all volume levels a yearning, deeply melancholic quality resonates in its timbres.
In 1991 Kancheli moved to the West, first to Berlin and later to Antwerp, always remaining resolutely Georgian in spirit. Kancheli’s moving song cycle Exil, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski and released on ECM New Series in 1995 – with settings of verses of Paul Celan and Hans Sahl – was interpreted by some critics as an autobiographical work, a view Kancheli strove to dispel: “Nobody expelled me from anywhere. If I had left in Soviet times, when you couldn’t go back, it would have been an entirely different matter.” He travelled frequently to his homeland, where he was a revered figure, widely known for his writing for film and theatre as well as for his orchestral works.
Giya Kancheli’s music was first heard on ECM New Series in 1992 with Vom Winde beweint, performed by his long-term supporters violist Kim Kashkashian and Dennis Russell Davies, who was also the conductor on Trauerfarbenes Land, Caris Mere (including clarinettist Eduard Brunner), Abii ne viderem and Diplipito.
Mstislav Rostropovich who appeared together with conductor Jansug Kakhidze on Magnum Ignotum, said: ‘I love this composer for his independence. Olivier Messiaen revealed for me the limitlessness and endlessness of time, and the same is true for Kancheli.’
Gidon Kremer is one of the most loyal interpreters of Giya Kancheli’s music, first appearing on Lament, which was recorded in the composer’s homeland Georgia with the Tblisi Symphony Orchestra. On Chiaroscuro, Kancheli’s most recent ECM release, Kremer played together with Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Further musicians and friends who served Giya Kancheli’s wide musical oeuvre with their artistry are Thomas Demenga, Oleg Maisenberg, the Hilliard Ensemble, Dino Saluzzi and Jan Garbarek.
Noted soprano Jessye Norman passed away Monday of septic shock and multiple organ failure. She was 74.
The New York Times has a full report here.
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