Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Joan Tower's Made in America article in the Symphony Magazine

Here is an article describing the 65 orchestra consortium that resulted in commissioning Joan Tower to write Made in America.
Also a website to the project. http://www.fordmadeinamerica.org/
Perhaps a similar thing can be attempted for University Orchestras?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sphnix Competition airs tonight

I went to Michigan at the same time as Aaron Dworkin, who recently won the MacArthur Genius award for his work with Sphinx. I believe he is doing very important work. Check out his website.

Concert in New York with Steven Stucky as host

If you are near New York city on tuesday, you can catch this great concert which will feature John Harbison's new piece with Dawn Upshaw singing and Steven Stucky hosting the Q and A. I really love Steven's bio on the NYphil's website.
Also check out his new website.

STEVEN STUCKY (b. 1949 in Hutchinson, Kansas)
Not everyone in the pantheon of today’s composer can claim to have spent time on a farm in Pretty Prairie, Kansas. But Steven Stucky can. It’s also on the prairie that he took up the viola as a boy of 10. Now he’s a music professor at Cornell, his alma mater, and has other prestigious appointments in the music world. At the Los Angeles Philharmonic, for example, where he is Consulting Composer for New Music, one responsibility is to study scores of other living composers who are hoping to have their works performed. His credentials make him the perfect choice for the New York Philharmonic’s newest concert series, Hear and Now, where he leads adventurous music lovers into explorations of new works by fellow American composers—in the company of those composers—followed by the Philharmonic’s performances of the works. Steven Stucky knows each of the composers featured on Hear and Now: John Corigliano, John Harbison, and Peter Lieberson and thinks of them as “dedicated communicators, whose music is about human subjects.” He’ll get ready by studying the score of each piece; he’ll talk to the composers in advance; and he’ll be at every rehearsal. He believes the secret to opening up fearlessly to new music is to make a human connection between audience and composer—as will happen at Hear and Now. “The fact that someone is talking to you about the music is almost more important than what the person says. The barriers are taken down when the composer and the audience think of themselves as allies. Call it ‘rooting for the home team.’ That way everybody wins.”

New CSO photographer - Michael Klees

Michael Klees in the violin section will be the new CSO photographer. He will cover the March 11th CSO concert at Ford hall and March 12th concert at the Johnson Museum as his first assignment.

website update for CCO

A major update for the Chamber Orchestra website.
Chamber Orchestra concert is on March 5 Sunday at 3 pm in Barnes Hall. Concert will feature Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and narrator Graeme Bailey. Bring kids!

Cornell Collegium Musicum concert

Our own Orchestra TA, Kristin Kane will conduct a concert version of Francesco Cavalli's opera Elena. It will be in Barnes on Tuesday at 8 pm.
Support your TA!

Here is a Daily Sun article about it.
Scandalous! - Arts and Entertainment

Cornell Collegium Musicum; Kristin Kane, conductor, with guests Laurie Heimes and Jennifer Ellis, sopranos; Margaret Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Marc Molomot, alto; and Thom Baker, tenor. Features a concert version of Francesco Cavalli's opera Elena, performed for the first time since the 17th century. Funded in part by a grant from the Cornell Council for the Arts, with additional support from the Feminists and Gender Studies Program and the Department of Romance Studies.

New music good for classical music?

Link to a NYtimes article. Don't let the really scary picture of Dawn Upshaw from reading this thoughtful article about new music.

New Tuba player in Philadelphia Orchestra

Here is an article about the new Tuba player in Philadelphia. She is drawing attention due to her young age but also for breaking through the male dominated Low Brass sections of Major orchestras. Our own Sarah Brown in CSO of course proves anyone can play any instrument.
She is also a Michigan Alum, Go wolverines!

Another Link

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Concert this weekend

This weekend CCS [Cornell Concert Series] is offering a concert event in Ithaca.
Sean Shepherd, who is our TA from fall and also usher coordinator is looking for ushers for this concert. Get in touch with Sean if you are interested in being an usher for this concert [sbs45].

Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Statler Auditorium, 4pm (tea reception 3pm)

JCMF founder and pianist Elena Bashkirova brings an ensemble of superb musicians from the Jerusalem circle. We are very fortunate to have this extraordinary group just prior to their Carnegie Hall dates, and hope that you will choose to join us for the 4 pm performance (preceded by a hot tea reception beginning at 3 pm). The program will include Mozart's Trio in E flat (K 498), his flute quartet in D major (K 285) and piano quartet in G minor (K 478), the Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No 1, and the Adagio from Berg's Chamber Concerto arranged for clarinet, violin and piano.

You might like to read more about Elena Bashkirova (piano), Kolja Blacher (violin) Danjulo Ishizaka (cello), Guy Ben-Ziony (viola), Mathieu Dufour (flute), and Karl-Heinz Steffens (clarinet) as you look forward to this Sunday in Statler concert!

Airfare to Berlin

Right now, airfare is ~$500 from NYC (that's all the NYC airports-- LGA, EWR, JFK) to Berlin on our target dates, Jan 10-17. That looks like it is as cheap as it is going to get.

website update

Thomas, our webmaster has done a major update of our orchestra website.

Monday, February 20, 2006

SF Symphony's tour to China

Interesting article about the recent San Francisco Symphony's tour to China.


Take a friend to a concert project Link

This is a wonderful initiative on how to bring your friends to concerts.
I will post a series of these links. First one is by one of my favorite writers from the New Yorker, Alex Ross.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Renaissance Research: Sofia Gubaidulina, Simon Rattle, The Philadelphia Orchestra, And The New Verizon Concert Hall Together Make Music History

A recent Phildelphia Orchestra commission conducted by Simon Rattle.

Photos on orchestra website

I have done a major update on the orchestra website regarding the photos.
So you can take a look at the photos from this season and last season of the orchestral activity at Cornell.
Here is a links to the photo sites.

CCO photos
CSO photos

Roberto Sierra's Mass

We are indeed lucky to have on our faculty Pulitzer winner Steven Stucky and also Roberto Sierra. We were fortunate enough to work with him on his Saxophone concerto last year. His mass which was premiered recently in DC has gotten rave reviews.
Here are some links;

Tim Page from the Washington Post wrote:

...the most significant symphonic premiere in the District since the late Benjamin Britten's stunning War Requiem was first performed in the still-unfinished Washington National Cathedral in the late 1960s ...Mr. Sierra's new work is, quite simply, shockingly brilliant...Despite the Hispanic expectations evoked by the work's title, Mr. Sierra's Mass often relies on classical European musical tradition. This makes his Latino eruptions all the more unexpected and irresistible -- no more so than in this delightful 'Sanctus.'In this section's 'Benedicte,' Mr. Sierra also convincingly breaks the postmodernist taboo against melody, giving his soprano the most achingly beautiful solo we have heard in decades. Chorus, orchestra and soloists then take the 'Agnus Dei' to an emotionally satisfying and redemptive conclusion. A huge bravo to Mr. Sierra for having the courage to invite audiences back to the concert hall by gifting them with something wonderful."

Washington Post review

Review from American Music center

Roberto Sierra's bio on National Symphony website

another link from another Blog website [ionarts]

review from DC examiner

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bailey hall renovation progress

Here is a link to two articles regarding renovation of Bailey Hall.
Bailey hall has been the performance hall for CSO for many years. It will be thriliing to be back in Bailey Hall for both our performance venue and also our rehearsal venue beginning fall 2006.
The new rehearsal times for CSO will be
Tuesdays 4:45 pm - 6:45 pm in Bailey Hall
Thursdays 4:45 pm - 6:25 pm in Bailey Hall.

Here are the two Chornicle articles
article 1
article 2

Chamber Orchestra will move to rehearsing on
Mondays 4:45 pm - 6:15 pm in Barnes Hall
Wednesdays 4:45 pm - 6:45 pm in Barnes Hall


Cornell concerto competition article in the Cornell Chronicle

Here is a link to the article on our concerto winner Sarah Rice, who will perform Lalo's Cello concerto on the March 11th concert at Ford Hall with the Cornell Symphony. We had our first read through with Sarah last night.
Here is the link to the article.

Conell Chronicle article

First rehearsal with Graeme

Today is our first rehearsal with Graeme Bailey, our narrator for the March 5th performance of the Peter and the Wolf with the Chamber Orchestra.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A composer to watch

Here is a composer we should keep an eye on. He's got a performance coming up.

Dear friends:
Coming up this spring is a big event I want to let you all know about-- the first performance of a scene from "The Rat Land," my opera-in-progress, at the Improvised and Otherwise Festival in Brooklyn. The cast consists of five remarkable singers, and the orchestra is the NYC-based Anti-Social Music. We are last on the program, which begins at 8pm (we'll go on around 10), and the performance lasts about half an hour. I hope you will come earlier and see the other groups that evening, a mixture of experimental music, dance and video. Tickets can be purchased online at the Improvised and Otherwise Website; see below.

I hope you can be there and I look forward to seeing you! Please spread the word if you can. ---GB

Saturday, April 1, 2006, 8pm
The Rat Land
A chamber opera by Gordon Beeferman, libretto by Charlotte Jackson

Prologue and Scene 1, premiere performance
featuring Anti-Social Music, Clay Greenberg, conductor

Cast: Laurie Rubin, soprano; Michael Douglas Jones, bass-baritone; Marcus DeLoach, tenor; Martha Sullivan, soprano; Andrew Catalano, tenor

Directed by Beth Greenberg

“The Rat Land” chronicles the disintegration of a troubled and eccentric family. The plot centers on their adolescent daughter, Karen, coming of age as best she can amidst a post-Cold War American Grotesque. Caught between her nightmarish home life and a near-psychotic fantasy world of her own devising, she faces grown-up problems of violence, isolation, madness, and death. Prologue: a mysterious apparition. Scene 1: the family’s dinner hour is ruined. Later, Karen reveals to us her secret fantasy world and its deities…

presented by the Improvised and Otherwise Festival
@ BRIC Studio, 57 Rockwell Place, Brooklyn
(in Ft. Greene near the intersection of Fulton and Flatbush; 2/3/4/5 to Nevins St.)
tickets $15/$25 for the whole festival

Anti-Social Music is a non-profit collective of composers and performers in their 20s and 30s created for the purpose of presenting new work by emerging musicians at concert halls, clubs, festivals, and rooftops. ASM is dedicated to supporting the music of our generation and connecting the worlds of composed contemporary classical/jazz and the rock/punk/indie scenes that surround us.

Beth Greenberg is a stage director at New York City Opera.

a few words from Stefan

Stefan, an economics professor at Cornell and also a former cellist in the CCO during the 2004-2005 season sent the following words.

Hi Chris,
I went to the Mozart birthday concert last Monday and was very impressed with the orchestra playing. It was the evening's highlight. Just wanted to congratulate you to this performance.

Best, Stefan

St Magnus Festival - Orkney conducting masterclass

This is a great festival.
And the repertoire for this summer looks great. I was there for two summers and had a wonderful time.


The fourth Orkney Conducting Course takes place between 12th and 22nd June 2006 . This ten-day course for emerging conductors overlaps with and is closely linked to the St Magnus Festival, Orkney 's midsummer celebration of the arts. One of the UK 's most vibrant and innovative festivals, St Magnus is set against the spectacular backdrop of Orkney at midsummer.

OCC Director is Martyn Brabbins, one of Britain's finest conductors and a highly regarded and experienced teacher of conducting.

The course provides a stimulating and supportive environment in which conductors can share in an intensive period of study. Most importantly, as part of the St Magnus Festival, OCC enables participants to work with outstanding orchestras, ensembles, conductors and soloists. In 2006 these include the BBC Philharmonic, the Nash Ensemble, conductors Martyn Brabbins, Sian Edwards and Charles Peebles , viola virtuoso Lawrence Power, pianists Judith Keaney and Lynda Cochrane, and composer/conductors James MacMillan and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Initial sessions are with two pianos, focusing on clarity of communication of musical ideas. The students' work is video-recorded and time is spent analysing these recor di ngs. The two-piano work prepares students for two days of rehearsal with the BBC Philharmonic and the Nash Ensemble .

Students also direct a rehearsal with the St Magnus Festival Chorus, and viola virtuoso, Lawrence Power leads a session on concerto accompaniment. In 2006 students will also have the opportunity to hear composers, including James MacMillan and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, speak about their work.

In 2006, repertoire to be covered will include:

Peter Maxwell Davies
Julian Anderson

Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 3
Roman Carnival Overture
Tragic Overture
Viola Concerto
A Reel of Seven Fishermen
Poetry Nearing Silence
Pierrot Lunaire

Comments from previous participants

'An exceptional experience. Easily the best conducting course in the UK.'

'Excellent teachers, warm, friendly, supportive staff, wonderful atmosphere among participants.'

'I cannot think of any other opportunity for professional development that compares. One of the most professionally stimulating weeks I have ever had.'

'… dug deep under the surface, went straight to the heart of the matter and at the same time managed to make all of us conduct better (rather than filling us with self-doubt!).'

Scotia Festival

While I am at it I will list some great music festivals I have had personal experience with.

Scotia Festival of Music 2006 - May 28 to June 11
Scotia Festival of Music, now entering into its twenty-seventh season, is a two-week chamber music festival that takes place in late May and early June each year in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a celebration of the art of music making with Highlight Concerts, open rehearsals, masterclasses, coaching sessions, and round table discussions by Guest Artists of international renown.

Lyrica fest

I have been asked by Laura Bossert and Terry King to post the following.
They are great musicians I have collaborated with before.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce LyricaFest’s Seventh Season from June 4-19. This summer we welcome back Pamela Frank and Laurence Dutton as our guest coaches.

We extend our congratulations to the ever-expanding LyricaFest Alumni who now hold prestigious positions including the Boston Symphony, Handel and Haydn Society, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Radio Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, Portland and New Haven Symphonies, the Mikkeli Finnish Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto, and Verbier Chamber Orchestras, the Quartet Program, Longy School of Music, Ball State University, Brookline Music School, and the Concord Music Academy.

LyricaFest’s intimate setting, home-cooked meals and nightly sight-reading sessions with faculty continue to be among the festivals’ traditions.

Please see the enclosed brochures for further information. You can also find us on the web at www.lyricafest.org. The application deadline is April 1, 2006. LyricaFest’s tuition continues to be among the most affordable.

Feel free to email us, the directors if you have additional questions.

Thank you and best wishes in 2006,

Laura Bossert, laurabossert@mac.com & Terry King, tkingcello@aol.com
Terry King, tkingcello@aol.com

Soubre project

CCO will be taking part in the Soubre project.
We will record this "found" piece in March.

Here is Francesca's request.

We would like to invite you to participate in a landmark recording of a
recently discovered work: Jean-Etienne Soubre's "Symphonie fantastique"

Scholars and players have long believed that Berlioz's "Symphonie
fantastique" was the only existing work by that name. However, a long-lost
*second* Symphonie fantastique by the Belgian composer Jean-Etienne Soubre
was discovered this year in an archive in Liege. Soubre's symphony is a
significant find for scholarship, and gives us an exciting chance to
"re-premiere" and record a piece that has not been heard or studied since
1833. For anybody looking for an interesting new line on a CV, this is a
excellent opportunity -- please lend us your time and energy.

Derek Bermel's concerts

CCO performed Derek Bermel's Soul Garden in the November concert.
Here are some of his upcoming concerts.

Dear Friends,

In the cold heart of February, here are two upcoming shows at Carnegie Hall
which you might enjoy. Details below. Bring your snowshovels...!


Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30pm Zankel Hall (57th St. and 7th Ave.) 212-247-7800
ALARM WILL SOUND, Alan Pierson, Conductor

FRANK ZAPPA Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat
JOHN CAGE 0' 00"/Variations III
BERNARD WOMA Gyil Mambo (arr. Rogers)
JOHN ADAMS "Coast" (arr. Burhans)


Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3pm Zankel Hall (57th St. and 7th Ave.) 212-247-7800
IN YOUR EAR TOO, a weekend festival curated by JOHN ADAMS, with NICOLAS
HODGES, piano, GEOFF NUTTALL, violin. and DEREK BERMEL, clarinet.

HEINRICH IGNAZ BIBER Passacaglia in G minor for solo violin
CHRIS PAUL HARMAN, Preludio a rovescio
IGOR STRAVINSKY Three Pieces for solo clarinet
DEREK BERMEL Thracian Sketches
HARRISON BIRTWISTLE Ostinato with Melody
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Fantasia in G Minor for piano
BÉLA BARTÓK Contrasts.


Wish I was near DC to catch this.


The infamous Ballet mécanique is coming to Washington, DC, but not in any way it's been heard before. And it's not going to be for just one performance...it's going to be played over 30 times.
George Antheil's 1925 masterwork, which was never heard in its original version (for 10 percussionists, two pianists, three airplane propellers, electric bells, siren, and 16 player pianos) until 75 years after its composition, will be presented on the mezzanine of the National Gallery of Art's East Wing every day for over two weeks, starting on March 12. Performing it will be 16 computer-controlled player grand pianos and an orchestra played entirely by robots. This means it will be the fastest, most maniacal, and--thanks to the cavernous acoustics of the giant building--the loudest Ballet mécanique ever performed.

In conjunction with a huge exhibit on Dadaist art, which runs from now through May, the Music department of the National Gallery has commissioned a Ballet mécanique installation, which will be on display and performing from March 12 through March 29. The all-mechanical orchestra will be located on the mezzanine, next to the entrance to the Dada exhibit hall. At 1:00 pm (every day) and 4:00 pm (weekdays only), the orchestra will roar into action and play a 10-minute version of the piece.

The player piano parts will be handled by 16 Gulbransen grand pianos equipped with Pianomation controls. The xylophone, bass drum, tam-tam, siren, propeller, and bell parts will be performed on real instruments by custom robots created by the League of Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR) especially for this installation. The entire orchestra is under the control of a Macintosh G5 computer using Mark of the Unicorn's Digital Performer software.

A gala premiere event will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, March 12 (if you got an email from me earlier, please note this is a new date). I and Eric Singer, the director of LEMUR, will be present, no doubt frantically taking care of last-minute technical problems.

In addition, the film Ballet mécanique by Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy will be shown (without sound) continuously as part of the Dada exhibit.

Please come and experience the latest 21st-century incarnation of this long-forgotten 20-century masterpiece. For more information on the Ballet mécanique, visit http://antheil.org. To see the work of LEMUR, visit http://lemurbots.org. And for the National Gallery, visit http://www.nga.gov.
In related news, my documentary film on George Antheil and the Ballet mécanique, Bad Boy Made Good, is now "on the schedule" at two northeastern PBS stations for the month of April. Details when they are available!

Hope to see you there,
Paul Lehrman

Poster for the February 12 and 13 Mozart concert

Here is the poster designed by Aara Edwards, violist and bassist of CCO.

Cornell Concerto competition winner - Sarah Rice

After a whole day of grueling first round. Three finalists were chosen for the Second Annual concerto competition.
Jian Liu, violin, Soomin Shone, piano and Sarah Rice, cello.

Three finalists performed in the finals concert in Barnes Hall on February 4. The three Judges; Daniel Kim, Daniel You and Chris Younghoon Kim selected Sarah Rice, who performed Eduoard Lalo's Cello concerto in d minor with Graeme Bailey. Sarah will perform with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra on March 11th concert. She will perform the first movement of the Lalo.
There will also be an article in the Cornell Chronicle, I will provide a link once it becomes available.

and some more

more pictures from the NYC tour

photos from the New york city tour by the Chamber Orchestra

CCO members make your own captions.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Pictures from the Mozart concert No. 1

Thanks to Mr. Ballantyne who took pictures for us and sent us this very nice note.

Chris: I thought the Mozart piano trio[triple concerto] was outstanding. Attached are a
few photos I took during and after the performance. The ones during the
performance are compromised by my front-row seat, desire to be
unobtrusive, and my focus on Nora. Congratulations on a fine performance
and on the great work you are doing with these students. Joe Ballantyne

Friday, February 03, 2006

New York, New York

I can't imagine a better way to have spent the first weekend of the new semester than traveling to New York City with the Chamber Orchestra. The almost 3-day trip included attending an all-Mozart performance by the world renowned Berlin Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, a masterclass with graduate conducting students at the Copland School of Music, and a long visit to the Museum of Modern Art. The photograph above shows the group in the lobby of Carnegie Hall, just after an incredible performance that I'm sure we'll all remember for the rest of our lives. Returning to Cornell after the trip, I was completely exhausted but felt that I had spend quality time bonding with my colleagues in the orchestra. We now share stories about our experience in New York, from crazy drivers and metro passengers to tiny, bustling Burger Joints behind curtains in seemingly innocuous buildings. It's not everyday you have the opportunity to go on tour with such a great group of people and musicians. Many thanks to Chris and everyone who worked so hard to make this experience possible.


Van 2 rocks...for so many reasons:
Crazy man on the on ramp with cute puppy...
Sarah Brightman over and over and over again...
Lots of Ghost...
We never got lost:)

NYC was a fabulous trip. Thanks to all the orchestra members who went; you guys were perfect passengers, especially for a novice 15 passenger van driver!