Classical Music News of the Week, April 4, 2020
During this unusual time of social distancing due to CO-VID 19, acclaimed pianist David Korevaar has created a personal challenge to perform, record, and share 32 Beethoven Sonatas in 60 days. As his April 3rd performances of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 were canceled, Korevaar crafted a unique alternative to celebrate the composer's 250th birthday.
Recorded for the public in his living room in Colorado with no edits and minimal equipment, Korevaar would like to invite you to dive into the wonder of the Beethoven sonatas during this time of uncertainty. Please be forgiving of the piano tuning as his local piano tuners were social distancing too!
Click on the attached link for the first installment of David Korevaar performing Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Major, Op. 2 and feel free to share!
Please visit https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNiJdVWd0JNsLBoajLNTVG_omFYfvQF4r for his daily installments and feel free to share.
--Genevieve Spielberg Inc.
Explore, Discover and Enjoy Classical Music from Nimbus Records
Discover Classical Music: 10 CDs for £10.00.
Whilst we all stock up on essentials and prepare for social isolation we may start to crave the interaction and excitement of new experiences. We will miss meeting our friends, sharing a meal and a bottle of wine, enjoying the cinema, theatre and concert hall. As an entertainment business I hope we can help by delivering a series of special offers aimed at allowing you to Explore, Discover and Enjoy some lesser know recordings from Nimbus and our partner labels.
This first offer is a leap of faith. Click the link for our £10.00 DISCOVER CLASSICAL NI1565 set* and we will pick ten random discs from across the Classical Music warehouse. All will be from current in stock items and I am sure they will keep you entertained and amused for several days. If you only enjoy half of the discs in the box you can pass the others on to neighbours and keep paying the goodwill forward.
In the coming weeks we will be offering similar options for our Jazz, World Music, Living Composers and Nostalgia catalogues plus some special deals from CRD, Lyrita, Nimbus and Hallé.
Shop now: https://www.wyastone.co.uk/nimbus-special-offer.html
Violinist Jennifer Koh Launches Online Commissioning Project and Performance Series
In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the financial hardship it has placed on many in the arts community, violinist Jennifer Koh launches "Alone Together," an online commissioning project that brings composers together in support of the many freelancers among them.
Twenty-one composers, most of whom have salaried positions or other forms of institutional support to carry them through this challenging time, have each agreed to donate a new, 30-second micro-work for solo violin, while also recommending a fellow freelance composer to write their own 30-second solo violin work on paid commission from the artist-driven nonprofit ARCO Collaborative. Starting this week, Ms. Koh will premiere a selection of these donated and commissioned works each Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET via Instagram TV (@jenniferkohmusic) and Facebook Live (/jenniferkohviolin). Each performance will be subsequently available on demand via YouTube (/jenniferkohviolin). She will also share related content throughout the week leading up to each performance, including insights from each composer, behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, and each musical score posted on social media.
For further information, visit jenniferkoh.com
--Lisa Jaehnig, Shuman Associates
International Student Swan Project
The Swan Project: 24 cellists from all over the globe perform Saint-Saëns's The Swan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE1enPDh3nM&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3RVOGbFbTEL1yYxLm49bZwMBAPrS7J0xb-lIw02D9H7aZQ9yY8j3ah7Fw
It's an extraordinarily beautiful effort created by a Chicago-area (Palatine) student, Cameron Chiu, in the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy for gifted pre-college musicians. Chiu explains that it's "a collaborative video showcasing the power and connectivity of music in unprecedented times like this. Last week, Brandon Cheng and I began recruiting cellists from around the nation, reaching out to friends from camps, festivals, etc. to put a video like this together. But as COVID-19 grips the entire world, we decided to make this an international effort. 24 cellists from around the world...Please like and share!
--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications
Philip Glass's Akhnaten on PBS
Four-time Grammy nominee Philip Glass's "Great Performances at the Met: Akhnaten" airs Sunday, April 5 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo stars as the legendary pharaoh, Akhnaten, alongside J'nai Bridges as Nefertiti with Dísella Lárusdóttir as Queen Tye and Zachary James as Amenhotep III. Karen Kamensek conducts in her Metropolitan Opera debut, and internationally acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato—the star of the Met's new production of Agrippina—is program host.
--Elizabeth Boone, WNET
Chicago's Bach Week Festival Postponed
The 2020 Bach Week Festival has been postponed. New dates have yet to be announced.
Among other things, Bach Week Festival was to unveil 2020 season, with concerts in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. It was also to feature the 47th annual Baroque music series' first mainstage period-instrument concert, offering J.S. Bach cantatas, a motet, and sonata for flute and harpsichord.
We look forward to announcing the later date.
--Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR
OurConcerts.live, a New Online Classical Channel and Streaming Service Debuts
Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/5pm PT, OurConcerts.live, a new online channel and streaming service, will bring together some of the industry's biggest stars for a virtual benefit concert. All proceeds will go to the Artist Relief Tree, a fund created in the past few weeks to financially support artists who are affected by cancellations due to COVID-19.
The concert will feature pianists Emanuel Ax and Jon Kimura Parker, mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges, violinist Rachel Barton Pine, clarinetist Anthony McGill, and harpist Bridget Kibbey. Tickets are available on the OurConcerts.live website (http://www.ourconcerts.live), with contributions beginning at $5.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected all of our lives, classical musicians and audiences among them. We're thrilled and grateful to be working with this wonderful group of artists, who are all generously donating their time, to bring live music to viewers everywhere while raising much needed funds to support the classical musicians who currently lack the ability to earn a living," says John Zion, Managing Director of MKI Artists and OurConcerts.live co-founder.
OurConcerts.live is a new online channel and streaming service that promotes the creation and widespread distribution of high quality, live classical music by uniting artists, presenters, and audiences. It allows performers to share their art from almost any setting, whether from home using a computer or smartphone, or from a studio or venue with a professional, multi-camera set-up. Performances can be viewed on a computer, tablet, mobile device, or cast to a television. In the near future, they will also be available via services like Roku or Amazon Fire.
For details, visit https://ourconcerts.live/
--Allison Van Etten and Jane Covner for OurConcerts.live
Music Institute 2020 Gala Canceled, Instruction Continues
Due to official restrictions on large gatherings and the need to combat COVID-19 with social-distancing, the Music Institute of Chicago has canceled its Anniversary Gala, which was scheduled April 20 at the Four Seasons in Chicago. We are heartbroken not to be able to join with friends, celebrate our honorees, and perform music to benefit our talented students. The Gala is the largest source of support for our financial aid, merit scholarship, and community service programs.
Canceling the Gala does not eliminate the needs of our students and our community. We have continued to operate our school, delivering lessons and classes through interactive videoconferencing. In addition, our students are using this technology and finding ways to connect and share their music with isolated seniors.
With that in mind, we hope those who love and appreciate having music in their lives will consider a donation to the 2020 Anniversary Gala (musicinst.org/anniversary-gala) as a fully tax-deductible contribution to the Music Institute of Chicago.
We know now more than ever that music brings us comfort and nourishes the human spirit. Contributions ensure that the Music Institute will be strong and able to celebrate our 90th anniversary in 2021.
--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications
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.