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."
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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)
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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.
Sharon Isbin's 'Strings for Peace' illustrates how north Indian classical music can convey unity and optimism / Roots Music Report
Posted: July 21, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Music is often used as a vehicle to build community, and "Strings for Peace" illustrates how North Indian classical music can convey the world's hope for peace, unity and optimism. Multi Grammy award winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin has a long-standing spiritual connection to India, its music, and transcendental meditation. The four world premiere ragas, composed by sarod virtuoso Amjad Ali Khan, provide soothing music for reflection and meditation. The album also features Amjad Ali Khan's sons (Amaan and Ayaan) on sarod, as well as tabla virtuoso Amit Kavthekar. The sarod (meaning "beautiful sound" in Persian) is a fretless stringed instrument that offers a deeply rich, introspective tone to create and explore moods. Collaboratively, Isbin's masterful guitar adds a pleasant, soothing voice of dignified restraint and dynamics to the musical conversations emphasizing intricate scales and melodic patterns. All the musicians demonstrate a visceral understanding of how music connects us all on this planet. Ragas often correlate with certain times of the day, as with "By the Moon (Raga Behag)" and "Sacred Evening (Raga Yaman)." The spiritual and emotional qualities of love and affinity for nature are captured in "Love Avalanche (Raga Mishra Bhairav)" and "Romancing Earth (Raga Pilu)." Ragas follow a set pattern beginning with a meditative establishment of the mood, followed by introductions of rhythmic elements and explorations by the strings. Only in the final section of each raga does the percussion instrument, the tabla, enter while the guitar and sarod continue to converse with evocative statements of the composition, counterpoint and improvisations. The results are performances of deep feeling and mystical splendor that emphasize the need for peace, harmony and understanding. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)
On this historic ZOHO release, legendary guitarist Sharon Isbin performs multi-faceted and virtuosic new works for guitar, written for her by four leading composers. From the Africa-influenced El Decameron Negro by iconic Cuban guitarist/composer Leo Brouwer, through the Chinese and Spanish-inspired Seven Desires for Guitar by Tan Dun, to Richard Danielpour's sensual song cycle Of Love and Longing (with multiple Grammy winner Isabel Leonard) and the jazz and world music-influenced Affinity: Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra by Chris Brubeck with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra/Elizabeth Schulze, Sharon Isbin gives her inimitable imprint to, and vastly enriches major new repertoire for guitar. The four world premieres also include a two-guitar arrangement for her by Colin Davin of Antonio Lauro's Waltz #3 Natalia. The recording will be available May 22, 2020 on the ZOHO label (ZM 202005).
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Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin's new recording, Strings for Peace, with sarod master, Amjad Ali Khan, and his virtuoso sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash, is a groundbreaking release steeped in the tradition of ragas and talas of North Indian classical music. Available May 22, 2020 on the ZOHO label (ZM 202004), it was recorded in New York following a successful joint 2019 tour in India. Strings for Peace features four Khan compositions based on popular ragas specifically written and arranged for Sharon Isbin: By the Moon - Raga Behag, Love Avalanche - Raga Mishra Bhairav, Romancing Earth - Raga Pilu and Sacred Evening - Raga Yaman. The four artists are joined on the tabla by Amit Kavthekar, a disciple of Indian drumming giants, Alla Rakha and his son Zakir Hussain. They will tour across the US in 20/21 beginning in Tanglewood and Caramoor festivals this July.
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Bach for Guitar is now available at retailers nationwide – including Amazon, Arkiv Music, Barnes & Noble – on the Erato/Warner Classics label (cat. #2564617518). Ms. Isbin calls the Suites "among the most challenging and musically rewarding works in the classical guitar repertoire." The first classical guitarist to perform and record Bach on guitar with baroque performance practice techniques, Isbin collaborated with noted Bach scholar and keyboard artist Rosalyn Tureck on the editions performed on the disc. The CD includes all four lute suites by Johann Sebastian Bach, including Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a, Suite in G Minor, BWV 995, Suite in E Minor, BWV 996, and Suite in C Minor, BWV 997.
14 NEW 135 TOTAL
SYND: Classical 24, CBC, TRH, Sunday Baroque Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Stingray, AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Denver, Baltimore, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: Taintradio, The Washington Post, pancakesandwhiskey.com, IDOLATER, Consequence Of Sound, Stereogum, Billboard
Sharon Isbin - Troubadour is a one-hour documentary portrait of the world's premier classical guitarist, shows us a trailblazing performer and teacher who over the course of her career has broken through numerous barriers to rise to the top of a traditionally male-dominated field. The film, produced by Susan Dangel, explores what it takes to nurture a dream against all odds to become a world class musician. It will be presented by American Public Television for broadcast on nearly 200 public television stations throughout the US this November-December 2014, and released on DVD/Blu-ray by Video Artists International.
In coordination with the documentary broadcasts, Warner Classics will release five of Isbin's most popular albums in a single box. The set brings together cornerstones of the guitar concerto repertoire by Rodrigo and Villa-Lobos, arrangements of perennial Baroque favorites, concertos by Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun that were written for Isbin herself (and featured in the documentary) and two imaginatively-programmed recital discs including the GrammyTM Award-winning Dreams of a World.
20 NEW - 93 Total
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Recognized as "the pre-eminent guitarist of our time" The Boston Globe and "the Monet of the classical guitar" Atlanta Journal Constitution, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin makes her Sony Masterworks debut with Journey to the New World. The extraordinary recording follows a musical progression from 16th century England, Ireland, and Scotland to the shores of America, with the music of the New World represented by Joan Baez, Isbin's first music hero, and violin virtuoso and composer Mark O'Connor.
13 New ON this week: 124 Total
Synd: NPR/ATC, APM/PT, PRI/Classical 24, Sunday Baroque, Sixty Second CD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Portland, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Long Is. NY, Indianapolis, Berkeley CA, Orlando Online: Taintradio, Folk Image, Guru, RadioIO/Classical Favorites, io4business/Piano Guitar, MusicGuru
Renowned classical guitarist Sharon Isbin, whom critics have acclaimed as "the pre-eminent guitarist of our time" (Boston Magazine) and "the Monet of the classical guitar,"(Atlanta Journal) is following her Grammy-winning 2009 Sony Masterworks debut album Journey To The New World with another extraordinary musical exploration, Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions. Available August 30, the new album has a definite Latin American flavor, but the journey this time is focused more on her musical mentors. "I'm paying tribute to my guitar heroes," Isbin says. "These are artists whom I admire greatly, who are also heroes in their own realms." The artists include fellow guitar greats who are also great friends with whom she has collaborated. "Steve Vai has been a dear friend and duo partner for years," Isbin says, singling out the rock guitarist/composer, who improvises with her on La Catedral by famed Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios Mangore. "Stanley Jordan is another hero and great friend," she adds, and the innovative jazz guitarist joins her in his stunning arrangement of Sonidos de aquel dia, by the Argentinean guitarist/composer Quique Sinesi.
4 New 'ON' this week 118
Synd: PRI/Classical 24 & Jazz After Hours Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Minneapolis, Seattle, St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Memphis, Tampa, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Canada Online: KING FM Evergreen, Taintradio