Category Archives: Classical Music News

Knoxville Opera Chorus Auditions Announced

Knoxville Opera has announced chorus auditions for its 2013-14 season on Thursday and Friday, May 30 and 31. There are openings in all voice parts.

The 2013-14 season will include Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, Donizzetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, and Bellini’s Norma. Choristers are engaged for each production and are not required to sing in all productions. All persons auditioning should bring two pieces of their choosing in Italian and/or French and a resume of their musical training and performance history.  An accompanist will be provided.

To schedule an audition on May 30 or 31, and/or to receive further information about paid chorus positions, please contact Knoxville Opera Chorusmaster, Don Townsend, at or call 865-599-7961.

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KSO Position Auditions Announced

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra has announced upcoming auditions this summer for Principal Bassoon, 2nd Horn, and 4th Horn. The links below will take you to the appropriate KSO webpage.

Principal Bassoon  (Monday, July 8, 2013)

2nd Horn (one-year position, but possibly permanent) (Saturday, July 6, 2013)

4th Horn (Sunday, July 7, 2013)

Interested parties should contact the KSO directly for information.

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Apr. 26-28: Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival 2013

April is Festival Month in downtown Knoxville, with Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival being one of the most visible and diverse. This year’s main production is Rossini’s La Cenerentola (or, sadly, Cinderella since it is being sung in English). Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool will be singing Angelina/Cinderella with tenor Michael Dailey as Prince Ramiro. The production is directed by James Marvel with Brian Salesky conducting.

Read my Metro Pulse preview of the opera.

Performances are Friday, April 26, at 8 pm; and Sunday matinee, April 28, at 2:30 pm in the Tennessee Theatre, 604 S. Gay Street, Downtown.


The ever-popular Rossini Festival International Street Fair is Saturday, April 27, 11 am till 9 pm. The fair features FIVE stages of entertainment (opera, jazz, classical, dance, choral, roots, you name it) with Gay Street lined with food, wine, beer, and arts vendors. For a schedule of performers and performers, click here.

Gay Street, Downtown Knoxville, north half of street fair

Gay Street, Downtown Knoxville, north half of street fair

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‘Rachmaninoff Remembered’ Coming Sunday for 70th Anniversary of Last Performance

This Sunday, February 17th, marks the 70th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s last performance–a performance that took place in Knoxville, TN, on the University of Tennessee campus. I’ve written several articles on the subject, including “Rachmaninoff’s Last Performance” that appeared in August of 2010. It appears that I was not the only one interested.

“Rachmaninoff Remembered,” an all-Rachmaninoff concert by Russian pianist Evgheny Brakhman, is being co-sponsored by the Evelyn Miller Young Pianist Series and the University of Tennessee School of Music. The venue for the concert is essentially the same space where Rachmaninoff performed for the last time in 1943, the space which is now the James R. Cox Auditorium in the Alumni Memorial Building on the UT campus. The 8 pm concert on Sunday is free. For more information, check this UT School of Music webpage.

Evgheny Brakhman

Evgheny Brakhman

Brakhman’s concert will include:
• Piano Sonata No. 2, op. 36
• 6 of the Etudes-Tableaux  from op. 33 and 39
• Variations on a Theme of Corelli
• 6 Preludes from  op. 23 and 32


In this week’s Metro Pulse, my colleague Jack Neely and I have articles on the history of Rachmaninoff’s last concert and a preview of the Brakhman concert.

Jack Neely: “Rachmaninoff’s Last Bow”
Alan Sherrod: “Pianist Evgheny Brakhman Pays Tribute to Rachmaninoff’s Last Concert”

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2013 Young Pianist Series Begins in January

The Evelyn Miller Young Pianist Series, a sequence of recitals featuring pianists who are on paths to substantial international careers, begins its 2013 series in January. Although begun in 1980 in Knoxville as a labor of love by pianist and teacher Evelyn Miller, the series is currently housed in the Lambert Recital Hall at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville on the Maryville College campus.

This season’s performers will be:

Sunday, January 27, 2013 — Steven Lin

steven-lin-pianist-crop-460904_462x306Lin, a native of Taiwan, came to the United States in 1999 to study with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division. In 2007, he received a full scholarship to the College Division of The Juilliard School where he studied with Kaplinsky and Matti Raekallio. He is now pursuing his Masters there. Lin won Third Prize in both the 2012 Hilton Head International Piano Competition and the William Kapell International Piano Competition.

Sunday, February 24, 2013 — Vivian Choi

vivian-choi-portrait6-118168_427x306Choi is a native of Seoul, South Korea and received her Masters of Music with Academic Honors and Graduate Diploma in Piano Performance from the New England Conservatory. In May 2010, Ms. Choi received her Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon University, studying with Sergy Schepkin.

Sunday, March 24, 2013 — Jin Uk Kim

jin-uk-kim-pianist-small-392184_462x306Kim has been a student of Wha Kyung Byun at the New England Conservatory. A recipient of the Joseph C. Beaudoin Piano Scholarship there, he has earned his his Master’s degree and Graduate Diploma, and is  currently pursuing a doctoral degree.

Click the link above for information and tickets. All recitals are at 2:30 pm.

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Feb. 2013: Evgheny Brakhman Recital to Honor Rachmaninoff’s Last Performance

Readers of this blog may recall my previous articles on Sergei Rachmaninoff’s final public performance before his death, a recital on February 17, 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee. 2013 brings the 70th anniversary of that event and with it a concert, “Rachmaninoff Remembered,” offered by the Russian pianist, Evgheny Brakhman.


The all-Rachmaninoff concert will take place in the James R. Cox Auditorium on the University of Tennessee campus on February 17, 2013, at 8 p.m. The Cox Auditorium today is a performance hall in the renovated Alumni Memorial Building, the space in which Rachmaninoff performed in 1943. The concert is a joint effort of the Evelyn Miller Young Pianist Series and the University of Tennessee School of Music. The underwritten concert will be free.

Although the program is subject to change, the anticipated bill includes the 6 Etudes-Tableaux op. 33 and 39, Variations on a Theme of Corelli, 6 Preludes op. 23 and 32, and the Sonata no.2 op. 36.

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New CD: American Violin Concertos

(CD Information)

Last fall, American composer Theodore Wiprud’s Violin Concerto (Katrina) was given its world premiere by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. (My review of that concert and my preview in Metro Pulse)

Wiprud wrote the concerto for violinist Ittai Shapira, who performed the KSO premiere. Shapira has now recorded the work along with two other concerti by the American composers Samuel Barber and Gian-Carlo Menotti. The CD on Champs Hill Records features the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Neil Thomson.

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