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Peter Gordon, Symphony No. 5

Peter Gordon, Symphony No. 5

Peter Gordon’s Symphony No. 5 traces the growth of the New York-based composer’s musical ideas from 2007 to 2012. The number “5” of the title refers to the five-year gestation period as well as the five-movement form of the work, and the idea of a “fifth symphony” as a significant point in a composer’s trajectory. The composition is a striking and elaborate statement, with the communication and energy of an ensemble performance, and the punch and careful attention to detail of a studio recording.

Peter Gordon has been a driving force of New York’s thriving “downtown scene.“ Performing on saxophones and keyboards, he draws inspiration from musical genres as diverse as jazz, rock, opera and world music. His complex and diverse body of work includes recordings, as well as scores for operas, theater, films and dance.

Gordon performed his first symphony, Symphony in Four Movements, in New York in 1976, with a band that included Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Arthur Russell and Rhys Chatham. Combining disco, electronic, pop and jazz elements with experimental music, he formalized his ensemble – the Love of Life Orchestra (LOLO) – and has kept it active ever since.

LOLO, with its performers grounded in diverse musical backgrounds, has ranged in size from a trio to 12+ musicians. Its core personnel has remained stable since inception, with recent additions from New York’s Latin jazz scene. LOLO is represented by several influential recordings – including 1978′s Extended Niceties EP (Lust/Unlust Records) and 2010′s retrospective album Love of Life (DFA Records.)

“The Love of Life Orchestra was founded on the coexistence of multiple musical orientations,“ Gordon explains. “Counterpoint is central to my music, and prevalent in all five movements of Symphony No. 5. Each voice maintains its integrity and forward motion, but intersecting voices illuminate harmonic and rhythmic dimensions that are shared and larger than any single voice. This is both a musical and social concept: counterpoint developed in Europe during the Enlightenment, when multiple voices needed to coexist, and be heard, for society to function.“

Homeland Security was created after Gordon returned to New York City, when the country was at war, with a new culture of surveillance. Juvenalia was inspired by Mannie Freshʼs Project Chick with the Cash Money Millionaires of New Orleans, as well as by the Roman poet Juvenal. Both the Roman and New Orleanian works are built from simple, catchy, and symmetrical phrases.

Gordon imagined Chamber Disco as a danse macabre that begins in a stark, empty, closed-down club. At first stone cold, then festive, it leads up to a spinning frenzy, then drops to a sudden sobriety. After composing Homeland Security, Juvenalia, and Chamber Disco, Gordon completed the symphonic structure with Exposition and Transgression, the first two movements.

Recorded live by producer Jeff Jones “The Jedi Master,” who received Grammy Awards for his work with Dr. John and Wynton Marsalis, Symphony No. 5 exhibits Peter Gordon’s complex, yet funky, compositional process.

Mr. Gordon keeps a busy schedule. Recently, Robert Ashley’s Vidas Perfectas saw Gordon reprise his role as music producer of the seminal video opera Perfect Lives. Future projects see him directing a new version of Arthur Russell’s Instrumentals in Europe, as well as a new recording with Tim Burgess (Charlatans), scheduled for release on Record Store Day.

TRACKS
Exposition
Transgression
Juvenalia
Homeland Security
Chamber Disco

 

Peter Gordon – organ & synthesizer
Katie Porter – clarinet & bass clarinet
Paul Shapiro – tenor & soprano saxophones
Max Gordon – trumpet
Peter Zummo – trombone
Bill Ruyle – vibraphone
Ned Sublette – electric guitar
Randy Gun – electric guitar
Yunior Terry – bass guitar
Elio Villafranca – piano
Robby Ameen – drums

Produced by – Jeff Jones “The Jedi Master” with Peter Gordon
Excecutive Producer – Benjamin Freeney

Recorded live on June 5, 2013 at Roulette, Brooklyn, NY, USA

 

AVAILABLE IN STORES AND ONLINE FEBRUARY 16, 2015 OR VIA FOOM MUSIC ON CD, VINYL AND HI-RES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD.

For further info please visit FOOM Music:
http://foommusic.bandcamp.com/album/peter-gordon-symphony-5

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Jon Nakamatsu and Jon ManasseCONTRASTS

From Ragtime to Romantic Riches

Friday, February 6 at 8:15 pm
Christ & St. Stephen’s Church
129 West 69th Street
New York, NY

Among the most celebrated musicians of our day, pianist Jon Nakamatsu and clarinetist Jon Manasse join violinist Stephanie Chase in a concert program inspired by Bartok’s chamber work for an unusual combination of instruments.

Don’t miss this exploration of diverse musical styles- including jazz, popular, contemporary, Romantic, gypsy, and ragtime – with these “outstanding” (New York Times) musicians!

Leonard Bernstein – Sonata for clarinet and piano (1941-42)
Johannes Brahms – Sonata for violin and piano, Op. 78 (1878-79)
Béla Bartók – Contrasts (1938)
John Novacek – Four Rags for Two Jons (2006)

Tickets: Advance tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com.  Admission also at the door: $30 adult, $20 senior/student, cash or check only. Doors open at 7:15 pm.

Stephanie Chase is recognized as “one of the violin greats of our era” (Newhouse Newspapers) through appearances with eminent orchestras that have included the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Hanover Band, and London Symphony.  Her performances are acclaimed for their “elegance, dexterity, rhythmic vitality and great imagination” (Boston Globe) as well as “stunning power” (Louisville Courier-Journal) and “matchless technique” (BBC Music Magazine).

American pianist Jon Nakamatsu continues to draw unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard, whose playing combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power. A native of California, Mr. Nakamatsu came to international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981. Mr. Nakamatsu has performed widely in North and South America, Europe, and the Far East, collaborating with such conductors as James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Osmo Vänskä and Hans Vonk. He also performed at a White House concert hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton.

Clarinetist Jon Manasse is internationally acclaimed for his inspiring artistry, uniquely glorious sound and charismatic performing style. His solo appearances include performances at the major venues of New York City and fourteen tours of Japan and Southeast Asia with the New York Symphonic Ensemble, concerts in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Osaka, and acclaimed concerto performances with Gerard Schwarz and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in New York and Tokyo.

Pre-concert talk at 7:30, included in concert admission: “Music and Early Childhood” by Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma.

Yeou-Cheng MaDr. Yeou-Cheng Ma is a Developmental Pediatrician and a musician. A graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Medical School, she works with children with developmental disorders in the Bronx and Queens. A former child prodigy who at age five became a pupil of violinist Arthur Grumiaux, she is the Executive Director of The Children’s Orchestra Society – which was founded by her father – and performs as a chamber musician in addition to teaching violin, viola, and chamber music for COS. Informally known as the “Music Doctor,” Dr. Ma’s recent interests include optimizing communication in all children, exploring the relationship of music to young children’s temperament, and using music as a means to find the “inner language” of children who have difficulties in verbal communication.

Inspired by the Neo-Platonic academies of 16th and 17th-century Italy, which combined discourse with musical presentations, the Music of the Spheres Society was founded in 2001 by its artistic director, Stephanie Chase, and Ann Ellsworth.  Its mission is to promote classical music through innovative chamber music concerts and pre-concert lectures which illuminate music’s historical, philosophical and scientific foundations, in order to give greater context for music to the average audience member.

For more information, visit the Music of the Spheres Society website or call (212) 877-4402.

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Photo by Scott Wall.
Photo by Scott Wall.

 

 

Opera awakens all the senses with super-human singing, spectacular visuals, dramatic character portrayals, and the thrill of an orchestra all on one stage. These interactive workshops won’t just deepen your appreciation of the art form; they will take you through the journey of creating an opera. From words to music, sets and costumes to staging, newcomers and seasoned opera-goers alike will learn the process from the ground up and experience San Francisco Opera behind the scenes.

The series includes 4 sessions:

September 8: Opera is a Story: From Text to Dialogue to Music

September 15: Performing: What’s It Like to be a Musician?

September 22: Production Elements: What Does It Look Like?

September 29: Putting it All Together: The Director’s Vision

 

For more information, please visit the San Francisco Opera Overture website.

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Photo by Erhard Rom.

 

In this informal panel discussion, renowned artists and personalities from the world of opera will share their insights and experiences about the San Francisco Opera’s upcoming production of Susannah. Panelists will include Susannah‘s composer Carlisle Floyd and SFO General Director David Gockley.

Susannah takes place in the backwoods of Tennessee when a beautiful young woman is accused of indecent behavior after she is discovered bathing naked in a stream. Will the charismatic traveling preacher who sets his sights on her soul be her salvation, or her downfall?

August 28th, 2014
6pm-7pm
Concert Hall, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
50 Oak Street, San Francisco
(between Franklin St. and Van Ness Ave.)

Insight panels are free for Opera members, Opera subscribers and students with student ID. Insights are $5 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to discussions.

 
Photo by Erhard Rom.

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The New Public York Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center is pleased to present American-Armenian award winning pianist Sofya Melikyan in a solo concert titled “Fantasies” on Saturday, January 25th at 2:30 pm at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York (map and directions). The concert, which represents the American debut of Ms. Melikyan’s Fantasies program, is free and open to the public.

 

Featuring some of the most inspired pages of the Fantasy and reflecting the different esthetics of this genre starting with the 18th century and through the present day, the concert program includes works by C.P.E. Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Corigliano, and Liszt. The term “Fantasy” was first used in the 16th century to describe an instrumental piece that was improvisatory and spontaneous in character, free of any formal rules or restrictions. This musical journey invites listeners to dive into a universe full of colors and mystery, and in turn, to explore the fascinating world of dreams and the imagination.

Pianist Sofya Melikyan

Pianist Sofya Melikyan

…”The Armenian pianist Sofya Melikyan literally abducted her audience into the land of fantasy… She offered a fascinating panorama of different approaches – baroque, classic, romantic – to the genre of the fantasy, which in its quality and in the pervasion of the compositions would have been worthy of her home town New York”… Frederik Wittenberg in Westfälische Nachrichten  (Germany)

 

Ms. Melikyan possesses this transcendental force to take the listener to her world of deep poetic intuition and her homeland is the source of the wideness and the depth of her artistic work: she grew up in Armenia, a country characterized by a strong relationship to nature, to the mystical, surrounded by mountains, which lead for centuries the way to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Now a resident of Brooklyn, New York, Ms. Melikyan completed her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid with Joaquin Soriano, École Normale de Musique de Paris with Ramzi Yassa and the Manhattan School of Music in New York where she was a scholarship student of Solomon Mikowsky. Other pianists who have mentored her are Brigitte Engerer, Galina Eguiazarova and Elena Tatulyan. Ms. Melikyan has toured throughout Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States.  More information is available here.

The full concert program follows:

Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788)

Fantasy in f sharp minor H300

 

Johannes Brahms (1836-1897)

Fantasien Op.116

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Fantasy in g minor Op. 77

John Corigliano (1938- )

Etude–Fantasy

For the left hand

Legato

Fifths to thirds

Ornaments

Melody

 

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi sonata S 161,

de Anées de Pèlegrinage.

Deuxième année: Italia

 

 

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Dan Locklair’s Hodie Christus Natus est, performed by the BBC Singers and conducted by David Hill, will be broadcast on Monday, December 23 as part of the BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast program. Listen online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tmr6.

The piece is also featured on a new BBC Singers’ A Babe is Born CD that accompanies the current issue of BBC Music magazine.

Recordings of Locklair’s works are available on Naxos, Ondine, Koch, Albany, Loft, Priory (UK) and other labels. His primary publishers are Ricordi and Subito. Dan Locklair is Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Music at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

More information about him, including a bio, list of works, discography and much more, at http://www.locklair.com.

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StevenGerber5Steven R. Gerber’s Symphony No. 1 will be featured on the Saturday, December 21 – 9:00 PM EST broadcast of WRTI Radio’s Now is the Time, hosted by Kile Smith. This edition of the show will also present music by Katherine Hoover, Fred Frith, Adrienne Albert and others. Listen online at http://wrti.org/programs/now-time.

Symphony No. 1 has been recorded by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Sanderling, conductor, for the Chandos label. More about it, including sound samples, at http://www.stevengerber.com/disc_chandos.htm.

More about Now is the Time at http://kilesmith.com/on-the-radio/now-is-the-time-2013/.

New York-based composer Steven R. Gerber’s music has gained international attention as a result of Chandos, Koch and Arabesque CD releases featuring several of his major orchestral works, including Symphony No. 1, Kurt Nikkanen’s performance of the Violin Concerto and Jon Manasse’s performance of the Clarinet Concerto. His orchestral work Music in Dark Times was commissioned by Vladimir Ashkenazy and the four World Premiere performances took place in March, 2009, with Maestro Ashkenazy conducting the San Francisco Symphony.

Visit his website at http://www.stevengerber.com.

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JZPhoto213Judith Lang Zaimont is the subject of a major cover story in the current issue of the Journal of the International Alliance of Women in Music.

The article, by Susan Cohn Lackman, a Professor at Florida’s Rollins College, is a survey of Ms. Zaimont’s distinguished career as a composer, as well an interview with her about her creative philosophy.  It is Part I of a two-part profile of the composer; Part II will deal with a critical overview, and will be published later in 2014.  Read the complete Part I at http://www.jamesarts.com/%5Czaimont%5Czaimont-iawm.pdf.

The Journal of the IAWM is published twice a year and is read world-wide. It includes articles about women musicians, both contemporary and historic, interviews, reports on major conferences, congresses, and festivals, information on current research, IAWM news and members’ news, and reviews of books, concerts, CDs, and scores.

Judith Zaimont’s music is widely performed throughout the U.S. and Europe and has been recorded for MSR Classics, Naxos, Navona, Harmonia Mundi, Arabesque, Milken Family Foundation, Albany, Jeanne, Leonarda, Northeastern, and 4Tay labels. Her principal publishers are Subito Music (http://www.subitomusic.com/), Galaxy/ ECS, Jeanné, Lauren Keiser Music Publishing and Vivace. She is creator and editor-in-chief of the critically acclaimed book series The Musical Woman: An International Perspective. More information about Ms. Zaimont, including sound clips of many of her compositions, is available at http://www.jzaimont.com/.

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Digital Download & 7” Vinyl Release Date: October 15, 2013
Vinyl Available Exclusively at: www.christopherbono.com

VIDEO: The Inspiration Behind Unity & The Unexcelled Mantra
http://bit.ly/UnityMantraVideo

On October 15, 2013, composer Christopher Bono releases two new singles, Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra, performed by The New York Virtuoso Singers led by music director Harold Rosenbaum. These choral works will be available on Bono’s label Our Silent Canvas, distributed digitally by Naxos and released on limited edition 7” vinyl. The recordings were made at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York by Grammy-winning producer Silas Brown.

Visual artist DZO Olivier has created original illustrations for the cover art for Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra recordings, intimately influenced by Bono’s music and the concepts it explores. Videos inspired by these works created by film artists Tobias Stretch (Radiohead, Deftones) and Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir (Sigur Rós) will be released on November 5, 2013.

Bono describes Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra as contemplating the search for a modern form of spirituality. He says, “Both works explore a path to transcendence or ‘true being’ through union with the cosmos – The Unexcelled Mantra from a Mahayana Buddhist point of view and Unity from the Western philosophical tradition of Plato.”

Unity is a choral piece based on some of the musical and philosophical concepts of Plato’s Republic. The chosen text was taken from a section of the Republic in which Plato discusses the power of mathematics, but Bono immediately saw it could also be viewed as a metaphor for the phenomenon of meditation. He says, “This multi-dimensional observation was a key inspiration for me when writing the work, both considering the mathematical qualities of music and the esoteric concepts of achieving union with the All.” In addition, Bono experimented with the power Plato claimed existed in the Dorian and Phrygian modes. According to Plato, the Dorian would “fittingly imitate the utterances and accents of a brave man who is engaged in warfare,” while the Phrygian was suitable “for a man engaged in works of peace.”

The Unexcelled Mantra is a setting of text from the Heart Sutra, a sacred text in Mahayana Buddhism on understanding Shunyata, or Emptiness, in order to realize Nirvana. The mantra reads “gaté gaté paragaté parasamgaté bodhi svaha,” which can be translated as “Go, go, go beyond, go totally beyond, be rooted in the ground of enlightenment.”

The release of Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra follows Bono’s first classical album, Invocations, a chamber music collection released in fall 2012 and on vinyl in August 2013. The originality and inventiveness of Invocations was noted by composer and writer Frank Oteri in NewMusicBox, who wrote, “While much of 21st-century contemporary composition is not beholden to any rules, to the extent that I could probably claim everyone to be an ‘outsider’ in some ways, Bono’s music sounds as though everything he writes is something he is discovering for the very first time, even if there are clear reference points throughout to the sound worlds of other composers from both our own time and other eras.”

Christopher Bono entered the world of classical music much later than most of his contemporaries. He spent his childhood and teenage years devoted to baseball; in 1999 he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners but an injury kept him from playing. Filling the void left by the end of his athletic endeavors, Bono began playing the guitar when he was 21, and for several years he toured, recorded, and performed in an alternative roots-rock style. In his mid-20s, he made the choice to learn classical composition techniques in order to more fully realize his music. For seven years, in nearly hermetic isolation, he taught himself to read music, and studied composition independently with Juilliard professor Kendall Briggs and at La Scola Cantorum in Paris.

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Photo by Christian Steiner

 

November 8, 2013
7:00 – 8;30 pm

Turtle Bay Music School
244 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
212-753-8811

Composer and lecturer Joelle Wallach discusses “Dvorak in New York City” in a free public program as part of her EtM Con Edison Composers Residency at Turtle Bay Music School.

Dr. Wallach, a popular pre-concert lecturer for the New York Philharmonic, explores how composer Antonin Dvorak’s three years in New York City changed his music – and ours – as he crafted his impressions of Native- and African-American folk music into music “for the new world.”

Admission is free.

 

Joelle Wallach, winner of a 2013 Copland Foundation Grant, composes music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, choruses and solo voice.  Her String Quartet 1995 was the American Composers Alliance nominee for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The New York Philharmonic Ensembles premiered her octet, From the Forest of Chimneys, written to celebrate their 10th anniversary; and the New York Choral Society commissioned her secular oratorio,
Toward a Time of Renewal, for 200 voices and orchestra to commemorate their 35th Anniversary Season in Carnegie Hall.

A popular and profound pre-concert lecturer for the New York Philharmonic, Dr. Wallach speaks on a broad range of musical subjects, bringing fresh insights to familiar works and opening doors to modern ones and to those more infrequently heard.

Wallach grew up in Morocco, but makes her home in New York City, where she was born and to which she has recently returned after a two year visit as Professor of Composition at the University of North Texas’ College of Music.  For more information and to hear samples of more of Wallach’s music, visit her website:  www.joellewallach.com.

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