Chicago’s Chinese Fine Arts Society receives NEA grant to support its 2012 Migratory Journeys Music Concert Series.

December 3rd, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced that the agency will award 863 grants to organizations and individual writers across the country. The Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS) is one of the grantees and will receive $15,000 to fund their 2012 Migratory Journeys Music Concert Series. The 863 grant awards total $22.543 million, encompass 15 artistic disciplines and fields, and support projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

This funding helps support the production of a World Premiere Concert and additional related concerts, all of which will feature the winning works from CFAS’s Third International Music Composition Competition where composers were invited to participate by creating original music inspired by the wandering, resettling, and emigration of Chinese diaspora population through the world. Winners were recently selected by a panel of esteemed judges comprised of composers Chen Yi and Huang Ruo as well as Fulcrum Point New Music Project Director Stephen Burns. The concerts will be performed by acclaimed Chicago professional musicians at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fullerton Hall (March 16, 2012) and at other high profile venues including the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall as well as a live broadcast from WFMT radio studios.

“Art Works is the guiding principle at the NEA,” said agency Chairman Rocco Landesman. “And I’m pleased to see that principle represented through the 823 Art Works-funded projects included in this announcement. These projects demonstrate the imaginative and innovative capacities of artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to be honored in this way by our nation’s premiere arts funder.” Says Julie Tiao Ma, Board President of the Chinese Fine Arts Society. “Drawing upon the submission of original work by emerging as well as seasoned composers, our International Music Composition Competition seeks to inspire creativity and innovation in the global music community. We are pleased that this project has been deemed to be of national significance.”

In March 2011, the NEA received 1,686 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $84 million in funding. The resulting funding rate of 49 percent of eligible applications reflects both the significant demand for support and the ongoing vitality of the not-for-profit arts community despite current financial challenges. Art Works grants are awarded based on the applications received by the NEA and how those applications are assessed by the review panels.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov.

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 this concert is provided, in part, by the Illinois Arts Council, City Arts Grants, and the Arts Work Fund, an initiative 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.

Brooklyn House Concert Series hosts Steve Hudson on December 9

December 3rd, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
December 9, 2011
8:00 pm

The Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble will be coming to Brooklyn to perform at the very special Brooklyn House Concert Series. They’ll be performing new material and songs from their debut CD, Galactic Diamonds. Seating is limited so you may want to RSVP. Plus there will be some light refreshments after the show so there will be time to catch up with old friends and new ones.

Friday, December 9. 8 pm

Brooklyn House Concert Series
805 E. 21 Street, Brooklyn, NY
Between Glenwood and Farragut Roads
Q to Newkirk or #2 or #5 to Flatbush Avenue
More info at: www.steve-hudson.com

$15 Admission; To rsvp, please send email to: helen.ruthhart@gmail.com

Zach Brock-violin
Jody Redhage-cello/voice
Martin Urbach-cajon/percussion
Steve Hudson-piano/melodica

New York City Gay Men’s Chorus: 2011 Holiday Spectacular

November 21st, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
December 18, 2011
3:00 pm
8:00 pm

Lillias White

Congratulations to the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus who just unveiled their new web site, designed by PerformSites, the web development branch of Peter McDowell Arts Consulting.

On December 18th at NYC’s Town Hall, the NYCGMC presents their annual concert of holiday singing in jazz and gospel styles. A New York holiday tradition, this fun-filled holiday show will combine original titles and swinging interpretations of the classics performed with high-spirited unity, peace and love.

This year, the Chorus is elated to have two very special guests on stage. The sensational, multi-talented Broadway powerhouse Lillias White will bring her unparalleled vocal talent to several songs. Ms. White won a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and People’s Choice Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as “Sonja” in The Life and recently enjoyed rave reviews for her starring role in the hit Broadway production of Fela! The Chorus will also welcome Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay man ever consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican branch of Christianity and an accomplished choral singer and director in his own right.

The holiday concert takes place Sunday, December 18th at 3pm and 8pm at New York’s landmark theater The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd Street, New York. Tickets are available through the NYCGMC website, www.nycgmc.org. The evening will feature holiday favorites, alongside an exciting and unusual mix of choral music.

On the heels of the Chorus’s holiday spectacular, the men continue their momentum with the more-than-over-the-top March production. Following three years of sell-out, sing-along performances, NYCGMC will present Big Gay Sing 4, March 16 and 17, 2012, featuring the third annual “Big Gay Idol,” a singing competition for a chance to sing live with the Chorus. The summer Pride concert June 27, What Now?(!), will celebrate our achievements through an elegant evening filled with invigorating song while simultaneously asking what’s next on the GLBT political agenda. Both 2012 shows will be at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available through www.nycgmc.org.

About the NYCGMC:

A fixture on the New York City cultural scene since its founding in 1979, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus has performed in a wide variety of venues from the Metropolitan Opera House to Madison Square Garden, and even Yankee Stadium and Joan Rivers’ living room. Named one of the five top amateur choruses in New York City by WQXR, The Classical Music Station in New York City, the group was the first gay chorus to perform in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, the first American gay chorus to tour Europe, and the first to have a recording contract with a major label, having produced eight recordings. To learn more, visit http://www.nycgmc.org/press/.

 

 

Amy X Neuburg in New York City

November 1st, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
November 11, 2011
8:00 pm
November 28, 2011
8:30 pm
December 13, 2011
8:00 pm

“Avant-Cabaret” electronic artist Amy X Neuburg performs on Tuesday December 13, 2011 at 8:00 PM at the brand new Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue (at 3rd Avenue) in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students, seniors, and members) and can be purchased at www.roulette.org or by calling (917) 267-0363. The beloved Bay Area techno-songstress collaborates this time with NYC pianist/improviser Cory Smythe (of ICE), The evening will consist of new compositions for voice, piano and live electronics, improvisational duets, and solos from Amy and Cory — including Amy’s spirited ‘avant-cabaret’ songs for voice and drum-controlled looping, and works from Cory’s recent release “Pluripotent” for piano with live processing.

 

Amy and Cory met in June 2011 where they performed with the venerable Present Music Ensemble in Milwaukee, and Cory premiered Amy’s “When” for live-looped piano and voice — a fully scored song in which both performers are recorded in real time, then instantly played back and layered in interlocking parts. Amy’s evocative, haunting “When,” which uses few words to sum up nearly a whole life, was paired with her 2001 voice and piano piece “What he Was” — a clever, tongue-twisting wordplay exercise that uses many words to say very little.

Amy and Cory will recreate this duet of songs as well as present new compositions for voice, piano and electronics — partly composed and partly improvised, and created by both artists expressly for this concert. In addition, Amy will perform several of her classic “avant-cabaret” solo songs for voice with electronic drums and live looping/processing, and Cory will perform selections from his recently released “Pluripotent” recording of solo piano works with electronic processing, about which composer Jason Moran said: “The music is captivating, and hands down one of the best solo recordings I’ve ever heard.”

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Amy X Neuburg is widely considered one of the most innovative practitioners of voice and live electronics performance working today. She calls her style “avant-cabaret,” as it combines theater and wordplay, intricate multi-layered composition, expressive use of music technology (with emphases on drums and live looping), and exploration of multiple genres using the many colors of her 4-octave vocal range — with lyrics ranging from the personal and poignant to the political and downright outrageous. As soloist Amy has performed at Other Minds, Bang on a Can, the Berlin International Poetry Festival, the Wellington and Christchurch Jazz Festivals (NZ), the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, electronic music festivals, colleges, clubs, and concert halls at home and abroad. As composer/collaborator, commissions include numerous works for ensembles with and without live electronics (recently Present Music, Robin Cox Ensemble, Pacific Mozart Ensemble chorus, Del Sol String Quartet), as well as for theater, visual media, and modern dance, and she performs regularly with her Cello ChiXtet — three cellists with voice and electronics — for whom she composed her formidable song cycle “The Secret Language of Subways” (Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco Symphony After-Hours, LA Philharmonic Left Coast Festival). As vocalist Amy toured Europe and Japan with Robert Ashley’s operas. Among her many grants and honors she is a 2011 recipient of the Alpert/Ucross prize. A fixture of the San Francisco Area new music scene, this will be Amy’s fourth appearance at Roulette — her favorite place to play in New York.

Pianist Cory Smythe is an inventive improviser, chamber musician, and performer of contemporary classical music. As a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, Cory has contributed to numerous premieres, worked with composers Philippe Hurel, Dai Fujikura, Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Mathias Pintscher, David Lang, and Alvin Lucier among many others, and performed in venues across the U.S. and abroad. His recent performance of solo piano music by Lindberg was praised by the Boston Globe for its “grace and intensity,” and a forthcoming recording by ICE (Mode Records) will feature Cory as soloist in Iannis Xenakis’s “Palimpsest.” Equally invested in the classical repertoire, Cory is a sought-after chamber musician and soloist, appearing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, violinist Hilary Hahn, and Present Music, and making his Carnegie Weill Hall debut with violinist Sung-Ju Lee. As an improviser and jazz musician, Cory has worked with the Greg Osby Four, Pete Robbins’ Centric, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Evans, Beth Schenk, Kyle Quass, and Anthony Braxton.

Nov. 18 Season Opener for Music/Words NYC

November 1st, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
November 18, 2011
7:30 pm

Music/Words, an interdisciplinary series founded and curated by NYC- based pianist Inna Faliks begins its fourth season on Friday, November 18, at 7:30pm with a performance at New York’s Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon featuring Faliks at the piano along with readings by poet Cecily Parks. The varied program will include C.P.E. Bach’s Sonata in a minor, Chopin’s Barcarolle opus 60, Lera Auerbach’s “Ludwig’s Alptraum, NYC based composer Ljova (Lev Zhurbin)’s Sirota, and Beethoven’s Sonata opus 57, “Appassionata.” Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon is located at 689 5th Ave. in New York. Tickets are $20 and are available by calling 212-339-9995.

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, Ms. Parks will tailor her readings to Ms. Faliks’ musical selections, finding poems (by herself and by other poets) that connect with the music. Music/Words will be featured in regular live broadcasts throughout the month of April 2012 on WFMT Radio in Chicago.

Inna Faliks

Called “A delight to hear” and “riveting” by Phil Greenfield of the Baltimore Sun, pianist Inna Faliks played her debut with the Chicago Symphony at age 15, and performs regularly at major venues in US and abroad. A winner of many international competitions including the 2005 International Pro Musicis Award, Ms. Faliks has recently performed at Carnegie Hall, Paris’s Salle Cortot, The Metropolitan Museum, Bargemusic, a and in multiple TV and radio broadcasts worldwide. Her CD, Sound of Verse, has been enthusiastically reviewed by Gramophone, American Record Guide and other press. Recent festival appearances include Verbier, Taos, and Brevard.

Cecily Parks is the author of the poetry collection Field Folly Snow and the chapbook Cold Work. Her poetry, reviews, and essays appear in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Orion, The Yale Review, and elsewhere.

Upcoming Music/Words performances for 2012 are:

  • Feb 10th at the Gershwin Hotel,NYC, with Dimitry Dover and Inna Faliks piano four hands, poet TBA.
  • April 22nd, Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC, with Inna Faliks piano, and Irina Mashinski, poet.