LSM Newswire

Friday, September 25, 2009

Janine Jansen releases new Britten/Beethoven CD and will perform with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on US tour from October 2nd-8th

Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
London Symphony Orchestra
Paavo Jrvi

NEW YORK, NY On September 29th, Decca will release a new recording in which violinist Janine Jansen fulfills a long-held ambition to record Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto alongside the most monumental of all violin works, the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Janine Jansen regularly thrills audiences with both her startlingly fresh interpretations of repertoire staples and remarkable takes on lesser-known works. The Times of London recently put it succinctly that "Whenever a violin repertory piece needs revitalizing, theres one simple solution. Hire Janine Jansen to play it." Janine records these concerti with two different orchestras to fully explore two very different sound worlds: the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen for the Beethoven and the London Symphony Orchestra for Britten. Paavo Jrvi conducts both performances.

To make a recording of the Beethoven and Britten Violin Concertos has been a dream of mine for years, Janine Jansen enthuses. They are two of the greatest concertos ever written so different yet both so real.

The Beethoven Rebecca Davis PR Presents Janine Jansen Britten/Beethovenis the purest and in many ways the most beautiful concerto in the violin repertoire. The giant! Janine explains. I felt so intimidated by it at first, perhaps because the general perception is that one can only play and understand this piece when one is older and highly experienced. I first played it at a very young age I was so over-awed it felt like the longest forty-five minutes of my life but with time and greater maturity, I have discovered so much depth in this remarkable music.

Playing the concerto with Paavo Jrvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in March 2009 was one of the highlights of Janines career to date. At first I was concerned that my approach was too Romantic, she recalls, and that I wouldnt blend with the orchestras style of playing with little vibrato and its wonderfully pure sound. When we played it together for the first time my doubts simply disappeared.

If the Beethoven concerto occupies a hallowed place in every concert violinists repertoire, the Britten is still a comparative rarity. Yet for Janine it is one of the greatest works in its genre and one she has loved and championed since she first played it nearly ten years ago. I have fallen completely in love with this extraordinary piece and I try to program it wherever and whenever I can, she beams. The Britten is technically very challenging for both soloist and orchestra, but the musical language is as intense and expressive as can be such underlying tension! For me the most impressive part of the concerto is the very end. The coda starts like a prayer and becomes a cry of pain and despair. You can feel how influenced Britten was by the tensions in the world at the time of the Spanish Civil War. After playing the last notes I feel emotionally finished and empty, yet at the same time nourished and filled with wonder.

Janine Jansens passion for the Britten Concerto is evident to all who experience her performing it. Following a performance with Neeme Jrvi and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 2005, Bradley Bambarger of the Star-Ledger raved, Jansen played Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto with bravura abandon, her hair whipping around and the strands flying off her bow. Just hitting the myriad notes of Britten's challenging score in tune and in time wasn't enough for this risk-taking soloist. She maximized the expressivity of every one, making those notes whisper and sing, caress and sear.

Central to the success of this particular recording is the special musical relationship Janine enjoys with conductor Paavo Jrvi and both orchestras: What I love about our collaborations is the amazing flexibility and sense of communication, in which we get inspired by each others ideas. We make music in, for me, the only possible way. Listening to each other, reacting to each other, being open to new ideas and being passionate about it!

Janine Jansen will perform the Beethoven Concerto with the renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on a national tour from October 2nd through the 8th making stops in Purchase, Costa Mesa, Seattle, Lafayette, PA and finally New Yorks Carnegie Hall.

For more information and to hear Janine Jansen share thoughts about Beethoven and Britten:

Janine Jansen on tour with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra October 2nd-8th, 2009

October 2, 2009 Purchase SUNY Purchase College
October 4, 2009 Costa Mesa Orange County Performing Arts Center
October 5, 2009 Seattle Benaroya Hall
October 7, 2009 Lafayette, PA Williams Center for the Arts
October 8, 2009 New York Carnegie Hall

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Joshua Bell makes music at home with friends



On JOSHUA BELL's new album, AT HOME WITH FRIENDS, the Grammy Award-winning violinist fulfills a life-long career dream of recording a CD of instrumental and vocal duets with a diverse roster of musicians including Chris Botti, Sting, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Regina Spektor, Anoushka Shankar, Marvin Hamlisch, Tiempo Libre, among others. AT HOME WITH FRIENDS (Sony Classical) will be available on September 29.

The concept of AT HOME WITH FRIENDS was inspired by Bell's long-time practice of holding 'musical soires' at his New York residence eclectic gatherings of musicians, actors, comics, literary figures and others who convene for the sheer joy of sharing their art in an informal setting. With this in mind, Bell has spent the past four years designing and building his home in Manhattan to accommodate the ideal 'stay-at-home' venue.

Of his inspiration for the album concept Bell says "Some of my most precious memories of childhood recall the 'family musicales' in my home my sisters, my parents, my cousins all playing music together and for each other during the holidays. Since then I went on to have many thrilling experiences in concert halls, but I still enjoy the experience of making music with my friends and family in a small, intimate setting. There's nothing like sitting on a pillow by the piano surrounded by passionate artists, not quite sure who's going to get up next to perform. It's my hope that this recording figuratively transports listeners into the room with us."

AT HOME WITH FRIENDS covers a world of music - genres from classical to pop, bluegrass to Broadway, jazz and ethnic World Music of every stripe. The repertoire ranges from a 16th Century love song (performed by Bell and Sting) to pure violin-piano duets with Marvin Hamlisch (on Richard Rodgers' "I'll Take Manhattan"), with Dave Grusin (on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Chovendo Na Roseira"), and with Las Vegas musician Frankie Moreno (on the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby"). It also includes full-scale ensembles with Chris Botti (on the Gershwins' "I Loves You Porgy" from Porgy And Bess) and Josh Groban (introducing his lyrics for film composer Ennio Morricone's title theme from Cinema Paradiso) and unexpected partnerships with the likes of Regina Spektor (in a Spektor penned piece "Left Hand Song"), Anoushka Shankar (in a piece written for her and Joshua by her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar), the Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth (in "My Funny Valentine"), and Rachmaninoff himself on the piano in Grieg's violin sonata (thanks to an astounding new recording technology).

Sting's 2007 album, The Journey and the Labyrinth is the source for "Come Again," one of two tracks on AT HOME WITH FRIENDS that is arranged by Bell and J.A.C. Redford. The other is the title theme of the 1995 film Il Postino, in which Bell joins award-winning tango aficionado Carel Kraayenhof on bandoneon. In turn, Bell, Kraayenhof and the same rhythm section breathe new fire into "Oblivion," composed by all-time revolutionary Argentine nuevo tango master stor Piazzolla. Bell continues with the Latin flavor on "Para T," composed by Jorge Gomez, founder and pianist of two-time Grammy-nominated Cuban band Tiempo Libre.

Ten years after their 1999 collaboration Short Trip Home (Sony Classical) and their subsequent appearance on the Grammy's telecast, Bell is reunited with his Indiana University school-mate Edgar Meyer on the double-bass, along with buddies Sam Bush on mandolin, and guitarist Mike Marshall in "Maybe So." The concept of Bluegrass/Classical fusion is taken to yet another level on "Look Away," a new work composed by Meyer and mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile. These two join Bell in this first-time collaboration.

In another first-time collaboration, Soviet-born American singer songwriter Regina Spektor joins Bell to record a song that she has often performed in concert, but never recorded. Fans commonly referred to the tune as "The Meatball Song" and "A Lesson In How Fleeing Preservation Is." Its official title is "Left Hand Song," aptly named as Spektor wrote it using her left hand.

In another 'hometown connection' Bell joins Indiana-born Baritone Nathan Gunn and I.U. graduate and long-time recital partner Jeremy Denk in "O, Cease Thy Singing, Maiden Fair", a Russian poem by Alexander Pushkin, set to music by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

AT HOME WITH FRIENDS also celebrates the holidays with Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" presented by Bell and Chris Botti with a full rhythm section as well as Kristin Chenoweth and Bell on "O Holy Night." These songs will be available as retail exclusives.

With more than 30 original albums to his credit, Bell has captured the public's attention like no other classical violinist of his time, enchanting audiences worldwide with his breathtaking playing and tone of rare beauty, as performed on his legendary Stradivarius violin made in 1713. Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra leader, Bell has earned countless awards and honors for his work as a concert stage performer and recording artist. He has won multiple Grammy awards and was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize. His 2004 album Romance of the Violin was named the "Classical CD of the Year" by Billboard Magazine, with Bell named "Classical Artist of the Year." In the national spotlight since age 14 (when he made his acclaimed orchestral debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra), and a recording artist since age 18, Bell has been an exclusive Sony Music artist for more than a decade. Acclaimed for the wide range of music he has chosen to record, Bell's output ranges from mainstream classical concertos by Sibelius and Beethoven, a live recording with the Berlin Philharmonic (Tchaikovsky concerto), the bluegrass inspired Short Trip Home - from the jazz influenced Gershwin Fantasy, to the Bernstein-inspired West Side Story Suite and many others. His interest in film is particularly notable, having performed all the violin solos in The Red Violin, helping the film win an Oscar for the "Best Original Score" (written by John Corigliano). He has received recognition beyond his awards that are not common to most classical artists, having been the first musician to have a classical music video played on VH1, to appearing as himself on Sesame Street and alongside Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart.

Track Listing

1. I Loves You Porgy featuring Chris Botti, trumpet

2. Come Again - featuring Sting, vocals

3. Oblivion - featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon

4. Cinema Paradiso - featuring Josh Groban, vocals

5. Para T - featuring Tiempo Libre, various

6. My Funny Valentine - featuring Kristin Chenoweth, vocals

7. Maybe So - featuring Edgar Meyer, Double-bass, Sam Bush, Mandolin and Mike Marshall


8. Grieg: Sonata No. 3 featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff (Zenph re-performance)

9. Eleanor Rigby - featuring Frankie Moreno, piano & vocals

10. O, Cease Thy Maiden Fair - Nathan Gunn, baritone

11. Il Postino - featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon

12. Left Hand Song featuring Regina Spektor, piano & vocals

13. Chovendo Na Roseira - featuring Dave Grusin, piano

14. Look Away - featuring Edgar Meyer, bass and Chris Thile, mandolin

15. Variant Moods: Duet for Sitar & Violin (abridged version) - featuring Anoushka Shankar, sitar

16. I'll Take Manhattan - featuring Marvin Hamlisch, piano

RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz are labels of Sony Masterworks. For e-mail updates and information regarding RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz artists, promotions, tours and repertoire, please visit

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Canada's violin sensation kicks-off new season

Canada's violin sensation Lara St. John kicks-off Sinfonia Toronto's 11th season on October 23 at 8:00 pm in Glenn Gould Studio. Orchestra's Music Director Nurhan Arman will conduct.

Violinist Lara St. John is "wild, idiosyncratic, and gripping" according to The Los Angeles Times. Her rise as a soloist has been well documented by the Canadian and international media since her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra at the age of 10. She has been described as "something of a phenomenon" by The Strad magazine, and as a "high-powered soloist" by The New York Times. Her debut recording has sold over 50,000 copies, and led The Chicago Tribune to rave about her "superb technique and an irresistible vitality."

This past spring, Lara released a CD pairing Vivaldi's Four Seasons with The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, by the father of nuevo tango, Astor Piazzolla. The tango is one of the pieces on the program for this concert with Sinfonia Toronto.

"The Piazzolla is certainly one of the best things Lara St. John has ever recorded; she plays with unbridled passion and a kind of sexy ferociousness," according to All Music.

Sinfonia Toronto is comprised of thirteen virtuoso string players. "A world-class ensemble," according to Germany's Russelsheimer Echo, they perform standing, in the tradition of great chamber orchestras, under the direction of Music Director and conductor Nurhan Arman. A roster of Toronto's finest woodwinds, brass and percussion joins the strings for select programs, drawn from the full range of chamber orchestra repertoire. The Toronto Star writes of "a remarkable range of colour," "ample eloquence" and "gripping authority," while La Scena Musicale declared: "Nurhan Arman and his orchestra literally conquered us." Their most recent CD, Flanders Fields Reflections features the 2009 Juno Award winner for Classical Composition of the Year, a Sinfonia Toronto commission composed by John Burge.

The program for the evening consists of Haydn's Quartet op 42, Vaughan-Williams' The Lark Ascending, Piazzolla's The Four Seasons and Tchaikovsky's Serenade.

Tickets for this premium concert are $19 - $49 and are available through the Roy Thomson Hall box office at 416-872-4255. Subscriptions offer great savings, and are available at, or by calling 416-499-0403.

Concert details at a glance

Oct 23, 2009, 8:00pm
Glenn Gould Studio (250 Front St. W)
LARA ST. JOHN, Violinist

VIOLIN DIVA Canada's violin sensation kicks-off a new season

HAYDN Quartet op 42
PIAZZOLLA The Four Seasons
Tickets: Roy Thomson Hall Box Office 416-872-4255
$19 students; $39 seniors and $49 adults

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Friday, July 24, 2009

The Devil's Fiddler at Chamberfest

The Devils Fiddler to perform at Chamberfest!

Roby Lakatos, accompanied by his talented five-piece 'Gypsy Band', slithered and scampered his way - at about 100 notes a second - through four show stoppers, each more preposterously exuberant than the last. - The London Times

The Ottawa Chamber Music Society is thrilled to announce the Ottawa debut of Roby Lakatos as a surprise addition at the 16th Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival thanks in part to the support of the Marquee Tourism Events Program. Lakatos and his ensemble, a scorching Hungarian gypsy band will perform at Chamberfest on Wednesday, July 29 at 7 pm at Dominion-Chalmers United Church.

Roby Lakatos is not only an impressive virtuoso, but a musician of amazing versatility. With an unusual musical scope - as composer, classical violinist and gypsy violinist, Roby Lakatos is at home in the Hungarian folklore as well as in classical music and jazz. He was born into a legendary family of gypsy violinists who are descended from Janos Bihari, known as the "King of Gypsy Violinists". His musicianship evolved not only within his own family as he was initiated into secrets of gypsy music as a child, but also at the Bla Bartk Conservatory of Budapest, where he won the first prize for classical violin in 1984.

The combination of his heritage and his nomadic free spirit and classical violin education has allowed Lakatos to become a classical virtuoso, a jazz improviser, a composer and arranger, a fiery violinist all at the same time.

"Since Haydns time the influence of Gypsy music has been evident throughout classical music. There is no other performer or ensemble in this day and age that encapsulates the true essence of the Gypsy tradition, its virtuosity, its passion, and sheer ability to entertain, as does violinist Roby Lakatos and his remarkable ensemble," raves Roman Borys, cellist of the Gryphon Trio, the Artistic Directors of the Festival.

His musical prowess borders on genius. Lakatos follows in the footsteps of masters such as Liszt and Brahms in combining classical music with pulsating, vibrant Hungarian Gypsy overtones. Xpress (Abu Dhabi)

My style has three elements, says Lakatos. The base is Gypsy music, of course, but also it includes classical music and jazz. The arrangements are very classical - but we have a lot of improvisation, too, because Gypsy music is like jazz, he explains. And, of course, we never make the same concert twice.

In addition to sold-out performances at the 2009 festivals of Domaine Forget and Orford, Lakatos and his ensemble have performed to great acclaim in concert halls in North America and Europe, including New Yorks Carnegie Hall, Santa Cecilia in Rome, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The other members of Roby Lakatos' ensemble are Klmn Cski, Lszl Bni, Oszkr Nmeth and Attila Ront.

Reserved tickets for this performance can be purchased online at, in person at the OCMS office, Dominion Chalmers United Church Box Office, or at any festival concert, or by calling 613-234-6306. General admission tickets are available only at the door. A Festival pass provides access to this, as well as 90 other Chamberfest concerts. Full ticket and pass details are available at or at 613-234-6306.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Juilliard String Quartet Welcomes Nick Eanet As It's New First Violinist




The Juilliard String Quartet, whose name has been synonymous with the highest quality in chamber music, will perform its first concert with Nick Eanet as its first violinist at the Ravinia Festival (in Highland Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago) on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at 8 p.m. This is only the ninth incarnation of the Quartet since its inception in 1946, with changes in membership occurring singly and slowly, with an average of eleven years' gap between changes. Mr. Eanet's arrival marks the newest chapter in the ever-evolving history of the Juilliard String Quartet.

Mr. Eanet is leaving his position as concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to join the Juilliard Quartet. He replaces Joel Smirnoff, who is assuming the position of President of the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music. The existing members of the Quartet, after Mr. Smirnoff's departure, are Ronald Copes, violin; Samuel Rhodes, viola; and Joel Krosnick, cello.

Mr. Eanet is welcomed enthusiastically by the continuing members of the Juilliard String Quartet, whose goal was to find a player who would take the Quartet into the next generation and continue the Juilliard String Quartet's legacy with youthfulness and vitality. The qualifications for the new member included an interest in performing contemporary music and a dedication to teaching. Mr. Eanet was a natural choice, as he brings to the Quartet the ideal qualities of having a new viewpoint as well as a shared emotional connection and musical philosophy with his new colleagues.

For Nick Eanet, the connection to the Juilliard String Quartet is almost familial. "It's very emotional for me to join this particular quartet," Eanet said. "Besides its being 'the' quartet when I was growing up, I have had a relationship with the founding violinist, Robert (Bobby) Mann, Sam, and both Joels since I was in school at Juilliard. As a freshman, I remember leaving my first quartet coaching with Bobby and thinking 'I must study with him.' That was to happen a few years later, and he was my violin teacher during my last year in school."

Nick Eanet's passionate connection to quartet playing, and his memories of the Juilliard, date back to his early childhood. "When I was only five years old, my young quartet was invited by Shinichi Suzuki to participate in his festival in Matsumoto, Japan. String quartets still hold a cherished place in my heart. Wonderful memories from a very early age, with some of the most personal and unique masterpieces in classical music, make a powerful combination -- those late Beethoven quartets sometimes feel like they dropped from the sky. I will never forget hearing Opus 132 for the first time: It was one of the Juilliard String Quartet's home concerts, and I was still quite young -- that slow movement was the most intense thing I had ever heard!"

Delighted to join this august group, Eanet embraces its tradition of teaching and inspiring new works: "The importance of the JSQ to the world of string quartets is impossible to calculate. Just the number of important commissions they have added to this already-rich repertoire would be a major accomplishment -- or their role in mentoring almost all the major American string quartets. And then there are those incredible recordings... It's intensely exciting to now share the responsibility for such an important institution. I can't wait to start the adventure."

The Ravinia program will include works by Schubert, Bartok and Mendelssohn; the complete program is as follows:

Schubert - Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D. 804, Op. 29, "Rosamunde"

Bartok - String Quartet No. 2

Mendelssohn - Quartet in F minor, Op. 80

(Program subject to change)

About the Juilliard String Quartet

The Juilliard String Quartet was founded as Juilliard's resident string quartet in 1946 by then-Juilliard President William Schuman. The current Quartet with violinist Joel Smirnoff has been together since 1997, when the founding violinist of the Quartet, Robert Mann, retired after 50 years. At that time, Mr. Smirnoff assumed the first violin position, with Ronald Copes joining as second violin.

Nick Eanet was a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet earlier in his career and had continued his chamber music performance while a member of the Met Opera Orchestra since 1999. He is also an experienced teacher of his instrument; while a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, he was in residence and taught at Harvard University. He also was a member of the faculty of the University of Delaware and the North Carolina School of the Arts.

As champions of contemporary music since their founding, the Juilliard String Quartet's commissioned works come from noted composers such as Milton Babbitt, Ralph Shapey, Ezekiel Viao, and Richard Wernick. In 2007-08, the Juilliard String Quartet offered special programming in honor of Elliott Carter's 100th birthday, and on April 29, 2008 at Juilliard, the Quartet, with clarinetist and Juilliard faculty member Charles Neidich, performed the world premiere of Elliott Carter's Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet. In addition to the Quartet's North American performances, tours of Asia and Europe are planned for the 20092010 season.

Tickets for the July 8 concert at Ravinia go on sale to the general
public on April 16 exclusively at

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ondine Signs Violist David Aaron Carpenter and Announces North American April Releases

[Note: Fact sheets attached as PDFs

Ondine North American News and Releases for April 2009

Signs violist David Aaron Carpenter

Releases world premiere recording of long-lost Hindemith work, the Klaviermusik mit Orchester, Op. 29

Releases Bizarre Bazaar featuring clarinetist Kari Kriikku

Releases world premiere recording of Hallgrmsson's Cello Concerto performed by Truls Mrk


Debut recording Viola Concertos by Elgar and Schnittke will be released internationally in September 2009 and features the Philharmonia Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach. A pre-release sample is available at

Ondine is pleased to announce the signing of a recording agreement with 22-year-old violist David Aaron Carpenter, who has recently emerged as one of the world's most promising young talents. The initial agreement calls for four CD releases. Mr. Carpenter, who was the Winner of the 2006 Walter W. Naumburg Viola Competition, will be performing in recital at Carnegie Hall in Zankel Hall on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 7:30 pm (

His debut recording to be released in September 2009 couples two concertos: a viola arrangement of Sir Edward Elgar's famous Cello Concerto and the Viola Concerto (1985) by Alfred Schnittke. Christoph Eschenbach leads the Philharmonia Orchestra. David Aaron Carpenter adapted much of the Elgar Concerto himself, using the well-known and Elgar-sanctioned arrangement by Lionel Tertis as a basis.

Since making his orchestral debut in 2005 with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach, David Aaron Carpenter has been performing with leading musicians and orchestras in the United States and Europe. In 2007, he became the first American and youngest protg for The Rolex Mentor and Protg Arts Initiative and the protg of world-renowned violinist and violist Pinchas Zukerman. He was chosen among an international selection that included every violinist and violist of his generation.

David Aaron Carpenter has been acclaimed as producing, "a seductively rich sound and demonstrating both a forceful interpretive personality and remarkable control of his instrument," (The New York Times) and, "whose beautiful modulated tone makes a striking impression." (The Strad)

Industry veteran Kevin Kleinmann, who brought David Aaron Carpenter to Ondine's attention and serves as Executive Producer for this and future recordings with the artist on Ondine, said, "In my more than thirty years working with classical musicians, I have rarely encountered a more striking talent than David Aaron Carpenter. He combines an incandescent and imaginative musical personality with effortless technique an maturity far beyond his years. His intense musicality and talent brings to my mind such past greats as Michael Rabin and Jacqueline du Pr. Working on the Elgar recording project made me realize how, I David's hands, this Concerto works so well on the viola."

Reijo Kiilunen, Managing Director of Ondine, added, "It is my pleasure to welcome this outstandingly gifted young musician to Ondine and to release his debut recording. I believe that David Aaron Carpenter combines superstar potential with an artistic depth uncommon for his age. The juxtaposition of the concertos by Elgar and Schnittke underlines our label's artistic vision, and we look forward to many further exciting recordings with David in the future."

On signing with Ondine, David Aaron Carpenter said, "I want to express my gratitude to the Rolex Mentor and Protg Arts Initiative for making this recording possible. I look forward to my collaboration with Ondine, a company that remains true to its core musical principals. I am fortunate that Ondine aligns its vision with my own to establish the viola as a solo instrument. Making my first recording with Maestro Eschenbach and the Philharmonia Orchestra has been a truly remarkable journey. Performing the Elgar Cello Concerto on viola has definitely been the highlight of my musical career thus far, and I hope that listeners will appreciate this masterpiece interpreted in a new light." Subsequent to the release of his debut album, David Aaron Carpenter will be performing the Schnittke Concerto in Dresden with the Dresden Staatskapelle conducted by Christoph Eschenbach on November 29th and 30th, 2009.

Artist profile at

Artist profile on The Rolex Mentor & Protg Arts Initiative website:

Video portrait of the artist:

Video showing the artist working with his mentor Pinchas Zukerman:

Interview with the artist:

Official website of the artist:

********************************** HINDEMITH


Op. 29 (for Piano Left Hand)



SYMPHONY No. 9 in E minor

Op. 95 "From the New World"

Leon Fleisher, piano

The Curtis SymphonyOrchestra

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor

ODE 1141-2

Release date: April 28, 2009

Ondine is proud to announce the April 28, 2009 release of the first-ever commercial recording of a long-lost major work by Paul Hindemith, the Klaviermusik mit Orchester, Op. 29 for piano left-hand and orchestra. The New York Times has called it, "a fantastic work that requires tremendous technique and stamina" (December 2, 2006). The disc also features Antonn Dvok's popular Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World").

Hindemith wrote this concerto in 1923 for the left-hand pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during the First World War. Wittgenstein never performed it, and it was only upon the death of his widow, in 2002, that the piece was discovered in a farmhouse in Pennsylvania; the work received an acclaimed 2004 world premiere in Berlin, with piano legend Leon Fleisher as soloist and the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle. Leon Fleisher, who is one of the most prominent specialists of left-hand repertoire, is the soloist on this recording.

Watch the Christoph Eschenbach and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra performing Dvok Symphony No. 9 on YouTube.

********************************** KRIIKKU, CLARINET



JAN SDERBLOM, conductor

ODE 1140-2

Release date: April 28, 2009

Hailed by press and public as one of the world's foremost clarinetists, Kari Kriikku is celebrated for his musical inventiveness and fresh attitude towards traditional performance. His versatility covers numerous periods, ranging from Mozart to the contemporary, and has been a muse for composers such as Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho and Kimmo Hakola.

Kari Kriikku's passion for traditional folk music shines through in Bizarre Bazaar, his new album release on Ondine. The eclectic programme showcases the diverse use of the clarinet in Jewish klezmer, Portuguese fado, Argentinean tango and Arab music. "I have followed my instincts in gradually bringing together works from various cultures that have impressed me on my travels and then unabashedly adapted those works for concert use," says Kari Kriikku who performs here with the chamber orchestra Tapiola Sinfonietta and additional oud, qanun and laud players. The Finnish press hailed their live performances as "vibrantly energetic and entertaining" (Helsingin Sanomat).

********************************** HALLGRMSSON




JOHN STORGRDS, conductor

ODE 1133-2

Release date: April 28, 2009

The celebrated Norwegian cellist Truls Mrk is known as a tireless champion of the best contemporary music. On this release, he presents the Icelandic composer Haflii Hallgrmsson himself a professional cellist with his two works for cello and orchestra. Truls Mrk joins forces with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, one of the finest ensembles of its kind, under the direction of John Storgrds. This CD includes the first commercial recording of the Cello Concerto, which Hallgrmsson dedicated to Mrk in 2003. Since the premiere, he has championed the work in a number of performances across Europe to great acclaim; The Times called it, "a remarkable new addition to the cello repertoireĶ one of his [Hallgrmsson's] finest work to dateĶ" (Hilary Finch, The Times, 28 January 2004), Scotland's Herald spoke of "a work of haunting beauty" (Michael Tumelty, The Herald, 26 January 2004).


About Ondine: Ondine was founded more than twenty years ago in Helsinki, Finland, where the company is still based and today offers an extremely eclectic catalogue of both contemporary Finnish music, as well as recordings with major Finnish and international artists.

Ondine's extensive catalogue includes more than four hundred recordings (two hundred and fifty of which are available physically) of artists and ensembles such as conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach, conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo, Leif Segerstam, John Storgrds and Mikko Franck, orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the London Sinfonietta, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic, sopranos Karita Mattila and Soile Isokoski, pianist Olli Mustonen, violinist Pekka Kuusisto and clarinettist Kari Kriikku. The label has also had a long and fruitful association with the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, having recorded the premieres of many of his works and garnering many awards along the way.

The roots of Ondine date back to 1985 when founder Reijo Kiilunen released the very first Ondine album under the auspices of the renowned Finnish Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. The label's initial mission was to produce one live album at the Festival each season. The fourth album, however, featured Einojuhani Rautavaara's opera Thomas (ODE 704-2), raising major international attention and opening up the possibility for North American distribution. Kiilunen, who was running the Festival's concert agency and had begun the recording activity part-time, soon decided to devote himself fully to the development of this new business, producing and editing the first 50 releases himself. In 1991, Seppo Siirala joined as producer, and the Helsinki-based company has been expanding steadily since, currently numbering six full-time employees. Today, Ondine continues to uphold its reputation as one of the most respected labels in classical music, and its products have received numerous prizes at the Cannes (MIDEM) Classical Awards, the Gramophone Awards, the BBC Music Magazine Awards and the Classical Internet Awards.

Universal Music Classical and Ondine entered into a distribution agreement that began on January 1, 2008. Both physical and digital distribution in the United States and Canada are covered under the agreement. Universal Music Classical comprises the Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, and ECM labels and is a division of the Universal Music Group. For more information about Ondine, visit

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Duo Concertante to appear in Classical 96 lobby concert April 8 - launches "It Takes Two"


Toronto, ONTARIO - East coast violin/piano pair Duo Concertante (violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves) is thrilled to release its fourth CD, entitled "It Takes Two", a Marquis Classics/EMI Canada recording of encore chestnuts to please and delight any classical music fan. Excerpts from the CD will be performed and broadcast live at The New Classical 96.3 FM on Wednesday, April 8, at 1:20 PM and classical music fans can tune in or watch on the internet at The Duo will also perform on Tuesday, May 5 at the Canadian Opera Company's Free Concert Series from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

The uniqueness of this album originates with the arrangements. When violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves wanted to release an album of encore pieces, they approached Canadian composer Clifford Crawley for inspiration - and the collaboration was mutually rewarding. "We wanted to present encore pieces which featured both instruments equally," explain Nancy and Timothy. "When we approached Clifford about arranging some materials, we suggested some of our favourite opera arias, jazz tunes, and orchestral pieces. He had great ideas and for the next year created the 14 arrangements that comprise this disc. We are indebted to his great skill, enthusiasm, and generous spirit. The title of the disc should really be 'It Takes Three.'"

Duo Concertante's previous recordings, all under the ATMA Classique label, reveal the pair's wide range: "Wild Honey" (2003), highlighting Canadian composers Kelly-Marie Murphy, Chan Ka Nin, Omar Daniel, Jean Lesage, and Andrew Paul MacDonald; "Of Heart and Homeland" (2002), was a disc of Jancek, de Falla, Shostakovich, Michael Parker, Smetana, Dvork, and Piazzolla; and " Deux" (1998), which featured Beethoven, Stravinsky, Ravel, and Brahms.

"It Takes Two" repertoire list: de Abreu: Tico Tico; Gershwin: Lady Be Good (medley); Saint-Sans: Mon coeur s'ouvre ta voix; Khachaturian: Sabre Dance; Grieg: Solveig's Song; Gillespie: A Night in Tunisia; (trad): The Lark; Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet; Sibelius: Valse triste; Rodgers: "It's a Grand Night for Falling in Love with the Most Beautiful Girl on a Carousel"; Bonf: Black Orpheus; Tchaikovsky: June - Barcarolle; Mozart: Rondo alla Turka; and Puccini:
Humming Chorus.

"It Takes Two" will be available April 14, 2009 and available online at

Since forming in 1997, Duo Concertante has been acclaimed for performances characterized by brilliance, subtlety, and passion, across North America and abroad. Hailed for their "artistry, poetry, impeccable technique", and "exceptional warmth and intimacy", violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves are renowned for their extraordinary teamwork and powerfully-charged performances which them apart from more conventional violin/piano collaborations. The San Francisco Classical Voice wrote, "Brilliant, saucy and soulful . . . you hear splendid sweet nuances everywhere; Duo Concertante makes a powerful case for thinking of violin/piano sonatas as duo music, rather than as music for a pianist and a violinist."

Clifford Crawley was born in 1929 and educated in England. Affiliated with the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre, he has over 80 published compositions. He believes "originality is not necessarily something new, but often [the result of] looking at the familiar in a different way," which perfectly sums up his contribution to "It Takes Two." He is Professor Emeritus at Queen's University, having taught composition and music education there from 1973 to 1993. He has worked as a music consultant in Central America and Asia, and participated in many Composer/Artist in the Classroom programs. He now lives and enjoys an active musical life in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mikhail Simonyan's VSO Debut

The VSO presents the Vancouver debut of trail-blazing

Russian violinist Mikhail Simonyan

Vancouver BC The VSO proudly presents Mikhail Simonyan a violinist hailed as having a flawless, liquid line and ravishing tone, by The Washington Post performing Chaussons Pome and Ravels Tzigane. The program, Fine French Fantasies, will be conducted by VSO Assistant Conductor Evan Mitchell and also features Berliozs Le corsaire, Op. 21, Ravels Mother Goose Suite and Dukas The Sorcerers Apprentice. The concerts take place on Saturday, March 28 at 8pm and Sunday, March 29 at 2pm at the Orpheum Theatre and will mark Mr. Simonyans debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Marking another debut, this concert features Evan Mitchells 2008/2009 Musically Speaking concert debut. These two great young artistic talents team up for a beautiful concert of French repertoire.

Mikhail Simonyan, who hails from Novosibirsk (the same city that Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov call home), began to study the violin at the age of five. As part of the first generation of artists to forge careers in an era with substantially decreased government support, he has blazed a trail for young musicians in Russia. In 1999, at 13, Mr. Simonyan made his acclaimed New York debut at Lincoln Center with the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (ARYO) and his debut in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre in ARYO's joint concert with the Mariinsky Youth Orchestra, performing the Szymanowski Violin Concerto No. 1.

Mr. Simonyan has earned first prize awards at the all-Russia Competition in Saint Petersburg, the Siberian Violin Competition, the National Prize Prizvanie in Moscow, and the Salon de Virtuosi in New York. He is a winner of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation Award, and received the 2000 Virtuoso of the Year award in Saint Petersburg. In 2003, the National Academy of Achievement selected him for an award in the Performing Arts. In 2005, he received the highest level of recognition when President Putin received him at the Kremlin, in acknowledgment of his status as one of Russias most promising young musicians.

Now in his early twenties, Mr. Simonyan is recognized as one of the great talents of his generation. Celebrated for his breadth, lyricism and fleet technique by The New York Times and compared to master violinist David Oistrakh on a good day by The Miami Herald, Mr. Simonyan proves that he has the talent and dedication to be one of the great talents of our time.


Musically Speaking Series & Beltone Symphony Sundays Series:

Fine French Fantasies: Simonyan Plays Ravel and Chausson

Saturday, March 28, 8pm, Orpheum Theatre

Sunday, March 29, 2pm, Orpheum Theatre

Evan Mitchell, conductor

Mikhail Simonyan, violin

Berlioz Le corsair, Op. 21

Ravel Mother Goose Suite

Chausson Poeme, Op. 25

Ravel Tzigane

Dukas The Sorcerers Apprentice

Tickets $20 to $56 (Student, Senior and Subscriber discounts available)

Tickets available by phone at 604.876.3434 or online at

Generously Supported By:

Musically Speaking Series Video Screen Sponsor: TELUS

Video screen presentations created and produced by students and staff of digital video productions at Columbia Academy.

Symphony Sundays Series Sponsor: Beltone


Evan Mitchell, conductor

Conductor Evan Mitchell is proving to be one of Canadas most promising young conductors. Currently the Assistant Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony, Evan is slated to play a key role in programming, artistic development and of course performance with the VSO, leading the orchestra through a wide assortment of concerts.

Equally at home with chamber music, opera and full symphonic masterpieces, Evan has enjoyed critical acclaim with recent operatic performances including Brittens Albert Herring, Wards The Crucible, Hindemiths Hin und Zuruck and the world premiere of Glenn James opera To Daniel. Evan also won positions with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada for four consecutive years as both conductor and percussionist and now holds the title of Associate Mentor with the orchestra. Highlights include conducting violin soloist Elizabeth Pitcairn, the concertmaster of the New West Symphony and owner of the Mendelssohn Stradivarius 1720 Red Violin.

Evan is an advocate of contemporary music. Recently the resident conductor of NUMUS New Music Ensemble, he has premiered several new works, toured across Canada conducting a festival of contemporary Chinese music and recorded works for the CMC, collaborating with such Canadian artists as the Pentaedre Wind Quintet, Penderecki String Quartet and Dancetheatre David Earle. Evan has also conducted and performed works during the highly acclaimed Open Ears Festival.

As a percussionist Evan has enjoyed equal success. In demand as a recitalist and concert soloist (recent performances of the Rosauro Marimba concerto and the Mayuzumi Xylophone concerto), Evans percussive performance has been hailed as breathtaking in (his) sensitivity as well as wizardly and awe-inspiring. Evan has toured Canada, the United States and abroad, including a memorable tour as Canadian ambassador during a concert tour with virtuoso composer/percussionist Nebojsa Zivkovic, during which he performed as concert soloist and along with the composer in a sold out performance of Zivkovic's celebrated Trio per Uno at the Stuttgart International Theatre. Evan is a frequent performer with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and has performed with Orchestra London and the Toronto Symphony. Evan has also been a faculty member and guest lecturer with Wilfrid Laurier University, primarily as Music Director of the Flute Ensemble.

Awards include First Prize at the Werlde Musik Kontest in Kerkrade, Netherlands, finalist at the upcoming TD Canada Trust Elora Festival Competition and Winner in Marching category as part of the Kavaliers DCI Drum Corps. Evan is also the winner of the 2006 Pioneer Leading Edge Arts Award.

Evan is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University where he completed a Bachelor of Music degree as a percussion major; he is also a graduate of the University of Toronto, where he studied on a full scholarship sponsored by Elmer Iseler and Victor Feldbrill, earning a Masters degree in conducting. His principal conducting teachers include Raffi Armenian, Doreen Rao, Paul Pulford and Boris Brott. Additionally, he has studied and performed in concert series with Denise Grant, Martin Fischer-Dieskau and most notably, Helmuth Rilling, in the inaugural Toronto Bach festival.

Mikhail Simonyan, violin

At just 22 years of age, Mikhail Simonyan is already recognized as one of the most celebrated talents of his generation. The New York Times has praised his, breadth, lyricism and fleet technique, and reported that Mr. Simonyan play[s] as if every note counted. The Miami Herald has 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.

Mr. Simonyan has performed with, among others, the Russian National Orchestra, the Kirov Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, the Vienna Tonknstler Orchestra, the Novosibirsk Philharmonic, and the Moscow Virtuosi. He has worked with conductors including Valery Gergiev, Mikhail Pletnev, Constantine Orbelian, Vladimir Spivakov, Arnold Katz, Kristjan Jrvi, Leon Botstein, and the late Yehudi Menuhin.

Performance highlights for Mr. Simonyan include a solo appearance with Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center's 35th Anniversary Gala in 2001, after which he made his official debut with Maestro Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra in 2002. Later that same year, he performed at the Davos World Economic Summit.

In 2004, Mr. Simonyan made his debut with the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre under Maestro Valery Gergiev in Eduoard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE, and at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. Also in 2004, he made his subscription debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Maestro Gergiev. He also soloed with Maestro Constantine Orbelian at the Moscow State Conservatorys Great Hall, and in Saint Petersburg with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic.

In addition, he was selected to appear at the Horatio Alger Awards Dinner in Washington DC. In spring of 2004, he performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto at SUNY Performing Arts Center and with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.

In the autumn of 2004, after studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Mr. Simonyan returned to Russia and was immediately in demand by the leading Orchestras of his home country. After his debut with the Russian National Orchestra, the Moscow Times wrote, Ķ he seems destined to be ranked on the same Superstar level as fellow Novosibirsk natives Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin. Highlights of the 2004-2005 season included his debut in Viennas Musikverein as soloist with Maestro Kristjan Jrvi and the Tonknstler Orchestra, a highly acclaimed solo recital debut in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center, as well as recitals and orchestral performances in New York and other cities across the US.

Other performance highlights of Mr. Simonyans past seasons include a tour of the United States with the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre under Maestro Valery Gergiev, concerts with Maestro Kristjan Jrvi and the Russian National Orchestra, his debut at the Prague Spring Festival under Maestro Pletnev, and recitals in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Highlights of Mr. Simonyans current concert season include debuts at the Wigmore Hall in London and at the Berlin Philharmonie; his debut at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, performing the Bruch Violin Concerto; a recital during the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Musikfestival in Germany as part of the Junge Elite concert series; appearances with the Seoul Philharmonic, the Vienna Tonknstler Orchestra at the Musikverein, and the Vancouver Symphony; and recitals in the United States and Russia. In addition, his much anticipated debut recording of the Prokofiev Sonatas for Violin and Piano, recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Adam Abeshouse, will be released in 2008.

Mr. Simonyan continues to work with Victor Danchenko in the United States and now lives in Philadelphia. He performs on a Zygmuntowicz violin. He is managed worldwide by Tanja Dorn at IMG Artists.

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