Marc-André Hamelin: Tiny Desk Concert

Marc-André Hamelin has a marvelous, curious mind. While we chatted before his Tiny DESK concert, he snooped around the CD shelves near my desk, commenting on a few rarities and sharing his own eclectic tastes, including a crazy YouTube mashup of all 15 Shostakovich symphonies stacked on top of each other.


The Boston-based Montreal native is regarded as one of his generation’s most technically astounding pianists, but he’s no empty virtuoso. His interpretations are probing, precise and warm — keen to bring out humor when necessary. He routinely performs the world’s most treacherous repertoire with his characteristic ease. I’ve witnessed him practically reduce a concert grand to matchsticks, and I’ve heard him tenderly caress a late Schubert sonata.


Read the rest of the article and view his concert here.

Or view Colbert’s highlight of his concert here.

Timothy Chooi performs Bruch with the Liverpool Symphony

Violinist Timothy Chooi performs Bruch with the Liverpool Philharmonic!


Embark on a pastoral journey with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestre under the baton of Domingo Hindoyan and virtuoso violinist Timothy Chooi!
The evening begins with Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra. In this 1880 work, the composer seeks inspiration in Scottish folklore and popular melodies to create a musical adventure through the Highlands. The piece’s inclusion in the program includes a reference to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s history, which premiered the work in 1881 with Bruch himself at the helm! The evening continues with Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, also known as the “Romantic”, whose movements evoke medieval scenes and landscapes that transport the listener not only in space, but also through time…


Read more about this concert here.

Ken-David Masur Triumphs in Milwaukee Symphony Water Festival

Last week, conductor Ken-David Masur wrapped up a critically-acclaimed three-week festival with the Milwaukee Symphony exploring and celebrating our relationship with earth’s most precious natural resource, which the city of Milwaukee is surrounded by.

As the centerpiece of Masur’s 22-23 season with the Symphony, which explores the natural world and its relationship to humanity, the MSO Water Festival included performances of music by Tan Dun, Takemitsu, Debussy, Rameau, Handel, Britten, Hailstork, Ellen Grime, David Ludwig and others, and also highlighted local community partners whose work centers on conservation and education.


Read the full article here.

Zuill Bailey, cello
Zuill Bailey, cello. Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco. download

Zuill Bailey and the Library of Congress 2021-2022 Season

Conversations with Zuill Bailey and the LoC

Grammy Award-winner cellist Zuill Bailey discusses his virtual program at the Library of Congress. Bailey reflects on his upbringing in Northern Virginia surrounded by music opportunities, shares behind-the-scenes stories about the program, and talks about, as he calls it, “the love of his life,” his cello.

View his full interview here.


Masterclass with the LoC

Grammy Award-winner cellist Zuill Bailey goes back to the youth orchestra of his childhood, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (AYPO), to work with three cello students. In a personal masterclass, Bailey discusses different cello and bowing techniques, gives feedback and provides recommendations to young musicians. The session was recorded at Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia.

Watch his Masterclass with the LoC here.



Performance with pianist Bryan Wallick

Cello music lovers will be thrilled with this performance. Grammy Award-winning Zuill Bailey and pianist Bryan Wallick come to the Library for a virtual cello recital. The program includes music of Mendelssohn, Debussy, Lukas Foss and Rachmaninoff.  Known for his passion for music education, Bailey will conduct a master class with a local youth orchestra as part of his engagement at the Library.

View the performance here.

Photo by Karjaka Studio download

Orli Shaham’s debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

On January 27, 2023 Orli Shaham makes her Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra debut performing John Adams’ piano concerto “Why Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?” with David Robertson conducting. In this Insider Interview with Classical Music Communications, Shaham talks about the “gnarly,” aspects of the work, Martin Luther, working with the FRSO for the first time and more.


Please give us some insight into the composer John Adams, and this piece, “Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?”

The style of “Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?” is classic Adams. It has a great deal of rhythmic drive and intensity, and thick and rich harmonies that are quite gnarly. In fact, he uses the word “gritty” to describe the sound of the first movement. There are some beautiful moments of repose where he sets the scene for lovely reflection, almost meditative kinds of sounds. The piano becomes part of the orchestra in those moments, for example, in the second movement. In the third movement, the overflowing rhythmic joy is similar to the qualities in “Hallelujah Junction,” (one of my favorites of John Adams’, which I recorded with Jon Kimura Parker on my album “American Grace”).

Can you explain the title of the piece? 

The phrase has been attributed to Martin Luther, the 16th century theologian. This was one of those situations like “Hallelujah Junction” – John Adams thought that it was a title just waiting for a piece. He had the line first, and then conceived of the composition. There’s a lot of devilish influences, just like in Lizst’s Totentanz, or the devilishly difficult writing of Paganini, who was himself considered a devilish virtuoso. And there are references to gospel, which are also related to the theme.

This is your debut performance in Finland. You’re familiar with the composer John Adams, and the conductor, David Robertson, of course. What about the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra?

I’ve heard so many great recordings from this orchestra, and I’ve known many wonderful Finnish musicians. I’m very excited to actually go to Finland to work with some of those same musicians.


Read the full article here.

More information can be found here.

View the her debut performance here.

Anne Akiko Meyers premieres Michael Daugherty’s Blue Electra at the Kennedy Center

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers is widely regarded for her performances and commissions of new music – and this month her advocacy is on gorgeous display as she premieres Michael Daugherty’s Blue Electra with Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony Orchestra, and tours Arturo Márquez’s Fandango with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic!

Read the full story here.