LSM Newswire

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nov 25: Classical Recording Foundation 2008 Awards in New York at Carnegie Hall

Classical Recording Foundation Announces 2008 Award Winners

Seventh Annual Awards Ceremony & Benefit

Tuesday, November 25 at 8 pm

Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall

57th Street & 7th Avenue, NYC

Paul Chihara

CRF Composer of the Year

for Paul Chihara (Bridge 9267)

Anne-Marie McDermott, piano

Classical Recording Foundation Award

for George Gershwin: Complete Music for Piano & Orchestra

(Bridge 9252) with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Justin Brown, conductor

Paula Robison, flute

Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award

for Places of the Spirit: The Holy Land (Picker Gallery ISBN: 1-879985-19-5)

Mikhail Simonyan, violin

CRF Young Artist of the Year

for Prokofiev Sonatas for Violin and Piano (Delos 3385)

What: Classical Recording Foundation 2008 Awards Ceremony & Benefit

Program: Performances by pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, flutist Paula Robinson,

violinist Mikhail Simonyan, and the Claremont Trio performing Paul Chihara's Ain't No Sunshine

When: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 8 pm

Where: Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (57th Street & 7th Avenue, NYC)

Tickets & Information: $75 donation (Award Ceremony only) and $200+ donation (Award Ceremony and Reception). Call 914.738.8754 or visit

Praise for the Classical Recording Foundation:

"The Classical Recording Foundation (is) devoted to the proposition that posterity is despoiled when artists are

denied the chance to record their own interpretations of certain repertoire." The New Yorker

October 22, 2008 New York, NYThe Classical Recording Foundation (CRF) is pleased to announce the 2008 winners of its annual Classical Recording Foundation Awards Paul Chihara, CRF Composer of the Year; pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, CRF Award; flutist Paula Robison, Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award; and Mikhail Simonyan, CRF Young Artist of the Year. The awards will be presented at the Foundation's Seventh Annual Awards Ceremony at 8:00 pm on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall (57th Street & 7th Avenue, NYC). A benefit reception will follow.

The ceremony, for which the public may purchase tickets, will feature performances by the award winners, with the Claremont Trio (Emily Bruskin, violin; Julia Bruskin, 'cello; Donna Kwong, piano) performing Paul Chihara's Ain't No Sunshine. Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott will play Gershwin's Piano Preludes. Flutist Paula Robison (collaborating with violinist Adam Abeshouse, pianist Steve Beck, and guitarist Fred Hand) will present a range of music from Places of the Spirit: The Holy Land. A trip to Jerusalem with painter Jim Schantz including Shall We Gather at the River, The King of Love My Shepherd Is, plus the New York premiere of Blue by Bruce Stark. Violinist Mikhail Simonyan will perform Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No 2.

Paul Chihara, the CRF Composer of the Year, will be honored for his self-titled Bridge Records release. The album features his trio Ain't No Sunshine (2006) for piano, violin and 'cello; Piano Quintet ("La Foce") (2007); Minidoka (1996) for clarinet, viola, harp and percussion; and his orchestral work An Afternoon on the Perfume River (2002). Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed writes: "It is almost easier to think of Paul Chihara as several different composers. There is the Chihara whose sensitivity to exquisite instrumental color has made him a favorite with such performers as conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Sequoia String Quartet. There is, however, a strong theatrical side to Chihara which expresses itself in works for dance, musical theater and film. And there is Chihara's love for American popular music of the 30s and 40s." Many of these traits are evident in this panoramic survey of Paul Chihara's recent chamber and orchestral music: The piano trio Ain't No Sunshine is based on a blues ballad; Piano Quintet is based on an Italian WWII diary; Minidoka is based on Chihara's memories of his childhood years spent at the American WWII camp for Japanese Americans, Minidoka; and An Afternoon on the Perfume River, commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, takes its title from a poem by a North Vietnamese poet.

Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott will receive the CRF Award for her recent release, George Gershwin: Complete Music for Piano & Orchestra, a collaboration with conductor Justin Brown and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. David Patrick Stearns of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that in the recording, "McDermott finds little worlds of meaning in every phrase," while All Music Guide notes that "McDermott is simply awesome," and that the album is "outstanding in every respect." The disc was chosen as an Editor's Choice by Gramophone, and in an October 2008 review, the magazine noted that the performances "fly off the page with verve and confidence, rhythmic precision and real style."

The recipient of the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award is flutist Paula Robison. She receives the honor in support of her Places of the Spirit: The Holy Land. A trip to Jerusalem with painter Jim Schantz, a book of images and CD of music inspired by her spring 2005 journey. It was released by Boston's Pucker Gallery in April 2008. Ms. Robison is "a rare artist who can make the flute sound both sensuous and classically pure . . . an absolute wonder," according to The New York Times. One of her favorite continuing projects is With Art, collaborations with visual artists in unusual spaces.

The 2008 winner of the CRF Young Artist of the Year Award is violinist Mikhail Simonyan. He receives the award for his debut recording of the Prokofiev Sonatas for Violin and Piano, with Alexei Podkorytov, to be released by Delos in January 2009. The Miami Herald declared, "Mikhail Simonyan . . . played with the poise, perfection and inner burning fire of a master like David Oistrakh in his prime on a good night." Performing and recording both Prokofiev Violin Sonatas is an undertaking near and dear to Mr. Simonyan's heart. He worked intensely on this repertoire with his mentor, violinist Victor Danchenko, a student of the great David Oistrakh for whom both sonatas were written.

The Classical Recording Foundation applies the universal model of philanthropically-supported live concerts to the recording of new classical performances. Since 2002, when it was founded by Grammy Award winning producer Adam Abeshouse, it has supported more than 20 new recordings. Each Award is tied to a fund administered by the Foundation and the participating record company, to accomplish the tasks of recording and promoting the awardee's recording project. The Award selection process begins with nominations by internationally renowned artists and scholars. Nominees are considered by an anonymous Grant Award Committee, which annually decides on the recipients and Award amounts. Criteria for Classical Recording Foundation Awards include artistic merit of the project, historic significance, strategic value to the artist's career, and breadth of interest.

2008 has been an exciting year for the Classical Recording Foundation and its award recipients from previous years. Pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who was honored in 2006 and 2007, recently received the prestigious Diapason D'or Award for her Bach Goldberg Variations recording. Cellist Zuill Bailey, also honored in 2006 and 2007, signed an exclusive record contract with Telarc, and will soon be releasing a recording of the Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich Cello Concerti, supported by CRF with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Last year's CRF Composer of the Year, Justin Dello Joio, has been commissioned to write a piano concerto for Garrick Ohlsson. CRF, in collaboration with Bridge records, received its first Latin Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Composition for Barcelonazo, music for orchestra by Jorge Liderman. The Foundation was fortunate to receive a Copland Grant that provided partial funding of this recording. In 2008, CRF was awarded three Aaron Copland Grants, an Argosy Grant, and received continued support from the National Endowment for the Arts for its work on a new DVD release about eminent American composer George Crumb.

Artists who have benefited from CRF's support in previous years include the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Kalish-Krosnick Duo, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, Anne-Marie McDermott, Benita Valente, The Juilliard String Quartet, Andres Daz, Judith Gordon, George Crumb, the Harmonie Ensemble, Paul Moravec, Inon Barnatan, Stephen Jaffe, Benjamin Verdery, Giora Schmidt, Rohan De Silva, Simone Dinnerstein, Zuill Bailey, The Daedalus String Quartet, Michael Harrison, Vassily Primakov, Justin Dello Joio, and Richard Wernick.

CRF does not benefit from record sales or royalties, and depends entirely on support from generous individuals and corporations, as well as merit-based grants from public and private sources. The Classical Recording Foundation gives American classical artists means to record music about which they are passionate.

Classical Recording Foundation Board Members include Robert W. Jones; Dr. Julius H. Jacobson II, MD; Neil Yelsey,; Dimitri Sogoloff; and Adam Abeshouse, producer. The proceeds from the 2008 Classical Recording Foundation Award Ceremony and Benefit will go toward making the 2009 Awards possible.

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