MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

The Adventurous Mahan Esfahani

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Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani plays with the Seattle Symphony on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11 and 12. (Kaja Smith)

Here’s my Seattle Times profile of harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani:

“Controversial artist” is not one of the images that a professional harpsichordist tends to conjure. It cuts against the grain of countless stereotypes involving restraint, uptightness, dusty academicism. But flipping stereotypes is one way of characterizing the remarkable career of Mahan Esfahani, who makes his Seattle Symphony debut this weekend (Jan. 11 and 12) as the soloist in a program juxtaposing two generations of the Bach family.

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Filed under: Bach family, Seattle Times

The Routes of Slavery Traces a Musical Journey of Resilience

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Performers in The Routes of Slavery, which comes to Seattle on Tuesday, Nov. 6. (Foundation Centre Internacional de Music Antiga)

My Seattle Times story on the upcoming Seattle performance of Jordi Savall’s The Routes of Slavery is now online:

Joined by a global array of musicians, music researcher and virtuoso Jordi Savall traces the relevant story of the African diaspora and its musical legacy across centuries and continents in The Routes of Slavery.

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Filed under: early music, Jordi Savall, Seattle Times

Gaman at Music of Remembrance

Shokichi Tokita.jpgI had the privilege of interviewing Shokichi Tokita for my latest Seattle Times  story. As a boy of 8, he was incarcerated with his entire family at the infamous Minidoka”War Relocation Center” in Idaho soon after Pearl Harbor.

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Filed under: Music of Remembrance, Seattle Times

The Esoterics: Concert Review

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Photo by Bruce Weber

Review of The Esoterics for the Seattle Times:

The Esoterics Sing Radically Secular Rewrites of Texts from the Christian Mass

The Esoterics have a reputation for giving voice to new ideas. But this past weekend’s program explored a concept that was unusual even for them.

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Filed under: choral music, review, Seattle Times

“Become Desert” from John Luther Adams

This week brings the world premiere of the new large-scale orchestral work from John Luther Adams, which Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot will perform Thursday and Saturday. My preview for The Seattle Times:

“Close your eyes and listen to the singing of the light,” exhorts Octavio Paz in “Piedra Nativa” (“Native Stone”)….

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Filed under: American music, John Luther Adams, Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Times

Thomas Dausgaard and Seattle Symphony in an All-Brahms Concert

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Thomas Dausgaard conducts the Seattle Symphony in a Brahms program at Benaroya Hall. (Brandon Patoc)

My review of last night’s program for The Seattle Times:

For a glimpse of the music of the future in Seattle, head down to Benaroya Hall this weekend to experience Thomas Dausgaard in action….

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Filed under: Brahms, review, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Times, Thomas Dausgaard

Seth Parker Woods Comes to Seattle

Here’s a recital debut I’m especially looking forward to: Seth Parker Woods at the Performance Chapel. My Seattle Times story on this remarkable cellist.

Performances by Chicago-based cellist Seth Parker Woods are not only ear-opening: They expand your perceptions of his instrument’s identity itself.

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Filed under: cello, new music, Seattle Times, Seth Parker Woods

The Magic Lute: Aaron Grad’s New Concerto for Electronic Theorbo

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Aaron Grad

My story for the Seattle Times on Aaron Grad’s Strange Seasons, which will receive its world premiere this weekend:

Stories of falling head over heels for an instrument are not unusual. What is unusual is love at first sight — or sound — when that instrument is the theorbo….

 

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Filed under: new music, Seattle Times

Byron Schenkman & Friends Present the Poetry of Schumann

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Byron Schenkman (Will Austin/Will Austin Photography)

For Robert Schumann, the Romantic concept of poetry was the common denominator that inspired him to compose across a wide range of genres…

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Filed under: Byron Schenkman, Schumann, Seattle Times

Berlioz Festival Coming Up at Seattle Symphony

Hector BerliozMy story on Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony, and Berlioz immersion in the Seattle Times:

Ludovic Morlot’s connection to Hector Berlioz goes deep. When he was 12, his parents moved to a house just a few miles from La Côte-Saint-André, the composer’s native village in the southeastern corner of France.

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Filed under: Berlioz, Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Times

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