When cellist Jonah Kim was just 15 years old, Washington Post music critic Joseph McLellan called him "the next Yo-Yo Ma."
Kim is in his early 30s now, and he's carving out a path all his own. His new album, recorded with pianist Sean Kennard, features sonatas by Samuel Barber and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Kim and Kennard began playing together at the Curtis Institute about 20 years ago, in part because they were two of the youngest enrolled students. Kim recalls that he was 10 or 11 and that Kennard was about 13 when they first played the Rachmaninoff sonata together.
When asked how their performance of the Rachmaninoff has changed in the past two decades, Kim said his music-making is very similar to his tastes in food. "When I was fourteen," he says, "it didn't matter what cuisine [I was eating] - I put hot sauce on everything. At this point, I think I have a little more taste."
For him, this increased taste level translates into greater and more frequent contrasts in the music, but more patience, too. "There are more peaks and valleys, and yet the gestures are not as abrupt or as sudden," he says. "It's just more patient."
Kim has studied with some of the greatest cellists of the 20th century, including Janos Starker and Orlando Cole. He's grateful that they encouraged him to play musically and with strong technique, instead of just allowing him to rely on what he calls "tricks" and "gestures."
In addition to the Rachmaninoff, the new album includes the cello sonata by Samuel Barber. Kim's teacher Orlando Cole gave the premiere of the sonata with Barber himself at the piano in 1932, when Barber and Cole (or "Sammy" and "Landy") were students at the Curtis Institute. Kim recalls that, during his lessons, Cole would show him and Kennard letters that Barber had sent about the sonata and other pieces.
The new album, featuring Kennard and Kim playing sonatas of Rachmaninoff and Barber, is out this week on the Delos label, and here are excerpts from the new album, featuring sonatas by Rachmaninoff and Barber.
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A hearty encore for David Shifrin. After 40 years, the clarinetist supreme retires as director of Chamber Music Northwest. His colleagues give him a round of applause.
Even the most ardent classical-music enthusiasts may not know several details about celebrated clarinetist David Shifrin, who retired this summer after 40 years as artistic director of Portland's Chamber Music Northwest.
He uses synthetic - not cane - reeds.
His distant relative Lalo Schifrin (different spelling), who came to Hollywood from Argentina, persuaded David Shifrin's parents to buy him a clarinet when David was growing up in Queens, New York. Pianist Schifrin, now 88, composed the theme from Mission Impossible, and David Shifrin, 18 years his junior, decades later commissioned him to compose pieces for the clarinet that ended up on the Aleph Label in 2006, Shifrin Plays Schifrin. The compositions were played at CMNW.
Hearing Benny Goodman play Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and "lots and lots of swing" in the 1956 movie The Benny Goodman Story assured Shifrin that he had picked the right instrument. "I just fell in love with the clarinet," said Shifrin, who at 13 attended Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Surrounded by serious young players, including violinist sisters Ida and Ani Kavafian (who perform often at Chamber Music Northwest), he convinced himself that to be a musician, "I'd have to work very, very hard, practice and practice, and be the best I could be." That summer, he thought he'd give the career a shot. He's never recalibrated his aim.
He has 14-year-old triplets, two of them striving musicians and another a computer wiz. He also has a 26-year-old son who is a football coach. A couple of weeks into retirement from CMNW, he said he plans to spend more time with the triplets, continue to play his MoBA cocobolo-wood clarinet for various concerts – some at CMNW – and keep teaching at Yale University School of Music.
If these details have escaped you, you likely know that he is one of three wind players to win the Avery Fisher Prize, established in 1974 to recognize outstanding soloists, and that he was given an honorary membership in the International Clarinet Society in 2014 for lifetime achievement. As a young man he won the top prizes at the Munich and Geneva international competitions, which helped to launch his career.
His accolades are so manifold that there's not space to include them.
Besides, he's more interested in talking about the time during the 2019 festival when more than 100 clarinetists-pros, proteges and students from all over the world-played a raucous finale of Vivaldi, Edgar, Mahler and Sousa on Portland's Park Blocks to end a week of clarinet collaboration. "I'll never forget it," he said, playfully referring to the event as "Clarinet Geek Week."
Many CMNW concert-goers thought the clarinet festival, on his bucket list for years, celebrated Shifrin's retirement. Instead, this summer's virtual concerts, which sent him digging through archives, marked the end of his Chamber Music Northwest tenure. "It was quite a nostalgic journey if a great deal of work," he said, to organize the 2020 festival. "It was a shock to be in a position to replace something that we've done for almost 50 years (CMNW started in 1971 under Sergiu Luca), but everybody is doing that, adapting to the changes the virus has brought."
As it turned out, the 2020 online festival pulled in 50,000 people - the most ever to hear its music - for 18 live streaming concerts, said festival Executive Director Peter Bilotta, "and David led the charge."
READ THE FULL OREGON ARTSWATCH ARTICLE
What do Hollywood musicals, a Cajun chef and 12 tone composer Anton Webern have in common' They have all inspired composer Kim Portnoy's genre bending new chamber music recording, "Caprice."
The CD features performances by such nationally and internationally renowned artists as The Trombones of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; the Arianna String Quartet; the Hanser/McClellan Guitar Duo as well as some of St. Louis's finest classical performers.
The St. Louis-based composer, arranger, jazz pianist and educator joins FM91: WGTE - Toledo classical host Brad Cresswell to chat about his versatile new album. The recording features performances from some of the city's finest ensembles and performers, in music inspired by a wide range of subjects – from the golden Age of Hollywood musicals to legendary Cajun chef and comedian Justin Wilson.
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Colin Stetson is the featured guest on Sony Soundtracks Keeping Score podcast, produced and hosted by Crossover Media's Max Horowitz. The Color Out of Space composer breaks down his process of layering different sounds in order to find the sonic representation of a color that is between magenta and hot pink.
Listen to the attached podcast
Color Out of Space is based on the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. After a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farmstead, Nathan Gardner (Nicolas Cage) and his family find themselves battling a mutant extraterrestrial organism as it infects their minds and bodies, transforming their quiet rural life into a technicolor nightmare. Color Out of Space stars Nicolas Cage (Mandy, Leaving Las Vegas), Joely Richardson (The Rook, Nip/Tuck), Madeleine Arthur (Snowpiercer), Brendan Meyer (The OA), Julian Hilliard (The Haunting of Hill House), Elliot Knight (How to Get Away with Murder), with Q'orianka Kilcher (The New World) and Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong). The film is directed by Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil). He co-wrote the screenplay with Scarlett Amaris (The Theatre Bizarre). The film was produced by SpectreVision and ACE Pictures and is being distributed domestically by RLJ Entertainment.
Colin Stetson, born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, spent a decade in San Francisco and Brooklyn honing his formidable talents as a horn player before eventually settling in Montreal in 2007. Over the years he has worked extensively with a wide range of bands and musicians, including Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver and The National. Stetson has developed an utterly unique voice as a soloist, principally on saxophone and clarinet. His astounding physical engagement with his instruments produces emotionally rich and polyphonic compositions that transcend expectations of what solo horn playing can sound like. He is at home in the avant-jazz tradition of pushing the boundaries through circular breathing and embouchure, and his noise/drone/minimalist sound encompasses genres like dark metal, post-rock and contemporary electronics. More recently, Stetson has focused on scoring a number of original soundtracks, including Lavender (2016), Hereditary (2018) and Hulu series The First (2018).
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit - stripped-down sets, an intimate setting - just a different space.
"I hope everybody stays safe and is good to each other," Víkingur Ólafsson says at the end of this beautiful four-song set.
Before he packed his final bags to return to his native Iceland, the pianist gave one last performance from his home in Berlin. His career has moved from strength to strength, releasing three terrific albums in a row (Philip Glass, J.S. Bach, Debussy-Rameau). And now that he has a young son, he wants to spend as much time with the family as possible these days.
After grounding us in the resilient music of Bach, Ólafsson offers a crash course in the fascinating music of Jean-Philippe Rameau and Claude Debussy, two French composers who lived nearly 200 years apart. Ólafsson connects the dots between the two seemingly strange bedfellows, illustrating his points with demonstrations on his Steinway.
Ólafsson has penchant for making transcriptions, taking pieces written for other instruments and making them his own. He closes with "The Arts and the Hours," his mesmerizing arrangement of a scene from Rameau's final opera, which he plays as a farewell to his Berlin apartment.
J.S. Bach (arr. Stradal): "Andante" (from Organ Sonata No. 4)
Rameau: "Le rappel des oiseaux"
Debussy: "The Snow is Dancing" (from Children's Corner)
Rameau (arr. Ólafsson): "The Arts and the Hours" (from Les Boréades)
Víkingur Ólafsson: piano
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Video by: Anusch Alimirzaie; Audio by: Anusch Alimirzaie; Producer: Tom Huizenga; Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
Two time Emmy winning composer Michael Whalen sits down for an in depth interview to discuss music production, his new album, and the music biz with Rob Mullins. They covered a lot of ground in 50 minutes. Music. Life. Rhodes pianos. Advice for young composers. Duran Duran. Quincy Jones. David Foster. The "three questions" that every young musician asks me and much, much more. Enjoy the attached wide ranging conversation.
Data Lords is the new double-album by Grammy Award-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider. Inspired by conflicting relationships between the digital and natural worlds, the recording features Schneider's acclaimed orchestra of 18 world-class musicians.
"No one can deny the great impact that the data-hungry digital world has had on our lives. As big data companies clamor for our attention, I know that I'm not alone in struggling to find space – to keep connected with my inner world, the natural world, and just the simpler things in life," says Schneider. "Just as I feel myself ping ponging between a digital world and the real world, the same dichotomy is showing up in my music. In order to truly represent my creative output from the last few years, it felt natural to make a two- album release reflecting these two polar extremes."
Here and Now host Robin Young speaks with Schneider about "Data Lords." (Photo by Briene Lermitte)
LISTEN TO THE Here and Now SEGMENT
The first-time teaming of Poland's dynamic Marcin Wasilewski Trio and big-toned US tenorist Joe Lovano brings forth special music of concentrated, deep feeling, in which lyricism and strength seem ideally balanced.
Sony Music Masterworks today releases Not Our First Goat Rodeo, the long-awaited follow-up album to the GRAMMY Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile.
Blues Hall of Famer Bettye LaVette has decided to release her stirring rendition of "Strange Fruit" ahead of schedule as it says as much about the history of American racism and the state of the country today.
Milan Records announces the Friday, August 21 release of I Am Woman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), an album of music from the biographical film surrounding Australian singer Helen Reddy as performed by Chelsea Cullen.
'Women & Children.' Exuberant eclectic originals by Rick Cutler / Contemporary Fusion Reviews
Posted: July 22, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
It's been a good while since I reviewed multi-instrumentalist Rick's work in issue # 110, where he got good marks from me… on his fifth release, he gives us some of the most exuberant and eclectic originals you will hear in 2020. Though I didn't see any LIVE performances from the new adventure, you can check out several of his albums when you SUBSCRIBE to the Rick Cutler YouTube topic channel.
A truly good artist will be able to paint images for the listener to experience… it won't be difficult at all for you to envision a romantic walk through mystical night streets as you listen to the well-crafted "Paris After Midnight"… totally tasty, especially if you put your headphones on as you check it out.
Women & Children is Rick Cutler's fifth album. The album, which he produced, expands on his previous work by including ensembles of different sizes, from solo to quintet. Women & Children is rich with jazz, classical as well as folk influences.
All of the pieces are written by Cutler with the exception of Time, written by Tom Waits. His process, for the most part, is to write a piece without any thought as to who or what inspiration is involved. When it's finished, he'll play it a few times and try to get an idea for a title. It usually comes from either what thoughts or feelings come to mind or something regarding the mood or form of the piece.
Cutler plays drums on One For Ed, Dee Too and Paris After Midnight. On these, he has Mark Soskin on piano who was Sonny Rollins' pianist for decades.
Daydreams (Probably) is the new album from multi-instrumentalist, Rick Cutler. The album is set for release on February 10th, 2017, on New Dude Records. Produced by Cutler, the album takes his usual solo piano format & expands upon it. Although, the balance of the album features his original compositions, it's the first time he's used pieces other than his own. He chose three pieces to cover, one by Bob Dylan, one by Stevie Wonder and one by Wayne Shorter. He felt that Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" and Stevie Wonder's "Black Orchid" are pieces that are less well known from these artists and he wanted to shine some well-deserved light on them.
4 NEW 94 TOTAL
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First Melancholy, Then The Night Stretch, the sophomore solo piano album from multitalented multi-instrumentalist Rick Cutler, is a marvelous second effort that delivers upon the promise of his debut disc, 'Sanctuaries' (which received words of praise from David Bowie's keyboardistMike Garson and former Sonny Rollins' pianist, Mark Soskin. An eclectic artist, Cutler eschews the categorization of his music, but cites the depth of the compositions and their improvisational elements along with an overall meditative feel as coming together in a way which should have appeal to lovers of jazz, classical, ambient electronica, new age, smooth jazz and folk music. Pristinely recorded so as to bring the sound of the piano into the listener's living room, the disc should easily find its way onto the shelves of collectors devoted to labels such as ECM and Windham Hill.
4 New 'ON' this week: 116 Total
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"I continue to learn about and cultivate ‘The Silence' through my practice of Transcendental Meditation"- Rick Cutler ‘From The Silence' refers to that place of inner peace that dwells within each of us, and from which everything arises. The composing process for Cutler was fascinating. Without preconception the pieces on this album were pretty much written in the order as they appear in the track listing.
11 NEW 102 Total Stations/Shows Markets include: San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Portland, Minneapolis, San Diego, New Orleans, Berkeley CA, Austin, Chattanooga TN, Raleigh NC, Hartford CT Online: Jazzweekly, RadioIO, Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, Live 365, The Jazz Intersection
It has always been a dream of mine to release an album of my own music, but when it came time to seriously consider putting something out there for everyone to hear, I had to step back and put some time into deciding exactly what to record & how I'd want it presented. What was most important to me in this process was answering the question, 'What, if anything, in my musical expression could be considered uniquely my own?' I decided on the solo piano approach and felt that what I came up with did justice to the music and satisfied my desire to present something that I could call my own. The title "Sanctuaries" came to mind partially referencing the beautiful Wayne Shorter composition 'Sanctuary,' but more so because I feel these pieces put me in a peaceful place. My hope is that this album can have a similar effect on the listener....Rick Cutler
7 New 'ON' this week 109 Total
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