Opera newcomers will thrill to the captivating music of this beloved work by Georges Bizet, featuring the alluring Gypsy girl Carmen, the Spanish soldier who loves her and the brave bullfighter who wins her heart.
Created from San Francisco Opera’s performance of Carmen for Families in 2011, this one hour movie is a wonderful first opera experience. The performance is in English, with English subtitles and is recommended for ages 10 and up.
Advance registration is not required. Seating will be first-come, first-served.
For more information, visit www.sfopera.com/familymovies.
Alex Treger, Music Director of American Youth Symphony
Ukranian-born piano sensation Valentina Lisitsa – heralded for performances of “unexpected depth” (Baltimore Sun) and one of the world’s most watched classical musicians with more than 62 million YouTube views – makes her American Youth Symphony (AYS) debut to perform Rachmaninoff’s scintillating Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini at the orchestra’s “Springtime in Paris Gala,” which includes a free concert on Sunday, March 9, 2013, 6 pm, at UCLA’s Royce Hall, followed at 8 pm by an optional fundraising soirée and bistro dinner to benefit AYS. Music Director Alexander Treger, currently in his 16th season leading AYS, also conducts Gershwin’s beloved An American in Paris, Adam Schoenberg’s Up!, an uplifting fanfare commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and debuted in 2010, and Ravel’s brooding but captivating La Valse. The 106-member American Youth Symphony, noted for its innovative programming and inspiring performances, is attending the post-concert gala as well.
Lisitsa is considered the first classical music “YouTube star” to have converted her Internet success into a global concert career in the principal venues of Europe, the USA, South America and Asia. That success, which also includes an exclusive recording contract with Decca, is the direct result of the recognition she received when viewers flocked to the Internet to watch a collection of hundreds of videos of her practicing piano that she posted on YouTube in an effort to jumpstart a once floundering career. Decca and others in the classical music industry took notice of her impassioned playing and extremely large following, which led to the reinvigoration of her career.
“Valentina Lisitsa is a remarkable talent whose playing resonates deeply with both live and YouTube audiences,” says Treger. “We are very pleased to present her in her American Youth Symphony debut.”
AYS has trained more than 2,300 musicians since it was founded, and many of its alumni hold principal positions with the world’s top orchestras, the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, among them. Additionally, AYS’s free concert series, which has drawn more than a quarter of a million people to the Royce Hall since its inception, provides vital music outreach to the community.
AYS’s 2013/14 season wraps with “The Alumni Project,” where AYS musicians share a stand with celebrated alumni to perform Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony. This season finale also features gifted young violinist Nigel Armstrong, a finalist in the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Competition and former AYS Concertmaster.
Reservations are recommended but not required for the American Youth Symphony’s free concert at Royce Hall, but tickets for the post-concert fundraising gala, which begin at $500 per person, must be reserved in advance. Royce Hall is located on the campus of UCLA at 10745 Dickson Plaza in Westwood, CA, 90095. For more information, please call (310) 470-2332 or log on to www.AYSymphony.org.
North/South Consonance, Inc. continues its 34th season of free-admission concerts this Sunday afternoon February 16 when banjo virtuoso Ken Perlman joins conductor Max Lifchitz and the Grammy nominated North/South Chamber Orchestra for the premiere of Harold Schiffman’s Banjo Concerto.
The multigenerational program — part of the Composers Now Festival — honors Schiffman on the occasion of his 85th birthday while also featuring first performances of works by younger American composers including Brian Wilbur Grundstrom, Joseph Rubinstein, William Toutant and John Winsor.
The concert will take place at the intimate and acoustically superior auditorium of Christ & St Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th St – bet Bway & Columbus) on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It will start at 3 PM and end at 4:45 PM. No tickets necessary.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Hailed as “the Heifetz of the Banjo” Ken Perlman is the acknowledged master of the 5-string banjo. The Glasgow (UK) Herald noted: “Perlman can make his instrument do more or less anything he wants it to” as his pioneering claw-hammer style picking helps spotlight the power and expressiveness of the wide range of music he performs. Perlman has toured across North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Western Europe and Australia. An acclaimed teacher of folk-music instrumental skills, Perlman has authored widely respected banjo and guitar instruction books and has been on staff at prestigious teaching festivals around the world.
Active as composer, pianist and conductor, Max Lifchitz was awarded first prize in the 1976 International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music held in Holland. Robert Commanday, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle described him as “a young composer of brilliant imagination and a stunning, ultra-sensitive pianist.” The New York Times music critic Allan Kozinn praised Mr. Lifchitz for his “clean, measured and sensitive performances” while Anthony Tommasini remarked that he “conducted a strong performance.” Payton MacDonald writing for the American Record Guide remarked:”Mr. Lifchitz is as good on the podium as he is behind the piano.”
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
Harold Schiffman (b. 1928 in North Carolina) has been described by the international press as “a most distinguished composer whose well-crafted and communicative music repays repeated hearings.” He taught composition at Florida State University from 1959 until 1983 and also directed that institution’s New Music Festival. Especially written for Ken Perlman, Schiffman’s three-movement Banjo Concerto is cast in a traditional fast-slow-fast pattern. Inspired by Appalachian’s melodies, the work’s musical language recalls Baroque-era lute music while offering the soloist ample opportunity for technical display.
Brian Wilbur Grundstrom was honored with the 2013 Washington DC Outstanding Emerging Artist. He studied at the Gettysburg Conservatory and also attended the ASCAP/NYU Buddy Baker Film Music Workshop. His musical style has been described as “innovative in its use of melody and harmony which, although firmly rooted in the tonal tradition, is entirely new.” Chenonceau was written last summer after the composer visited the magnificent French castle in the Loire Valley known for the formal elegance and beauty of its gardens.
Active as tenor and composer, Joseph Rubinstein (b. 1986) studied at Columbia University and The Juilliard School before winning the 2012 Brian Israel Prize and a fellowship from America Opera Projects. His music is concerned with dramatic narrative and storytelling while being defined by vivid musical characterizations and striking juxtapositions. Shebesh Variations is a set of variations fashioned around an original Jewish-tune. Taking its cue from the meaning of the Yiddish word shebesh — something from the past that is buried or forgotten – the piece is an attempt to portray how sprawling, cosmopolitan East European cities of today have slowly grown up and around the remnants of old settlements from the past.”
Long time Los Angeles resident, William Toutant is the writer and host of “The KCSN Opera House” and also served as the Executive Director of the Romanian American Music Days Festival in Constanta, Romania. His works have been performed in Mexico, Nicaragua, France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Romania. Written especially for the occasion, Toutant’s Administrative Suite is a series of musical impressions or “memories” of the many years the composer served as Dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication at California State University, Northridge. Eccentric, Nostalgic and Bureaucratic are the titles of the three movements.
Active as clarinetist and composer, John Winsor has taught at the Armed Forces School of Music and the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. Winsor won the Delius Award twice; has received several commissions from the Virginia Music Teachers Association; and also collected the 2000 Film Scoring Competition prize. The Faerie Queen is a fairly calm and atmospheric piece which is intended to evoke the impression of fairies flitting about. It employs pleasant instrumental colors and structural transparency resembling the music of Ravel and Debussy.
ABOUT NORTH/SOUTH CONSONANCE
Since its inception in 1980, North/South Consonance has brought to the attention of the New York City public over 1,000 recent works by composers hailing from throughout the Americas and elsewhere and representing a wide spectrum of aesthetic views. It activities are made possible in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
For the complete concert series schedule please visit
To stream, download and/or purchase the more than 60 compact discs released under the North/South Recordings label please go to
To learn about North/South Consonance’s Call for Scores go to
Joelle Wallach’s The Firefighter’s Prayer will be presented by Voces Intimae as part of their Texas Lekka! Roundup of Texas Art Song Composers concert on Sunday, February 16 – 3:00 PM at Zion Lutheran Church, 6121 E. Lovers Lane (at Stillman) in Dallas. Lekka is South African slang meaning “to promote your nation’s exceptional talent.”
Joelle writes about The Firefighter’s Prayer, “On the windshields of fire trucks and firehouse windows around the United States, copies of the traditional “Firefighter’s Prayer” are glued. For generations, its traditional words have had personal meaning to firefighters across the continent, a core of faith for lives built on daily acts of bravery and heroism. Touched by the traditional words, I found a melody hidden inside the prayer, built on elements of Irish folksongs of loss and longing.” Read her complete notes and hear a recording of the song at http://www.joellewallach.com/firefighter_solo.html.
Other composers on the program are Simon Sargon, Francis Osentowski, Robert Rodriguez and Margaret Barrett. More about Texas Lekka! at http://www2.vocesintimae.org/concert-previews.html.
General admission to the February 16 event is $20, Seniors $15 and students free. For more information, call 214-478-7847 or visit http://www2.vocesintimae.org/.
Joelle Wallach served as Composer in the Metropolis as part of her Con-Edison Music in the Metropolis Composer Residency at New York City’s Turtle Bay Music School for most of Fall 2013. The 4Tay label has released two CDs of her music – The Door Standing Open – a collection of songs and chamber works (CD 4034) and The Nightwatch – more songs and solo piano works. More about her at http://www.joellewallach.com.
Frankenstein: Of Monsters and Men, a major new oratorio with powerful themes of rejection, misunderstanding and regret composed by 100 high school students from downtown Los Angeles’ Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts and based on Mary Shelley’s classic 1818 novel, is being premiere by the students in conjunction with the Los Angeles Master Chorale Chamber Singers, instrumentalists and soloists in free matinee and evening performances on Thursday, February 20, 2014, at noon, and Friday, February 21, and 7 pm, at the high school’s main auditorium. (Ample free on-site parking is available.) Compelling arias and rousing choruses tell the dark gothic tale of the eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque monster during a laboratory experiment, and then, horrified by the result, regrets giving life to the creature he just made. The students composed the melodies and lyrics for the oratorio, which is told in several musical movements. The performances are the culmination of the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s award-winning “Voices Within” artists-in-residence program, designed to foster collaboration among students to create and perform their own original choral works.
Shelley’s novel, written when she was only 21 years old, resonates with students on a variety of levels. For the oratorio, students have focused on Shelley’s theme of being outcast as their libretto portrays the tale of a lonely creature shunned by his creator and misunderstood and feared by everyone else.
The 9th through 12th grade students worked closely over a 20-week period with the guidance and mentorship of singer Alice Kirwan Murray, lyricist Doug Cooney and composer Jonathan Beard, as well as their own choir teachers, Desiree Fowler and Stormy Sacks. They learned how to adapt a classic work of literature, write a libretto based on the adaptation and create the melodies and harmonic structure for each movement of the oratorio. They also learned techniques for capturing the “voice” of the characters and how to propel the momentum of the plot and paint the mood of a scene. After the work was completed, students auditioned for feature roles and received vocal coaching to prepare for the culmination performance. This is the fourth year LAMC has offered its “Voices Within” program at the school.
An oratorio is an extended musical composition with a text dramatic in character for solo voices, chorus and orchestra, performed with minimal action, costume and scenery. Complex and sophisticated musical works, they challenge even season composers, making the student’s accomplishments particularly noteworthy.
This massive undertaking is an extension of the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s award-winning music education program, “Voices Within,” which was originally designed to teach fifth graders collaborative and compositional skills by composing and performing their own original songs and has engaged over 25,000 children and created over 350 original songs since its launch in 2001.
Encouraged by previous successful collaborations involving elementary and middle school students, and with the support of the California Arts Council’s Artists-in-School Program, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Los Angeles Master Chorale adapted the “Voices Within” curriculum to address the advanced maturity of high school students, specifically choral students at the new visual and performing arts high school in downtown LA.
The concert is free, and seating is first come, first served. Cortines High School for Visual and Performing Arts is located at 450 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Campus parking is free (enter on Cesar Chavez Avenue).
The Fire Pink Trio will present Women of Note!, a concert of music by women for harp, flute and viola on Saturday, February 15 at 7:30 PM in Watson Hall of University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 1533 South Main St. in Winston-Salem. This will be part of the music@watson concert series.
The Trio will present Trio in 4 Movements by Libby Larsen, Lullaby for 3 by Adrienne Albert, St. Nicholas Suite by Krinio Papastavrou and From the Song of Amergin by Hilary Tann.
Tickets are $15/$13 students. For more information, call 336-721-1945 or visit http://www.uncsa.edu/.
The Trio, consisting of Jacquelyn Bartlett, harpist, Sheila Browne, violist and Debra Reuter-Pivetta, flutist came together in 2008. More about them at http://firepinktrio.com/.
Two Unforgettable Concerts of 24 Works by Today’s Top Composers
WHAT: LIAISONS feat. pianist Anthony de Mare
WHEN: Saturday, March 29th at 8:00PM & Sunday, March 30th at 2:00PM
WHERE: Mondavi Arts, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA
$19- $42. To purchase, contact Mondavi Arts at 530.754.2787 or visit mondaviarts.org
After performing nationwide in 2012-13 throughout the U.S. and Canada, LIAISONS: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano featuring internationally renowned contemporary pianist Anthony de Mare comes to the Mondavi Center for two nights only MAR 29-30. Based on the music of the legendary composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, LIAISONS is an intrepid program of new, solo piano works by some of the world’s foremost contemporary composers – this marks the first time that Sondheim songs have ever been re-imagined for solo piano. Commissioned purely for this landmark project, composers from the realms of classical, jazz, film, pop, musical theater, opera and avant-garde music have come together to pay homage to Sondheim, whose music has dominated American musical theater for the past four decades.
Milton Babbitt: All Set
George Antheil: Ballet Mécanique
Known as the nation’s foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music recordings, BMOP/sound today announced the February 11th release of two new composer-centric albums: Milton Babbitt: All Set featuring soprano Lucy Shelton; and George Antheil: Ballet Mécanique. As always, both recordings uphold unfailingly high standards of quality with performances by the daring Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) led by conductor Gil Rose.
CD Release Concert
When: WED 2.19 @ 7:30pm
Where: Central Synagogue, 652 Lexington Avenue, New York City, Train 4/5/6 to 59th Street / E/M to 53rd Street
Internationally renowned concert organist and recording artist Gail Archer releases her seventh solo album with The Muse’s Voice: A Celebration of Women Composers performed on the Gabe M. Wiener Organ (Casavant, 2002) at New York City’s Central Synagogue. Featuring works by today’s leading female composers including Jennifer Higdon, Nadia Boulanger, Jeanne Demessieux and Judith Bingham, The Muse’s Voice enthralls listeners with Archer’s ability to leap seamlessly from baroque to late romantic and modern eras.
Two movements from Dan Locklair’s Rubrics – The Peace may be exchanged and The people respond: Amen for solo organ will be performed by Jonathan Dimmock as part of his All The Stops! program of contemporary organ music on Tuesday, February 11 at 8pm at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way in Berkeley, California.
Rubrics (A Liturgical Suite for Organ) was a 1988 commission from the Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh, PA, for their tenth anniversary year celebration. The extra-musical impetus and subsequent titles for each movement of Rubrics are found in the instructions (rubrics) to the services for The Book of Common Prayer (September 1979 edition). The piece was given its World Premiere in Pittsburgh in April 1989 by organist Mary Preston. More about it at http://www.locklair.com/wp/compositions/organ/rubrics-a-liturgical-suite-for-organ.
Other composers on the program include Jennifer Higdon, David Conte, David Sampson, C. Michael Reese and Frank Ferko. More program information at http://www.composersinc.org/main.html. Visit Jonathan Dimmock at http://www.jonathandimmock.com/.
Tickets $20 general admission and $15 students, seniors and disabled. Tickets are available at the door 30 minutes before the show. For more information, visit http://www.composersinc.org/main.html.