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Violinist Leonidas Kavakos talks about his approach to spontaneity and how it relates to the concept of concert preparation today.

The performance footage of Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24, "Spring," with pianist Enrico Pace was taken on March 3, 2014, at Carnegie Hall as part of the  Vienna: City of Dreams festival.


“Sometimes it can just happen in the moment ... When that arrives in a concert today, I feel it's magic.” —Leonidas Kavakos
 

 


Part 1: Leonidas Kavakos on programming Beethoven's Violin Sonatas.
Part 2: Leonidas Kavakos on Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata.
Part 3: Leonidas Kavakos on Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 7


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Violinist Leonidas Kavakos discusses the endless amount of information in great scores and the responsibility he feels toward them.

The performance footage of Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 7 in C Minor with pianist Enrico Pace was taken on March 2, 2014, at Carnegie Hall as part of the  Vienna: City of Dreams festival.


“The scores just project information all the time. For no matter how many years one can look at them, they still bring something new.” —Leonidas Kavakos
 

 


Part 1: Leonidas Kavakos on programming Beethoven's Violin Sonatas.
Part 2: Leonidas Kavakos on Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata.


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Carnegie Hall joins so many others around the world in celebrating the remarkable life of Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away earlier this week.

Two weeks after her historic appearance reading her poetry at President Clinton’s inauguration, Dr. Angelou made her Carnegie Hall debut on February 2, 1993, joining co-host Harry Belafonte, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and several other great artists to mark the 75th birthday of another legendary woman: Ella Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, who communicated such great joy through her singing, was too frail to make the trip to Carnegie Hall from her home in California, but she no doubt would have agreed with Dr. Angelou’s words from her 2009 book of essays, Letter to My Daughter: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

At her concert on March 22, 2000, soprano Jessye Norman gave the world premiere of Judith Weir’s woman.life.song, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and featuring texts by Dr. Angelou, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, and Toni Morrison. Although the first half of that performance was to have featured songs by Ravel and Schoenberg, during rehearsals Ms. Norman realized that woman.life.song should be the main focus of the concert, so she instead asked Dr. Angelou and the others to read from their commissioned texts for Weir’s work.

Maya Angelou Panel Discussion

Dr. Angelou returned in March 2009 to take part in a panel discussion in Zankel Hall, exploring the history of African American performing arts and its role in social and political change, part of HONOR! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy, a citywide festival curated by Ms. Norman.

At her fourth and final Carnegie Hall appearance in November 2009, Dr. Angelou was honored by Glamour for her great lifetime achievements as a writer, artist, educator, and activist as one of the magazine's 11 Women of the Year. An extraordinary person, she will always hold a special place in Carnegie Hall’s history.

Listen to an excerpt from the March 2009 panel discussion, part of Carnegie Hall’s HONOR! festival:

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Joyce DiDonato delivered an inspirational commencement speech at The Juilliard School on Friday, May 23, imparting the "hard-earned truths" that she has come to know along her journey as an artist. Whether you are a professional musician, a student, or someone who merely appreciates the arts, you will not regret devoting a few moments of your time to Joyce's words of wisdom. You can watch a video of the full speech below, or view a transcript on her website.


There are a few ... hard-earned truths—as I have come to know them—that have arisen on my personal odyssey as a singer, and at first glance, they may seem like harbingers of bad news, but I invite you to shift your thinking just a bit (or perhaps even radically). You guys are artists, so thankfully you’re already brilliant at thinking outside the conventional box! I offer these four little observations as tools to perhaps help you as you go forward, enabling you to empower yourselves from the very core of your being, so that when the challenges of this artistic life catapult and hurl themselves directly and unapologetically into your heart and soul—which they will do, repeatedly—you will have some devices at your disposal to return to, to help you find your center again, so that your voice, your art, and your soul will not be derailed, but you will instead find the strength to make yourself heard, and seen, and felt. Then you will have the power to transform yourselves, to transform others, and, indeed, to transform the world.

My first observation:

You will never make it. That’s the bad news, but the “shift” I invite you to make is to see it as fabulous, outstanding news, for I don’t believe there is actually an “it.” “It” doesn’t exist for an artist. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, right here, right now, in this single, solitary, monumental moment in your life—is to decide, without apology, to commit to the journey, and not to the outcome. The outcome will almost always fall short of your expectations, and if you’re chasing that elusive, often deceptive goal, you’re likely in for a very tough road, for there will always be that one note that could have soared more freely, the one line reading that could have been just that much more truthful, that third arabesque which could have been slightly more extended, that one adagio which could have been just a touch more magical. There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover. As an artist, you will never arrive at a fixed destination. This is the glory and the reward of striving to master your craft and embarking on the path of curiosity and imagination, while being tireless in your pursuit of something greater than yourself ...

Read the full speech.


Joyce appears at Carnegie Hall next season as part of her Perspectives residency, in which she presents her wide range of interests and talents, all supported by the impeccable artistry, vibrant personality, and idealism that has made her an audience favorite. She explores some of her favorite repertoire through four concert appearances and is giving three master classes for opera singers on February 21–23, 2015.

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Conducting from memory, Yannick Nézet-Séguin led The Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of Bruckner's unfinished Ninth Symphony on May 2, 2014. "In the driving scherzo, with its pounding chords and gnashing dissonance, played at a quicker tempo than you usually hear, Mr. Nézet-Séguin emphasized the wild, brutal elements of this vehement music," raved The New York Times.

Listen to an excerpt of the second movement (scherzo) from Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 that was captured live in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage.



 

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Beethoven composed ten violin sonatas, the first nine during the “heroic” period of his career. In his works between 1797 and 1803, he mounted a revolution in musical language, breaking free from the accessible, decorous conventions of the 18th century.

Watch Leonidas Kavakos talk about the musical exchange between the violin and piano in Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata. The performance footage was taken on March 4, 2014 and was part of Carnegie Hall's Vienna: City of Dreams festival.



Related: Leonidas Kavakos shares his thoughts about programming Beethoven's Violin Sonatas.

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Watch professional songwriter Deidre Struck's Google+ Hangout, in which she answers questions submitted by participants in our Songwriting Exchange.


If you submitted a question for Deidre or participated in last month's Google+ Hangout with Mike Viola, you are only a few steps away from a chance at getting your song professionally produced and recorded at the end of August 2014, and performed live at a New York City music venue. This opportunity is open to all participating songwriters ages 13–25 on Carnegie Hall's Musical Exchange who write original songs. The full list of required criteria to become eligible can be found here. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

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For the past 10 years, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute has partnered with symphony orchestras across the nation—and more recently, the world—to share the Link Up program. Link Up is a music education program created for students in grades 3–5, through which they develop basic musicianship skills through singing and playing recorder. The yearlong program culminates in an engaging, interactive concert during which students perform from their seats with their hometown orchestra. This year, 59 partner orchestras from across the US and in Canada, Japan, and Spain presented Link Up in their communities. Four of these partners are celebrating their 10th seasons in the program. Below, they share some of their thoughts and favorite memories from a decade of Link Up.


Carnegie Hall West Virginia  

Carnegie Hall—Lewisburg, West Virginia

“I think both the curriculum and concerts provide a fabulous experience, both for the college orchestra (the James Madison University Symphony) and for our fourth-grade students. We live in a very rural area of West Virginia, and most of our young students have never seen a live orchestra before, much less played along with one!”
—Leah Trent, Education Director

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  

St. Louis Symphony

“The fact that teachers come back to the program year after year is testament to how much they and their students enjoy and value the program.”
—Audra Fuhr, Early Childhood Education Coordinator

West Michigan Symphony Orchestra  

West Michigan Symphony

“The musicians were in tears hearing the students perform their recorder song with the orchestra. They did not understand the impact of emotion they would feel by experiencing students all playing their recorders together—precious. What a great testimony to the Link Up program and the goal of helping students know the joy of understanding, playing, and appreciating music.”
—Karen VanderZanden, Director of Education and Community Engagement Programs

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra  

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

“A young man, upon entering the auditorium and seeing the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra seated, said in a very hushed and awe-filled way, ‘this is a dream come true.’”
—Chrissie Seligson, Elementary Music Coordinator, Fort Worth Independent School District


Congratulations to Carnegie Hall—Lewisburg, West Virginia; Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra; St. Louis Symphony; and West Michigan Symphony Orchestra. We thank you for 10 years of outstanding partnership!

During the 2014–2015 school year, students and teachers from across New York City will participate in the 30th season of Link Up at Carnegie Hall.

Visit carnegiehall.org/LinkUp for more information.

Link Up map

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In July, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America will come together for its second season. Before then, we asked the musicians to show us their hometown pride on video.


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If you missed the captivating live broadcast of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra lead by Mariss Jansons, you can now listen to the entire broadcast. The program featured Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with dazzling pianist Mitsuko Uchida. This concert is part of our Carnegie Hall Live series, a partnership with WQXR and American Public Media.

Join us on Tuesday, July 22 at 8 PM for the next Carnegie Hall Live broadcast of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.




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