Game of Tones:
Microtonal Guitarist John Schneider plays the 30th iteration of PITT's Beyond 2020 Microtonal Music Festival.
Despite its modernist ring, microtonal music is not a recent phenomenon. The term was first coined over a century ago, and the concept - music using altered pitches and tuning systems to play notes not found in the standard Western twelve-tone system - has been utilized as far back as history books go. But thanks to the internet, the ease of self-education through YouTube tutorials, and the advancement of musical technology, microtonal music has evolved into an (almost) mainstream field of study and expression.
Founder of MicroFest, John Schneider is a guitarist and arranger who also writes for harp and percussion. A professor of music at Los Angeles Pierce College, Schneider also hosts the KPFK Los Angeles weekly radio program "Global Village."
From Fri., Feb. 28 to Sun., March 1, a slate of local and international groups will explore microtonality from a variety of approaches through a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, light shows, video projections, and dance, as well as lectures from experts in the field. Performers include Del Sol String Quartet (San Francisco), MikroEnsemble (Finland), Brightwork Ensemble (Los Angeles), and Pittsburgh musicians Aaron Myers-Brooks, Nuiko Wadden, and Lindsey Goodman, and many more.
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Joey Alexander, the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer and bandleader recently unveiled 'Warna' (Verve Records). The album is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new and original music by an experienced and confident musician. Translating as "color" from Alexander's native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics' and readers' poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. Joining Alexander on the new album are Larry Grenadier and Kendrick Scott, who comprise the core piano trio. On several tracks, Venezuelan-born percussion Luisito Quintero, and flautist Anne Drummond, join the burgeoning jazz pianist.
Joey sits down with 91.3KXCI: Tucson to discuss the recording. Listen to the attached file
The two Piano Concertos by Frederic Chopin recorded here have been an integral part of British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor's repertoire ever since his early teens. And this level of familiarity definitely manifests itself in his playing. There's a constant fluid limpidity and clarity to his phrasing, and an overall forward momentum shaped by delicate contours. Nothing ever sounds forced or affected, but rather seemingly moves along naturally. The slow passages are contemplative whilst the fast passages quite simply dance off the keyboard. And when a certain degree of darkness creeps into the music, his playing takes on an appropriately different mien, and the same can be said when the music takes on a highly Polonaise style.
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Celebrating Harry Belafonte's 93rd birthday. A celebration of his life and work with special guests: Common, Maxwell, Sheila E., Talib Kweli, Aloe Blacc, Alice Smith, John Forté, Gael Faye, Resistance Revival Chorus, and many more special guests!
American singer, actor, producer, and activist; Harry Belafonte started as key figure in the folk music scene of the 1950s, especially known for popularizing the Caribbean folk songs known as calypsos. He was also involved in various social causes, notably the civil rights movement. Harry became a folk singer, learning songs at the Library of Congress's American folk song archives. He sang Caribbean folk songs as well, in nightclubs and theatres; his handsome appearance added to his appeal as a frequent performer on television variety programs. With hit recordings such as "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)" and "Jamaica Farewell," he initiated a fad for calypso music and became known as the King of Calypso. In the mid-1950s his Harry Belafonte and Mark Twain and Other Folk Favorites were the first of his series of hit folk song albums. During this time he made his Broadway debut, appearing in the musical John Murray Anderson's Almanac (1953–54); for his performance, he won a Tony Award for supporting actor. Later in the decade he starred on the stage in 3 for Tonight and Belafonte at the Palace.
Throughout his career, Belafonte was involved in various causes. He was a supporter of the civil rights movement and a close friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Belafonte was active in African humanitarian efforts, notably appearing on the charity song "We Are the World" (1985). In 1987 he became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. He received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2014.
100% of the net profit to benefit The Popular Democracy Movement Center and the Harry Belafonte 115th St. NY Library.
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Following his critically acclaimed and multi-award winning recording Johann Sebastian Bach, Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson will release his new album, Debussy • Rameau, on 27 March 2020. The innovative recording juxtaposes pieces by two giants of French music, Claude Debussy and Jean-Philippe Rameau, exploring the contrasts and common ground between them.
Ólafsson explained, "This album is set up as a dialogue between two of my favourite composers, Jean-Philippe Rameau and Claude Debussy. I see them as musical brothers and soulmates, even though one was 180 years older than the other. They were musicians of the future, who loved to stir things up. They were two uniquely gifted keyboard composers, two progressive and fiercely original musical thinkers who could capture incredibly evocative images through sound. I want to show Rameau as a futurist and I want to emphasise Debussy's deep roots in the French baroque – and in Rameau's music in particular. The idea is that the listener almost forgets who is who, while listening to the album."
Watch Víkingur Ólafsson perform Debussy's ‘La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin' from his new album Debussy • Rameau.
The Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series will present Grammy Award-winning violinist and producer Johnny Gandelsman in A Violinist Explores Bach's Cello Suites, 7 p.m. Friday, March 20, at St. Mark's-in-the-Valley, 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos. Gandelsman will perform as part of the 40th annual Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series.
Since its inception by founder Rose Knoles in 1981, the concert series has brought widely acclaimed classical artists to perform in intimate spaces in the Santa Ynez Valley. Noted for its acoustics and serene ambiance, St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church has been the home of the series since 2007. "We are very much looking forward to hearing Johnny Gandelsman's interpretations of Bach's timeless and transcendent music," said Robert Cassidy, artistic director. "A magical sonic environment will be experienced with the sound of the solo violin resonating off the long-grain fir, high-ceiling interior of the church."
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The Met Opera's Live in HD series for the 2019-20 season continues this Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 with a transmission of "Agrippina," which was composed by Handel to a libretto by Grimani.
The broadcast, which kicks off 12:55 p.m. Eastern time, will feature Joyce DiDonato in the title role with Brenda Rae as Poppea, Iestyn Davies as Ottone, Matthew Rose as Claudio, Kate Lindsey as Nerone, Dunan Rock as Pallante, and Nicholas Tamagna as Narciso. Harry Bicket directs the production by Sir David McVicar. Find out which theaters in your local area are transmitting the simulcast by clicking here. PHOTO (Credit: Marty Sohl / Metropolitan Opera)
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‘Love Letters' marks a different direction for the internationally celebrated artist; it offers a shift in intimacy and content and comes at a pivotal time in her career as she signs to her new record label, Mercury KX.
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.
Igor Levit@Barbican brings thought, colour and feeling to every phrase of Shostakovich 24 Preludes and Fugues / theartsdesk
Posted: January 27, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
"Citizen. European. Pianist," declares Russian-born, Berlin-based Igor Levit on the front page of his website. One should add, since he wouldn't, Mensch and master of giants. High-level human integrity seems a given when great pianists essay epics: certainly true of Elisabeth Leonskaja and Imogen Cooper tackling respective sonata trilogies by Beethoven and Schubert, or András Schiff in Bach's Well-Tempered Klavier. Last night was on that level. Questions may linger over the nature of Shostakovich's many-headed hydra of a homage to Bach, but none about Levit's expressive intent and execution in every phrase.
Levit let nothing escape his rigorous but always expressive focus. That made the relatively few outbursts of violence, above all in the whirlwind of the D flat major Fugue, and the cumulative fugues at the end of each set of 12 - Shostakovich clearly divides up his sequence, making a new pure beginning with the F sharp major Prelude and Fugue of No. 13 - all the more overwhelming. Any sense of technical bursting at the seams was reined in with the pianist's intense rhythmic sense, and very rarely did he resort to the sustaining pedal to help with welters of sound.
Sparked by the tragic death of a close friend in an accident, Igor Levit's piano playing reflects upon an experience of loss encompassing grief, despair, resignation and solace. He concentrates on works whose gloomy grandeur and melancholy beauty have occupied him for years. Each of them pays tribute to the virtuoso possibilities of the piano. Poetic moments of contemplative silence blend with life-affirming and extremely sensual music with a direct physical fascination. ...
Sony Classical announces the release of Pianist Igor Levit's third album - Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski. Available October 30, the album includes Bach's Goldberg Variations and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, long considered acid tests of the performer's art, plus Frederic Rzewski's gigantic cycle on the Chilean revolutionary song ¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!, which has the reputation of being nearly unplayable. Not content with canonized masterpieces, Levit is equally drawn to the physical challenge of Rzewski's virtuosic tightrope walks.
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Igor Levit has recorded the Partitas by this incommensurable Bach, BWV 825-830: it's the second release by the 27-year-old pianist, whom many regard as the greatest talent of his time. With his debut album, featuring the late Beethoven sonatas, Levit already enjoyed great success and international critical acclaim: the album rose to no. 46 in Germany's Top 100 album charts.
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"Unlike those technically brilliant young pianists who dazzle briefly and disappear, Levit is pre-eminently a real musician who seems built to last." – The Guardian
For the last three years, Igor Levit's name has been the first to be mentioned whenever there has been talk of the most exciting of the younger generation of pianists. What is so surprising about Levit is not only the maturity of his interpretations, but his boundless appetite for new repertoire of works as difficult and demanding as possible. For his long awaited debut album, the twenty-six-year-old Levit has chosen some of the most challenging repertoire ever written for piano: Beethoven's last five piano sonatas. On his two-CD debut set, Levit is not just another young aspiring pianist releasing his debut album, but rather an outstanding artist who meets the exceptionally high demands of this extraordinary music. Levit's technical and artististic command in the difficult "Hammerklaviersonate" op. 106 is sure to be recognized as one of the most astounding accomplishments in recent history of Beethoven recordings.