She is the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's artist in residence, the latest in a succession of supremely talented musicians to have held that post, including Sunwook Kim, Johannes Moser and Nemanja Radulovic. In a move that signals that she is different, Gabriela Montero began her tenure with an impromptu piano performance on Bournemouth Pier last October. The term ends on February 26 with a recital with the BSO principals at the Lighthouse.
The other dimension to her being different is her unique improvisational gift. It has given her a devoted following around the world. She can take any melody and just run with it, as many audiences have discovered. Montero is a fascinating and intriguing interviewee even from three thousand miles away. Our conversation ranged from power and politics, to human rights, the state of her native Venezuela and music as a force for good. Picture:Shelley Mosman
READ THE FULL DAILY ECHO ARTICLE
It has been 12 years since I picked up the album Gently Weeps album by the Hawaiian ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro, largely to see what he did with the George Harrison title track. You can make up your own mind on that here, but for me that was all the impetus I needed when this album (with bassist Nolan Verner and guitarist Dave Preston) turned up.
Let's just say Shimabukuro is unlike any other ukulele player you will ever have heard. In fact you'd probably be surprised to learn that it is ukulele at all on most of these tracks where he brings out a lute-like quality (Lament with Pink Floyd-like atmospherics), something akin to an acoustic guitar (the more MOR Summer Rain) and on the furious hard rock opener When the Masks Come Down with Preston off the leash and the gritty, fist-tight tension of Twelve this is to ukulele what Rodrigo y Gabriela are to flamenco.
READ THE FULL Elsewhere REVIEW
Pacific Symphony is keeping on with programming that works. Today, the orchestra announced its 2020–2021 classical series, underwritten by the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation. On the schedule: lots of guest artists, plus a continued commitment to signature events.
The biggest name coming to Orange County next season is Lang Lang, who plays Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto with the orchestra on Oct. 4. Longtime Music Director Carl St. Clair conducts the one-night-only concert. As of now, tickets to this performance are only available to season subscribers.
Guest soloists for 2021 include Emanuel Ax, who plays Mozart, Jan. 14–16; James Ehnes, soloing in the Sibelius Violin Concerto, Feb. 25–27; and Rachel Barton Pine, who performs the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, May 6–8, her first appearance with Pacific Symphony.
READ THE FULL SFCV ARTICLE
The American jazz trio The Bad Plus confirmed their 2020 spring tour following the release of their second album, ACTIVATE INFINITY, which was released in October of 2019. The spring tour will include a multi-show residency at Village Vanguard in New York City for six consecutive days.
The tour will begin on March 19th in Kenosha, WI at the Bedford Concert Hall and will wrap up on April 12th in Washington, DC at the Blues Alley. The tour will include multi- show residencies not only in New York City but also in Oakland, CA and Washington, D.C. as well. The New York City residency is taking place at the Village Vanguard on March 24th through the 29th. The Oakland, CA residency will take place at Yoshi's on April 3rd and 4th. Washington's residency will take place at the Blues Alley on April 10th through the 12th.
The Bad Plus is made up of bassist Reid Anderson, drummer Dave King, and pianist Orrin Evans, hailing from Minneapolis, MN. Their newest album ACTIVATE INFINITY was produced by The Bad Plus themselves and engineered and mixed by Andy Taub at NYC's Brooklyn Recording back in May of 2019.
SEE THE DATES via NYSMusic
He performed at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. Two years earlier, at the age of 17, he won the BBC's Young Musician Competition. And he's appeared on Britain's Got Talent with his six musical siblings. Yet, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who is just 20 years old and still studies at the Royal Academy of Music, is grounded in the music he loves. He's just released his second solo recording. It features Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor and other pieces that are close to his heart.
"What I'm always searching for is the most convincing and expressive way to play the music that I'm playing. There are lots of pieces of music that I really, really want to learn. I think meaningful playing is what I practice for."
READ & LISTEN TO MPR: New Classical Tracks:
One of the greatest losses to both avant-garde music and cinema in the past decade was the tragic death of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Known best for his score for Mandy and his work with Denis Villeneuve on films like Sicario and Arrival, Jóhannsson's work became quickly beloved by cinema-heads the world over, which made his passing at 48 even more bitter; he had a lot of life yet to live and a lot more work to do. This included a burgeoning directorial career of his own - a year before his passing, the composer premiered his first film, an adaptation of Olaf Stapleton's sci-fi classic Last and First Men (which influenced the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, C.S. Lewis, and Arthur C. Clarke, and which you should really check out given that it's available for free online), in a work-in-progress exhibition at the Manchester International Film Festival, which he scored live alongside a narration done by Tilda Swinton.
Well, a completed version of Last and First Men will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival next week, and it already has a trailer ready to go. Take a look at this and tell us that you aren't intrigued.
READ THE FULL Vanyaland ARTICLE
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor presents a new recording of two concerto favorites: Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on Decca Classics. Recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), the record marks Benjamin's fifth album on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
These works have been an active part of Grosvenor's repertoire since his early teens: "Chopin was the first composer to whom I felt a strong connection as a child. I have always been drawn to his music, and his piano concertos are among some of the finest in the repertoire." Of the new recording, which came to fruition following a successful performance of the Piano Concerto No.2 with Elim Chan and the RSNO in 2018, Benjamin notes: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Elim and the outstanding musicians of the RSNO." Benjamin appears this spring in the US performing the Piano Concerto No.1.
In conjunction with this new release, BG has made some time available TODAY!, February 29 to speak with classical radio in the US. Watch for our tweets throughout the day
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.
You Already Know, the New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer Ted Poor-"a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," per the New York Times-isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so.
Lara Downes releases 'Steal Away' From forthcoming album / American Songwriter
Posted: February 8, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
There are several ways to experience history. One can glimpse at the surface of it, looking at historic events as points on a linear chain, and keeping in mind that these are all events that have passed and are no longer with us. But one can also choose to fully immerse themselves in history, and attempt to place themselves back in time, which allows one to feel a shared connection with those who came before them. Actively working to empathize with those who've preceded us changes how we view the present. The past isn't entirely in the past, and all that has come before is coded into the DNA of the present.
Pianist Lara Downes takes the latter approach, diving deep into the well of the past on her forthcoming record ‘Some Of These Days', which is out in April. And today she's released the first single from the new record, "Steal Away" featuring folk-blues guitarist Toshi Reagon. Downes recently gave American Songwriter some insight into the genesis of the new track, explaining how the song's roots are deeply embedded in American history. "The piano track on this song is from Charles Ives' "Concord Sonata", music that depicts the bright possibilities of the world at the other end of the Underground Railroad. It's a portrait of a community committed to freedom – freedom from slavery, freedom of thought and freedom of faith, " she said.
On March 1, 2019, American pianist Lara Downes releases her new album, Holes in the Sky, on Portrait, an imprint of the Sony Music Masterworks label.
Holes in the Sky is a genre-fluid collection of music written and performed by today's leading female artists, celebrating the contributions of phenomenal women to the past, present, and future of American music.
The music of Holes in the Sky tells the story of what women and girls can contribute to the world when they are given a chance - their dreams can make holes in the sky. Lara collaborates with an extraordinary multi-generational group of female guest artists on this album, including the iconic singer / songwriter Judy Collins, boundary-breaking violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, fast-rising cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing, and the urban youth vocal ensemble Musicality.
The album is presented in direct support of PLAN International Because I Am A Girl, bolstering the rights and empowerment of girls and young women around the globe; Women's Empowerment in Sacramento, ending homelessness one woman - and one family - at a time; the Downtown Women's Center in Los Angeles, a permanent and supportive housing and healthcare provider for women; Girls on the Run in Spokane, teaching life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, breaking the cycle of poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial, and environmental leaders.
Lara Downes' new album For Lenny celebrates the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein with a special friends-and-family tribute to the man behind the music. The recording features Bernstein's aptly-named Anniversaries for Piano, new arrangements of his songs, and world premieres of works dedicated to Bernstein by leading American composers including Stephen Sondheim, John Corigliano, and Stephen Schwartz. The album is introduced by an essay from acclaimed writer Adam Gopnik.
Pianist Lara Downes releases a solo album, America Again, worldwide on Sono Luminus on October 28, 2016. The album's title is taken from Langston Hughes' poem, Let America Be America Again, written in 1938. America Again features twenty pieces selected by Downes that explore the elusive but essential American dream, written by composers including Duke Ellington, Lou Harrison, Morton Gould, Amy Beach, George Gershwin, Angélica Negrón, Dan Visconti, Leonard Bernstein, Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, Florence Price, Aaron Copland, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and more.
26 NEW 67 TOTAL
SYND: NPR/First Listen, Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD, AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Austin, Hartford, KS(Network), IN(Network), IA(Network), Canada Online: The Rehearsal Studio, Second Inversion, Passion Musique et Culture, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, therumpus, Sacramento Bee
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday's birth, Lara Downes releases: A Billie Holiday Songbook on Steinway & Sons Records, A personal tribute to this sensitive, timeless icon of American music.Radiant. Intimate.
Lara Downes grew up listening to Holiday's recordings with her father, born and raised in Harlem. Trained in the conservatories of San Francisco, Paris, Vienna and New York, Downes acknowledges that Holiday's singing has been a lifelong influence. "As a musician, I learned from Billie Holiday to make something completely personal when you make music," she says. "something that is completely your own - maybe something unexpected, something indefinable, perhaps complicated, but beautiful. To take a chance. As the song says: "But beautiful to take a chance, and if you fall, you fall. And I'm thinking I wouldn't mind at all."
20 NEW 49 Total
SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Houston, Austin, St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Madison WI, Canada Online: Taintradio, Classical Candor, AXS, Party934
In June of 1955, Glenn Gould made his groundbreaking recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations for Columbia Records, rescuing the Goldbergs from obscurity in one of the most significant classical recordings of a generation. Critically acclaimed pianist Lara Downes will be breaking ground of her own when Tritone Records releases her new CD 13 WAYS of Looking at the Goldberg, a fascinating new take on Bach's masterpiece. In an extraordinary coincidence of fate and timing, Lara's recording of her new Goldberg project took place over the same four days in June as Gould's historic 1955 sessions.
11 New 'ON' this week: 93 Total
Synd: NPR/Sunday Baroque, The Romantic Hours, PRI/Classical 24, Harmonia, Galaxy
Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, Houston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Louisville, Purto Rico
Online: Live 365, RadioIO, Taintradio, Crystal Ball Report
Pianist Lara Downes is known for her fusing of rare pianistic sensitivity and evocative, thought-provoking concepts. Her latest album, Exiles' Café-released on the Steinway & Sons label  -- is the result of a moment of inspiration after hearing a lovely little piece entitled Tango from the Exiles' Café. Downes fantasized about this café and created a narrative around it, which she describes as "both real and metaphorical." This album captures the pain, nostalgia, and freedom that are indelibly tied to this state of being-in exile. Featuring miniature works by composers such as Chopin, Milhaud, Bartok, Weill, and including a premiere work by Mohammed Fairouz, Exiles' Café goes beyond an examination of what is to be in exile, to consider the inspiration exiled composers drew from the musical communities they found in their new homes. Because in this sense, the exiles cafes were actual places – there were indeed such locations throughout history to which composers and musicians gravitated and found each other, and they and their music were influenced accordingly.
17 New 'ON' 183 Total
SYND: PRI/Classical 24, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Denver, New Orleans, San Antonio, Memphis, Columbus OH, Buffalo, Louisville, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: Taintradio, RadioIO, WGOE