Classical Music News of the Week, June 1, 2014
Loyal readers have no doubt noticed that I've taken the past week or so off. Be assured, however, that I will be back to a regular posting schedule within the next few days. Stay tuned.
Joyce DiDonato Delivers Juilliard Commencement Speech
American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato recently delivered an eloquent and heartfelt commencement speech at Juilliard, her speech a moving meditation on what it means to be an artist and what it takes to remain true to that ideal.
The video has just gone up and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfDpJkT4kts
The full text is attached and viewable here: http://www.joycedidonato.com/2014/05/27/the-juilliard-schools-109th-commencement-speech-joyce-didonato/
--Andrew Ousley, Warner Classics
Music Institute of Chicago's Free Concerts in Downtown Evanston Conclude in June with a Performance of Schubert Impromptus
The Music Institute of Chicago is offering free lunchtime concerts and conversation one Wednesday per month. Lunch is available for purchase from the Pret A Manger Kiosk, and free coffee will be served. For its June program, Music Institute faculty member and international soloist Alexander Djordjevic, a Chicago native, performs a series of Impromptus by Franz Schubert.
Name of Presenter: Music Institute of Chicago
Performance: Free Faculty Lunchtime Concerts: Alexander Djordjevic, piano
Day/Date/Time: Wednesday, June 11, 12:15–1 p.m.
Location: Music Institute of Chicago Black Box Theater, 1702 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL
Information: musicinst.org or 847.905.1500
--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications
Young People's Chorus in the News
YPC alumna sings for "The People's Diva," Renée Fleming, June 3 at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.
The next couple of weeks are pretty special for YPC alumna Nia Drummond, a YoungArts award-winner currently attending SUNY Fredonia on full music scholarship. Not only is she singing
on YPC's current Swiss tour, but on June 3, just one day after she and the chorus return from Switzerland, Nia has been invited to sing at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. for a ceremony honoring world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming.
Then, YPC is featured in American Ballet Theater's Midsummer Night Dream as part of ABT's "Shakespeare Celebration" at the Metropolitan Opera. The Dream with ABT June 30 to July 2, 2014,
Metropolitan Opera House, New York City.
For tickets click here: http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/abt/shakespeare-celebration
--Katharine Gibson, YPC
Music Director Gerard Schwarz and the Eastern Music Festival Present More Than 100 Events as Part of the 53rd Season, Including World Premieres from John Corigliano and Bright Sheng
Music Director Gerard Schwarz and the Eastern Music Festival present more than 100 musical events as part of the 2014 Festival, June 21 - July 26, 2014. Every year Greensboro welcomes 200 extraordinarily talented young artists from around the world and a respected EMF Faculty of 80 acclaimed professional musicians, all of whom come together for five weeks to study, share and celebrate classical music.
Festival highlights include Gerard Schwarz conducting two world premieres, John Coriglianos' Lullaby, featuring Eastern Music Festival's concertmaster, Jeffrey Multer, as well as Bright Sheng's Deep Red for marimba and ensemble. Mr. Multer performs Corigliano's concerto on his Vuillaume that was once the violin of the composer's father who served as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for 23 years. Corigliano's Lullaby is part of the ten-season Bonnie McElveen-Hunter Commissioning Project launched in 2013 as Ambassador McElveen-Hunter's commissioning series for the Eastern Music Festival to celebrate American composers. The second world premiere comes from composer Bright Sheng, whose work is already known to EMF audience for the 2011 world premiere of "The Nightingale and the Rose" and his work with the student orchestra.
A wide range of repertoire is performed at the Eastern Music Festival and, in addition to the world premieres, Schwarz also conducts a full Vivaldi program, an all-French program featuring the Faure Requiem, and an all-Beethoven concert using all three of EMF orchestras, the Festival orchestra and two student orchestras.
Exceptional guest artists joining EMF in 2014 include violinists Elmar Oliveira and James Ehnes, cellist Lynn Harrell, flutist Sir James Galway and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. Other season highlights include the Monday and Tuesday night Chamber Music Series featuring faculty and guest artists; Wednesday night Friends and Great Performers Series featuring collaborations with the Greensboro Ballet and Greensboro Opera; Thursday and Friday night Tannenbuam-Sternberger Young Artists Orchestra Series; the Fifth Annual Piano Competition and performance at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts; EMFkids concert and the third year of EMFkids Discovery camp for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Held on the campus of Guilford College, nestled in North Carolina's Piedmont Region, the internationally recognized five-week Eastern Music Festival and Institute attracts extraordinarily talented musicians between the ages of 14 and 22 that come from all over the world—this year close to 15 countries will be represented. Guiding the young musicians are more than 80 gifted artists selected from top orchestras and music schools nationally and internationally who serve as the EMF faculty. In addition, the young musicians are offered the chance to work directly with some of the world's top performing artists who visit the Festival as guest soloists. the Eastern Music Festival presents an annual summer program offering more than 100 performances and music-related events.
For tickets and further information, visit www.EasternMusicFestival.org or contact the Eastern Music Festival Box Office at Triad Stage (232 South Elm Street) by calling 866.579.TIXX or 336.274.0160.
--Karen Ames Communications
Weill Hall Summer 2014 - Tickets Now On Sale
Weill Hall at Sonoma State University, Green Music Center, Sonoma, California continues its summer presentations:
4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
with Judy Collins and the Santa Rosa Symphony
Matthew Garbutt, conductor
Friday, July 4, 7:30 p.m.
Festival del Sole
Pinchas Zukerman, Violin
James Valenti, Tenor
The Sphinx Symphony Orchestra
Alondra de la Parra, conductor
Tuesday, July 15, 6:30 p.m.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Sunday, July 20, 7:30 p.m.
San Francisco Symphony
Tchaikovsky's Greatest Hits
Edwin Outwater, conductor
Simon Trpceski, Piano
Saturday, July 26, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 27, 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 3, 3:00 p.m.
National Youth Orchestra of
The United States of America
David Robertson, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin
Saturday, August 2, 7:30 p.m.
Sarah Brightman in Concert
Dreamchaser World Tour
Tuesday, August 5, 7:30 p.m.
Tony Bennett in Concert, with guest Antonia Bennett
Friday, August 8, 7:30 p.m.
Amos Lee: Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song Tour
Sunday, August 10, 7:30 p.m.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
Friday, August 15, 7:30 p.m.
Chelsea Handler: Uganda Be Kidding Me Live
Saturday, August 16, 7:30 p.m.
Gipsy Kings: 25th Anniversary Tour, with Special Guest Ole' Noys
Thursday, August 28, 7:30 p.m.
Bill Maher: Live Stand-Up Tour
Saturday, August 30, 7:30 p.m.
Elvis Costello and The Imposters
Wednesday, September 3, 7:30 p.m.
Gabriel Iglesias: Unity Through Laughter World Tour
Friday, September 5, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, September 9, 7:30 p.m.
An Acoustic Evening with Ben Harper
Saturday, September 13, 7:30 p.m.
Diana Ross: In the Name of Love Tour
Tuesday, September 23, 7:30 p.m.
For more information: http://gmc.sonoma.edu/?utm_source=Summer+General+On+Sale&utm_campaign=Summer+General+On-Sale&utm_medium=email
--Green Music Center, Sonoma State
Foundation to Assist Young Musicians
FAYM's 2-week Summer Day Camp will be held from June 9th through the 20th. Students in the tuition-free camp will attend classes in Violin, Art, Drumming & Movement, Music Reading and Theory, Mariachi, and Ensemble.
A faculty of eight top teachers will instruct students. Guest musicians will perform each day. Each Friday a recital will be held for friends, relatives, and public to attend.
You can sponsor a student for the entire 2-week camp for a donation to FAYM of $300. One-week sponsorships are available for a contribution of $150. FAYM depends on the generosity of individuals and businesses to provide underprivileged students with access to music training. Playing your part with any amount will make a difference!
The mission of FAYM is to encourage and support gifted young musicians in early training, advanced study, and professional career development, specifically those who are in need of financial and/or mentoring support up to the age of 26. In addition, an important part of the FAYM mission is to develop programs for the support of needy children in receiving music education.
For more information, click http://www.razoo.com/story/Foundation-To-Assist-Young-Musicians and http://thefaym.org/
--Harold Weller, FAYM
William (Bill) Heck, Contributing Reviewer
Among my early childhood memories are those of listening to my mother playing records (some even 78 rpm ones!) of both classical music and jazz tunes. I suppose that her love of music was transmitted genetically, and my interest was sustained by years of playing in rock bands – until I realized that this was no way to make a living. The interest in classical music was rekindled in grad school when the university FM station serving as background music for studying happened to play the Brahms First Symphony. As the work came to an end, it struck me forcibly that this was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, and from that point on, I never looked back. This revelation was to the detriment of my studies, as I subsequently spent way too much time simply listening, but music has remained a significant part of my life. These days, although I still can tell a trumpet from a bassoon and a quarter note from a treble clef, I have to admit that I remain a nonexpert. But I do love music in general and classical music in particular, and I enjoy sharing both information and opinions about it.
The audiophile bug bit about the same time that I returned to that classical music. I’ve gone through plenty of equipment, brands from Audio Research to Yamaha, and the best of it has opened new audio insights. Along the way, I reviewed components, and occasionally recordings, for The $ensible Sound magazine. Recently I’ve rebuilt--I prefer to say reinvigorated--my audio system, with a Sangean FM HD tuner and (for the moment) an ancient Toshiba multi-format disk player serving as a transport, both feeding a NAD C 658 streaming preamp/DAC, which in turn connects to a Legacy Powerbloc2 amplifier driving my trusty Waveform Mach Solo speakers, supplemented by a Hsu Research ULS 15 Mk II subwoofer.