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composer

cover for The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

"The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia" is a comprehensive reference devoted to musical theater’s most prolific and admired composer and lyricist. Entries cover Sondheim’s numerous collaborators—from composers and directors to designers and orchestras—key songs—such as his Academy Award winner “Sooner or Later” (Dick Tracy), and major works including "Assassins," "Company," "Follies," "Sweeney Todd," and "West Side Story."

The encyclopedia also contains information about Sondheim’s mentoring by Oscar Hammerstein and his early collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, and profiles the actors who originated roles and sang Sondheim’s songs for the first time, including Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Mandy Patinkin, and Bernadette Peters.

Rick Pender has been an award-winning theater critic since 1986. He is past chair of the American Theatre Critics Association and was the executive editor and publisher of "Everything Sondheim" and managing editor of "The Sondheim Review."

Person Place Thing Featuring David Lang

Apr 16, 2021
Peter Sterling

Tonight at 10:30 on Person Place Thing, Randy Cohen speaks with Pulitzer-winning composer David Lang. At age 9 Lang saw a Leonard Bernstein young people’s concert featuring Shostakovich and something happened, in a good way. Tune in to hear more about Lang’s person, place and thing.

Composer Evan Mack is a Senior Teaching Professor at Skidmore College and joins us to discuss the release of his new recording titled “The Travelled Road,” recorded at Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs and featuring Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Megan Marino, pianist John Arida and cellist Jameson Platte.

Each selection features lyrics from noteworthy figures in history, including “A Little More Perfect,” Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion on Obergefell v. Hodges; “Three Reflections of Sister Dorothy,” written by Sr. Dorothy Stang, a nun from Ohio who was murdered by hire in the Brazilian Amazon while working to help poor farmers and save the rainforest; “Preach Sister, Preach,” celebrating the words of iconic women; “The Secret Ocean,” poems by Mark Jarman which deal with the passage of time; and “The Road and the End,” Carl Sandburg’s famous 1916 poem.

The new CD is “The Travelled Road.”

Person Place Thing Featuring Herb Alpert

Mar 19, 2021
Herb Alpert official Facebook page

Tonight at 10:30 p.m. on Person Place Thing, we break format with trumpeter-composer Herb Alpert. We devote the entire episode to his conversation about one person, songwriter Burt Bacharach. A million-selling musician talks about a billion-selling musician.

Led by composer/pianist, JooWan Kim, Oakland based Hip-Hop orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj creates metamusic by sampling principles from the Hip-Hop and Classical genres.

Since 2010 Ensemble Mik Nawooj has attracted some of the most excellent classical musicians and MCs in the San Francisco Bay Area while gaining national attention.

 

Their new album “Death Become Life” is available today. Some of the music on the album deconstructs iconic classical repertoire - works by Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart - given the JooWan Kim treatment and featuring, of course, the ensemble’s MC: Sandman. 

 

The album release is accompanied by 5 live performance music videos, and a virtual release party in collaboration with Asian Art Museum x Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The videos were filmed at the museum and feature turf dancers and Ensemble Mik Nawooj in the exhibitions.

 

JooWan Kim and Sandman joins us.

Album artwork
Albany Records / https://www.albanyrecords.com/

The Albany Symphony and our buddy, David Alan Miller had a good night last night at the Grammy Awards winning a Grammy for the world premiere recording with Violist Richard O’Neill of Christopher Theofanidis’ Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra. The award was for Best Classical Instrumental Solo category. The Concerto for Viola was recorded in 2018 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

This is the fifth time in seven years that an Albany Symphony recording has received a GRAMMY nomination, winning the 2013 GRAMMY for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. To celebrate, we welcome ASO Maestro and Music Director David Alan Miller.

Person Place Thing Featuring Terence Blanchard

Mar 12, 2021
Terence Blanchard's official Facebook page

This week on Person Place Thing, we break format with trumpet player/composer Terence Blanchard, best known for his scores for the last bunch of Spike Lee movies. Instead of “Person Place Thing,” Blanchard talks about three pieces of music: "The Prayer" by Miles Davis from Porgy and Bess, Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” and "He Ran to the Train” by Bobby McFerrin.

Provided

The next Albany Symphony concert is coming up on Saturday evening of Valentine’s Day weekend - February 13th – all virtual-like.

The Albany Symphony Orchestra has commissioned and will premiere one of Tyson Davis’ first orchestral works - "Distances." He is a 20-year-old composer who has been writing music since the age of eight.

Also of note - the orchestra will be performing a virtually unknown major early work of Brahms - the original version of his First Serenade.

Derrick Wang is a composer, writer, and creator of the opera “Scalia/Ginsburg,” a crash course on the U.S. Constitution and the people who uphold it that ushered in the current era of Supreme Court-themed art. Hailed as a “perfect…jewel” (Opera Today) and “the kind of opera that should be everywhere” (OperaWire), “Scalia/Ginsburg” was premiered at the Castleton Festival.

The Los Angeles Times wrote: “Could we please make it a constitutional requirement that no one can be sworn into office in the White House or Congress without first having seen Scalia/Ginsburg?”

On September 21, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center will present Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a GPS-enabled work of public art in the Saratoga Spa State Park that uses music to illuminate the natural environment.

Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid and co-commissioned by Saratoga Performing Arts Center as part of its SPAC REIMAGINED 2020 season, Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is an immersive audio experience tailor-made for the Saratoga Spa State Park. The installation will remain accessible in the park until November 1.

Co-commissioner The New York Philharmonic presented the World Premiere of Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK on September 10 in New York City's Central Park.

Composer Ellen Reid won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, "p r i s m."

Nolan Gasser is a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist. Most notably, he is the architect of Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project and the chief musicologist from its founding in 2000. Dr. Gasser lectures widely on the nature of musical taste and the intersections of music, science, and culture. He received his Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford.

His new book is "Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste."

Sarah LaDuke (Mustard by Paul Gallo)

Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire has launched “Hot, w/Mustard,” featuring 10 extraordinary emerging composers from across America, who have been putting some sizzle into the end of summer with thrilling new works. The composers, who are some of today’s most exciting new artistic voices, created short works for Dogs of Desire, the Symphony’s genre-bending 18-member new music ensemble. “During difficult times, music is a source of inspiration, hope and comfort,” according to Maestro and Artistic Director David Alan Miller – who joins us this morning.

Celebrating its 18th season, Modfest 2020 is Vassar College’s annual exploration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. This year’s theme, “reflect to project,” looks backward to move forward. All events are free and open to the public.

Jeff Snyder is a composer, improviser and instrument-designer. He is the founder and lead designer of Snyderphonics, for which he designs and builds unusual electronic musical instruments. In 2009, he co-founded an experimental music record label, Carrier Records. In 2011, he received a doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University. He is now the Director of Electronic Music at Princeton University, as well as Director of PLOrk , Princeton's Laptop Orchestra.

At Vassar, Snyder will present an open rehearsal of “Opposite Earth” on Wednesday, February 5 (a collaboration between Modfest and THinCs [The Humanities in Cognitive Science]) and on Thursday, February 6 he will give a lecture and performance entitled “Build, Destroy, Build: Spontaneous Creation of Structure.”

Born in 1819, Clara Schumann was a composer and piano teacher - regarded as one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era.

This weekend The Albany Symphony will celebrate her life and music in The Clara Schumann Festival.

Musicians from the Graduate Program at Bard College Conservatory will perform vocal and instrumental chamber works on Saturday, January 11 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, January 12 at 11 a.m.

Then, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m., The Albany Symphony will present works by Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and a World Premiere by Loren Loiacono. The orchestra will be joined by pianist Harmony Zhu.

These concerts will take place at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York and we are joined by Harmony Zhu, Loren Loiacono, and Albany Symphony Music Director and Conductor, David Alan Miller.  

Dan Tepfer - Natural Machines
Nicolas Joubard '18

On Saturday, December 14 at 7 p.m., Catskill Jazz Factory presents Dan Tepfer: Natural Machines at Hudson Hall in Hudson, New York.

Pianist-composer, Dan Tepfer is a recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Born in France to American parents, Tepfer received a bachelor's degree in astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh and a master's degree in jazz piano performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. He’s performed to great acclaim all over the world.

Over the past five decades, John Mauceri has conducted symphonies, operas, ballets, musicals, and film music around the world, and served as music director of four opera companies and three orchestras, as well as hosted television and radio programs. He has more than seventy albums to his name, and is the recipient of a Grammy, a Tony, a Billboard, two Diapasons d'or, three Emmys, and four Deutschen Schallplattenkritik awards. He is the author of "Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting," and has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, and The Huffington Post, among other publications.

His new book is "For the Love of Music: A Conductor's Guide to the Art of Listening."

Howard Pollack is the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Music at the University of Houston. He will be speaking next Wednesday, October 30th at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York about as part of the college's Jacob Perlow Series. Pollack's subject is “American Musical Theater and the Legacy of Jewish Emigration: From Show Boat to Fiddler on the Roof.”

Jewish American composers, many of them children of Russian-Jewish immigrants, in collaboration with Jewish lyricists and librettists, played an extraordinary role in the creation of the classic Broadway and Hollywood musicals of the twentieth century, as well as American opera of the same period - composers that include Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Richard Rodgers, Marc Blitzstein, and Harold Arlen.

Pollack will focus on how the legacy of Jewish immigration impinged itself dramatically on American musicals and operas by looking at the ways in which themes of migration, departure, arrival, assimilation, and utopia inform this repertoire.

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of conversations about prodigies - discussing Felix Mendelssohn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of conversations about prodigies focusing on Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

Michael Mitnick and Adam Gwon in front of a RTC step-and-repeat
Jennifer Broski / broadwayworld.com

Tomorrow night, the new musical “Scotland, PA” begins previews at The Laura Pels Theatre in New York City - produced and commissioned by The Roundabout Theatre Company.

Based on the 2001 film of the same name written and directed by Billy Morrissette, “Scotland, PA” is inspired by Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” - though instead of being a Scottish general, this Mac is an American burger joint employee in 1975. Mac and his wife, Pat, make a plan to improve their lives in a darkly-comic musical directed by Lonny Price.

“Scotland, PA” features a book by Michael Mitnick and music and lyrics by Adam Gwon and they joined us to talk about the show.

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, we continue to learn about the composer Gioachino Rossini.

Music played: 3rd movement of Rossini’s Sonata for Strings No 3. In C Major performed by Frankfurt Strings.

Bill Barclay returns to Tanglewood for a Concert Theatre Works development project in partnership with the Tanglewood Learning Institute.

The object of his creative attention for "Full Tilt" this summer is Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Bologne was a decorated military officer, champion swordsman, acclaimed violinist, composer, and conductor, a true Renaissance man of the Classical period and an artist of color in 18th-century France.

Director of Music for Shakespeare’s Globe, Bill Barclay’s original music has been performed across the United States, around the world, for President Obama, the British Royal Family, the Olympic Torch, at the UN, in Buckingham Palace, and in refugee camps in Jordan and Calais. He is the founder of the new label Globe Music.

In “Beau,” eight actor-musicians tell the story of Ace Baker, who spends the first decade of his life fatherless. At 12 years old, a phone call reveals that his grandfather, Beau, has been alive all his life and his mother knew. Family secrets unravel as Ace rushes to make up for lost time with a man who changes his life and puts a guitar in his hand.

“Beau” features a concept, book, and lyrics by Douglas Lyons and music by Ethan D. Pakchar and Lyons. Michael Wilson directs the Adirondack Theatre Festival production which runs in Glens Falls, New York August 3-9.

We are joined by Douglas Lyons and Ethan D. Pakchar, actor Matt Rodin who plays Ace, and ATF Producing Artistic Director Chad Rabinovitz.

LOUD Weekend is an expansion of Bang on a Can’s long-running Bang on a Can Marathon at MASS MoCA - tripling that programming from one day, to three days.

Over this coming weekend, more than 30 concerts will take place in at MASS MoCA’s vast galleries and throughout its collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues.

Over the past 30 years, Bang on a Can co-founder and artistic director Michael Gordon has produced a diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles to major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio.

James Burton
Boston Symphony Orhestra

This past Tuesday, during the Tanglewood on Parade Gala, the world premiere of James Burton's "The Lost Words" for children's choir and orchestra.

Burton is the BSO's choral director and conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and he also leads the Boston Symphony Children's Choir, which he formed last year. Burton was appointed in February 2017 to succeed John Oliver, who formed the chorus in 1970, retired in 2015 and died last year.

The Next Festival of Emerging Artists is a two-week immersive experience for the modern string player, composer, and choreographer. It provides a comprehensive approach to entrepreneurial career-building, contemporary music performance, and intensive, personalized artistic development.

Founded in 2013 and led by composer, conductor, and bassist Peter Askim, the Next Festival has featured some of the most prominent figures in new music today.

Bringing together an intimate ensemble of 20 string players aged 20-30, the festival begins with a week on the grounds of Music Mountain in Falls Village, Connecticut where the musicians create their own schedules of intense study, beginning with one-on-one lessons and chamber music coaching with Peter Askim in the musicians’ chosen repertoire. A public performance at historic Music Mountain concludes the first week. To tell us all about it, we welcome Peter Askim.

The new musical “The Prom” tells the story of four all-but-washed-up narcissistic Broadway stars, played by Brooks Ashmanskas, Beth Leavel, Christopher Sieber, and Angie Schworer, who are in need of a positive image boost. To fix their personal PR - they travel to Indiana, where Emma, a high school student played by Caitlin Kinnunen, has been banned from attending her prom with her same-sex partner. They make things worse before making them better and everyone learns something along the way.

The big-hearted Broadway hit, running since last autumn, is nominated for seven Tony Awards this season including Best Musical. The show features music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Beguelin and Bob Martin. We are joined two of the show’s Tony nominees. Matthew Sklar and Beth Leavel. This interview was recorded in March.

Composer, Matthew Sklar, is a Tony, Emmy and Drama Desk Award-nominated composer of the Broadway musicals “Elf” and “The Wedding Singer.”

Beth Leavel plays Dee Dee Allen in The Prom - her thirteenth Broadway show. She won a Tony, Drama Desk, OCC, L.A. Drama Critics award winner for her performance as the title role in "The Drowsy Chaperone."

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, we continue to learn about the composer Gioachino Rossini and his influence, hearling his "Petit caprice" is the style of Offenbach as performed and recorded at a Close Encounters with Music concert entitled "A Rossini Extravaganza!"

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, we continue to learn about the composer Gioachino Rossini and his influence - hearing Petite valse 'L'huile de Ricin' as recorded at the Close Encounters with Music concert entitled A Rossini Extravaganza!

Close Encounters with Music Series presents a Prestige Performance: The American Brass Quintet at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA on Saturday April 13 at 6p.m. Visit cewm.org for more information.

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, we continue to learn about the composer Gioachino Rossini and his influence hearing a recording of "Un Petit Train de Plaisir" as performed at Close Encounters With Music's "A Rossini Extravaganza!" concert.

Close Encounters with Music presents a Mid-Winter Fireside Concert entitled “Haydn Seek: Humor in the Works of Papa Haydn” on Saturday, February 23 at 6 p.m. at Saint James Place in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

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