The Ahn Trio has a fantastic time with the show hosts Susie & Lisa!
The Ahn Trio has a fantastic time with the show hosts Susie & Lisa!
The Portland String Quartet received the 2013 CMAcclaim Award from Chamber Music America during a concert at Woodfords Congregational Church, in Portland Maine. On Sunday, Kecskemethy and the three other founding members of the Portland String Quartet — violinist Ronald Lantz, violist Julia Adams and cellist Paul Ross — as well as Kecskemethy’s replacement, Dean Stein of Harpswell, stood together at Woodfords Congregation Church in Portland and receive national recognition from Chamber Music America. The classical music organization conferred its 2013 CMAcclaim Award on the quartet for its “significant impact” in the community. The award recognizes the quartet’s longevity and contributions to the cultural well-being of Portland and all of Maine.
His colleagues were shocked when Steve Kecskemethy delivered the news. They knew he was in pain. That was obvious at the final concert that he performed with the Portland String Quartet in late 2011. But when the violinist told them early last year that he had been diagnosed with cancer and was no longer physically able to perform, they couldn’t believe it. Tears and hugs followed disbelief. [More...]
Baroque music will be fused with jazz, rock, blues, and folk when The Irish Baroque Orchestra visits Galway on Thursday, November 22nd with its national tour of Groove Theory. Groove Theory was commissioned especially for the IBO’s artistic director, Monica Huggett. Written by jazz violinist/composer Hollis Taylor it was inspired by the scientific notion of String Theory and received its American premiere in Oregon in 2003. “String Theory is the current theory of everything, an all-encompassing explanation for our universe, which claims that all matter is composed of tiny vibrating strings,” says composer Hollis Taylor about the work. “These strings are the smallest possible building blocks of reality. Groove Theory is my corollary theory of everything, which claims that all music must swing and dance and pulse and groove.” (Galway City Tribune, Ireland)
The Baltimore Consort will bring a festive Yuletide program titled “Wassail, Wassail!” to Houston Early Music on Tuesday, December 11. The concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, celebrates the season with old carols and dance tunes from the British Isles, France, Spain, Germany and Appalachia. “We are truly looking forward to being in Houston again,” said Mary Anne Ballard, who plays viols and rebec with the Consort and is a favorite of Houston Early Music audiences. The group has appeared some half-dozen times on the series, most recently in 2008. Named Top Classical-Crossover Artist of the Year by Billboard Magazine, the Consort is known both for its liveliness and for its virtuosity.
The Quad City Arts’ Visiting Artist Series presents pianist Leon Bates in a residency October 22-27, 2012. He will visit 12 schools and community locations during performances for the public on Saturday, October 27 at Wallenberg Hall at Augustana College, Rock Island. Leon is no stranger to the Quad Cities. He was a Quad City Arts’ Visiting Artist in his early career. He also performed with the Quad City Symphony as part of their Masterworks series in April 2009. Bates’ performance schedule includes dates across the United States, in Canada, Italy, France, Austria, Ireland, England as well as Africa. Bates has performed with the major U.S. symphonies such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony, and in Europe has performed with the Vienna, Basel and Strasbourg Symphonies. All agree: Leon Bates is a major artist and one of America’s best.
The Georgia Guitar Quartet will open the Southern Wesleyan University’s annual Fine Arts Series September 20th. The quartet delivers a high-energy blend of breathtaking virtuosity and imaginative programming while taking an adventurous approach to classical music. Their repertoire draws from diverse musical influences ranging from the music of Bach and Brahms to the rock sounds of Led Zeppelin. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center on the university’s campus in Central. Admission is free. Southern Wesleyan University is a learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for their faith.
Lawrence Budmen, for the South Florida Classical Review, wrote, “The Ahn Trio presented an adventurous program of contemporary music before a large and enthusiastic audience Thursday night in the Coral Gables Congregational Church’s Community Arts concert series. Exceptional musicianship, meticulous layering of dynamics and tremendous energy propelled the performances. The Korean-born sisters’ banter between numbers was reflective of the musical selections’ contrasted styles. All of the programmed works were either written or specially arranged for the trio. American composer Kenji Bunch has been a colleague of the Ahns since they attended Juilliard together. No less than five of Bunch’s works were played by his enthusiastic advocates. Our composer Kenji Bunch seems most comfortable when he is incorporating elements of both the folk and vernacular music within a neo-Romantic soundscape.”
Clarise Snyder reports: “Violist Marcus Thompson, Robert R. Taylor Professor of Music at MIT, presented the world premiere of the Viola Concerto by composer Olly Wilson with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on June 2. Reviewer Stuart Low wrote: …’Olly Wilson’s Viola Concerto, dazzlingly performed by Boston soloist Marcus Thompson, was a…serious affair. Skillfully and innovatively written for the instrument, it often calls for hammered or vigorously scrubbed bow strokes that help the viola’s dark tone project. The atonal lines tend to unfold in tight, chromatic steps — a great help to a violist zipping around this large instrument in quick runs. Wilson takes advantage of the viola’s lyrical side in the elegiac middle section. Searing and haunted by turns, it was eloquently delivered by Thompson.’”
Part of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall “Reach Out to Youth” program with Nai Ni Chen Dance and the Ahn Trio. It will take place in December. A blossom of color, energy and motion — the dances of Nai-Ni Chen fuse the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art. In Temptation of the Muses, this renowned dance company joins The Ahn Trio, one of classical music’s most innovative ensembles, and composer Kenji Bunch in an exciting new collaboration. It integrates new music along with musical selections by Pat Metheny, David Balakrishnan and Ronn Yedidia, and original dance in a performance inspired by the poem A Word for Freedom, by Persian poet Latif Nazemi. This adventurous evening of music and dance is a combination rarely seen on the Music Hall stage — don’t miss it.
Violinist Monica Huggett and her Portland Baroque Orchestra will take on the challenge of the Goldberg’ Variations in a string orchestra arrangement in four cities this summer as part of the Oregon Bach Festival. Presented in association with the Astoria Music Festival on June 30th, the performance will be Oregon Bach Festival’s first in Astoria, Oregon. This string ensemble version, arranged by Dmitri Sitkovetsky, is different from the traditional work, composed for a single harpsichord performer. “The variations turn out to be quite well suited for string instruments,” Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams wrote in his program notes. “Such a recasting sheds new light on the music by drawing out expressive elements that previously could only be hinted at when played on a harpsichord or a modern piano.”