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Interchanging Idioms
Chip Michael
Discussions about Classical Music, Concerts, Festivals, Operas, Recordings, Films and the people who work in the industry.
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The breathtaking "Messiah by Candlelight" returns to the intimate setting of
Montview BoulevardPresbyterian Church

Messiah by Candlelight – the Colorado Symphony's breathtaking production of Handel's Messiah – will return to the intimate setting of Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church this holiday season for three inspirational performances on Tuesday, December 13, Wednesday, December 14 and a sold out performance on Sunday, December 18. Presented for the first time in 2010, the Colorado Symphony's Messiah by Candlelight is one of the most memorable and poignant performances of the holiday season. For 2011, the Colorado Symphony, led by resident conductor Scott O’Neil, is joined by the Colorado Symphony Chorus and celebrated guest soloists including soprano Suzanne Ramo, mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala, tenor Steven Sanders and baritone Robert Gardner. Concertgoers will cherish the opportunity to experience this inspirational choral favorite in a traditional setting that highlights its brilliantly moving lyrical work and rich vocal arrangements. Messiah by Candlelight will undoubtedly bring audiences to their feet once again in 2011! Tickets are on sale now and start at $25.

Please note: The December 18 performance is sold out.

A traditional December event around the world, Handel’s Messiah is synonymous with Christmas music. The most famous oratorio ever written, Messiah was composed in 1741 in less than three weeks. It became Handel’s most beloved masterwork. Written as a meditation on the idea of a Messiah, rather than a narrative drama about the life of Christ, Handel's Messiah represents, for many, a deeply loved annual tradition to share with friends and family. From the thrills of the "Hallelujah Chorus" to the dazzling "But who may abide the day of His coming" and the exquisiteness of the soprano aria "I know that my Redeemer liveth," Messiah is replete with joyful sincerity.

Tickets: General Admission tickets are $25, $51 and $87, and are on sale now at, the Colorado Symphony Box Office: (303) 623-7876 or (877) 292-7979 or in-person in the lobby of Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Hours are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Chorus Rehearsing at Lambert Monday, November 20 to help ease holiday travel stress

Thanksgiving is the busiest, and perhaps most trying travel time of the year. The St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Chorus hopes to alleviate some of that transportation stress through the power of music.

On Monday, November 21, conductor Kevin McBeth and the entire IN UNISON Chorus will take their rehearsal on the road, performing for airline passengers at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The group, comprised of 125 singers from churches across the St. Louis region, will rehearse its upcoming A Gospel Christmas concert at the airport’s new Meet and Greet area, located by the baggage claim carousels.

It’s hoped the rehearsal will help get Lambert travelers in the holiday spirit as they head out for Thanksgiving. The group will begin its rehearsal at 7pm; it’s expected to last about an hour.

Special programs are planned at Powell Hall throughout the month of December and include:

· Thursday, December 8: A Gospel Christmas featuring vocalist Larnelle Harris and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus, conducted by Kevin McBeth.

· December 9-10: Michael W. Smith’s Christmas pairs the contemporary Christian singer with the St. Louis Symphony for two amazing evenings of holiday music.

· December 16-18: The St. Louis Symphony Holiday Celebration is a favorite annual tradition. Come and enjoy fantastic music from the St. Louis Symphony, your favorite carols and even a special surprise or two from Santa. The fun is presented by Macy’s.

· December 29-30: The Movie Music of John Williams will delight movie fans of all ages. Enjoy iconic movie scores performed live by the St. Louis Symphony from favorites such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars

· December 31: New Year’s Eve Celebration: Join Music Director David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony for a magical evening designed to ring in 2012 in style! The concert is presented by M&I Wealth Management.

Tickets for all of the St. Louis Symphony’s holiday concerts may be purchased on-line at or by phone at 314-534-1700.

In addition, the St. Louis Symphony is offering “gift packages” for Mom, Dad and families. These special ticket deals offer some of the season’s most popular concerts at great prices and are perfect for holiday gift-giving. For more information on the ticket gift packages, visit

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On November 22, Trinity Wall Street presents “Odes”, a concert celebrating St. Cecilia’s Day to be given by Tenet, one of New York’s preeminent vocal ensembles (Trinity Church: Broadway at Wall Street). Led by artistic director Jolle Greenleaf, Tenet welcomes violinist and conductor Scott Metcalfe as guest music director for the program. Metcalfe will conduct a stellar ensemble that includes sopranos Jolle Greenleaf and Molly Quinn, countertenors Geoffrey Williams and Ryland Angel, tenors Sumner Thompson and Scott Mello, and basses Jesse Blumberg and Mischa Bouvier. Their program features music by celebrated English composer Henry Purcell, alongside music for Baroque trumpet performed by Kris Kwapis. A preview performance of “Odes” will be given the preceding day, on Monday, November 21, in Trinity Wall Street’s St. Paul’s Chapel (Broadway at Fulton Street).

The program, an invigorating mix of odes, arias, and trumpet-based instrumental works, showcases the range of Henry Purcell’s work, produced in a brilliant career cut short at the age of 36. The earliest recorded musical celebrations of St. Cecilia’s Day took place in London on November 22, 1683, but the tradition may be older still. The English celebrations were established by a band of musicians called the Musical Society, whose revels included a specially commissioned “Ode to St. Cecilia” by Purcell that was performed by the combined choirs of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the Chapel Royal. That ode, “Hail! Bright Cecilia,” will be performed on November 22, as will other of the composer’s Cecilian odes: “Raise, raise the voice” and “Welcome to all the pleasures.”

A prolific composer of odes and welcome songs, Purcell also wrote a variety of music for the London stage, including interludes, incidental pieces, and operas, masques, and semi-operas: works with lavish staging, spoken dialogue, and elaborate musical set-pieces. The “Odes” program at Trinity Wall Street offers selected examples of these, among them the Sonata for trumpet and strings, music from The Fairy-Queen, and the overture from the masque in Timon of Athens. It is songs, however, that form the evening’s centerpiece, sung one voice to a part by Tenet’s distinguished soloists and supported by its seven instrumentalists. Purcell’s first welcome song for King James II, celebrating his return from summer vacation and titled “Why are all the muses mute?”, is notable for its unconventional opening, fine arias, and moving closing chorus.

Trinity Wall Street presents Tenet
Tuesday, November 22 at 7pm
Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street)

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All Nine Symphonies and Eight Overtures, Recorded in the Gewandhaus, Available November 21, 2011

In 1825 the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig performed the first complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies in the history of music under the direction of Johann Philipp Christian Schulz. This momentous occasion began a tradition in Leipzig, one that has been embraced by all succeeding music directors including Riccardo Chailly, the present principal conductor. For the maestro’s first recording of Beethoven’s symphonies Decca will release a comprehensive cycle of all nine symphonies paired with eight overtures – all recorded at the Gewandhaus in stunningly realized performances. The full set will be available November 21, 2011.

Over the last three years Chailly and the orchestra have presented the symphonies and overtures in concert and then set about recording each. To celebrate this monumental occasion, Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra have just completed four critically acclaimed Beethoven cycles in Leipzig, Vienna, Paris and London. Before the performances were even completed in London the critics were already raving: “Rush to get any remaining seats” (The Times, London). And with the cycle complete the praise continues: “Riccardo Chailly's Barbican Beethoven cycle with his storied Leipzig orchestra has been one of the musical pinnacles of the year” (The Guardian).

The partnership between Chailly and the Gewandhaus has revitalized the German orchestra, the oldest in the world, with results that are vividly apparent on the new recordings. Of special note in these recordings is Chailly’s observation of Beethoven’s demanding metronome markings, which dramatically destroys many existing tempo preconceptions. This will certainly be the cycle on modern instruments that gets closest to achieving what Beethoven himself revealed were his desired tempos (fully documented in the hard-back book).

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WQXR, New York’s sole dedicated classical music station, offers an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime experience with a twelve-hour marathon of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas on Sunday, November 20 at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s downtown venue. Hosted by WQXR’s Midge Woolsey and Terrance McKnight, this unique event highlights the station’s Beethoven Awareness Month, and will be streamed live at

Performing the 32 piano sonatas – including such masterpieces as the “Moonlight,” “Appassionata,” and “Hammerklavier” – are some of today’s most promising young Beethoven interpreters, including Inon Barnatan, Alessio Bax, Jonathan Biss, Jeremy Denk, Benjamin Hochman, Valentina Lisitsa, Natasha Paremski, and Joyce Yang, as well as rising stars from the Juilliard School. The milestone marathon will be presented in six two-hour parts. All-day passes are available at, and links for tickets to individual segments are provided below.

No composer has impacted the course of Western music quite like Ludwig van Beethoven. According to eminent musicologist Charles Rosen, the 32 piano sonatas, which Beethoven composed between 1795 and 1822, “form one of the most important collections of works in the whole history of music.”

Graham Parker, Vice President of WQXR, comments: “The opportunity to hear this collection complete in live performance by the most exciting group of young professionals and dazzling students is rare indeed. WQXR is incredibly fortunate to have gathered the newest voices of Beethoven interpretation to contribute to what promises to be an extraordinary marathon.”

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JS 30: Three Decades of John Schaefer

Angelique Kidjo to Emcee Celebration of WNYC’s Pioneering Music Host, with guests including
Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson, We Are Augustines, and Simone Dinnerstein

In 1981, a young radio host from Brooklyn came to WNYC. JOHN SCHAEFER was hired to read newscasts and introduce classical music, but soon found himself hosting a new music show that quickly became the on-air hub of the fertile downtown music scene.

Thirty years later, Schaefer is a singular force at WNYC – a host who retains his street cred, but can often be found emceeing broadcasts from the New York Phil or Carnegie Hall. NEW SOUNDS continues to champion new music, international voices, and obscure artists; the highly-regarded NEW SOUNDS LIVE concert series presents commissioned works and unexpected pairings of artists; and SOUNDCHECK is the city’s only multi-genre, multiplatform source for smart conversation and live music. The only thing that hasn’t changed? Schaefer’s penchant for T-shirts and jeans… and his boundless curiosity about music.

Thoughout December, WNYC will celebrate Schaefer’s inimitable contributions to the musical life of New York City . The festivities kick off on Friday, December 2 at 8pm, when WNYC presents “JS 30: THREE DECADES OF JOHN SCHAEFER,” an evening of live music and heartfelt memories in its downtown, street-level studio, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. The event will be followed by an after-party with Schaefer and invited musical guests.

The celebration will also include a dedicated webstream of Schaefer programming, a photo timeline, and an opportunity for listeners to share their favorite “Schaefer moments,” to launch shortly.

“John Schaefer has done more to promote and draw attention to new and interesting music in NYC than anyone else I can think of,” said MOBY, multiplatinum-selling artist and DJ. “I think of him as the John Peel of New York radio.”

Friday, December 2 at 8pm – Tickets for Event with After-Party on Sale Now
Live Video Webcast available at

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New offerings include Valentine Romance, Gershwin
and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble

The Colorado Symphony announces several new additions to the 2011/12 concert season, as well as the addition of extra performances and new dates for several of its most popular concerts. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to fill open dates in the Spring with new concerts and added performances,” states Interim CEO Jim Copenhaver. “These concerts create revenue-generating opportunities for us.”

Leading the series of concert announcements is Valentine Classics, an evening of the romantic era's most passionate and dreamy works on Saturday, February 11 – just in time for Valentine's Day.

Music and dance lovers will also be thrilled to learn new concert dates for "Cleo Parker Robinson Dances Romeo and Juliet:” Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. “We are very pleased to be able to continue this long-time partnership with one of Denver’s finest arts entities,” states Copenhaver.

An extra concert date has also been added to the performance of Beethoven's "Eroica." In addition to the scheduled Sunday matinee performance on March 25, concertgoers can also attend this magnificent concert on Saturday, March 24.

The music of George and Ira Gershwin will take center stage in a new, one-night-only special titled "Here to Stay: The Gershwin Concert Experience" on Friday, May 4. Starring Kevin Cole, the leading Gershwin interpreter, and Grammy® Award-winning soprano Sylvia McNair, this concert offers an unprecedented insider view of the music of the legendary duo, while sharing rare audio and video footage of the Gershwins.

The popular Inside the Score Series also returns “Shuffle” back to its schedule, a program engineered by resident conductor Scott O’Neil, which connects vast musical styles, from Bach to Bjork, from Seal to Stravinsky.

Ticket-holders for rescheduled concerts can contact our box office at (303) 623-7876 or Complete details are being mailed to subscribers and ticketholders affected by these changes.

Tickets for these newly-added events will go on sale to the general public December 2 at the Colorado Symphony Box Office. To learn more, visit

Colorado Symphony 2011/12 Season Additions and Updates:

NEW! Valentine Classics – Masterworks Series
Saturday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Scott O’Neil, resident conductor
Just in time for the most passionate day of the year, the Colorado Symphony presents a Valentine's-inspired evening of romantic classics. Prepare to be swept away by the romance, power and ardor that only a symphony orchestra can deliver.

NEW DATE ADDED! Beethoven's Eroica – Masterworks Series
Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. (new) and Sunday, March 25 at 2:30 p.m.

Scott O'Neil, resident conductor
HAYDN: Symphony No. 22 in E-flat major, “The Philosopher”
KODALY: Dances of Galánta
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (Op. 55), "Eroica"

NEW DATES! Cleo Parker Robinson Dances Romeo and Juliet – Masterworks Series (event replaces originally scheduled Litton on Piano & Pulcinella concert on 3/31)
Friday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Andrew Litton, conductor
MOZART: Ballet Music from Idomeneo
SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major
PROKOFIEV: Selections from Romeo and Juliet

NEW DATE! SHUFFLE – Inside the Score Series (event replaces originally scheduled Who Killed Tchaikovsky concert)
Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Scott O'Neil, resident conductor

NEW! "Here to Stay: The Gershwin Concert Experience"
Friday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m.

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Experience the one-and-only R&B, jazz, rock and gospel reworking of
Handel’s Messiah with the Colorado Symphony!

Colorado Symphony conductor laureate Marin Alsop returns to Colorado for a 14th straight year to conduct the one-and-only Too Hot to Handel – the incomparable reinterpretation of Handel’s Messiah – in two spectacular performances on Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 at Boettcher Concert Hall. Called “the jazziest, most soulful reinterpretation of Handel's Messiah you'll ever hear” by the New York Post, Too Hot to Handel features the Colorado Symphony and Chorus, joined by acclaimed soloists including soprano Cynthia Renée Saffron, mezzo-soprano Vaneese Thomas and tenor Lawrence Clayton. Heralded as "a crossover project that really works" by the St. Petersburg Times and "Handel with flair" by BBC Magazine, Too Hot to Handel takes the timeless brilliance of Handel’s classic oratorio and infuses it with a blend of jazz, gospel, rock and R&B.

For 13 consecutive seasons, Denver concertgoers have smiled, cheered, and danced in the aisles to this fabulous reworking of Handel’s Messiah – a rare musical sensation that crosses traditional boundaries while retaining its heartfelt sense of inspiration and hope. On Too Hot to Handel, the New York Times wrote, "Listeners hooted, whistled and shouted their approval after every number. The 'Hallelujah Chorus' was so ecstatically received, it was repeated as an encore." In its enthusiastic review, The Chicago Tribune wrote, "Ingeniously re-imagined to embrace black musical tradition, the aptly named Too Hot to Handel proved that even the most revered classical masterpieces can be taught to swing."

This year, come and experience what people are raving about: the exhilaration of Too Hot to Handel with the Colorado Symphony and Chorus! Tickets are on sale now and start at $25.00.

Marin Alsop, conductor laureate
Colorado Symphony Chorus with members of community choruses and Manual and Montbello High Schools
Mary Louise Burke, associate director
Cynthia Renée Saffron, soprano
Vaneese Thomas, mezzo-soprano
Lawrence Clayton, tenor
Dana Landry, organ
Clifford Carter, piano
Clint de Ganon, drums

Friday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now and start at $25.00.

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“Up until recently, I’d always found op.130 (and its last movement op.133) the hardest Beethoven quartet to understand. It’s the first, 3rd, 4th and last movements (the Grosse Fugue) that were particularly enigmatic to me. I didn’t understand the connections between movements, the tonality relationships, what the characters are, and the meaning of this 15 minute relentless fugue that ends it. The fugue seemed an intellectual tour de force to me, but without the incredible depth of emotion there is in all of Beethoven’s other music. However I was convinced that this must be from my own lack of understanding rather than Beethoven’s fault! We’ve just had a week of rehearsals to really get to grips with it, so this was the perfect opportunity for me to immerse myself in the op.130 world and find my way into it….”

Such honesty comes from Elias String Quartet cellist, Sara Bitlloch, doing exactly what The Beethoven Project website and blog was set up to do – share thoughts, ideas, doubts - and, ultimately, breakthroughs - with the world at large. With support from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, this dedicated website was launched earlier this year to track the Quartet’s discovery of all Beethoven’s string quartets as they rehearse and perform them in preparation for the complete cycle performances throughout the UK beginning in Autumn 2012. As well as their own thoughts and experiences, there is a growing portfolio of audio, film and comment from Peter Cropper (Lindsay Quartet), David Waterman (Endellion String Quartet), Hugh Maguire and Svend Brown (East Neuk Festival director).

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Press Conference, Thursday, November 17, at 1:15 p.m EST

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