MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Life Is Live Festival

Time for live performances to begin again in Lucerne. On Friday Lucerne Festival launches “Life Is Live”, a ten-day-long series of events that invite audiences back into the KKL Concert Hall and other venues.

The Opening Concert also marks a belated debut for the 93-year-old Herbert Blomstedt, who will conduct the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA for the very first time.

Here’s a list of ways to hear programs being broadcast via livestreams and radio. For example, the Opening Concert (with Martha Argerich as the soloist in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto) will be transmitted with a short time-delay, starting at 2pm EST on 14 August on SRF2.

Other notable events: two all-Beethoven recitals with Igor Levit, an all-Schumann recital by the young tenor Mauro Peter, a recital by the saxophonist Valentine Michaud, and Cecilia Bartoli and friends in the Handel-inspired program “What Passion Cannot Music Raise”.

Filed under: Lucerne Festival, music news

John Adams: Live Score Reading and Chat

This Thursday at 3pm EST, join John Adams and conductor David Robertson for a real-time discussion of Doctor Atomic Symphony. They’ll give a close reading of the score, using a recording by the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by Adams himself. This is part of the live-score chat series hosted by Boosey & Hawkes.

Filed under: John Adams

Tippet Rise at Home: Stephen Hough in Recital

On Thursday, 13 August, at 6pm MT, Tippet Rise continues its monthly streaming series, Tippet Rise & Friends at Home, with a recital featuring pianist Stephen Hough. His program: Stephen Hough/Sonata No. 4 (Vida Breve); Franz Liszt/Funérailles, S. 173; Bach/Gounod/Hough: C. Gounod Meditation on the Prelude by Bach (Ave Maria); Frédéric Chopin/Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2.

Listeners can access the stream here.

Here is last month’s stream, in which Behzod Abduraimov played music by Liszt and Mussorgsky:

Filed under: Tippet Rise

Don Giovanni at Finnish National Opera

Here’s a new production staged by Finnish actor-director Jussi Nikkilä for Finnish National Opera, with Patrick Fournillier conducting.

Don Giovanni: Tuomas Pursio
Donna Anna: Hanna Rantala
The Commandant: Koit Soasepp
Donna Elvira: Tamuna Gochashvili
Don Ottavio: Tuomas Katajala
Leporello: Markus Suihkonen
Masetto: Henri Uusitalo
Zerlina: Olga Heikkilä

Filed under: directors, Mozart

Sneak Peeks of Kate Soper’s Opera Romance of the Rose

The extraordinary composer, performer, and writer Kate Soper has completed an opera titled Romance of the Rose, which was to have had its world premiere in April at Montclair State University’s Peak Performances.

Romance of the Rose is named after a medieval French poem. As Soper explains, the opera and poem “start off pretty much the same way: a narrator warns us not to underestimate the significance of dreams.” See her latest discussion of the work here, which includes two sneak peeks of the music.

The clip above, meanwhile, is the first part of her five-part web series SYRINX, which is “about a woman who wakes up one day with an unusual affliction.”

Filed under: Kate Soper, new opera

Archipelago: PassMúsica’s Prize for Best Album of Classical Music 2020

Hearty congratulations to Luís Tinoco and Drumming GP for winning this year’s award for Best Album of Classical Music in the recently announced Prémios da Música Portuguesa (Portuguese Music Prizes).

I reviewed the album, Archipelago, here last year. Delighted to see my high opinion of this music corroborated by the jury.

Filed under: CD review, Luís Tinoco, percussion

Mahan Esfahani Today in Recital

Happening today at 2pm EST from 92Y.
The concert stream will be available to ticket buyers (just $10) for one full week from the time of broadcast. View it live, or at your convenience.

The program:
Selected Three-Part Inventions (Sinfonias), BWV 787-801
French Suite No. 3. In D Minor, BWV 812
Partita No. 6 in E Minor, BWV 827
Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971

Filed under: Bach, harpsichord, Mahan Esfahani

The AIDS Memorial Quilt Is Now Online

It’s startling to realize that the last time the AIDS Memorial Quilt could be displayed on the National Mall in its entirety was 24 years ago. It returned in 2012, but with smaller sections displayed each day over a two-week period. The Quilt has grown far too vast to be shown all at once on the Mall, as it was in 1996. But all 48,000 panels are now accessible online.

From Billy Anania’s report in Hypoallergenic:

While zooming out conveys the immensity of the overall project, focusing on specific panels shows the care and craftsmanship in each one. Many of the individual patches are color-coordinated within each panel, and some panels are even coordinated with their surroundings. Conducting broad keyword searches — like school, church, and prison — leads to panels contributed by collective groups and organizations affected throughout the years. Many of these memorials feel like time capsules from a previous crisis, particularly salient as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the US.

Reports Smithsonian magazine: “The newly launched digitization commemorates the International AIDS Conference, which was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 40th anniversary of the first reported HIV cases in the United States. When viewing the interactive quilt, users can either appreciate the enormous mosaic in its entirety or zoom in on specific panels, which often include individuals’ names and messages of love. Additionally, virtual visitors can search the quilt for specific names, keywords or block numbers.”

Here’s John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1: Of Rage and Remembrance, which was inspired by the Quilt

Filed under: John Corigliano, miscellaneous

Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter

Such an inspiring concert: Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center tonight presented a virtual concert showcasing and celebrating great Black singers, with tenor Lawrence Brownlee as host. Available on YouTube and Facebook for the next 30 days.
Program notes here.

Cast list:
Lawrence Brownlee, Host and Artistic Advisor
Craig Terry, Pianist and Ryan Opera Center Music Director
Whitney Morrison, soprano
J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Will Liverman, baritone
Martin Luther Clark, tenor
Lunga Eric Hallam, tenor
Leroy Davis, baritone
Chris Reynolds, pianist
Members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra

Filed under: Lawrence Brownlee, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Aeschylus: The Persians Streamed from Epidaurus

This looks intriguing: the first-ever live streaming from the ancient theater of Epidaurus. On 25 July at 21.00 Athens time (GMT +2), a performance of The Persians by Aeschylus will be streamed to a global audience via YouTube (donations welcome). All proceeds will benefit the National Theatre and Greek actors impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The performance will be in Greek with English subtitles. To stream, visit, National Theatre of Greece, the 2020 Athens and Epidaurus Festival, the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, or the National Theatre of Greece’s YouTube channel.
(Thanks to Angelo Nasios for the tip.)

Filed under: ancient Greece, theater

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