Pianists Dimitri Dover & Inna Faliks Join Poet Tom Thompson for MUSIC/WORDS

January 10th, 2012 by Peter McDowell No comments »
February 10, 2012
7:30 pm

Pianist Dimitri Dover

Pianist Inna Faliks

Music/Words (www.musicwordsnyc.com), an interdisciplinary series founded and curated by NYC- based pianist Inna Faliks (www.innafaliks.com), continues its fourth season on Friday, February 10, at 7:30pm with a performance at New York’s Gershwin Hotel featuring Faliks at the piano along with guest pianist Dimitri Dover and poet Tom Thompson. The varied program will include solo works of Haydn (Sonata in C minor)  Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet), Chopin (Scherzo # 2), Debussy (selected Preludes), and Liszt (transcriptions, etudes and the four-hand Symphonic Poem “Orpheus”). The Gershwin Hotel (www.gershwinhotel.com) is located at 7 E. 27th street in New York. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door.

MUSIC/WORDS celebrates links between poetry and music by presenting collaborations between exciting solo performers and acclaimed contemporary poets in the form of a live recital/reading. Inna Faliks created the series in order to foster a chance for poets and musicians to work together and inspire each other, as well as to allow different audiences to come together for these musical-literary events. New published and unpublished works are read alongside performances of music old and new and connected by content, intuition, and inspiration. According to Faliks, “I pair performers together based on their personalities and styles, and encourage them to choose the poems and music in varied ways that are strongly and intuitively connected.” In this performance, Mr. Thompson will tailor his readings to Mr. Dover’s and Ms. Faliks’ musical selections, finding poems from his own works that connect with the music. Music/Words will be featured in regular live broadcasts throughout the month of April 2013 on WFMT Radio in Chicago.

Tom Thompson is the author of Live Feed and The Pitch, both published by Alice James Books. His poems and reviews have appeared in various print and digital journals including Boston Review, Post Road, and on the website From the Fishouse (www.fishousepoems.org). He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

Pianist Dimitri Dover recently performed the inaugural solo recital at the Cronyn Center Space (London, Ontario), collaborative recitals at Weill Recital Hall in New York, as well as concerts with North Shore Pro Musica, Composers Concordance, Rosetta Trio, and Arcturus Chamber Ensemble. Mr. Dover has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Summer Music Festival, where he performed regularly as Orchestra Pianist in the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Aspen Chamber Orchestra under renowned conductors including David Zinman and James Conlon.

Pianist Inna Faliks

Called “adventurous” and “passionate” by The New Yorker and “poetic” by Time Out New York, Ukrainian-born, New York City based pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most passionately committed, exciting and poetic artists of her generation. After her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Critics praise her “courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection” (General Anzeiger, Bonn), “poetry and panoramic vision” (Washington Post), and “riveting passion, playfulness” (Baltimore Sun). Her CD on MSR Classics, “Sound of Verse”, was released in 2009.

“Barbarians” Opera to Premiere at Tasmania’s MONA FOMA

January 4th, 2012 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 18, 2012 3:00 pmtoJanuary 23, 2012 3:00 pm

Composer Constantine Koukias

The Barbarians, an opera in two parts by Constantine Koukias, based on the poem “Waiting for the Barbarians” by Cavafy, will premiere January 18 – 23, 2012, at 7.30 pm and Jan 21 -22 at 2pm at City Hall Hobart, Macquarie Street, Tasmania, Australia. Tickets are AUD$25 and are available at www.mofo.net.au or at MONA Reception, 655 Main Road Berriedale Hobart MONA Ferry Terminal, Brooke St Pier. The Barbarians is a production of IHOS Music Theatre and Opera.

The Barbarians was commissioned by the Museum of Old and New Art for the 2012 MONA FOMA festival. Inspired by the poem Waiting for the Barbarians (1904) by the iconic Greek Alexandrian poet Constantine Cavafy, THE BARBARIANS will be performed in modern Greek with bilingual narration. The opera is the product of a large collaboration of designers, musicians and singers, with a Greek Chorus of ten men.

Composer Constantine Koukias serves as stage/music director for the production. Principal Performers include Athanasia Houndalas, Christos Linou, Nicholas Dinopoulos, Ayrton Rose, and Grace Ovens.

According to composer/director Koukias: “Otherness is a central theme of Constantine Cavafy’s poem Waiting for the Barbarians; written in 1904, it is one of Cavafy’s most important works. The poem echoes the dramatic traditions of Ancient Greek Theatre and resonates with today’s eco-political environment.

The Barbarians, (poem and opera) is structured as a series of both questions and answers (why – because) and reflects on the timeless elements of the State (the emperor, consuls, politicians), the Polis (the chorus, community), and in referring to the Barbarians (the others) how we deal with hope, fear and uncertainty.

Cavafy drew his themes from personal experience, the depths of history and mythology. Though he was not always comfortable with his role as nonconformist, he critically examined aspects of Christianity, patriotism, politics and homosexuality.The opera explores the many contradictions of Cavafy’s life, the labyrinth of political correctness across the ages and the impact of his sometimes radical ideas.”

Constantine Koukias is one of Australia’s most prolific composers in the genre of opera and music theatre.His avant-garde approach to the presentation of opera has resulted in hybrid opera such as Days and Nights with Christ, To Traverse Water, MIKROVION (Small Life 36 Images in a Phantom Flux of Life), The Divine Kiss and Tesla – Lightning in His Hand. His works range from large scale site – specific to gallery pieces. Compositions written prevalently for orchestra / voice or for various ensemble line-ups, have been always remarkable for their peculiar, mesmerising atmosphere created by temporal, spatial and sound effects. Into his recent works, exotic flavours have been introduced through Eastern timbres and melody-design. His work Prayer Bells – Pentekostarion, which draws on traditions of religious chant, was commissioned for the Melbourne Federation Festival in 2001 and has toured extensively with US & European premieres taking place in 2010 & 11. Constantine has been the recipient of numerous international commissions and awards. In 2004 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship. Within a Prayer at Lamplighting was commissioned by the China National Symphony Orchestra Australian Tour, to commemorate thirty years of diplomatic ties with China. In 1997 his Incantation II for soprano and digital delay won the International Valentino Bucchi Vocal Prize in Rome. Since the formation of his company IHOS in 1990, he has created and presented five full scale operas, nine music theatre works and commissioned nationally 29 short to 50 minutes Laboratory works for his IHOS Young Singers Laboratory Program.

IHOS is a performing arts company with an international reputation for original music-theatre and opera. Works are multicultural, multilingual and exploit multiple art-forms, blending voice, dance and sound with installation art and digital technology. IHOS has origins in the Greek-Australian tradition. The company was established in Hobart in 1990, by composer and artistic director Constantine Koukias, and production director Werner Ihlenfeld.

MONA FOMA ( “MOFO” for short) is a “happily eccentric” international arts festival curated annually by Brian Ritchie of the rock band, the Violent Femmes. Taking place each year in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, in association with the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), MOFO gathers the noble troubadours of the weird, world famous and never- heard-before music, dance, theatre, visual art, and sound. Mofo.net.au

The Barbarians is designed for mature audiences of 15 years and over.

This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.

Pegher performs Schwantner Concerto in WV

January 2nd, 2012 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 27, 2012 8:00 pmtoJanuary 28, 2012 11:00 am

Lisa Pegher (new website recently launched by PerformSites)  is an American solo percussionist who has been described by the Boston Globe as “forcefully balletic” and by critic Marty Lash of the Door County Advocate as “a gifted passionate artist, with a rock-star aura.” She has been featured in Symphony Magazine as one of the top six performers of her generation and continues to carve a new path for percussion as a solo instrument.

Pegher will perform Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra with Grant Cooper conducting on January 27-28 in Charleston, WV with the West Virginia Symphony (MORE INFO).

As a soloist Lisa has performed with many fine orchestras across the globe including the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, NEPA Philharmonic, Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, Asheville Symphony Orchestra, FM Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, York Orchestra and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Orchestra, Lima Symphony Orchestra, Elmhurst Orchestra, and Peninsula Festival Orchestra among others. She has also worked with many inspiring conductors such as Manfred Honeck, Maximo Valdez, Daniel Meyer, Timothy Mufftt, Victor Yampolsky, Lawrence Loh, Sydney Harth, Lucas Richman, Kevin Noe, Crafton Beck, Tomasz Golka, Emily Ray, Robin Fountain, Brett Mitchell, Bernard Rubenstein, Robert Hart Baker, and Gil Rose. In August 2011 Lisa performed with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra in Santa Cruz, California celebrating Marin Alsop’s twenty year anniversary season.

She has also recently performed with the Grand Junction Orchestra in Colorado playing Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Percussion and is also performing concerti by Joseph Schwanter, James MacMillan, Kevin Puts and Christopher Rouse. Lisa gave the Wisconsin premiere of Tobias Brotrøm’s Arena Percussion Concerto with the Peninsula Festival Orchestra in August 2010 and recently premiered and recorded Mathew Rosenblum’s Double Concerto for Saxophone and Percussion with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose and Kenneth Koon. This recording will be released on the BMOP Sound label in coming months. As an advocate of new music, she also recently premiered a new marimba solo by composer, Derek Bermel at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey and has also been involved with commissioning new works from Martin Bresnick and Paul Lansky.

Constantly looking for new artistic ways to present percussion to a broader audience, Lisa is currently performing her own multi-media project called: Minimal Art, which incorporates digital animation design, computer electronics and improvisation. It is featured on her newly released album. She also recently won a grant from Meet the Composer allowing her to commission a new percussion concerto by American Composer, David Stock that she premiered with a consortium of orchestras beginning in the 2007-08 season. Previous to the launch of full-time solo career, Lisa performed as the Principal Timpanist of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Section Percussionist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.



Musica Pacifica 2012 Northern California Season

December 22nd, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 13, 2012
7:30 pm
January 14, 2012
8:00 pm
January 15, 2012
3:00 pm
7:30 pm

San Francisco Bay Area based early music ensemble Musica Pacifica, now celebrating their 20th season, is pleased to present a varied and extensive “home season” of performances in San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Davis, and Sacramento.

Described by the press as “some of the finest baroque musicians in America” (American Record Guide) and “among the best in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell), Musica Pacifica performs 17th- and 18th-century music on varying combinations of recorder, violin, cello/gamba, harpsichord, and percussion. Their very recent Dancing in the Isles CD has continued to get rave reviews from music journals all over the world, including American Record Guide; the German magazine Concerto; Early Music Today from the UK, and the prestigious Gramophone from the UK, who called it “one of the zestiest recordings of recent vintage to present works that once had them dancing and listening with joy.” And the online journal, Musica dei Donum said: The playing is first-rate: full of bounce, stylish, and technically immaculate.”

Tickets for all events below (unless otherwise noted) are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors, members of SF Early Music Society, Early Music America, and ARS; and $10 for students. Tickets are available through www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door.

PROGRAM ONE, entitled “La Bizzarria: Music of 17th century Italy,” features music by Turini, Frescobaldi, Falconieri, Cazzati, Marini, Castello, Vitali, and others. Performances will be held:

Friday, January 13th , 7:30pm at the Petaluma Historical Museum
20 4th Street Petaluma, CA

Saturday, January 14th, 8pm at Trinity Chapel in Berkeley
2320 Dana St. (at Durant), Berkeley

Sunday January 15th , 3 pm at the Crocker Art Museum*, Sacramento
(in conjunction with the exhibit “Florence and the Baroque”)
216 O Street, Sacramento
*Tickets are $6 for CAM Members, $12 for Nonmembers, $8 for Students

Sunday, January 15th , 7:30 pm at the Davis Community Church, Davis
412 C St, Davis
No advance ticket sales. $10 suggested donation at the door.

PROGRAM TWO, entitled “Dancing in the Isles, The Sequel!” is a further selection of Baroque and traditional music from England, Scotland, and Ireland to complement the music from their original “Isles” CD. Performances will be held:

Thursday, February 16th , 7:30 pm at Ashkenaz*, Berkeley
1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley
*Tickets ($10 general admission) available after January 15, 2012 at www.ashkenaz.com

Saturday, February 18th , 8pm at First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto
600 Homer Ave., Palo Alto

Sunday, February 19th , 4 pm at Noe Valley Chamber Music*, San Francisco
Most Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, 455 Fair Oaks Street
(between 25th and 26th Streets), San Francisco
*Tickets are $20 General Admission, $15 for seniors and students

Members of Musica Pacifica (Judith Linsenberg, recorder; Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin; Charles Sherman, harpsichord; and Shirley Hunt, baroque ‘cello, viola da gamba) perform with Philharmonia Baroque and American Bach Soloists, and also appear with prominent early music ensembles nationally and abroad. They have performed on such prestigious concert series as The Frick Collection and Music Before 1800 (NY), the Getty Museum (LA), Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), Cleveland Art Museum, and the Berkeley Early Music Festival (3 times), among others. They have performed at festivals in Germany and Austria and have been featured on German National radio as well as on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and “Harmonia.” Musica Pacifica’s eight CD releases on the Virgin Classics, Dorian, and Solimar labels have won national and international awards, including Chamber Music America/WQXR’s 2003 Record Award, being featured on Minnesota Public Radio, and being chosen as “CD of the Month” by the early music journal Alte Musik Aktuell (Regensburg). Full bios of all musicians are at www.musicapacifica.org.

PLEASE NOTE: Harpischordist Katherine Heater will perform in place of Charles Sherman at January’s concerts.

Chinese Fine Arts Society 2012 Season

December 21st, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 19, 2012
6:00 pmto10:00 pm
January 23, 2012
12:00 pmto1:00 pm

Chicago’s Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS) who recently received $15,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts, is pleased to announce their 2012 programming, including Chinese New Year celebrations as well as their Migratory Journeys Music Concert Series.

The Chinese Fine Arts Society’s January – April 2012 Season includes:

Adler After Dark Series – Chinese New Year Celebration
Thursday, January 19th, 2012, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
$12 for non-members and $9 for members and students (All guest must be 21 years and older).
FREE for Chinese Fine Arts Society members (reserve free tickets by emailing info@chinesefinearts.org)
Adler Planetarium, 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Chinese New Year at Daley Plaza
Monday, January 23, 2012, 12:00 PM
Free admission
Richard J. Daley Center, 118 North Clark Street, Chicago

Migratory Journeys World Premiere Concert
Featuring Civitas Ensemble with guests Yang Wei, YuQi Deng and others
Friday, March 16, 2012, 6:30 PM
Tickets $20 for non-members, $10 for members. Gala dinner by Henry Fogel to follow at the University Club of Chicago, 76 East Monroe Street, Chicago. Gala tickets start at $125. Honorary Event Chairman: Henry Fogel
Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
www.artic.edu (concert)
www.chinesefinearts.org/mj (Gala)

Migratory Journeys Sunday Salon Concert
An All Chinese Music Concert dedicated to the memory of Barbara Tiao
Sunday, April 29, 2012, 3:00 PM
Free admission
Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington, Chicago

About the Chinese Fine Arts Society: For 27 years, this professional, small, fully- independent arts organization has brought together people from diverse backgrounds over a common goal: to celebrate the beauty and majesty of traditional and contemporary Chinese music and art. CFAS is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Chinese culture, enhancing cultural exchange and pursuing excellence in Chinese music, dance and visual arts.

Funding for these concerts are provided, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, City Arts Grants, and SMART Growth and the Arts Work Fund initiatives of the Chicago Community Trust and Affiliates.

For further information about the Chinese Fine Arts Society or the Migratory Journeys Concerts, contact 312-369-3197 or info@chinesefinearts.org. Visit ChineseFineArts.org.