Lars Vogt – All in for the big picture of music

On the morning of his sold-out Zankel Hall chamber recital with violinist Christian Tetzlaff and his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, pianist Lars Vogt opens Carnegie Hall’s backstage door for me. The trio’s artists hail from Germany and are Grammy-nominated musicians of the highest caliber. Vogt has a busy schedule before the evening concert, and I am in awe that he is making time for our meeting. (photo credit: Neda Navaee) We had corresponded beforehand...
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Breath and Hammer II: collective convergence for a personal itinerary – David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg at the Berlin Boulez Saal

Clarinetist/Composer David Krakauer and pianist/composer Kathleen Tagg premier an eclectic musical journey, newly conceptualized for the “audience-in-round configuration” of Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal. Photo: courtesy of Kathleen Tagg and David Krakauer at Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal, set up for the performance on March 7th and 8th, 2019   “We are excited to perform a greatly expanded version of our Breath and Hammer program that evolved in increments since 2015. It incorporates our arrangements of...
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The Goffriller cello of the legendary Pablo

Amit Peled releases recording of Bach Suites (Volume I) on the Goffriller cello of Pablo Casals  (Illustration by Avi Katz) We all love a good story told with the vivid imagination of an artist; it is even better when the story is based on life’s authentic puzzle pieces, connecting the dots to confirm an important message: that good things happen to good people. When it comes to musical storylines, Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled has...
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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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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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Sir Andràs Schiff – Building Bridges for the Next Generation of Pianists

Andràs Schiff – world-class pianist, much-traveled cosmopolitan and critical spirit unafraid to speak his mind. Last year the Queen knighted the Hungary-born artist. In his latest incarnation, Schiff has become a supporter and patron for the next generation of young pianists. In between two Carnegie Hall performances, “Sir Andràs Schiff’ talks about his new passion. By Ilona Oltuski  This article was published in the German PianoNews Juli/August 2015 A concert-free day between two big...
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Vika goes wild – a classical pianist taps into her passion for rock

When her parents were told that she – at kindergarten age – had perfect pitch and a talent for music, there was no going back: “My parents took it seriously, and the natural consequence seemed to be continued studies at a special music school. That included competitions, exams, and concert performances under high pressure, requiring utmost commitment and all the other expectations that go along with that…and- it was all understood,” says pianist Viktorya...
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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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Donal Fox – Playing With the Classical Imperative

When pianist/composer and improviser Donal Fox appeared live on WQXR’s All Ears With Terrance McKnight in 2013, classical music’s agenda, addressing its cultural divide, was tangible on air. As rare as it may be for a classical musician to improvise in jazz and Latin American vocabulary, it is probably even more unusual for a jazz musician to be at home with the classics. Improvising in the classical style with a pianistic technique that knows...
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Musical talent runs in the family – Gerard and Julian Schwarz

When raised to become one of the next generation’s masters, young musical talents born into families of professional musicians are often faced with an especially challenging route to maturity. Some of the great privileges, like constant exposure to musical life and the imprint of musical inspiration on early childhood, are undermined by the need to separate from both parental and musical authority figures in an effort to find one’s own voice. Photo-credit: Steve Sherman...
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