Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra opens the 92Y season with two life-affirming works: a premiere by George Tsontakis and Mozart’s Concerto No 23, in A major with pianist Jeremy Denk.

Opening night of this season at the 92Y featured its two rather contrasting highlights in the first half of the evening: George Tsontakis’ New York premiere of O MIKROS, O MEGAS, and Mozart’s Concerto No.23 in A major with pianist extraordinaire, MacArthur Fellow Jeremy Denk, performing as soloist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO). Photos: Courtesy 92Y In its 58th season, the SPCO certainly may be regarded as a very remarkable chamber ensemble...
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In HBO’s ‘The Night Of,’ Composer Jeff Russo Scores Emotions into Vision

With haunting anticipation, Jeff Russo’s opening theme for HBO’s eight-part summer series The Night Of widens with each of its deliberate, rhythmic reiterations. Musical sustenance and orchestral tonal layers are gradually added to the cello’s persevering melodic lines, giving a voice to the dark mood that will escort the inner turmoil of its central characters throughout the show’s unhurriedly evolving plot: musical drama unfolding at the vanguard of cinematography. PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON BLOG CRITICS Russo’s score is...
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A Retrospective: MOSTLY MOZART 50 Years – Making the most of Mozart’s genre bending spell

capture by Tony Leonardo Cimino An integral part of the ever mounting – and at times interlacing – culture cycles initiated by Lincoln Center, the festival, now middle-aged, expands its efforts to rejuvenate and expand its communal presence. Exploring the impacts of varied programs and settings in different social contexts, the festival creates diverse concert experiences, with broader accessibility and intimate immersion in music its goals. Keeping with tradition, today’s Mostly Mozart avoids fixating on...
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Concerts and the City – Urban storytelling with Daniel Libeskind

There is a deeply affecting quality about star architect Daniel Libeskind’s simple, elegant elucidations, which possesses an air of truth that never fails to inspire. Perhaps most essentially, they offer a glimpse into the deeply enthusiastic and positive worldview so inherent in all of his endeavors. “You have to bring hope,” Libeskind tells Listen. “without a positive sense of the future, you can’t build architecture, because you are laying foundations.” This article was published...
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Sir Andràs Schiff – Building Bridges for the Next Generation of Pianists

Andràs Schiff – world-class pianist, much-traveled cosmopolitan and critical spirit unafraid to speak his mind. Last year the Queen knighted the Hungary-born artist. In his latest incarnation, Schiff has become a supporter and patron for the next generation of young pianists. In between two Carnegie Hall performances, “Sir Andràs Schiff’ talks about his new passion. By Ilona Oltuski  This article was published in the German PianoNews Juli/August 2015 A concert-free day between two big...
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Vika goes wild – a classical pianist taps into her passion for rock

When her parents were told that she – at kindergarten age – had perfect pitch and a talent for music, there was no going back: “My parents took it seriously, and the natural consequence seemed to be continued studies at a special music school. That included competitions, exams, and concert performances under high pressure, requiring utmost commitment and all the other expectations that go along with that…and- it was all understood,” says pianist Viktorya...
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Lera Auerbach – excessive ease of aesthetic discovery

An artist who does not like to comment on her own prolific work, Lera Auerbach answers query with further creative output. “When I was told, you can’t be a composer and a pianist, I started to paint,” says the now 30something Russian-American pianist, composer, visual artist, and poet. Literature and poetry were always part of Auerbach’s artistic inspiration and an integral part of her creative DNA. She has published three books of poetry in...
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Klassisches Rollenspiel: Der Pianist Inon Barnatan

Dieser Artikel erschien in PianoNews, 2015,3 Foto: Marco Borggreve Alan Gilbert, Musikdirector der New Yorker Philharmoniker, beschrieb den 35-jährigen Israeli Inon Barnatan kürzlich als  “wunderbaren Pianisten und analytischen Kopf, der sich mit Leidenschaft seiner Kunst widmet und auch als zeitgenössiger Pianist sein Können unter Beweis stellt.” Und mehr als das: Gilbert, der in der New Yorker Musikwelt eine führende Rolle spielt, liess Barnatan eine aussergewöhnliche Position zukommen: im März diesen Jahres spielt der Pianist...
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Pianist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner – “Music can make the world a better place.”

“Music can break down barriers because it speaks directly to the heart, connecting people through its common language,” says the young man sitting across the table with great conviction, as he brushes away a strand of long, blond hair from falling over his lively eyes. From the get-go, Llewellyn’s enthusiasm is contagious, and remains the distinct mark of the multitude of endeavors in which this young musician engages. Photo: Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner performs at the...
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Sivan Magen – fresh sounding promise of David’s harp

Meeting with enthusiastic harpist Sivan Megan turned into an eye-opening conversation about the instrument: one which is typically sidelined by composers and concert venues alike. photo credit: musicians designs While there are an astounding number of harpists around, who, as Sivan shares, are flocking somewhat regularly (every three years) to worldwide harp conventions by the hundreds, a harp performance these days, whether solo or in a chamber music setting, is still quite the rarity....
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