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Clarke Bustard
The Virginia Classical Music Blog
1303 Entries

My review for the Richmond Times-Dispatch of the Richmond Symphony and its principal oboist, Gustav Highstein, playing works by Richard Strauss, Beethoven and Stravinsky in a Metro Collections program at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland:

http://www.richmond.com/entertainment/music/article_97c38b5d-9fda-565d-915b-221003ba80c4.html
4 months ago | |
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Virginia Opera and the Virginia Symphony owe about $380,000 to the City of Norfolk for rental of the Harrison Opera House and Chrysler Hall, with some unpaid fees dating back six years. Officials of the arts groups blame financial and organizational stress from the recession years, Tim Eberly reports in The Virginian-Pilot:

http://pilotonline.com/news/government/local/virginia-opera-virginia-symphony-orchestra-deep-in-debt-to-norfolk/article_de4c1639-ea09-5963-9716-ec72a77328cd.html
4 months ago | |
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My review for the Richmond Times-Dispatch of members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, playing Dohnányi’s Serenade for string trio and piano quartets by Beethoven and Dvorák at Virginia Commonwealth University:

http://www.richmond.com/entertainment/music/article_5b627c1e-fb62-5c2b-b349-a93980491df4.html
4 months ago | |
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Roy Proctor’s review for the Richmond Times-Dispatch of the Virginia Opera production of Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet” at the Carpenter Theatre of Dominion Arts Center:

http://www.richmond.com/entertainment/music/article_c96c4602-f97f-54b1-9edd-63b4448d0172.html
4 months ago | |
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One of my favorite jokes about the economic travails of musicians . . . 

Q: What’s the first thing a trombonist says at work? 

A: You want fries with that?

. . . may have to be retired, thanks to Joseph Bastian, bass trombonist of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich. When Robin Ticciati, the guest conductor scheduled to lead this week’s concerts, called in sick, Bastian was tapped to conduct a program of Brahms, Berg and Elgar.

(via http://slippedisc.com)
4 months ago | |
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An opening-night program featuring violinist Itzhak Perlman, the return of former music director Jacques Houtmann and a complete performance of Berlioz’s “Romeo and Juliet” highlight the 2016-17 season of the Richmond Symphony.

Perlman, who celebrated his 70th birthday last summer, will play Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor in the season-opener, Sept. 25 at the Carpenter Theatre of Dominion Arts Center (formerly Richmond CenterStage).

Other concerts in the Masterworks mainstage classical series will feature pianists Anton Nel playing Schumann’s Concerto in A minor and Rémi Geniet playing Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 in F minor, guitarist Jason Vieaux playing Dan Visconti’s “Living Language” (a work co-commissioned by the Richmond Symphony), cellist Gary Hoffman playing Elgar’s Concerto in E minor and violinist Jinjoo Cho playing Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in
D major.

Major orchestral repertory on Masterworks programs next season include Dvorák’s Seventh, Beethoven’s Eighth, Brahms’ First, Schubert’s “Unfinished” and Franck’s D minor symphonies; Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” and Richard Strauss’ “Don Juan.”

The Richmond Symphony Chorus, directed by Erin R. Freeman, will perform in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Dona nobis pacem,” Bruckner’s setting of Psalm 150 and the Berlioz in Masterworks programs, as well as Christmas-season performances of the “Let It Snow!” holiday pops program and Handel’s “Messiah.” Erin R. Freeman, the chorus’ director, will conduct “Messiah.”

Two symphony principals will perform as soloists in Metro Collection concerts at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland: Concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto in Astor Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” for violin and orchestra, and principal timpanist Jim Jacobson in Johann Carl Christian Fischer’s Symphony in C major with eight obbligato timpani.

Metro Collection repertory also includes Beethoven’s Fourth, Schubert’s Fifth and Mozart’s “Jupiter” symphonies, Stravinsky’s “Danses concertantes,” Copland’s “Three Latin-American Sketches” and a suite from Purcell’s “The Gordian Knot Untied.”

Contemporary works on symphony programs next season, in addition to the Visconti, include Libby Larsen’s “Collage: Boogie,” Joan Tower’s “Chamber Dance,” Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Raíces” (“Roots”), Bruce Adolphe’s “Temporary Sue: a Cretaceous Concerto,” and “An American Port of Call” by Virginia-based Adolphus Hailstork. 

The symphony’s two casual-concerts series will return: Casual Fridays, presenting four talks on and performances of featured works in Masterworks programs, three with music director Steven Smith, one with Houtmann, at the Carpenter Theatre; and Rush Hour at Hardywood, presenting condensed versions of Metro Collection programs, staged at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.

The Symphony Pops series features tributes to singers Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand and film composer John Williams, as well as “Let It Snow!”

LolliPops family programs include “Magic at the Symphony,” “Princesses and Pirates – The Music of Disney,” “A Child’s Guide to the Orchestra, with Really Inventive Stuff” and the animated film “The Snowman.”

Chia-Hsuan Lin, the orchestra’s new associate conductor, will lead most Symphony Pops and LolliPops programs, as well as the spring concerts concluding next season’s Metro Collection and Rush Hour at Hardywood series. 

In addition to subscription packages for Masterworks, Casual Fridays, Metro Collection, Symphony Pops and LolliPops series, the symphony also is offering Soundwave, a $25 subscription for students, covering all Masterworks and Casual Fridays concerts.

For a season brochure or more information, call the symphony box office at (804) 788-1212 or visit www.richmondsymphony.com

The Richmond Symphony’s 2016-17 programs, with adult subscription and single-ticket prices:


MASTERWORKS
at Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Arts Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Saturday subscription: $180-$562
Sunday subscription: $86-$270
Compose-your-own subscription: $23-$54 per ticket
Single tickets: $10-$80

Sept. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Steven Smith conducting
Richard Strauss: “Don Juan”
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story”
Enescu: “Romanian Rhapsody” No. 1

Oct. 22 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 23 (3 p.m.)
Steven Smith conducting
Libby Larsen: “Collage: Boogie”
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor
Anton Nel, piano
Dvorák: Symphony No. 7 in D minor

Nov. 12 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 13 (3 p.m.)
Steven Smith conducting
Berlioz: “Romeo and Juliet”
Kathryn Leemhuis, mezzo-soprano
Vale Rideout, tenor
Darren K. Stokes, bass-baritone
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing

Jan. 14 (8 p.m.)
Jacques Houtmann conducting
Wagner: “Tannhäuser” Overture
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor
Rémi Geniet, piano
Franck: Symphony in D minor

Feb. 4 (8 p.m.)
Feb. 5 (3 p.m.)
Steven Smith conducting
Rossini: “Semiramide” Overture
Dan Visconti: “Living Language”
Jason Vieaux, guitar
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F major

March 4 (8 p.m.)
Steven Smith conducting
Adolphus Hailstork: “An American Port of Call”
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major
Jinjoo Cho, violin
Stravinsky: “Petrushka”

April 8 (8 p.m.)
April 9 (3 p.m.)
Steven Smith conducting
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in B minor (“Unfinished”)
Bruckner: Psalm 150
Vaughan Williams: “Dona nobis pacem”
Michelle Areyzaga, soprano
Kevin Deas, bass-baritone
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing

May 13 (8 p.m.)
Steven Smith conducting
John Knowles Paine: “Oedipus Tyrannus” Overture
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor
Gary Hoffman, cello
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor


METRO COLLECTION 
3 p.m., Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, 205 Henry St., Ashland
Subscription: $70
Single tickets: $22

Oct. 16
Steven Smith conducting
Copland: “Three Latin-American Sketches”
Astor Piazzolla: “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”
Daisuke Yamamoto, violin
Silvestre Revueltas: “Alcancías”
Gabriela Lena Frank: “Raíces” (“Roots”)

Jan. 22
Steven Smith conducting
Gluck: “Orfeo ed Eurydice” Overture
Joan Tower: “Chamber Dance”
Purcell: “The Gordian Knot Untied” Suite No. 1
Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major

Feb. 19
Steven Smith conducting
Bruce Adolphe: “Temporary Sue: a Cretaceous Concerto”
Johann Carl Christian Fischer: “Symphony with Eight Obbligato Timpani”
Jim Jacobson, timpani
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B flat major

April 30
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
Handel: “Solomon” – “Entrance of the Queen of Sheba”
Stravinsky: “Danses concertantes”
Beethoven: “The Creatures of Prometheus” Overture
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 (“Jupiter”)


CASUAL FRIDAYS
6:30 p.m., Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Arts Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Subscription: $90-$180
Single tickets: $10-$50

Sept. 30
Steven Smith conducting & speaking
Richard Strauss: “Don Juan”
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story”

Jan. 13
Jacques Houtmann conducting & speaking
Franck: Symphony in D minor

March 3
Steven Smith conducting & speaking
Stravinsky: “Petrushka”

May 12
Steven Smith conducting & speaking
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor


RUSH HOUR AT HARDYWOOD
6:30 p.m., Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Overbrook Road at Ownby Lane
Single tickets: $15

Oct. 13
Steven Smith conducting
Daisuke Yamamoto, violin
music by Copland, Piazzolla, Revueltas, Frank

Jan. 19
Steven Smith conducting
music by Gluck, Tower, Purcell, Schubert

Feb. 16
Steven Smith conducting
Jim Jacobson, timpani
music by Adolphe, Fischer, Beethoven

April 27
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
music by Handel, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mozart


SYMPHONY POPS
at Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Arts Center, Sixth and Grace streets (unless listed otherwise)
Subscription: $86-$270
Single tickets: $10-$80

Oct. 29 (8 p.m., Altria Theater, Main and Laurel streets)
conductor TBA
Rashidra Scott, vocalist
“Windborne’s Music of Whitney Houston”

Dec. 3 (8 p.m.)
Dec. 4 (3 p.m.)
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing
“Let It Snow!” holiday program

Jan. 21 (8 p.m.)
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
“The Genius of John Williams”

March 11 (8 p.m.)
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
Ann Hampton Calloway, vocalist
“The Streisand Songbook”


LOLLIPOPS
11 a.m., Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Arts Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Subscription: $42 (adult), $34 (child)
Single tickets: $17 (adult), $12 (child)

Oct. 1
Steven Smith conducting
Lyn Dillies, magician
“Magic at the Symphony”

Nov. 26
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
“The Snowman,” animated film with orchestral accompaniment

Jan. 28
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
“Princesses and Pirates – The Music of Disney”

March 25
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
Sara Valentine, actor
“A Child’s Guide to the Orchestra, with Really Inventive Stuff”


SPECIAL CONCERT
Single tickets: $20-$50

Dec. 3 (7:30 p.m., Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Arts Center, Sixth and Grace streets)
Erin R. Freeman conducting
Handel: “Messiah”
soloists TBA
Richmond Symphony Chorus
4 months ago | |
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eighth blackbird, the new-music sextet in residence at the University of Richmond, has won its fourth Grammy Award for “Filament,” a collection of works by Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly and Son Lux.

The disc, on the Cedille label, won in the Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category.

Other major classical 2016 Grammy awards:

* Orchestral Performance: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 (“Under Stalin’s Shadow”) – Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons (Deutsche Grammophon).

* Opera Recording: Ravel: “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges;” “Schéhérazade” – Saito Kinen Orchrstra, et al./Seiji Ozawa (Decca).

* Choral Performance: Rachmaninoff: “All Night Vigil” – Kansas City Chorale, et al./Charles Bruffy (Chandos).

* Classical Instrumental Solo: Dutilleux: Violin Concerto (“L’Arbre des Songes”) – Augustin Hadelich, violin; Seattle Symphony/Ludovic Morlot (Seattle Symphony Media).

* Classical Solo Vocal Album: “Joyce and Tony – Live from Wigmore Hall” – Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano; Antonio Pappano, piano (Warner Classics).

* Contemporary Classical Composition: Stephen Paulus: “Prayers and Remembrances” – True Concord Voices & Orchestra/Eric Holtan (Reference Recordings).
4 months ago | |
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Feb. 18
10 a.m.-1 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Michael Torke: “Ash”
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/
David Zinman (Argo)

J.S. Bach:
“English Suite” No. 3
in G minor, BWV 808
Angela Hewitt, piano (Hyperion)

Dag Wirén: Serenade
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/
Neville Marriner
(Argo)

Past Masters:
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor
Stephen Kovacevich, piano
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis
(Newton Classics)
(recorded 1970)

Chausson: “Poéme de l’amour et de la mer”
Jessye Norman, soprano
Monte Carlo Philharmonic/
Armin Jordan (Erato)

Jan Dismas Zelenka:
“Hipocondrie”
Collegium 1704/
Václav Luks (Supraphon)

Vaughan Williams: “Job, a Masque for Dancing”
London Philharmonic/Vernon Handley
(EMI Eminence)
4 months ago | |
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That sentence, from Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” topped the list of most romantic lines in literature, film and television in a poll of 2,000 women by Britain’s Drama Channel, The Telegraph reports:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/12147299/most-romantic-quotes-film-tv-books.html

Songwriters, take note.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

(via http://www.artsjournal.com)
4 months ago | |
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The Richmond Symphony’s first venture into the city’s neighborhoods under its “Big Tent” – a portable concert stage that the orchestra acquired last year – will be the RVA East End Festival: the Gift of Music, May 6-8 in Chimborazo Park.

The orchestra will be joined by the No BS! Brass Band, singer Desirée Roots, musicians from the symphony’s Youth Orchestra Program and Richmond Public Schools, and other local artists in the free event. 

Bon Secours Richmond Health System, which operates Richmond Community Hospital in the East End, has joined festival partners as a sponsor toward a pledged goal of $100,000 to provide musical instruments and related materials to students at eight city schools in the neighborhood.

Other sponsors include the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, City of Richmond, Richard and Caroline T. Gwathmey Memorial Trust and Stone Brewery.

The festival will be the first of an ongoing series of outdoor events using the portable stage, purchased so the symphony could perform and anchor other performances outside its downtown home venue, the Carpenter Theatre of Dominion Arts Center (formerly Richmond CenterStage), and other concert halls.

The stage was first used last fall in the opening ceremony of the UCI Road World Championships.

“This new festival in the East End is exactly the type of outcome we envisioned with the Richmond Symphony’s acquisition of their new ‘Big Tent,’ ” Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones said in a statement announcing the festival. “Expanding the symphony’s footprint into neighborhoods like the East End is only the beginning of the wonderful partnerships and community engagement that this mobility will continue to inspire.”

David Fisk, the symphony‘s executive director, said the portable stage is “an opportunity to foster community pride, and showcase what the Richmond area, and its people, have to offer by using music’s power to unite and entertain.”

The RVA East End Festival will open on May 6 with a concert by the symphony, No BS! Brass Band and Roots. On May 7, students from the schools and Youth Orchestra Program will give a variety of performances. On May 8, the festival will conclude with performances by church choirs and spoken-word and gospel artists.

A “Kids Zone” will offer arts and crafts activities, a community mural project and other hands-on features. Food, beverage and other vendors will be on the festival site, as well as other businesses and non-profit groups.

Artists, businesses and community groups wishing to participate in the festival can file an interest form and obtain more information by visiting the festival’s website, http://www.rvaeastendfest.com
4 months ago | |
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