From the conductor RiteNow: A Centennial Celebration of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring

November 10th, 2013 by Peter McDowell No comments »

In the words of Conductor Paolo Bortolameolli:

“How many times does the world stop to celebrate ONE single piece of art?

In the spring of 2013, a masterpiece and seminal work of music of the twentieth century, “Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)”, turned 100 years old. May 29th, 1913, the day on which “The Rite of Spring ” was premiered at the Theatre Champs Elysee in Paris, is in retrospect a key date in the history of music, ballet and art in general and can be considered as the launching of a century. This gives us a good opportunity to look back and reflect.

The celebration this year was an event of global proportions. Many and varied approaches are possible but without doubt there is one that sparks my fascination: The artistic collaboration.

Once again we reaffirm Stravinsky’s genius and the transcendent legacy of his composition. The definitive emancipation of rhythm, the imaginative and provocative use of the orchestra and the harmonic boldness are some of the reasons why this is a fundamental score of the twentieth century. In addition, the name of Vaslav Nijinsky is confirmed as the great revolutionary in the genesis of contemporary dance. The contribution of painter, writer, archaeologist and philosopher Nicholas Roerich, materialized through the original sets and costumes joined the concept of primitivism and mysticism of an ancient rite. And the artistry and enterprise of Sergei Diaghilev is a legend in the history of twentieth century music.

The combination of a group of sensitive and brilliant minds who shared a specific time in history bore fruit in a masterpiece in every sense.

How do we look back today then, to its creation, 100 years ago?

Art is a living organism that does not stop, and that makes its way every day through its inevitable need to find new ways to communicate and express from the observance, the anticipation or reflection. Rarely can we, however, do so from these three angles simultaneously.

The validity, importance and strength of the current artistic creation led me to the concept to pay a particular tribute: joining forces again to obtain a collective result in a once of lifetime experience.

Based on the episodic structure of Stravinsky’s work, I commissioned to 8 highly gifted and talented composers of this generation, to write each an episode that would be eventually assembled to form an homage piece. The result is an eclectic work, where eight personal languages from ​​8 points of views have been captured in a single score.

Moreover, the aesthetic vision of our Production Designer will unify the contrasting elements, showing a common message based on the essential concept of the original work: The Rite. A rite for spring, but also for death and birth, the rite in ancient times, but also at a time where art experienced an unprecedented period of experimentation. It is the result of a society on the verge of the first global war that transformed humanity into the actual Chosen to be sacrificed, a rite to a reborn, a rite to celebrate the concrete manifestation of music in a concert hall that 100 years ago. This was one of the most controversial and booed premieres — which 100 years later makes us wonder where is the audience, THAT audience today?

A rite to man and its primary, essential language: Art.

A rite to THEN and NOW.”


On Sunday November 17th at 8pm, conductor Paolo Bortolameolli will lead the Zephyrus Project Orchestra in a performance of RiteNow: A Centennial Celebration of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. This one-time-only performance will take place at Woolsey Hall, 500 College Street (corner of College & Grove), New Haven, CT. Admission is free. Complete info is at

Percussionist Lisa Pegher Featured in Latest CD from Boston Modern Orchestra

October 26th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »

lisa-pegher-percussionist-0384headshotBoston, MA – A percussion soloist pioneer in the orchestral realm and beyond, New York City-based Lisa Pegher has made it her life’s work to present percussion to larger audiences by collaborating on new works that bring percussion to the front of the stage. Her latest project is a new album recorded by saxophonist Kenneth Coon, composer Mathew Rosenblum, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Mathew Rosenblum: Möbius Loop, released on the BMOP/sound label, includes the Rosenblum’s Double Concerto, a piece in five movements that uses a solo percussionist to color and shade the leading melodies of the solo saxophone. This, combined with Rosenblum’s original use of microtonal compositional language, results in a double concerto like no other.

The album release comes at a hot moment for Pegher as she enters a busy fall filled with composer collaborations, recording sessions, and the undertaking of her NYC duo project, “Controlled Chaos.” One of the very few full-time percussion soloists in the world, Pegher has been hailed by the Boston Globe as “forcefully balletic” and by critic Marty Lash as “a gifted, passionate artist, with a rockstar aura.”

The album is available for download at both the BMOP/sound website and on iTunes.

About BMOP/sound:

BMOP/sound, the Grammy-nominated signature record label of the acclaimed Boston 676695024623.170x170-75Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), an eclectic, composer-centric catalog of both rediscovered classics of the 20th century and the music of today’s most influential and innovative composers. Since its launch in 2008, BMOP/sound recordings have received several accolades including: “Best of 2008” lists for its five inaugural releases in the New York Times, Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Time Out New York, American Record Guide, and Downbeat Magazine, among others; five Grammy nominations in 2009 for Charles Fussell: Wilde, in 2010 for Derek Bermel: Voices and in 2011 for Steven Mackey: Dream House. The New York Times proclaimed, “BMOP/sound is an example of everything done right.” For more information, visit


PRELUDE COCKTAIL: Debut CD Release by Flute/Marimba Duo Lawler + Fadoul

October 20th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »
November 21, 2013
7:30 pm
November 27, 2013
7:30 pm

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 4.51.14 AMPrelude Cocktail is a collection of “major works for short attention spans,” including two world premieres and newly arranged favorites curated and performed by American flute and marimba duo Lawler + Fadoul. This CD is currently available for sale at CDBaby and will soon be available on Amazon and on iTunes.

The duo, featuring Zara Lawler, flutes; and Paul J. Fadoul, marimba and vibraphone, is celebrating this release with a series of house concerts in Massachusetts, New York and Washington, D.C.  Two public CD release concerts will be held on November 21, 2013, 7:30pm. at the Mansion at Strathmore (Shapiro Music Room) at Strathmore, Bethesda, MD; and at Edmonton Recital Society, Muttart Hall, Alberta College Conservatory of Music, Canada on November 27 at 7:30pm

Preludes are musical cocktails:  intriguing and intoxicating on their own, they also hold the promise of something more to come.  You might share cocktails before a big meal, just as a prelude often introduces a more substantial fugue.  Cocktails can be sweet (think of a Cosmo!), strong (gin martini), classic (Tom Collins, anyone?) or new and adventurous (what’s that one that is Red Bull and vodka?), and Lawler + Fadoul’s selections from four centuries of preludes are equally eclectic.  Prelude Cocktail includes two world premiere sets of preludes by American composers Katherine Hoover and Roshanne Etezady, as well as Lawler + Fadoul’s own brand new arrangements of favorites of the genre by Debussy, Gershwin, Bach, Chopin, Shostakovich and Scriabin.  Guest clarinetist, Christopher Grymes, joins the duo on two preludes and fugues by Shostakovich.

Lawler + Fadoul have performed in many of the United States’ most prestigiouslawler-fadoul-lounge-252x300 venues, including the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Trinity Wall Street, and Vermont’s Yellow Barn Music School. Their Gronica Project is an ongoing program to increase the repertoire for their instrumentation both by commissioning new works from living composers and by creating their own arrangements of favorite works of the past. This CD is the culmination of the first years of the Gronica Project, which focused on preludes and fugues. (Lawler’s family coined the word gronica to describe a child’s main present at Christmas.)  Dedicated and creative educators, Lawler + Fadoul are teaching artists for the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, and created Break it Down! for a week of Kinderkonzerts at the Kennedy Center in February 2013. They have worked as a duo since 2003.

Flutist Zara Lawler is known for innovative work 
that combines music, dance, theater, and poetry. In 2012 she staged the US première of Salvatore Sciarrino’s Il Cerchio Tagliato dei Suoni for 104 flutes at the Guggenheim Museum. She has performed her solo program, The Flute on its Feet, in venues across the US, with choreographer C. Neil Parsons. For many years, Lawler was flutist and Co-Artistic Director with Tales & Scales, touring the country performing works that integrated contemporary classical music with dance and theater, for children and family audiences. She studied at Juilliard with Carol Wincenc and Sam Baron.

Marimbist Paul J. Fadoul has performed solo and chamber music performances across North America and Spain, with such artists as Evan Ziporyn, Martin Bresnick, Robert van Sice, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He spends his summers in Newfoundland, where he composes, arranges and performs with the Canadian ensemble, Dark By Five. While touring with the educational ensemble Tales & Scales, he performed 200 shows annually, including solo performances with the Milwaukee, Buffalo, and Oregon symphonies. He graduated from the Yale School of Music and has taught at the Peabody Institute.

Pianist Inna Faliks, together with poet Vera Pavlova in Music/Words, Chopin Edition

October 16th, 2013 by Peter McDowell No comments »
October 27, 2013
4:00 pm

MUSIC/WORDS, the acclaimed music-poetry series (NY, Chicago and LA), invites the audience to be moved by free associations, interplay of moods, genres and different mediums in its 6th season.

Faliks-PavlovaInna Faliks, left; Vera Pavlova, right

Brooklyn, NY – Pianist Inna Faliks, with poet Vera Pavlova, appear in Music/Words: Chopin edition on Sunday October 27th, 2013 at 4 pm at the Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY. Admission is Free. For more information, call (312) 787-7070.

Celebrated pianist Inna Faliks is the founder and curator of the award-winning interdisciplinary series Music/Words, which explores the connections between poetry and music. She is joined by Vera Pavlova, one of Russia’s most important contemporary poets, whose first poetry collection in English, If There Is Something to Desire, was a bestselling title in 2010. Faliks will perform works by Chopin.

In this performance, Vera Pavlova’s passionate, sensuous poetry, with English translations, will intersect with selections of Frederic Chopin, including the Sonata # 2 in B flat minor. Music/Words has been featured in regular live broadcasts on WFMT Radio in Chicago, in collaboration with Poetry Foundation, at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, and at UCLA in Los Angeles.

The series MUSIC/WORDS was recently praised by Lucid Culture as being “surreal, impactful, and relevant” and was described as “a throwback to the Paris salons of the late 1800s.” It 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. Music/Words partnerships have included some of the most celebrated American poets.

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.”

Pianist Inna Faliks has set herself apart in thousands of performances as a sincere, communicative and direct performer whose virtuosity, power and risk taking serve the depth, intelligance and poetry of her interpretations. Inna’s command of standard solo and concerto repertoire is highlighted by her love of rare and new music, and interdisciplinary and audience-involving programs and lectures. These include her award winning Music/Words, where she alternates music with readings by contemporary poets, her program of piano music of the poet Boris Pasternak (on MSR Classics Sound of Verse, which drew comparisons to Argerich and Cliburn), 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg – new variations on Bach’s Aria , music of women composers, and many other programs. She makes sure to present programs that include both beloved crowd pleasers and music that is new and challenging, creating an adventurous, moving and involving experience for the audience. She is a musical omnivore. Faliks debuted as a teenager with the Chicago Symphony and at the Gilmore Festival to rave reviews, and has been exciting and moving audiences worldwide since then. She is Associate Professor of Piano at UCLA, and her new Beethoven disc on the MSR Classics label has just been released.

Please visit for poet bio.



RiteNow: A Centennial Celebration of Stravinsky’s RITE OF SPRING in New Haven, CT

October 9th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »
November 17, 2013
8:00 pm

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 9.59.42 AMOn Sunday November 17th at 8pm, conductor Paolo Bortolameolli will lead the Zephyrus Project Orchestra in a performance of RiteNow: A Centennial Celebration of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. This one-time-only performance will take place at Woolsey Hall, 500 College Street (corner of College & Grove), New Haven, CT. Admission is free. Complete info is at

RiteNow will include works by composers Fay Kueen Wang, Justin Tierney, Matthew Welch, Benjamin Wallace, Daniel Schlosberg, Gleb Kanasevich, Polina Nazaykinskaya, and Paul Kerekes. Production designer Solomon Weisbard will create an immersive environmental design, and costumes will be created by Ksenia Zhuleva.
Composers kickstarter LONG
In the wake of its riotous premiere, Igor Stravinsky’s monumental Rite of Spring, became a beacon of inspiration for countless
composers, performers, choreographers, dancers and visual artists. This work stunned listeners with its passion, focus, ingenuity and vehemence. Its influence continues, inspiring these musicians to present RiteNow: a celebration of the centenary of “The Rite’s” infamous premiere.
The Rite of Spring is famous for the way that it is put together – blocks of music, or “tableaux” that bump up right next to one another. RiteNow will celebrate the 100th birthday of Stravinsky’s piece by featuring eight short selections inspired by it. These will then be assembled just like the “tableaux” in the “Rite” into one memorable piece for an orchestra of massive proportions (approximately 120 players).
Praised by composer George Crumb for his “sensitive and insightful interpretation”, conductor Paolo Bortolameolli brings a visual, synthetic and collaborative approach to music that is infused by his fascination for and interplay among the arts. With his passion for connecting the 21st century audience to the concert stage, Mr. Bortolameolli enjoys conducting orchestral music, working with youth orchestras, collaborating with today’s composers and lecturing.
Further information, including composer bios, is available at