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Posted By: Francisco Salazar April 24, 2017 Monica Dewey has won the 10th International Hilde Zadek Vocal competition. The 27-year-old … Continue reading
Mauricio Fuks, professor of violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has been appointed visiting professor at the prestigious Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid, Spain.
He will combine this appointment with his responsibilities as visiting professor at the Masters Academy in Kronberg, Germany, and as International Chair for Strings at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England.
These appointments will take Professor Fuks to Europe twice a year.
Grigory Kalinovsky featured on two-CD set of Mieczysław Weinberg’s complete sonatas for violin and piano
Grigory Kalinovsky, professor of violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, recently teamed with pianist Tatiana Goncharova to record the complete sonatas for violin and piano by composer Mieczysław Weinberg. The two-CD set is now available on the Naxos label.
“Recording the full set of sonatas for violin and piano by Mieczysław Weinberg has been an incredible journey,” said Kalinovsky. “These sonatas span almost his entire life—from the first one, written when the composer was only 23 years old, to the last one, Sonata No. 6, written in 1982, the manuscript discovered only a few years ago in the composer’s archives. Each sonata has its own unique atmosphere, from deeply profound to unearthly to even a charming operetta (like the 1949 Sonatina), but all of them clearly and recognizably Weinberg, undoubtedly one of the greatest twentieth-century composers.”
Kalinovsky and Goncharova have been playing together since their college days—over 25 years. They recorded the CD Dmitri Shostakovich: 1 Violin Sonata + 24 Preludes for violin and piano for Centaur Records in 2003, and since Weinberg was Shostakovich’s close friend and protégé, it seemed like a logical continuation to the duo. “In addition,” according to Kalinovsky, “the music is wonderful, but very rarely played, and was only starting to be rediscovered when we started the project for Naxos in 2010.”
Weinberg is now recognized as one of the outstanding Russian composers of the second half of the twentieth century. Feted for his symphonies and string quartets, he also wrote a sequence of violin sonatas crucial to the development of his distinctive and elusive musical idiom. Shostakovich’s influence is evident in the Third Violin Sonata, as are Jewish melodic elements, while the Fourth Violin Sonata is alternately somber and hectic. Weinberg’s masterpiece is the Fifth Violin Sonata, symphonic in scale but subtle in form and containing some of his most affecting writing.
By Peter Jacobi | H-T Reviewer | email@example.com Apr 9, 2017 Meredith Willson must have loved Mason City, Iowa. He … Continue reading
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Bloomington Herald Times Music Review
- By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer | firstname.lastname@example.org
A mini-sized festival honoring Franz Joseph Haydn brought forth a Sunday afternoon concert of radiant music, not all written by the composer being honored. Since Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart credited his older compatriot with showing him the way, it was deemed appropriate by those who planned the festival to include a bit of Mozart’s music, the Piano Concerto in E-Flat Major, along with a performance of Haydn’s “Missa in B-Flat Major,” his “Theresienmesse,” written between his two oratorios, “The Creation” and “The Seasons.” By good fortune, the Bloomington Chamber Singers will be offering us a performance of “The Creation” on April 22.
Dana Marsh, director of the IU Jacobs School of Music’s Historical Performance Institute, chose the Classical Orchestra to fit in with a fortepiano constructed by American piano maker Philip Belt to resemble a 1780 instrument such as used by Mozart. The fellow who played that replica on Sunday was Mike Cheng-Yu Lee, a visiting faculty member specializing in music theory who happens to have a love affair with fortepianos.
He played the instrument gloriously, with a crispness that only a fortepiano will allow and a touch that must have tingled the keys. Lee’s Mozart was absolutely radiant, a lesson in refinement mixed with deep devotion. Joining the Marsh-led orchestra in reflection of the soloist’s crispness and ability to tingle the keys, that meant one heard unforgettable Mozart.
The reading of Haydn’s magnificent “Theresienmesse” — as performed by the same Classical Orchestra, along with the Concentus Ensemble and beautifully-voiced soloists from within its ranks — was stunning. Call it a revelation, as guided by conductor Marsh, a musician who truly knows the literature and was able to use his expertise to teach the singers what needed to be taught to make the presentation an artistic celebration. A celebration it was, a memorable part of a Bloomington weekend.
Congratulations to the following Jacobs School of Music students, who won awards in the 2017 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Scholarship Competition!
FIRST PRIZE: $2,500 Soyoung Kim (A.D. student of Arnaldo Cohen)
SECOND PRIZE: $1,500 Boyoung Kim (M.M. student of Arnaldo Cohen)
FIRST PRIZE: $2,500 Michael Day – tenor (P.D. student of Andreas Poulimenos)
SECOND PRIZE: $1,500 Hayley Lipke – soprano (M.M. student of Jane Dutton)
FIRST PRIZE: $2,500 Nikola Begovic – guitar (M.M. student of Ernesto Bitetti)
SECOND PRIZE: $1,500 Beste Toparlak – harp (A.D. student of Elizabeth Hainen and Elzbieta Szmyt)
FIRST PRIZE: $1,250 Bingyu Hu (B.M. student of Norman Krieger)
SECOND PRIZE: $1,000 Adam Coleman (B.M. student of Evelyne Brancart)
FIRST PRIZE: $1,250 Katherine Jones – soprano (B.M. student of Alice Hopper)
SECOND PRIZE: $1,000 Amy Wooster – soprano (B.M. student of Carlos Montané)
FIRST PRIZE: $1,250 Crystal Kim – cello (B.M. student of Peter Stumpf)
SECOND PRIZE: $1,000 Arman Nasrinpay – violin (B.M. student of Simin Ganatra)
The Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Collegiate Scholarship Competition was started in 1958 by Helen Crandall, a renowned voice teacher in Indianapolis. Since that date, more than $353, 800 has been awarded to more than 799 graduate and undergraduate music students in the state of Indiana. Each year, approximately $19, 000 in prizes is allocated. Many winners have gone on to international careers.
Recipients include such noted musicians as Sylvia McNair, Otis Murphy, and Peter Jankovic.
By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer | email@example.com
Programs prepared by Dominick DiOrio for NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, the chamber chorus he directs, are always fascinating and beautifully prepared. Sunday afternoon’s concert, titled “O, Fallen Star, Depictions of Death in Air and String,” proved no exception and drew a large audience to Auer Hall.
That audience remained dramatically silent when conductor DiOrio turned the music on and became just as dramatically vociferous when he turned it off, the listeners responding to what was heard with justifiable praise. The afternoon’s fare consisted of two items of scope: Jennifer Higdon’s 2005 ode, “Dooryard Bloom,” and James MacMillan’s harrowing depiction of the “Seven Last Words from the Cross.”
American composer Higdon’s work reflects Walt Whitman’s “Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” the poet’s elegy marking the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. There is sadness in the words and the music. There is anger. There is contemplation. It may be unusual to say for a vocal composition that the instrumental music is more interesting, but so it was to this reviewer’s ears.
For the chamber orchestra, Higdon used an appropriately lyrical yet restrained style that artistically benefits the mournful content. For the vocal line, on the other hand, she reverted to a speech-song method that became popular among composers several decades earlier, around the mid-20th century, in which the musical line often failed to support the verbal content.
The composition’s performance, however, was potent because the vocal soloist, Connor Lidell, so generously lavished the power of his baritone and the conviction in his musicality on what the score asked him to do. So, in fact, did his colleagues. Lidell, the IU Chamber Orchestra and conductor DiOrio gave the music all they could and then some.
With the orchestra reduced to just the strings but with the choral ensemble on stage and Lidell’s presence in the middle of it, Maestro DiOrio turned to MacMillan’s representation of the words attributed in the New Testament to Jesus Christ during his crucifixion.
For each of the sayings — from “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” to “Father, into Thy hands I commend my Spirit” — MacMillan, a proud Scot and loyal Catholic, composed a setting expressive of the words Jesus uttered: calming or beseeching or lamenting or forgiving. The whole of the cantata is passionate, whether quietly or deafeningly, and at the start of the sixth movement, “It is finished,” the music turns shattering with three hammer blows that brutally foretell what’s soon to come.
MacMillan’s music is powerful. Sunday’s reading was powerful, fully in sync with how the composer addressed this grief-rousing biblical tragedy. DiOrio knew what he wanted in way of performance and had his musicians, the orchestral and the choral, immersed, so to capture the startling beauties that the composer ascribed to this momentous story.
© Herald Times 2017
© Herald Times 2017
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music student Hansol Kim won first place in the Fox Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists Scholarship Competition February 18 in Chicago. Ms. Kim, who is currently pursuing a Performer’s Diploma in Organ, has been as a student of Dr. Janette Fishell, chair of the Jacobs School Organ Department. The prize includes a cash award and a winner’s recital on April 28 in Chicago.
Ms. Kim has been awarded many prizes including first place in the Strader Competition, the Mokwon University Competition, the Korea Baptist Theological University Competition, the Keimyung University Competition, the Daeshin University Competition and Joint Second Place in the Naeil Organ competition.
On his blog, Greg Sandow wrote: “This week I’m flying out to visit the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, which, of course, is one of the biggest and most important conservatories in the US.
I’ll be the guest of their Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development. I’ll meet with the people who run it, see what they’re doing. And I’ll have other meetings with faculty and administration. … I’ll also attend performances, most notably — since the school is famous for its opera department — a production of Handel’s ‘Rodelinda.’”
Among Sandow’s other doings while here in Bloomington this past week was “a talk on the future of classical music.” I attended that event. It proved informative and provocative.
And just who is Greg Sandow?
He is a composer with four operas to his credit, including “Frankenstein.” He is a highly productive writer on music, both classical and pop, and he’s been an influential critic, too. Sandow’s byline has appeared in the Village Voice, New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Opera News and Entertainment Weekly. He’s done consulting. He now teaches at the Juilliard School and provides blogs about the future of classical music on the ArtsJournal.com website. His bio also notes he’s written extensively about unidentified flying objects.
Sandow’s major efforts these days, however, concern the future of classical music; it’s the subject of a graduate course he teaches at Juilliard and, as noted above, was the reason for his visit to IU.
From what I heard lecturer Sandow say, he believes classical music has a future. What gets in the way, he argues, are dusty traditions and an inflexibility stemming from blind loyalty to those traditions. He played a tenor aria from Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” one that is followed by a famous love duet. The tenor: Ivan Kozlovsky, Ukrainian-born, a favorite of Stalin, and longtime star at the Bolshoi in Moscow.
Kozlovsky sings beautifully, lyrically, effortlessly but holds on to the high notes, a habit of his. Sandow asked: “Would we in the West tolerate those long high notes?” Probably not, thanks to most present-day conductors, but fans in Soviet Russia went wild hearing their beloved tenor show off.
Later in his lecture, Sandow turned to another tenor, Franco Corelli, who held on and on and on to the final phrase of “E lucevan le stelle” (“And the stars shone”), Cavaradossi’s pre-death aria longing for his beloved Tosca in Puccini’s opera.
Audience response on that recording came as an explosion of bravos, an acknowledgement of a magnificent voice and a tenor’s decision to use rhythmic liberties for a thrilling effect. There were young people in that audience, young people who — it is often claimed — reject classical music. These obviously didn’t. Fans accept things special, daring, different, unexpected. Practitioners of the classics, Sandow was arguing, need to consider more dangerous performance options to award listeners with an element of surprise.
On the other hand, following a listen to a dose of classic chamber music, Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio as played by violinist Jacques Thibaud, pianist Alfred Cortot and cellist Pablo Casals, one sensed the winning trait was just magnificence and honesty of performance tied to music artists don’t or shouldn’t interpretively distort for effect. And, Sandow pointed out, following a recorded performance by Patricia Kopatchinskaya and the ensemble Musica Aeterna of the third movement from Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, that when a masterpiece is played with such brilliance, no matter who the audience, the reaction will be “Wow!”
Using Bob Dylan’s pop anthem, “Duquesne Whistle,” Sandow illustrated another lesson: message. For today’s younger fans of music, art with something to say has become a critical factor: offer a strong message set to music that fits. While for those of us who’ve been around for a multitude of years, the beauty in a piece of music added to beauty of performance can be sufficient to make us weep or smile or turn angry or be inspired, that’s less likely a newcomer’s reaction.
Even just seeing a cellist amidst an orchestra’s body of cellists smiling through a passage, believe me, can strike a chord and bring a smile; it happened to me at the University Orchestra concert a week ago. Even a gorgeous ending, again, believe me, can bring tears to the eyes. “How can anything be so beautiful?” I’ll ask myself and weep.
Younger fans often require more to become convinced that a musical work outside the boundaries of pop can be important, can be emotionally entangling. But that is what’s required for classical music to stay around and prosper with broader acceptance. “Classical music won’t die,” Greg Sandow predicts, “but it will be reborn, reconnecting with our larger cultural life to become a truly contemporary art.
“That will bring great changes,” Sandow continues, “including — and I think this is crucial — much less emphasis on our old, beloved masterworks, which now lie at the heart of our repertoire. Is that a drastic change? I’m sure it will be for some of us. But classical music can’t connect with the current world if it is lost in the past. Once we do reconnect, I think we’ll find we’ve been missing a lot. We’ll explode with new life, becoming not just more relevant but also more vital, more diverse, and more deeply artistic.”
Sandow’s “we” refers, I think, to those not yet committed, to those who dismiss the importance of the classics. I think the “we” also refers to those of us already deeply committed to the classics but who resist change and must come to accept it, lest we lose what we so love.
Every kind of “we” is necessary, advises composer/critic/writer/teacher Greg Sandow, for the best of all possible future for classical music. He’s betting that it will live. I’m hoping it will.
In the meantime, happy birthday, happy 90th, to soprano Leontyne Price! Her birthday was this past Friday. Her “classical” artistry fits past, present and future.
Contact Peter Jacobi at firstname.lastname@example.org.