Leif Ove Andsnes Embarks on Final Leg of Epic “Beethoven Journey”
Brooklyn Rider releases "Brooklyn Rider Almanac" on September 30
Stephen Costello & Ailyn Pérez launch 2014-15 with U.S. “Love Duets” recital tour
Alisa Weilerstein’s summer: Caramoor residency, BBC Proms, and feature film debut
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein's “Solo” album released on Decca Oct 28Published: September 30, 2014
With the Decca Classics release of her album Solo on October 28, cellist Alisa Weilerstein underscores her role as an instrumentalist with something deeply personal to say. The centerpiece of the album is the MacArthur Fellow’s interpretation of Zoltán Kodály’s classic Sonata for Solo Cello of 1915. A New York Times review of a live Weilerstein rendition of the work described the Hungarian composer’s score as giving “full rein to his tormented and craggy vision, qualities fully conveyed in the tireless Ms. Weilerstein’s staggering performance.” Kodály’s sonata will figure in Weilerstein’s solo recitals this season at London’s Wigmore Hall (Jan 5) and the Aspen Festival’s Winter Music Series (Feb 12) with unaccompanied suites by J.S. Bach also on the program. Weilerstein’s account of the Kodály also features in the recent film If I Stay (and on its accompanying soundtrack album); based on the best-selling novel by Gayle Forman, the movie marks Weilerstein’s feature-film debut, in a cameo appearance as herself. Along with the Kodály and Spanish composer-cellist Gaspar Cassadó’s Suite for Solo Cello of 1926, the CD version of Solo includes Bright Sheng’s Seven Tunes Heard in China and Osvaldo Golijov’s Omaramor, highlighting Weilerstein’s passion for contemporary music. A deluxe digital version of the album also includes György Ligeti’s Sonata for Solo Cello and Britten’s Tema Sacher, as well as Prokofiev’s March from “Music for children” arranged for solo cello by Gregor Piatigorsky.
Iestyn Davies joins top U.S. orchestras & headlines major premieres in 2014-15Published: September 29, 2014
Iestyn Davies – a Gramophone 2014 Artist of the Year nominee – scored a second Gramophone Award in the Recital category this month, for his Wigmore Hall Live recording Arise, my muse. Now, following triumphs at the Metropolitan Opera, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall last season, the countertenor returns to North America for a trio of major engagements in 2014-15. He makes his Cleveland Orchestra debut in Bach’s Mass in B minor, sings Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, and joins the Toronto Symphony for the Canadian premiere of George Benjamin’s surprise hit opera, Written on Skin, with the composer himself on the podium. In Europe meanwhile, Davies stars opposite Mark Rylance in the Globe Theatre’s world premiere production of Farinelli and the King; presents the world, German, and Dutch premieres of Nico Muhly’s Sentences; and rejoins lutenist Thomas Dunford for a UK recital tour showcasing songs from their recent Dowland collection, The Art of Melancholy. The album’s release by Hyperion last season prompted a spate of positive press from such leading outlets as the New York Times, which stated: “The rarest thing in opera is a distinctive voice, and Iestyn Davies has one. It’s clear, full and plangent, with crisp diction and unassuming eloquence.”
New MD Teddy Abrams catapults Louisville Orchestra into bright new eraPublished: September 25, 2014
“The Louisville Orchestra is clearly preparing to take a significant step forward, and Mr. Abrams is exactly the catalyst needed to facilitate this evolution.” So stated Arts-Louisville in its frankly euphoric review of the Louisville Orchestra’s season-opening gala. Marking the first concert with high-octane new Music Director Teddy Abrams at the helm, the concert launched a fresh and game-changing new chapter in the orchestra’s history. At just 27 the youngest Music Director of a major American orchestra, Abrams is already the galvanizing force behind Louisville’s artistic renewal, both in the concert hall and beyond it. Even in the first days of his tenure, he succeeded in taking music out onto the streets and – as a featured artist in an original new web series – into people’s homes. Fueled by prodigious talent, vision, energy, drive, and commitment to innovative community engagement, the new Music Director is putting the city back on America’s musical map; now, as Arts-Louisville recognizes, “Louisville has a new ‘Teddy’ to cheer for.”
Deborah Voigt tells all in “Call Me Debbie,” published this seasonPublished: September 25, 2014
The 2014-15 season sees one of Deborah Voigt’s most personal projects come to fruition, with the HarperCollins publication of her candid, funny, and soul-baring memoir Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva. She also returns to the opera house, reprising her star turn in Francesca Zambello’s Salome for her Dallas Opera debut; making her title role debut in a new staging of The Merry Widow at Michigan Opera Theater; and undertaking the roles of Elisabeth and Venus in Tannhäuser at the Hamburg State Opera – her first time singing both roles in the same production. To launch her new appointment as WQXR’s inaugural Susan W. Rose Artist-in-Residence, Voigt co-hosts the opening-night broadcast of Carnegie Hall Live, joining WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon to present the Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle and Anne-Sophie Mutter live in concert from the New York venue. She herself headlines the season-opening concert of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and season-closing events at both the Pacific Symphony and the USM Symphony, which she joins for “An Evening with Deborah Voigt.” Meanwhile, as returning Artist-in-Residence at the Washington National Opera, the beloved soprano continues mentoring young singers in the company’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program throughout the season.