James Ehnes and Juraj Valčuha Join Minnesota Orchestra for “Soaring Strings”

“Soaring Strings” was the riveting title of the Minnesota Orchestra’s live streamed performance on March 5th. The concert featured two guest artists, conductor Juraj Valčuha and violinist James Ehnes, presenting works new and old. Although not necessarily soaring beyond expectations, Valčuha and the Orchestra crafted a variety of string performances worth listening to.

The concert opened with not one, but two works by Jessie Montgomery. Her Voodoo Dolls for string quintet was inspired by West African drumming patterns, blues, and jazz. The rhythmic low end and expressive slides in the upper strings elevated the performance beyond notes on a page. Violinists Helen Chang Haertzen and Sophia Mockler, violist Gareth Zehngut, cellist Erik Wheeler, and bassist David Williamson displayed fantastic visual energy, matching the tone of the music, and were well coordinated and dynamically balanced.

Continue reading “James Ehnes and Juraj Valčuha Join Minnesota Orchestra for “Soaring Strings””

Lucia Zambetti Proves That Indie-Pop and Instagram Can Coexist

Photo by Noah Shaub

Perhaps you haven’t yet heard of 17 year old pop artist Lucia Zambetti. But maybe you’ve stumbled upon her TikTok or Instagram accounts, each with followings of over 100,000 people. The internet has allowed her multiple platforms to distribute her music — and although she has only been releasing content since 2019, her fan base has continued to increase in number, with each of her four Spotify singles having at least 75,000 streams.

Continue reading “Lucia Zambetti Proves That Indie-Pop and Instagram Can Coexist”

Rusty Burge With The Cleveland Orchestra Jazz Trio @BOP STOP

The critically acclaimed vibraphonist Rusty Burge joined The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra on March 6, 2021 at 7:00 pm for an unforgettable performance. livestreamed from the BOP STOP. The evening showcased the all-star rhythm section from the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra including Jim Rupp on drums, Aidan Plank on bass, and Jackie Warren on piano.

Continue reading “Rusty Burge With The Cleveland Orchestra Jazz Trio @BOP STOP”

A Celebration of Black Artistry: Oberlin Faculty Recital

Throughout February 2021, the Oberlin College and Conservatory honored Black History Month. A series of events underscored Black contributions to classical music and highlighted the distinguished work of often overlooked Black composers.

On Sunday afternoon, February 28, the faculty concert featured the works by  William Grant Still, Jefferey Mumford and Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint Georges performed by violinists Francesca de Pasquale and David Bowlin, cellist Darrett Adkins, pianist James Howsmon, and harpsichordist Mark Edwards. The concert concluded the series, “A Celebration of Black Artistry,” and was live streamed on Oberlin Stage Left, the Conservatory’s virtual programming platform.

Continue reading “A Celebration of Black Artistry: Oberlin Faculty Recital”

Chung Ha Affirms Her Authentic Self on Querencia

Image courtesy of MNH Entertainment

On stage, K-pop soloist Chung Ha radiates confidence and charisma, but off stage, she’s not afraid to be emotionally vulnerable — both with her fans and with herself. That duality is at the core of her album Querencia, named for a Spanish concept meaning “the source of one’s strength.” Ambitious and genre-defying, Chung Ha’s first full-length project gives her the freedom to explore and experiment in a way that few artists in her industry have.

Continue reading “Chung Ha Affirms Her Authentic Self on Querencia

Healing Arts with Rae Khalil

by Isaiah Shaw

After the societal tumults of 2020, performing arts organizations are taking Black History Month to another level this year. In February 2021, National Public Radio’s (NPR) Tiny Desk Concert series featured Black artistry from emerging voices to established artists across various genres and generations. On February 18, NPR released a recording of Rae Khalil’s performance from her home in South Los Angeles. Appearing with her band, The Ill, the singer-songwriter and rapper shared a dynamic performance that healed and uplifted those affected by racism in America.

Continue reading “Healing Arts with Rae Khalil”

Black History Month Concert Series Wrap Up

by Nicolette Cheauré

To celebrate the conclusion of Black History Month on February 28, Oberlin Conservatory presented a faculty recital featuring works by Black composers. The concert was livestreamed on their Stage Left platform. The performance featured violinists Francesca DePasquale and David Bowlin, cellist Darrett Adkins, pianist James Howsmon and harpsichordist Mark Edwards. The concert successfully explored underrepresented composers and their music, that spanned multiple eras and a variety of compositional styles.

Continue reading “Black History Month Concert Series Wrap Up”

Signum Saxophone Quartet Releases Third Album “Echoes”

One of the most exciting ensembles to emerge in the last century is the saxophone quartet. Among the notable groups based in Europe is the Signum Saxophone Quartet, four musicians who look like they come out of a pop band like The Beatles – cool and hip – but even more, deliver classical music for the instrument with impeccable sensitivity and talent. Blaž Kemperle, Hayrapet Arakelyan, Alan Lužar and Guerino Bellarosa formed the group in 2006 after meeting in Cologne, Germany. Fifteen years later, they have once again piqued the ears of the music world with the release of their third album Echoes.

Continue reading “Signum Saxophone Quartet Releases Third Album “Echoes””

Julia Holter Travels Through Time in Intimate Audiotree Performance

Eyes closed in the crystalline glow of LA’s Lodge Room, composer and performer Julia Holter serenaded a select group of in-person and virtual guests for the Audiotree STAGED series on Thursday evening, February 25. Ten people attended the socially-distanced performance space while other Holter fans sent their love from across the globe. 

Continue reading “Julia Holter Travels Through Time in Intimate Audiotree Performance”

Tuning In at Local Music Fund: Trios for Flute, Viola and Harp (Feb. 18)

Performers George Pope (flute), Lisa Whitfield (viola), and Emily Laurence (harp)

Last Thursday at 7:00 pm, Local 4 Music Fund hosted another performance in their “Tuning In” series, this time featuring George Pope, flute, Lisa Whitfield, viola, and Emily Laurence, harp. Live-streamed from the Pilgrim United Church of Christ, the ensemble performed several trio, duet, and solo works during an hour and fifteen minute program.

Continue reading “Tuning In at Local Music Fund: Trios for Flute, Viola and Harp (Feb. 18)”