Countless pieces of music, from grand operas to country ballads, have been inspired by the folly of love. Love that goes to our heads, gets under our skin, bewitches, bothers, bewilders... Love that drives us to distraction and beyond. Sometimes ill-fated, sometimes unrequited, sometimes scandalous, always obsessive and intoxicating. A program of piano masterpieces inspired by romantic dramas from Romeo and Juliet to the marriage of Robert and Clara Schumann, and featuring Mad Love, a new work by composer Daniel Felsenfeld riffing on iconic rock and pop songs inspired by this crazy kind of love.
America Again, a collection of American music inspired by Langston Hughes's poem Let America Be America Again. Pianist Lara Downes mines the traditions of the concert hall, the American Songbook, jazz, ragtime, and folk ballads to capture the essence of the American dream and the American struggle.
As Hughes wrote in 1938, still so true in our time: "Let America be America again-- The land that never has been yet-- And yet must be--the land where every man is free. Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--Let it be that great strong land of love."
This music is a tribute to the generations of Americans who dream the impossible: black and white, men and women, immigrants and pioneers. A uniquely diverse American portrait, featuring music by composers including Harold Arlen, Amy Beach, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Morton Gould, Florence Price, David Sanford, and George Walker.
Coming in Fall 2016 as a recording on the Grammy award-winning Sono Luminus label.
The 1920s. Jazz was everywhere - in cafes and restaurants, in the movies, on the radio... its rhythms has become the rhythm of life in the American cities. Composers on both sides of the Atlantic were swept up by the freedom of expression promised by this new sound.
Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue took the musical world by storm at its premiere in 1924 and changed the course of American concert music forever.
Ravel, a great admirer of Gershwin, was fascinated by the dynamism and large scale of American life, pronouncing that he preferred jazz to grand opera.
Schulhoff found his inspiration in the nightclubs of Prague, sensuality and abandon at the end of an era.
Fantasies and Fairytales
Great virtuoso fantasies of the Romantic age by Chopin, Mendelssohn and Scriabin, and works inspired by the magic of fairytales, by MacDowell and Medtner.
A program that reaches into the fantasies and mysteries of our own hearts and minds.
Triangle: the Schumanns and Brahms
One of the greatest love stories of all time, the marriage of Robert and Clara Schumann defied parental opposition and survived professional and emotional challenges, producing some of the richest music of the Romantic Era. With Clara as his muse and champion, Robert’s music reached new heights, and Clara’s performing career as a virtuoso thrived even as she raised eight children. When the Schumanns met Johannes Brahms, it was the beginning of a deep and complex friendship that had tremendous influence on the development of the young composer, and on the future of music into the 20th century and beyond. The relationship between Clara and Johannes after Robert’s death raises questions even today.
A solo recital of music by composers in exile, from Chopin and Rachmaninov to Kurt Weill and Mohammed Fairouz. The Exiles' Cafe, a place both real and metaphorical where the travelers of the world gather to find a home away from home, a place where journeys converge and histories collide. Vanished worlds and altered lives, to the fragility of destiny and the possibilities of new beginnings: postcards from the Exiles' Cafe.
The evening’s climax is the sound of new life established in the New World, with George Gershwin’s love letter to America Rhapsody In Blue.
A set of new re-imaginings of Bach's Goldberg Variations, written by a group of today's most renowned composers, including Lukas Foss, Derek Bermel, William Bolcom, Fred Hersch and Jennifer Higdon. These brilliant and perceptive works celebrate both the eternal beauty of Bach's music and the musical evolutions of the past 250 years.