Roberto Prosseda, the celebrated pianist known for his solo work and extensive playing with world-renowned orchestras, will bring his musical mastery to the Jan Popper Theater at the University of California, Los Angeles, tonight; Thursday, Feb. 21. Prosseda is a master interpreter of the catalog of Felix Mendelssohn, having recorded the composer's complete piano works over the course of 10 years for Decca. He will bring his expertise to UCLA with a special mini-recital that features Mendelssohn's Rondò Capriccioso, along with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Fantasia K 475 and Franz Schubert's 4 Impromptus op. 90.
After Prosseda plays these special selections, he will join with students from UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music and lead a master class that goes over the following compositions: Claude Debussy's Bergamasque Suite (two movements), Ludwig van Beethoven's Concerto #4 (first movement) and Johann Sebastian Bach's Chaconne. Prosseda has played with the likes of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic and Moscow State Philharmonic, among many others. He is also a go-to performer of the pedal piano, having offered more than 50 concerts playing the instrument.
Recently Hollywood Soapbox Q&A'd with Prosseda about his upcoming recital. Questions and answers have been slightly edited for style. READ IT
Taking an extraordinarily bold step just five years into her recording career, Lyn Stanley showcases her stylistic range and heartfelt intuition as a vocalist on this epic, warmly produced, playfully titled 17 track tribute to legendary jazz and pop singer Julie London. While emotionally resonant, Stanley's voice isn't anywhere near as husky and smoky as her muse's, but she makes each song he own - beautifully conveying a sense of hushed intimacy on ballads like "Cry Me A River" and "I've Got a Crush on You" and subtle swing on various tunes, including "Blue Moon" and the lively opener "Goody Goody."
READ THE FULL JWVIBE REVIEW
With her Warner Classics album; Songplay, Joyce DiDonato takes a new and creative angle on vocal music from the Baroque and Classical periods, as well as from the 20th century. The 14 tracks on Songplay succeed in being simultaneously familiar and unexpected. The album serves up music by Vivaldi in both its customary Baroque purity and swinging to the heady rhythm of a samba. It brings a tango sizzle to an aria by Vivaldi's contemporary Marcello, and it plays with the voice of Bach in George Shearing's ‘Lullaby of Birdland'. "Songplay, as a title, suggests exactly what this album is," says the pianist Craig Terry, who developed the concept for the album along with Joyce DiDonato.
In conjunction with the album release, JD has agreed to sit down with radio stations throughout the US, today - February 21. Please watch for our tweets throughout the day updating the proceedings.
For centuries, the world of classical music has been a proverbial boys club: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Herrmann, Bernstein, Williams. Now, it's the ladies' turn with "Holes in the Sky," a pioneering national tour that launches this Saturday night at Sixth & I in Chinatown presented by Washington Performing Arts. "This is all music by women," pianist Lara Downes told WTOP. "I'm doing a bunch of solo stuff with everything from Billie Holiday and Nina Simone and Jodi Mitchell to world premieres by composers who are living and working today. It's very genre-fluid, all over the musical map."
The project is spearheaded by Downes, whose "America Again" was named one of NPR's "10 Albums that Saved 2016" and whose follow-up "For Lenny" won the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award. The live show will also feature Grammy-winner Rhiannon Giddens, star of CMT's "Nashville" and recipient of the 2017 MacArthur "Genius Grant."
READ THE WTOP Q&A & LISTEN
Something happens when you get a chance to see Afro-Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez perform. First of all, his smile radiates. It's hard to imagine someone happier than he is to make music in front of people; and as we saw during his turn behind Bob Boilen's desk, he mesmerizes with this almost otherworldly talent on congas. His hands can be a blur because they move so quickly. To the untrained eye, it's hard to see exactly what he is doing to draw out the sounds he does from his drums. I even know a little about playing hand drums and it still doesn't make it easier to fathom his remarkable talent.
Pedrito Martinez has gathered around him musicians who are helping him make the music he hears in his head. As you'll hear, it's full of twists and turns and unexpected stops that resolve into grooves so ferocious it's hard to resist moving your entire body in appreciation.
This particular performance at the Tiny Desk is highlighted by a stunning, unaccompanied conga solo that dazzled both neophytes and long-time fans of Afro-Cuban music.
WATCH THE SEGMENT
Defining ‘contemporary classical' music is fraught with complications: should we include film music, for example, and what about music that uses amplification? From Adès to Zimmer, the canon is thrillingly diverse, and features various nooks and crannies within which exciting sounds emerge. It's a soundworld that listeners are just as likely to encounter via curated streaming platforms as in major venues, on the small and silver screen, and in clubs as well as concert halls.
Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons (2012) is a key example of this collision of classical-electro-ambient music, a strange juxtaposition of old and new, high versus so-called ‘low' art. It is akin to listening to a Cubist version of the Vivaldi classic, with fragmented melodies that are looped and overlaid, shared between laptop and strings. Richter is one of a new school of composers who combine multiple stylistic ideals.
Various names have been given to this particular branch of contemporary music: alternative classical, neo-classical, post-classical. In a digital world, life becomes easier if we can define a searchable genre. But when a style is in its infancy, this can be restrictive.
Critics of this soundworld claim that many of the pieces are unimaginative pastiche. Writing in The Wire, Philip Clark asked ‘how you would feel if visiting Tate Modern you found the Rothkos, Matisses and Picassos had been replaced by Athena poster art', in the context of Deutsche Grammophon's decision to include the likes of Richter, Karl Jenkins and Ludovico Einaudi alongside its starry back catalogue of 20th-century composers.
DG continues its commitment to this music with the recent re-release of Richter's 2004 The Blue Notebooks, with words adapted from Kafka's Blue Octavo Notebooks, and the upcoming release of Recomposed by Peter Gregson: Bach – The Cello Suites, which follows in Richter's footsteps.
Post-classical music attracts a broad audience, in part because the music is becoming so widely accessible. Composers such as Ólafur Arnalds, whose atmospheric solo albums sit alongside his screen writing (such as the soundtrack to TV series Broadchurch) are attracting an increasing listenership. The late Jóhann Jóhannsson found popularity with his soundtrack to The Theory of Everything and his disc Orphée (DG, 2016), as well as gaining fans for his more experimental music, including a suite for string orchestra and a retro IBM computer.
Another example is Dustin O'Halloran, who scored Amazon show Transparent, for which he won an Emmy Award. O'Halloran is also one half of duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen who performed at a BBC Prom co-curated with BBC Radio 6 Music in 2015 – another indication that boundaries are shifting.
While historically post-classical music was the preserve of smaller, independent labels – such as FatCat and Erased Tapes – the last few years has seen greater interest from larger-scale organisations. In the spring, Sony Classical announced that it had signed German pianist-composer Volker Bertelmann – known to fans under the moniker Hauschka – with a collection of solo piano works in the pipeline. Hauschka is part of a group of performers who are re-energising interest in prepared piano, adding modern-day extras – ping-pong balls and pegs – to change timbres and bringing newcomers to the world of John Cage.
In 2017, Decca Records launched Mercury KX, an imprint for post-classical music. ‘I felt that a new label, with no specific ties to any one genre, was the best way to achieve the best possible environment for these artists to thrive and to speak to their specific audience,' says Alex Buhr, Mercury KX founder.
The freedom encourages experimentation with technology in ways that artists may not have been able to with more traditional routes. Mercury KX artist Arnalds has just started working with his Stratus Pianos: two self-playing, semi-generative player pianos that are triggered by a central piano played by Arnalds himself, using custom-built software created by the composer and audio developer Halldór Eldjárn.
READ THE FULL BBC Music Magazine ARTICLE
Grammy Award-winning cellist and activist Yo-Yo Ma is planning a Day of Action in Flint on Feb. 28 - hosting a local exhibit of the arts, meeting with residents and hosting a conversation with community leaders. The event - called "Flint Voices: Culture, Community, and Resilience" - includes more than 30 Flint-based organizations and partners exploring the power of culture to create lasting change in a community. Ma will participate alongside community partners, local artists, and activists to discuss how to build a connected, thriving community.
A free, public celebration is being hosted by Ma from 4-6 p.m. at Berston Field House, featuring performances and presentations that show off Flint's cultural attributes, diversity, and story. Notable Flint artists, including musician Tunde Olaniran, artist Natasha Thomas-Jackson, and Kevin Collins' African Drum and Dance, are among the participants. "Culture matters because it helps us connect and understand one another," Ma said, "And it's only through connection and understanding that we can create strong, inclusive, and resilient communities and build a better future. I have watched with the nation as Flint has done just that." The visit is part of Ma's Bach Project, launched in 2018. The Bach project uses Johann Sebastian Bach's 300-year musical legacy as an example of how culture spans generations and connects people of all backgrounds. His Days of Action are public events and creative experiences that aim to mobilize communities to build new relationships and create change using culture as the impetus.
READ THE FULL Flint Side ARTICLE
The Comet Is Coming - Trust In The Life Force Of The Deep Mystery
In a world narrative dominated and controlled by powerful, wealthy individuals with vested interests in skewing the truth, what trust can be placed in our governments, our leaders and our sources of information to guide us to evolve as a species?
The great weapon is art.
I have dreamed about The French Suite Kit ever since I first heard Glenn Gould talk about the possibility of a "New Listener" who would take some measure of control over their participation in the listening process.
A selection of Coltrane's 1963 Impulse! recordings, derived from the original albums Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, Dear Old Stockholm, Newport ‘63 and Live at Birdland
In the brief, bright arc that is the career of John Coltrane, 1963 marks a point of transition between past jazz masterpieces and future work, which would transcend the boundaries of the music itself.
At the suggestion of bandoneonist, arranger, and composer Raúl Jaurena, I set out to create a body of work for bass and string quartet, in order to feature the bass not only as foundation and a melodic instrument, but as a driver of rhythm.
KEXP releases footage of tribute concerts for Johann Johannsson / Guide to Iceland Now
Posted: February 4, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
The late Jóhann Jóhannsson will not be forgotten. In February of 2018, Iceland mourned the sudden loss of one of their most cherished neo-classical composers and songwriters. At only 48-years of age, he was found deceased in his Berlin residence from what would later be determined as an accidental overdose. Jóhannsson was prolific in his creative outpourings both internationally and within the Icelandic musical community and he wrote music for theatre, dance, television and films. His style can be described as a distinctive blend of traditional orchestration with electronic elements.
KEXP, a Seattle based radio station and nonprofit arts organisation recently released footage of a moving series of tribute concerts for Jóhannsson hosted by the Mengi arts space in Reykjavík. The day of commemorative performances occurred during last year's Iceland Airwaves festival (November 2018) and all of the artists involved shared a personal bond with Jóhannsson, be it through friendship or collaboration, often both.
During the weeks before his untimely passing on February 9, award-winning Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson was closely involved in preparations for the reissue of his debut album, Englabörn. Originally released in 2002, the record had been especially remastered, and a second disc containing reworkings of a number of its tracks had also been assembled. Some were by Jóhannsson himself – including a piano version of the title track, performed by fellow Deutsche Grammophon artist Víkingur Ólafsson – while others involved included Ryuichi Sakamoto, A Winged Victory for the Sullen and Hildur Guðnadóttir. Following discussions with his family, the release of Englabörn & Variations went ahead on March 23, 2018.
From Academy Award-winning director James Marsh (The Theory of Everything, Man of Wire) comes The Mercy, a tale of yachtsman Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth)'s disastrous attempt to win the 1968 Golden Globe Race that results in his outrageous account of traveling the world alone by sea. The soundtrack for The Mercy features music by Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival, mother!). The music is a combination of newly written, commercial orchestral scores, and existing pieces from Jóhannsson´s catalog, such as Orphée, Englabörn, Free The Mind and Copenhagen Dreams.
Jóhann Jóhannsson, the Golden Globe-winning, Oscar, BAFTA and Grammy-nominated composer's first album for Deutsche Grammophon, is a meditation on beauty and the process of creation. Orphée traces a path from darkness into light, inspired by the various retellings of the old story of the poet Orpheus, from Ovid's to Jean Cocteau's. A many-layered story about death, rebirth, change and the ephemeral nature of memory, the myth can also be read as a metaphor for artistic creation - about the elusive nature of beauty and its relation to the artist, as well as the idea that art is created through transgression - by the poet defying the gods who forbade him, to turn back towards his beloved as he leaves the Underworld. The new album is set for a September 16th release date on Deutsche Grammophon.
14 NEW 58 TOTAL
SYND: NPR/First Listen, ATC, PRI/Echoes, Quiet Music Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD, Stingray Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Portland, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, Orlando, El Paso, Salt Lake City INTER: Canada, UK, Spain, Romania Online: Pitchfork, Musicas Imaginadas, Zephyr Planet Radio, The Awl, MainlyPiano.com, One World Radio, Journeyscapes, All Music, Brooklyn Vegan, Lost Frontier, Pitchfork, The Hollywood Reporter, AV CLUB