New CD/Download from OUR Recordings – Bach Flute Sonatas – Performed by Petri, Perl & Esfahani – PRESS RELEASE

PRESS INFORMATION

Bach Flute Sonatas BWV 1030 – 1035
Performed by Michala Petri (recorder), Hille Perl (viola da gamba),
Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)

Catalogue No.: 6.220673  Bar Code: 747313167364
Super Audio/Single CD/Digipak/Full Price
Release Date 8th November 2019
(UK Physical Distribution via Select/RoW via Naxos)

Tracklisting

J. S. Bach: Sonata in B Minor BWV 1030 for alto recorder, concertato harpsichord and viola da gamba; Sonata in E flat major BWV 1031 for tenor recorder, concertato harpsichord and viola da gamba; Sonata in G major BWV 1032; Sonata in C major BWV 1033 for tenor recorder and basso continuo; Sonata in G minor BWV 1034 for alto recorder and basso continuo (original key E minor);Sonata in F major BWV 1035 for alto recorder, and basso continuo (original key E major)

Concept Overview

Unlike the other landmark collections that came from Bach’s pen, the six flute sonatas all appear to have been “one offs” with no particular plan for publication as a set. Further, in contrast to the collections for solo strings, Bach’s chamber music for flute was written comparatively late in his career, the earliest, the Sonata in E minor BWV1034, probably a product of Bach’s early Leipzig years (mid-1720s) and the latest, the Sonata in E major for flute and continuo BWV1035, is believed to have been written during the last decade of composer’s life for Frederick the Great.

In honour of OUR Recordings’ 40th Release, Michala Petri could scarcely choose a more exciting program than a return visit to Bach’s Flute Sonatas; Michala’s famous 1992 recording with Keith Jarrett has long since attained legendary status.  Just as her collaboration with Jarrett unveiled a ‘new-born’ approach to Bach, this new recording is likewise revelatory and… transcendent. Joining Michala on this journey is an early music dream team: harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, rightly regarded as one of the fiercest of the younger generation of clavecinistes, playing his new Jukka Ollikka harpsichord, and Hille Perl, one of the world’s leading and most beloved viola da gambists rounding out the continuo unit.

As we’ve come to expect from OUR Recordings, the sonics and packaging are extraordinary, thanks to the producer Preben Iwan and booklet notes by Mahan Esfahani. This new recording of the Bach “Flute” Sonatas is destined to become a reference edition of this famous works

Artist Biography

For 50 years, Michala Petri has been one of the most universally recognized and beloved recorder players in the world. She has performed almost 5.000 concerts and has a discography of more than 70 critically acclaimed and award-winning recordings. Michala Petri was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on July 7, 1958 to musical parents. A child prodigy, she first picked up a recorder at the age of three and by the time she was ten, she made her concerto debut in Tivoli Concert Hall and began her formal studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany, with Professor Ferdinand Conrad.

Her repertoire spans the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras and extends into contemporary and improvised music and multi-media. This versatility, together with a flawless technique, an insatiable curiosity, and the ability to make an emotional connection with her audiences has contributed to her special appeal as an artist. Her list of collaborators reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of late 20th century classical music, including such legendary artists as Sir Neville Marriner, Claudio Abbado, Sir James Galway, Gidon Kremer, Heinz Holliger, Henryk Szeryng, Pinchas Zukerman, Maurice Andre, Joshua Bell, Mahan Esfahani, Hille Perl and Keith Jarrett.

From her youth, Petri was fascinated with the musical potential of her chosen instrument, however, at the time of her studies the recorder was considered mainly an instrument for Early Music. But gradually, contemporary composers began taking interest and through Petri’s prompting – and virtuosity – started composing works for her. The first work dedicated to her when she was just 6 years old, was “To Play for a Child” by the multi-faceted Danish Fluxus artist Henning Christiansen. Petri has constantly sought new ways to expand her musical horizons and explore creative musical dialogues with other genres and cultures, often performing with musicians outside the Baroque and Classical music scene such as her longstanding relationship with many of the finest members of the Scandinavian jazz and improvised music scene. Her innovative collaboration with famed composer/trumpet player Palle Mikkelborg, “Going to Pieces – without falling Apart” for recorder, harp (Helen Davies) and strings was a major statement as a Crossover/World Music/Indie album.

Hille Perl is widely regarded as one of the leading exponents of the seductive arts of viola da gamba performance. Born in Bremen Germany into a musical family already predisposed to early music, her decision to  play the gamba after attending a Wieland Kuijken concert when she was 5 years old is hardly surprising. She studied with Niklas Trüstedt (Berlin) and with Pere Ros and Ingrid Stampa (Hamburg), earning her degree in 1990 at Bremen’s Academy for Early Music, where she studied with Sarah Cunningham and Jaap ter Linden.

Following her graduation, Perl steadily built her career and reputation throughout Europe, and soon began appearing on recordings. Among the earliest was a 1997 Deutsche Harmonia Mundi CD, “Retrouvé & Changé”, a program of works by the mysterious Sieur de Sainte-Colombe. Perl’s rich, warm tone and attention to “rhythmic interest on an instrument whose deep sonorous voice can result in rather monochromatic listening” set her apart from many of her gifted colleagues. Around this time Perl and Lee Santana (who plays the lute, theorbo, chitarrone, and Baroque guitar) released several projects as part of harpist Andrew Lawrence-King’s Harp Consort, including the classic “Spanish Dances.” Inspired by the opportunity to explore Latin aspects of early music performance, Hille and Santana formed their own performing unit “Los Otros” (The Others) in 2001. Their first recording, “Tinto”, a collection of works by Kapsberger, Corbetta, and others, appeared on RCA Special Imports in 2003. In 2004 Perl released one of her most acclaimed recordings, “Marais’ Pour La Violle”, with Santana, on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (DHM). Perl and Santana also formed another ensemble, the Age of Passions with violinist/conductor Petra Müllejans and flutist Karl Kaiser joining them.  She has made two recordings of gamba concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester and recorded two solo CDs of the Sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach. The adventurous Perl has also recorded on an electric viol featured on the 2014 album “Born To Be Mild” in 2014 and two CDs of ancient and contemporary music about the “Elements” in 2015 and “The Four Season” in 2016 with her daughter Marthe, a talented gambist in her own right.

Hille Perl’s busy concert schedule includes appearances at many of Europe’s major Music festivals. Her recordings for DHM Sony have earned wide critical acclaim and many prizes, including 4 German ECHO Klassik Awards and a Deutsche Schallplattenpreis. In 2017, Perl had her on-screen acting debut in Academy Award-winning Austrian director’s grim family drama/social commentary film, “Happy End.”

Since 2002, Hille Perl has taught viola da gamba at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen. When  not on tour Perl lives on a farm in northern Germany with her family and some sheep, geese, chickens, three cats and two dogs, lots of trees and grows vegetables.

Harpsichordist, organist, scholar and musical gadfly Mahan Esfahani stands in the vanguard of the new generation of performers liberating instruments previously regarded as the provenance of the early music specialists and bringing them into 21st century concert halls with music to match.

Esfahani was born in Teheran in 1984 and raised in the United States. His first exposure to the sound of the harpsichord came from a bunch of cassettes an uncle had given him. Esfahani remembers: “One was of Karl Richter [the German conductor and harpsichordist] playing Bach. Well, I listened to it, and I thought: ‘This is what I’ve got to do.’ True to his word, he studied musicology and history at Stanford University and later, travelled to Boston where he studied harpsichord with Peter Watchorn before completing his artistic apprenticeship under the celebrated Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková.

Following his tutelage, Esfahani travelled to London to perform at a private event. This performance would be the first in a series of fortunate events moments for the young artist, for as it would happen, a staffer from the BBC was there and was impressed enough with Mahan to set the wheels in motion. In 2008 Esfahani became the first harpsichordist to be named a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist (2008-2010). Following a three-year stint as Artist-in-Residence at New College, Oxford, Esfahani continued to cultivate his academic associations, becoming an honorary member at Keble College, Oxford, and receiving a professorship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, but it is Esfahani’s work as performing artist and commentator that propelled him to the forefront of the classical music world. His creative programming and advocacy of new works have drawn the attention of critics and audiences across Europe, Asia, and North America, earning him numerous accolades including the Borletti-Buitoni prize (2009), and thrice a nominee for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year (2014, 2015, and 2017).

Esfahani has performed solo recitals in most of the world’s major series and concert halls, amongst them London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, Oji Hall in Tokyo, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Shanghai Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Berlin Konzerthaus, Zurich Tonhalle, Wiener Konzerthaus, San Francisco Performances, the Edinburgh, Aspen and Aldeburgh Festivals, and the Leipzig Bach Festival. As satisfying as solo performances are, Esfahani takes particular pride in showcasing his instrument in the concerto repertoire and has appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Czech Radio Symphony, Orquesta de Navarra, Malta Philharmonic, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, with whom he was an artistic partner for 2016-2018.

His richly-varied discography includes three critically-acclaimed recordings for Hyperion – the C.P.E. Bach Württemberg Sonatas, a 2014 Gramophone Award winner, and the Complete Pièces de Clavecin of Rameau which was both nominated for a Gramophone Award and included on the New York Times Critics’ List of Top Recordings of 2014. His first album for DG, Time Present and Time Past, earned a ‘Choc de Classica’ in France, while his 2016 release of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was named to the long list for the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and won the BBC Music Magazine 2017 Instrumental Award. Esfahani’s work as a chamber music partner have proven equally magical, his 2016 recording of Corelli’s Op. 5 Sonatas in period arrangements for recorder with the legendary Michala Petri –  a particularly important duo to his own heart – was awarded an ICMA Award in 2016.

The Instruments

The many ongoing developments of the recorder as an instrument (also) of today for modern music gives the performer equally many choices. One option when playing Bach is of course to use exact copies of Baroque instruments, another is, with the Baroque sound in mind, to use instruments developed for doing bigger dynamic changes, adaptive for the larger concert halls, contemporary music and the generally louder level of life today.

For this recording Michala chose the following instruments – Tenor recorders Moeck Ehlert tenor, developed by Ralf Ehlert, in Grenadill or Maple. Mostly for the slow movements with wish for variations in tone-colourings and dynamic changes. Two different Moeck Rottenburgh in Grenadill (the first tenor recorders she bought as a young student) for the fast and more light running movements. Alto recorders Moeck Ehlert in Boxwood and Grenadill Mollenhauer Modern Recorder in Ebony and Palisander.

The Viola da Gamba, Matthias Alban 1686  was discovered in 1952 in an Austrian Convent. It came into the hands of an amateur viola da gambist who had it restored by Ingo Muthesius, a well-known luthier specializing in old viols. While not catastrophically damaged, Muthesius replaced the neck, retaining the original lion’s head scroll and peg box. The body is completely original, even though the original apple-wood back and sides have acquired a few minor cracks over the centuries. The instrument is unique in that to date, no sister instrument has been found, unusual since viols were often produced in consorts or multiples, but research has found the top-wood corresponds with surviving violins from the Alban workshop in Bozen, where he had his workshop together with his two sons until the year 1712. The instrument was bequeathed to Hille in 2004 by the owner. The instrument currently has a new bridge and fingerboard, made by Claus Derenbach in Cologne.

The harpsichord has been designed and constructed by Jukka Ollikka in Prague 20172018. Compass: EE-f3. Disposition: 2 x 8’+ 4’+ 16’. Buff stops on lower manual 8’ and 16’. Inspired by the Michael Mietke instrument signed ‘Berlin 1710’, this harpsichord has a carbon fibre composite soundboard which increases the tuning stability and makes it louder than an instrument made with traditional materials, and thus more suitable for modern concert halls.

Marketing and Press

 

This new recording will be fully serviced to all UK press and Media. Review copies can be requested from john@musicandmediaconsulting.com – interviews can be quickly arranged if required.

Advertising will include BBC Music and others.

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Juan Martín Update – BBC R3 “In Tune” and new Concert Dates Announced

Juan Martín Update
Juan Martin was a guest on BBC R3 “In Tune” on Tuesday 30th July 2019 – interviewed by Katie Derham. The programme is available on BBC Sounds for 30 days from broadcast date – scroll to 1:23:00 to listen.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00075wk

Just announced are additional concert dates for Juan Martín’s Flamenco Dance Trio (Juan with Luisa Chicano – dancer – and singer Amparo Heredia ‘La Repompilla’).

Review copies of Juan’s “Guitar Maestro”  CD Collection are still available. The original press release can be viewed here:

https://mailchi.mp/musicandmediaconsulting/juan-martn-guitar-maestro-cddownload-press-release-2943361

4* Review from Songlines.

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News of Another Richard Blackford Première

In addition to the 2019 performances of “Pietá” – Richard’s setting of the Stabat Mater – already announced, we thought you would like to know that 2019 will see the première of another new piece from composer Richard Blackford.

Prom 35 – 13th August 2019

Elgar’s ‘Enigma’ Variations is the inspiration for a new work commissioned from 14 living composers as a special birthday tribute to conductor Martyn Brabbins, who turns 60 on the day of the concert. The featured composers are Kalevi Aho, Sally Beamish, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Richard Blackford, Gavin Bryars, Brett Dean, Dai Fujikura, Wim Henderickx, Colin Matthews, Anthony Payne, John Pickard, David Sawer, Iris ter Schiphorst & Judith Weir

Elgar’s original set also features, as do Vaughan Williams’s exquisite Serenade to Music and Brahms’s ‘Little Requiem’, the Song of Destiny.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e6wxp6

The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 – and televised on BBC Four on Sunday 8 September 2019.

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Richard Blackford’s “Pietà” – Press Release June 2019

PRESS RELEASE

 

The Bournemouth Symphony Chorus is proud to announce the world première of Pietà, a new work commissioned from the composer Richard Blackford, which will take place at the Lighthouse, Poole on Saturday 22 June 2019. This is the third major work he has composed for the Chorus, following the critically successful Voices of Exile (2001) and Not in Our Time (2011). Pietà has been jointly commissioned by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and St Alban’s Choral Society.

Pietà is a setting of the Stabat Mater, with additional poems by the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. It is for mezzo and baritone soloists, SATB chorus, children’s chorus, strings and solo saxophone.  The performance will be given by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, internationally renowned soloists Jennifer Johnston and Stephen Gadd, and the brilliant young saxophonist Amy Dickson. The conductor will be Gavin Carr, to whom the work is dedicated.  A brief presentation from Amy Dixon can be viewed here:

 

The work will be recorded for Nimbus Records shortly after the first performance and released in October 2019. The London première will be on Saturday 19 October 2019 at the Cadogan Hall. The St Alban’s Choral Society will perform it in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, Hertfordshire on Saturday 25 April 2020 with Orchestra Nova under Georg Vass to celebrate the Chorus’s 75thanniversary.

 

The Story Behind The Music

At the core of Richard Blackford’s Pietà is a setting of the Stabat Mater; but it also includes two poignant poems by the celebrated Russian Anna Akhmatova from Requiem. The poems echo the words in Stabat Mater reflecting the grief of a mother for her son Lev, a student at Leningrad University, who, in 1938, at the height of Stalin’s terror, is arrested in his dormitory room and shipped to an Arctic labour camp.  For 17 months his mother waited in queues and wrote letters to police officials beseeching them to tell her the fate of her son. Her struggle is immortalised in “Requiem”, her most famous work. Alternating between elegy, lamentation and witness, it culminates in its most famous stanza:

 

For seventeen months I’ve been crying out,
Calling you home.
I flung myself at the hangman’s feet,
For you my son, my horror.

 

The music embraces the passion of these words. After a recent workshop when the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus studied the work for the first time, conductor Gavin Carr wrote: “It is so compact, and so powerful: the intensity is incredible, and the release at the end is remarkable.”

A presentation from Richard Blackford about Pietà can be viewed here:

 

The Score

NMP1066 Pietà Vocal Score. Orchestral Parts and Study Score available on request from publishing@wyastone.co.uk

About Richard Blackford

Richard Blackford was born in 1954 and studied composition with John Lambert at the Royal College of Music, then with Hans Werner Henze in Rome. Early awards include the Tagore Gold Medal, the Ricordi Prize and the Mendelssohn Scholarship. He was first Composer-in-Residence at Balliol College Oxford, and later Composer-in-Residence to the Brno Philharmonic in the Czech Republic. His works were performed in the major music festivals of the world, including Adelaide, Berlin, Brighton, Montepulciano, Cheltenham, Long Island. He has composed in virtually every medium, including opera, choral, orchestral, theatre, film and ballet, with his most recent ballet Biophony (2015) in collaboration with Bernie Krause and Alonzo King, winning ‘Best Contemporary Performance 2016’ in the Italian dance magazine Danza&Danza. As a media composer Richard was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music for his 4-hour score for the CNN/BBC series Millennium, and in 2015 was awarded Die Goldene Deutschland for services to music in Germany. His literary collaborators include; Ted Hughes, Maya Angelou and Tony Harrison. He is a Director of the charity Music For Youth, President of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and a Trustee of the Aberystwyth MusicFest. Richard Blackford’s music is published by Novello and Nimbus Music Publishing.

www.blackford.co.uk

Further Information for Press/Media

Press tickets for the première on 22nd June may still be possible. Press tickets 19th October at Cadogan Hall are certainly possible. – please request via  john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

Further Information for Festivals, Choral Directors and Choral Ensembles

We are very happy to try to organise invitation tickets for either performance for Festival Directors, Choral Directors and Choral Ensembles genuinely looking to present their own performance of Pietà. Please request via john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

Sample scores can also be arranged on request.

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New CD/Download from Duo Rosa – Stephany Ortega (soprano) & Léna Kollmeier (piano) – “American Soul – from Broadway to Paris”

Tracklisting & CD Information

Leonard Bernstein: I feel Pretty (West Side Story); I can cook too (On the town); Reichard Hageman: Do not go my love; William Bolcom: Cabaret Songs Vol. 1, no. 6 “Amor”; John C. Sacco: That’s life; George Gershwin: I got rhythm (An American in Paris); Kurt Weill: Je ne t’aime pas; Leonard Bernstein: Something’s coming (West Side Story); Aaron Jay Kernis: Before Sleep and Dreams no. 2 “Play before lullaby” [Piano Solo]; Samuel Barber: Sure on this shining night Op. 13 no. 3; Leonard Bernstein: Peter, Peter (Peter Pan); I hate music! A cycle of five kid songs (1. My name is Barbara; 2. Jupiter has seven moons; 3. I hate music!; 4. A big Indian and a little Indian; 5. I’m a person too); Kurt Weill: Buddy on the nightshift (Lunchtime Follies); John Corigliano: Mr Tambourine man – Seven poems of Bob Dylan – Prelude: Mr Tambourine man; William Bolcom: The Serpent’s kiss (The garden of Eden) [Piano solo]; George Gershwin: The man I love; Swanee; Leonard Bernstein: Lucky to be me (On the town); Somewhere (West Side Story)

 

Released by Hänssler Classic (UK Distribution via Select) on HC19026
Single CD/Standard Jewel-case/ Full Price
Release date 24th May 2019

Repertoire Information

How about embarking on a journey through some of the most beautiful musical works ever written – in a thrilling concert during which we enter the world of the life, streets and cabarets from Broadway to Paris? This is exactly the path proposed by Duo Rosa in their new performance: “AMERICAN SOUL: from Broadway to Paris”. Soprano Stephany and pianist Léna reveal their talent to highlight all the feelings evoked in the songs they have chosen – lively, cheerful and dazzling, as well as deep and wistful.

AMERICAN SOUL: from Broadway to Paris” is the title of Duo Rosa’s second opus, featuring art songs, Broadway melodies and cabaret tunes. In this new project, the two musicians maintain a concept that was one of the keys to the previous album’s success: a blend of classical and popular music in a varied, accessible programme that pleases audiences of all ages, regardless of whether they are classical music lovers or not.

Concertgoers were mesmerized by the energy exuded by Duo Rosa on their first tour — Return World Tour — and by the theatrical effects with which they infused classical melodies and Latin American popular songs. Thus, it is only natural that they would now turn to North American repertoire, in all its flamboyance, to present a recital brimming with emotions: happiness, nostalgia, humour, sadness…and many other surprises! To grasp the audience’s attention and hold them spellbound, the duo has selected a series of highly popular songs combined with less well-known classical melodies. They perform famous Broadway tunes such as I feel pretty and Somewhere by Bernstein from West Side Story, or Gershwin songs including The man I love and I got rhythm from An American in Paris. The cabaret genre is likewise present, with numbers by Kurt Weill (Buddy on the nightshift and Je ne t’aime pas) and William Bolcom’s humorous Amor. Léna Kollmeier also displays her skill as a solo pianist in two attractive, demanding solo pieces filled with imagery.

A stage production, costumes and a stage set make the concert dynamic and lively: just like an evening out on Broadway!

 

Artist Information

DUO ROSA emerged in 2014 thanks to a wonderful friendship and meeting of musical minds between soprano Stephany Ortega and pianist Léna Kollmeier when they were studying at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Due to their comprehensive training in classical and modern music, they are able to approach traditional repertoire with ease, while tackling the challenges of contemporary music and exploring several world music styles. The key to their success: the magical blend between classical and popular music!

In 2016, the duo released their first album “Return” (Et’cetera Records), an imaginary journey from Europe to Latin America: the disc was hailed by the international press. They followed up on their release with a promotional tour across 18 cities in Europe, the United States and the Caribbean, notably performing at Carnegie Hall in New York, La Monnaie in Brussels, El Ateneo in Madrid, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Biermans­Lapôtre Foundation in Paris and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo.

Stephany Ortega, coloratura soprano, was born in the Dominican Republic and has also obtained Luxembourg citizenship by naturalization. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary music including opera, Lied, world music and musical theatre. Very active internationally, she has performed throughout China, Europe, the US and the Caribbean. She has been granted several awards such as the Silver Prize at the Manhattan International Music Competition in New York; a nomination as an “Artist who excels abroad” by the Soberano Awards; Vindelink and Lerminiaux Prizes were attributed to her by Brussels Conservatoire, as well as the Servais Prize by the Belgian Ministry of Culture. Recently, the publishing house Maison Moderne honored her with the title of “Cultural Ambassador of Luxembourg”.

Stephany Ortega graduated with honours and holds a Master of Arts in voice from Brussels Conservatoire. She has obtained various diplomas in singing, piano and jazz dance at the Luxembourg Conservatoire, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Santo Domingo.

Léna Kollmeier, Belgian pianist, mastered her instrument remarkably well at an early age. This naturally led her to being accepted as a young talent by Liège Conservatoire, at the age of 15. She obtained her Master of Arts in piano with honours from Brussels Conservatoire.

At the age of 17, she won First Prize at the Dexia Classics Competition and performed a recital in the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels which marked the beginning of her career. She soon had the pleasure of performing with various orchestras and has appeared as a soloist and chamber music specialist on the international stage – namely in Europe, the US and the Caribbean. Also a passionate defender of contemporary repertoire, Léna Kollmeier co­founded Trio O3, with which she recently won the “Supernova” competition.

http://www.duorosa.com         http://www.stephanyortega.com          http://www.lenakollmeier.com

Marketing, Promotion and Further information

This new CD will be fully serviced to UK press and media. Advertising is yet to be finalised but will likely include appropriate classical magazines both in print and online.

Interview requests can be accommodated quickly, either in person or by telephone. Please request a review copy of the CD from john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

London Concert

To mark the release of this recording, Duo Rosa will be performing at the Institut Français in South Kensington (17 Queensberry Place SW7 2DT) on Tuesday 21st May at 7.30pm.

https://www.institut-francais.org.uk/events-calendar/whats-on/music/duo-rosa-from-broadway-to-paris/

Press tickets need to be reserved via john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

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“Music, My Fair Mistress” – works composed by Raymond Schroyens & performed by Ann de Renais (soprano) accompanied by Daniël Schroyens (piano)

PRESS RELEASE

“Music, My Fair Mistress”
Pieces & Songs composed by Raymond Schroyens
Performed by Ann de Renais (soprano), Daniël Schroyens (piano)
& London Voices**
LUSPICD232 (Bar Code 0710535454734)
Single CD/Digipak/UK Distribution via Select/RoW via Naxos
Release Date 24th May 2019

Tracklisting

Raymond Schroyens: Piano Sonate (1964); Three Early Songs (1954 & 1952) Als Uw Ogern Lachen/Een Zomernachtsdroom/Bloeiende Linden; Three Birthday Presents for Daniël (1972-1975) May Trumpets/May Floers/May Rounds; Daniël Schroyens: Two Songs for High Voice (1994 & 1997) Benediction/The Night Will Never Stay; Raymond Schroyens: Les Muses Gaillardes (1992)** – Version for small vocal ensemble; Daniël Schroyens: Hämmerglocken (2019) piano solo;  Raymond Schroyens:  Before Sundown (Four Songs for high voice); Tel uw Herinneringewn (1962) Version for piano & high voice

Composer Information

Raymond Schroyens was born in Mechelen, Belgium in 1933. He obtained a Master of Music Degree at Mechelen’s Lemmens Institute in­1954. In 1958, he achieved a Master’s Degree in organ with the renowned Flor Peeters at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Music in Antwerp.

This took him to the USA to become Director of Church Music in Dearborn, Detroit, Michigan. After moving back to Belgium in 1960, Raymond became Chief Music Producer at the BRT Brussels, Classical Music Radio 3 and Head of Department Programming and Studio Recording (1963–1993). From 1971, he combined these positions with a post as harpsichord teacher at the Brussels Royal Conservatoire of Music, and at the Music Academy of his native town. He retired in 1993 and moved to Ghent where he still lives.

As a performer, he played a number of organ and harpsichord concerts, as a soloist and in instrumental groups. He recorded several productions for the BBC. Nonetheless he kept close to his first love: piano accompaniment in Lied performance. In 1967, he was awarded an official prize in this field at an International Contest sponsored by the Bulgarian State.

The composer also writes poetry and articles on various subjects. This, however, does not interfere with his delight in Music which – in the wake of absolute priority for his American wife and first lady – he still considers as his second spouse. Raymond mainly composes choral music, but also instrumental and vocal solo pieces and chamber music.

http://www.raymondschroyens.com

Performer Information

Ann De Renais is a light dramatic coloratura soprano with a warm middle voice. She holds a Post-Graduate Vocal Training diploma and the Certificate of Techniques of Teaching from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, a Bachelor Degree of Singing LUCA-Arts, a Diploma of First Prize Piano, a Diploma of First Prize Solfege and a Pedagogical Degree of Teaching Piano from the Royal Conservatoire of Music in Brussels.

She has been studying the Swedish-Italian School of Singing Technique with David Jones in NYC since 1996, Acting with Geraldine Baron (Method Acting) in NYC and at The Knack with English National Opera, London. She became associate singing teacher of David Jones in 2002 and organises his London/Cambridge Master Classes since.

Since 2012, Ann has been teaching choral scholars of the Trinity Chapel Choir conducted by Stephen Layton at the University of Cambridge as well as private students in London, and abroad.

Her singing career has led her to perform a wide variety of styles ranging from baroque, romantic and belcanto opera repertoire to contemporary classical music as well as recording for over 200 Hollywood film sound tracks and backing vocals for pop and jazz artists. Her solo recordings range from songs in her native Flemish to French and German song and oratorio premieres as well as light jazz and easy-listening.

Her touring experience includes the Swingle Singers from 1998-2001 and Lord of the Rings Soloist from 2007-2012, as well as collaborating with many orchestras worldwide.

http://www.annderenais.com

Daniël Schroyens, born in 1961 in Mechelen, Belgium, received early training in piano, harpsichord and chamber music at his local Music Academy, and had private composition tuition with Wilfried Westerlinck. He subsequently studied at Trinity College of Music, London (1979-84) – piano with Joseph Weingarten, composition with Antonin Tučapsky – and upon graduating attended the 1984 Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood, Mass. as a Fellow in Composition, where his tutors included John Harbison, Theodore Antoniou and Gunther Schuller; this experience steered him toward a compositional career.

After a brief period back in Belgium, in which he gained diplomas in various academic subjects at Brussels and Ghent Conservatoires, he settled in London permanently from 1986. Here he rounded off his compositional education with a post-graduate course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Simon Bainbridge and Robert Saxton (‘91-93).

He has enjoyed broadcasts of his works on Belgian Radio and was recipient of several awards, such as the Yehudi Menuhin and Lutoslawski Prizes (U.K.) and the Tenuto Prize (Belgian Radio and Television).

Daniël Schroyens lectured in the Music Studies department at GSMD, London from 1999 to 2009 and taught harmony, counterpoint and tonal composition at Clare, Christ’s and St Catharine’s Colleges, Cambridge, from 2007 to 2011. He currently teaches piano and composition privately.

http://www.danielschroyens.com

Further Information

To schedule an interview with the composer or performers or to request a review copy of the CD, please contact us via: john@musicandmediaconsulting.com
The CD will be fully serviced to appropriate UK press and media.

A launch concert is planned in early June 2019. Details to follow.

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Juan Martín – Guitar Maestro – CD/Download Press Release + ADDITIONAL UK CONCERTS

 

CDFV17 (Bar Code 5023100191725) UK Distribution via Proper Music
4 CD/Hard Jewel-Case/Budget Price (UK retail around £17.99)/Commercial Release Date April 5th 2019

ADDITIONAL UK CONCERT DATES JUST ANNOUNCED:

Kings Place (Hall 2), London on Sunday 21st July at 7.30pm

https://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on/world/juan-martin/

Snape Maltings, Aldburgh on Friday 16th August 2019 at 7.30pm

https://snapemaltings.co.uk/whats-on/juan-martin-flamenco-dance-ensemble/

Press tickets can be requested via john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

Review copies of “Guitar Maestro” are still available either as CD or digital download. Just email you request to john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

Concept Information

Presented here are selected recordings from albums released between 1974 and 2015 and are arranged in two parts. Discs 1 & 2 are pure flamenco, while Discs 3 & 4 have compositions in other genres – including collaborations with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and other musicians. Selected by Juan Martín himself, the recordings are listed mainly chronologically in each pair of CDs.

The booklet identifies all of the albums that the tracks on this compilation are taken from together with informative notes about each piece.

Artist Information

Juan Martín was voted two years running into the top three flamenco guitarists in the world in the American magazine ‘Guitar Player’. Pyrotechnics can be produced by quite a few players, but instinctive musicianship is a rare quality “No flash, just loads of panache.” The Melbourne Age.   His compositional ability in presenting the traditional forms of this mercurial art has led music critics to compare him to Turina, Tárrega and Albéniz.

His guitar sound, whilst lively in the typical timbre also has a richness, clarity and depth of tone which reflects his having projected his instrument unamplified in many of the world’s great halls. One speaks of the Wigmore, Carnegie, Albert, Barbican, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Istanbul’s Cemal Resit Rey, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Australia’s Melba Hall, Sydney’s Conservatoire, San Francisco’s Herbst and many, many others.  His festival appearances include Edinburgh, Bath, Montreux, Adelaide, London Guitar Festival, Seville, Málaga, his city of origin, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing and Vancouver.  He has recorded 20 albums and was the first and only flamenco guitarist to make a record with the RPO.

At Sir Roland Penrose invitation, he performed at Pablo Picasso’s 90th birthday celebration when very young which resulted in ‘Picasso Portraits’, an album released in 22 countries simultaneously by Polydor.   Apart from presenting flamenco artists of the stature of Eva la Yerbabuena and Rafael Romero ‘El Gallina’ at the Barbican and Wigmore hall respectively, he has appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock and made a superb CD with jazz trumpeter and film composer Mark Isham.

His early influences were Niño Ricardo and later Paco de Lucia in Madrid.  The ‘notes per second’ brigade however don’t interest him musically and he is more likely to draw inspiration from Debussy, Ravel and Falla.  In this sense Juan Martín is a guitarist composer of contemporary music whilst respecting the great tradition.  This has led to him twice performing as soloist with the Nash Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall.   His guitar method “el Arte Flamenco de la Guitarra” is regarded as the ‘Bible of flamenco’ worldwide and within his lifetime is at least as well-known as Fernando Sor’s book – no wonder The Times referred to him as “Doctor Flamenco” and José Manuel Gamboa the most eminent Spanish flamenco writer and critic, wrote “he has an impeccable technique and is an authentic ambassador of flamenco music throughout the whole world”.

http://www.flamencovision.com

Marketing, Promotion and Further information

This new CD will be fully serviced to UK press and media. Advertising will include BBC Music Magazine.

Interview requests can be accommodated quickly, either in person or by telephone.

Please request a review copy of the CD or press tickets to any of the concerts from john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

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New CD/Download from Duo Rosa – Stephany Ortega (soprano) & Léna Kollmeier (piano) – “American Soul – from Broadway to Paris”

Tracklisting & CD Information

Leonard Bernstein: I feel Pretty (West Side Story); I can cook too (On the town); Reichard Hageman: Do not go my love; William Bolcom: Cabaret Songs Vol. 1, no. 6 “Amor”; John C. Sacco: That’s life; George Gershwin: I got rhythm (An American in Paris); Kurt Weill: Je ne t’aime pas; Leonard Bernstein: Something’s coming (West Side Story); Aaron Jay Kernis: Before Sleep and Dreams no. 2 “Play before lullaby” [Piano Solo]; Samuel Barber: Sure on this shining night Op. 13 no. 3; Leonard Bernstein: Peter, Peter (Peter Pan); I hate music! A cycle of five kid songs (1. My name is Barbara; 2. Jupiter has seven moons; 3. I hate music!; 4. A big Indian and a little Indian; 5. I’m a person too); Kurt Weill: Buddy on the nightshift (Lunchtime Follies); John Corigliano: Mr Tambourine man – Seven poems of Bob Dylan – Prelude: Mr Tambourine man; William Bolcom: The Serpent’s kiss (The garden of Eden) [Piano solo]; George Gershwin: The man I love; Swanee; Leonard Bernstein: Lucky to be me (On the town); Somewhere (West Side Story)

 

Released by Hänssler Classic (UK Distribution via Select) on HC19026
Single CD/Standard Jewel-case/ Full Price
Release date 24th May 2019

Repertoire Information

How about embarking on a journey through some of the most beautiful musical works ever written – in a thrilling concert during which we enter the world of the life, streets and cabarets from Broadway to Paris? This is exactly the path proposed by Duo Rosa in their new performance: “AMERICAN SOUL: from Broadway to Paris”. Soprano Stephany and pianist Léna reveal their talent to highlight all the feelings evoked in the songs they have chosen – lively, cheerful and dazzling, as well as deep and wistful.

AMERICAN SOUL: from Broadway to Paris” is the title of Duo Rosa’s second opus, featuring art songs, Broadway melodies and cabaret tunes. In this new project, the two musicians maintain a concept that was one of the keys to the previous album’s success: a blend of classical and popular music in a varied, accessible programme that pleases audiences of all ages, regardless of whether they are classical music lovers or not.

Concertgoers were mesmerized by the energy exuded by Duo Rosa on their first tour — Return World Tour — and by the theatrical effects with which they infused classical melodies and Latin American popular songs. Thus, it is only natural that they would now turn to North American repertoire, in all its flamboyance, to present a recital brimming with emotions: happiness, nostalgia, humour, sadness…and many other surprises! To grasp the audience’s attention and hold them spellbound, the duo has selected a series of highly popular songs combined with less well-known classical melodies. They perform famous Broadway tunes such as I feel pretty and Somewhere by Bernstein from West Side Story, or Gershwin songs including The man I love and I got rhythm from An American in Paris. The cabaret genre is likewise present, with numbers by Kurt Weill (Buddy on the nightshift and Je ne t’aime pas) and William Bolcom’s humorous Amor. Léna Kollmeier also displays her skill as a solo pianist in two attractive, demanding solo pieces filled with imagery.

A stage production, costumes and a stage set make the concert dynamic and lively: just like an evening out on Broadway!

 

Artist Information

DUO ROSA emerged in 2014 thanks to a wonderful friendship and meeting of musical minds between soprano Stephany Ortega and pianist Léna Kollmeier when they were studying at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Due to their comprehensive training in classical and modern music, they are able to approach traditional repertoire with ease, while tackling the challenges of contemporary music and exploring several world music styles. The key to their success: the magical blend between classical and popular music!

In 2016, the duo released their first album “Return” (Et’cetera Records), an imaginary journey from Europe to Latin America: the disc was hailed by the international press. They followed up on their release with a promotional tour across 18 cities in Europe, the United States and the Caribbean, notably performing at Carnegie Hall in New York, La Monnaie in Brussels, El Ateneo in Madrid, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Biermans­Lapôtre Foundation in Paris and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo.

Stephany Ortega, coloratura soprano, was born in the Dominican Republic and has also obtained Luxembourg citizenship by naturalization. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary music including opera, Lied, world music and musical theatre. Very active internationally, she has performed throughout China, Europe, the US and the Caribbean. She has been granted several awards such as the Silver Prize at the Manhattan International Music Competition in New York; a nomination as an “Artist who excels abroad” by the Soberano Awards; Vindelink and Lerminiaux Prizes were attributed to her by Brussels Conservatoire, as well as the Servais Prize by the Belgian Ministry of Culture. Recently, the publishing house Maison Moderne honored her with the title of “Cultural Ambassador of Luxembourg”.

Stephany Ortega graduated with honours and holds a Master of Arts in voice from Brussels Conservatoire. She has obtained various diplomas in singing, piano and jazz dance at the Luxembourg Conservatoire, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Santo Domingo.

Léna Kollmeier, Belgian pianist, mastered her instrument remarkably well at an early age. This naturally led her to being accepted as a young talent by Liège Conservatoire, at the age of 15. She obtained her Master of Arts in piano with honours from Brussels Conservatoire.

At the age of 17, she won First Prize at the Dexia Classics Competition and performed a recital in the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels which marked the beginning of her career. She soon had the pleasure of performing with various orchestras and has appeared as a soloist and chamber music specialist on the international stage – namely in Europe, the US and the Caribbean. Also a passionate defender of contemporary repertoire, Léna Kollmeier co­founded Trio O3, with which she recently won the “Supernova” competition.

http://www.duorosa.com         http://www.stephanyortega.com          http://www.lenakollmeier.com

Marketing, Promotion and Further information

This new CD will be fully serviced to UK press and media. Advertising is yet to be finalised but will likely include appropriate classical magazines both in print and online.

Interview requests can be accommodated quickly, either in person or by telephone. Please request a review copy of the CD from john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

London Concert

To mark the release of this recording, Duo Rosa will be performing at the Institut Français in South Kensington (17 Queensberry Place SW7 2DT) on Tuesday 21st May at 7.30pm.

https://www.institut-francais.org.uk/events-calendar/whats-on/music/duo-rosa-from-broadway-to-paris/

Press tickets need to be reserved via john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

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New CD Release from ICSM Records “A Neapolitan Stabat Mater” – A new perspective on Pergolesi’s masterpiece – performed by Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu

Tracklisting & CD Information

Stabat Mater d’Ostuni (Neapolitan trad. polyphony); Pergolesi: Stabat Mater (Stabat Mater; Cujus Animam; O quam tristis; Quae moerebat; Quis est homo; Vidit suum; Eja mater; Fac ut ardeat; Sancta mater; Fac ut portem; Inflammatus; Quando corpus; Amen); Donna Isabella (canzone) and Miserere (Neapolitan trad. polyphony); A cantina, tarantella; La Cicerenella, tarantella; Instrumental tarantellas; Stabat Mater (Neapolitan trad. polyphony); La Carpinese, tarantella

 

ICSM012 “A Neapolitan Stabat Mater”
A new perspective on Pergolesi’s masterpiece
Le Concert l’Hostel Dieu – Franck-Emmanuel Comte (organ & conductor)
Bar Code 5060399880183; Single CD; Digipak; Full Price
Release Date 1st March 2019
UK Distribution via Select/RoW via Naxos

Easter Update

Stock of physical review copies of this CD have now been exhausted, but I am happy to supply a link to the digital files. Simply request by email.

Le Concert de l’hostel Dieu have two upcoming concerts – though sadly not including this amazing performance of Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater“:

Saturday 11th May (St Johns Smith Square)
https://www.sjss.org.uk/events/le-concert-de-l%E2%80%99hostel-dieu-0

Thursday 11th July (Wigmore Hall)
https://wigmore-hall.org.uk/whats-on/max-emanuel-cencic-le-concert-de-l-hostel-dieu-franck-emmanuel-comte-201907111930

Repertoire Information

Since the middle of the 18th century, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater has been an absolute triumph all over Europe. Its initial success in Lyon can be accredited to the booming musical societies, in particular, the « Académie du Concert ». This academy was one of the most formidable of its kind, performing a wide range of sacred and profane Italian and French music. In the library of this outstanding institution, now kept in Lyon’s library, Franck-Emmanuel Comte found a very unusual manuscript of the Stabat Mater. This manuscript is presented in an unexpected arrangement. Apart from a few minor modifications in the instrumental parts, the second solo voice part is entrusted to a baritone (without a doubt because of the disappearance of the castrati), while the fugues and verse ‘O quam tristis’ are arranged for five voices. Thus, the Latin poem takes on a whole new dimension, gaining theatricality and dramatic emphasis.

In order to accompany this dramatisation of the Stabat Mater as well as nourish its intention, Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu have integrated various traditional Neapolitan polyphonies (Stabat Mater, Miserere…), songs (Donna Isabella, La Carpinese) and two tarantellas. This juxtaposition of scholarly music and popular art, of the sacred and the profane, conveys the Neapolitan soul. Today, this authentic spirit continues to flourish, especially during Holy week, through incredible and bewitching ceremonies. Musically, these are characterized by an astonishing convergence of religious songs sung by the celebrants, polyphonies improvised by the confreres in procession carrying the cross, ‘flonflons’ (loud party music) of the local band interpreting extracts from the Stabat Mater or from a Verdi opera, and simultaneously outdoors, tarantellas are sung, danced and hammered. This musical amalgamation resonates continuously on the forecourts of the churches whose doors have remained ajar… From all this, a collective emotion emerges, one that is mystical and festive, painful and joyous, surprising and troublesome.

The premise of this unique interpretation integrating sacred elements, that define the Neapolitan Holy Week, with authentic secular traditions, arose from countless musical experiences in Naples, Sessa, Aurunca as well as the nearby villages. This approach to the Stabat Mater is therefore both musicological, with the unpublished manuscript from Lyon, and socio-historical, by integrating the cultural and traditional Neapolitan background. Above all, it is a purely personal and subjective approach, born from a fusion of personal taste for Italian sacred music and the emotion felt during a timeless Italian voyage.

Artist Information

Since its inception, the Concert de l’Hostel Dieu has been a major player in the French Baroque scene. The set is distinguished by a sensitive and dynamic approach to interpretation of the vocal repertoire of the 18th century. Under the direction of Franck-Emmanuel Comte, passionate artist and committed educator, he defends the originality and specificity of a regional repertoire by highlighting baroque manuscripts preserved in the libraries of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The ensemble thus realizes various renditions and editions of unpublished scores, rich of the privileged links, which Lyon maintained with Italy. Promoting a historical and philological approach to Baroque and Classical repertoire, including the Mozartian catalog, The Concert of the Hostel Dieu systematically offers an interpretation on period instruments. One of the strengths of the Concert de l’Hostel Dieu is its ability to transpose the richness and diversity of baroque music to our time. Nourished by stimulating artistic collaborations, the ensemble is a hotbed of creativity that brings together the different baroque aesthetics with various cultures and artists with diverse backgrounds. Its creations reinvent the concert format and aim at reaching new audiences of different ages and to perform in outlying areas, where access to cultural events is often limited. As well as creating and performing, Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu also supports young soloists at the beginning of their careers, noticed at international singing competitions or academies.

Ever since finishing his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, Franck-Emmanuel Comte has held key positions and been a guest at opera houses (including Nantes, Lyon and Paris Opera Studio) and also with orchestras (such as the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie, the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, the Auckland University Orchestra, the Collegium Musicum Riga) As artistic director of the concert de l’Hostel Dieu since its creation, he has conducted the ensemble in more than 1,500 concerts and 20 recordings. A regular guest in European and world capitals (such as Barcelona, London, Riga, Kraków, Rome, Brussels, Madrid, Calcutta, Chennai, Peking, Taiyuan) and several international festivals (including Montserrat, Brežice, Girona, Foligno, Wallonia, Nuits de Fourvière, Ambronay, Chaise-Dieu, Peralada, Händel Festpiel de Halle). Franck Emmanuel Comte is passionate about baroque repertoire and for transversal or atypical artistic projects. He is artistic director of the Musicales en Auxois festival in Burgundy and of the Centre musical international J.-S. Bach de Saint Donat.

http://www.concert-hosteldieu.com

Marketing, Promotion and Further information

This new CD will be fully serviced to UK press and media. Advertising will include appropriate classical magazines both in print and online.

A Neapolitan Stabat Mater” received its UK premiere at St John’s, Smith Square on 20th November 2018. Future London concerts from CHD include 8th April 2019 London Handel Festival (Handel vs Porpora programme) and 11th July 2019 at Wigmore Hall (Orlando Programme).

Interview requests with Franck-Emmanuel Comte can be accommodated quickly, either in person or by telephone.

Please request a review copy of the CD via:

john@musicandmediaconsulting.com

About ICSM Records

Founded in 2014 and based in London, Independent Creative Sound and Music (ICSM) Records – is run by musicians for musicians – and is committed to uncompromising quality in every aspect of the recording, creating artistic statements beyond time and fashion. ICSM believe that artists should have full control over all aspects of the production, and at the same time fully respects artistic integrity and intellectual property rights. The label aims to give artists creative freedom and flexibility in the choice of repertoire they record.

The ethos of the label is to release recordings of the highest quality, free of compression and as close as possible to the real live performance.

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New CD/Download from OUR Recordings – “American Recorder Concertos” featuring Michala Petri

American Recorder Concertos (Sierra; Stucky; Newman; Hickey)
Performed by Michala Petri
Catalogue No.: 8.226912  Bar Code: 636943691229
Single CD/Digipak/Full Price
Release Date 5th April 2019
(UK Physical Distribution via Select/RoW via Naxos)

Tracklisting

Roberto Sierra (b1953): Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion (2016)*; Steven Stucky (1949-2016): Etudes (2000) Concerto for recorder & orchestra; Anthony Newman (b1941): Concerto for recorder, harpsichord & strings (2016)*; Sean Hickey (b1970): A Pacifying Weapon (2015) Concerto for recorder, winds, brass, percussion and harp*

*World Premiere Recording

Performers

Sierra: Michala Petri/Tivoli Copenhagen Phil/ Alexander Shelley (cond.); Stucky: Michala Petri/ Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui (cond.); Newman: Michala Petri/Anthony Newman/Nordic String Quartet; Hickey: Michala Petri/Royal Danish Academy of Music Concert Band/Jean Thorel (cond.)

Concept Overview

The late 17th and early 18th centuries were the Golden Age of the Recorder. Played by amateurs and professional and admire by musical connoisseurs, the recorder was everywhere. From Italy to England, the greatest composers of the day were writing hundreds of masterworks to meet the public’s demand! Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, a scrappy group of colonists were carving a new nation out of the wilderness… But where were the recorders??? It is one of the great ironies of the recorder’s long history, that despite being ubiquitous in nearly every American public music school program, few composers ever explored writing for it.

In order to set this egregious state of affairs to right, Michala Petri, the first Lady of the Recorder, invited four American composers to make their own discovery of just what an Old-World Recorder can do! For the newest instalment of her ground-breaking Concerto Project, four works have been specially commissioned to showcase the sound of the modern recorder, including the late Steven Stucky’s thoroughly contemporary Etudes, Roberto Sierra’s Latin-tinged Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion, Harpsichord virtuoso Antony Newman’s Neo-Baroque Concerto for recorder, harpsicord & strings, and Sean Hickey’s boldly-wrought A Pacifying Weapon.

Artist Biography

For nearly 50 years, Michala Petri has been one of the most universally recognized and beloved recorder players in the world. She has performed more than 5000 concerts around the world and has discography of more than 70 critically-acclaimed and award-winning recordings. Michala Petri was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on July 7, 1958 to musical parents. A child prodigy, she first picked up a recorder at the age of three and by the time she was 10, she made her concerto debut in Tivoli Concert Hall and began her formal studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany, with Professor Ferdinand Conrad. By the time she was seventeen, she was already making recordings with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Her repertoire spans the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras and extends into contemporary and improvised music and multi-media. This versatility, together with a flawless technique, an insatiable curiosity, and the ability to make an emotional connection with her audiences has contributed to her special appeal as an artist. Her list of collaborators reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of late 20th century classical music, including such legendary artists as Sir Neville Marriner, Claudio Abbado, Sir James Galway, Gidon Kremer, Heinz Holliger, Henryk Szeryng, Pinchas Zukerman, Maurice Andre, Joshua Bell, Mahan Esfahani, and Anthony Newman.

Following successful recording tenures with the Philips/Polygram label and RCA/BMG, Petri launched her own label, OUR Recordings with her long-time duo partner Lars Hannibal in late 2006. The new label was founded with the purpose of showcasing artists and projects important to Petri and has emphasized her commitment to contemporary and experimental music. Their first release, “Movements”, featuring Michala with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lan Shui in a program of three contemporary recorder concertos composed especially for Petri received a US Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary Composition” for Spanish jazz/classical composer Joan Albert Amargos’ “Northern Concerto” for recorder and large orchestra.

From her youth, Petri was fascinated with the musical potential of her chosen instrument, however, at the time of her studies the recorder was considered mainly an instrument for early music. But gradually, contemporary composers began taking interest and through Petri’s prompting – and virtuosity – started composing works for her. The first work dedicated to her when she was just 6 years old, was “To Play for a Child” by the multi-faceted Danish Fluxus artist Henning Christiansen.

Petri has constantly sought new ways to expand her musical horizons and explore creative musical dialogues with other genres and cultures, often performing with musicians outside the baroque and classical music scene such as her longstanding relationship with many of the finest members of the Scandinavian jazz and improvised music scene, including Keith Jarrett, Carsten Dahl, Jesper Thilo, Niels Jørgen Steen, Benjamin Koppel, Marilyn Mazur and Bjørn Svin. Her innovative collaboration with famed composer/trumpet player Palle Mikkelborg, “Going to Pieces – without Falling Apart” for recorder, harp (Helen Davies) and strings was a major statement as a Crossover/World Music/Indie album.

More than 150 pieces have been composed especially for Petri including major works by Sir Malcolm Arnold, Gordon Jacob, Daniel Kidane, Per Nørgård, Ib Nørholm, Vagn Holmboe, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Axel Borup-Jørgensen, Olav Anton Thommessen, Sunleif Rasmussen, Bent Sørensen, Steven Stucky, Michael Berkeley, Thomas Clausen, Joan Albert Amargos, Chen Yi, Bright Cheng, Thomas Koppel, Fabrice Bollon, Markus Zahnhausen, Anders Koppel, Roberto Sierra, Sean Hickey, Anthony Newman and Daniel Börtz. For more than a decade, Petri and her label have been on a mission to commission and record a new repertoire of recorder concertos for the 21st century. Beginning with the 2010 release of the Grammy-nominated Chinese Recorder Concertos, featuring the works of Chen Yi, Bright Sheng, Tang Jianping and Ma Shui-Long, Petri has continued her musical globetrotting with English Recorder Concertos (2012), Danish & Faroese Recorder Concertos (2015), German & French Recorder Concertos (2016) and American Recorder Concertos (2019). Future titles will include Pacific Recorder Concertos, South American Recorder Concertos and Middle East Recorder Concertos.

Michala Petri has served as Honorary Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and since January 2015 as Vice President of the Society of Recorder Players (UK). For many years Michala Petri was Vice-president of the Danish Cancer Society and an Ambassador for UNICEF, Denmark.

Marketing and Press

This new recording will be fully serviced to all UK press and Media. Review copies can be requested from john@musicandmediaconsulting.com – interviews can be quickly arranged if required.

Advertising will include Gramophone Magazine.

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