As we enter 2021, American Bach Soloists is looking to the future!
Over the past twelve months, the world has come together as one as we fight the effects of this pandemic. As you know, so many industries have been hit hard, including the visual and performing arts. Throughout the pandemic, American Bach Soloists has worked to keep the music of Bach and his contemporaries in your living room (or bedroom, kitchen, etc.) to ensure that we could reach out to you in new and innovative ways, all while instilling beauty and calm. As we enter the new year, we will bring you more and even better ways to enjoy our music, all while planning for a post-pandemic world where music will once again ring loudly from the concert hall.
It has now been exactly one year since ABS last performed before a live audience. And while nothing can replace that kind of experience, ABS transitioned immediately to find ways to share music and musicians with you weekly. From our “ABS at Home” to our “Fridays with Friends” and from our virtual Gala to our YouTube premiere of “Handel’s Messiah in Grace Cathedral,” innovation and technology have been the keys to success.
The Connoisseur Series 2021 “Home Edition” are scheduled to begin filming in March. We are planning to record in some of the Bay Area’s most iconic venues including the Kohl Mansion, the Palace Hotel, the Mondavi Center, and others. Subsequent filming will take place in early April and May with release dates at the end of their corresponding months. For details, visit https://americanbach.org/2021-Connoisseur.html
In just a few days, we will begin to film a new “ABS Artist Profiles Series” featuring ABS soloists as they perform some of their favorite solo works and give us insights into their inspirations, motivations, and devotion to making music in these engaging and captivating high-quality videos.
With COVID cases slowly declining and the continued rollout of vaccines, we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to present the 2021 American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in August.
For more information, visit https://americanbach.org/
--Don Scott Carpenter, Executive Director, ABS
Winners Announced for Sphinx Competition Junior and Senior Divisions
The Sphinx Organization announces the winners of its annual Sphinx Competition in both its Junior (17 and under) and Senior (ages 18 to 30) Divisions. Violinist Samuel Abraham Vargas Teixeira (Araure, Portuguesa - Venezuela), the First Place Senior Division Laureate, received the $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize, and will additionally make forthcoming solo appearances with major orchestras. Violinist Amaryn Olmeda (Loomis, CA), the First Place Junior Division Laureate, received a $10,000 cash prize, and will also make solo appearances with major orchestras.
Bassist Christian Gray (Winston-Salem, NC) received Second Place in the Senior Division and a $20,000 cash prize with cellist Luiz Fernando Venturelli (Praia Grande – São Paulo, Brazil) receiving Third Place and a $10,000 cash prize. In the Junior Division, violinist Jonathan Okseniuk (Mesa, Arizona) received Second Place and a $5,000 cash prize; violist Dillon P. Scott (Lansdale, PA) received Third Place and a $3,000 cash prize.
The Sphinx Organization is the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Sphinx’s four program areas—Education & Access, Artist Development, Performing Artists, and Arts Leadership—form a pipeline that develops and supports diversity and inclusion in classical music at every level.
For more information, visit https://www.sphinxmusic.org/
--Katlyn Morahan, Morahan Arts and Media
Applications Open and Jury Announcement! 2021 CAG Virtual Competition
Concert Artists Guild (CAG) is committed to supporting the highest level of musician by recognizing their full potential in an ever-changing world. CAG seeks to partner with musicians who are thoughtful citizen-artists and have a commitment to connecting their music to the greater world.
To align with our European partner, YCAT, our annual competition will be moved to the spring starting in 2021 (no fall 2021 competition). For the safety of the competitors, jury and staff, our 2021 competition will once again be held virtually.
Apply now: https://www.concertartists.org/application-and-guidelines
--Concert Artist Guild
What's Streaming: Classical (Week of February 8–14)
Wednesday, February 10 at 10:45 a.m. ET:
Stephen Hough joins panel discussion on the arts and COVID-19, presented by the Peabody Institute.
Friday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m. CT:
Minnesota Orchestra presents Musical Menagerie, a young people's concert in partnership with the Minnesota Zoo.
Friday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m. PT:
Wu Man performs in Chinese New Year celebration, presented by CSU San Marcos.
Saturday, February 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET:
Bard’s US-China Music Institute presents Wu Man in The Sound of Spring: a Chinese New Year Concert.
--Shuman Associates News
Colburn School's Fortissima Program Expands Nationally
The Colburn School, a renowned performing arts school based in Los Angeles, has expanded its Fortissima program nationally. Housed under Colburn’s Center for Innovation and Community Impact, Fortissima is an artistic and leadership development program for high school age young women from underrepresented minorities in classical music who demonstrate excellence on an orchestral instrument and have an interest in pursuing a career in music.
Fortissima’s innovative leadership curriculum, paired with rigorous artistic development and one-on-one mentorship, is designed to inspire, equip, and empower young women from underrepresented minorities to pursue professional training and careers in the classical music field. Now a national model, Fortissima will be a six-month experience for 10 young women that will include mentorship and virtual engagement, and culminate in a weeklong residential intensive at the Colburn School in Fall 2021. The program is provided at no cost to participants.
For full information, visit https://www.colburnschool.edu/community-initiatives/fortissima/
--Lisa Bellamore, Crescent Communications
Music with a View Celebrates Valentine's Day
Sheridan Music Studio presents Music with a View #6: Celebrate Valentine's Day with Susan and Svetlana.
Steinway Artists Susan Merdinger and Svetlana Belsky perform a two-piano concert of Romantic music by Bach, Brahms, Liszt, Chabrier, and Rachmaninoff: Sun, Feb 14, 2021 @ 12:00 PM PST.
For complete information, visit https://in.live/event/details/iDhvvELo7J
--Sheridan Music Studio
Tenth Edition of the MNM Festival - a Free Webcast
The 10th edition of the Montreal/New Musics festival will be offered free of charge to music lovers, from February 18 to 28.
A small glimmer of hope in a period that as not been conducive to creation: the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) presents the program for its Montreal/New Musics (MNM) festival. This 10th edition will be held from February 18 to 28 with the theme Au-delà des frontières (Beyond Borders), accessible through free webcast on festivalmnm.ca.
This unprecedented and original sound odyssey, tinged with openness and discovery, invites audiences to travel (legally) from one sound continent to another through ten events punctuating the festival.
For complete details, visit http://smcq.qc.ca/mnm/fr/2021
--France Gaignard, Publicist
West Edge Opera Presents Its Summer Opera Festival
West Edge Opera presents a live, outdoor summer opera festival, in partnership with Cal Shakes' “Season of Shared Light.” This summer, West Edge Opera is thrilled to be a part of Cal Shakes “Season of Shared Light,” presenting a three-week-long opera festival--an outdoor celebration of live music and performance - at The Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, nestled in the hills overlooking Orinda, CA. This partnership with Cal Shakes presents the opportunity for safety, collaboration, and most importantly: the opportunity to celebrate live arts again.
For details, visit https://www.westedgeopera.org/
--Emelie Whelan, West Edge Opera
ALT Announces Opera Writers Diversity and Representation Initiative
American Lyric Theater Announces Opera Writers Diversity and Representation Initiative (OWDARI) to Increase Participation in its “Essential Contemporary Opera Lab” (New Yorker) by BIPOC Artists. With free virtual Opera Writers Symposium February 27 – April 4, American Lyric Theater seeks to introduce storytellers from diverse racial and artistic backgrounds to ALT’s approach to the development of new opera and encourage applications to the Composer Librettist Development Program, the country’s only full-time mentorship for emerging opera composers, librettists, and dramaturgs.
American Lyric Theater (ALT) announces the Opera Writers Diversity and Representation Initiative (OWDARI) as part of an ongoing commitment to mentoring the next generation of operatic writers. In consultation with an Advisory Committee comprised of BIPOC artists and related experts in the field, through the OWDARI, ALT is examining every part of the company’s operations with the goal of addressing structural inequality and racism and increasing participation by BIPOC artists in the company’s flagship Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP).
For details, visit https://www.altnyc.org/composer-librettist-development-program
--Rebecca Davis PR
Rochester Philharmonic Announces 2021-22 Season
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) today unveiled its 2021-22 Season. The 21-22 Philharmonics season is the first under the baton of Maestro Andreas Delfs as Music Director and is one of the most diverse in the history of the nearly 100-year-old orchestra. The season features two world premieres, by Jessie Montgomery and Roberto Sierra, and works by living composers presented throughout the season alongside eclectic and beloved selections from the classical repertoire.
Visit the Web site for an overview of RPO’s Pops season and a chronological listing of all concerts:
--Beverly Greenfield, Kirshbaum Associates
Saratoga Performing Arts Center Virtual Learning Library Adds Three New Programs
In the month of February, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will add three new programs to its virtual Learning Library that further its mission to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in the arts.
Created to bring free original arts educational content to students, families and educators at a time when in-school classes are often not feasible due to the pandemic, the SPAC Learning Library has collaborated with more than 25 professional regional musicians and dancers including Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and Caroga Arts Collective, as well as summer resident companies New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Starting February 1, SPAC’s Learning Library will offer new programming including lessons in Stepping and South African Gumboot Dancing with dance company Soul Steps, five interactive, wheelchair-accessible dance lessons in the “Kitchen Floor Dance Class” series led by Broadway veterans Eric Hatch and Dennis Moench, and “Instrument Beginnings,” a new series of music lessons that guide children through the beginning stages of learning an instrument.
For more information, visit https://www.spaclearninglibrary.org/
--Rebecca Davis PR
Beyond the Stage: Musicians on Music
The Music Institute of Chicago’s new livestreamed free lecture series, “Beyond the Stage: Musicians on Music,” offers insights and perspectives on a range of musical topics spanning classical, jazz, and popular music. Following each talk, viewers have the opportunity to ask questions. The series begins February 18 and runs through June.
Designed for music enthusiasts across the globe, the free series showcases esteemed members of the Music Institute’s faculty, which includes nearly 200 experienced and dedicated educators and performers with degrees from the world’s finest music schools.
For details, visit https://www.musicinst.org/beyond-the-stage
--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications
Baryshnikov Arts Center Premieres
Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) presents the next installments of its 2021 digital spring season. brownout, a solo created, directed and performed by choreographer and performer Mariana Valencia, premieres on Monday, March 1 at 5pm ET and is available to view until Monday, March 15 at 5pm ET at BACNYC.org. Filmed at locations in upstate New York, Valencia’s new work uses a series of movement and sound scores to play with narrative, abstraction, and inference. Generating a visual essay through the “stage” of the camera, brownout shifts the frame from one lens to the next with a focus on loss and lack.
“By definition, a brownout is ‘an electrical demand that exceeds the available supply of power,’ says Valencia. “A brownout is similar to other words used to describe shifts in electricity, visibility, or perception such as ‘whiteout,’ ‘greyout,’ and ‘blackout,’ and in this work, we explore them all.”
A live-streamed conversation with Mariana Valencia and curator Ali Rosa-Salas will be held on Wednesday, March 10 at 8pm ET. Free registration for the live Zoom conversation is available beginning March 1 at 5pm ET.
Museum of Calm, a solo by extended-technique vocalist, performer, and composer Holland Andrews, premieres on Monday, March 15 at 5pm ET and is available through Monday, March 29 at 5pm ET at BACNYC.org. The digital music performance generates interior worlds to offer strategies for navigating through chaos, accessing freedom within fantasy, and sustaining the energy required to survive in a reforming society. The new vocal and electronic music score conjures this realm to convey a total reset from chosen realities and identities, pointing towards a realignment with something that gives craved expansion within a world full of circumstances beyond one’s control.
Filmed in November 2020 at BAC’s John Cage & Merce Cunningham Studio with the natural light of late autumn serving as a backdrop, the piece is equal parts vocal music composition, meditation, and performance art video designed to trigger a cathartic emotional experience.
For more information, visit https://bacnyc.org/performances/upcoming-performances
--Katlyn Morahan, Morahan Arts and Media
Mandala Makers Festival Returns in March
Mandala South Asian Performing Arts presents its annual Mandala Makers Festival in a series of digital performances every Friday in March beginning at 7 p.m. The festival supports emerging multidisciplinary South Asian artists by providing a space—virtual at this time—to advance and challenge traditions of the South Asian diaspora. The Mandala Makers Festival is free; donations support the participating artists and festival operations.
“When we knew we couldn’t be together, I felt there was no other choice than to swiftly build a space to encourage continued practice among our artists,” said Mandala’s Programs Manager and Festival Curator Ashwaty Chennat. “This festival honors the breadth of experiences we have had during this time as well as how we, as artists, are continuing to find ways to express ourselves, create change, and collaborate as a community. May this space breathe life into the uncertainty of arts presentation going forward. We see a future in building new structures that endure.”
The Mandala Makers Festival takes place Fridays, March 5–26 at 7 p.m. Attendance is free; donations via https://mandalaarts.org/donations/ support the artists and festival operations.
For the most current artist lineup and to register, visit https://mandalaarts.org/
--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications
Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in Recital
Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall presents a virtual recital by celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power, and insight” (The New York Times), in a special program of Beethoven, Grieg, and Dvorák on Sunday, February 21, at 3pm ET, it was announced today by Sam Dixon, Spivey Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director.
“Leif Ove Andsnes has recorded an exceptionally beautiful recital video for Spivey Hall to stream that is a delight to the eye and the ear,” said Dixon. “It allows viewers to experience his outstanding artistry in a wonderfully personal way, with close-ups of his hands and face that complement his excellent and engaging performances.” Mr. Andsnes recorded the concert at the Edvard Grieg Museum recital hall located at Troldhaugen, the home of Nina and Edvard Grieg, in Bergen, Norway, where Mr. Andsnes and his family also live.
For details, visit https://spiveyhall.org/events/event/leif-ove-andsnes-piano
--Allison Van Etten, Ravenscroft PR