Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SummerFest 2006: An American in Paris - Carter Brey

SummerFest's An American in Paris features the work of three celebrated modern French composers: Poulenc's Piano and Wind Sextet; Ravel's Piano Trio in A Minor; and Faure's Piano Quartet in G Minor.

The performers include pianists Shai Wosner and Helen Huang, cellist Felix Fan, violist Paul Neubauer, violinists Kyoko Takezawa, cellist Carter Brey, and the Imani Winds quintet. Series: "La Jolla Music Society: SummerFest"

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Featured Cellist - Neal Cary

Juilliard School of Music

Neal Cary is principal cellist with the Richmond Symphony since the 1988-89 season and adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and the College of William and Mary. He is also the cellist with the Richmond Chamber Players, and during the summer, is principal cellist on the faculty at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC. He is both a popular private cello instructor and performer in the Richmond area.

Before moving to Richmond, Cary was co-principal cellist of the Kansas City Philharmonic, and assistant principal cellist of the Tulsa Philharmonic, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Denver Symphony Orchestras.

Cary's major teachers have included Robert Newkirk, Channing Robbins, and the world-renowned Leonard Rose. Cary holds the Master of Music degree from the Juillard School of Music. In his final year at Juilliard, Cary was the chamber music teaching assistant to Claus Adam, and to Earl Carlyss of the Juilliard String Quartet.

Cary has appeared multiple times as concerto soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, The Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, The Richmond Philharmonic, and the Williamsburg Symphonia. He has given chamber music performances and recitals int he Midwest and on the East coast, including such halls as Alice Tully, and Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weill Hall), and has performed as a chamber musician with world-renowned artists such as Ani Kavafian, Andre-Michel Shub, Gerald Poulet, Andre Grabiec, Julliian Lloy Weber, Franco Gulli, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Jinny Lin, Michael Tree, Joseph Silverstein, and Charles Castleman.

After his New York recital debut, Donald Henehan for the New York Times wrote"...the five not-so-easy pieces on his program were formidable enough to test any master cellist...Mr. cary, however, gave a solid account of himself both wih his pianist, and as a solo performer...strong musical instincts...Phrasing, articulation and dynamic shadings were admirable, and every pience was shaped with care and sensitivity."

Recital performaces in the Richmond area have included a difficulty performance from memory of all the 40 Popper Etudes for cello, and another performance, again from memory of all the Bach Suites for Solo Cello. Cary has completed a new, "performance edition" of the Popper Etudes (as yet unpublished) and is working on a companion book which explains how to perfect cello technique through proctice of these etudes. He has also completed an unpublished edition of Bach Suites for Solo Cello, based on the three surviving copies from Bach's manuscript.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Take the Cello Challenge!!

Try it here

Apocalyptica Going on Tour

Date City Venue Tickets
07.03.2008 UK - London The Forum » Tickets
03.04.2008 TR - Ankara Saklikent
04.04.2008 TR - Izmir Ooze Bar
05.04.2008 TR - Istanbul Yeni Melek
11.04.2008 US - Las Vegas, CA House Of Blues
12.04.2008 US - San Diego, CA House Of Blues
13.04.2008 US - Orangevale, CA The Boardwalk
14.04.2008 US - Los Angeles, CA Roxy
16.04.2008 US - San Francisco, CA Slim's
17.04.2008 US - Portland, OR Roseland
18.04.2008 US - Seattle, WA El Corazon
19.04.2008 CA - Vancouver, BC Commodore » Tickets
21.04.2008 US - Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
22.04.2008 US - Denver, CO Gothic Theatre » Tickets
23.04.2008 US - Kansas City, MO Beaumont
24.04.2008 US - St.Louis, IL Pop's » Tickets
26.04.2008 US - Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Café » Tickets
27.04.2008 US - Chicago, IL House Of Blues » Tickets
28.04.2008 US - Cleveland, OH House Of Blues » Tickets
29.04.2008 US - Detroit, MI Crofoot » Tickets
30.04.2008 CA - Toronto, ON Phoenix
01.05.2008 CA - Montreal, QC Metropolis
02.05.2008 US - Boston, MA Paradise Club » Tickets
04.05.2008 US - Philadelphia, PA Trocadero » Tickets
05.05.2008 US - New York, NY Irving Plaza » Tickets
07.05.2008 US - Washington, DC 9:30 Club
08.05.2008 US - Charlotte, NC Amos
09.05.2008 US - Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
10.05.2008 US - New Orleans, LA Parish » Tickets
11.05.2008 US - Houston, TX Warehouse
12.05.2008 US - Dallas, TX House Of Blues » Tickets
14.05.2008 US - Alberquerque, NM Sunshine Theatre
15.05.2008 US - Phoenix, AZ Marquee
31.05.2008 BG - Kavarna Marketsquare
05.06.2008 PT - Lisbon Rock In Rio » Tickets
07.06.2008 SE - Sölvesburg Swedenrock Festival » Tickets
13.06.2008 CH - Interlaken Greenfields Festival » Tickets
20.06.2008 ES - Guernika Kobetasonik Festival » Tickets
21.06.2008 FR - Clisson Hellfest » Tickets
22.06.2008 NL - Biddinghuizen Fields Of Rock » Tickets
27.06.2008 IT - Bologna Gods Of Metal
28.06.2008 D - Dischingen Rock am Härtsfeldsee » Tickets
29.06.2008 BE - Dessel Graspop Metal Meeting » Tickets
02.07.2008 D - Hamburg Grosse Freiheit 36 » Tickets
04.07.2008 DE - Munich Tollwood Festival » Tickets
05.07.2008 SLO - Tolmin Metal Camp Festival » Tickets
06.07.2008 FI - Turku Ruisrock Festival » Tickets
12.07.2008 CZ - Vizovice Masters Of Rock » Tickets
25.07.2008 ES - Lorca Lorca Rock » Tickets
01.08.2008 AT - Vorarlberg Szene Openair 2008 » Tickets
10.08.2008 D - Hildesheim M'era Luna Festival » Tickets
23.08.2008 D - Königstein/Dresden The Rock Festival » Tickets

Monday, March 3, 2008

Philip Glass Falls for $650,000 Cello, Discovers His Inner Bach

Interview by Robert Hilferty

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- ``This piece can bring me the recognition that I'm actually part of an older tradition,'' Philip Glass said recently, perched on a sofa in his town house in New York's East Village. ``I've been associated with the downtown, needle-stuck-in-the-groove school for a long time. We're about to break a new barrier -- the barrier of the classical-music world.

``Isn't that funny?''

The 71-year-old composer was talking about his ``Songs and Poems'' for solo cello, which has just been released on CD. It may be his most expressive piece. The plaintive, seven-movement work, introspective yet expansive, could pass for a long lost Bach cello suite. It's Baroque in flavor, yet it's the first major solo cello work of the 21st century.

Glass's head is still as rich with curls as in Chuck Close's famous 1969 portrait. The 40-year-old cellist Wendy Sutter -- svelte, brunette -- sat on the sofa next to him.

After recording Glass's score for the 2006 film ``Chaotic Harmony,'' Sutter had asked him to recast the music -- originally for cello and voice -- for solo cello. Within hours of the request, she received a six-minute chaconne, which was to become the fifth movement.

``It was pretty magnificent,'' Sutter said. Before a week had passed she received the balance, most of it original, not music recycled from the score.

``I approached it as if I were doing a Bach suite,'' she continued. As the recording reveals, her phrasing and her agility with the music's counterpoint could make Yo-Yo Ma envious.

Cracked Cello

But last February, a week before she was set to premiere the work at Manhattan's Baryshnikov Arts Center, she was on tour in Europe when her cello had an accident and sustained two cracks. Back in New York she rushed to the rare-instrument firm of Morel & Gradoux-Matt, which loaned her the so-called Ex Vatican.

It was love at first sight.

``The cello is the third partner in this piece,'' Glass said, taking the richly resonant instrument out of its case. Built in 1620 by Nicolo Amati, it began life as a viola da gamba. Amati's prize student, Antonio Stradivari, transformed it into the bigger, more modern instrument, which then spent a century participating in performances in the Sistine Chapel.

Painted Angels

The 19th-century French luthier Georges Chanot put the finishing touches on the expansion, then covered his tracks with gorgeous filigree and paintings of two angels with tambourine and harp. The instrument has been used by a few cellists in orchestras (even, for a time, the New York Philharmonic), but it has never been associated with a famous virtuoso. Sutter sees an opening.

``It has an incredible bass end,'' she observed. ``It also has a bright sound and can carry in a hall of 3,000 people. It's like driving a Ferrari.''

``To think,'' Glass said, ``400 years later! There's some kind of Dracula thing going on with this cello of eternal youth. It's always ready to play a new piece.''

Its allure has proven so irresistible to him that he's contemplating two more works for Sutter to perform on it. But the instrument had a high price: $650,000.

Glass has formed a corporation of 10 shares to purchase it. Half the shares have been sold; Glass bought one himself. ``It's like owning part of a company,'' he said. ``They aren't making more of these. The value has got to go up.''

As for ``Songs and Poems,'' he admitted that ``there's a radiance to this kind of piece,'' produced so quickly and passionately -- something that's happened only three or four times in his career.

You could also call it the issue of the romance that has grown out of a musical collaboration. ``When I saw the fifth movement,'' Sutter recalled, smiling, ``that was my first indication that Philip's feelings were moving in a different direction. It was like getting a love letter.''

Glass smiled back at her. ``What's touching is when the world of art and our core emotions blend together. That's what we all yearn for,'' he said. ``The heart is where it's at.''

``Songs and Poems'' for solo cello is on the Orange Mountain Music label. Sutter performs the piece on March 1 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art ( ) and on March 2 at Campbell Hall in Santa Barbara, California ( ).

(Robert Hilferty is a critic for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this story: Robert Hilferty in New York at .

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Young Performer Series: Cicely Parnas

Bio: Cellist Cicely Parnas,14, began her musical studies at age four and was soon setting award records including a 1st prize win at age nine which earned her a performance with the Walden Chamber Players of Boston. It was at this same age she made her debut as guest soloist with orchestra and was recognized for a prodigious technique and an astonishing depth of tone. Now after numerous concerti performances, Cicely has emerged as a seasoned performer and young artist. This year Miss Parnas will perform eight times with orchestra and close the season playing the Brahms Double with her sister, violinist Madalyn Parnas, recalling the historic and unparalleled performance of this piece by grandfather Leslie Parnas with Yehudi Menuhin and conducted by Casals. An avid chamber musician, Cicely joins Madalyn in the Parnas Duo performing at the highest caliber and consistently generating enthusiasm in audiences at venues including Troy Music Hall, Tanglewood, Grand Montgomery Chamber Music Series, Stockbridge Chamber Concerts, Bard, Union and Williams Colleges, UAlbany's Performing Arts Center, The Hyde Collection, Hudson Opera House, Spencertown Academy, and many others. They have been featured in numerous national and regional magazines, as well as on national and local radio broadcasts. This year the Parnas sisters celebrate ten years of music making together in the release of their debut CD, "PARNAS DOUBLE: Duos for Violin and Cello." Miss Parnas has taken top prize in numerous competitions; in 2006 alone Cicely won three first prizes including the Uel Wade Scholarship Competition, the Schenectady Symphony Concerto Competition, and the Berkshire Lyric Young Artist Competition. This same year she was also named a winner of the 2007 National ASTA Solo Competition in the Junior Division. Her exquisite tone and intuitive musicality are fueled by a generosity and fearlessness in performance, indeed reminding us of the lineal relationship with the great cellist Leslie Parnas. Cicely is a student of world-renowned cellist Peter Wiley and studies chamber music with Peter Serkin. William Forster crafted her beautiful cello in 1790 while living in London.

Visit the Parnas sister's site here

Here are some video excerpts of Cicely in performance:

Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Swan as an Encore