Sunday, December 10, 2017

Los Angeles Times: A steady 25-year-old hand leads the L.A. Phil and Hilary Hahn through a riveting Disney Hall concert [Jonathon Heyward]

Los Angeles Times: Conductor Jonathon Heyward and violin soloist Hilary Hahn perform Leonard Bernstein's Serenade with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Jonathon Heyward conducts the L.A. Phil through Glinka's 'Ruslan and Ludmilla" Overture at the Sunday afternoon performance at Disney Hall. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

By Rick Schultz

December 4, 2017

Will the Los Angeles Philharmonic be Jonathon Heyward's good luck charm?
Heyward, a 25-year-old American who is part of the L.A. Phil’s prestigious Dudamel Fellowship Program for conductors, could follow the likes of Lionel Bringuier and Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, who earned major orchestra appointments after stints with the ensemble.

When illness forced Miguel Harth-Bedoya to withdraw this weekend from the L.A. Phil’s "Bernstein 100" anniversary concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Heyward stepped in. This season as part of the Toyota Symphonies for Youth series, he led the orchestra in Glinka's "Ruslan and Ludmila" Overture and Stravinsky's "Firebird" Suite, and both of those works substituted for Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3, originally on Harth-Bedoya's program.

More important, on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, Heyward conducted the premiere of an L.A. Phil commission, Tania León's intimate "Ser (Being)," as well as Leonard Bernstein's tricky 1954 Serenade, a five-movement violin concerto inspired by Plato's "Symposium," featuring soloist Hilary Hahn.

With reportedly only two days to prepare for his subscription concert debut weekend, Heyward nevertheless strode to the podium with confidence, launching into Glinka's warhorse with whirlwind vitality and an exuberant boyish charm that was positively Bernsteinian. He then settled down for the Serenade, allowing Hahn, who performed the piece from memory, to conjure some of her warmest, most autumnal and, when appropriate, spikiest playing.

Throughout, Heyward and the L.A. Phil made the most of Bernstein's changing meters and jagged rhythms, capturing the bristling energy of the jazzy finale. The conductor’s rhythmic command provided enough contrast to keep Bernstein's intensely lyrical meditation on love from cloying. He knew when to lead and when to follow, effortlessly balancing his roles as a natural showman and sensitive collaborator in service to the music.
Hahn's encore was a delightful account of the gigue from Bach's Partita No. 3.

After intermission came "Ser." León's finely crafted and bird-sound-haunted piece engaged the coloristic resources of the L.A. Phil to lovely effect. Especially memorable were the chirping clarinet and fluttering flute figures, set off by zesty writing for the brasses. Heyward led the orchestra with delicacy and mature skill, lending León's ethereal 10-minute piece a shapely character.

BBC Radio 3: Hear Chineke! at St. George's Bristol in Violin Concerto of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges & Concerto Grosso of Errollyn Wallen

BBC Radio 3

23 Days Left to Listen

BBC Radio 3 writes:

Chineke! at Bristol

Their 2017 Proms debut was a massive popular hit. Now Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first majority BME orchestra continues its residency at St George's Bristol with two classics for string orchestra: an exuberant violin concerto by Joseph Bologne (aka Chevalier de Saint-Georges) and Errollyn Wallen's sparkling Concerto Grosso. Introduced by Georgia Mann.

Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Bologne: Violin Concerto in G, Op 8 No 9


Errollyn Wallen: Concerto Grosso
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Op 48

Chineke! Orchestra
Shaun Matthew (conductor)
Tai Murray (violin)
Isata Kanneh-Mason (piano)
Chi-chi Nwanoku (double bass).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cadenza Artists: Lara Downes CD "For Lenny" Wins Classical Recording Foundation Award, to be Released by Sony Classical Feb. 9, 2018

Cadenza Artists reports that Lara Downes received the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award "at the 16th Annual Awards Ceremony!"

Cadenza Artists writes:

Cadenza Artists started working with pianist Lara Downes earlier this year, just as her career started to skyrocket. With critical raves from NPR, a new upcoming album for Sony Classical, and a new touring project with collaborators like MacArthur 'Genius' Rhiannon Giddens -- 2017 has been quite the year for Lara!

FOR LENNY, due out on Sony Classical on February 9, 2018, is a celebration of Leonard Bernstein for his 100th birthday and is also Lara's debut album with Sony Classical. The album includes his Anniversaries for Piano, new arrangements of his songs, and world premiere tributes by leading American composers. 
The album features incredible collaborators, including Rhiannon Giddens, Thomas Hampson, Kevin Olusola, and others, and also features newly commissioned works dedicated to Bernstein by leading American composers such as Stephen Sondheim, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz, Ned Rorem and others, alongside innovative arrangements of Bernstein favorites.

John Malveaux: Los Angeles Opera's Nabucco Features Morris Robinson as Zaccaria and Dorian Payton Hall in Chorus

Morris Robinson

John Malveaux and Dorian Payton Hall

John Malveaux writes:

Attended Nov 19, 2017 final LA Opera performance of NABUCCO. Morris Robinson sang Zaccaria (chief priest of the Hebrews) to capture the Los Angeles audience with his compelling bass voice and unavoidable stature -see pic 1.  Bass Dorian Payton Hall sang in the LA Opera chorus and left the concluding cast party to briefly visit and and say hello and thank me for attending the SOLD OUT performance-see pic 2.

John Malveaux: Long Beach Symphony Performs William Grant Still's Symphony No. 2, "Song of a New Race"

Speakers during MusicUNTOLD pre-concert gathering to celebrate LB Symphony inclusion of African American composer William Grant Still Symphony No. 2 in G Minor "Song of a New Race" during 2017 Veterans Day concert (John Malveaux, Dr. James Newton, Joseph Taylor, Valencia Mitchell (wife of LB Symphony timpanist), and James Bryant. Promenade room at Harbor Place Tower provided courtesy of Angelique Chamberlain

The SUBJECT of RACE. JUDITH STILL - daughter of legendary composer William Grant Still (African American heritage) and Verna Arvey (Russian Jewish heritage), publisher of WGS Music, and graduate of USC sent a message to the audience attending MusicUNTOLD pre-concert gathering to celebrate Long Beach Symphony inclusion of William Grant Still  Symphony No. 2 in G Minor "Song of A New  Race" during 2017 Veterans Day concert: See pic of Judith and her father WGS. Listen to recorded message by Judith Still provided courtesy of Jack Perlstein, radio producer at Western Michigan University.

John Malveaux sends the above photos and captions concerning the Long Beach Symphony's performance of William Grant Still's Symphony No. 2.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Godwin Sadoh writes "The Centenary of The Cathedral Church of Christ Choir, Lagos" in Nigeria

Godwin Sadoh
Godwin Sadoh writes:
Dear Bill,
I am very pleased to inform you that my highly anticipated book is finally in print.  It celebrates 100th anniversary of the oldest choir in Nigeria (1918-2018), documenting accurate facts from the 19th century into the 21st century.  It covers every aspect of the music ministry at the renowned Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos: church history, worship experience, history of the organs from the first little bitty harmonium in the 1800s to the present magnificent ultra-modern 4 manual Oberlinger organ, choir ministry, choir training, ex-choristers (Fela Sowande, Ayo Bankole, Christopher Oyesiku, Samuel Akpabot and Lazarus Ekwueme), Cathedral musicians, outstanding musical activities, recordings, musical analyses, extra-musical deeds, Choir Wives' Association etc.  The book is loaded with a lot of extant photos spanning several decades.

Intercultural Art & Healing Project Presents Tribute to José Mauricio Nunes Garcia at DiMenna Center in New York City Dec. 12 & 13, 2017

José Mauricio Nunes Garcia  (1767-1830) was an Afro-Brazilian composer and organist who composed Brazil's first opera.  He is featured at

The Intercultural Art & Healing Project writes:

We are organizing an Event about José Mauricio Nunes Garcia at The DiMenna Center of Classical Music in New York City, on December 12th and 13th.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sergio Mims: Kevin John Edusei's CD for Solo Musica/Sony Music, of Schubert's 4th & 7th Symphonies, Has Been Released

Munich Symphony
Kevin John Edusei
Franz Schubert
Solo Musica/Sony Music

Sergio Mims writes:

I thought you would like to announce that Kevin John Edusei's first recording for Solo Musica/Sony Music was released this month with him conducting the Munich Symphony of Schubert's 4th and 7th symphonies. In fact I will be playing the recording on my radio show on January 23rd.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Arkansas Times: Mezzo Soprano Nisheedah Golden to perform in William Grant Still's "Troubled Island" at Pulaski Technical College May 4 & 6, 2018

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

Nisheedah Golden
(By Joshua Asante)

By Alex Flanders

Opera in the Rock, a local nonprofit arts organization, is home to some of Little Rock's leading theatrical and classically trained voices. One voice that stands out in particular is that of Nisheedah Golden, a vocal powerhouse who, by the way, isn't shy when it comes to singing a perfectly crisp, vibrating note while sitting down at a buzzing coffee shop on a Wednesday night.

She hadn't planned on it, but she's been singing opera ever since her days at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, when her vocal teacher — Dr. Robert Holden, an opera singer himself — had an inkling and assigned her Donizetti's "O Mio Fernando." Golden describes her first time singing with a full orchestra as a rush she'd never felt before, one that clearly struck a chord with her — an operatic one.

Golden, a native of North Carolina, has been singing since age 5. She's traveled around plenty, but said in an interview that Arkansas is somewhat of a prime locale for budding singers to thrive, especially the youngest songsters. Golden has been teaching drama and vocal lessons for several years, mentoring blooming performers at Murrell Taylor Elementary School and Bearden Productions Performing Arts Studio. 


Catch Golden at Murry's Dinner Playhouse in the 50-year-old dinner theater's production of "Menopause: The Musical," which runs May 29-July 7, 2018, and at Pulaski Technical College's Center for the Humanities and Arts in Opera in the Rock's production of William Grant Still's "Troubled Island," Friday, May 4, and Sunday, May 6, 2018.

Jerome Wright, Cello, Glenn Sales, Piano, Friday, March 2, 2018 8 PM Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall

Jerome Wright, cello & Glenn Sales, piano
Friday, March 2, 2018 8 PM Weill Recital Hall 
Single Tickets will become available Monday, 12/4/2017 11:00 AM


BACH Sonata for Gamba and Keyboard No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 1029
SCHUBERT Sonata in A Minor, D. 821, "Arpeggione"
R. STRAUSS Cello Sonata in F Major, Op. 6
RAVEL Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. Posth. (arr. Christian Proske for cello and piano)
GRIEG Cello Sonata in A Minor, Op. 36