SFCV's Lou Fancher writes.....Unexpectedly, in a conversation with American Indian composer and pianist Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, superlatives like "fabulous," "stupendous," and "sensational" are frequent. It's language you might anticipate from haute couture fashion designers or theater critics overwhelmed by a successful production; hardly the words expected from a serious, acclaimed classical music composer. But if there's one word that most defines the taproot from which he draws inspiration it is "ethos."
Tate was raised in a music- and talk-filled home; and his father, who is Chickasaw American Indian is a classically trained pianist and vocalist who practiced law, specializing in Chickasaw politics. His mother, a dancer, choreographer, and professor at the University of Wyoming for more than 30 years, is of Irish descent. Tate holds a bachelor of music in piano performance from Northwestern University and a master of music in piano performance and composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Elizabeth Pastor and Donald Erb.
Tate's commissioned works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Colorado Ballet, Canterbury Voices, and Dale Warland Singers, among others. He has been commissioned three times by the American Composers Forum and his music was recently featured on the HBO series Westworld. Most often, his compositions merge classical music with his Chickasaw culture, but also extend to include the music and language of nearly a dozen other American Indian tribes. He is guest composer/conductor/pianist for the San Francisco Symphony Currents program in a virtual production, Thunder Song: American Indian Musical Cultures.
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WAMU: Washington DC - Kathryn Fink writes.....U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo has been busy during the pandemic. She recently released her first spoken word album in over a decade entitled "I Pray For My Enemies." She edited a new anthology called "Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry." And she's set to release a new memoir this fall.
Oh, did we mention she's also been appointed to a rare third term? We talk with Harjo about her latest work - and what it means to be the first Native poet to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate. PHOTO: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
Critics' Point writes.....The distinguished guitarist Smaro Grigoriadou is a special case among her colleagues, as through an endless filial mood, which over the years not only does not decrease, but intensifies, she explores the sound and technical possibilities of her instrument. Her constant companion is her teacher, George Kertsopoulos (b. 1952). The Kertsopoulos , student of the unforgettable guitarist and Master Dimitris Fabas (1921-1996), has dealt extensively with the construction of instruments, especially guitar, which provides the opportunity to experiment in depth and is creating institutions that offer new opportunities to performers their. The Grigoriadou plays and records holding in his hands exclusively his guitars.
Even in the difficult times we are experiencing, the musician proves that she is present. Confirming its steady presence in the music scene, and not only domestically, but also internationally, it recently proposed a new record, recorded by the American company Delos (Delos, based in Sonoma, Southern California). This is her fourth album released by this record label.
The album, which bears the full meaning and significance entitled A Healing Fire ( A Therapeutic Fire ), hosts two musical eras composers pages of the Baroque era and three twentieth (if even two of them, and twenty-first) century. We will mention from the beginning that all the works that are heard are arrangements of the same, a fact that gives her more space and freedom to add her own personal interpretive touches.
The recorded program opens with the transcription for Sonata for Violin no. 2, in minor, BWV 1003 , by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The Grigoriadou interprets the introductory part, Grave , with the required reflective mood, proceeding then to a classical clarity and attention to the approach lighting bachianis plurality of the second part, Fuga . The third part, Andante , grafts with emotion , while her finger flexibility and energy stand out in the fourth part, Allegro .
He then explores the Night by John Dowland ( N octurnal after John Dowland ), Op . 70 , by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), completed in 1963 especially for the important and relatively recently lost guitarist and lute player Julian Bream (1933-2020). The latter premiered the play on June 12, 1964, at the Aldeburgh Festival. We will remind you that thanks to Bream, the guitar repertoire of the twentieth century was enriched with many valuable works. He had the perspicacity, readiness and foresight to ask for and inspire great composers of his time ( William Walton , Michael Tippet , Richard Rodney Bennett , Malcolm Arnold , Alan Rawsthorne , Lennox Berkeley and Hans Werner Henze , to name just a few names that spontaneously come to mind) to write about the guitar, an instrument that is completely special and really inaccessible to anyone who does not know their secrets well.
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Pianist and music educator David Korevaar recently released a recording of Lowell Liebermann's piano music – the third volume in his series devoted to Lowell Liebermann's solo piano music on the MSR Classics label – as he continues his journey of recording all of Liebermann's works for the piano. This release features each of Liebermann's original works for solo piano composed between 2001 and 2017, including world premiere recordings of his Nocturne No. 8, Op. 85; Nocturne No. 9,Op. 97; Nocturne No. 10, Op. 99; and Nocturne No. 11, Op. 112. Additional works include Liebermann's Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 82; Schubert Variations, Op. 100; and 2 Impromptus, Op. 131.
Julie says, "David is obviously a very talented pianist, but I was curious about the prospect of recording the music of someone who has been a friend for so long… especially when, as in this case, you're creating the premiere recordings of some of those works. We talk about that, as well as the challenges of being a university music professor during a pandemic and the musical works he recommends students explore. Based on his caring attitude and thoughtful list, I think I would have enjoyed having David as a piano instructor!"
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The third volume in David Korevaar's highly acclaimed series devoted to Lowell Liebermann's solo piano music (MSR Classics MS1688) continues his journey of recording all of Liebermann's works for the piano. This release features each of Liebermann's original works for solo piano composed between 2001 and 2017, including world premiere recordings of his Nocturne No. 8, Op. 85; Nocturne No. 9, Op. 97; Nocturne No. 10, Op. 99; and Nocturne No. 11, Op. 112. Additional works include his Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 82; Schubert Variations, Op. 100; and 2 Impromptus, Op. 131. Korevaar sat down with New Jersey Net's David Osenberg to discuss the recording.
LISTEN TO PART 1
LISTEN TO PART 2
Enjoy conversations with and performances by classical musicians of local, national and international fame on The Classical Network's award winning program Cadenza - winner of the 2014 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Radio Broadcast Award.
All About Jazz: Bob Osborne writes......2021 is proving to be the gift that keeps giving for new jazz releases. Curtis Andrews returns after a long break from releasing music to deliver an album which is rich in rhythmic exploration, modal and raga-based melodies, and some truly virtuosic performances. There's also the debut from Martin Frieberg, Dennis Gonzalez Ataraxia Trio's second offering, a new one from Tom Rainey's excellent Obbligato band, and a selection of other new albums which ably demonstrate the wide variety of music available in the World of Jazz.
Notes With Attachments, the new album from renowned bassist Pino Palladino and celebrated multi-instrumentalist and producer Blake Mills, released on March 12 via New Deal / Impulse!. Initially conceived as a solo record for Palladino, Notes With Attachments quickly evolved into a fully collaborative work centered around the two artists' love for experimentation. 'Just Wrong' & 'Djurkel' are featured on All About Jazz: Bob Osborne's 'Selection Of New Releases' for April.
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The first in the series of the Penderecki in Memoriam Podcast features internationally renowned Irish pianist Barry Douglas CBE. Winner of the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Douglas collaborated closely with Penderecki including the 2007 premiere performance and recording of the composer's large-scale, single movement work Piano Concerto "Resurrection". This 19-minute podcast, hosted and produced by Crossover Media's Max Horowitz, was curated and produced by PCINY's head of music programming, Anna Perzanowska.
Penderecki in Memoriam Podcast will present a comprehensive portrait of the composer with insightful commentary and memories from musicians, conductors, colleagues, composers, writers, and historians including Barry Douglas, JoAnn Falletta, Larry Foster, Elliot Goldenthal, Jonny Greenwood, Michail Jurowski, Laura Kaminsky, Louis Langrée, David Lynch, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kent Nagano, Rafael Payare, Julian Rachlin, Leonard Slatkin, Krzysztof Urbanski and Antoni Wit, among others.
Three-time GRAMMY Award-nominated pianist Joey Alexander follows his major-label debut album, WARNA (Verve Records), with three new singles "SALT" (March 19: LINK), "Under the Sun" (April 23: LINK), and "Summer Rising" (May 28) set for global release on Verve.
Multi GRAMMY® Award-winning pianist/composer Arturo O'Farrill and nonprofit the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) announces today they have reached more than 1 million people in over 25 countries through their innovative "ALJA Digital Village" programming since its launch one year ago in March 2020.
Cande y Paulo, the Argentinian duo who caught the attention of the world when a performance of ‘Barro Tal Vez', an achingly intense but minimalist Argentine rock classic went viral on YouTube amassing over 12 million views, today announce their debut.
This is the third volume of the Danish String Quartet's ongoing Prism series, which shows how the radiance of Bach's fugues is refracted through Beethoven's quartets to illuminate the work of later composers.
NPR Music and Lara Downes announce the launch of AMPLIFY With Lara Downes, a new bi-weekly series of intimate and deeply personal video conversations with visionary Black musicians who are shaping the present and future of the art form, premiering Saturday, October 17 on NPRMusic.org, YouTube, and social media platforms.
Created and hosted by pianist and artist Lara Downes, and co-produced by NPR Music's Tom Huizenga, this series invites viewers to experience raw, revealing, and open-hearted conversations reflecting on how artists are responding and creating in this time of profound challenge and change. Downes and her guests-initially including MacArthur Fellow vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens, 2020 Avery Fisher Prize-winning clarinetist Anthony McGill, multidisciplinary artist Helga Davis, and vocalist Davóne Tines, with other guests such as Sheku Kanneh-Mason and family to follow-connect and reflect on highly relevant themes ranging from music and mission, legacy and lineage, to transformation and change.
Guests to include Rhiannon Giddens, Anthony McGill, Helga Davis, Davóne Tines, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason and family.
Series premieres today!! Saturday, October 17 on NPR Music.org and NPR's YouTube and social media platforms.
Says Downes of the series: "In this time of our collective reckoning about historical inequities in American life and art, I'm excited to amplify the voices of extraordinary artists of color, shining a bright light on a diverse and rich future that is, in the words of James Weldon Johnson, 'full of the hope that the present has brought us.'"
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
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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
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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
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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