ASPECT Foundation for Music and Art – classical concerts building on cultural and communal context

From its 2011 beginnings in London’s bustling concert scene, the classical music series ASPECT embraced presentations that integrate classical music programs in a specific cultural framework. With its syllabus of accompanying talks surrounding its traditional classical music programs, examining everything from composers’ lives and the historic relevance of their works, to connections between musical expression, art and poetry, the not-for-profit foundation became widely frequented, especially within London’s large community of actively engaged amateur musicians....
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CMS Chamber Music Encounters – on a perpetual quest for inspired music making

American cellist David Finckel and Taiwanese pianist Wu Han need no further introduction to visitors of “Chamber Music Encounters,” an intense 6-day educational chamber music workshop, and their latest brainchild under the auspices of Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center. Culminating in a free concert performance at Alice Tully Hall, audiences shared the results of a dynamic coaching effort focused on communal mentorship between CMS’ Encounters renowned faculty and new talent. In the sessions,...
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Violinist Stefan Jackiw – “music connects you with humanity”

I am reconnecting with the slender, young looking 31 years old violinist, Stefan Jackiw, who impressed me deeply when I had heard him perform several years ago, at the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church. Home of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players – just a block from Lincoln Center – less frequently performed repertoire is presented here in an accessible way, by musicians belonging to the former orchestral ensemble led by the late Jens Nygaard and upcoming...
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Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust – shtetl buoyancy re-invented

Soulful violist and composer/arranger Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin was featured in Ljova and the Kontraband’s Sunday afternoon concert at Brooklyn’s new home for the all-inclusive new music scene, National Sawdust. Going by ‘Ljova,’ the kindred version of his traditional Russian-Hebrew name, Lev, the artist and his Kontraband filled the room, which had been arranged cabaret-style, with tuneful energy. Folksy tango tunes with virtuosic viola passages next to Yiddish folk songs performed with great gusto by...
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Tehorah: Adrienne Haan Concerts Celebrate 50 Years of German-Israeli Relations

This article was featured as editor’s pick on blogcritics. May 12th, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel. Stark black-and-white press images of Ben Gurion and Adenauer facing each other may have long morphed into images of the present day leaders of Israel and Germany, but there are still as many reasons to remember the dark shadow of historic events as there are reasons for the two countries to...
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Pianist Inon Barnatan – Classic Role-play

This article was published in the German PianoNews magazine, 3/2015 Staccato Verlag. Photo credit: Marco Borggreve Impressed with Barnatan, Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, recently described the 35-year-old Israeli musician as “a wonderful pianist, a probing intellect, passionately committed, and a capable contemporary music pianist as well.” Gilbert, the leading force of New York’s mighty music citadel, in fact allocated an extraordinary position to Barnatan; this March, Barnatan performed Ravel’s...
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Pianist Lily Maisky and Cellist Mischa Maisky – musicality in the genes

(This article is published in this month’s German Ensemble Magazine.) Lily Maisky – photo credit: Benjamin Brolet As the daughter of world-renowned cellist Mischa Maisky, pianist Lily Maisky always felt a special connection to her father, who naturally inspired her reverence for classical music. “My father always was this enormous figure in music and naturally shared his gift and the joy of music.” It was obvious early on that Lily’s younger brother, Sasha, would become the...
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Adrienne Haan – channels dynamite energy and freethinking zest into Cabaret and American Art Song

“I love to bring music and the passion it contains close to people. That means to cast a spell on someone, it means to forget reality for a brief moment, dispensing with your senses…” says German-born Adrienne Haan, who graduated in 1999 from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. And she does indeed cast a spell on her audiences, vividly portraying a host of characters with a sexy routine that combines a high-caliber voice...
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Cellist Yoed Nir- Living the musician’s dream

(Photo credit: David Duenias) “I am a world musician,” says Yoed Nir, the Israeli cellist whose distinctive cello tracks have captured the attention of diverse audiences, effortlessly crossing musical genres and continents. “If I had to compare my work with that of another artist, I think it would come closest to that of the amazing Zoë Keating,” he says thoughtful, yet equally hesitant to identify with any singular artist. The most cohesive factor in...
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The joyous spirit of sound – cellist Ani Aznavoorian

I know the price of Silence When on the threshold of sound, It congeals in the contour of emptiness Blends with the beating heart.    (Part of the poem “Insomnia” – by Lera Auerbach) Painting by Lera Auerbach Cellist Ani Aznavoorian and pianist/composer, all around artistically creative tour de force, Lera Auerbach were roommates during their mutual years at Julliard. Perhaps it is this personal familiarity that connects two exceptional musicians, or perhaps it is...
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