Thursday, September 30, 2021

Portland Opera announces Damien Geter as its interim music director

BTW: I interviewed Geter just a few months ago for this article in Classical Voice North America. Take a look at the last sentence in the article!

From Portland Opera's press release:

Portland Opera is delighted to announce that Damien Geter has been named interim Music Director as the company plans for the launch of the 21/22 season. “I think Damien is a genius,” says Sue Dixon, General Director of Portland Opera. “This moment represents the connection of two perfect opportunities: next steps and growth for the company, and next steps and growth for the brilliant work Damien is already doing as an artist and leader in our community and field. In this role, his contributions will shine at Portland Opera in a new way—one that directly impacts our artistic goals for continued excellence as an ensemble.” 


Geter is an acclaimed composer based in Portland, OR, whose growing body of work includes chamber, vocal, and orchestral works. 
As a composer, Geter infuses classical music with various styles from the black diaspora to create music that furthers the cause for social justice. Recently, his compositions have been commissioned for Resonance Ensemble (An African American Requiem), The Washington Chorus (Cantata for a Hopeful Tomorrow), Washington National Opera, Opera Theater Oregon (Invisible), the University of Michigan (The Justice Symphony), and All Classical Portland (Neo-Soul). We Cannot Walk Alone for Imani Winds, co-commissioned by Anima Mundi Productions, Chamber Music Northwest, and The Oregon Bach Festival, will premiere in 2022. Future commissions include world premieres in 2022, 2024, and 2025. 

 

Geter is also an acclaimed bass-baritone and actor, with performance credits ranging from the operatic stage (appearing with Portland Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, and other companies across the U.S.) to the television screen.  He is the Artistic Advisor for the social justice-focused award-winning vocal ensemble Resonance Ensemble and is a scholarly author (Music in Context: An Examination of Western European Music Through a Sociopolitical Lens published by Kendall Hunt), and educator. This past season, he curated Portland Opera’s production of Journeys to Justice, in tandem with the launch of Portland Opera Onscreen. Since July of 2020, Geter has acted as co-Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera—where his diverse artistic background, mentorship, and vision continues to impact artistic and company planning.  

 

A native of Chesterfield County, VA, Damien is an alumnus of the Austrian American Mozart Festival and the Aspen Opera Center. In addition to his artistic activities as a composer and performer, Geter has a history with the conductor’s baton. After studying voice and trumpet in his undergraduate work, Damien received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Old Dominion University, and continued on to earn a master’s degree in conducting at Indiana State University.

“I am so humbled to be a part of an esteemed group of colleagues who are shepherding this art form into the 21st century,” says Damien Geter. “As Portland Opera’s interim Music Director, I hope to help shape musical experiences that will be deeply impactful for our audiences to internalize and enjoy!” 

 

Maestro Geter will pick up the baton as interim Music Director for Portland Opera beginning October 1, 2021; joining newly appointed Artistic Director Priti Gandhi as the newest members of the executive team, led by General Director Sue Dixon.  Portland Opera’s 21/22 season is set to commence with Tosca on October 29, 2021, at the Keller Auditorium, directed by Linda Brovsky, and conducted by Tiffany Chang—who makes her Portland Opera debut. Tickets and information can be found at portlandopera.org.  

Today's Birthdays

Johann Svendsen (1840-1911)
Sir Charles V. Stanford (1852-1924)
Václav Smetáček (1906-1986)
David Oistrakh (1908-1974)
Dame Julie Andrews (1935)
Johnny Mathis (1935)
Alan Hacker (1938-2012)
Jonathan Lloyd (1948)
Andrew Rindfleisch (1963)

and

W.S. Merwin (1927-2019)
Truman Capote (1924-1984)
Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Violin virtuoso Fullana provides mesmerizing Saint-Saëns to open Vancouver Symphony season

Guest artist Francisco Fullana delivered an outstanding performance of Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor in the Newmark Theatre on Saturday evening (September 25) to mark the reopening of the Vancouver Symphony’s live-in-person performances. His amazing technical prowess and artistry were unfortunately heard by only a sparse audience of perhaps 150 people in the hall, although hopefully the online audience was much larger. Yet even though the number of in-house listeners was small, they enthusiastically rewarded Spanish violinist with a standing ovation.

The light turn-out at the Newmark was due to the fact that the orchestra, notified just a couple of weeks before its season opener, could not use its usual venue, Skyview Concert Hall. This came about because of a last-minute ruling by the Vancouver School District, which has prohibited outside organization from renting any facility under its jurisdiction. Hence, the orchestra scrambled to find an alternate venue and fortunately landed in downtown Portland at the Newmark.

But enough lamenting about circumstances caused by COVID-19. The Vancouver Symphony, which performed a complete season of online concerts last year, was elated to be in front of a live audience again for the first time in almost 19 months. With microphone in hand, music director Salvador Brotons practically gushed about being on stage again. The string members of the orchestra wore masks the entire time on the stage while woodwinds and brass slipped their masks on and off according to when they would play. That all went absolutely smoothly.

Fullana showed complete command of the Saint-Saëns, playing with great sensitivity. Whenever he went to a full-bodied tone, it was rich and gorgeous. With fleet fingers, he executed immaculate runs that were absolutely thrilling. The ending of the first movement gained speed and finished with a flourish that was electrifying. Fullana created a genuinely sweet sound for the beautiful melody of the second movement, and he kept it from being overly sentimental. He also made whispery-clean high notes that perfectly matched the subtle sound from principal clarinetist Igor Shakhman. Fullana performed all of the technically tricky parts of the third movement with flair and gusto and still made the music sing. It was just fantastic.

The applause and cheering from the audience brought Fullana back to the stage several times, and he responded with an encore, a transcription of “Asturias (Leyenda)” by Isaac Albenez. Again, Fullana played the piece impeccably and with terrific artistic understanding. He had everyone in thrall.

The main orchestral work on the program was Schubert’s Symphony No 4, which is known as the “Tragic” symphony even though its sentiment is mostly playful and uplifting. In introducing the piece, Brotons pointed out that he selected this work, because it requires fewer musicians than other pieces from the Romantic era and, as a result, fits well with pandemic limitations.

Urged on by Brotons, the orchestra expertly delved into the dynamics of the symphony with crescendos and decrescendos that kept the music fresh. Briefly accented phrases and excellent, unified strings made the first movement very satisfying. The orchestra gently conveyed the beautiful melodic lines of the second movement with a choir of woodwinds and strings wrapping it all up in a pillowy soft ending. The third movement danced along in a playful way, and the fourth movement, which had a couple of ragged moments in the violins, motored through at a swift pace and concluded the symphony on a triumphant note.

The concert opened with Beethoven’s Overture to “Coriolan,” a highly dramatic piece that Brotons and forces captured very well. It might have sounded better in a warmer hall. The Newmark was built for theater performances and, consequently, the sounds produced in there do not get the benefit of reverberation. Still, the musicians caught the spirit of the piece and expressed its drama with verve.

Today's Birthdays

Jacques-Martin Hottetere (1674-1763)
Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska (1829/1834–1861)
Joaquin Nin (y Castellanos) (1879-1949)
Gene Autry (1907-1998)
Richard Bonynge (1930)
Jerry Lee Lewis (1935)
Jean-Luc Ponty (1942)

and

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865)
Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936)
Enrico Fermi (1901-1954)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Article about the new acoustical solution in The Schnitz published in The Oregonian





The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall has undergone an significant acoustical upgrade that is quite impressive. The Oregonian just published the story I wrote about this amazing transition. Here is the link to the article.

Today's Birthdays

Johann Mattheson (1681-1764)
Florent Schmitt (1870-1958)
Vivian Fine (1913-2000)
Rudolf Barshai (1924-2010)
Edward Applebaum (1937)
Catherine Robbin (1950)
Michaela Comberti (1952-2003)

and

Confusius (551 BCE - 479 BCE)
Caravaggio (1571-1610)
Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856-1923)
Edith Pargeter (1913-1995)
Simon Winchester (1944)

and

from the Composers Datebook

On this day in 1951, the Sci-fi classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still" opens in theaters across America, featuring memorable score by Bernard Herrmann that included eerie, other-worldly sounds imitating the electronic instrument known as a "Theremin" (after its Russian-born inventor, Leon Theremin). In the movie, actress Patricia Neal's rendition of the space alien command "Gort: Klaatu barada nikto" prevents Earth's destruction by a death-ray robot from outer space

Monday, September 27, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Cyril Scott (1879-1970)
Vincent Youmans (1898-1946)
Jean Berger (1909-2002)
Igor Kipnis (1930-2002)
Dame Josephine Barstow (1940)
Misha Dichter (1945)
Chris Merritt (1952)
Dimitry Sitkovetsky (1954)v
and

Sir William Empson (1906-1984)
Joyce Johnson (1935)
Kay Ryan (1945)

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Alfred Cortot (1877-1962)
Charles Munch (1891-1968)
George Gershwin (1898-1937)
Yvonne Levering (1905-2006)
Fritz Wunderlich (1930-1966)
Salvatore Accardo (1941)
Dale Duesing (1947)

and

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)
Jane Smiley (1949)

and from The Writer's Almanac:

On this day in 1957, 20 years after George Gershwin died, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway. It was not immediately successful. It only became famous when it was turned into a film in 1961 and won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It’s based on the story of Romeo and Juliet, but it is set in the gang-ridden streets of New York.

During the weeks leading up to the opening of West Side Story, the news was full of stories of gang violence and racial confrontations. At the end of August, Strom Thurmond filibustered for more than 24 hours to try to prevent passage of the Voting Rights Act. The day before the show’s opening, federal troops forcibly integrated Little Rock High School.

In general, critics responded favorably to West Side Story, but all the major Tony Awards went instead to The Music Man, a bubbly, nostalgic musical about a small town in Iowa.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Nikolaus Hanff (1663-1711)
Jean-Phillippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Léon Boëllmann (1862-1897)
Roberto Gerhard (1896-1970)
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Sir Colin Davis (1927-2013)
Glenn Gould (1932-1982)
Stella Sung (1959)

and

William Faulkner (1897-1962)
Mark Rothko (1903-1970)
Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)

Friday, September 24, 2021

Preview of Vancouver Symphony opener in The Columbian newspaper

My preview of the Vancouver Symphony's first concert of the season was published in The Columbian newspaper today. The online version was posted Thursday evening. The orchestra's home venue at Skyview High School has been closed to organizations that are not part of the Vancouver School District;; so the orchestra will play its opening concert at the Newmark Theatre in downtown Portland. Click here to link to the preview.

Today's Birthdays

Blind Lemon Jefferson (1893-1929)
Sir Andrzej Panufnik (1914-1991)
Vaclav Nelhybel (1919-1996)
Cornell MacNeil (1922-2011)
Alfredo Kraus (1927-1999)
John Rutter (1945)
Marc Neikrug (1946)

and

Horace Walpole (1717-1797)
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
Eavan Boland (1944)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1947, German-born composer Hanns Eisler is questioned about his former membership in the Communist Party by the House Committee on Un-American activities. Eisler had been a member of the Party in the 1920s, left Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933, and had been working in Hollywood on film scores and as the musical assistant to Charlie Chaplin. He left the U.S. in 1948 and settled in East Germany - where he composed that country's national anthem.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Jacques Féréol Mazas (1782-1849)
William Levi Dawson (1899-1990)
Jarmila Novotná (1907-1994)
Soulima Stravinsky (1910-1994)
Alexander Arutiunian (1920-2012)
Ray Charles (1930-2004)
John Coltrane (1926-1967)
Robert Helps (1928-2001)
Bruce Springsteen (1949)
William Shimell (1952)

and

Euripides (ca 480 BC - 406 BC) - today is the traditional day for Greeks to celebrate his birthday.
Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927)
Baroness Emmuska Orczy (1865-1947)
Walter Lippmann (1899-1974)
Jaroslav Seifert (1901-1986)

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Arthur Pryor (1870-1942)
Mikolajus Ciurlionis (1875-1911)
Henryk Szeryng (1918-1988)
William O. Smith (1926-2020)
Hugh Bean (1929-2003)
Leonardo Balada (1933)
Anna Tomowa-Sintow (1941)
John Tomlinson (1946)
Vladmir Ghernov (1953)
Michael Torke (1961)

and

Fay Weldon (1931)

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Today's Birthdays

François Francoeur (1698-1787)
Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791)
Gustav Holst (1874-1934)
Meinrad Schütter (1910-2006)
Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
Jill Gomez (1942)
Andrei Gavrilov (1955)
Nina Rautio (1957)

and

Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498)
Sir Edmund Gosse (1849-1928)
H(erbert) G(eorge) Wells (1866-1946)
Sir Allen Lane (1902-1970)
Stephen King (1941)

Monday, September 20, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880-1968)
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (1885-1941)
Uuno Klami (1900-1961)
David Sheinfeld (1906-2001)
John Dankworth (1927-2010)
Jane Manning (1938)
Laurie Spiegel (1945)
John Harle (1956)

and

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)
Maxwell Perkins (1884-1947)
Stevie Smith (1902-1971)
Donald Hall (1928-2018)

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Gustav Schirmer (1829-1893)
Allan Pettersson (1911-1980)
Kurt Sanderling (1912-2011)
Blanche Thebom (1918-2010)
Arthur Wills (1926-2020)
Bonaventura Bottone (1950)

and

William Golding (1911-1993)
Amalia Hernández (1917-2000)
Roger Angell (1920)

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748)
Lord Berners (1883-1950)
Arthur Benjamin (1893-1960)
Meredith Willson (1902-1984)
Josef Tal (1910-2008)
Norman Dinerstein (1937-1982)
Thomas Fulton (1949-1994)
John McGlinn (1953-2009)
Anna Netrebko (1971)

and

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Jean-Bernard-Léon Foucault (1819-1868)
Paul Zimmer (1934)
Alberto Ríos (1952)

Friday, September 17, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870)
Vincenzo Tommasini (1878-1950)
Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884-1920)
Isang Yun (1917-1995)
Hank Williams (1923-1953)
Vincent La Selva (1929-2017)

and

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
Frank O'Connor (1903-1966)
Ken Kesey (1935-2001)

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Paul Taffanel (1844-1908)
Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979)
Hans Swarowsky (1899-1975)
B. B. King (1925-2015)

and

John Gay (1685-1732)
Henry Louis Gates Jr. (1950)
Elizabeth McCracken (1966)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1920, Italian tenor Enrico Caruso makes his last records (selections by Meyerbeer, Lully, Bartlett, and Rossini) for Victor Records in Camden, New Jersey. He would make his last operatic appearance at the old Metropolitan Opera House on Christmas Eve in 1920 (an evening performance of Halevy's "La Juive"), and die the following summer in Naples.

On this day in 1977, opera diva Maria Callas dies of a heart attack, age 53, in Paris.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Horatio William Parker (1863-1919)
Bruno Walter (1876-1962)
Frank Martin (1890-1974)
Henry Brant (1913-2008)
Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
Cannonball Adderley (1928-1975)
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (1933-2014)
Jessye Norman (1945)
Richard Suart (1951)

and

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)
Robert Benchley (1899-1945)

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Michael Haydn (1737-1806)
Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842)
Vittorio Gui (1885-1972)
Alice Tully (1902-1993)
Lehman Engel (1910-1982)
Rolf Liebermann (1910-1999)
Martyn Hill (1944)
Raul Gimenez (1950)

and

Eric Bentley (1916-2020)
Ivan Klíma (1931)
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison (1934-2002)
Renzo Piano (1937)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
Bill Monroe (1911-1996)
Robert Ward (1917-2013)
Maurice Jarre (1924-2009)
Mel Tormé (1925-1999)
Nicolai Ghiaruv (1929-2004)
Werner Hollweg (1936-2007)
Arleen Auger (1939-1993)
Steve Kilbey (1954)
Andreas Staier (1955)

and

Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941)
J.B. Priestley (1894-1984)
Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
Linda Colley (1949)

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Karl Doppler (1825-1900)
Herbert Lincoln Clarke (1867-1945)
Ernst Pepping (1901-1981)
Gideon Waldrop (1919-2000)
Tatiana Troyanos (1938-1993)
Phillip Ramey (1939)
Barry White (1944-2003)
John Mauceri (1945)
Vladimir Spivakov (1946)
Leslie Cheung (1956-2003)

and

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Alfred A. Knopf Sr. (1892-1984)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1910, Mahler's Symphony No. 8 ("Symphony of a Thousand") received its premiere in Munich, with the composer conducting.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

In Detroit for annual classical music writers meeting

 I am in Detroit, Michigan, for the annual meeting of the MCANA (Music Critics Association of North America). Only 13 of us are here and others will attend virtually. We will see the opera "Blue" this evening at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater.



Today's Birthdays

William Boyce (1711-1779)
Friedrich Kuhlau (1786-1832)
Eduard Hanslick (1825-1904)
Vally Weigl (1894-1982)
Harry Somers (1925-1999)
Arvo Pärt (1935)
Catherine Bott (1952)

and

O. Henry (1862-1910)
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
Reed Whittemore (1919-2012)

Friday, September 10, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Niccolò Jommelli (1714-1774)
Tor Aulin (1866-1914)
Mikolajus Ciurlionis (1875-1911)
Judith Nelson (1939-2012)
Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014)
Sir Thomas Allen (1944)
Michael Schønwandt (1953)

and

Hanna Webster Foster (1758-1840)
Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961)
Franz Werfel (1890-1945)
Cyril Connolly (1903-1974)
Mary Oliver (1935)
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Joan Cererols (1618-1680)
Edwin Lemare (1865-1934)
Edward Burlingame Hill (1872-1960)
James Blades (1901-1999)
Olly Wilson (1937)
Otis Redding (1941-1967)
Miriam Fried (1946)
David Rosenboom (1947)
Adam Fischer (1949)
Rachel Masters (1958)

and

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
Paul Goodman (1911-1972)

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Nicolas de Grigny (1672-1703)
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
Ninon Vallin (1886-1961
Lionel Salter (1914-2000)
Christoph von Dohnányi (1929)
Eric Salzman (1933-2017)
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
Dezső Ránki (1951)
Ilan Volkov (1976)

and

Wilhelm Raabe (1931-1910)
Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)
Grace Metalious (1924-1964)
Ann Beattie (1947)
Michael Schermer (1954)

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Today's Birthdays

François Philidor (1726-1794)
Joan Cross (1900-1993)
Sir Harry Secombe (1921-2001)
Arthur Ferrante (1921-2009)
Madeleine Dring (1923-1977)
Leonard Rosenman (1924-2008)
Hugh Aitken (1924-2012)
Sonny Rollins (1930)
Buddy Holly (1936-1959)
Jean-Yves Thibaudet (1961)
Angela Gheorghiu (1965)

and

Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951)
Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)
Joe Klein (1946)
Jennifer Egan (1962)

Monday, September 6, 2021

Emerson String Quartet announces its retirement

The Emerson String Quartet, one of the world's preeminent best, has announced that it will retire from concertizing in 2023. Here is the press release from its website:

The Emerson String Quartet, the incomparable American ensemble, will retire at the end of summer 2023, forty-seven remarkable years after it was initially formed at Juilliard in 1976.  All four members of the Quartet – Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer, Lawrence Dutton and Paul Watkins – will continue to perform and teach individually; as a group, they will continue to coach and mentor young ensembles through the Emerson String Quartet Institute at Stony Brook University, along with cellist David Finckel, who was a member of the quartet for 34 years.  The Quartet’s original members were Drucker, Setzer, violist Guillermo Figueroa, Jr. and cellist Eric Wilson. Lawrence Dutton joined the group in 1977; cellist David Finckel became a member in 1979 and was succeeded by Paul Watkins in 2013. 

The Emerson Quartet, named “America’s greatest quartet” by Time Magazine, is one of the most celebrated classical music quartets of all time. The ensemble is the recipient of not only the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize and Musical America’s coveted “Ensemble of the Year” Award, but also nine GRAMMYs® (including two for Best Classical Album) and three Gramophone Awards. 

In the words of Eugene Drucker, one of the group’s founding members:

“Looking back on more than four decades of life in the Emerson String Quartet, it is with a mixture of pride and nostalgia that we announce our retirement at the end of the summer of 2023. In addition to the great music we’ve been privileged to share with audiences and with each other, it is the opportunity to connect with close friends that has meant the most to us over the years. Each city on our itineraries has had its own unique associations for us, giving atmosphere, texture and the all-important personal dimension to our recollections of the passing seasons. Presenters, managers, record label executives, colleagues and audience members have all played important roles in our experience. Now, as we contemplate our future careers, which will afford us the opportunity to continue performing as individuals and to pass the fruits of our experience on to younger generations of chamber players, we also wish to express our gratitude to all the instrumentalists, singers, composers, actors and directors with whom we have been honored to collaborate.”

Seeking out new works and experimental projects has been central to the Quartet’s music-making, as evidenced by groundbreaking music and theater collaborations like The Noise of Time (Simon McBurney) and Shostakovich and the The Black Monk (James Glossman). The Emerson’s penultimate season includes the New York premiere of André Previn’s last work, Penelope, with a libretto by Tom Stoppard, to be performed at Carnegie Hall in January 2022. This project, which premiered at Tanglewood in 2019, features a collaboration with soprano Renée Fleming, actress Uma Thurman, and pianist Simone Dinnerstein. A further performance of Penelope will take place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in February (with works by George Walker and Samuel Barber). Penelope was co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Also this season, the Quartet members will return to the Chamber Music Society of Louisville in October, where they will perform the second half of a Beethoven cycle they began in early 2020. Additional stops on their itinerary include Pittsfield, MA; Charleston, SC; Wooster, OH; Houston, TX; Sandy Springs, GA; Chicago, IL; Sanibel, FL; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; and Stony Brook University in New York.

A six-city tour of Europe in March 2022, with stops in Athens, Madrid, Pisa, Florence and Milan, will culminate with the first three concerts of a Shostakovich cycle at London’s Southbank Centre, to be completed the following November.

Additional details of the Emerson Quartet’s final season will be announced at a later date.

Today's Birthdays

Anton Diabelli (1781-1858)
Sir Henry Walford Davies (1869-1941)
William Kraft (1923)
Arthur Oldham (1926-2003)
Evgeny Svetlanov (1928-2002)
Joan Tower (1938)
Cynthia Haymon (1958)
Detlev Glanert (1960)
Shih-Hui Chen (1962)

and

Fanny Wright (1795-1852)
Jane Addams (1860-1935)
Robert Pirsig (1928-2017)
Alice Sebold (1963)

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782)
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864)
Amy Beach (1867-1944)
John Cage (1912-1993)
Peter Racine Fricker (1920-1990)
Karita Mattila (1960)
Marc-André Hamelin (1961)
Lars Vogt (1970)

and

Frank Yerby (1916-1991)
Justin Kaplan (1925-2014)
Ward Just (1935)

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Frederic Curzon (1899-1973)
Rudolf Schock (1915-1986)
Irwin Gage (1939)
René Pape (1964)

and

Mary Renault (1905-1983)
Richard Wright (1908-1960)

Friday, September 3, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Adriano Banchieri (1568-1634)
Pietro Locatelli (1695-1764)
Marcel Grandjany (1891-1975)
Francesco Mignon (1897-1986)
Robert Thurston Dart (1921-1971)
Rudolf Kelterborn (1931)
Valerie Coleman (1970)

and

Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)
Louis H. Sullivan (1852-1924)
Sally Benson (1897-1972)
Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)
Alison Lurie (1926-2020)
Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)
Malcolm Gladwell (1963)
Kiran Desai (1971)

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Today's Birthdays

George Böhm (1661-1733)
Alphons Diepenbrock (1862-1921)
Laurindo Almeida (1917-1995)
David Blake (1936)
Greg A. Steinke (1942)
John Zorn (1953)
Paul Goodwin (1956)

and

Eugene Field (1850-1895)
Joseph Roth (1894-1939)
Grady Nutt (1934-1982)

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

George Manahan exits as music director of Portland Opera

From the Portland Opera press release:

George Manahan, Portland Opera’s esteemed Music Director, will step down from the role after 9 years with the company. Portland Opera will celebrate his leadership and tenure with a concert in his honor, featuring the Portland Opera Orchestra and Chorus, as well as special guests, on May 14, 2022 at 7:30 PM, at the Keller Auditorium. 

As a leader in the field, award-winning conductor, and greatly respected educator, Maestro Manahan’s legacy at Portland Opera is one of excellence and ensemble-building, within the broader context of his extraordinary and celebrated career. His artistic contributions have been hailed by audiences and critics alike, and he has led the company through a phase of increased quality and musical development that positions the ensemble and company for an amazing next chapter.   

  

“We are so grateful to be shaped and inspired by Maestro Manahan’s deep love of opera, and Portland Opera,” says Sue Dixon, General Director. “His expertise, excellence, and dedication led the company to great artistic achievements, and his warmth and spirit made him a beloved colleague. We cannot wait to celebrate him with the May concert!”  

 

Manahan made his Portland Opera debut in 2006 conducting Verdi’s Macbeth and was a regular guest artist with the company prior to being named Music Director in 2012. Throughout his time with Portland Opera, Manahan conducted over 20 productions with the company, most recently Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Gounod’s Faust. He conducted the company’s first Big Night concert in 2011 and continued the tradition in subsequent seasons, including the digital production of An Evening with Portland Opera during winter of 2020.  


“The years I’ve spent with Portland Opera have been some of the most gratifying of my life,” says Maestro George Manahan. “Working with this amazing chorus and wonderful orchestra has been a constant joy, as well as collaborating with the superb administration and board. I want to express my deepest gratitude to Christopher Mattaliano for inviting me to guest conduct in Portland and later appointing me Music Director. I wish everyone the best in continuing the great tradition of Portland Opera.” 

 

As an influential award-winning leader in the field of classical music and opera, Maestro Manahan has served as Director of Orchestral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music for over a decade, as well as Music Director of the American Composers Orchestra. He was Music Director of the New York City Opera for fourteen seasons, and the Richmond Symphony for twelve seasons. He is an award-winning conductor, hailed by Columbia University and honored by the American Society of Composers and Publishers for his “career-long advocacy for American composers and the music of our time.” His many guest appearances include working with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, as well as numerous symphonies, and opera companies including Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Fe, Paris, Sydney, Bologna, St. Louis, the Bergan Festival in Norway, and Puerto Rico’s Casals Festival. His performances at the baton have been televised many times, including the Emmy Award-winning New York City Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly. He has numerous recording credits, and has conducted celebrated world premieres, including Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, David Lang’s Modern Painters, Hans Werner Henze’s The English Cat, Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, and Terence Blanchard’s Champion. Portland Opera remains inspired by his many contributions to advancing the art of opera, and his dedication to the company and its patrons.  

 

Portland Opera’s celebration of Maestro Manahan “George and Friends” will take place on May 14, 2022 at 7:30 PM at Keller Auditorium.  Maestro Manahan will remain a close advisor and beloved colleague for the company as the baton is passed, and the search begins for Portland Opera’s next Music Director. Tickets for this special concert will go on sale to the public in November, 2021. 

 

Today's Birthdays

Emanuel Schikaneder (1751-1812)
Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921)
Othmar Schoeck (1886-1957)
Conway Twitty (1933-1993)
Seiji Ozawa (1935)
Júlia Várady (1941)
Leonard Slatkin (1944)
Reza Vali (1952)