Category Archives: Classical Music News

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.

Tickets: www.knoxvilleopera.com

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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Filed under Classical Music News, Opera

‘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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Filed under Classical Music News, Piano

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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Filed under Classical Music News, Piano

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.

Brakhman2

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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Filed under Classical Music News, Recordings

New Chamber Series: ‘Gabriel Lefkowitz and Friends’

It doesn’t take a big music venue to make a lot of waves in the world of classical and new music–a lot of cities are discovering that that alternative locations (like Le Poisson Rouge in NYC) can fill the need for those looking for something different, energetic, and intriguing.  Clearly, this is something that the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra is learning. A new series for the KSO begins in two weeks in the back room of a coffee house, of all places. But this is a series that has the potential to dramatically re-shape the Knoxville audience and its perceptions.

KSO Concertmaster Gabriel Lefkowitz

The KSO has given the responsibility for a new chamber music series to its  new concertmaster, Gabriel Lefkowitz, and titled it, appropriately, “Gabriel Lefkowitz and Friends.” The series consists of three pairs of music events at Remedy Coffee in the Old City section of downtown Knoxville. Lefkowitz has programmed the series with works appealing to him and perhaps eye-opening for a some of the intended audience.

And, this will be “chamber music” in every sense of the word. “It’s going to be really interesting for this first one,” Lefkowitz states, “the first half [of the concert] is just violin and piano, the second half is a trio, so there will be no problem fitting those on stage. But, for the second concert and third concerts, we have larger ensembles. So, it’s going to be an interesting challenge to see how we are going to situate ourselves. For the octet on the last concert, we might have the ensemble in the middle and the audience surrounding them.”

The first pair of concerts are on Wednesday and Thursday, October 3 and 4, at 7 pm. Lefkowitz has chosen three works to inaugurate the series: Ravel’s Tzigane and Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 2 in D Major (with Lefkowitz and pianist Kevin Class); and the Brahms Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major (with Lefkowitz, Class, and cellist Andy Bryenton).

Info: http://www.knoxvillesymphony.com/

Remedy Coffee, 125 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, TN

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Filed under Chamber Music, Classical Music News, Instrumental Ensembles

2012-13 Met Opera ‘Live in HD’ Schedule

The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series for the 2012-13 season begins Saturday, October 13. For more information and local tickets, check the Met website here. The schedule is:

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Donizetti: L’Elisir d’Amore

October 13, 2012, 12:55 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm local time

Cast: Anna Netrebko (Adina), Matthew Polenzani (Nemorino), Mariusz Kwiecien (Belcore), Ambrogio Maestri (Dulcamara);  Production: Bartlett Sher;  Conductor: Maurizio Benini

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Verdi: Otello

October 27, 2012, 12:55 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm local time

Cast: Johan Botha (Otello), Renée Fleming (Desdemona); Production: Elijah Moshinsky; Conductor: Semyon Bychkov

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Adès: The Tempest

November 10, 2012, 12:55 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm local time
(Met Premiere)

Cast: Simon Keenlyside (Prospero) Director: Robert Lepage Conductor: Thomas Adès

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Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito

December 1, 2012, 12:55 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm local time

Cast: Elīna Garanča (Sesto);  Giuseppe Filianoti (Tito);  Barbara Frittoli (Vitellia); Director: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle; Conductor: Harry Bicket

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Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera

December 8, 2012, 12:55 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm local time
(New Production)

Cast: Marcelo Álvarez (the king); Sondra Radvanovsky  (Amelia); Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Renato); Kathleen Kim (Oscar); Stephanie Blythe (Ulrica). Director: David Alden; Conductor: Fabio Luisi

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Verdi: Aida

December 15, 2012, 12:55 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm local time

Cast: Liudmyla Monastyrska (Aida); Radamès (Roberto Alagna); Amneris (Olga Borodina); Director: Sonja Frisell; Conductor: Fabio Luisi

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Berlioz: Les Troyens

January 5, 2013, 12 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm local time

Cast: Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft; Director: Francesca Zambello;  Conductor Fabio Luisi

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Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

January 19, 2013, 12:55 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm local time
(Met Premiere)

Cast: Joyce DiDonato (Mary, Queen of Scots); Elza van den Heever (Elizabeth I); Director: David McVicar; Conductor: Maurizio Benini conducts.

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Verdi: Rigoletto 

February 16, 2013, 12:55 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm local time
(New Production)

Piotr Beczala (Duke); Željko Lucic (Rigoletto);  Diana Damrau (Gilda); Conductor: Michele Mariotti; Director Michael Mayer

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Wagner: Parsifal

March 2, 2013, 12 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm local time
(New Production)

Cast: Jonas Kaufmann (Parsifal); Katarina Dalayman (Kundry); Peter Mattei (Amfortas); Evgeny Nikitin (Klingsor); René Pape (Gurnemanz); Director: François Girard; Conductor: Daniele Gatti

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Zandonai: Francesca da Rimini

March 16, 2013, 12 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm local time

Cast: Eva-Maria Westbroek, Marcello Giordani; Conductor: Marco Armiliato

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Handel’s Giulio Cesare

April 27, 2013, 12 pm ET
U.S. Encore: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm local time
(New Production)

Cast: David Daniels, Natalie Dessay Director: David McVicar; Conductor: Harry Bicket

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Filed under Classical Music News, Opera