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Clarke Bustard
The Virginia Classical Music Blog
1287 Entries

I’ll be sitting in for Jack Archie on Upbeat, his Sunday night classical show on WDCE-FM at the University of Richmond. American music in the first hour, French music in the second.

Jan. 31
7-9 p.m. EST
2400-0200 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Bernstein: “Candide” Overture
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/David Zinman (London)

Adams: “Grand Pianola Music”
John Alley & Shelagh Sutherland, pianos
London Sinfonietta/John Adams (Nonesuch)

Bryce Dessner: “Murder Ballades”
eighth blackbird (Cedille)

Blind Willie Johnson: “Dark Was the Night,
Cold Was the Ground”
(arranged by Stephen Prutsman)
Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch)

Berlioz: “Lélio” –
“Fantasia on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ ”
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/
Michael Tilson Thomas (SFS Media)

Saint-Saëns: Symphony
No. 3 in C minor (“Organ”)
Daniel Roth, organ
Orchestre les Siècles/François-Xaver Roth
(Actes Sud)

Ravel: “La Valse”
London Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Monteux (Philips)
3 months ago | |
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Symphony Musicians of Richmond, members of the Richmond Symphony and Local 123, American Federation of Musicians, will present their annual “Music Unites” concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at St. Michael Catholic Church, 4491 Springfield Road.

Victor Yampolsky, director of orchestras at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and guest conductor of the Richmond Symphony’s Feb. 5-6 Casual Fridays and Masterworks programs, will conduct the Music Unites concert.

The program includes Brahms’ “Academic Festival” Overture, Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, “Nimrod” from Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” and the “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, in which the audience is invited to sing along (in German).

A reception follows the program.

Donations will benefit United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg.

For more information, call (804) 527-1037.
3 months ago | |
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My review for the Richmond Times-Dispatch of eighth blackbird, performing in the musical-theatrical production “Hand Eye,” staged on Jan. 27 at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Arts Center:

3 months ago | |
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Jaap van Zweden, the 55-year-old Dutch conductor currently leading the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic, has been named the next music director of the New York Philharmonic, succeeding Alan Gilbert.

Appointed concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at the age of 19, turning to conducting in his mid-30s, Zweden will serve as music director-designate of the New York Philharmonic in the 2017-18 season, taking over the position full-time in 2018-19 after being released from his Dallas Symphony contract. His initial contract in New York runs through 2023.

He will lead the philharmonic through several years of itinerant concertizing while its home venue, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, is closed for renovations.

Credited with energizing and improving the performing standards of the Dallas Symphony, Zweden also was criticized for what The Dallas Morning News characterized as an “abrasive” relationship with the orchestra’s musicians, The New York Times’ Michael Cooper reports:


The Times’ Anthony Tommasini, one of the most vocal advocates of recruiting the Finnish composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen as the New York Philharmonic’s music director, rates Zweden as “too predictable a choice — a solid, disciplined, middle-aged European maestro — to follow Mr. Gilbert, a youthful native New Yorker who has brought the orchestra vision and innovation.”

3 months ago | |
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Jan. 28
10 a.m.-1 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Ravel: “Alborada del gracioso”
London Symphony Orchestra/
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
(IMP Classics)

Symphonic Variations
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop (Naxos)

Rimsky-Korsakov: “Fantasia on Russian Themes”
Lydia Mordkovitch, violin
Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Järvi (Chandos)

Past Masters:
J.S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538 (“Dorian”)
Michel Chapuis, organ (United Archives)
(recorded 1967)

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491
Alfred Brendel, piano
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/
Charles Mackerras

Vaughan Williams:
“The Lark Ascending”
Hilary Hahn, violin
London Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis (Deutsche Grammophon)

Webern: Passacaglia
Cleveland Orchestra/Christoph von Dohnányi (London)

Brahms: Sextet No. 2
in G major, Op. 36
Isabelle Faust & Christian Tetzlaff, violins
Stefan Fehlandt &
Hanna Weinmesiter, violas
Gustav Rivinius &
Julian Steckel, cellos

Dan Visconti: “Black Bend”
Scharoun Ensemble Berlin (Bridge)
4 months ago | |
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Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Finnish composer-conductor and former Los Angeles Philharmonic maestro touted as a likely successor to Alan Gilbert as the next music director of the New York Philharmonic – Salonen is currently the orchestra’s composer-in-residence – tells The New York Times’ Michael Cooper that “a new conducting position would not be logistically possible with the demands of my composing schedule.”


Meanwhile, Norman Lebrecht, on his Slipped Disc blog, directs readers to an interview with Manfred Honeck, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and another presumed New York Phil front-runner, in which Honeck tells Finnish journalist Vesa Siren that “I feel an obligation to stay in Pittsburgh” and that “I think Esa-Pekka would be the right person” for New York:

4 months ago | |
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The Castleton Festival, organized in 2009 by the late conductor Lorin Maazel and his wife, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, at their estate in Rappahannock County, VA, has canceled its 2016 season to reorganize and raise funds.

Mrs. Maazel, who took over direction of the summer festival after her husband’s death in 2014, said the festival’s “huge” 2015 season depleted its resources. A hiatus this year will enable Castleton “to build a solid financial foundation . . . for continued growth in future years,” she tells The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette:


A statement issued on the festival website:

4 months ago | |
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The Richmond Symphony’s “Video Games Live” concert, scheduled for Jan. 23, has been postponed in anticipation of the weekend’s snowstorm.

The rescheduled concert will begin at 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Altria Theater, Main and Laurel streets. Tickets issued for the original date will be honored on the new date.

More information: www.richmondsymphony.com
4 months ago | |
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In the final hour, remembering Pierre Boulez, who died earlier this month. We’ll hear Boulez’s work as an authoritative conductor of modern music, with the three US orchestras with which he was most closely associated – the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and New York Philharmonic – along with a brief sample of his elusive yet vivid compositional style.

Jan. 21
10 a.m.-1 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Wagner: “Die Meistersinger” – Prelude Act 1
MET Orchestra/James Levine
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Albéniz: Piano Concerto
in A minor
(“Concierto fantastico”)
(orchestration by
Tomás Bréton)
Aldo Ciccolini, piano
Royal Philharmonic/
Enrique Bátiz (EMI Classics)

Past Masters:
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor
Janos Starker, cello
London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Doráti (Mercury)
(recorded 1964)

Johan Helmich Roman: Concerto in D major
Anthony Robson,
oboe d’amore
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/
Anthony Halstead (Musica Sveciae)

Beethoven: Quartet in
E flat major, Op. 74 (“Harp”)
Artemis Quartet
(Virgin Classics)

Chopin: Barcarolle in F sharp minor, Op. 60
Ivan Moravec, piano (Supraphon)

Stravinsky: “Scherzo fantastique”
Cleveland Orchestra/
Pierre Boulez
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Boulez: “Livre pour Quatuor” IIIc (1962)
Quatour Parisii
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Bartók: Divertimento
for string orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Boulez (Deutsche Grammophon)

Ravel: “La Valse”
New York Philharmonic/Pierre Boulez
(Sony Classical)
4 months ago | |
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Kirill Petrenko, general music director of the Bavarian State Opera and incoming chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, recently was asked about performing the music of living composers. As recounted by Miroslav Srnka, whose opera “South Pole” will be conducted by Petrenko later this month, the maestro’s reply:

“If the composer is dead you’d like to ask him questions, but you can’t. If the composer is alive you can ask him questions, but sometimes you’d prefer he would be already dead.”

(via http://slippedisc.com)
4 months ago | |
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