Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hair of the dog

With my new haircut (its not really new I got it cut 4 months ago!) I get lots of looks and comments. A mohawk (or eskiMOHAWK as I like to refer to it) is different, and as I have found out, alot of work to keep it from being a fauxhawk...what I save in shampoo I spend on shaving cream and gel, ah life's rich pageant.
So these days I am used to getting stopped in the grocery store and being asked if I am the last of my kind, at the dry cleaners asking what punk band I play in, and general stares of, oh my gosh, that guy has a mohawk, he must be a punk. Little do they realize I am a classically trained musician, who specializes in the music of our time.
So yesterday at lunch with a coworker I was asked by a complete stranger if I was in a motorcycle gang. Now mind you, I was wearing a suit (my closet remains full of clothes of a "Kansas College professor", and on most days recently, all black!) and still was asked seriously if I was in a motorcycle gang.
I replied, no, and without a beat the lady asked if I wanted to be in one, that her husband was right over at another table. Gee, I don't even own a motorcycle, could I still join a gang?!
The eskiMOHAWK is way fun, I get looks (even last night at the excellent recital of SOLI's pianist Carolyn True) whereever I go, and no doubt comments. I now am able to reply that my favorite author IS James Fennimore Cooper. Next, I need to start my own classical gang. Wanna join?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fiddle Fanboy

Happy Birthday Elliott!

Happy 100th Elliott Carter from John Clare on Vimeo.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Carter and Carols

Listen this week on KPAC and KTXI for great Christmas carols, sounds of the season, and a celebration of Elliott Carter, who turns 100 years old this Thursday. There is a countdown clock on the right hand side of this blog, and you can copy it if you liek to share with your friends!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Important question

So I am very excited for things come this January - and was happy to vote early for Obama...I still have my bumper sticker on here in Texas.
But I was a little bummed about proposed economic changes for the new adminstration were changing from what was said in the campaign - mainly that there would be higher taxes on those making over $250k. That is not in the new proposal...we'll see, Obama is brilliant.
My favorite political reporter makes a great point on another issue:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas shopping for violin aficionados

Here's a list to help you find that right download or cd for someone special this holiday season who digs violin:

10. Viktoria Mullova/Guiliano Carmignola: Vivaldi Concerti for 2 violins (DG Archiv)

9. Lara St. John: Corigliano Red Violin Suite (Ancalagon)

8. Joshua Bell: Vivaldi Four Seasons (Sony)

7. Gil Shaham: Elgar Violin Concerto (Canary Classics)

6. Lisa Batiashvili: Beethoven Violin Concerto (Sony)

5. Leila Josefowicz: Knussen Concerto (DG)

4. Hilary Hahn: Schoenberg/Sibelius Concerti (DG)

3. Janine Jansen: Bach Itunes album -Trio Sonata & selections(Decca)

2. Janine Jansen: Shostakovich Quintet/Trio (Onyx)

1. Anne-Sophie Mutter: Bach Concerti/Gubaidulina In tempus praesens (DG)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Piano mystere

Was it a theft? A prank? A roundabout effort to bring some holiday cheer to the police? Authorities in Harwich, Massachusetts, are probing the mysterious appearance of a piano, in good working condition, in the middle of the woods.
Discovered by a woman who was walking a trail, the Baldwin Acrosonic piano, model number 987, is intact -- and, apparently, in tune.
Sgt. Adam Hutton of the Harwich Police Department said information has been broadcast to all the other police departments in the Cape Cod area in hopes of drumming up a clue, however minor it may be.
But so far, the investigation is flat.
Also of note: Near the mystery piano -- serial number 733746 -- was a bench, positioned as though someone was about to play.
The piano was at the end of a dirt road, near a walking path to a footbridge in the middle of conservation land near the Cape.
It took a handful of police to move the piano into a vehicle to transport it to storage, so it would appear that putting it into the woods took more than one person.
Asked whether Harwich police will be holding a holiday party in the storage bay -- tickling the ivories, pouring eggnog -- while they await word of the piano's origin and fate, Hutton laughed. No such plans.
Harwich police have had some fun, though. Among the photos they sent to the news media is one of Officer Derek Dutra examining the piano in the woods. The police entitled the photo "Liberace."

Friday, November 21, 2008

More to come

Read about and watch an interview I did with Joe the Author at the Juilliard School over on the KPAC blog...here is a detail from the book that he inscribed for me.

The night before I worked with friend and composer Richard Danielpour on Souvenirs, a 75th birthday tribute to Philippe Entremont.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tribute to Elliott

Monday night a played a recital in Madison, WI and started with an improv for Elliott Carter's 100th birthday next month.


Read about Carter concerts I've heard and written about here.


Seven Meme

Something in seven and other numbers as well.
Well, Alex Shapiro has tagged me. A meme of seven! The game: post the rules of this meme, answer them, then tag other unsuspecting bloggers.
The rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog (this is excellent for driving traffic to their sites, so do your pals a favor by participating).
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. If you don’t have 7 blog friends, or if someone else already took dibs, then tag some unsuspecting strangers.
The facts:
1. My favorite game in Las Vegas is three card poker.
2. I really like argyle socks and paisley ties, but not necessarily together.
3. While I have drank many a fine wine, port and scotch I really don't have a favorite.
4. I have taken harp lessons because as an undergraduate I witnessed a guest conductor say the stupidest thing ever to an orchestral harpist, and thought, I never want to sound so stupid when addressing a harpist.
5. I'm an ordained minister of new music in the Universal Life Church.
6. I love to play Name that Tune with classical music, and to the nth degree of who is playing it, when it was recorded, etc.
7. In high school, college and up to a few years ago, I would find the cutest grocery store clerk, bring up a box of eskimo pies, and ask if I get them free by showing them my Dept of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs card with proof of Indian blood. It never worked :(

Here are the bloggers I am tagging: Steve Smith; Joyce DiDonato; Jann Nyffeler; Barney Stinson; Stu Kennedy; Molly Sheridan; and Amanda Ameer.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Prep

Getting ready to take a trip to Madison and NYC tomorrow, will post when I can! Haven't been happier or more in love. ever.
Lots to do, but stay tuned for great things. I'm trying to stay tuned for my recital, hahaha.

Some more

And a few pictures from that sweet day
I volunteered to play, which turned out to be during a small communion service, besides a little gathering.


It was nice to have my folks hear me, it's been awhile since they have heard me in public, so it was great to share it with them and their friends at church.

1000th post/1000 words

Taken a few weeks ago...just received today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Serious music making

I'm trying to stay healthy, but am feeling the effects of the flu - which figures as I am trying to practice violin, work and get ahead before my trip and recital next week.
I did interview and have the Prazak String Quartet in the studio last Saturday night. See and hear them here.
When we finished I got a picture with them...here's my fave, I had no idea what they were doing behind me!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Even more pictures

Maggie with my folks Monday evening.







John and family.

Looking up I saw the sky

A view from the Riverwalk today at lunch...



who is that cool shadow lady?

Visiting San Antonio

It's been a blast having my friend Maggie visit from Las Vegas. She has hung out at the apartment complex, enjoying coffee and grilling; met my folks, and then we've been to concerts, concerts and some concerts.





We've also hit the Riverwalk, and some of my favorite restaurants including Alamo Cafe and Liberty Bar.

Sunday I heard from my friend Lonnie (right), who came to town to hear the Texas State High School Marching Band competition, and was joined by his family too.

It's been way cool to share friends and my new town with folks - come on by and stay awhile!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

John Clare, age 5.
From the collection of Warren and Mary Ann Clare, sketched in Anchorage, AK 1975.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Catching up personally

Hey there! I'm enjoying a smoke out by the pool area, and thought I'd blog a bit.
Things have been wonderful and busy, as you can see online at the KPAC Blog. Be sure to watch the interview there with Alondra de la Parra - she was a real treat to hear with the San Antonio Symphony. They really should hire her right now, and make a big splash in the media about it. The audience was thrilled and the orchestra sounded fabulous. Her ideas about audience building, programming, marketing and music making showed in the pre-concert talk, the concert itself, and at a talk-back afterwards. While I've NEVER really gotten anything from a talk back, having one with Music Director candidates is a no brainer and fab idea. Of course, they should just hire Alondra and not worry about talkbacks...but I digress.
I just finished making a birthday cake for someone very special in my life. Pardon me if I don't kiss and tell, but I'll tell you I've never been happier. It happened rather unexpectedly and my life over the last three weeks is even more amazing than I thought possible. You'll know more later.
I completed my first pledge drive at work, and it went well. This financial world we live in doesn't make it easy on public broadcasting, but San Antonio stepped up to the plate - thank you so much!
I also am playing alot these days, prepping for a violin recital in Madison next month. As I mentioned I've met a special someone, I am writing a solo violin rhapsody in her honor. Its' coming along, and I'll pen some more tonight. Scales and practice fill hours between caring for my parents.
Speaking of which, we had a great time yesterday with a Catholic disability group, and I wound up playing violin for a service afterwards, and met a nice guitarist Chris. He wants me to play on his next album, which was flattering, but I barely know the guy. Besides, I have two close friends wanting some tracks for a Dylan cover album, and one who is putting togther his own contemporary Cuban music cd, which I've already said yes to both!
Modern music continues to have some great projects, with a trip to NYC after my Madison recital, doing some filming...more on that soon too!
My latest culinary success includes bacon sloppy joes, broccolli cheese potato soup, spice cake and corn fritters. That latter item is an old family favorite, basically its corn pancakes.
My folks continue to have good days and bad, with it seeming to have more bad than good - but I have faith that things will be ok.
I'm also very excited that my friend Maggie is coming to visit San Antonio the end of this week. I suspect I'll get to know downtown even better! No doubt we'll have pictures and posts with her here or on facebook - or both!
I'm sure I'm missing something, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Congrats

Just in from ASCAP:
The ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award honors WRTI-FM (Philadelphia) for its outstanding Classical and Jazz music programming. Accepting awards for WRTI will be Dave Conant, Executive Director/Classical Host and MaureenMalloy, Jazz Music Director/Jazz Host.
A special ASCAP Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award posthumously honors Fred Rogers, the creator and star of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," produced by Family Communications, Inc. 2008 marks the 40th anniversary ofthe classic children's show's debut and what would have been the 80th birthday of Fred Rogers.

Watching TV

I don't watch very much TV at all, there just aren't enough hours in a day...but there is one show I love - How I Met Your Mother. It's funny, smart and has great chemistry. This last Monday I had to miss it to hear a recital with Carter Brey and Chris O'Riley. (Is it funny that one of the creators of HIMYM is named Carter Bays?)
So I watched it online since I had forgotten with the pledge drive going on to tape the episode. It was the best episode so far this season! And it included Zitch Dog! I had posted about this hilarious game after the season two episode aired, and found I have the highest ranking in Google for a search as TONS of people are googling it! (I also get lots of hits from Grizzly paw Ice Cream sandwiches!)
Anyway, Zitch dog was in an episode about Marshall's car but I'm glad it made a reprise in this week's episode.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Next month

How it looks for Madison so far:
Violin Recital

eskiMOHAWK for solo violin
A Rhapsody for Heather Holly
by John Nasukaluk Clare
(1970-)

Caprice Number 24:33 in a minor, Opus 1
by Paganini/Cage/Clare
(1782-1840)

Sonata in e minor, K 304
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-91)

Ave Verum Corpus
by Mozart/Dameck

Meditation from Thais
by Jules Massenet
(1842-1912)

Romanian Folk Dances
by Bela Bartok
(1881-1945)

Friday, October 17, 2008

That's my bit

Hey, they're taking my "Five Things!" Of course, I only picked Five Things (almost always positive!) to give myself a framework to write about concerts...and I never claimed it was an original concept for concert criticism or blogging...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ahh, Bach

One of my favorite artists, Helene Grimaud is coming out with a new album of Bach. Here is the video:


You might remember our interview this last year here.

Bad day?

Hey, smile there! You could be having a day like the coach of the Chicago Blackhawks!
The king is dead, long live the king.

In the meantime, have a look over at the KPAC blog where there is alot going on...videos, interviews, reviews...have fun!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nother blog

You may or may not know I write for several online outlets, mostly concerning classical music - KPAC's blog and for Sequenza21...so I don't always get things current here.
Be sure to check them out when you get a chance.
I ran across this blog, and was fascinated, and am looking forward to more posts.

I'm also getting closer to 1000 posts, and nearer to 50000 visitors, we'll have some fun with both!
Right I'm getting lots of clarinetists visiting after a post on a player bb about musical terms. Thanks for stopping by, we'll have more humor ahead!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pretty happy

I like being able to share this with you...


Chris O'Riley at TPR from John Clare on Vimeo.

The next video is better technically with another Chris - Christopher Seaman conductor! There won't be a microphone in front of his face on the video...what can I say, I'm a radio guy...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Life and art

From today's playlist:
Claude Debussy: Preludes Book II: Heather
Jean Sibelius: Rakastava (The Lover)

CCSA Saturday morning

I went out to a rehearsal of the Children's Chorus of San Antonio this last weekend and taped part of their rehearsal for Texas Public Radio. It was a blast, keep an ear out for it on Classical Spotlight and Performance Today!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Repeat Performance

I went to the SA Symphony again last night, since I had to leave slightly early on Friday, and it was again lovely. This time I heard all of the Brahms - actually the whole prgram last night...and I liked it, which is hard to enjoy the same rep back to back when it is familiar, you've played it, spun it on the radio, you know...and I liked my seat downstairs, there was a bit more orchestra sound.
Orli Shaham was delgithful, both in her simple and elegant Mozart, and in person talking. Christopher Seaman killed me with the line, "Between the two of us, we make a full head of hair." (I need to work on my British accent and I'll tell it live sometime.)
Anyway, the orchestra shone in the Britten and really made some honest music in the Brahms. Mozart, especially the Piano Concerto #21, might have been the best, except for a few flubs with a 2nd violinist who played a solo in the 1st movement with a premature chord, and some little things in the 3rd movement - but such a standard rep piece to engage me both nights is something else!
Bravo.

Funniest yet

OMG, I totally laughed with this latest visit to ClassicallyHip:
http://www.google.it/search?hl=it&q=Big%20Organ%20pipe&btnG=Cerca%20con%20Google&meta=
Thank you Italy!

BTW, some milestones are coming up, including my 1,000 post and we just passed 43,300 visitors. Sweet!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Briefly

SA Symphony was wonderful last night, and I really enjoyed seeing the Majestic Theater for the first time too.
Orli Shaham was splendid in Mozart, and Christopher Seaman led the music with good taste. Ultimate cue with his left pinky for the xylophone in Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra cracked me up.
I had to split afte rthe first movement of Brahms' 2nd but will catch it tonight.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Past, present, future weekend

Last weekend, amidst recitals I took my folks to a luncheon...here they are at the China Buffet

myself with mom and Sister Jo-Michelle

and my mom afterwards petting a dog specially trained to visit with the elderly.


This weekend is another filled with concerts, and next weekend I'll get them to AccessAbility.

I'll be there

Exciting news from eighth blackbird about a new concerto by Jennifer Higdon!
(and totally check out the video posting with Sarah Palin playing flute! on their blog as well!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Amazing Anne-Sophie

It's no secret that one of my favorite violinists is Anne-Sophie Mutter. I first got an LP of her Mozart Concerti when I was a teenager, and was learning the G major Concerto. She was a real inspiration and I still talk to my friend who gave me the disc, and say thanks (you rock Elin!)

Much later down the road I would have every cd, laserdisc(!), dvd, download, and in the 90s, I even had a fan site about her with pictures and information (as well as the internet's only site for the music of Andzrej Panufnik at the time, see part of it here from the WayBack Machine, ah geocities!)
I've seen her several times perform live, from Beethoven to Berg, and it is always exciting.

I've also had tapes, cds and mp3s of interviews with her, from various radio stations and networks - one of my favorites is a discussion with Robert Siegel on NPR's All Things Considered. So when I was offered a chance by Amanda Ameer at Universal to talk with Anne-Sophie I jumped at it! It was afternoon in Germany and early one Wednesday morning in San Antonio when we spoke.

Take a listen to our phone conversation: mp3 file

The discussion is mostly around Sofia Gubaidulina, a composer who wrote In Tempus Praesens for Anne-Sophie last year. Of course, we also talked about the Bach that is on the new cd, as well as other composers.
The cd is out on October 7th, in a deluxe set, and as a regular release, as well as a download at DG Webshop. Get it in any version, you'll love it and be sure to see her on tour!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I wonder

What sort of minimalist version could happen since this announcement with "It's a small world after all"?

Hmmm. And this cartoon appeared this morning too! Coincidence?

Fact checking

Nice article here about performances in Australia...but they combine two brilliant women composers! Galina Gubaidulina?!
Would that be Sofia Gubaidulina and Galina Ustvolskaya?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Orpheus Answers

Enter to win tickets to the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and pick up their new recording of Mozart Piano Concerti - it rocks!

Question 1: Orpheus' latest recording on EMI Classics, set for release in October 2008, features which young pianist?
Jonathan Biss

Question 2: Orpheus' newest member musician, trumpeter Louis Hanzlik, holds degrees from which two colleges? (2 answers)
University of Iowa and the Juilliard School

Question 3: What foundation is the official tour and radio broadcast sponsor of Orpheus?
MetLife Foundation

Question 4: What five European countries will Orpheus tour in February 2009? (5 answers)
Italy, Germany, Luxemborg, Austria, Slovenia

Question 5: Which piece, premiering on the October 16th performance at Carnegie Hall, is inspired by one of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and titled after a major landmark in Germany? Brandenburg Gate by Paul Moravec

Send the answers to: MARKETING@ORPHEUSNYC.ORG
All entries with completely correct answers will be entered in a drawing to be held on October 6, 2008.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We knew they were geniuses...

Congrats to Alex Ross and Leila Josefowicz for being named MacArthur Foundation "Genius" - and getting a no strings attached $500,000 grant.
Take a listen to Alex Ross in an interview with me at the New Yorker here...and hear Leila Josefowicz discuss her Beethoven Concerto appearance in Austin last weekend here.
The NY Times has the rest of the story and winners here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Interview in Big D

I had a chance to talk with Steven Stucky and Gene Scheer about "August 4, 1964" in Dallas.
video

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Reunion

I had a fun lunch with four friends from high school yesterday. We laughed and told stories, and caught up on what we've been doing the last few years. More soon, but here we are at the Celebrity Cafe in Dallas.

Friday, September 19, 2008

In Dallas

Wonderful performance last night of "August 4, 1964." Look for the review over on Sequenza21 - but here are the snaps from last night!
Me with Steven Stucky and Gene Scheer


Maestro van Zweden and me


The vocal soloists and the creators


John with friends in the green room

Monday, September 15, 2008

Five Things about Camerata San Antonio

I heard "Romantic Beginnings" with the Camerata San Antonio Sunday afternoon at Travis Park United Methodist Church.
1. Melinda Lee Masur, piano; Karen Stiles and Sayaka Okada, violins; Emily Watkins Freudigman, viola; and Kenneth Freudigman, cello; were joined by violist Yizhak Schotten for a great start to their sixth season. They played in Kerrville and Boerne on Thursday and Friday, so it was no surprise that it was well polished on Sunday. (Schotten also gave a great masterclass and played Brahms' Sonata #2, opus 120 on Saturday afternoon with Melinda Lee Masur.)

2. The program opened with Melinda and Ken playing Chopin's Introduction and Polonaise Brillante, a youthful (written at age 19) work that exudes love and joy. Tempos were brisk and exciting, with plenty of bravura for both.

3. Next was Hans Krasa's music, two short works written in a concentration camp just before Krasa's murder by the Nazi's. His music is well crafted and got a great performance from Okada and the Freudigmans (men? hahaha).

4. Joaquin Turina's Scene Andalouse is a rare gem that should be heard much more often. Imagine a Debussyian texture with Spanish flavor with a gentle protaganist and you pretty much have it. Schotten was in the center leading in perfect style, and Lee provided lush and flashy color, along with the quartet of Stiles, Okada, and the Freudigmans.

5. After intermission, a late string work by Brahms capped the program nicely, the String Quintet, opus 111. Ken sang with the intensity and passion required for the opening motif, and Schotten blended well with the San Antonians. There were smiles all around as each part cued here and there, allowing for phrases to play out with panache and ebb-and-flow easily. Especially tender was the slow movement allowing Stiles to shine in the upper register.
A pre-concert talk and reception added to the afternoon - you won't want to miss their next performance, October 19th featuring Tal Perkes, flute. Learn more here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chris at tpr

Nice interview this morning with Chris O'Riley - watch for it in October when he returns to San Antonio for the Tuesday Music Club with cellist Carter Brey.
Come see From the Top tomorrow night at Laurie Auditorium at 7pm!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pastoral not out to pasture

Some really old Beethoven...what a story!

Latest project

So in July I started some big projects...and in part this came about: an interview with Chris Brubeck. See the opening of our interview at his home in Connecticut.


Brubeck on Classified from John Clare on Vimeo.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Five Things about Musical Evenings

I heard soprano Angela Malek with La Follia Sunday evening at San Fernando Cathedral as part of Musical Evenings with Musical Bridges Around the World.

1. Things began before the concert, in front of San Fernando with period demonstrations of fencing, singing and dancing. There were also actors in costume, asking folks to come in for the concert.

2. The program featured just two composers, but what composers - Bach and Handel. There was a delightful mix of works, choral and instrumental.

3. Soprano Angela Malek has a pure, clear voice well suited for this repertoire, and was ably backed by La Follia. Diction was clear and the costume she wore was delightful.

4. Bach's Trio Sonata #1 and Handel's b minor trio sonata are two of the great chamber music hits of all time. La Follia was muddy in the first movement of the Bach, but that was the only falter the entire evening. Otherwise, technique, pitch and phrasing were exquisite.

5. Explanations of the period instruments from the performers, with questions from the audience, filled what would have been intermission. It was a charming program indeed, and reached an audience that might not have normally caught early music - kudos!

These musicians are going to teach early music technique in San Antonio, keep an eye out for more performances and lessons...on tap is an authentic Brahms' German Requiem.
Musical Bridges Around the World will continue the free San Fernando concerts on the first Sunday of each month- be sure to check it out and to come early for the demonstrations beforehand.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Five Things about Emmanuel Borok

I heard the Musica Viva presentation of Musical Bridges Around the World of violinist Emmanuel Borok and pianist Anya Grokhovski-Michaelson.

1. The house of Susan and Aubra Franklin is gorgeous and set a wonderful background for the evening. Guests mingled beforehand and enjoyed the company, hors d'oeuvres, and house.

2. The program began with Kreisler's Variations on a theme by Corelli and was a perfect start. Balance was good and the tone singing.

3. Mendelssohn's F Major Sonata continued the program and while it is a gem, it is not a masterpiece. Borok and Grokhovski-Michaelson were enthusiastic and brought life into this lesser known work.

4. "Bonbons" consisted of more Kreisler, Brahms, Massenet, Kroll, Gluck, and a Russian gem "The Happy Violin." They were chosen by the Franklin's youngest daughter from a stack of music. Things were light and quick, with good taste and brilliant technique.

5. Borok is an old school violinist -his playing reminds me of Mischa Elman. His is a classic and very laid back approach, and his vibrato is lightning quick. Grokhovski-Michaelson was a delightful collaborative pianist who worked well in the program.

They play a similar program tomorrow afternoon at 3pm at McAllister Auditorium in San Antonio. Find out more here. Children under 13 are free! (and get to help pick the bonbons on the 2nd half of the program!)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Five Things about the Lee Trio

I heard the Lee Trio at Ruth Taylor Hall at Trinity University tonight as part of the Redeemer Fine Arts Series.

1. The concert was beyond capacity, about the time the concert was supposed to start, they added chairs on stage to fit more audience. What a great thing!

2. The Bernstein piano trio is a youthful work that shows alot of promise - and in the hands of Melinda, Angela and Lisa Lee, very convincing. I heard lines I hadn't before, and was convinced I should listen again. Especially fun was the March, with playful pizzicati and charming harmonic bends.

3. Franz Joseph Haydn put his stamp on many genres - the symphony, string quartet and piano trio. This performance was a real delight, showing the humorous side and long melodic lines. Lisa was especially agile in fluid passages and Melinda brought the right flavor to the keyboard, with Angela providing a solid foundation. It was music making without effort and truly charming.

4. After intermission, Schumann's dark d minor trio finished the program - as the Lees said from on stage, it ends "with hope." The brooding first movement was unclear to my taste, but things came together for the flashy second movement. Ensemble was precise and crisp, nothing was left without care - each line getting the right umph. Lyricism prevailed in all parts for the slow movement, with especially beautiful singing from the strings. The finale came and flew by, tempi were always fresh.

5. It was awesome to see people of all ages at the concert, but lots of young people (there must have been a third of the audience under 12 years old!) were enjoying it and were well behaved. If you have a chance to see the Lee Trio - do so, you won't be disappointed!

The Reedemer Fine Arts Series continues in February with John Patitucci.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ask Hilary

In celebration of Arnold Schoenberg's birthday on Saturday, September 13th, violinist Hilary Hahn will launch a custom-designed YouTube channel that will include new video content she will create in response to fan questions about her most recent album - the violin concertos of Schoenberg and Sibelius - as well as a collection of past performance and related videos. Hahn's YouTube channel will give fans the chance to comment, rate, and respond to the new video content, and will allow users to embed the videos on their own websites, blogs, or any of the popular social networks such as Facebook or MySpace. Hahn will use her new channel as a hub for video content for her most recent release and future projects as well.
To submit questions about the album for Hahn to video-answer, please e mail questions@firstchairpromo.com. Twenty fan questions will be selected and posted on http://www.youtube.com/hilaryhahnvideos throughout the day beginning at midnight on September 13th.
Here's my question, How do you choose recital partners and cd collaborators? Read about Hilary's cd launch party in NYC this last April here.