Congratulations on an incredibly prolific year! Youâ€™ve released several new albums including a new recording of your opera "Eleni" and "For Better, For Worse, Songs About Marriage" and "On This Day, Earth Shall Ring." How did you do it all?
Yep, the year was like an all-out Triple Jump. You get a good running start, keep your eye on the last jump, and hope you land on your feet, not your behind. The two Madrigalia albums were based on the first two concerts I have done with them, and it was satisfying capturing the great sounds they have been making. My opera recording has been a dream for several years, and when Katie Lewek, my lead singer, gave me eight months' notice that she would have two weeks to come to Rochester last summer to record, I set out orchestrating the material for an 'affordable' size orchestra. I trained the choruses, and rounded up and rehearsed with the many solo characters. Finally we added 30 RPO colleagues, which brought it all to life. I conducted the sessions, which was very satisfying as things came together. Everyone brought such dedication to it, and I am pleased that we got so much challenging music done well, so that listeners may know what this opera sounds like.
You may see less arts coverage in the Democrat and Chronicle. The daily paperâ€™s classical music, jazz and dance reporter and critic, Anna Reguero, is leaving to pursue her doctorate in musicology. (You can hear our conversation about changes sheâ€™s seen in Rochester by clicking here.) She will not be replaced. In a city with a widespread affinity for music of all kinds, the decision by Rochesterâ€™s daily paper to not hire a new music writer is troubling but not surprising.
Letâ€™s recall the top classical music news stories in 2010 in Rochester, New York, with a nod to the Rob Reiner film, The Princess Bride.
NOT UNEMPLOYED IN GREENLAND RPO Music Director Christopher Seaman announced his retirement at end of the 2010-2011 season. Norwegian conductor Arild Remmeriet will step up as RPOâ€™s new music director in 2011. Glimmerglass Opera announced that Francesca Zambello will be new executive director in 2011.
MUCH NICER THAN THE FIRE SWAMP Eastman School of Music opened a new wing with dramatic atrium, recital hall, rehearsal spaces, and eye-popping hanging glass sculpture.
INCONCEIVABLE! Rochester entrepreneur Tim Enright launched Virtuoso Television, or VTV, an internet service for musicians to record and store music lessons online for reference in future practice sessions.
HELLO, MY NAME IS â€śGIBBS AND MAINâ€ť Rochester chamber ensemble Quartsemble changed moniker.
NEVER GO AGAINST A STRING PLAYER WHEN DEATH IS ON THE LINE RPO principal violist Melissa Matson stepped on needle, performed Harold in Italy with injured foot. RPO principal cellist Stefan Reuss fell and injured ribs and wrist, missing first few weeks of concert season.
A GREAT GIFT FOR RHYME Baritone Jonathan Beyer earned Rochester Oratorio Societyâ€™s annual Classical Idol top prize with compelling performance of aria from "Nixon on China." Composer Cary Ratcliff gets oratorio "Ode to Common Things" published. Composer Amanda Jacobs won national award for "Mass for the Living."
HER APPEAL IS UNDENIABLE Soprano Renee Fleming released â€śDark Hope,â€ť a collection of pop covers of songs by groups such as Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie and Leonard Cohen. Rochester chamber choir Madrigalia premiered new work by Libby Larsen; Larsen visits.
NO ONE WITHSTANDS THE MACHINE Michael Daughtery piano concerto, â€śDeus Ex Machinaâ€ť co-commissioned by the RPO, earned 2010 Grammy nomination. The Eastman's Ying Quartet was also nominated for a Grammy.
ANYBODY WANT A PEANUT? Several Western New York public schools named â€śBest Communities for Music Educationâ€ť in the United States by the non-profit NAMM Foundation; Albion Central School District, Brighton, Leroy, Pittsford, Royalton-Hartland Central School District, Rush-Henrietta, Webster, West Irondequoit.
Live from Hochstein returned last Wednesday (10/22) with the first program featuring the Music Educator's Wind Band under the direction of Al “Corky” Fabrizio, conductor, and featuring The Canandaigua Academy Mixed Chorus under the direction of Amy Story. They performed music of Copland and Bernstein.
Singers and audience members expressed mixed emotions before Madrigaliaâ€™s final concert of the season. It was the last one conducted by the choral groupâ€™s long-time music director, Roger Wilhelm. He received a standing ovation before anyone sang a note.
Rochesterâ€™s first crazy busy concert week in March begins on a lamb-like day. Tomorrow, look for a cultural announcement from WXXI. On Wednesday, Eastman prof John Graham will pick up his electric viola to reprise Andrew's Colella's powerful Viola Sketches. More later. Tonight, the Rochester Oratorio Society sings at Roberts Wesleyan College in a concert unfortunately named â€śChoral Triptychs.â€ť Iâ€™m singing in it. The music falls a little on the heavy Germanic side with music by Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Rheinberger as well as the flowing, inscrutable Lux Aeterna by contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen.
This afternoon at 4:00 p.m., the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra reveals artistic and financial data during an annual meeting. Check back for more on this later.
The U.S. government issued a 2007 patent for colored polymer instrument mouthpieces for brass players, and these are starting to pop up in instrument cases all over Western New York. Prices range from $21 for a trumpet mouthpiece to $32 for a tuba mouthpiece.