Classical Music News of the Week, October 5, 2019
American Bach Soloists' December concerts begin with three performances of Handel's treasured masterwork, Messiah, in San Francisco's resounding Grace Cathedral. Jeffrey Thomas will conduct the ABS period-instrument orchestra, the acclaimed American Bach Choir, and an outstanding quartet of soloists.
"What stood out above all, in this annual rite that drew a huge crowd, was the sense of being addressed directly, personally, confidingly. Conductor Jeffrey Thomas brought it all together, melding his ABS forces with precision and intuitive responsiveness to Handel's capacious 1742 masterwork." Steven Winn, SFCV
Wednesday December 11 2019 7:30 p.m.
Thursday December 12 2019 7:30 p.m.
Friday December 13 2019 7:30 p.m.
Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA
For complete information, visit https://americanbach.org/Messiah2019.html
--American Bach Soloists
Park Avenue Chamber Symphony's 20th Anniversary Season
The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony (PACS) is riding high these days, its Music Director David Bernard and musicians alike so full of energy and vigour that it comes perhaps as a mild shock to learn that this beloved New York orchestra marks its twentieth year with the 2019/20 season. At a time when some orchestras have settled into a routine, a "that's the way we've always done it" attitude, PACS seems to be reinventing - if not the wheel, then themselves - almost with every season.
Recent years have seen - and continue - a partnership with the pioneering InsideOut Concerts with their immersive orchestra experiences (to feature in two programs this PACS season), the launching of a series of recordings on Recursive Classics that have been applauded by critics in Gramophone, The Arts Desk, and elsewhere, and compelling stand-alone events such as their "Tribute to Veterans" (an event that saw more than 300 musicians on the Carnegie Hall stage, and the New York premiere of Dreams of the Fallen by Jake Runestad and poet and military veteran Brian Turner).
For more information, visit https://chambersymphony.com/
--James Inverne Music Consultancy
Miller Theatre Presents a "Composer Portrait of Vijay Iyer," with Jennifer Koh and The Knights
The New York Times states that "there's probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output" of composer, pianist, bandleader, and scholar Vijay Iyer. A 2013 MacArthur Fellow, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist, and DownBeat magazine's Artist of the Year four times, Iyer is creating a modern realization of the practice of American music through his wide-ranging work. Brooklyn-based ensemble The Knights make their Miller debut in this Portrait which includes a world premiere commission as part of Columbia's Year of Water, along with the New York premiere of Iyer's concerto Trouble, written for violinist Jennifer Koh.
"Song for Flint" (2019) world premiere, Miller Theatre commission
"Crisis Modes" (2019) New York premiere
"Trouble" (2017) New York premiere
"The Law of Returns" (2017) New York premiere
Jennifer Koh, violin
Vijay Iyer, piano
Thursday, October 24, 2019, 8:00 P.M.
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway at 116th Street, NYC
Tickets: starting at $20; Students with valid ID: starting at $7
For complete information, visit https://www.millertheatre.com/events/vijay-iyer-composer-portrait
--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.
Tenor Ian Bostridge & Pianist Brad Mehldau Launch Icons of Song Series
Princeton University Concerts is thrilled to launch the brand-new Icons of Song series with two unmatched musicians: 15-time Grammy nominee tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist Brad Mehldau, considered to be the most influential jazz pianist of our time.
Their concert on Tuesday, October 22 at 8PM will pair Schumann's iconic Dichterliebe cycle with Mehldau's latest song cycle set on texts by Shakespeare, e. e. cummings, Brecht, Yeats, Goethe, Blake, and others. The concert will take place in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.
Tickets are $45-$55 general/$10 student, and free to Princeton University students through Passport to the Arts.
Brad Mehldau will also participate in the first Live Music Meditation of our 2019/20 at 12:30PM on the day of his recital, also in Richardson Auditorium. This free, unticketed event is an opportunity to experience Mehldau's jaw-dropping improvisation within the focus allowed in a guided meditation.
For more information, visit http://www.princetonuniversityconcerts.org/concerts/concert/ian-bostridge-brad-mehldau
--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts
SOLI Chamber Ensemble Announces Its 2019-2020 Season
Winner of the 2013 CMA/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, San Antonio based SOLI Chamber Ensemble has earned National and International acclaim for giving voice to 20th-and 21st-century contemporary classical music through its commissioning projects, high-caliber performances, cross-genre collaborations, and engaging educational and outreach programs.
SOLI is proud to present its 26th season, "Rarified Air," featuring 20 exciting pieces from 19 culturally diverse composers and 6 World Premieres.
For complete information, visit https://www.solichamberensemble.com/rarified-air-solis-2019-2020-season/
--SOLI Chamber Ensemble
Festival Mosaic Offers "Choose-Your-Own WinterMezzo Package"
Festival Mozaic's WinterMezzo Chamber Music Series features three weekends of great works of chamber music, offering sequential ways to connect to the music and the artists. We encourage you to attend all three events in each weekend to experience the special intimacy that only happens at Festival Mozaic.
Join Music Director and Violinist Scott Yoo, along with seven visiting artists, for nine chamber music events throughout the year in San Luis Obispo County, California.
WinterMezzo Series I, November 15-17, 2019: music of Beethoven, Dohnanyi, and Dvorak.
WinterMezzo Series II, February 21-23, 2020: Bach Cello Suites paired with ballet.
WinterMezzo Series III, April 17-19, 2020: music of Nino Rota and Franz Schubert.
For information, visit http://www.festivalmozaic.com/
Foundation to Assist Young Musicians October 2019 Newsletter
The 2019/2020 school has begun and FAYM's Violins For Kids Program is off to a good start! We have a new group of beginning 3rd grade violin students at the East Las Vegas Community Center and another new group of 3rd grade students at the Pearson Center. These students started lessons using 'stick' bows to learn and practice the correct way to hold a violin bow. I observed classes using their stick bows and saw students trying very hard to learn the correct bow hold. In order to be a good violinist you must have complete control of the bow and if you start by holding the bow incorrectly it is very difficult to unlearn a bad habit!
Handing out Instruments:
After two weeks of lessons and home practice these student surrendered their 'stick' bows and were issued 'real' violins to continue their studies. That day was filled with smiles and proud parents as the students embraced 'their' violin and returned to their seats!
New Program at the Library:
Additionally, we are also starting a new group of 1st and 2nd grade students at the East Las Vegas Library located at 2851 E. Bonanza Road (on the corner of Bonanza and 28th street). This group will meet only once a week on Thursdays. On September 19th, their first day of class they were issued 'stick' bows and eventually they too will receive violins to take home. Many of these students are siblings of our 'veteran' students. They are so excited to get an early start and not having to wait till they reach 3rd grade!
Please join the Family of FAYM:
You can donate directly online (see below) OR by mailing your check to:
FAYM: PO Box 1993; Las Vegas, NV 89125-1993.
Share your love of music with a deserving youngster. You'll be glad you did!
(All Contributions are Tax Deductible.)
Or, you can support FAYM students at our Web site: https://www.thefaym.org/donate
FAYM keeps our costs low by relying on highly qualified volunteers to handle our administrative tasks. You can be sure that your donation will go directly to scholarship assistance, program support, and student lessons.
--Foundation to Assist Young Musicians
Richardson Chamber Players "Clara Schumann at 200"
On Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 3PM, the Richardson Chamber Players – an ensemble of Princeton University performance faculty, distinguished guest artists, and talented students – will pay tribute to the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann, saluting her extraordinary career as both a virtuoso pianist and a respected composer. The program includes works by Clara Schumann, interspersed with those of her husband Robert Schumann, and close friend Johannes Brahms.
The performers are Alan Feinberg and Jennifer Tao, piano; Chris Komer, horn; Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, soprano; Anna Lim, violin; and Susannah Chapman, cello.
Tickets are $15 General/$5 Students, available online at princetonuniversityconcerts.org, by phone at 609-258-9220, or in person two hours prior to the concert at Richardson Auditorium.
--Kerry Heimann, Princeton University Concerts
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.