Pegasus: The Orchestra – Cultural Incubator of Community

Pegasus, the winged divine stallion of Greek mythology, friend of the muses bringing lighting and thunder from Olympus to the people, perfectly embodies the orchestra’s broad aspirations: “As musicians and artists we dream of achieving new heights and letting our imagination take flight,” says Pegasus founder, pianist and composer Karén Hakobyan: “We as humans have always dreamt of defying gravity. Music does just that – it gives us wings.” Hakobyan passionately embraces his new...
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AICF – In Support Of Israel’s Talent Network

An astounding display of musical talent was offered to guests and supporters at the festive 77th America-Israel Cultural Foundation Gala last Tuesday evening, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater under the auspices of Israel’s Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan. (Photo: Ilona Oltuski -Prize ceremony David Stern for Ivry Gitlis ) Honoring the memory of Vera Stern, the musical program unified three generations of virtuosi, all of whom had received support...
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National Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall: Signing up for excellence – standing for cultural outreach

Short of the national “red, white and blue,” the National Youth Orchestra’s featured dress code on Carnegie Hall’s stage incorporated red slacks, white shirts and black blazers, with Converse-style sneakers adding a youthful touch. Despite the teenagers’ adolescent appearance, they could be judged on a rather adult level of performance as they cautiously, but deliberately held back in Mozart’s subtle virtuoso passages, so as not to undermine master pianist Emanuel Ax, known endearingly as...
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CMS Chamber Music Encounters – on a perpetual quest for inspired music making

American cellist David Finckel and Taiwanese pianist Wu Han need no further introduction to visitors of “Chamber Music Encounters,” an intense 6-day educational chamber music workshop, and their latest brainchild under the auspices of Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center. Culminating in a free concert performance at Alice Tully Hall, audiences shared the results of a dynamic coaching effort focused on communal mentorship between CMS’ Encounters renowned faculty and new talent. In the sessions,...
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Concerts and the City – Urban storytelling with Daniel Libeskind

There is a deeply affecting quality about star architect Daniel Libeskind’s simple, elegant elucidations, which possesses an air of truth that never fails to inspire. Perhaps most essentially, they offer a glimpse into the deeply enthusiastic and positive worldview so inherent in all of his endeavors. “You have to bring hope,” Libeskind tells Listen. “without a positive sense of the future, you can’t build architecture, because you are laying foundations.” This article was published...
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Tehorah: Adrienne Haan Concerts Celebrate 50 Years of German-Israeli Relations

This article was featured as editor’s pick on blogcritics. May 12th, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel. Stark black-and-white press images of Ben Gurion and Adenauer facing each other may have long morphed into images of the present day leaders of Israel and Germany, but there are still as many reasons to remember the dark shadow of historic events as there are reasons for the two countries to...
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Bridging Music and Poetry – Mohammed Fairouz and David Handler at Le Poisson Rouge

photos and article by Ilona Oltuski – GetClassical.org   The newly launched series, Return to Language, which seeks to imaginatively blend text and music into an amalgamate of artistic substance, provided a perfect opportunity for a special presentation featuring Le Poisson Rouge’s own David Handler and American-Arab composer Mohammed Fairouz. Fairouz’s January 2015 release of Follow, Poet on Deutsche Grammophon marks the artist’s debut on the yellow power label – excellent timing for a...
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Making of a Modern Musician

In her lecture at the Golandsky Institute’s Summer Symposium at Princeton University, Director of Yamaha Artist Services, Bonnie Barrett gave some great career advice for musicians, clearly inviting them to “think out of the box.” Photo: Bonnie Barrett at Princeton’s Golandsky Summer Symposium July, 2014. “Due to the shrinking market for traditional classical music, its “graying” audience and overall lack of funding for costly productions, the generation of the great impresarios and dedicated press...
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Mostly Martha – The Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano

“It is all of these great people here who ought to be thanked,” Martha says, surrounded by a throng of festival guests as she awaits that evening’s concert performer, “not me; I just show up,” she insists, gesturing some unruly tresses of her signature mane of grey hair into place. That in itself is no small virtue for the enigmatic pianist, notoriously known for changing her mind about her performances on short notice. She...
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Ursula Oppens – Thinking of the next note

Upon entering Ursula Oppens’ modestly furnished, yet comfortable Upper West Side apartment with a view of the pedigreed patina of the historistic cupola belonging to Columbia University’s campus building, one is immediately taken by the vibrant aura that surrounds the eminent musician. The personable pianist speaks softly, yet animatedly, in a welcoming way; her reputation is linked to an astonishingly vast array of distinguished contemporary composers, some of whose prominent works were dedicated to...
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