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2017 Winners: Met Auditions, Southeast Region

Arts Knoxville

The 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions for the Southeast region were held on Sunday, February 12, at Spivey Hall of Clayton State University in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, judges awarded three first place winners (eliminating second and third place awards) All three will advance to the semi-finals in New York City on March 12 with an opportunity to advance to the grand finals on March 19.

The winners were:
Jacquelyn Stucker, soprano (North Carolina)
Alasdair Kent, tenor (Middle/East Tennessee District)
Alan Higgs, bass-baritone (Georgia District)

In addition, Encouragement Awards were given to Courtney Johnson, Soprano, and Gabriella Sam,  Soprano.

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2017 Winners: Met Opera Auditions-Middle/East Tennessee District

Arts Knoxville

On Saturday, January 7, twenty-seven singers competed in the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Middle/East Tennessee District held in the University of Tennessee’s Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall. The district is one of five comprising the Southeast Region. The judges chose three singers to advance to that next step, the Southeast regional auditions which will be held on Saturday, February 12, at Spivey Hall at Clayton State University in Atlanta, GA.  In addition, three singers received Encouragement Awards.

The advancing winners were mezzo-soprano Reilly Nelson of Cincinnati, Ohio; tenor Brandon Russell, also from Cincinnati, Ohio; and tenor Alasdair Kent of Philadelphia, PA.

Encouragement Awards went to soprano Alexandria Shiner, Knoxvillian and UT School of Music alumnus; soprano Kaitlyn Johnson of Bloomington, IN; and mezzo-soprano Chelsea Duval-Major of Cincinnati, OH.

The judges were:
Mark Gibson, music director of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory Philharmonia Orchestra
Melissa Wegner

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The Most Famous Reindeer of All

Arts Knoxville

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen,
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names;
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say:
“Rudolph, with your nose so bright,
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Then how the reindeer loved him,
As they shouted out with glee,
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
You’ll go down in history!”

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Words and Music by Johnny Marks (1949)

A wise parent will embrace the innocence and naiveté of a child, and their awakening cultural interests—no matter how irritating they may be at the time— with full…

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Recital Report: Brahms Chamber Music with Piano Wraps with 7th Recital

Arts Knoxville

Last Monday evening, UT School of Music faculty pianist Kevin Class wrapped up his impressive marathon-like seven recital series of all of the Brahms chamber music with piano.  The series, which began in January of 2014, stretched over three calendar years. Classclass began with three recitals of the duo sonatas—Cello sonatas with cellist Wesley Baldwin, Clarinet sonatas with Victor Chavez, and Violin Sonatas with Ching-Yi Lin.

The series picked up a year later in February, 2015, with the Trios split over two recitals. On the first  came the Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 40, for Piano, Violin, and Horn (Rachel Loseke, violin, and Gray Ferris, horn), then the Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8 (Ruth Bacon, violin, and Wesley Baldwin, cello). On the second recital a month later came the Piano Trio in C Major, Op. 87 (Sara Matayoshi, violin, and Andy Bryenton, cello), the Trio for Piano, Clarinet…

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John Luther Adams’ ‘Inuksuit’ at Ijams Nature Center

Reading up on John Luther Adams’ outdoor percussion piece Inuksuit does not prepare one for the effect of its performance. At least, it didn’t prepare me for the one last Tuesday (Earth Day) at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville with the composer in attendance. The performance was organized by the contemporary music ensemble, nief-norf, and the University of Tennessee Percussion Ensemble, and made possible by 30 or so percussionists and volunteers. The performance began as the setting sun sank behind the woodland hills and continued into the crepuscular twilight–certainly an environmentally magical time of day. You can read my impressions of the experience at MetroPulse.com.

John Luther Adams (far left) taking in a performance of 'Inuksuit' at Ijams Nature Center

John Luther Adams (far left) taking in a performance of ‘Inuksuit’ at Ijams Nature Center

'Inuksuit' percussionist on the shore of Mead's Quarry Lake at Ijams Nature Center

‘Inuksuit’ percussionist on the shore of Mead’s Quarry Lake at Ijams Nature Center

 

And, of course, my favorite music writer, Alex Ross, who wrote about another performance of Inuksuit for the New Yorker, is everywhere. I’m glad to see he didn’t take this performance for granite.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville

 Photography: Alan Sherrod

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In Metro Pulse: ‘Elixir’, Tchaikovsky 4th, and André Watts

Knoxville Opera takes advantage of the Valentines Day weekend to offer Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, its first production of the work since 2001. Also over the weekend is the UTSO concert featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor.

Elixir1

Stefania Dovhon (Adina) and Joshua Kohl (Nemorino) in Knoxville Opera’s ‘L’Elisir d’amore’

Read the full preview of these two events in this week’s Metro Pulse, online here. I also briefly report on the André Watts recital of last Sunday in the Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall on the UT campus, a recital that featured sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, the Rondo in A minor by Mozart, Beethoven’s Sonata in D, and works by Debussy, Chopin, and Liszt. The Scarlatti was a real eye-opener in a recital that was as memorable as they come.

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Violinist Rachel Lee With KSO This Week

Violinist Rachel Lee will join the KSO for this weekend’s Masterworks concerts, performing the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2.

The concert, the final event of the regular KSO season, will also offer Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Fountains of Rome. Music Director Lucas Richman will conduct.

The concerts are Thursday and Friday, May 20 and 21, 8:00 p.m., in the Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville.  Tickets and KSO Info.

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