Award-winning composer Richard Danielpour has established himself as one of the most gifted and sought-after composers of his generation. His music has attracted an international and illustrious array of champions, and, as a devoted mentor and educator, he has also had a significant impact on the younger generation of composers. His list of commissions includes celebrated artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Gary Graffman, Anthony McGill, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the New York City and Pacific Northwest Ballets, and institutions such as the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Mariinsky and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, the Orchestre National de France, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and many more. With Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Danielpour created Margaret Garner, his first opera, which premiered in 2005 and had a second production with the New York City Opera. He has received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Fellowship, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Joseph H. Bearns Prize from Columbia University, and fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, and the American Academies in Berlin and Rome. He served on the composition faculty of the Manhattan School of Music from 1993 to 2017. Danielpour recently relocated to Los Angeles where he has accepted the position of professor of music at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. He is also a member of the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music where he has taught since 1997. Danielpour has a vast discography, and many of his recordings can be found on the Naxos and Sony Classical labels. Danielpour's music is published by Lean Kat Music and Associated Music Publishers.
Richard Danielpour's World Premiere Recording, The Passion of Yeshua led by JoAnn Falletta with the Buffalo Philharmonic
GRAMMY® NOMINATED IN 3 CATEGORIES:
BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, CLASSICAL
BEST CHORAL PERFORMANCE
BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION
Richard Danielpour's newest oratorio, The Passion of Yeshua, a world premiere recording, is now available on Naxos. Presented and commissioned by the GRAMMY Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director JoAnn Falletta, the two-CD set also features a superb group of soloists led by Hila Plitmann (soprano), J'Nai Bridges (mezzo soprano), Kenneth Overton (baritone), Matthew Worth (baritone), Timothy Fallon (tenor) and James Bass (bass) with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus (Andrew Luebke, Director) and the UCLA Chamber Singers (James Bass, Director).
San Francisco Classical Voice, RICHARD S. GINELL writes.....Lots of composers, filmmakers, painters, and writers have had their say on the last days of Jesus - some, like J.S. Bach, multiple times. To this long, long line we can add the name Richard Danielpour, a Jewish-American composer with Iranian-born parents who has written his own evening-length The Passion of Yeshua - first heard at the Oregon Bach Festival in July 2018 and recorded live in Buffalo the following April for a Naxos double-CD set released last year (reviewed here from a stream).
The Buffalo Philharmonic under JoAnn Falletta, who also led the Oregon world premiere, sounds terrific here. Familiar to Southern Californian listeners from her years at the Long Beach Symphony before decamping to the East Coast, Falletta preceded Marin Alsop as the first woman to be music director of a major American orchestra (Buffalo) and doesn't often get the credit. There are two more SoCal credits: Danielpour teaches at UCLA, and the UCLA Chamber Singers join the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. Among the solo voices - all of whom display crystal clear diction in English - are soprano Hila Plitmann, a fearless explorer of new music, in fine silvery form, J'Nai Bridges's rich, darkish mezzo-soprano with alto coloring, and baritone Kenneth Overton as a sometimes tough, often compassionate Yeshua. Although the 103-minute piece could use a bit of a trim in Part Two, the Buffalo forces make an admirable case for the whole thing.
READ THE FULL San Francisco Classical Voice ARTICLE
Richard Danielpour has had a productive lockdown, composing prolifically and working hard on a new opera, which he hopes to finish in 2021. This interview focuses particularly on 'The Passion of Yeshua', which is a stunning oratorio. The recording has been nominated for three Grammys - Best engineered album - classical; Best choral performance; and Best contemporary classical composition.
Richard mentioned some videos, which are available on YouTube here
This Season 3 - 2021 Harmonious World Podcast episode features the interview with composer Richard Danielpour.
Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/HWpodcast)
While this holiday season is unlike any other because of the COVID-19 crisis, the need for human compassion and forgiveness is even greater. With composer Richard Danielpour's dramatic oratorio, The Passion of Yeshua, an intensely personal telling of the final hours of Christ on Earth, such solace can be found. The work received its world premiere at the Oregon Bach Festival in 2018, with a second performance at UCLA and its East Coast premiere and first full-scale performance in April 2019 with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) under the baton of that organization's music director, JoAnn Falletta.
The 100-minute opus, which also features members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and the UCLA Chamber Singers, as well as six soloists, including baritone James K. Bass, was recently nominated in three Grammy categories for the Naxos recording of last year's performance. (The 63rd ceremony takes place Jan. 31.) Bass, himself a three-time Grammy-nominated singer and conductor who has been leading the UCLA ensemble since 2016, recalled the Buffalo concert:
"The piece is epic in its soundscape and universe. Not just in length, which itself is enormous, but imagine the biggest movie soundtrack orchestra and that's what you have for this. There's an array of percussion, all types of doubled winds and vocal writing some tender and delicate - that matches that. What makes it difficult," added Bass, who is also associate conductor and director of education for the Miami-based ensemble Seraphic Fire, as well as artistic director of the Long Beach Camerata Singers, "is that the piece is in two languages, Hebrew and English."
PHOTO: The UCLA Chamber Singers | Credit: Juan Tallo - James Bass | Courtesy of UCLA
READ THE FULL San Francisco Classical Voice ARTICLE