Bridging Music and Poetry – Mohammed Fairouz and David Handler at Le Poisson Rouge

photos and article by Ilona Oltuski – GetClassical.org   The newly launched series, Return to Language, which seeks to imaginatively blend text and music into an amalgamate of artistic substance, provided a perfect opportunity for a special presentation featuring Le Poisson Rouge’s own David Handler and American-Arab composer Mohammed Fairouz. Fairouz’s January 2015 release of Follow, Poet on Deutsche Grammophon marks the artist’s debut on the yellow power label – excellent timing for a...
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Quintessentially Russian: Philippe Quint’s new Tchaikovsky/Arensky recording

This September, Avanticlassic released yet another account of Tchaikovsky’s much performed Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35, revealing the stylistic versatility and technical brilliance of Russian/American violinist Philippe Quint. In this recording, Quint, whose “lyricism, energy and devotion,” was lauded by the LA Times, pairs Tchaikovsky’s “war-horse” of the violin-repertoire, with Anton Stephanovich Arensky’s String Quartet No.2 in A minor, coincidentally his Op.35 as well. This line up makes for Quint’s first all-Russian recording,...
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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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Pianist/Composer Michael Brown – Music’s Wingman

(photo credit: Jeanette Beckman) When American pianist Michael Brown listened to the radio as a teenager, he fell in love with a specific contemporary classical piece: the First Piano Concerto by composer George Perle. There was something about this composer’s work that attracted his curiosity and fascination; it made him sit down at his piano and learn another one of Perle’s pieces for piano: Six Celebratory Inventions. He felt a strong connection and knew...
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Lavrova-Primakov Duo – Rachmaninoff- Duo Repertoire Concert And CD Release

The Lavrova-Primakov Piano Duo will release their latest recording on their own LP Classics label just in time to celebrate Sergei Rachmaninoff’s birthday on April 1st; the recording will include both of Rachmaninoff’s monumental two-piano suites, written earlier in his life while he still lived in Russia (1893 & 1901 respectively).  The CD release paves the way for the duo’s much-anticipated May 20th concert at Merkin Hall. The concert will also include works by Franz Liszt, Alexander...
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Pianist Orli Shaham and friends at SUBCULTURE

Monday night’s audience at SUBCULTURE was in for a treat as WQXR’s host Naomi Lewin introduced most of the artists involved in the making of the newly released CD American Grace, which features the world premiere recording of Steve Mackey’s piano concerto, Stumble to Grace composed for Orli Shaham. “She is such a class act,” says broadcaster, publicist and producer Gail Wein “…and extraordinarily joy to work with.” Photo Credit Elliot Sussman It all...
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Scarlatti Recreated

Sandro Russo’s Scarlatti Recreated, released Sep 24, 2013 on the Musical Concepts label, is an ambitious and fanciful undertaking in that the ‘reinvented’ repertoire is highly original.  In fact, on the album there are four world-premiere recordings referring to the essential Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). A contemporary of Händel, Scarlatti’s baroque writing had been largely forgotten, gaining new popularity in the mid-twentieth century, as the liner notes of the recording suggest. In this recording, Russo...
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Pianists Natalia Lavrova and Vassily Primakov – Sharing a deep connection — four-hands together!

Pianists Vassily Primakov and Natalia Lavrova are very much their own acts. But they became close partners when they debuted their Arensky CD and, in the process, founded their own record label, LP Classics, Inc. Since then, they’ve performed as a duo, as they will on May 6 at Get Classical’s inaugural concert series event at New York’s Rose Bar.But their friendship began much earlier, back in 1999, when the two pianists were freshmen...
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Pianist Marika Bournaki: on a Schumanesque quest — finding herself in the process.

  It is easy enough to identify striking talent, even at a young age. For musically-talented performers, this often seems to set a process in motion that can lead to an unstoppable, out of control ride. Parental support and teachers’ ambitions frequently play into rising expectations and young performers are often left to fight for themselves, dealing with the stress of having to perform well at all times. Intensive training must conform to some...
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Recording Beethoven's 'Emperor' : A Look Behind The Scenes Of Yevgeny Sudbin's Latest CD-In-The-Making

“Music must first and foremost be loved, it must come from the heart and it must be directed to the heart. Otherwise it cannot hope to be lasting, indestructible art.” — Sergey Rachmaninov The master’s own words could describe the essence of my reaction when hearing the young pianist Yevgeny Sudbin’s rendition of Rachmaninov’s Second Sonata for the very first time. Sudbin’s extremely competent, sincere, and fearless deliverance, full of vitality and emotional depth,...
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