Michael Stern in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Guangzhou

Michael Stern in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Guangzhou

May 5-7, with his home orchestra, the Kansas City SymphonyMichael Stern leads the Britten War Requiem with fellow Colbert Artists soprano Christine Brewer and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey in commemoration of the United State's entry into World War I. (Kansas City is home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial.)  May and June highlights include Mozart Piano Concertos with Emanuel Ax in Kansas City, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra with Yo-Yo Ma.

In March, Stern led the highly anticipated world premiere performance of Einojunahi Rautavaara's  "Fantasia" with fellow Colbert Artist, Anne Akiko Meyers and the Kansas City Symphony.

Earlier in March, Stern led a subscription week with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Marc-André Hamelin (another Colbert Artist!), in nights of Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Medtner's Piano Concerto No. 2.

"Under Stern's impassioned baton, the orchestra produced teeth-rattling forte passages in the fifth movement, which turned abruptly into complete silence. The juxtaposition, which was exaggerated by Stern, emphasized Tchaikovsky's wittiness."
THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, March 10, 2017

Stern led a round of several different programs with the National Symphony. and Joshua Bell in Édouard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole, and the premiere of Anne Dudley's The Man With The Violin.

In January, Stern spent two weeks in Guangzhou as Music Director of the Youth Music Culture Guangdong, alongside Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma, and then returned to the US to lead the Kansas City Symphony in a program of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde.

 In Russia, Boston and elsewhere with Ken-David Masur

In Russia, Boston and elsewhere with Ken-David Masur

This May, Maestro Ken-David Masur leads the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (his debut with that organization) in works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Mendelssohn at Symphony Center on May 8.  In June he oversees the Chelsea Music Festival, of which he is music director, alongside his wife, Melinda Lee Masur.  July and August finds him at Tanglewood, leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra on July 23 and the Boston University of Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Orchestra on August 12. On September 5 he returns to the Hollywood Bowl, leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic and pianist Inon Barnatan in an LA Phil commission, a new piano concerto from Alan Fletcher. Also on the program are Boulanger's D’un matin de printemps and Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”.

After leading orchestras in Germany, Korea, and Russia, and in North America with the New England Conservatory of Music and the Boston University Symphony, 2017 began with Masur leading a subscription week with the Boston Symphony Orchestra featuring concertos by Vivaldi, Krommer, Jolivet, Rota, and Schumann, followed by a night leading the Orchestre National de France with Anne-Sophie Mutter in an homage to his late father.  Ken just led the Omaha Symphony this month in a program of Strauss, Mozart, and Mendelssohn.  

"Masur was charming as a conductor. His natural enthusiasm came across as expressive and familiar. His skill and connection with the orchestra were evident."
– OMAHA WORLD HERALD, April 8, 2017

Catching up with Daniel Meyer

Catching up with Daniel Meyer

Daniel Meyer was guest conductor at the West Virginia Symphony in a program of Barber, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven, and later this month leads the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a subscription week of all-Rodgers and Hammerstein on April 28, 29, and 30.

"Meyer’s conducting made this chestnut sound fresh-scrubbed. His attention to detail showed the brusque undercurrent of modernism nobly. The slashing rhythms and jarring dissonances that quickly cut to expressive melody helped propel the performance.

"The orchestra’s rhythm was keen while Meyer drew distinct textures and burbling colorings from the players. In all, a skillful balance of lyricism and fire."
– THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL, March 5, 2017

In January, Meyer returned to the Württembergische Philharmonie in Reutlingen for concerts of Gershwin, Mintzer and Rachmaninoff; debuted with the Staatsorchester Darmstadt in concerts of JC Bach, Ligeti, Janácek and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Joseph Moog; and debuted with the Nuremberg Symphony in a program of Strauss, Beethoven and the Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto.

"(In) Sergei Rachmaninov's "Symphonic Dances, a sacredly difficult work, extremely demanding in terms of coordination, Daniel Meyer broke through.  The orchestra … developed rhythmic impact and melodic expressiveness at the same time…  All was brilliant. Iridescent sound colors in the Allegro, shadowy waltzes in the Andante, and martial, piercing Dies-Irae motifs, including the conciliatory Alleluia at the end.  Meyer… achieves something rare here: a common breath."
REUTLINGER NACHRICHTEN, Jan. 17, 2017

Meyer holds Music Directorships with the the Erie Philharmonic and the Asheville Symphony. In Erie,  Meyer led a residency with guest artist Emanuel Ax in early March, and in Asheville, Meyer led the 2nd annual Amadeus Festival,  March 10-19, 2017 featuring a residency by guest artist, Midori.

Jacques Lacombe leading operas in Berlin, Bonn, Marseille

Jacques Lacombe leading operas in Berlin, Bonn, Marseille

 

Principal Conductor of the Bonn Opera in Germany, Jacques Lacombe led the company in La Bohème and Tristan & Isolde throughout September, October, and November of 2016.  This season has also seen Lacombe leading productions of Die Fledermaus at Opera de Marseille, La Juive at the Opera National du Rhin, and four performances of Faust at Deutsche Oper Berlin in February and March.

Lacombe looks forward to leading Peter Grimes and Tosca at Theater Bonn, May through July, as well as a range of concerts with the Orchestra Symphonique de Trois-Rivières

Out of Canada and Africa with Bernhard Gueller

Out of Canada and Africa with Bernhard Gueller

 

April 27-May 12, Maestro Bernhard Gueller leads his orchestra Symphony Nova Scotia in its annual Festival, focusing on European Masterworks, including the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, Brahms Symphony No. 1 and Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Marc-André Hamelin!), and Beethoven Symphony No. 9.  Gueller explains the programming in this video

This Summer (or rather, this Winter), Gueller returns to the Cape Town Philharmonic, where he is Principal Guest Conductor, leading the CPO in its Winter Symphony Season, exploring works by Brahms, Franck, Gershwin, Prokofiev, and others. 

In the Fall, Gueller returns for his final season as Music Director of the Symphony Nova Scotia, leading a season opener of Dvorák, Brahms and Canadian composer Alexina Louie. Other notable concerts include the Cherubini Requiem with the RAM Koor, the Estonian National Male Choir. 

Catching up with Jayce Ogren

Catching up with Jayce Ogren

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Jayce Ogren wrapped 2016 leading his home organization, Philadelphia's Orchestra 2001, and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra in Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky in November.  He kicked off the New Year at Casa de Musica in Portugal, leading the film score for Charlie Chaplin's classic, City Lights, before returning to Orchestra 2001 to lead music by David Lang, Bryce Dessner, Peter Maxwell Davies. He then debuted with Filarmonica de Jalisco (Mexico) in Corigliano and Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World."  In April, Ogren appeared at Brooklyn's National Sawdust and led Orchestra 2001 in performances of John Luther Adams's immersive outdoor work, Inuksuit .

"...Ogren's reading was superb. From a restful tempo and impeccable phrasing, the young American director avoided the easy route to be taken away by the charm of the melodies, especially in the most brilliant passages, and got a deep interpretation, as corresponds to the music 'absolutely Bohemia' that Dvorak decided to portray. ... This was one of the best  Dvorak 9's in the history of the OFJ." 
Jaime García Alías, INFORMADOR, March 18, 2017

Ogren led Orchestra 2001 in a program of "Pocket Symphonies"  on April 23. Looking forward, he records Bernstein's West Side Story (a work he has led in notable international dates) in Nashville; returns to the Indianapolis Symphony, leading Mason Bates's Liquid Interface, a piece for electronica and orchestra, on May 20 as part of the orchestra's INFusion Festival; leading the Wordless Music Orchestra in the film score of Jackie in LA on June 3; returning to the Philharmonie de Paris to lead Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna on June 10; and leading the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa in an all-Rufus Wainwright program (with Wainwright joining the performance) for Canada Scene, a festival celebrating Canadian artists. 

JACK Quartet completes a tour of the States, then takes American music to Europe!

JACK Quartet completes a tour of the States, then takes American music to Europe!

JACK Quartet launched into the new year with a bi-coastal tour: University of Washington, Santa Cruz with the Lightbulb Ensemble, and Wallis Center in LA on the west coast, and on the East Coast: Boston University, Treetops Chamber Music Society in Connecticut, and Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert series in Brooklyn.

"...the JACKs captured the fleeting gossamer essence of music seemingly impossible to capture."

 - Mark Swed, LOS ANGELES TIMES, January 16, 2017 


After stops for performances at University of Maryland and Eastman School of Music, the Quartet returns to Wigmore Hall, where they will perform a day-long marathon of the complete quartets (plus one quintet) of Iannis Xenakis. Next is Italy for concerts in Florence and Genoa, featuring music by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Julia Wolfe, Derek Bermel, Morton Feldman, and Cenk Ergün.

 Mark Kosower wraps up a series of orchestral dates across the states

Mark Kosower wraps up a series of orchestral dates across the states

 

Cellist Mark Kosower enjoyed a rich fall season with performances of Elgar's and Dvörak's cello concerti; Bloch's Schelomo; and Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme; with symphony orchestras in Buffalo, Naples, Toledo, Las Cruces, and Phoenix

"Kosower’s cello sang with a fervent voice against a sea of brooding emotion: moving, prayerful, artistically driving toward a higher plane." 
Wayne F. Anthony, TOLEDO BLADE, October 29, 2016

Last year, Mark celebrated the release of his album of Victor Herbert Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, recorded with the Ulster Orchestra led by JoAnn Falletta.  


"An elegant player with fine-grained tone, sensitive phrasing, and fluent technique, Mark Kosower is the perfect advocate for these two concertos. Never aggressive in his playing, his lyrical gifts shine through even in the climaxes." 
- Timothy Robson, CLEVELAND CLASSICAL, July 22, 2016

Having recorded the two discs comprising the complete Ginastera works for Cello on Naxos (one of his two cello concerti, the other of solo pieces), Kosower also celebrated the Ginastera legacy in recital at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
 

"Kosower's virtuosity was on almost relentless display. Time and again, one's jaw dropped as the cellist, suavely bolstered by his partner, exploited his instrument in ways almost beyond belief, to stunning and haunting effect." 
Zachary Lewis, THE PLAIN DEALER, September 26, 2016
 

Next up, Mark plays a subscription week with the Cleveland Orchestra as the soloist in Strauss's Don Quixote from April 20-22.

Yolanda Kondonassis releases her latest album, performs concertos, concerts with Jason Vieaux, and prepares for her next harp concerto commission

Yolanda Kondonassis releases her latest album, performs concertos, concerts with Jason Vieaux, and prepares for her next harp concerto commission

 

In 2016, Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis released her album Ginastera: One Hundred, a centennial celebration of the composer, Alberto Ginastera, featuring his harp concerto written in 1956.  Yolanda spoke with Mike Goldberg from NPR about the album, Ginastera's contributions to harp repertoire, and how she approaches new projects. Listen to the interview here.


"He created the work that pushed the harp out of its box and gave us the kind of indelible, substantive composition that makes or breaks a solo career like mine."
Yolanda Kondonassis (from the liner notes of Ginastera: One Hundred)

"The album is a masterpiece. Kondonassis’s playing in the concerto is rhythmically exact, yet passionate. It is mesmerizing..." 
– Jeremy Reynolds, Ginastera: One Hundred, CLEVELAND CLASSICAL, October 14, 2016

"Kondonassis has done a service to Ginastera's legacy with One Hundred and we are the beneficiaries of her advocacy. I would say if you own one record of Ginastera it should be this one." 
JEREMY SHATAN, November 1, 2016

Yolanda's next project is a harp concerto commission with Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Jennifer Higdon. Yolanda premieres the concerto in the spring of 2018 and performances with commissioning partners are slated for the 18/19 season.

Yolanda began 2017 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, performing Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp, as part of the orchestra's Mozart Festival.  Watch the performance on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's website here.


Next month, Yolanda and her recording partner, guitarist Jason Vieaux, visit the Schubert Club of Saint Paul for an educational program about preserving the environment on March 3, and a program from their album, Together, on March 5, for the Music in the Park series.

Zuill Bailey wins 2017 "Best Classical Instrumental Solo" GRAMMY Award for Tales of Hemingway!

Zuill Bailey wins 2017 "Best Classical Instrumental Solo" GRAMMY Award for Tales of Hemingway!

“Psychologically, I am bound to this piece,” Bailey says. “Most things we play, we’re reinterpreting the past. This is new music. This was written for me. This is the present and the future, and that excites people.”
As told to byTed S. McGregor Jr, February 13, 2017


Congratulations to the golden man of the hour! We are excited to share that cellist Zuill Bailey won the "Best Classical Instrumental Solo" GRAMMY for his live recording of Michael Daugherty's Tales of Hemingway with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and music director, Giancarlo Guerrero. The recording also won in the category "Best Contemporary Classical Composition".

Zuill enjoyed the GRAMMY Awards ceremony with his son, Mateo, in LA last weekend, and dedicated the award to his mother.

Inspired by the adventures, literature, and life of American author and journalist Ernest Hemingway, Michael Daugherty composed Tales of Hemingway, an homage to the 20th century writer.  In four parts, Daugherty takes the piece from the American grassroots tradition of where Hemingway grew up, to a more exotic flavor as the narrative travels from Michigan to Spain and Cuba.

In addition to the two GRAMMYs, the album has also won a GRAMMY in the category "Best Classical Compendium".  Widely performed across North America already, Tales of Hemingway has been heard with Zuill Bailey and the symphony orchestras in Detroit, Erie, Virginia, Asheville, Evansville, Roanoke, and with the Busan Istanbul Philharmonic in Turkey. 

Listen to Tales of Hemingway performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, here.
Learn more about the piece and orchestration, here.

Daniel Meyer leads orchestras in Germany and North America!

Daniel Meyer leads orchestras in Germany and North America!

Conductor Daniel Meyer appears in Germany three times during January and February. He returns to the Württembergische Philharmonie in Reutlingen for concerts of Gerswhin, Mintzer and Rachmaninoff; debuts with the Staatsorchester Darmstadt in concerts of JC Bach, Ligeti, Janacek and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Joseph Moog; and debuts with the Nuremberg Symphony in a program of Strauss, Beethoven and the Higdon Percussion Concerto.

"My family's roots are in Bavaria and Alsace-Lorraine.  On a Rotary International Scholarship, I was fortunate enough to study conducting at the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna and, during the same period, sang Mozart, Schubert and Haydn on a regular basis as a member of the St. Augustine Choir; an up close and personal immersion experience, if you will, in a language and culture that had always fascinated me.  Those student days set me up on a good path to feel at home in the German speaking world -- and I love it that I'm getting to conduct there more frequently these days." 
Daniel Meyer

Highlights in North American this winter/spring include guest conducting engagements with the Detroit Symphony and the West Virginia Symphony.  As music director of the Erie Philharmonic, he leads their residency with Emanuel Ax in early March. Also Music Director of the Asheville Symphony, Meyer leads the 2nd annual Amadeus Festival there March 10-19, 2017 featuring a residency by Midori.