Kronos Quartet performing new work by J.G. Thirwell

Kronos Quartet
Margaret Leng Tan
Victor Gama
Matmos

PLAYING WITH TOYS & TECHNOLOGY

Zankel Hall (Seating Chart)
Friday, March 12, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Tickets from $28 – $42

Using an orchestra of toys, instruments constructed from remnant military materials by children from Angola, and technology capable of capturing tones emitted by the desert, Kronos revisits the joy in discovering new sounds through new means. The program features toy piano virtuoso Margaret Leng Tan and Portuguese instrument builder Victor Gama, and a new work for Kronos by J. G. Thirlwell inspired by environmental acoustic phenomena. To conclude the evening, Kronos is joined by electronic duo Matmos, for a tribute to Terry Riley.

The Program

Kronos Quartet
·· David Harrington, Violin
·· John Sherba, Violin
·· Hank Dutt, Viola
·· Jeffrey Zeigler, Cello
Margaret Leng Tan, Toy Piano, Toy Orchestra, and Vocals
Victor Gama, Pangeia Instrumentos
Matmos
·· Drew Daniel, Electronics
·· M.C. Schmidt, Electronics

Program / Program Notes / The Artists

[via Alexander Natas]

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Clarinet Gets Acrobatic Workout

In his brilliant Clarinet Concerto, Magnus Lindberg exploits myriad facets of what the instrument can do, from playing soaring melodic lines to making almost rude-sounding noises. He composed the work in 2002 for the remarkable clarinetist Kari Kriikku, who performed its United States premiere with the New York Philharmonic, led by Alan Gilbert, on Saturday evening at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Kriikku, a physically flamboyant player of Olympian virtuosity, tackled with aplomb the athletic demands of this rewarding and rigorously constructed single-movement work, whose five sections have allusions to Brahms, Debussy and jazz. Making his debut with the Philharmonic on Saturday, Mr. Kriikku played with a glowing tone and sensual spontaneity in the rhapsodic interludes. He offered a breathtaking cadenza, performing acrobatic feats in the instrument’s highest range.

While some contemporary composers view the symphony orchestra as archaic, Mr. Lindberg (the Philharmonic’s current composer in residence) has called it “his favorite instrument” and “the perfect typewriter where you have all the keys.” In this concerto he gives the orchestra a workout that results in dense, shimmering soundscapes, whose kaleidoscopic colors were aptly illuminated by Mr. Gilbert.

Read the full review in The New York Times here.

New York Philharmonic Press Conference Live on Twitter

Tune in at Noon as we tweet live from our press conference as Alan Gilbert & special guests announce the 2010/11 season!

Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic begin 2010/11 with a world premiere by Wynton Marsalis, performed with the JALC orchestra.

Director/Designer Doug Fitch is back to stage Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen.” He wants to create a “meta-forest” in Avery Fisher Hall.

Composer-In-Residence Magnus Lindberg returns in 10-11; Gilbert conducts his groundbreaking Kraft, with instruments made from car parts!

Anne-Sophie Mutter is the NYP’s new Artist-In-Residence. She’ll perform premieres with Gilbert and MTT; chamber music, a recital and more.

Hungarian Echoes: Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts three weeks of Bartok, Haydn & Ligeti. Guests include Aimard, Mustonen & Michelle DeYoung…

Alan Gilbert and the Phil will play the Brahms triple with Shaham, Ax, and Ma for the @CarnegieHall 120th Anniversary!

Read more in The New York Times here.

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Pianist Wang builds bridge from 'heart to the fingers'

Building a career as a solo pianist is rarely easy. Hundreds of talented young pianists graduate from the world’s conservatories and universities every year. Finding a place for themselves in a crowded field can be daunting.

Xiayin Wang, a young pianist who will make a set of appearances in Chicago starting next week, seems to be finding her way. Born in China and a prize-winning student at the Shanghai Conservatory, she came to the United States in 1997 for college-level work at the Manhattan School of Music. She has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and her recently released CD of music by Scriabin is full of color and an infectious sense of propulsive rhythm.

As an artist, Wang (her name is pronounced sha-EEN wong) grew up in two worlds. Her father plays the erhu, a traditional Chinese instrument that resembles a two-string fiddle, and her training in Shanghai focused relentlessly on developing a proper keyboard technique. But she studied Western classical music, whose greatest piano works require a strong emotional commitment as well as formidable technique. Straddling two worlds, she said, has given her an unusually flexible approach to her career. She enjoys playing jazz and tango as well as classical music.

Read the full article in Chicago Sun Times here.

2008 review in The New York Times here.

Vladimir Horowitz: the tiger who burnt bright

The German word Klaviertiger — which hardly needs translation — might have been invented to describe the musical and technical prowess of the young Ukrainian-born pianist Vladimir Horowitz, who shot to international stardom when he provoked a sensation as a last-minute replacement in a virtuoso tour de force, Tchaikovsky’s B flat minor Piano Concerto. That was on January 20, 1926, in Hamburg, and news of the young firebrand’s success ensured a sellout of the repeat concert. Two years later, the by then 24-year-old scored an even bigger triumph, with the New York public, at Carnegie Hall, despite disagreements with the conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham, over tempi: the young Horowitz was an impetuous speed merchant in a hurry, but capable of huge sonorities unquenchable by any opening of the orchestral floodgates.

Read the full article in The Times here.