Shostakovich’s exceptional ability to recreate a scene from his past is maybe best captured in his 11th symphony, “The Year 1905”. I don’t want to try to briefly summarize the significance of the symphony’s subtitle, so click here if you want a thorough explanation. Shostakovich survived this tragic event as a child, and it was discussed in his household constantly. As a result, the music is anything but subtle.
My first time playing this music was in school, and I’m pretty sure it was the first time I had really considered that something like this had happened in relatively recent times; not just in history books. It might be my favorite of his symphonies, and I know it will be a satisfying experience for everyone. He was hesitant to compose this piece, for the same government that committed the atrocity he was asked to commemorate. However, I think we are better of having such a great work as a reminder of things like these, so we might avoid them in the future.
January 12-13, 2019
Johann Strauss: Tales from the Vienna Woods
Ravel: La Valse
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11
The January Masterworks includes two very different takes on the waltz, one by that most Viennese of composers, Johann Strauss, the other by the Frenchman, Maurice Ravel. After intermission, Stuart conducts the monumental 11th Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich, subtitled “The Year 1905.” -harrisburgsymphony.org
More details will follow.
This is what I know right now:
Ravel Beethoven Mozart and Mendelssohn.
The Japan venues:
April 18, 6:45pm - Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya
April 20 & 21 (both at 2pm) - Osaka Festival Hall
April 22 & 23 (both at 7pm) - Suntory Hall, Tokyo
April 25, 7pm - Kenshin Cultural Center, Koriyama
April 26, 7pm - Kioi Hall, Tokyo
April 27, 2pm - Yokosuka Arts Theater
I was lucky enough to work with 'Olly' once. It was one of those gigs that will happen for a young New York freelancer, where they don't quite understand the gravity and accomplishment of the people around them. I was that young freelancer when I met Oliver Knussen. He conducted his own music, as well as Messiaen's "Oiseaux Exotiques", with Peter Serkin at the piano, in a then freshly minted Zankel Hall. I remember the concert well, and I remember the rehearsals even better. But my favorite part of the whole experience was the lunch breaks. He always laughing.
Oliver Knussen: Sonya’s Lullaby (1978) 6’
Oliver Knussen: Hums and Songs of Winnie The Pooh (1970/83) 13’
Elliott Carter: Triple Duo (1983) 20’
Oliver Knussen: Secret Psalm (1990) 5’
Toru Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch II (1982) 3’
Oliver Knussen: Songs Without Voices (1991-92) 11’
I've never seen this movie, so it's nice to have a reason to join the Lynchian cult and be a couch potato for a bit. A lot of us have been contemplating the passing of Matt Marks this year, and things like this would always make me think of him. He was really good at making me embrace both my inner quirk and my inner bubblegum pop alter ego, and I feel like he would've really appreciated Olga's initiative in composing her "Lost Highway" opera.
'Composer Olga Neuwirth’s Lost Highway Suite—derived from her opera of the same name, itself inspired by David Lynch’s cult classic film—evokes a mysterious tone and structure in a concert performance featuring immersive surround sound. Using a 64-speaker Ambisonic dome, built around the audience in the EMPAC Concert Hall, the suite distills Neuwirth’s 2003 opera to its instrumental core. Mixing live performance with electronic sounds that swirl around the listening space, Lost Highway Suite creates a hallucinatory experience not unlike the warped plotline and surreal characters of the Lynch epic.
Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth (born 1968) gained international recognition at the age of 22 for two mini-operas based on works of Nobel Prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek. Since then, she’s written several music theater pieces including her first dramatic work, Bählamms Fest (also based on one of Jelinek’s works), The Outcast, American Lulu, and Hommage á Klaus Nomi.'
Right on the heels of the season opener for the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, I'll get to dive into my first Brandenburg performances of the season.
elebrating 300th Anniversary of J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 8 PM
Pre-Concert Talk with Jeff Woodruff, HSO Exec. Dir. at 7:15 PM
Market Square Presbyterian Church
20 South Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101
J. S. Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos
David DiGiacobbe & John Romeri, Flute
Andres Oeste, Jill Hoffman & Thomas Rowe, Oboe
Erich Heckscher, Bassoon
Scott Sabo, Trumpet
Geoffrey Pilkington & David Byrd-Marrow, French Horn
Peter Sirotin, Dawn Wohn, Nicole Sharlow & Ervin Dede, Violin
Julius Wirth & Kathleen Overfield-Zook, Viola
Fiona Thompson, Jennifer DeVore & Daniel Pereira, Cello
Devin Howell, Bass
Back to the Hburg in October for my orchestral fix. We're starting this year off with a nice balance of a couple of unfamiliar works and a couple that the whole audience will hum along with. Natalia Kazaryan need not worry about a memory slip with with Rach 2. The audience will have her back. I don't know the Ginastera or the Marquez, so I'm looking forward to adding them to the database.
The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
Stuart Malina, Music Director
Ginastera: Four Dances from Estancia
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
Natalia Kazaryan, Piano
Márquez: Danzón No. 7
Kodály: Suite from Háry János
September 23 | 7pm
Tara Helen O'Connor, flute
James Austin Smith, oboe
Todd Palmer, clarinet
Gina Cuffari, bassoon
David Byrd-Marrow, horn
Molly Morkoski, piano
ROUSSEL Divertissement for winds and piano
ANDRIESSEN Aanloop en sprongen
IBERT Cinq Pièces en Trio
BOULANGER Nocturne for Flute and Piano
ANDRIESSEN Aanloop en sprongen
ADAMS China Gates for solo piano
POULENC Sextet for Piano and Winds
It's always a complete honor to join Orpheus. This time we're going on tour, with a classical program that features the Norwegian trumpeter, Tine Thing Helselth.
ROSSINI: Overture to Il signor Bruschino
HAYDN: Notturno No. 1 in C Major, Hob. II/25
ALBINONI: Trumpet (Oboe) Concerto in D Minor, Op. 9, No. 2
BACH: Trumpet Concerto in D after Vivaldi, BWV 972
MOZART: Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550
This trip will mark Decoda's first residency in in Korea. We'll be playing a concert of hits, arranged by members, for the instrumentation onboard:
Bizet Carmen Les Toréadors
Vivaldi Fall 1st movement
Bach Air in G
Schubert Trout 4th movement
Brahms Hungarian Dance 5
Dvorak Slavonic Dance op. 72-2
Dvorak Slavonic Dance op. 46-8
Grieg Peer Gynt Suite 1st Movement
Shostakovich Jazz Suite
Massnet Meditation of Thais
Elgar Salut d'amour
5PM 2017.10.22 COEX Auditorium, Seoul
8PM 2017.10.23 COEX Auditorium, Seoul
7:30pm 2017.10.24 Kangwon Univ. Baeckyung Art Center, Chuncheon
7:30pm 2017.10.25 Ulsan Hyundai Arts Center, Ulsan
7:30pm 2017.10.26 Jeju Arts Center, Jeju
5PM 2017.10.28 Gangneung City Center, Gangneung
7:30 pm 2017.10.30 Yeosoo Yeulmaru, Yeosoo
7:30 PM 2017.10.31 Changwon Sungsan Art Hall, Changwon
I tend to tread lightly when it comes to the orchestral arrangement of piano pieces. A lot can get lost.
But I love me some Schubert, so I'm full steam with enthusiasm for this program. This is a staged version of Winterreise, that has been arranged for chamber orchestra. You can get a preview here. Ian (he's British, so it's pronounced EE-aan, and not Yahhn like I've been saying) is my absolute first choice when it comes to Schubert Lied, so I'm stoked.
Conceived and directed by Netia Jones
Ian Bostridge, tenor
International Contemporary Ensemble
Baldur Brönnimann, conductor (Mostly Mozart debut)
Post-performance discussion on Saturday, August 12
With English supertitles
So far, anytime that I've mentioned that I'll be going to Banff this summer, the response has been the same. "It's beautiful."
I'm looking forward to verifying this.
I'll be at the Banff Centre as visiting faculty for their new program "Ensemble Evolution", from June 19th until July 1st.
This year at Ojai, Vijay Iyer has assembled a series full of music an artists that unabashedly represent his oeuvre. And why would he have it any other way? The artists include the Legendary Wadada Leo Smith, Nicole Mitchell, Tyshawn Sorey and the like. ICE will be there as the house band.
Stuart Malina puts his considerable pianistic talents on display as he performs George Gershwin’s irresistible souvenir of the Roaring 20s, the Concerto in F. First performed in 1925, the concerto is full of great tunes mixed with the combustible energy and optimism of America’s jazz age. HSO Associate Conductor Gregory Woodbridge conducts the concerto. After intermission, Maestro Malina returns to the podium to conclude our season with Sergei Rachmaninoff’s arch-Romantic 2nd Symphony.
I've never been to France. I know, right??
My maiden voyage will be with The Knights as we stop in on the Festival de Paques, in Aix-en-Provence. We'll also be hitting a few places in Germany, including a the brand new Elbphilharmonie brand new concert hall in Hamburg.
Aix >> Friedrichshafen >> Heidelburg >> Hamburg
And, all of a sudden, October is over.
I have to say that Fall has hit my mood like a ton of mold-slime covered river rocks. Yet the concert season pushes on. This concert features a couple of firsts for me. I've not played any music of Lei's before, nor have I played with Loadbang. This music looks tough, but manageable. I've listened to a bit of his music. It made me think of what the act of searching for the unknown would be as a musical representation. Here are two extremes of Lei. I'll be performing the second:
In a program note about Ascension, Lei says:
"In this work, I try to enact two imaginary rituals that are opposite in nature. One is peaceful and contemplative, like a sacred prayer. It builds on harmonies that ascend gradually in quarter-tone steps, hence the title Ascension. This central section is framed by a different kind of ritual that is full of wild energy and exuberance."
I'm looking forward to this concert, mainly because of the talented musicians collaborating, but I also feel like "wild energy and exuberance" might be a good way to shake these seasonal doldrums!
- Lakescape V (2016) world premiere, Miller Theatre co-commission
- Luminous (2014) New York premiere
- Ascension (2008)
- Serashi Fragments (2005)
I've said this before, but the New York City Center Encores productions are one of the jewels of the city, and I really love doing them. That being said, this one is especially unique in that the composer (Stephen Sondheim) and book writer (James Lapine) are both alive to guide the actors and musicians in this performance. The performance features Jake Gyllenhaal and Tony award winner Annaleigh Ashford.
The horn is the ONLY brass instrument in this one, which means that (like it or not) you'll be hearing a whole lot of moi.
The odds of a musician being asked to take part in a cycle are decisively low, mainly because of the cost of putting the show on. Then you have to be in one of the few bands that are doing it. I'm not a member of the National Opera, so I feel incredibly lucky to be asked to join in this massive undertaking. There's a lot of horn playing involved, as well...a lot.
We're doing the cycle three times. The first Das Rheingold will be on April 30th, and the last Götterdämmerung will be on May 22nd.
It's been like six years, and six years too long since I've been able to fill in and team up with my friends at AWS. The older we get, the less frequently I'm able to see a lot of these guys, so I'm really looking forward to the hang.
This run already looks promising, as my vocal range has come into question. It looks like composer Scott Johnson has decided to trust my pipes! Time to shed...
Mind Out Of Matter (2014) - S. Johnson
There are two performances:
Thank god Stuart Malina is the baller type of Music Director.
Every year he makes sure to include at least one concert in which the horns can be let of of their Mozartian leashes, and allow to run free like the wild metallic banshees they truly are. This years treat is the suite to Richard Strauss' iconic opera "Der Rosenkavalier".
Oh yeah, there's other stuff on the program too:
I. Stravinsky: Petrouchka
M. Ravel: Rapsodie espagnole
R. Strauss: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier
We'll have our hands full this week.
Performances: Saturday, February 20th @ 8pm and 21st @ 3pm
The New York City Center's "Encores" series is, without a doubt, one of my favorite events. I've been involved for about seven years now, and each time it's proven to be hugely educational. The orchestra is made up of the most experienced Broadway players in New York and, since they always use the original instrumentation, it might be the only place on earth where you still hear a full, intact Broadway score.
"Originally produced in 1940, Cabin in the Sky followed Porgy and Bess in celebrating African-American music and dance traditions. The musical tells the story of “Little Joe” Jackson, a charming ne’er-do-well who dies in a saloon brawl and is given six months on earth to prove his worth to the Lord’s General (Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis) and his long-suffering wife Petunia (Tony Award winner LaChanze), while resisting the temptations of the Devil’s Head Man (Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper). Vernon Duke’s score—which features the jazz hit “Taking a Chance on Love”—will be restored to its original glory for Encores!" -nycitycenter.org
February 10-14: Performance Schedule: Wed - Thu 7:30pm, Fri 8, Sat 2 & 8, Sun 2 & 7
Click here for more info.
Peter Evans has convened a new quartet of wind players for a premiere performance of collaborative music. Steve Lehman (saxophones), David Byrd-Marrow (french horn) and Anthony Orji (bass clarinet) will work with Evans, composing new structures for improvisation and sonic exploration. The all-wind instrument format is a rare one; the group will seek to both explore and break the limits imposed by breath sustained instruments, with each member of the group contributing his own unique voice and timbral approach to create a hybrid and ultra dynamic music.
The hit is at 8pm, opened by Charlie Looker's Seven Teares, which Peter curiously described to me as sort of a goth, folk, renaissance group. Come!!! It'll be a fun time!
Why didn't more people do things like this?
Mark Morris didn't reinvent the wheel with this original choreography of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece (described here in a NY Times article). He just put his own moves to the music. I'm not sure why this sort of thing didn't catch on more, but I'm glad Morris took the time to add some variation to this standard.
From George Lewis:
“Founded on the South Side of Chicago in 1965, the AACM has long played an internationally recognized role in American experimental music. Afterword functions not as a history of the collective, but as a “Bildungsoper”—a coming-of-age opera of ideas, positionality, and testament. The libretto is drawn from my 2008 book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press), a chronicle showing how artists and musicians assumed central roles in forging new models of black identity and social activism. What I call the AACM’s “unstable polyphony” of voices, at once independent and in harmony in imagining the future of music, is the inspiration for Afterword, my first experimental opera, and where interpenetration of subject with artistic method becomes a vital touchstone for operatic experience.”
This will be my first trip to this festival, and I'm excited to get even better acquainted with this wonderful piece!
Sunday, November 22nd at 7:30pm
Sibelius' second symphony was the first symphony I ever played. That was 18 years ago. I look forward to concerts like this, that make me confront the ways I have changed as a person and a musician, and the ways in which I am still the same.
Stewart Malina, Music Director
Rossini: Overture to William Tell
Leshnoff: Double Concerto
Alexander Kerr, Violin | Michael Strauss, Viola
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
Need I say more? I haven't seen the set list for this yet (and I won't until the day before), but I think it's safe to say that this is a self-selecting crowd, that'll be full of energy for the songs they love. This will be a fun night featuring special guests Sierra Boggess and Julian Ovenden.
I met JLA for the first time this summer, and I wasn't disappointed. He is thoroughly a roaming soul, and writes music that could only be composed from a small, isolated cabin in Alaska. Just one piece on this first night of three, facilitated by Miller Theatre in their famous Composer Portraits series.
Night One: Clouds of Forgetting, Clouds of Unknowing
Shimmering and clear, this music evokes the Arctic light and expansive landscapes, with movements such as Lost Chorales, Forgotten Triads, and Clouds of Perfect Fourths.
“Quantum physics has recently confirmed what shamans and mystics, poets and musicians have long known: the universe is more like music than like matter.” —John Luther Adams, from the introduction to Clouds of Forgetting, Clouds of Unknowing
ICE returns to Mostly Mozart as Artists-in-Residence. This time we will explore George Benjamin's chamber opera Into the Little Hill. We'll also be joined by Pierre Laurent-Aimard for a couple of other familiar tunes.
When I first me Steven Schick, I had no idea who he was. It was about nine years ago. I was relatively new to contemporary music, and I was randomly playing a concert which also had billed, Red Fish Blue Fish. Had I known who he was, perhaps I would have kept the idle banter to a minimum. Perhaps not. In any case, I've had the fortune of working with Steven over the last decade, and he has had the largest influence on me of any musician. This year he has curated the Ojai Music Festival, and I will be there as part of the International Contemporary Ensemble. This year is very special, as it will celebrate the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez.