Tuesday, May 7, 2024

All Classical Radio's Recording Inclusivity Initiative to release second album, ELEVATE


From the Press Release:

PORTLAND, OR - All Classical Radio announces the release of ELEVATE, the second installment from its award-winning Recording Inclusivity Initiative, GRAMMY® award-winning Navona Records, and PARMA Recordings. ELEVATE will be released digitally on all streaming platforms on May 10. CDs will also be available later in the year.

ELEVATE is a testament to the power of composers and musicians uplifting each other. The recording brings to life the sonatas of Japanese composers Yuko Uébayashi and Nobu Kōda, and a string quartet by Damien Geter, with performances by leading classical performers: pianist María García, All Classical Radio's 2022-2023 Artist in Residence; Yoko Greeney, piano; Jennifer Arnold, viola; Martha Long, flute; Nancy Ives, cello; Emily Cole, violin; Inés Voglar Belgique, violin; and Ruby Chen, violin. All the tracks were recorded in Portland, OR.

To address the inequities in the classical music recording industry, the Recording Inclusivity Initiative is highlighting music from underrepresented communities to build a more diverse and inclusive soundscape around the world. The album follows AMPLIFY, released in 2022.

About the Composers and their Music 
Yuko Uébayashi (b. 1958) – Sonata for Flute and Piano
The music of Japanese-born composer Yuko Uébayashi is described as impressionistic, while also evoking Japanese film music. When creating her pieces, Uébayashi often starts with someone specific in mind, drawing inspiration from the artistry of fellow prominent musicians. She only accepts commissions from people with whom she feels a distinct connection.

Written between 2002-2003, Uébayashi’s Sonata for Flute and Piano, in four movements, is dedicated to flutist Jean Ferrandis and pianist Emile Naoumoff. A highly personalized piece, the sonata offers a challenging, albeit rewarding, opportunity to explore the composer's evocative musical language.

Nobu Kōda (1870-1946) – Sonata in E-Flat Major; Sonata in d minor
Nobu Kōda (1870-1946) is historically significant for composing some of the first works ever written by a Japanese composer in the Western style. After graduating from the Tokyo Music School, Kōda became the first student to receive a government grant to study abroad, first in Boston, then in Vienna. In 1895, she returned home and joined the staff at the Tokyo Music School.

Several of Kōda's known works were written during her tenure there, including her Sonata in E-Flat Major (1895), in three movements, and the single-movement Sonata in d minor (1897) for violin and piano. After nearly 15 years of teaching at the institution, Kōda resigned because of rejection and criticism from her male colleagues. She spent the rest of her career instructing female members of the royal court. Kōda's legacy lies in her role as a musical forerunner.

Damien Geter – String Quartet No. 1, Neo-Soul
Damien Geter is a composer, actor, and bass-baritone. In his compositions, he focuses on social justice, uplifting and also challenging his audiences.  He thoughtfully infuses classical music with styles from the Black diaspora, such as jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues.

Commissioned by All Classical Radio in 2020, Neo-Soul was the precursor of the Recording Inclusivity Initiative, driven by the need to build a more diverse and inclusive soundscape in America. The quartet is an ode to the genre of music that became popular in the 1990s and put a spin on the classic sound of soul. The piece consists of three movements: I. "Bop"; II. "Feelin' Some Type of Wayz"; and III. "Please Don't Kill My Vibe."

About the Recording Inclusivity Initiative
All Classical Radio’s Recording Inclusivity Initiative is a response to the classical music industry’s longtime need for greater diversity, with the purpose of increasing awareness and opportunities for previously marginalized artistic communities. The Recording Inclusivity Initiative was made possible in part by the generous support of the Oregon Cultural Trust, The Sorel Organization, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and IBEW Local 48. Learn more at recordinginclusivity.allclassical.org.

About All Classical Radio
All Classical Radio is an independent, community-funded radio station and multimedia platform with international reach. It is consistently ranked in the United States' top three classical radio stations. The network is recognized for its bold collaborations and outreach, and for broadcasting 98% locally-produced programming, including innovative music playlists, interviews, and live broadcasts. Home to the award-winning Recording Inclusivity Initiative and the International Children's Arts Network, All Classical Radio is one of the first classical stations in the nation to name artists in residence and to develop robust youth journalism mentorships. Learn more at www.allclassical.org.

Martha Long and María García recording Yuko Uébayashi: Sonata for Flute and Piano

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