MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Octave 9: New Letter from Seattle for Gramophone

Octave-9-Seth Parker Woods and Friends in Difficult Grace

Seth Parker Woods and Friends in Difficult Grace at Seattle Symphony’s Octave 9.

It’s been very difficult trying to think about anything other than the Covid-19 pandemic. Already several loved ones have become ill with the disease, and one admired acquaintance has died.

With so much angst and sorrow, we are only 10 days into the state of emergency declared for Washington State, while other areas — in the unconscionable absence of federal guidance and leadership — are recklessly carrying on as usual.

Here’s what now seems a surreal glance back to happier times, which I wrote only a little over a month ago for Gramophone magazine’s April issue: some thoughts on Seth Parker Woods, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and Gidon Kremer at Seattle Symphony’s Octave 9 space.


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Filed under: Gramophone, Octave 9, Seattle Symphony, Seth Parker Woods

Seattle’s Benaroya Hall: Overview for Gramophone

I’ve been contributing to Gramophone magazine’s ongoing series on North American venues, starting with a guide to Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. Here’s a link to that piece.

Filed under: Gramophone, performance venue

Gramophone 2019: A Letter from Seattle

gramophone-cover-july-19_0

Here’s a little contribution from me to this month’s Gramophone magazine:

Across the United States, the pressure is on to redefine longstanding classical music institutions that otherwise face potential extinction….

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Filed under: Gramophone, music news, Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony Is Gramophone‘s Orchestra of the Year

As part of its 2018 Classical Music Awards, Gramophone magazine has announced the winner of Orchestra of the Year, an inaugural category whose victor was determined by a public vote. SSO was the only non-European orchestra in the running.

I wrote this for Gramophone about the award:

‘Listen boldly’ enjoins the logo which the Seattle Symphony introduced in 2011 to mark the beginning of Music Director Ludovic Morlot’s tenure. In the years since, that challenge has been directed not just to their audience but to the organisation itself. Listening boldly means acknowledging the need to reimagine its own identity and taking steps to reposition the SSO within an increasingly compartmentalised cultural landscape.

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Filed under: awards, Gramophone, Seattle Symphony

2018 Gramophone Award Winners

Gramophone has announced the ten recordings that are the winners of the magazine’s classical music awards for 2018:
CHAMBER
Dvořák: Piano Quintets
Boris Giltburg pf Pavel Nikl va Pavel Haas Quartet (Supraphon)
CHORAL
Pärt: Magnificat. Nunc dimittis Schnittke Psalms of Repentance
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir / Kaspars Putniņš (BIS)
CONCERTO
Bartók: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
Christian Tetzlaff violin Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Hannu Lintu (Ondine)
CONTEMPORARY
Dusapin: String Quartets Nos. 6 and 7
Arditti Quartet; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Pascal Rophé (Aeon)
EARLY MUSIC
Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, Vol 5
Blue Heron / Scott Metcalfe (Blue Heron)
INSTRUMENTAL
Brahms: Piano Pieces, Opp. 76, 117, and 118
Arcadi Volodos (Sony Classical)
OPERA
Berlioz: Les Troyens
Soloists include DiDonato, Spyres, Lemieux; Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra / John Nelson (Erato)
ORCHESTRAL
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé
Ensemble Aedes; Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth (Harmonia Mundi)
RECITAL
Agitata
Delphine Galou mezzo-soprano Accademia Bizantina / Ottavio Dantone harpsichord (Alpha Classics)
SOLO VOCAL
Secrets
Marianne Crebassa mezzo-soprano Fazıl Say piano (Erato)

Stay tuned for the announcement of Recording of the Year on 13 September at the London awards ceremony, which will be livestreamed on medici.tv. Also to be named at that time: Orchestra of the Year, Artist of the Year, Young Artist of the Year, Label of the Year, and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Filed under: Gramophone, music news

Adventures with the Seattle Symphony

The September 2016 issue of Gramophone is out and contains my feature on innovations at the Seattle Symphony in the era of Ludovic Morlot.

Filed under: Gramophone, Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony

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