Reflektor Manfred Eicher

The prestigious concert hall Elbphilharmonie Hamburg has invited Manfred Eicher to curate the “Reflektor” festival programme from February 3 – 6 2020.
“Reflektor Manfred Eicher” will feature outstanding ECM and ECM New Series concerts with Arvo Part , Louis Sclavis Quartet, Heiner Goebbels, Kim Kashkashian, Anouar Brahem أنور ابراهم, Meredith Monk, Egberto Gismonti & Avishai Cohen Music Quartet, and Anja Lechner & Pablo Márquez.

An exclusive listening session with Manfred Eicher will be opening the festival on Sunday February 2.

Detailed information and tickets are available online at:

Yuja Wang photos going viral

Acclaimed pianist Yuja Wang recently performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The programme included Bartok’s two piano concerts. But it is the racy dress and the high heel shoes that are creating headlines and controversy.

And fast breathing by men all over the world.

Parts of the conservative classical music world are upset about the flashy pianist, but it is nothing new that she has her own fashion style. She is famous for that. Not only is she getting attention from people who normally don’t listen to classical music – granted, some will just stay for the photos! – but she also looks stunning.

Go, Yuja!

Here is the programme for the night.

LSO Conductor lineup announced


London Symphony Orchestra just announced today that Gianandrea Noseda will join them in 2016/17 as Principal Guest Conductor, alongside Daniel Harding. Michael Tilson Thomas becomes Conductor Laureate; and Andre Previn becomes Conductor Emeritus. The family is completed by Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director from 2017/18 and Elim Chan, the Assistant Conductor.

Toshiyuki Kamioka appointed Chief conductor for Copenhagen Phil


Toshiyuki Kamioka is appointed Copenhagen Phil’s chief conductor from the season 2016/2017 for a four year period.

Toshiyuki Kamioka was born in 1960 in Tokyo, where he studied conducting, composition and piano and violin at the National University of Fine Arts & Music. In 1982 he was awarded the coveted ‘Ataka Prize’ and two years later he received a Rotary scholarship to study conducting with Klaus Peter Seibel at the conservatory in Hamburg.

In 1987 he became associate professor of chamber music and accompaniment at the Hamburg Conservatory, and in season 2000/2001 he became professor of opera classes at Frankfurt-am-Main Conservatory. Since autumn 2004, he worked as a professor at the Hochschule für Musik Saar in Saarbrücken, where he has been dealing with the development of the next generation conductor – a profession that keeps him sharp and professional completely out of her fingers.

Toshiyuki Kamioka got his first theater experience as chorus master for soloists and conductor at Städtische Bühnen in Kiel. From 1992 to 1996 he was first Kapellmeister at the Aalto Theater in Essen. Between 1996 and 2004 he was General Music Director of the Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden. During the eight seasons from 1998 to 2006 was Kamioka Chief Conductor of the Nordwest-Deutsche Philharmonie in Herford and was also regularly invited to tour in Germany and abroad. Concerts with ensembles such as the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra has given Kamioka an international reputation, where both the press and the public have praised him for his sophisticated musical interpretations. Besides his conductor exposures occur Toshiyuki Kamioka regularly as a subtle and virtuoso piano soloist.

Toshiyuki Kamioka was General Music Director of the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra in the season 2004/2005, where he 2009/2010 season was the chief conductor and artistic director. Under his baton the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra evolved significantly both musically and technically in an orchestra class.

Kamioka has also served as General Music Director of Saarländisches State Theatre in Saarbrücken since the 2009/2010 season until the summer of 2014. Since 2014/2015 he has been General Music Director and Artistic Director of Wuppertaler Bühnen und Sinfonieorchester GmbH.

In 2010, Toshiyuki Kamioka ‘Von der Heydt-Kulturpreis’ in Wuppertal. In early 2011 allocated Music Pen Club Japan him a ‘concert Prize’ for his work as a conductor for Japanese orchestras and to have toured in Japan with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra.

Robin Ticciati is the new chief conductor of DSO in Berlin

Robin Ticciati heißt der Nachfolger von Tugan Sokhiev an der Spitze des Deutschen Symphonie-Orchesters Berlin. Der 32-jährige Engländer übernimmt die Position des Chefdirigenten und Künstlerischen Leiters des Hauptstadt-Klangkörpers ab der Saison 2017|2018 für zunächst fünf Jahre. Erst im September 2014 gab der Chefdirigent des Scottish Chamber Orchestra und Musikdirektor der Glyndebourne Festival Opera seinen Einstand in Berlin beim DSO mit Anton Bruckners ›Romantischer‹ Symphonie. In der aktuellen Spielzeit wird er am 28. Februar 2016 zum Orchester zurückkehren, mit der Violinistin Vilde Frang und Werken von Debussy, Korngold, Ravel und Widmann.

Terry Riley – At the Royal Majestic (2013)


I. Negro Hall
II. The Lizard Tower Gang
III. Circling Kailash

Composer notes:

A little history

In 1966 I got my first electronic organ, a Vox Super Continental 2 manual with draw bars, modeled somewhat on the Hammond B3. I started doing late-night and all-night concerts using tape delays to beef up the sound and to make a “shadow” part to interact with the primary signal. Around 1970, the Vox was replaced with a Yamaha YC 45 D 2 manual organ that my technical assistant, Chester Wood, modified to output stereophonically. He also added a tuning function that made playing in just intonation possible. Chet built one of the first digital delays fashioned out of an old 1950’s computer we purchased from Don Buchla. This new digital delay dubbed “the shadow” made possible live performance in quadraphonic sound. The last phase of this organ performance period came in 1980, when I finally made the move to synthesizers and started using 2 Prophet V synthesizers stacked like a two manual organ in tandem with a polyphonic sequencer. I composed several long duration modal pieces for this setup, performances having a quasi-raga like form with codified themes and extended improvisation. A Rainbow in Curved Air, The Persian Surgery Dervishes, The Ten Voices of the Two Prophets, and Shri Camel are a few of the works from this period 1966-1982.

Fast forward to 2008. I was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to compose a new work for Hurricane Mama, the magnificent organ residing in the Walt Disney concert hall. The LA Philharmonic generously allowed me to have numerous all-night sessions with the organ in Disney Hall to compose and prepare The Universal Bridge premiered in 2009. Some of the unused improvisations and sketches I made then later found their way into At The Royal Majestic.

At The Royal Majestic
“Terry, that is great. Vintage, showbiz suggestive. Etc… Showman=Shaman”
(From an email from Cameron Carpenter)
Negro Hall

The first movement, Negro Hall, is based on a colored-pencil drawing called “Negro Hall” by the great Swiss outsider artist, Adolf Woelfli, whose work I first encountered at the Museum in Bern in 1987. I was intrigued by what Woelfli, who never traveled outside of Switzerland and who lived the last half of his life in a mental institution, thought about Negro culture. I tried to imagine what a dance hall in the Waldorf Astoria NYC in the 1930’s might be like (from Woelfli’s perspective), a gaggle of black dancers in outlandish jitterbug and boogie-woogie routines in a polymetric changing tempo frenzy. I used Woelfli’s beautifully geometric mandala-like drawings to inspire my own composing process.

The wish was to set down music with an identifiable pop/jazz framework of the 1930’s but transformed by a dreamlike vision. A cosmic cartoon if you will.

The first movement of the concerto draws on themes from the Negro Hall section of the chamber opera, The Saint Adolf Ring (1990), (The chamber opera libretto written by John Deaderick is derived from Woelfli’s oeuvre and life’s work, From the Cradle to the Grave. The opera portrays Adolf Woelfli visiting Negro Hall in New York’s 19th-century Waldorf Astoria Hotel where he meets and gives vivid and hilarious descriptions of an imaginary New York City, ruled by the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers and other luminaries.)

The concerto begins simply with the organist playing a relaxed gospel-flavored solo that eventually winds its way to a darker, edgier mood. The orchestra joins the soloist and builds to a full crescendo just before polytonal block chords in the organ give way to a slow rocking minor-third pulse supporting a sinuous virtuosic bass clarinets duel. Following sections display quickly shifting metric pattern development, unveiling disjointed, psychedelic, jitterbug extravaganzas propelling the orchestra into sudden shifts in meter and tempo. A slow A-B-A romantic waltz elbows its way into the plot, undergoes a quick development and gives way to more polymetric patterns and unison crescendos before closing with punched out syncopated chords. [Duration 14:15]

The Lizard Tower Gang

This short movement attempts to juggle chaos and symmetry in its opening statement displaying a jagged alto saxophone solo, alternating Chinese gong pulses, water drum heart beats, string glissandos, ripping elephant tubas, chattering flutes, bassoons and trumpets. The organ enters with rich chords punctuated over a suspended drone. A slow ragtime-like sequence in the organ introduces part two, a grinding blues dirge giving way to the coda closing the movement. [Duration 4:46]

Circling Kailash

Each year thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world, seeking enlightenment and blessings, circumambulate Mount Kailash, a sacred mountain in Tibet, believed to be the abode of the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. A strenuous trek of some 52 kilometers, some of the more devout pilgrims inch along in full body prostrations for the entire journey!

The opening theme of this final movement is first stated in the violas and cellos and then taken up by the organ, brass and bassoons. It is interrupted by an 11-beat descending pattern passed around the orchestra before the opening theme returns and the section idles to a close. The second part of the movement is marked by a slow theme outlined by pizzicato basses. A variation of the theme is then turned into a chorale for organ and brass. Crystalline C major patterns led by the mallet instruments combine with a restating of the theme in diatonic clusters by the organ announce the closing section. The C major patterns pass around the orchestra as they undergo pan-modal coloration changes. The movement ends with a short plaintive solo organ phrase over an E Phrygian modality. [Duration: 13:47]

In these three movements many extensive, intricate dialogues between the organ and the orchestra are found sometimes competing with each other in dense textures of polyphony. Waves build up (in both organ and orchestra) of repeating melodic patterns, both in unison and canon, which in their shifting alignments and changes of direction, attempt something like the aural equivalent of geometric formations seen in Starling flight patterns.

The soloist in At The Royal Majestic is called on to explore many different roles. Shifting, as its title suggests, from sounds reminiscent of the Mighty Wurlitzer housed in the grand movie palaces, to fragments of Calliope, Baroque Chorales, occasional craggy dissonance of clashing pipes and boogie. At times he is also asked to coexist in a large orchestral soup with many parts having equal prominence. I feel fortunate to have this work premiered by Cameron Carpenter, a brilliant young star whose career is illuminating an exciting pathway for the 21st-century organ.

— Terry Riley

[Source / Premiere]