Marc-André Hamelin in concerts throughout the month

Marc-André Hamelin in concerts throughout the month

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin earned accolades for a recent Festival performance at La Jolla Music Society:

"One moment Hamelin demonically crashed out chords in the lowest register, the next teased out pianissimo plaintive utterances in the treble. He emphasized the wildness of Liszt’s narrative without derailing it.

It was a heroic journey, and at its quiet conclusion, Hamelin was given a hero’s celebration by the audience." 
- Christian Hertzog, THE SAN DIEGO TRIBUNE, August 25, 2016

In the next weeks, Hamelin launches a globe-trotting round of recitals including performances at San Francisco Performances -- his 10th recital there since Ruth Felt first presented him in 2003; at  The Gilmore, where his November 5concert will be live-streamed (be sure to like our Facebook page for the link to this special event!); at Roosevelt University in Chicago; an all-Mozart program at the 92nd St Y in New York;  his China debut in a pair of recitals at the Shanghai Concert Hall; and a return to the Berlin Philharmonie.


San Francisco Performances on October 21, 23
Roosevelt University on November 2
The Gilmore in Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 5
92nd St Y in New York City on November 12
The Shanghai Concert Hall in China on November 18, 19
The Berlin Philharmonie on November 29

Marc-André finishes up his European tour in December with performances of Brahms 2 with the Warsaw Philharmonic, and begins 2017 in a return to theMontreal Symphony to play Ravel G Major and Shostakovich Cto. No. 1 with Kent Nagano.

Read Marc-André Hamelin's thoughts on his Twitter!

~ We would like to take this occasion to celebrate Ruth Felt, who established San Francisco Performances 37 years ago and has nurtured it creatively -- and with great acumen, style, and good spirit --  every day since.  We are grateful for her manifold and excellent efforts to present artists always in the very best way possible, building trust and respect with her audiences every step of the way.  Ruth Felt's  legacy is fine, and huge -- and we honor it. ~

Jeannette Sorrell conducts subscription weeks and celebrates Apollo's Fire

Jeannette Sorrell conducts subscription weeks and celebrates Apollo's Fire


Conductor Jeannette Sorrell leads the Jacksonville Symphony this week in a program that includes Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, selections from Handel's Water Music Suites, and her own arrangement of Vivaldi's La Follia, a wild and colorful touchstone piece to bring to orchestra. Watch Jeannette leading her arrangement of La Follia here.

Next month, Sorrell will conduct the North Carolina Symphony, where she will lead Mozart's Ballet Music from Idomeneo, in addition to Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi. In April of 2017, Sorrell conducts the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Vivaldi concertos, selections from Terspichore by Handel, Bach, and Rameau'sChaconne from Dardanus.

Sorrell also celebrates the 25th anniversary of Apollo's Fire, the period-instrument orchestra she founded to carry forth the "baroque ideal that music should evoke the various Affekts or passions in the listeners".

Juilliard String Quartet and their 16/17 season!

Juilliard String Quartet and their 16/17 season!

"Every detail, from technical virtuosity to balance, is set nakedly in front of the listener. And each of these hurdles, big and small, were navigated with grace by these four fine players. The music pulsed and sang. This was a deeply burnished performance that captured the full emotional spectrum while also displaying ensemble playing that would be hard to surpass." 
- John Terauds, MUSICAL TORONTO, Oct. 14, 2016

After return engagements at Howland Chamber Music Society, Music for Food, Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, the Detroit Chamber Music Society, Music Toronto, and the Tilles Center, the Juilliard String Quartet marked their 70th anniversary with a performance at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall earlier this week. Presenters had nothing but great words following their concerts.


"The Juilliards gave a great performance and received an enthusiastic standing ovation from our audience.  Astrid Schween seems like a great fit for the quartet."

"Completely wonderful, the quartet sounds amazing."

"The concert was a huge success, totally sold out.  The new cellist fits in perfectly, gives the quartet a better foundation and her agility and musicianship is a great match overall.  The program choices were fantastic and very well executed, I particularly loved their Bartok.  They seem to enjoy themselves and it came across in their performance."


The Juilliard Quartet after their performance at Alice Tully

Later on this Fall, they will also make returns to:

Wooster Chamber Music Series on October 23
Peoples' Symphony on November 5
University of Hartford on November 10
Chamber Music Society of Louisville on November 20
Cleveland Chamber Music Society on December 6
Chamber Music in Napa Valley on December 8
Chamber Music Albuquerque on December 11
Arizona Friends of Chamber Music on December 14


And in that December 14 concert, the quartet will  perform the world premiere of a new work by Mario Davidovsky, FragmentsThis work was commissioned by Arizona Friends of Chamber Music for the Quartet; the Quartet performs it together throughout the rest of the season.

Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank; in solo and duo concerts throughout the season

Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank; in solo and duo concerts throughout the season


Three years ago, pianists Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank were wed, and marked that year by performing together at (Le) Poisson Rouge for the first time. Those three years have seen them from Cincinnati to Hawaii, and now they are together in the same city, as they celebrate their third anniversary and return to (Le) Poisson Rouge for another exhilarating concert.  
After kicking off the season in New York City, Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee have a full 16/17 season, with duo concerts interspersed within a series of solo engagements.  
Soyeon Kate Lee ended her summer with a recital at Mänttä Music Festival in Finland, and began fall with two performances at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, performing Schumann's Piano Quintet with the Ariel String Quartet, and Chopin'sPiano Concerto No. 2. She will be performing Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Erie Philharmonic, and Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Asheville Symphony later this season.
After a concert at Ravinia performing a program of Chopin Mazurkas and Polonaises, and Bolcom's Twelve Etudes Books I&II, Ran Dank will be performing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra on October 29, and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Toledo Symphony on March 25.

Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank say hi from Finland!

Tonight, they will perform a program of duo piano pieces (Kaleidoscope by Corigliano, the New York premiere of Seven Impromptus by Alexander Goehr, and Ravel's La Valse) and solo pieces (Scriabin's Fantasy by Kate, and Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13 in A minor by Ran). See their concert tonight at (Le) Poisson Rouge.  Hear a preview of their concert here.
Their series of duo concerts continues at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Steinway Series, where they are performing a program of Mozart, Scriabin, Liszt, and Stravinsky on October 9.  They continue their series, Music By The Glass, an intimate recital series developed and curated by Lee and Dank, on September 22 at the Louis Meisel Gallery, and go on tour to perform at Chamber Music Cincinnati on November 20.


Watch Kate and Ran's perform Brahms Waltzes Op. 39 at Le Poisson Rouge in 2013!

Michael Stern with the KC Symphony

Michael Stern with the KC Symphony


Conductor Michael Stern took the podium with Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony for the penultimate concert at Tanglewood this summer in a program of Bernstein, Haydn, John Williams, and Respighi:

"The program was designed for popular appeal, with Ma as the chief attraction. In the end, conductor Michael Stern seemed the most interesting part of the evening. He lit up the BSO, whether accompanying Ma or going to the movies with Bernstein." 
THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE, August 28, 2016

Stern began September leading the Shanghai Symphony in the inaugural Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, and now heads Down Under to lead the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in performances of Elgar, Haydn, and Prokofiev.  Stern opens his 12th season as Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony in the remarkable Helzberg Hall of the architectural icon that is the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in K.C.  Stern also continues as Music Director of IRIS, the ground-breaking orchestra he founded in Memphis to champion new American music -- played by extraordinary rosters of musicians -- alongside the Classical canon.  Mo. Stern also leads weeks with the Nationaland Atlanta Symphonies this season.

Mahan Esfahani debuts at Aspen and Mostly Mozart, has a profile in The New York Times, and more

Mahan Esfahani debuts at Aspen and Mostly Mozart, has a profile in The New York Times, and more


Photo by Bernhard Musil / DG

Dubbed a "Harpsichord Ninja" by the BBC, Mahan Esfahani returned to North America for debuts at the Aspen Music Festival with works by de Falla and Saariaho on August 1 and a Little Night Music recital for the Mostly Mozart Festival's 50th anniversary on August 5.  This was followed by a profile in The New York Times on his work bringing the harpsichord into modern times.

Esfahani has two CD releases this month: the Seattle Symphony's third disc of the music of Henri Dutilleux featuring Mahan in Les Citations and Deutsche Grammophon's release of Bach's Goldberg Variations, a work that will serve as the start to his 5-year exploration of the keyboard works of Bach at London's Wigmore Hall beginning on December 21.

Mahan begins his three-year residency with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra as Baroque Conversations Artist-in-Residence on October 6 and in November joins Les Violons du Roy for concerti of Bach and Górecki and a recital at the Isabel Bader Center for the Performing Arts in Kingston, ON.

JACK Quartet welcomes two new members and premieres new works this fall

JACK Quartet welcomes two new members and premieres new works this fall


Photo by Shervin Lainez

JACK Quartet began an exciting transition earlier this month as they bade farewell to founding members violinist Ari Streisfeld and cellist Kevin McFarland at the Crested Butte Music Festival on August 5th.  

New members violinist Austin Wulliman and cellist Jay Campbell join the quartet for activities later this month and throughout the fall with their official debut together in Roger Reynolds's FLiGHT at the Park Avenue Armory on October 30 & 31.

McFarland substitutes Campbell on select dates, including their European tour in November that includes the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas' String Quartet No. 9 at the Wien Modern on November 12.  Like Haas' String Quartet No. 3, this will be performed in complete darkness with the quartet playing from memory.

All six members present and past will take part in John Adams's Shaker Loops as part of the JACK's annual appearance at the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program on December 8.

amarcord commemorates Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation, and announces tour dates and programs for 2017/18

amarcord commemorates Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation, and announces tour dates and programs for 2017/18


Vocal ensemble amarcord offers a new program marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation of 1517 and the resulting progression of performance practice in vocal music. Leipzig's premiere a cappella ensemble joins the city's Gewandhaus Orchestra and St. Thomas Choir for special October 31 Reformation Day celebrations then takes their contribution on tour to North America November 13 - 19, 2017.  A second tour February 22 - March 5, 2018 offers additional programs including:

Rare works found in the library of Leipzig's St. Thomas Church Choir from the Middle Ages to Henrich Schuütz.

Dream Light
Works by Strauss, Schubert, Saint-Saens, Reger

Restless Love: Italian Madrigals, Lieder & International Folksongs
Works by Gabrieli, Schutz, de Lasso, Schumann, Mendelssohn and folk songs from around the world

Rob Kapilow wraps up his season with the PBS News Hour and looks forward to 2016/2017

Rob Kapilow wraps up his season with the PBS News Hour and looks forward to 2016/2017

Rob Kapilow wrapped up his 2015/2016 season on June 21 with his sixth appearance on the PBS News Hour, this time discussing Cole Porter’s musical legacy in honor of Porter’s 125th birthday.

“In a great song, once words and music combine, they become a new, completely interdependent element. Words cease to have a purely literary meaning, and music ceases to have a purely musical meaning. Though it’s true, these are enormously sophisticated lyrics, without the music, they would never work…”                                                                             
- Rob Kapilow on Cole Porter

Segments on Brahms, Mozart, Gershwin and more were shown earlier this season with new features to air beginning this Fall.

This week Rob returns to Ottawa Chamberfest with What Makes it Great programs of the theater songs of Leonard Bernstein on July 23 and Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major on July 27.  

Fall 2016 highlights include What Makes it Great programs of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Bernstein’s American in Paris with the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, the Songs of Harold Arlen at Washington Performing Arts, and his series at Merkin Concert Hall with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 on November 7 and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8on December 12.


Rob Kapilow considers the musical legacy of Cole Porter

The Heath Quartet returns to North American in the fall of 2016, and offers programs and touring times in 2017/2018

The Heath Quartet returns to North American in the fall of 2016, and offers programs and touring times in 2017/2018

The Heath Quartet returns to the Ryedale Festival this week where the late string quartets of Beethoven take center stage. Over the course of four concerts (entitled 'A Meeting of Minds'), these quartets are heard alongside the poems they inspired T.S. Eliot to write over a century later. Renowned actor Jeremy Irons joins the quartet to read the poems.  These concerts follow the Heath's recent appearances at the Aldeburgh Festival (listen here).

This fall they return to North America:

   October 26-28 - residency & concert Meany Center for the Performing Arts, Univ. of Washington - Seattle, WA
   October 30 - Phillips Collection - Washington, DC
   November 2 - Market Square Concerts - Harrisburg, PA
   November 4 - Carnegie Hall - New York, NY
   November 6 - Cedarhurst Center for the Arts - Mt. Vernon Hall, IL

Their repertoire includes:
Haydn: String Quartet in F Sharp Minor, Op. 50, No. 4
Tippett: String Quartet No. 5
Dvorak: String Quartet No. 13, Op. 106

They will tour North American in October 2017 offering programs of Purcell, Tippett, Bach, Mendelssohn, Haydn, and the complete quartets of Jörg Widmann.

Their debut disc on Harmonia Mundi of quartets by Tchaikovsky will be released in November 2016 - here's a sneak peak:

Released December 11th 2015** Sir Michael Tippett's complete String Quartets are given fresh perspectives by the vibrant and adventurous Heath Quartet. The first ensemble in 10 years to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Artist Award, the Heaths bring irresistible energy to these works. From Quartet No.

Watch a short video about their award-winning disc on the Wigmore Hall Live label of the complete string quartets of Sir Michael Tippett. The disc was an Editor's Choice in the March 2016 issue of Gramophone Magazine.  

Tafelmusik brings J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation to the U.S.

Tafelmusik brings J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation to the U.S.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra brings their latest multi-media project J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation to the U.S. for the first time in March 2017.  Tour dates include:
     February 28 - Oberlin College & Conservatory - Oberlin, OH
     March 2 - Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State - State College, PA
     March 4 - Casals Festival, Puerto Rico
     March 6 - Bach Festival Society of Winter Park - Winter Park, FL
     March 8 - Community Arts Association of Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara, CA
     March 9 - Carpenter Center for the Arts, Long Beach, CA
     March 10 - La Jolla Music Society - La Jolla, CA
     March 11 - Meany Center for the Performing Arts, University of Washington - Seattle, WA

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation combines text, music, projected video and images to explore the world of the artisans — papermakers, violin carvers, string spinners, and performers — who helped J.S. Bach realize his musical genius. This all-Bach program is performed by Tafelmusik musicians entirely from memory with staging.  Musical highlights include Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, ‘Sheep may safely graze’from Cantata 208/9, Chorale “Wachet auf from Cantata 42/7, excerpts from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, solo Bach violin and cello sonatas, and trio sonatas.

Click here to learn more!  Tafelmusik revives J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation on the East Coast in March 2018.


J.S. Bach: Circle of Creation

Juilliard String Quartet welcomes cellist Astrid Schween

Juilliard String Quartet welcomes cellist Astrid Schween

As the Juilliard String Quartet welcome cellist Astrid Schween, watch her tell how the match was made in this engaging video.

The forthcoming season is highlighted by concerts at some of their favorite venues including Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Detroit Chamber Music SocietyMusic TorontoLouisville Chamber Music Society,Chamber Music in Napa Valley and Tucson, Arizona where they give the world premiere of Mario Davidovsky's 6th string quartet, "Fragments, Quartet No. 6" co-commissioned by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music and The Juilliard School.

Looking to the 2017/18 season, the Juilliard String Quartet offers programs of Haydn, Bartok, Dvorak, Beethoven and Sir James MacMillan's Quartet No. 2, "Why is This Night Different?"  We look forward to an exciting season with this fresh iteration of the Juilliard String Quartet!

Amarcord ends another successful Festival and looks forward to an exhilarating 17/18 season

Amarcord ends another successful Festival and looks forward to an exhilarating 17/18 season

The May 2016 Edition of the International Festival of Vocal Music, "A CAPPELLA", established in Leipzig in 1997 by the Ensemble amarcord, opened with amarcord's popular "European Romantic" program May 20 at St. Michael's Church followed by a May 27 concert of Monteverdi's Marienvespers with the Lautten Compagney Berlin at the St. Thomas Church, and ended at the final gala concert at the Gewandhaus May 29.

Among their 2017/18 season offerings will be a program celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Protestant Reformation, which occurs October 31, 2017, immediately followed by a tour of North America from November 3 - 19, 2017.