Symphonic composer – Allan Pettersson http://allanpettersson.org/ Thu, 02 Dec 2021 15:11:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://allanpettersson.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-19-120x120.png Symphonic composer – Allan Pettersson http://allanpettersson.org/ 32 32 Interview: composer and concert pianist Faranak Shahroozi https://allanpettersson.org/interview-composer-and-concert-pianist-faranak-shahroozi/ Thu, 02 Dec 2021 05:00:41 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/interview-composer-and-concert-pianist-faranak-shahroozi/ Faranak Shahroozi is an Iranian-American composer, performer and pianist known for her lyrical, romantic and captivating melodies. With the help of producer Preston Glass, Shahroozi collaborated with stars such as Lenny Williams of soul / funk group Tower of Power, Syreeta Wright (wife of Stevie Wonder) and the support of legendary winemaker Robert Mondavi on […]]]>

Faranak Shahroozi is an Iranian-American composer, performer and pianist known for her lyrical, romantic and captivating melodies. With the help of producer Preston Glass, Shahroozi collaborated with stars such as Lenny Williams of soul / funk group Tower of Power, Syreeta Wright (wife of Stevie Wonder) and the support of legendary winemaker Robert Mondavi on the debut album. by Faranak, titled La Musica De La Vigna, was produced. Her song “Helplessly Falling” was featured in the Down ‘n Dirty film with Gary Busey. Since 2012. She has also performed for business and music professionals such as Jeff Shell / Stephen B. Burke, the [former] CEO of NBC; Johnson & Johnson; PETA; the winemaker Robert Mondavi; saxophonist Boney James; and Tony! Toni! Your! Faranak is currently working with several music supervisors to obtain licenses for his songs in film and television. His song “Remembering the ’80s” is featured in Johnathan Moch’s film, Play the fold, released in theaters this summer. In this interview, she talks about her career and her exciting projects.


Jason: Can you tell us how you grew up?

Faranak Shahroozi: I grew up in the southern part of Iran called Abadan. My father worked for the British-built oil refinery, so we had a very pleasant, privileged life, almost like in a country club. When the war broke out we had to move and we left our house and all our belongings. We sat in a car and fled to Tehran. My sister had a little portable radio that she put in my crib and played classical music, and that’s how I slept. So the music was always in my head. My older sisters always listened to pop music, while I grew up with the music of Santana. There were three teenagers in our house, and they were still playing music. I was musical since childhood.

Jason: What brought you to music as a specific career path?

Faranak Shahroozi: My family was having dinner on a beach and I asked the band on stage, “Can I play with you?” And they said okay, come on up, and I sang a popular song by whoosh. I was maybe three and a half, four. So I played the piano and studied classical. Then I moved to America when I was 18. I studied music, got my bachelor’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in classical piano performance.

Jason: What happened after graduation? I understand that you connected with influential people who were instrumental, forgive the pun, in helping you establish your path.

Faranak Shahroozi: After I graduated from college, it led me to songwriting, where all of these emotions kicked in when I was maybe 24-25. I started to write very melodic and loaded music. I didn’t do much with them until I met Lenny Williams (of the soul / funk band Tower of Power), who said, ‘Oh my God, this is amazing music. Why don’t I introduce Kenny G producer Preston Glass to you? So Glass listened to him and he said, ‘Okay, I want to produce your music.’ This led me to meet winemaker Robert Mondavi and his wife, who loved my music. I did concerts for him and I played for celebrities, everyone who came to Napa. I made an album called La Musica De La Vigna that Mondavi approved.

Photo by Faranak Shahroozi courtesy of Faranak Shahroozi

Jason: Can you tell us an interesting story that has happened to you since the start of your career?

Faranak Shahroozi: Well, I met songwriter Syreeta Wright, who was married to Stevie Wonder. She sang one of my songs, and she died 19 years ago from cancer, and I still have that song with her voice on it. It’s a song I wrote with my producer, Preston Glass, who is inducted into the Soul Music Hall of Fame. He is one of the best music producers in the world. So he did an album together and Lenny Williams sang one of my songs and another girl sang one of my songs called “Helplessly Falling” which came into a movie called Down ‘n Dirty with Gary Busey. So I did all that, but the highlight at the time was Syreeta, whose music I grew up with sang my song.

Jason: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you first started out?

Faranak Shahroozi: My album, the one we produced with Preston Glass and Robert Mondavi, found its way into Clive Davis’ hands when I was pregnant, but I didn’t know I was pregnant. We just finished the album and everything went well. So Clive Davis listened to my music and all he said was, “I work with this girl who can sing and play and compose like you”, but I didn’t think that girl could sing and play like me . So Clive pushed this other person’s album instead of mine. I didn’t know who she was until I found out it was Alicia Keys when her album Songs in A minor came out of. So I was Alicia Keys’ finalist. But Clive Davis told Preston and I to have fun and come back later, which we never pursued. I was busy raising my son, who is now 21 years old. It’s probably a sadder story than a fun one. Can we change the question? [laughs].

Jason: What are some interesting or exciting projects that you are currently working on?

Faranak Shahroozi: The project I’m working on is taken from a book called 165 days about this British filmmaker Asad Qureshi who was making a documentary on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan and he and his team were captured, and they were held captive for six months for a ransom of $ 10 million . Asad is my friend who wrote the book, his story turned into a screenplay and there is a great producer by the name of Yu-Fai Suen from Pinewood Studios who does a lot of great movies. So I’m making music on it, which is exciting. I have already written a touching song for the end. For Thanksgiving, I have my version of “Silent Night” which is very cute. I also took up Francis Lai’s theme from Love story. This one will be released on December 1st.

Jason: Are there any tips you would recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and avoid burnout?

Faranak Shahroozi: Yes. Do not abandon. Knock on all possible doors. And especially LinkedIn. I get so much stuff through LinkedIn, everything. I met my distribution channel via LinkedIn. I was signed last year by Jason Jordan, who signed me right away. LinkedIn is for me, and then, be there. Put on shows and show your face everywhere if you can. But with the pandemic, people don’t have the option. Musicians are suffering a lot.

Jason: If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most good men to the greatest number. What would it be?

Faranak Shahroozi: I worked with PETA and gave them some of my songs because I love animals. I met Ingrid Kirkwood from PETA, who started this movement to rescue mistreated animals in homes. If I could be their voice I would love this.

Jason: Is there someone in particular that you are grateful for who has helped you get to where you are?

Faranak Shahroozi: Preston Glass, my producer. He produced Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross. Lots of big names. And he believed in me from the day he met me. He said to me ‘your composition reminds me of Francis Lai or Nino Rota’, so he believed in me and he said ‘continue’, he’s in Los Angeles, and we just made my previous album, the one I’m distributing as singles. I’m on my third single at the moment.

Jason: Can you please give us your favorite life lesson quote? And how has this applied to you in your life?

Faranak Shahroozi: Oh, never give up. I think this is the most important advice I can give to anyone. Follow your dreams. Do what you’re good at. And don’t give up on all the younger ones who are starting out.

Photo by Faranak Shahroozi courtesy of Faranak Shahroozi
Photo by Faranak Shahroozi courtesy of Faranak Shahroozi

Jason: How essential is it to be diverse in your profession? You are represented in the classical world and the world of cinema and television.

Faranak Shahroozi: If you look at my library on my website, I have distinct sounds in each recording, and that’s fantastic in the music and film industry. There are many kinds of moods, and like I said earlier, I was always trying to collaborate with other people and have unique sounds. If you listen to my music, you see that each one is produced differently. One is light rock, the other is dance music, some are very symphonic, others are just piano. So I am very diverse. I did a movie called Playing the Crease and during post-production; I asked the director, Jonathan Mark, if I could put some of my music in there, and it worked.

Jason: How can readers follow you online?

Faranak Shahroozi: I am on all digital platforms, from YouTube to Spotify to Pandora and Apple Music. I’m everywhere. My Instagram is at Paranaque Music, so it would be perfect to follow me on Instagram.



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Composer Jonathan Bingham: Changing the Course of Classical Music https://allanpettersson.org/composer-jonathan-bingham-changing-the-course-of-classical-music/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 16:25:10 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/composer-jonathan-bingham-changing-the-course-of-classical-music/ Composer Jonathan Bingham has been recognized for using electronic and acoustic instruments over the past decade. Bingham is a Donna Milanovich Composer in Residence with the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra and is delighted to be visiting Chicago for the first time for this premiere. An accomplished composer, Bingham has performed residencies with the Arapahoe Philharmonic and […]]]>

Composer Jonathan Bingham has been recognized for using electronic and acoustic instruments over the past decade. Bingham is a Donna Milanovich Composer in Residence with the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra and is delighted to be visiting Chicago for the first time for this premiere. An accomplished composer, Bingham has performed residencies with the Arapahoe Philharmonic and the Boulder Symphony. In addition, through collaborations with filmmakers, dancers and painters, he has presented international premieres in concert halls, cinemas, galleries and theaters.

A composition graduate from Howard University and New York University, his most recent project is Cool Story, a platform for researching scores and producing recordings of lesser-known music.

Tammy Gibson: What made you decide to become a songwriter?

Jonathan Bingham: When I was in high school, I took a class where we started composing silent films. Composition was the only activity that kept my interest. I played basketball at one point. Then, for some reason, I started running away from everything else. Recording silent movies in high school led me to try and get into music production and popular music. While I was trying to do this, I discovered classical music, and I haven’t looked back since.

TG: Do you remember the first song you wrote?

JB: Absoutely. It’s a string quartet called “Diamond” and it still performs today. Usually, composers do not let their first pieces play. But, I needed it for a gig once, because I needed to fill up some space. The “Diamond” coin is named after my birthstone month in April.

TG: Which composer inspired you the most?

JB: I have two composers who have inspired me. Irénée Bergé is a French composer. Hearing his music, the idea of ​​stopping the music came to my mind because the bar was just too high. I felt that it was not the right time to make music, I had a well-paid job and Irénée Bergé had already done everything. I am still studying his work. I learn something new from him every time.

Samuel Barber was an American composer. He did it the right way by introducing the right amount of convention into his music and his experiments. He has a large catalog, and I think it’s important that every composer thinks about whether he’ll be making relevant music. You can’t just have music that looks like music from the last century or too far into the future because people won’t find it. Barber has found a nice balance in the career he has had. The numbers speak for themselves on its success.

TG: What is the life of a composer like today?

JB: Right now I have a scholarship in the Bay Area. I’ll be in San Francisco to work on the stock market. I was given a command and a space to write. It is a composer’s dream. I’m going to wake up, have a coffee and compose on the piano. Every once in a while someone would contact me to collaborate on a movie or a pop song. They will give me work to write string arrangements or electronic sounds for a movie. I’ll take a little trip.

TG: Is there a collaboration you’re most proud of?

JB: There was a collaboration that I did, but it was my project that I did a few years ago called “Equation”. It was a concert with a painter who made a painting with my string quartet. We rented a gallery in New York, and it was great fun.

TG: What are you doing to keep your creativity flowing?

JB: The most important thing is to keep listening to music. It doesn’t stop with classical music. If you want to be a classical composer, especially ten years in the game, you have to know another genre. Find one or two artists or two albums of specific artists and do your research. Next, look for books published about this artist and podcast episodes to listen to about the artist? It is essential to learn about different artists and different types of music.

Jonathan Bingham Chicago DefenderTG: Is it easy or difficult for you as an African American composer?

JB: Being a composer, regardless of race, is difficult. The industry is not very interested in it or shows a strong investment of composers under 40 years old. Apparently 40 is the age when people start to talk about you a little more. Until then, it’s about either continuously applying for schools, scholarships and scholarships to fund your projects, or creating your opportunities yourself, which can be difficult. I tell people I don’t recommend this path unless you think it’s a call to your life or find purpose or meaning in being a songwriter.

If you graduate from college at age 20-25, you have another 10-15 years before things start to happen for you, potentially. During this time, you need to focus on why you are doing this to keep improving and developing as a songwriter.

TG: As a composer, what stage of your career are you at now?

JB: I am 32 years old and I feel that there are elements in the music that I have performed. I knew I wanted to write certain pieces, write for an orchestra, and write for a string quartet when I was in college. I’ve done over ten shows in the past year, which is pretty good. It doesn’t sound like much in the classic world at 32, but I’d say it’s pretty good.

Where I am on the scale of things is hard to say. You feel like a rock star at times, and at other times you are in your room composing. I’m in a good position right now and consider myself lucky.

TG: What projects are you currently working on?

JB: I’m working on a project called “Cool Story”, where I’m researching lesser-known music. The first project is to research composers who have been associated with Howard University, where I studied. There is a lot of literature in the classical world that has passed through Howard University and has never been published. Unfortunately, some sheet music was sitting on the desks of these composers, and when they died, the sheet music was thrown in the trash. Fortunately, some partitions have been found and rearranged. I got sheet music from Mark Fax, who taught composers Dorothy Rudd Moore and Adolphus Hailstork, who were his students at Howard University.

Max Fax didn’t have many performances, especially his string quartet. I was able to attend, I believe, the creation of the Fax string quartet in 2010. Be careful, Fax died in the early 1970s. I was 20 when I heard the string quartet, and I loved it. I thought it had to be a first somewhere. I was still waiting for someone to come and publish a recording, and no one did.

In 2018, I created a website and got permission from the Fax family to register the work. I now have the digitized score to give to the musicians. I want to put the music from Fax on a platform where the 21st century audience can access the Internet. If I had left it alone, the score would have ended up in a library. How many people go to the library to search for sheet music? That’s why I launched coolstoryrecords.com, where people can listen to music and donate.

TG: What advice would you give to a budding composer?

JB: Don’t try to become a professional composer if that’s not your calling. There is a lot of time between when you first start and when you can step onto the world stage and make it a lifestyle. You have to find meaning and purpose if you want to be a composer.

For more information on Jonathan Bingham, visit www.jonathan-bingham.com and www.coolstoryrecords.com/

Tammy Gibson is a traveler and black history author. Find her on social networks @SankofaTravelHr


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West Side Story Composer Leonard Bernstein “Wasn’t Crazy About The Movie,” His Daughter Reveals https://allanpettersson.org/west-side-story-composer-leonard-bernstein-wasnt-crazy-about-the-movie-his-daughter-reveals/ Sat, 27 Nov 2021 01:52:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/west-side-story-composer-leonard-bernstein-wasnt-crazy-about-the-movie-his-daughter-reveals/ The legendary songwriter behind West Side Story ended up resenting his success – and he didn’t like the Oscar-winning film adaptation either, his daughter revealed. Jamie Bernstein, the eldest daughter of Leonard Bernstein, who wrote the iconic musical in the 1950s, said he had become frustrated with the phenomenon and had to work harder for […]]]>

The legendary songwriter behind West Side Story ended up resenting his success – and he didn’t like the Oscar-winning film adaptation either, his daughter revealed.

Jamie Bernstein, the eldest daughter of Leonard Bernstein, who wrote the iconic musical in the 1950s, said he had become frustrated with the phenomenon and had to work harder for his other works to stand out.

It comes as Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of the Romeo and Juliet-inspired classic, set in New York City, is slated for release next month.

“It has become a kind of albatross around its neck,” said Bernstein Radio schedules.

“He had to work that much harder to get people to focus on his other works, especially his symphonic works.

“He mentioned it every now and then, it was a frustration.”

“But you can’t really complain about a gigantic success,” she added.

Jamie Bernstein, the eldest daughter of Leonard Bernstein (pictured), who created West Side Story in the 1950s, said he was frustrated with the phenomenon and had to work harder to get his other works to stand out .

The musical follows cursed lovers Tony and Maria, who fall in love on the streets of New York City despite being part of rival gangs (Pictured: Tony and Maria played by Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood in the 1961 Oscar-winning film adaptation )

The musical follows cursed lovers Tony and Maria, who fall in love on the streets of New York City despite being part of rival gangs (Pictured: Tony and Maria played by Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood in the 1961 Oscar-winning film adaptation )

The musical follows doomed lovers Tony and Maria, who fall in love on the streets of New York despite their membership in rival gangs, the Jets, made up of whites, and the Sharks, whose members are originally from Puerto Rico.

While the initial Broadway production was a success in its own right, the 1961 film adaptation starring Natalie Wood and RIchard Beymer sent her into the stratosphere, winning a total of 10 Oscars.

But Mr. Bernstein wasn’t much of a fan, his daughter Jamie revealed.

“My dad wasn’t crazy about the movie,” Bernstein said.

“He thought there were deficits and he wasn’t entirely happy with the music. Johnny green [the musical director] created the whole prologue, my dad didn’t write that.

“He wasn’t happy but he didn’t say anything because he felt he had no right to complain.

“He abdicated from being in full control and on the scene while they were shooting the movie. He was busy doing the rest of his life.

Bernstein said the Spielberg version of the film, starring Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as Tony and Maria, is “completely fabulous.”

She was sanctioned by herself and her two siblings Alexander and Nina, among other “living representatives”.

The film suffered several delays but is ultimately written for a December 10 release.

The Jets gang as portrayed in the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story - which won a total of 10 Oscars

The Jets gang as portrayed in the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story – which won a total of 10 Oscars

A confrontation scene between the Sharks (left) and the Jets (right) in the 1961 film adaptation

A confrontation scene between the Sharks (left) and the Jets (right) in the 1961 film adaptation

And this time around Puerto Rican actors were used to play as members of the Sharks, making the film less “problematic”.

Bernstein said, “They found all these little ways to make it deeper, to make each character more resonant and connection with the story.

“Another huge improvement is that sharks and all of their relatives are in fact [played by Latinos].

“That wasn’t the case in the first movie, and the particular orange makeup that everyone had to wear was very problematic. With all of that gone, he has a much more gritty authenticity.

She added: “You can’t expect the music to sound better, considering this is the New York Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.”

Leonard Bernstein died at the age of 72 in 1990.

To this day, the former frontman of the New York Philharmonic, who was also a talented pianist, remains one of the most successful American musicians of all time.


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A Garden of Earthly Delights: the virtual platform honoring the legacy of composer Krzysztof Penderecki https://allanpettersson.org/a-garden-of-earthly-delights-the-virtual-platform-honoring-the-legacy-of-composer-krzysztof-penderecki/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 15:13:18 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/a-garden-of-earthly-delights-the-virtual-platform-honoring-the-legacy-of-composer-krzysztof-penderecki/ When Krzysztof Penderecki passed away in March 2020, the Polish composer left behind not only some of the most exciting, atmospheric and daringly inventive music of the past half century, but also a remarkable garden – located about 100 km from Krakow, the Penderecki’s arboretum covers 62 acres and contains 1,700 different species of trees. […]]]>

When Krzysztof Penderecki passed away in March 2020, the Polish composer left behind not only some of the most exciting, atmospheric and daringly inventive music of the past half century, but also a remarkable garden – located about 100 km from Krakow, the Penderecki’s arboretum covers 62 acres and contains 1,700 different species of trees. “I am walking in my garden and I am happy,” he said in 2019. “I go over there, to the big trees, and I put my arms around one of them for a moment. It’s a hug that gives me a feeling of power and peace.

So what better way to celebrate the life of the great man than with an online virtual garden? Penderecki’s garden is a wonderfully inventive and interactive way to explore the composer’s universe, his love of flora and, of course, his music.

The garden is an original idea of ​​the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the organization created in 2000 to promote Polish culture in an inventive and inspiring way. In addition to celebrating great Polish artists through the past and marking major anniversaries, the Institute also defends the brilliant talent of today, whether they are dazzling jazz musicians or the exciting scene of ‘avant-garde. And as one of Poland’s biggest music exports, Penderecki is of course at the heart of the Institute’s work.

In Penderecki’s Garden you will not only find guides to a number of his masterpieces, you will also learn about the tree species found in Krzysztof Penderecki’s beautiful garden in Lusławice, Poland. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute he also leads other initiatives that have been inspired by his life and work. These include the recent release of a limited edition vinyl, its 1964 Painters from Gdansk, accompanied by short works by three contemporary Polish composers. Although the vinyl itself is not available for purchase, you can still check out the wonderful playlist on the Culture.pl Soundcloud page here.

To accompany the website, the Institute also planted memorial trees in selected locations around the world, each bearing a plaque bearing Penderecki’s name. In cooperation with Polish Embassies and Polish Institutes, trees were already planted earlier this year in Brussels, Ottawa, Kaunas, Leipzig and Singapore, and by the end of 2021 there will also be one in Bangkok!

The tree in Singapore was planted on November 23, marking what would have been Penderecki’s 88th birthday. The same day also saw the launch of the “Garden of Memory” section on the Penderecki Garden website, where fans of the composer and his music can share their memories and appreciation. A new podcast series has also been launched here.

Penderecki_04 Garden (2)

It is therefore time to enter the Garden of Penderecki. There you will find a guide to a number of its many trees. And, while you enjoy your virtual walk, here are five of the masterpieces you’ll hear along the way …

The best pieces of music from Krzysztof Penderecki

Symphony No. 8, “Songs of Transience”

Written for soloists, choir and orchestra, Penderecki’s Eighth Symphony is dedicated, yes, to trees! Composed of 12 short movements with titles such as “By a lime tree”, “Am I telling you, beloved trees? And “O Green Tree of Life”, this often powerful 35-minute work showcases the composer’s talent at composing for vocals.

Stabat Mater

Only seven minutes long, Penderecki’s 1962 work for unaccompanied choir has an extraordinary impact in its short duration. Depicting the scene of the Virgin Mary at the cross, the play begins with grouped voices in a mysteriously disturbing fashion before finally erupting into a glorious finale. An essential introduction to the sacred music of Penderecki.

Concerto for horn, ‘Winterreise’

Another work inspired by trees, in this case the forests that Penderecki remembered when he was young. With a title meaning “Winter Journey”, this magnificent 2007 work for horn and orchestra takes us deep into the woods with moments of awe-filled mystery mingled with thrilling passages as we race on horseback, the sound bugle in our ears.

The passion of Saint Luke

Composed in the 1960s, Penderecki’s epic work for three solo voices, narrator, three choirs, boy’s choir and orchestra is extremely dramatic. Its power comes in part from a daring mix of styles, from avant-garde to its nods to the traditions of JS Bach and Palestrina from the Baroque and Renaissance eras.

Violin Concerto No.1

Created by the great Isaac Stern in 1976, the First Violin Concerto marks a turning point towards an almost modernist style. Frequently recalling Bartók’s music, Penderecki inserts captivating musical effects alongside a plaintive and soaring solo violin part.


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Meet the young composer whose piece for Seattle Symphony is among the first to be inspired by the milestones of 2020 https://allanpettersson.org/meet-the-young-composer-whose-piece-for-seattle-symphony-is-among-the-first-to-be-inspired-by-the-milestones-of-2020/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 14:00:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/meet-the-young-composer-whose-piece-for-seattle-symphony-is-among-the-first-to-be-inspired-by-the-milestones-of-2020/ In general, the larger the artistic institution, the more slowly it is able to react to the times, and professional orchestras are no exception. This makes it all the more difficult for these institutions to present an art that reflects current events. But when the Seattle Symphony performs Joel Thompson’s “To Awaken the Sleeper” on […]]]>

In general, the larger the artistic institution, the more slowly it is able to react to the times, and professional orchestras are no exception. This makes it all the more difficult for these institutions to present an art that reflects current events. But when the Seattle Symphony performs Joel Thompson’s “To Awaken the Sleeper” on Thursday, December 2 and Saturday, December 4, it will perform a work on the crest of the first wave of orchestral pieces inspired by the COVID-19 crisis – and other events. equally impactful of 2020.

Thompson, 32, currently in his final year of PhD in Musical Arts at Yale, began considering his new job not only after the first wave of deaths from COVID-19, but after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. “I turned to [James] Baldwin for solace, ”Thompson said in a recent phone interview, and he began discussing the possibility of using the American writer’s words in an orchestral healing work for the Yale Philharmonia. Conductor Peter Oundjian encouraged the idea – and it is Oundjian himself who will lead guest performances of Thompson’s work by the Seattle Symphony.

On the advice of Baldwin scholar Eddie Glaude, professor of African-American studies at Princeton, Thompson chose three texts to highlight in his article: excerpts from Baldwin’s 1972 essay “No Name in the Street.” ; a speech to the National Press Club that Baldwin gave on December 10, 1986, a year before his death; and “An open letter to my sister, Miss Angela DavisWhich The New York Review of Books published in its January 7, 1971 issue, which provides the article with its title and pointed opening words:

“So be it. We can’t wake up [the] sleeper, and God knows we’ve tried. We must do what we can do [to] strengthen and save each other … [We know that democracy is] freedom for all to aspire to the best that is in us.

But why define Baldwin’s words for a narrator backed by an orchestra, rather than a singer or choir, as Thompson’s vast experience as a conductor and composer suggests? The warning of the potential for the singing virus to spread was a concern for Thompson, but the nature of Baldwin’s own prose was even more influential. As he selected the lyrics, Thompson admitted, “I could hear melodies to go along with it.” But he soon realized that Baldwin’s writing is so closely tied to the fluid cadences of Baldwin’s own oratorical eloquence that adding music to it would “rob the text of its inherent musicality.”

For Seattle Symphony performances, the narrator will be Seattle Pacific University composer / conductor Stephen Newby.

Thompson did most of the work on “To Awaken the Sleeper”, a co-commission of the Seattle Symphony, last spring and finished it in July. Glaude himself was the narrator for the August 2021 premiere, conducted by Oundjian, at the Colorado Music Festival, of which Oundjian is the musical director. (Further performances of the piece are planned in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Indianapolis.) Selecting works for his Seattle Symphony guest conductor concert, Oundjian surrounded Thompson’s work with music by Maurice Ravel ; another African-American composer, Florence Price; and the short and punchy Symphony No. 1 (1936) by Samuel Barber.

The busy young composer, unfortunately, will not be in Seattle; he will be in Houston on December 9 for the premiere of his opera “The Snowy Day”, based on the beloved 1962 children’s book by Ezra Jack Keats. His work and that of Price are the first two of seven pieces programmed by African-American composers in this season’s main concert series.

“To Awaken the Sleeper” by Joel Thompson and works by Barber, Price, Ravel

7:30 p.m. on December 2, 8 p.m. on December 4; Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $ 39 to $ 134; 206-215-4747, seattlesymphony.org


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Publication of joint studies by Iranian and American academics on Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich https://allanpettersson.org/publication-of-joint-studies-by-iranian-and-american-academics-on-russian-composer-dmitry-shostakovich/ Sat, 20 Nov 2021 14:47:59 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/publication-of-joint-studies-by-iranian-and-american-academics-on-russian-composer-dmitry-shostakovich/ TEHRAN – A book presenting joint studies by Iranian scholar Amir-Hossein Ramezani and American music critic and author David Hurwitz has been published. Ramezani and a large number of academics and musicians, including Nader Mashayekhi, attended a ceremony on Friday evening at Rudaki Hall in Tehran to present the book “Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos”. A […]]]>

TEHRAN – A book presenting joint studies by Iranian scholar Amir-Hossein Ramezani and American music critic and author David Hurwitz has been published.

Ramezani and a large number of academics and musicians, including Nader Mashayekhi, attended a ceremony on Friday evening at Rudaki Hall in Tehran to present the book “Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos”.

A book of the same title by Hurwitz was published in 2006.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ramezani said: “As a student, when I was studying at the Iranian Academy of Music, I was given the task of researching Shostakovich’s Symphony 1.

“It was amazing that someone could have composed such a great symphony when I was 18, and at that point I wondered if I could do the same at 18. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but it was the first time I had learned something about Shostakovich, ”he added.

Ramezani said his desire to study on Shostakovich grew when he read Hurwitz’s book on the Soviet-era composer and pianist. He was really convinced that the materials of Hurwitz’s book of about 250 pages could be developed.

The idea of ​​expanding the book was warmly welcomed by Hurwitz, who also encouraged Ramezani to continue his studies on the subject.

“I also did a few interviews with Hurwitz for the book and the result is what was published in the 652 pages of the book,” Ramezani said.

Examples of Shostakovich’s symphonies and concertos on DVD were also offered with the book.

Former Tehran Symphony Orchestra conductor Mashayekhi also gave a speech and said that he awaits the publication of such a book in Iran and called “Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos” one of the most important books published in the field of music in the country. .

“This book can familiarize us technically with the much larger dimensions of Shostakovich’s artistic character,” he noted.

“This book has attempted to analyze the marvelous character of Shostakovich from a political and social point of view; it also gives new perspectives on his personality, ”he added.

The book was published by Naay-o-Ney in early October. The second edition will be released soon.

Shostakovich is considered one of the major composers of the 20th century, with a unique harmonic language and historical significance due to his years of work under Stalin.

His orchestral works include 15 symphonies and six concertos. His chamber compositions include 15 string quartets, a piano quintet, two piano trios and two pieces for string octet. His solo piano works include two sonatas, a first set of preludes and a subsequent set of 24 preludes and fugues.

Hurwitz’s book “Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos: An Owner’s Manual” was published on May 1, 2006, by Amadeus Press.

In it, Hurwitz stated that the fall of the Soviet Empire did not diminish the popularity of Shostakovich’s great symphonies and concertos, despite the fact that most of the literature on him neglects any substantive discussion of the music it – even for the benefit of biographical speculations on the relationship between the composer and the political climate of the time.

The book was the first to provide a detailed descriptive analysis of the 21 symphonies and concertos, work by work, explaining not only why they are important documents of their time and place, but why they are great music in general. It allows readers to understand why Shostakovich’s music enjoys the constant support of performers and listeners, and how it generally fits into the great tradition of Western classical music.

Photo: Writer Amir-Hossein Ramezani (4th R), composers and music specialists attend a meeting at Rudaki Hall in Tehran on November 19, 2021, to present the book “Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos”.

MMS / YAW


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Holland Bach Society presents the composer’s lesser-known sacred music to local audiences https://allanpettersson.org/holland-bach-society-presents-the-composers-lesser-known-sacred-music-to-local-audiences/ Fri, 19 Nov 2021 17:00:13 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/holland-bach-society-presents-the-composers-lesser-known-sacred-music-to-local-audiences/ HOLLAND – The Holland Bach Society, a music project led by Scott Vanden Berg, seeks to bring the sacred compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach to more audiences in the Netherlands region. Bach, widely regarded as one of the greatest composers in history, does not need to be introduced. -Tempered Keyboard and Goldberg Variations for piano. […]]]>

HOLLAND – The Holland Bach Society, a music project led by Scott Vanden Berg, seeks to bring the sacred compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach to more audiences in the Netherlands region.

Bach, widely regarded as one of the greatest composers in history, does not need to be introduced. -Tempered Keyboard and Goldberg Variations for piano.

The Holland Bach Society performs works by JS Bach at the Second Reformed Church in Zeeland.

But Vanden Berg said some of Bach’s greatest music – hundreds of compositions written for church services, many during his time in the employ of a church in Leipzig, Germany – is less well known and less often performed. . About 75 percent of Bach’s music was written for use in worship.

Vanden Berg seeks to change this by performing the composer’s cantatas, which are vocal works with orchestral accompaniment, in local churches with a group of around 30 professional musicians from the region.

The group’s performances are incorporated into the host church’s Sunday worship service, blending the church’s existing worship with elements of early 18th-century liturgical practices.

“Just by nature, these works are designed to be in a church service,” said Vanden Berg. “Maybe when you take them out of a church and into a concert hall, something is lost.

“His cantatas were really related to the Bible stories they were talking about, so they naturally work very well if they follow the scripture readings. In Bach’s day you would have heard the scripture reading, the cantata, and then a sermon on the scripture. same passage They all interact to create a really powerful message.

Bach’s sacred music can be both a musical and theological experience for Christians, said Vanden Berg, bringing them back to Christian worship from another era to learn how their predecessors worshiped and how they viewed their God.

Director Scott Vanden Berg rehearses with the Holland Bach Society ahead of their inaugural performances this month.

Director Scott Vanden Berg rehearses with the Holland Bach Society ahead of their inaugural performances this month.

Upcoming performances will be at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 21 at Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church, 14 W. 14th St., The Netherlands, and at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 21 at Central Avenue Christian Reformed Church. , 259 Central Ave. ., Holland. Everyone is welcome.

Kristin Goodyke is the director of operations for the Holland Bach Society, assistant to Vanden Berg, who is also director of instrumental music at Holland Christian High School, for administrative purposes. Goodyke is organist and co-director of music at Second Reformed Church in Zeeland, where the band first performed on November 14.

Many musicians come from the Holland Symphony Orchestra and the Holland Chorale. Eric Reyes, professor at Hope College, loaned the Society a harpsichord for performances.

Bach composed around 300 cantatas, composing one per week for his church in Leipzig. About 200 survive today – so the Holland Bach Society has plenty of material for future performances.

The group will assess the success of its inaugural performance this month, its funding opportunities and decide what to do next. Vanden Berg hopes that churches and donors are interested in supporting the Society in at least annual performances of Bach’s works.

“We want to highlight what I believe to be extraordinary music that was linked to worship and a community of faith and to highlight both music and theology through the works of Bach. That would be our goal.”

Learn more about hollandbachsociety.org.

– Contact journalist Carolyn Muyskens at cmuyskens@hollandsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter at @cjmuyskens.

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Holland Bach Society presents Bach’s sacred music to new audiences



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Architect Glenn Murcutt and composer Georges Lentz team up for the sound installation Cobar https://allanpettersson.org/architect-glenn-murcutt-and-composer-georges-lentz-team-up-for-the-sound-installation-cobar/ Thu, 18 Nov 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/architect-glenn-murcutt-and-composer-georges-lentz-team-up-for-the-sound-installation-cobar/ The Cobar Sound Chapel was due to be completed in the first semester and officially opened in early October. Then came the confinements. But in this rugged part of the world, another six months makes little difference for a graffiti-covered 1930s steel tank turned into a 5 x 5 x 5 meter solar-powered listening booth. […]]]>

The Cobar Sound Chapel was due to be completed in the first semester and officially opened in early October. Then came the confinements.

But in this rugged part of the world, another six months makes little difference for a graffiti-covered 1930s steel tank turned into a 5 x 5 x 5 meter solar-powered listening booth. Lentz, whose daytime job is first violin for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, believes it has even been a godsend.

“It gave us the chance to end things more quietly,” he says. “A project of this nature, of this size, with so many elements, needs time for the best solution to emerge.

Inside the Sound Chapel, open to the elements.

It also gives people time to think about what the Cobar Sound Chapel is all about.

“It is a work of art intended to question our place in the grand scheme of things,” explains the Luxembourger Lentz. “When you are here, you cannot help but feel humbled by the great size of the earth and our own smallness. “

It does this by deliberately mixing high-browser and lowbrow.

“There is the sublime, which you find in Glenn’s extraordinary architecture and in some of the sounds inspired by Aboriginal dot painting, and then there is the grain of the graffiti on the tank, which expresses the earthly realities of the life and, again, find yourself in some of the music, ”Lentz says.

“It’s those harsh realities and looking at something higher than us and connecting the two things.”

Music and architecture come together in the installation with a symmetry that, according to Lentz, concerns the number four: the four walls, the four speakers, the four-channel sound of his composition. String Quartet[s], played by Sydney string quartet The Noise.

Lentz describes the site-specific contemporary 24-hour classic piece (developed from an original six-hour version) as “a gigantic sound wall studded with audio graffiti”.

“The string quartet has been the most iconic genre in classical music for centuries,” he says. “I was interested in exploring what a string quartet could be in the 21st century. “

Lentz on one of his regular visits to Cobar. He plans to organize an annual festival there. Klae McGuiness

Slow music, more electro than classical, is not always easy to listen to. He is influenced by the late 20th century French composer Olivier Messiaen but Messiaen never wrote for electronics. As for him, he said, this is the key. Digital work creates sounds that a live quartet could never achieve.

He concedes it’s an unusual move to bring such music to a remote regional town.

“You may well wonder why you take this demanding art and, rather than showcasing it in an arty downtown space, put it somewhere where people are much less likely to know its language.

“But this is where it gets interesting for me. I can take it out there, plant a seed where it’s totally unknown and see what happens.

Every year, Lentz plans to hold a string quartet festival in Cobar, and the musicians he brings to town will also work with local children and encourage them to compose their own music.

Glenn Murcutt says he was thrilled to be a part of the project. James alcock

The installation is unusual, agrees Murcutt. “It has a crazy side. Yet, on the other hand, he has a beautiful side. Here’s a remote community that gets something you can only get in the city, and that’s important. “

The Cobar Sound Project isn’t the first time someone has asked the architect to consider music in the desert. He says the late Woiworrung and Yorta Yorta, former Burnum Burnum activist, who died in 1997, suggested that they design a place where the didgeridoo could be performed alongside Mozart. Nothing came of this idea, so Lentz’s project got him excited.

“My reaction? It was one of elation, one of surprise that there was another person in my career who would want such a thing.

Slow down inside the Sound Chapel, where music and architecture come together in symmetry. Klae McGuiness

It has been a long project, with “endless journeys” between Sydney and Cobar for Lentz, who has just been commissioned to compose a violin concerto by German soloist Arabella Steinbacher to perform with the SSO in 2023.

He estimates the cost of the Cobar Sound Chapel at around $ 300,000. Cobar Shire donated the site, the NSW government supported the project with a $ 200,000 grant, and Cobar Basin gold and silver miner Manuka Resources is a sponsor.

As for Murcutt, it is clear that he is happy with the result. There is a theatrical side to the creation, he says, but “it’s quiet, not loud. Any work of architecture conceived without serenity is, in my opinion, a mistake.

“When serenity possesses joy, it is the pinnacle. This [project] get as close to this statement as any work I have done.

The Sound Chapel will officially open on April 2, with a performance by The Noise.

“They’ll play a Haydn string quartet, going back to the origins of string quartets, and then improvise – which will kick off this whole 24-hour cycle, which just goes on,” says Lentz.


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Norwegian composer is new dean of Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music https://allanpettersson.org/norwegian-composer-is-new-dean-of-yong-siew-toh-conservatory-of-music/ Mon, 15 Nov 2021 05:12:30 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/norwegian-composer-is-new-dean-of-yong-siew-toh-conservatory-of-music/ SINGAPORE – Norwegian composer and researcher Peter Tornquist will be the new dean of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YST) at the National University of Singapore from February (2022). He replaces Professor Bernard Lanskey, who had led the conservatory for 14 years before leaving in July of this year to lead the Queensland […]]]>

SINGAPORE – Norwegian composer and researcher Peter Tornquist will be the new dean of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YST) at the National University of Singapore from February (2022).

He replaces Professor Bernard Lanskey, who had led the conservatory for 14 years before leaving in July of this year to lead the Queensland Conservatorium in Australia. YST is currently headed by its interim dean Ho Chee Kong.

NUS President Tan Eng Chye said in a statement Monday (November 15): “After rigorous international research, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Peter Tornquist, who is an influential voice in higher music education .

“Peter’s work has played a pivotal role in establishing artistic research as an essential area of ​​knowledge in modern conservatories, and a strategic tool for developing students as curious artists. With his deep understanding of the changing landscape of higher music education in the 21st century, I am confident that YST will continue to make great strides under Peter’s leadership. “

Dr Tornquist was director of the Norwegian Academy of Music from 2013 to July of this year. Prior to that, he was its Head of Composition, Music Theory and Technology, and Associate Professor of Composition.

His compositions, which have been performed by ensembles such as the Oslo Philharmonic, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta, focus on the interaction between composers and performers through live electronics and improvisation.

Dr Tornquist said he was delighted to join YST.

He said: “In a rapidly changing global economy, our job as educators is to prepare students to push the boundaries and explore the full potential of their musical identity.”

“My sincere thanks to Professor Bernard Lanskey for his leadership, which has made YST the dynamic conservatory it is today, and I look forward to contributing my experience to furthering the Conservatory’s mission.”


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Adventurous composer Carson Kievman is dead https://allanpettersson.org/adventurous-composer-carson-kievman-is-dead/ https://allanpettersson.org/adventurous-composer-carson-kievman-is-dead/#respond Thu, 11 Nov 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/adventurous-composer-carson-kievman-is-dead/ Carson Kievman at a fundraiser in Miami for Sobe Arts The longtime Miami resident has made a major contribution to local culture and music education. MIAMI, FL, USA, November 11, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Carson Kievman, Miami-based composer, producer and educator, has passed away at the age of 72. Kievman was an integral member of the […]]]>

Carson Kievman at a fundraiser in Miami for Sobe Arts

The longtime Miami resident has made a major contribution to local culture and music education.

MIAMI, FL, USA, November 11, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Carson Kievman, Miami-based composer, producer and educator, has passed away at the age of 72. Kievman was an integral member of the South Florida music scene. Along with his many contributions, Kievman founded the SoBe Arts Institute in Miami Beach. Born in Los Angeles, Kievman had been part of the South Florida music scene since the 1970s. In the late 1980s, he was the composer of the Florida Philharmonic, for which he wrote his second symphony. Kievman will write 6 other symphonies during his life.

Kievman briefly left South Florida for a doctoral program at Princeton University, but returned to found Sobe Arts, a school that offered financial aid to musically gifted middle and high school students. The school was also the base for SoBe Arts, Kievman’s arts company, which produced several of his musical theater works.

Prior to his stay in Miami, Kievman studied with Earl Brown at the California Institute of the Arts. He also had two residences in Paris, with the famous French composer Olivier Messiaen. While in Paris, he attended the famous summer studies in Darmstadt, known as a gathering place for avant-garde composers in the 1960s. While in Darmstadt, Kievman worked with visionaries such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luigi Nono and Luciano Berio. In 1977, Kievman became a Bernstein Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. While at Tanglewood, his score for “Wake Up, It’s Time to go to bed” was produced with great success. The following year, Kievman became composer in residence at the Public Theater in New York City, working under the direction of the legendary Joseph Papp, writing new works and accompanying scores for plays.

During his lifetime, Kievman’s work included 10 operas, eight symphonies and numerous pieces of chamber and choral music. Kievman had a unique voice and enriched the South Florida music scene with his vast and innovative contributions.

Carl Kruse, curator of the Carl Kruse’s Blog, was actively involved in SoBe Arts, organizing fundraisers for the organization and serving on the project board from 2010 to 2014. With the blog, he offers his condolences to the friends and family of Carson Kievman.

Carl Kruse
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