Pianist Ching-Yun Hu – unbiased brilliance

“The decision to make an album of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s works was made from a pure love of his music. I want to evoke from listeners the most beautiful experiences through this music that encompasses all of human emotions, of love, hope, nostalgia, loss despair…This music reminds me of my childhood struggles, and beautiful moments spent with my family. It transports me to another world.” – Ching-Yun Hu With these words from the liner notes...
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PIANOFEST IN THE HAMPTONS celebrates 30 golden years in support of its collective talent

With Rites of Spring 30th Anniversary Concert at the Louis K. Meisel Gallery, Pianofest honors its founder Paul Schenly, and kicks off its new season with performances by Tomer Gewirtzman, Fei-Fei and Konstantin Soukhovetski If you are a budding concert pianist, what better way to escape lonely hours spent at the piano and retreat to summer night dreams and harmonies with conservatory buddies and delighted concert audiences in the Hamptons? Some of Pianofest alumni...
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Robert Kapilow – Making Music Accessible

With humor and animated enthusiasm, Robert Kapilow creates a unique platform, inviting music lovers to deepen their journey of musical discovery. In each of his ‘What Makes It Great’ concert experiences, he divides a classical masterwork into its individual components, analyzing its stylistic intent, rhythm and harmonic structure to reveal underlying key elements that the composer applied. On this quest for a musical blueprint, Kapilow and his performers dismantle the piece’s expressive effects without...
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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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ASPECT Foundation for Music and Art – classical concerts building on cultural and communal context

From its 2011 beginnings in London’s bustling concert scene, the classical music series ASPECT embraced presentations that integrate classical music programs in a specific cultural framework. With its syllabus of accompanying talks surrounding its traditional classical music programs, examining everything from composers’ lives and the historic relevance of their works, to connections between musical expression, art and poetry, the not-for-profit foundation became widely frequented, especially within London’s large community of actively engaged amateur musicians....
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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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Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust – shtetl buoyancy re-invented

Soulful violist and composer/arranger Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin was featured in Ljova and the Kontraband’s Sunday afternoon concert at Brooklyn’s new home for the all-inclusive new music scene, National Sawdust. Going by ‘Ljova,’ the kindred version of his traditional Russian-Hebrew name, Lev, the artist and his Kontraband filled the room, which had been arranged cabaret-style, with tuneful energy. Folksy tango tunes with virtuosic viola passages next to Yiddish folk songs performed with great gusto by...
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NYCA – building communal platforms for pianists

NYCA Worldwide Debut Audition Winner’s Recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 2012 – Pianist Javor Bracic (middle) left: Ursula Oppens, Klara Min (back), Jerome Lowenthal, right: Richard Goode, Martha Goode.    In the 19th century, writers, musicians and painters, in their struggle to resolve the dilemma between dependency on patronage and the independence of artistic expression, looked to bond through ‘salon’ societies. Composer, critic and concert promoter Robert Schumann’s imagined “Davidsbund” epitomized the...
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Thriving on the efforts of its musical community: the Manchester Music Festival

Photo: by Ilona Oltuski – GetClassical – Banner of the festival at its concert’s summer home at the Southern Vermont Arts Center’s Arkell Pavillion Not unlike its esteemed neighbors, Marlboro Music, which has, for decades, built itself upon its master-performers’ reputation, or Yellow Barn, with its annual workshop geared to foster artistic growth, the Manchester Music Festival counts on  Vermont’s  bucolic Mountain views for its splendorous atmospheric stage-scenery. During its six-week full scholarship summer...
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