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The Greenville Symphony Orchestra has announced conductor John Devlin as a finalist for the position of Music Director. He will conduct a series of Masterworks concerts with the GSO in 2023 featuring works by Caroline Shaw, Dimitri Shostakovich, and the concerto for Beatboxer/Rapper Migrations in Rhythm by Evan Meier and Christylez Bacon, with Bacon as soloist. Devlin is Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, an ardent champion of American music, an innovator of concert design, and a thought leader in the field of classical music. His engagements include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra and the symphonies of Virginia, Hawaii, Columbus, Omaha, Kalamazoo, Princeton, Elgin, the Sarasota Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra and the American Repertory Ballet. Of his debut with the National Symphony and violinist Joshua Bell, Anne Midgette of The Washington Post noted that Devlin “led the evening with flair … and was visibly in his element.”
Acclaimed violinist Eunice Kim will appear at the Cabrillo Festival to premiere the new Duo Concerto for Violin & Double Bass by rising star composer and double bassist Xavier Foley. This superb musician, with her quick mind and a maverick bow arm, enjoys an ongoing performance collaboration with Xavier Foley that began when they both attended the Curtis Institute of Music. This season’s performances of Foley’s For Justice and Peace duo concerto included appearances with the Boulder Philharmonic and the Symphonies of Akron, Shreveport, Wheeling and Williamsport. Eunice is looking forward to the new double concerto this summer and to working with Maestro Cristian Măcelaru. In addition to the new Foley concerto, the program includes works by Dan Caputo, Robert Hughes, Kevin Puts, and Anna Clyne. More information about the Cabrillo Festival concert August 13th. The Columbus Dispatch says “Together, the two musicians become much more than a duet” and Foley’s composition “is reflective and wise”. [read the review]
Saxophonist Timothy McAllister (two Grammy nods) welcomes a newly commissioned concerto from the esteemed and beloved American composer Adolphus Hailstork for the 2024/25 season (available following McAllister’s January 2025 premiere). More high profile composers with new concertos lined up for Timothy McAllister include Steven Mackey for 2024/25, Viet Cuong for 2026/27 and, ready for premiere in 2023, the Whimsical Concerto of Fanciful Birds by Canadian composer Vincent Ho. Whimsical Concerto is scored for also saxophone solo and spatialized ensemble of eight saxophones in the hall, drawn from high level students in the community for a special musical and public experience. Saxophonist Timothy McAllister “stood with one foot in the classical world, and the other in jazz” (ArtsAtl.org) in performance with the Atlanta Symphony in the U.S. premiere of Tyshawn Sorey’s Adagio (For Wadada Leo Smith) in 2023. Today’s most celebrated saxophonist, McAllister has premiered concertos dedicated to him by John Adams, John Corigliano and Guillaume Connesson, among others. About the Corigliano Triathlon 2022 premiere: “he gave the piece the knockout performance it deserved” with the San Francisco Symphony (San Francisco Chronicle). More about Timothy McAllister here.
Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and guitarist Jason Vieaux, two internationally acclaimed Grammy-winning artists, premiered the new Andy Poxon arrangement of Michael Tilson Thomas’ Not everyone thinks that I’m beautiful at their San Francisco Performances recital in 2023. The encore crowned “a radiantly beautiful concert that featured music from three centuries and continents” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Available for selected dates, Sasha and Jason have brought their collaboration to the Kennedy Center, Music@Menlo, Round Top and beyond. Their new program focuses on music more naturally suited to the intimate and colorful magic of voice and guitar, by composers including Villa-Lobos, Schubert, de Falla, Jobím, Metheny, Sondheim, Lennon, Jaime Ovalle and Peter Scott Lewis.
Meanwhile, Jason has added the gorgeous new Avner Dorman concerto How to Love to his extensive concerto list. He gives “eloquent and vibrant performances” writes Gramophone Magazine of his Bach Vol. 2 release (Azica). NPR’s #NowPlaying says: “The notes cascade in waterfalls, and in Vieaux’s immaculate, joyful performance you hear all of Bach’s interlocking voices” More about Jason Vieaux.
Robert Franz accepts an additional post as Music Director of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra. A frequent guest with the orchestra, Franz is an alumnus and in 2023 premiered Permutations by Robert Chumbley with the orchestra and Dimitri Schteinberg at the piano. The award-winning conductor is the Music Director of the Windsor Symphony, Artistic Director of Boise Baroque, and has recently finished ten years as Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony. At home in Windsor (where this US citizen has Canadian permanent residency status) Robert Franz has brought the Windsor Symphony to new prominence. Under his baton the WSO released its first commercial recording in 15 years “Christmas, eh” and given world premieres of new works by Farhad Poupel and Nicole Lizée. Recent and upcoming guest engagements include conducting an ABBA celebration with the Fort Worth Symphony and the premiere of the new saxophone concerto Whimsical Concerto of Fanciful Birds by Canadian Composer Vincent Ho with the Saskatoon Symphony and acclaimed saxophonist Timothy McAllister.
Following an extensive national search spanning two seasons, conductor Michael Butterman has been named Music Director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra. Butterman remains the Music Director of the acclaimed Boulder Philharmonic, which opened the inaugural SHIFT Festival at the Kennedy Center, as well as Music Director of the Shreveport Symphony and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, an orchestra uniquely focused on music education. As a guest conductor, Michael Butterman has led many of the country’s preeminent ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Ft. Worth Symphony and Houston Symphony. Butterman, who spent his childhood in Northern Virginia and later earned two degrees from the University of Virginia is delighted to return to the Commonwealth. The Williamsburg Symphony is thrilled to welcome Michael Butterman to the community. Learn more here.
Sean Chen steps out with a debut at the Allegheny Riverstone Center and returns to the Sunriver Music Festival and the New West Symphony. His double-header with conductor Michael Christie and the New West Symphony features both the Strauss Burleske and the Francaix Concertino. The American pianist is a “thoughtful musician well beyond his years” (The Republic) and is hailed as a rising star with a “million-volt smile” and a “formidable set of fingers” (Dallas Morning News). Sean Chen is a performer of tremendous depth who is also a composer and arranger. This powerful triple-play has earned him three high-profile awards and an impressive following. In 2013 Chen won the American Pianists Association’s DeHaan Classical Fellowship, one of the most lucrative and significant prizes available to an American pianist. As the first American to reach the finals of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition since 1997, he went on to win the Bronze Medal in 2013, and then became the 2015 recipient of the $100,000 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship. Acclaimed for his “penetrating artistic intellect” (Audiophile Audition) and “ravishing tone and cogently contoured lines” (Gramophone), the young American pianist has already appeared as soloist on return engagements with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, made debuts with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra at the Kimmel Center and with the orchestras of Milwaukee, Phoenix, Hartford, Santa Fe, Tucson, North Carolina, San Diego, the New West Symphony and many others in the U.S. and South America (in an extensive concerto repertoire). A collaborative artist, Sean Chen is held in high esteem by such conductors as Gerard Schwarz, who spoke of his Bartok Concerto #2 as “stupendous”. More…
The Dalí Quartet brings three concertos for string quartet and orchestra to the stage. With Orchestra Lumos (formerly the Stamford Symphony) and conductor Michael Stern, the Dalí Quartet premiered Fiesta No. 2 by Sonia Morales-Matos and Suite Latina by Juan Ramirez in 2023. In 2024 the quartet will perform Anna Clyne’s Quarter Days with the Harrisburg Symphony and conductor Stuart Malina, part of the co-commission with the South Bend Symphony. CD News: A “superb interpretation” by the Dalí Quartet and pianist Olga Kern on Delos Records. The new recording of piano quintets by Shostakovich and Brahms is hailed by MusicWeb International, noting the Brahms features “muscular phrasing and a taut collective sonority.” And about the Shostakovich: “I can think of no other recent performance of this magisterial score as genuinely enjoyable and sunny as this superb interpretation by Kern and the Dalís.” Full review.
The Dalí Quartet – Classical Roots, Latin Soul – brings Latin American quartet repertoire to an equal standing alongside the Classical and Romantic canon. The award-winning quartet enjoys an international fanbase. Recent engagements include SA’Oaxaca Festival Internacional de Cuerdas, Banff International String Quartet Festival and a 2023 debut at the Bravo!Vail Festival. More…
Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux performs Four Paths of Light Part on Pat Metheny’s latest album Road to the Sun. Upon release in March, it arrived on the Billboard Classical chart at number one — and on the UK and Germany charts at number one as well. Written for and recorded by Jason Vieaux, this expansive four-movement suite is part of a unique recording featuring two major Pat Metheny compositions performed by others. This new genre-defying recording from 20-time Grammy Winning Guitarist/Composer Pat Metheny is his first on Modern Records and includes a new work commissioned by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and Metheny’s performance of Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina.
London Jazz News has this to say: “If anyone’s going to play this suite, Jason Vieaux is the perfect choice.”
“And as well as an obvious love for Metheny’s compositions, Vieaux has a well-matched playing style of meticulous clarity combined with lush romanticism.”
Listen to Jason Vieaux perform Part 2 of Four Paths of Light on YouTube Music.
More information here.
10th Anniversary Film Sampler of Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project
Grounded in science, elevated by art, igniting responses
The Crossroads Project confronts a planet under siege and a future in peril – inspiring audiences to change course.
NEW: feature-length film of Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project “a transfixing film that signifies the enlightened intertwining of science, social conscience, music and art…”
The Fry Street Quartet collaborates with climate physicist and communicator, Dr. Robert Davies in Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project, an evocative performance about global sustainability that weaves art and science together through music, prose, and stunning visual imagery.
Rising-star American conductor John Devlin conducted the premiere of Migrations in Rhythm: A Concerto for Beatbox and Rhyme. This unique project was commissioned by the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and Music Director John Devlin from composer Evan Meier and Grammy-nominated Hip-Hop artist Christylez Bacon, who performed to the sold-out house. The season opener also included cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing the John Williams cello concerto in the all-American composers event. Devlin’s season includes appearances with the symphonies of Elgin, Kalamazoo and Sarasota, as well as return engagements with the Louisville Orchestra. Devlin is an energetic force in the classical music world, winning broad acclaim for inventive performances embraced as “powerhouses of unstoppable momentum … that bring sold-out houses to their feet, cheering.” (Washington Post). An innovator of concert design, he is an ardent champion of American music, and a proponent of cross-genre collaborations. Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, he is one of the nation’s youngest music directors leading a professional symphony orchestra. He has held important positions with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Princeton Symphony, and worked with Christoph Eschenbach, Gianandrea Noseda and Rossen Milanov, among others. Devlin has created such forward-looking concepts as Gourmet Symphony and Go-Go Symphony, and in addition to the National Symphony and Princeton Symphony, has given performances with the symphonies of Hawaii, Columbus, Omaha, and the American Repertory Ballet, among others. Of his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and violin soloist Joshua Bell, Anne Midgette of The Washington Post wrote that Devlin “led the evening with flair… and was visibly in his element.” More…
Internationally acclaimed cellist Colin Carr is the complete artist – renowned for his concerto appearances with symphonies worldwide, his many distinguished recordings, his landmark performances of the complete Bach Suites and his long-standing commitment to the chamber music repertoire. Acclaimed for performances that are “unfailingly musical, logically thought through and convincingly argued” (New York Times) he has appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the symphonies of Chicago, Los Angeles, Montréal, and more. He is currently on a widely celebrated tour of the Bach cello suites through Asia and North America. “His supreme technique gives him the freedom to hold together long complicated phrases that many more mortal cellists can’t manage without breaking their arcs. And with his bouncy, jig-like ebullience, Carr is better than anybody in the final Gigues”. (Boston Musical Intelligencer) Colin Carr is honored with the First Prize in the Naumburg Competition, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, and as winner of the Young Concert Artists competition, among other accolades. More…
Azica Records has released Together, the new CD from Yolanda Kondonassis & Jason Vieaux. The gorgeous CD is comprised entirely of original works for harp and guitar including two world premieres of works commissioned by Jason and Yolanda: Knock on Wood, by Keith Fitch, and Hypnotized, by Gary Schocker. Hear the interview and samples from WRCJ Detroit.
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