Archive for the ‘Events’ category

Composer Gerald Cohen’s new album SEA OF REEDS (Navona Records) and CD Release

October 29th, 2014
November 11, 2014
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

nv5979_seaofreeds_frontcoverNew York-based composer Gerald Cohen (www.GeraldCohenMusic.com) is set to release a new CD of music – SEA OF REEDS – on the Navona Label on November 11th, 2014. The four pieces on this recording reflect Cohen’s affinity for the clarinet, featuring the instrument in various trio settings. The album will be released in both physical and digital formats and will be available for purchase at ClassicsOnline, iTunes, Amazon, and other online music distributors.

CD release concert will be at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleeker Street, New York, NY, Tuesday, November 11 at 7 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Advance tickets are $15; day-of $20. The performance will feature the Grneta Ensemble (Vasko Dukovski and Ismail Lumanovski, clarinets, and Alexandra Joan, piano) as well as violinist Jennifer Choi and violist Maria Lambros.

Cohen, whose music is noted for its dramatic and lyrical qualities, aims with SEA OF REEDS to explore the multifaceted clarinet through the lens of his classical, Jewish, and jazz influences. The composer writes: “I love the clarinet for its wide variety of character and dynamics, and its ability to either blend beautifully with other instruments or to stand out in a crowd.”

Variously Blue is a vibrant group of variations on a twelve-bar blues pattern, highlighting an interplay between jazz and concert music; the title collection Sea of Reeds arranges five of Cohen’s Jewish vocal works, turning them into virtuosic clarinet showpieces. Yedid Nefesh, based on a delicate Sephardic song, explores both meditative and exuberant aspects of that melody, while the wide-ranging variations of Grneta Variations take advantage of the wonderful virtuosity and unique musical personalities of the three musicians of the Grneta Ensemble.

As with the CD release concert, the recording features the Grneta Ensemble (Vasko Dukovski and Ismail Lumanovski, clarinets, and Alexandra Joan, piano) with violinist Jennifer Choi and violist Maria Lambros.


 

Works on this recording (all composed by Gerald Cohen) are:

Variously Blue, for clarinet, violin, and piano
Sea of Reeds, for two clarinets and piano
Yedid Nefesh, for two clarinet, viola, and piano
Grneta Variations, for two clarinets and piano

Total Running Time: 70 minutes


About Gerald Cohen

Composer Gerald Cohen (Yonkers, NY), has been praised for his “linguistic fluidity and melodic gift,” creating compositions with “a strong sense of tradition — one that embraces Brahms, Bartok and Britten on one hand and his own Jewish heritage on the other” (Gramophone Magazine). His deeply affecting compositions have been recognized with numerous awards and critical accolades. According to Gramophone, an earlier CD of his compositions, Generations, “reveals a very personal modernism that…offers great emotional rewards.”

His opera, Steal a Pencil for Me, based on a true concentration camp love story, had its semi- staged premiere in 2013. Lucid Culture’s review noted the effectiveness of Cohen’s “…mesmerizingly hypnotic, intricately contrapuntal” music, with moments of “…Bernard Herrmann-esque, shivery terror…”. Cohen’s operas Sarah and Hagar, based on the story from the book of Genesis, and Seed, a one-act opera about love and choices for a post-apocalyptic couple, have been performed in concert form.

Cohen’s best-known work, his “shimmering setting” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) of Adonai Ro’i (Psalm 23), has received thousands of performances from synagogues and churches to Carnegie Hall and the Vatican. A cantor at Shaarei Tikvah in Scarsdale, NY, Cohen’s experience as a singer informs his dramatic, lyrical compositions. He also serves on the faculties of both the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College.

Recognition of Cohen’s body of work includes the Copland House Borromeo String Quartet Award, Aaron Copland Award, Westchester Prize for New Work, American Composers Forum Faith Partners residency, and Cantors Assembly’s Max Wohlberg Award for distinguished achievement in the field of Jewish composition. Cohen received the Yale University’s Sudler Prize for outstanding achievement in the creative arts, and has been awarded commissioning grants from Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and Westchester Arts Council. Throughout his career, he has been selected for residencies including those at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and American Lyric Theater.

Cohen’s music has been commissioned by chamber ensembles including the Cassatt String Quartet, Verdehr Trio, Franciscan String Quartet, Chesapeake Chamber Music, Grneta Ensemble, Wave Hill Trio, Bronx Arts Ensemble, and Brooklyn Philharmonic Brass Quintet; by choruses including the New York Virtuoso Singers, Canticum Novum Singers, Syracuse Children’s Chorus, St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, Zamir Chorale of Boston, and Usdan Center Chorus; and by the Cantors Assembly of America and Westchester Youth Symphony. Cohen’s music has been performed by the Borromeo String Quartet, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic, Riverside Symphony, Plymouth Music Series Orchestra, New York Concert Singers, Princeton Pro Musica, and many other ensembles and soloists.

###

Pianist Eunbi Kim, Murakami Music: Stories of Loss and Nostalgia, November 1, 2014

October 8th, 2014
November 1, 2014
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

NYC– On Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 8 pm, New York City based pianist Eunbi Kim (www.EunbiKimMusic.com) will perform at at the Baruch Performing Arts Center’s Engelman Recital Hall (www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac/). The venue is located at 55 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10010. General admission is $25.

Murakami Music is a performance piece inspired by the works of contemporary Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, an author whose books have been translated into fifty languages, which have sold millions of copies.

Created by pianist Eunbi Kim, in collaboration with actress Laura Yumi Snell, and director Kira Simring, Murakami Music was conceived and premiered at The Cell Theatre in Chelsea, presented at NYC’s Symphony Space, and performed at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. This particular performance will feature guest jazz musicians Jeff Koch on upright bass, and David Kjar on saxophone.

A dramatic work, this program includes performances of piano works with theatrical readings that explore the complexities of the lives behind the pianists in Murakami’s books including Sputnik Sweetheart, Kafka on the Shore, and Norwegian Wood.

This program is one that explored Eunbi’s limits and growth as a performer: “The kind of artist I want to be is somebody that pushes herself to do new things. I never composed anything before. I never had to say dialogue before.”

A number of Murakami’s characters play piano or are passionate about music, which lends for an obvious source of inspiration and tribute. His works reference classical music, as well as popular music, jazz and blues.

He is also noted for his fully dimensional realizations of Asian characters, particularly women, which was a driving point of inspiration for Eunbi: “In American media, Asian women will be featured, but their background will be completely ignored. That’s what really drove me [to use Murakami for inspiration], all the ways he writes about women. It’s what made me passionate about him.”

A highly adaptable, black-box theatre work, Murakami Music has been lauded and featured on Japanese television network, FujiTV, and most recently profiled in the documentary, “The World Reads Murakami,” on NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization.


Concert Program (works to be performed include):

Solo Piano

Schumann, Forest Scenes, Op. 82
Lennon/McCartney, Norwegian Wood
Chopin, Etude, Op. 25, No. 1
Mozart, Sonata in B flat Major
Prokofiev, Sonata No. 2 in d minor, Op. 14

Piano/Voice

Kennedy/Carr, South of the Border
Douglas/Parman/Levere, Pretend
Eunbi Kim, Kafka on the Shore

4-Hands Piano

Grieg, Norwegian Dance, Op. 35

About Eunbi Kim, pianist
Pianist Eunbi Kim thrives in collaborating with other artists to present classical and contemporary music in unique settings. Kim made her European orchestral debut with I Solisti di Perugia in Italy and has performed solo and chamber programs in venues such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. and the 92nd Street Y in New York City. She graduated with her Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music, where she also held a fellowship at The Center for Music Entrepreneurship. www.EunbiKimMusic.com

About Laura Yumi Snell, actress
Laura Yumi Snell is an accomplished pianist, singer, and actress. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she began her career as a classical pianist, performing and competing in venues across California, Japan, and Austria. She attended the University of California, Davis on a full scholarship and received degrees in music and dramatic art. As a singer and actress, she won many young artist awards as a soloist with her vocal jazz ensemble and has performed in numerous productions. She recently returned from a worldwide tour of Avenue Q.

Bassist Jeff Koch was born and raised in New York City, where he has been playing and teaching for the past 10 years. He has performed all around the world at notable venues such as The Blue Note NYC, The Kennedy Center, and the Bimhuis (Amsterdam). Jeff has shared the stage with many notable musicians including Jimmy Cobb, David Liebman, and John Faddis. Jeff attended the Manhattan School of Music where he completed degrees in both the Bachelor’s and Master’s of Jazz Arts. Currently, he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Music Education at Teacher’s College of Columbia University.

David Kjar is a New York freelance performer, educator, and composer specializing in saxophone, clarinet, flute and oboe. David has been featured at Alice Tully Hall, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Somethin’ Jazz Club, as well as internationally at the Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Kongsberg, and Villard De Lans Jazz festivals. David is a graduate of the Master’s Program at Manhattan School of Music, and has taught at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, Brigham Young University, and currently at New Heights Academy Charter School.

Resobox is an art gallery located in Long Island City, Queens, that not only strives to showcase Japanese-inspired art, but also acts as a Japanese cultural center, promoting various cultural events and holding classes that capture both the traditional and contemporary aspects of Japanese culture. “Resobox” is a name created from the words resonate and box. This “resonating box” envisions a space where artists can meet and collaborate to create new and innovative artwork. The space within this box resonates as well, shaking up everything inside. Japanese and non-Japanese artists alike are welcome at Resobox, adding and mixing in their ideas and sensibilities, and playing a great role in preserving and (even further developing) Japanese arts.

The concept of Resobox was originally created in August 2009 as a personal art project by Fumio Tashiro – New York composer, bassist, and videographer. However, in the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami on March 10, 2011, Fumio Tashiro and his old friend, Takashi Ikezawa, worked together to reshape the concept of RESOBOX as a Japanese art gallery outside of Japan, but with a greater mission: “The place where people who are conversant with, dedicated to, and influenced by Japanese arts can gather, create innovative arts through the collaborative process, and disseminate them to the world.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Peter McDowell (Peter McDowell Arts Consulting)
P: 773.484.8811          E: peter@petermcdowell.com

Rose Rougeau (Asia Society Texas Center)
P: 713.208.1045          E: RRougeau@AsiaSociety.org/Texas

 

 

Pianist Eunbi Kim, Murakami Music: Stories of Loss and Nostalgia, October 25, 2014

September 30th, 2014
October 25, 2014
7:30 pmto9:30 pm

murakamimusic-webHOUSTON, TEXAS – On Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 7:30 pm, New York City based pianist Eunbi Kim (www.EunbiKimMusic.com) will perform at Asia Society Texas Center
(www.asiasociety.org), located at 1370 Southmore Blvd (Houston, TX). An opportunity to meet the artists beforehand is at 6:30 pm. Tickets are on sale now. Admission is $15 for members, $25 for non-members.

Murakami Music is a performance piece inspired by the works of contemporary Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, an author whose books have been translated into fifty languages, which have sold millions of copies.

Created by pianist Eunbi Kim, in collaboration with actress Laura Yumi Snell, and director Kira Simring, Murakami Music was conceived and premiered at The Cell Theatre in Chelsea, presented at NYC’s Symphony Space, and performed at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

A dramatic work, this program includes performances of piano works with theatrical readings that explore the complexities of the lives behind the pianists in Murakami’s books including Sputnik Sweetheart, Kafka on the Shore, and Norwegian Wood.

This program is one that explored Eunbi’s limits and growth as a performer: “The kind of artist I want to be is somebody that pushes herself to do new things. I never composed anything before. I never had to say dialogue before.”

A number of Murakami’s characters play piano or are passionate about music, which lends for an obvious source of inspiration and tribute. His works reference classical music, as well as popular music, jazz and blues.

He is also noted for his fully dimensional realizations of Asian characters, particularly women, which was a driving point of inspiration for Eunbi: “In American media, Asian women will be featured, but their background will be completely ignored. That’s what really drove me [to use Murakami for inspiration], all the ways he writes about women. It’s what made me passionate about him.”

A highly adaptable, black-box theatre work, Murakami Music has been lauded and featured on Japanese television network, FujiTV, and most recently profiled in the documentary, “The World Reads Murakami,” on NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization.


Concert Program (works to be performed include):

Solo Piano

Schumann, Forest Scenes, Op. 82
Lennon/McCartney, Norwegian Wood
Chopin, Etude, Op. 25, No. 1
Mozart, Sonata in B flat Major
Prokofiev, Sonata No. 2 in d minor, Op. 14

Piano/Voice

Kennedy/Carr, South of the Border
Douglas/Parman/Levere, Pretend
Eunbi Kim, Kafka on the Shore

4-Hands Piano

Grieg, Norwegian Dance, Op. 35

About Eunbi Kim, pianist
Pianist Eunbi Kim thrives in collaborating with other artists to present classical and contemporary music in unique settings. Kim made her European orchestral debut with I Solisti di Perugia in Italy and has performed solo and chamber programs in venues such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. and the 92nd Street Y in New York City. She graduated with her Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music, where she also held a fellowship at The Center for Music Entrepreneurship. www.EunbiKimMusic.com

About Laura Yumi Snell, actress
Laura Yumi Snell is an accomplished pianist, singer, and actress. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she began her career as a classical pianist, performing and competing in venues across California, Japan, and Austria. She attended the University of California, Davis on a full scholarship and received degrees in music and dramatic art. As a singer and actress, she won many young artist awards as a soloist with her vocal jazz ensemble and has performed in numerous productions. She recently returned from a worldwide tour of Avenue Q.

About Asia Society Texas Center
With 11 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach. www.AsiaSociety.org/Texas

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Peter McDowell (Peter McDowell Arts Consulting)
P: 773.484.8811          E: peter@petermcdowell.com

Rose Rougeau (Asia Society Texas Center)
P: 713.208.1045          E: RRougeau@AsiaSociety.org/Texas

 

 

Pianist Jenny Q Chai to Utilize New Performance Technology

September 18th, 2014

Jenny Q Chai’s performance this coming Sunday at Spectrum in New York City (www.spectrumnyc.com) is one of several intriguing premieres. Not only is she presenting her collaboration with Nils Vigeland, and giving Marco Stroppa’s “Birichino” a US debut, she will also be playing the piano alongside the new Antescofo technology.

Developed by Arshia Cont and Marco Stroppa at the French institute of music science IRCAM (www.ircam.fr), Antescofo is a radical new computer program that listens and follows along with the performer. Rather than using pre-recorded, fixed media, it reacts to the impulses and nuance of the musician, adding whatever the performer wants. An artificial intelligence of sorts, the program gives a lot of freedom to expression, and has been used in performances from the BBC Scottish Orchestra to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Jenny will be giving the world premiere version of Jarosław Kapuściński’s piece “Juicy” using Antescofo, featuring animations of fruits.

Pianist Jenny Q Chai Album Release at Spectrum NYC, September 21, 2014

August 25th, 2014

jennyqchai-greedastudiohq.pngOn Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 7 pm, Shanghai/New York-based pianist Jenny Q Chai will be throwing an album release party at New York City’s Spectrum. Spectrum is located at 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York City. (Essex stop on J, M and Z trains; Delancey stop on F Train.) Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Please RSVP to nvigeland@optonline.net.

Jenny Q Chai will be performing selections from Life Sketches, the latest digital release of the esteemed Classical label Naxos. Life Sketches is the product of a long-time collaboration between the Chinese pianist Jenny Q Chai and American composer Nils Vigeland. (The album itself is currently available from major digital services providers for downloading and streaming, including iTunes.)

Chai first met Vigeland when she was studying for her master’s degree, where he served as her theory teacher. With a shared a love of New Music, and an admiration for her playing, Vigeland gave Chai the score for his original work Life Sketches. “This was the first serious piano cycle I’d ever received from a living composer, and I took it very seriously,” said Chai. “…It was overwhelming!”

This world première recording presents five works spanning forty years in their date of composition. One of the selections, Allora e ora (Now and Then), is a suite of character pieces on Italian subjects, running a constant exploration of the unique resonances of the piano, especially those created through the use of the sostenuto pedal.

Another work, Five Pieces, is from 2010, and was specifically composed for and dedicated to Jenny Q Chai. “The different texture of each of the pieces was intended to give Jenny every opportunity to utilize her varied and remarkable gifts of touch and timbre,” said Nils Vigeland.

Chai will augment the evening’s performance with works by living composers Marco Stroppa and Jarosław Kapuściński, not included on the recording.

Stroppa’s Birichino is a boy who died as a casualty of police terror in Italy. While the subject matter appears heavy, the piece is light and humorous, with an overarching theme about refusing to be treated as a victim.

Kapuściński’s Juicy, a work about personified fruit, is a carefully designed work for piano and video, where the aural and visual aspects are equally important. Juicy will be played with the artificial intelligence software Antescofo, designed by Marco Stroppa at IRCAM.

On the horizon for Jenny Q Chai is an appearance at the Leo Brouwer Festival in Cuba, alongside artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Yo-Yo Ma, and Jordi Savall.



Concert Program
:

Nils Vigeland, Wild Hopes/Trumpets/Cambiata Waltz from Life Sketches
Nils Vigeland, L’empire des lumières
Nils Vigeland, Santa Fina/I Turisti from Allora e ora
Marco Stroppa, Birichino from Miniature Estrose
Jarosław Kapuściński, Juicy
Nils Vigeland, 2 and 4/ 5 from Five Pieces



About Jenny Q Chai

A boundary-defying artist, and recipient of numerous awards, pianist Jenny Q Chai studied at the Shanghai Music Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and in Germany. Her teachers include Pierre- Laurent Aimard, Seymour Lipkin, Solomon Mikowsky, and Anthony de Mare, as well as close consultation with Marilyn Nonken, Chai’s thesis adviser for her doctoral dissertation. Although her extensive repertory spans from the Renaissance to the present day, Chai has a special affinity for the music of Scarlatti, Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, and Ravel. In addition, Chai has forged strong relationships with contemporary composers such as Nils Vigeland, Marco Stroppa, Jarosław Kapuściński, and Cindy Cox. Chai has won acclaim for performances in New York City, Chicago and Baltimore, as well as throughout Western Europe. In China, she has appeared regularly at the Shanghai Concert Hall, and is widely known as a leading advocate for contemporary music, having given the Chinese première of numerous contemporary masterworks, including works by Messiaen, Cage, and the very first prepared piano concert in the country. Her immersive approach to music is also channelled into her work with FaceArt Institute of Music, the Shanghai-based organisation she founded and runs, offering music education and an international exchange of music and musicians in China and beyond. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the New York City-based contemporary music organisation Ear to Mind. Chaiʼs talents have been showcased on recordings with Ensemble 20/21 on the Deutschlandfunk label (performing music by Hanns Eisler) and as solo pianist/vocalist on ArpaVivaʼs New York Love Songs.


About Nils Vigeland

Nils Vigeland was born in Buffalo, NY, in 1950. He made his professional début as a pianist in 1969 with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Lukas Foss conducting. He later studied composition with Foss at Harvard University and Morton Feldman at the University at Buffalo. Since 1978, he has lived and worked in New York City, directing the Bowery Ensemble (1980-88), which was closely associated with the music of Feldman and John Cage. He taught at Manhattan School of Music from 1982 to 2013. His music has been performed by the English National Opera, the Milwaukee Symphony and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, among others. With Eberhard Blum and Jan Williams, he recorded the complete extended length works for flute, percussion and piano by Morton Feldman on HAT ART. His own music is available on EMF, Focus, Lovely Music, Mode, and Ravello releases.

###