Hexes and Heroes: Meredith Miller and Erica Mott @ Links Hall

January 19th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 28, 2011toJanuary 30, 2011

In Hexes and Heroes, playing at Chicago’s Links Hall from January 28 through 30, Erica Mott and Meredith Miller provide a double bill of movement, puppetry, and song deconstructing romantic notions, death and heroicism.

In “I Wish You Love: A Puppetry Songbook,” Meredith Miller presents new works in her signature style of cabaret puppetry creating intimate, atmospheric world of timeless love and loss.

Erica will present new works in progress from her explorations into the body’s relationship with technology and machinery and the complicated relationship between the female body, war, and notions of victory. Erica is a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab artist and will be presenting works as part of her year of inquiry into the complexities of female bodies in labor and war.

January 28-30: Fri & Sat at 8pm / Sun at 7pm / Tickets $8

“Streetcar Journey” Showcases Soundtrack to 1951 Film Classic

January 18th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
February 5, 2011
8:00 pm

Pianist Chie Sato Roden & chamber jazz ensemble Fire in July celebrate the release of their CD “Streetcar Journey,” featuring the music of beloved American film composer Alex North (1910-1991) and his magnificent, jazz-inflected score to the 1951 classic “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The concert takes place on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm at the Tenri Cultural Institute, located in New York’s Greenwich Village on the ground floor of 43A West 13th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Admission is free. Call 646-338-7456 for more information.

The performance will feature Chie Sato Roden, piano, and Fire in July: (Jody Redhage cello, voice, compositions, arrangements; Alan Ferber trombone, compositions; Ken Thomson clarinet, bass clarinet; Tom Beckham vibraphone; Fred Kennedy drums & percussion)

Sample Streaming Tracks:

Streetcar, written by Alex North: 

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Blanche, written by Alex North: 

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Flowers for the Dead, written by Alex North: 

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Lust, written by Alex North: 

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Sometimes there’s God so quickly, by Jody Redhage and Fire in July: 

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North Rampart, written by Alan Ferber: 

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More About the Project:

Chie Sato Roden, a passionate proponent of new American and Japanese solo piano repertoire, was investigating potential new pieces to program when she happened upon a 30 minute suite of sequences from Alex North’s “Streetcar” film score, arranged for solo piano by North himself. Roden fell in love with the suite of nine sequences—this was moody and evocative music, in turn languid and gritty, and remarkable as the first major film music to pull heavily on the jazz sounds of the south. Roden formulated a vision to expand the 30-minute solo suite to an evening-length performance of varied textures and instrumental colors, by having arrangements of the solo piano sequences made for chamber ensemble, as well as commissioning original compositions inspired by North’s film score and Tennessee Williams’ play as interludes between the North movements. Roden, and composers Alan Ferber and Jody Redhage have worked together to collaboratively create the concert-length project Streetcar Journey, performed live as a multi-media event with projected still images from the classic movie starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. Evoking in turn lazy southern afternoons and languid romance, versus the grit, intensity, and struggle of urban and industrial life in the mid-twentieth century deep south, Streetcar Journey celebrates the genius of one of America’s most beloved playwrights and one of America’s most beloved film score composers, re-imagined through the lens of 21st century chamber jazz performance.

Chie Sato Roden, who “pushes contemporary music beyond the confines of a restricted genre” (Japanese music critic, Yuji Numata), received the Ibla Contemporary Performance Award in 1998 and she now serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Ibla Foundation. She has issued two CDs, featuring the works of contemporary Japanese and American composers, under the ALM label in Japan.

Called an “adventurous cello songstress” by Time Out NY, and now a member of Grammy nominated Esperanza Spalding’s band, Jody Redhage (cellist, composer, and vocalist) has a passion for setting 20th and 21st century American poetry into art song, and she principally composes for her ensemble Fire in July.  Redhage’s compositions meld the detail and finesse of chamber music with the energy and drive of jazz improvisation and more popular genres. With tinges of Medieval chanson and hints of Weill, Redhage creates a captivating blend of genres that comes across as her unique voice.

Known internationally as a jazz trombonist and composer, Alan Ferber is a member of the Asphalt Orchestra and leads four of his own ensembles: the Nonet, Nonet with Strings, his Big Band, and a Quartet. His new recording, Chamber Songs received four stars in Downbeat and was included in their “Best of 2010″ list. Alan has recorded and toured with a vast array of artists including Charlie Hunter, Don Byron, Kenny Wheeler, Sufjan Stevens, and Toshiko Akiyoshi, and is on faculty at the Peabody Conservatory and Montclair State University.

Pianist Carolyn Enger at Tenri Cultural Institute

January 12th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 23, 2011
3:00 pm

Pianist Carolyn Enger will perform at Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street, New York on Sunday, January  23rd at 3pm. Tickets will be available at the door: $20.00, students and seniors, $15.00; cash or check. Free admission for Leschetizky Association Members.

Program includes:

  • Robert Starer: Three Israeli Dances
  • Felix Mendelssohn: Venetian Gondola Song No. 6; Song Without Words Op. 19, No. 1
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata in A flat, Opus 110
  • Franz Schubert: Drei Klavierstücke, Op. post., D. 946
  • Paul Ben-Haim: Five Pieces for Piano

American pianist Carolyn Enger is a passionate and distinctive musician whose recitals express her joy of sharing great music with audiences. In an era when musical interpretation has become predictable, Ms. Enger’s memorable concert experiences make an indelible impression on the individuals who hear them. Ms. Enger has appeared in many venues throughout the New York City and New Jersey area including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall, Bechstein Piano Centre, Yamaha Artist Services, The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and the Puffin Cultural Center.

Her many recitals have also included numerous outreach concerts for libraries, community centers, churches, and synagogues. Ms. Enger presents programs designed to inspire audiences to engage deeply with classical music of all kinds. Her concert repertoire includes piano literature from all periods, ranging from the great masterworks of European history to fresh new discoveries from living composers. Her recital programs are carefully crafted to the venues and performance contexts in which she appears. She has recently created recital programs featuring music by a number of living American and Israeli composers including Ned Rorem, Lowell Liebermann, Avner Dorman, Lior Navok, and Menachem Zur.

Ms. Enger has released a recording entitled In Evening Air, which includes music of Beethoven, Scriabin, Hanson, Copland, Rorem, and Liebermann. She has also recorded a forthcoming CD devoted entirely to piano music of Ned Rorem. Ms. Enger is a graduate of Molloy College. She has furthered her musical study at the Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, Vassar College, and the Adamant Music School in Vermont. Her teachers have included Marc Silverman, Arkady Aronov, Peter Vinograde, and Robert MacDonald. She has also participated in masterclasses and coaching with Ward Davenny, Golda Tatz, and Jacob Lateiner.

Ms. Enger was a student of the late Freda Rosenblatt, a musical descendant of Theodor Leschetizky, one of the world’s foremost piano teachers (whose students included the famous pianists Ignace Paderewski and Artur Schnabel). Leschetizky himself was a student of Carl Czerny, who in turn was Beethoven’s star pupil. Ms. Enger is honored to be a part of this distinguished tradition.

Furthering her interest in distinctive concert experiences, Ms. Enger is currently working on a multimedia project that will combine music, literature, and images, centering on the lives of Holocaust survivors.

Philip Morehead to conduct Mikado performances at Chicago Lyric

December 30th, 2010 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 11, 2011toJanuary 21, 2011

Maestro Philip Morehead will conduct performances of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado at Lyric Opera of Chicago, January 11-21, 2011.

A veteran of almost thirty years as pianist and conductor at the renowned Lyric Opera of Chicago, Philip Morehead has extensive experience in the operatic repertory, as well as concert works, and contemporary chamber music. Morehead recently launched his new web site, designed by PerformSites (Peter McDowell and Ari Salomon).

Lyric’s new production of the Mikado stars James Morris and Stephanie Blythe and is directed by Chicago director Gary Griffin.

Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Buckley to make Carnegie Hall début

December 29th, 2010 by Peter McDowell 1 comment »
January 23, 2011
1:30 pm

Congratulations to mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Buckley, who has been selected as a first place winner in the 2011 Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition. She will perform at the Winners’ Recital, which will be held Sunday January 23, 2011 at 1:30 PM in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are available at www.carnegiehall.org.

The Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition (BAIVC) has been designed as an entrée into the world of vocal performance for those seriously interested in pursuing a professional operatic career. BAIVC is open to students from age fifteen to adults, and divided into four categories.

Elizabeth Buckley, mezzo-soprano, has been praised by critics for possessing a voice of unique warmth and clarity. She is the recipient of the Presser Foundation Award for Outstanding Musician and the Grace Wilson Excellence in Singing Award. Elizabeth is also the winner of the Gunsalus Singing Competition, the 21st Century Piano Commission Competition, and the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship. Recently she was selected as a semi-finalist in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, and a finalist in the Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artist Competition. Elizabeth was also selected as a Regional Finalist in the New York Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and a finalist in the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has performed the roles of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Mother Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Nancy in Albert Herring, Mrs. Splinters in Tender Land, Dafne in L’Euridice, Third Lady and Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte, Iolanthe in Iolanthe, Phoebe Meryll in Yeomen of the Guard, Nettie and Julie Jordan in Carousel, Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly!, and Sandy in Grease. In addition, she has an extensive background in recital and oratorio repertoire with an emphasis in Baroque performance practice.