Photo by Barb Hauser

California-based composer-pianist Jeremy Siskind has written a major new suite for piano: Perpetual Motion Etudes for Solo Piano, combining jazz harmony and complex textures.

Highly virtuosic and athletic, the suite seamlessly combines classical and jazz aesthetics, boldly conjuring the spirits of great composers like Kapustin, Gershwin, Gismonti, Hersch, Hancock, Corea, and Mehldau.  Playful, romantic, thoughtful, and personal, these Perpetual Motion Etudes present an ambitious journey through modern piano music. 


[1] An album:

Recorded at the Yamaha Artist Salon in New York City, the album will be released on the Outside In Music label  on March 30th, 2020.

Recorded on a Yamaha CFX, a nine-foot concert grand, and funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, the album features nine new compositions.

Physical and digital distribution for Perpetual Motion Etudes for Solo Piano is through the Outside in Music label, and is available through all major music platforms. The album was engineered by Aaron Ross, and mastered by Joe Patrych.


[2] An accompanying book of sheet music:

Self published by Siskind and edited by concert pianist Spencer Myer, the book is now available for sale in both hard copy and PDF versions at jeremysiskind.com.

Each piece is presented in a through-composed version designed for classical pianists plus additional instructions for each piece intended for improvisors.

 


[3] A concert tour from Feb. 29 – April 9:
Siskind with Angelin Chang

Siskind will debut Perpetual Motion Etudes in Thailand and the US.

From March 19th onward, he will be joined by, and performing with, GRAMMY®-winning pianist Angelin Chang.



Bangkok: February 29, 2020, 5 pm,
Yamaha Siam Recital Hall at Siam Motors Building
4th Floor, 891/1 Rama 1, Wangmai, Pathumwan Bangkok, Thailand

Orange County: March 15, 2020, 5 pm,
Wilshire Auditorium
315 E Wilshire Ave, Fullerton, CA

Cleveland: March 19, 2020, 7:30 pm,
Drinko Recital Hall, Cleveland State University
2001 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH

Fort Wayne: March 20, 2020,
Sweetwater Performance Theater
5501 US-30, Fort Wayne, IN

Kalamazoo: March 21, 2020,
Kalamazoo College
200 Academy Street, Kalamazoo, MI

Chicago: March 22, 2020, 7:00 pm,
PianoForte Chicago
1335 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL — Free admission

New York: March 25, 2020, 7:00 pm,
Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall
154 W 57th St., New York, NY — Tickets are $35 online via Carnegie Hall

Philadelphia: March 27, 2020, 7:30 pm,
@exuberance
1220 N Mascher St., Philadelphia, PA

Natick: March 28, 2020, 7:30 pm,
Falcetti Pianos
579 Worcester St., Natick, MA

Los Angeles: April 9, 2020, 9:00 pm,
Blue Whale
123 Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka St. #301, Los Angeles, CA — $25 admission

See a full list of performance and teaching dates here.


Siskind says, “I’m a bit obsessed with finding the most orchestral, diverse, and innovative ways to use the piano. Each piece represents a journey into the outer limits of the possibilities of the piano.” He goes on to define ‘perpetual motion’ as having “the pianist’s left hand and right hand work in tandem to fill in any space left by the other – the ceaseless music fits together like gears in an infernal clock.” The impetus for the music came by way of combating anxiety, and to compose through concentration and flow; to be present, expressive, and fluid through the piano.  “Although these pieces can’t eliminate [self-negativity], they effectively ‘force’ the issue because they’re written in perpetual motion. There are no rests or breaks between the two hands, which fit together precisely, like the blocks in a well-played game of Tetris or like two dancers dancing intricate steps in a tight space.” 


For more about Jeremy Siskind, please visit jeremysiskind.com

GRAMMY AWARD WINNER, 2019- Songs of Orpheus
61st Annual Grammy Awards

Superlative music-making… European stylishness combined with American can-do entrepreneurialism
–The Daily Telegraph, London

At long last, Apollo’s Fire has descended on Chicago. This was as exciting as Baroque music gets.
–Chicago Classical Review (review of Apollo’s Fire’s Chicago debut concert, 2016)

GRAMMY® Award winners Apollo’s Fire and Jeannette Sorrell launch a new semi-annual residency in the Chicago area, beginning with Sorrell’s groundbreaking program, O Jerusalem! – Crossroads of Three Faiths at Northwestern University’s Galvin Recital Hall in Evanston, Illinois, on Thursday, March 12, 2020, 7:30pm. Tickets are $10-60, with discounts for students, seniors, and subscribers of Music of the Baroque and Newberry Consort. Tickets by phone: 1.800.314.2535.

The week before, Apollo’s Fire and Sorrell will bring the same program to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on March 7, 2020 as guests on the Museum’s series for the fifth time.

Premiered last year to sold-out crowds in Cleveland, O Jerusalem! is Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell’s evocation of ancient Jerusalem through the music and poetry of the Jewish, Christian, Arab, and Armenian quarters of the Old City. Selections from Monteverdi’s great Vespers of 1610 echo with Arabic love songs and rapturous singing of Jewish cantors. Stunning projected images designed by Camilla Tassi use 17th-century paintings to bring the Old City to life in visual splendor.  At a time of ever-increasing tensions in the Middle East, 25 unique artists from Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim, and Christian backgrounds come together to join in celebration of brotherhood and sisterhood. The sounds of oud, theorbo, medieval harp, vielle, qanoon, strings, wooden flutes, and exotic percussion join with human voices in a celebration of love and shared humanity.

Featured performers are Jeannette Sorrell, direction and harpsichord; Amanda Powell, soprano; Jeffrey Strauss and Sorab Wadia, baritones; Zafer Tawil, oud and qanun; Daphna Mor, winds.

 

Additional videos, photos and program details for “O Jerusalem!” may be found at the Apollo’s Fire website.


With 26 commercial CDs, five European tours to date, and over 3.5 million views of its Youtube videos, Apollo’s Fire is the internationally renowned period-instrument orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio.  Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have built in Cleveland one of the nation’s three largest audiences for baroque music – along with Boston and San Francisco. Apollo’s Fire is not only hailed as “the USA’s hottest baroque band” (Classical Music Magazine, UK), but is also the USA’s busiest touring baroque orchestra.  The ensemble has played at such venues as Carnegie Hall; the BBC Proms; the Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Aspen Festivals; the Royal Theatre of Madrid; the National Concert Hall of Ireland (Dublin); the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Library of Congress, and many others.


A CHICAGO LOVE-AFFAIR

The March 12 performance at Northwestern University marks the launch of a new semi-annual residency by Apollo’s Fire in the Chicago area.  Apollo’s Fire plans to play twice a year in the Windy City, through a combination of partnerships with Chicago-based institutions.  In 2020, Apollo’s Fire performs at Northwestern University and the Ravinia Festival.  Apollo’s Fire will return to Ravinia for the third time on July 7 to perform J.S. Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos.  The ensemble plans additional Chicago-area concerts in November 2020 and March 2021.

“O Jerusalem!” was conceived as a sequel to Sephardic Journey, Sorrell’s previous Jewish program which the Chicago Tribune named as one of its “Best 10 Classical Albums of the Year,” calling it “an absorbing collection of early music, beautifully performed” (2016).  Apollo’s Fire made its long-awaited Chicago debut in 2016 on the University of Chicago Presents series, followed by a sold-out debut at the Ravinia Festival in 2017 and a return to Ravinia in 2018.

Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell explained that a regular Chicago residency has been a strategic goal of Apollo’s Fire ever since the 2016 debut. “At the end of our Chicago debut concert at the University of Chicago, we were mobbed by enthusiastic patrons who told us they had been waiting for years to hear the group live, and that we must return twice a year. So we spent a couple of years figuring out how to make that work, and how to do it in the right way,” Sorrell said. “We discussed it with Chicago-based colleagues such as Karen Fishman (former Executive Director of Music of the Baroque, now retired).  We wanted to do this in a way that can be beneficial to all of our excellent early music colleagues in Chicago, including Newberry, Haymarket, and Music of the Baroque.  We picked a month when none of these groups are performing, in order to launch this residency in a collegial way. Our goal is to build audiences for early music – as we have done in Cleveland – and to do so for the benefit ALL early music ensembles.”

Apollo’s Fire Public Relations Manager Angela Mortellaro said that Apollo’s Fire is collaborating with Music of the Baroque and Newberry on marketing.  “Newberry and MOB are kindly helping to promote this concert for us, and we are helping promote some of their concerts.” In addition, Apollo’s Fire is offering ticket discounts to MOB and Newberry subscribers.


REVIEWS FROM THE PREMIERE OF “O JERUSALEM!” – Cleveland, 2018

A voyage of faith for the 21st century… The entire evening was delivered with urgency, polish, and flair. An ensemble at the peak of their powers.
Seen & Heard International

Captivating… a ravishing musical landscape. A high level of artistry and passionate music-making…
gorgeous and stylish. Sorrell should be proud of this enjoyable and unity-striving evening in a time when human divisions are stoked to achieve dangerous ends.
Cleveland Classic


For more information on Apollo’s Fire and Jeannette Sorrell, please visit apollosfire.org and jeannettesorrell.com.

On Thursday, December 5th, 2019, 8pm, the Interpretations Series continues it 31st season with composers Elizabeth Brown and Frances White with the Momenta Quartet (momentaquartet.com). Held at Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY, tickets are $20 for adults / $15 for students & seniors, and available on Roulette.org and Interpretations.info.

The Momenta Quartet joins forces with composers Elizabeth Brown and Frances White in a multimedia evening fusing Western contemporary music with Japanese aesthetics, literary references, and a video/sculpture installation by artist Lothar Osterburg.

This dynamic program features Momenta alongside baritone/narrator Thomas Buckner and Elizabeth Brown in her equal capacity as a master of the shakuhachi: a traditional Japanese flute. The concert includes two new works written specifically for this concert, with commission funds provided by The Sparkplug Foundation and a New Music USA Project Grant. 

The NY premiere of Brown’s Dialect for solo shakuhachi, which uses repeating, morphing phrases to trace the evolution of a unique language. Then the world premiere of Babel continues the linguistic theme in a positive spin of the myth, celebrating NYC as a living organism, using multilingual pages and recordings of Emma Lazarus’ verse from the Statue of Liberty. Unlike the traditional story, nothing here is destroyed; instead, it is cumulative, with its architectural history visible, its constant influx of immigrants the source of its life and beauty. And White’s The book of evening for quartet and shakuhachi (also a world premiere) is drawn from the Mark Strand poem Moon, with the musical arrangement evoking “the moon between the clouds.” Strand’s moon creates a path to “those places where what you had wished for happens.” The music reflects that, evoking a longing for that place, vanishing as the book of evening closes.

Dedicated to the Momenta Quartet, Brown’s Just Visible in the Distance draws its title, inspiration, and form from W.G. Sebald’s book The Rings of Saturn. The piece, inspired by Sebald’s continuous narrative arc, consists of intuitively-assembled small movements, each flowing into the next. Then White’s And so the heavens turned, for quartet and narrator, contemplates the mystery of storytelling itself.  A collaboration with writer James Pritchett and inspired by the 11th-century Persian epic Shahnameh, the text is read before the music and during its closing, evoking at times the anguish and passion of the epic’s mythic lovers, at others a questioning stillness.


Interpretations continues its tradition of playing host to composers, interpreters, and improvisers — artists of both local and international scale, with myriads of approaches to music.

On the heels of last year’s acclaimed 30th anniversary, the Interpretations Series is dedicated to nurturing the relationship of innovative composers with the growing community of new music virtuoso performers. “When we started, this was a real need, especially for the more experimental new music,” says Founder and Artistic Director Thomas Buckner. “Now we are experiencing a blossoming of new music groups and solo performers, which makes the series necessary in a new way. There are so many exceptional composers and performers who need a great place to perform.”


Other upcoming Series lineups:

※ THURSDAY APRIL 9, 2020: THOMAS BUCKNER
Baritone Thomas Buckner presents his 31st annual concert of newly commissioned pieces with works by Earl Howard, JD Parran, Buckner himself — including Gold/Crack, a Mutable Music commissioned work by Pauline Kim-Harris, and performed with String Noise (Kim-Harris and Conrad Harris). The evening also includes performers Soo Yeon Lyuh (haegeum, a two-stringed Korean bowed instrument); Andrew Drury (percussion); Earl Howard (synthesizer and saxophone); JD Parran (reeds).

※ THURSDAY MAY 7, 2020: MÉLANIE GENIN | ENSEMBLE L’ART POUR L’ART
Mélanie Genin performs new music for harp by Christian Dachez, Michael Greba, Saad Haddad, Pauline Kim Harris, Mantovani, and Ricardo Romaneiro. / Ensemble L’Art Pour L’Art perform works by Matthias Kawl, Stephan Streich, Killian Schwoon and others.  With Matthias Kawl (percussion); Astrid Smelik (flute). Michael Shorder (guitar); plus special guest Thomas Buckner (baritone voice).


For audio and video, and background on composers Brown and White, click here.
For more general information, please visit interpretations.info

EMMANUEL VUKOVICH, violin

On Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, at 8 pm, the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra will present a concert under the direction of guest conductor Jens Georg Bachmann with Canadian violinist Emmanuel Vukovich as soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major. The program will be performed at the Staller Center for the Performing Arts Main Stage, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for seniors and students, and available on www.stallercenter.com and in person at the box-office.

JENS GEORG BACHMANN, guest conductor

Under the baton of Jens Georg Bachmann, who is Artistic Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cyprus, the SBSO will be performing an opulent program featuring Vukovich — critically acclaimed for his attention to “every detail of phrasing” (Calgary Herald) and for being “a true musician” (Yannick Nézet-Séguin).

Soviet-Russian-born American composer Lera Auerbach’s Post Silentium for Orchestra opens the evening. Originally commissioned in 2012 by Germany’s Staatskapelle Dresden, this one-movement work is written for strings, piccolo, English horn, contrabassoon, bass trombone, harp, piano, and various forms of percussion.

Composed in 1888, and translated into English as “Death and Transfiguration”, Richard Strauss’s tone poem Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24 depicts the death of an artist, with a four-part sonic storyline of childhood, manhood, attainment, and the shift from this plane to the afterlife.

Initially a failure at its premiere in 1806, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 is a work of “radiant beauty” (Yehudi Menuhin). This monumental work defines a turning point in the evolution of the concerto form in which the soloist emerges from the orchestra as a free and independent individual voice.  


Works included:
Strauss Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24
Lera Auerbach Post Silentium for Orchestra
Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61


Critically acclaimed for his “attention to every detail of phrasing”, Canadian violinist Emmanuel Vukovich (www.emmanuelvukovich.ca) is emerging as an artist of musical integrity and artistic maturity. Grand-prize winner of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition as first violinist of the former Lloyd Carr-Harris String Quartet, Emmanel has performed across North and South America, Europe, and Australia in performances with artists such Ida Haendal, Matt Haimowitz, Anton Kuerti, and Alex Klein. He is the founder and artistic director of The Parcival Project, an international chamber music collective which has toured Canada, the US, and South America, as well as artist director of Montreal’s Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur “Bach Odyssey” – a multi- year series centered around the solo violin Sonatas and Partitas of JS Bach. Emmanuel performs on a 1629 Nicolo Amati violin on generous loan from The Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.

 Upcoming highlights include the creation of two new works:

  • Inspired by North Indian Classical Hindustani music, American composer Sheila Silver is writing a violin concerto expressly for Emmanuel. This concerto is intended to be premiered and recorded in 2021. 
  • An original work for solo violin, African drums, and chamber orchestra, co-composed with award-winning composer John McDowell, Parzival & Fierefiz: A New Narrative of Race will make its world premiere at the University of Toronto in November 2020 in conjunction with the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Wagner’s Parsifal.

Emmanuel is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University, working with Philip Setzer and Eugene Drucker of the Emerson String Quartet, Hagai Shaham, and Colin Carr. His final graduation recital will present selections from the solo violin Sonatas & Partitas of J S Bach and Parzival & Fierefiz: A New Narrative of Race.


Jens Georg Bachmann (www.jensgeorgbachmann.com) is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Cyprus, since 2017. With his artistic leadership the CySO has significantly increased its popularity and reputation across the country. Being equally at home in operatic and symphonic repertoire, Bachmann has conducted, the Boston, Florida and Princeton symphony orchestras, the Berlin and Hamburg symphony orchestras, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the ERT Radio and Thessaloniki Symphony Orchestras of Greece, the Radio Orchestras of Germany (NDR) as well as at The Metropolitan Opera New York, Royal Swedish Opera, Komische Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin and the state operas of Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Düsseldorf.

Mr. Bachmann had been Associate Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Texas Chamber Orchestra as well as Music Director of the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado. He has collaborated with some of the world’s finest musicians such as Pinchas Zukerman, Daniel Hope, Yefim Bronfman, Cyprien Katsaris and singers Renée Fleming, Marcello Giordani and Jonas Kaufmann. In addition, Bachmann has been teaching in the USA and Germany academically at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the Lübeck Hochschule. He also collaborates regularly with the Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Being thoroughly trained through mentorships with Christoph von Dohnányi and James Levine for several years, Bachmann is an avid proponent of contemporary music and has worked with many active composers of our time including Elliott Carter, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sofia Gubaidulina as well as annually since 2017 with members of the Center of Cypriot Composers.

Jens Georg Bachmann was born in Berlin, Germany, and studied conducting and violin at the Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“ Berlin and The Juilliard School New York.

Bachmann has recorded for the DaCapo and Naxos labels.


For more about Emmanuel Vukovich, please visit his website.
To purchase tickets for this event, visit the Staller Center’s order page.

On Thursday, November 7th, 2019, 8pm, the Interpretations Series continues it 31st season with Harlem Reunion: original improvisational compositions led by JD Parran; and Elevated Moon: a ‘ritualistic happening’, presented by both Amir Bey & JD Parran. Held at Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY, tickets are $20 for adults / $15 for students & seniors, and available on www.Roulette.org and www.Interpretations.info.


Composer and multi-woodwind player JD Parran’s Harlem Reunion is a music/spoken word quartet, performing original improvisational compositions. (With Alexis Marcelo, piano; Larry Roland, poet and bass; Jackson Krall, percussion.)

Amir Bey & JD Parran present Elevated Moon: a ‘ritualistic happening’ that combines sound, movement, visual vibrance, and light projections. An ‘elevation of spirits’ is presented in a multidisciplinary, mixed-media synthesis, aiming to present the room with a joyous experience.

Storyteller Amir Bey acts as a visual ambassador, using various masks, Astrologos, and swinging percussive mobiles. The audience is invited to participate at the end, synergising with the Freedom the performers have expressed. (With Soundrhythium Michael TA Thompson, drums & percussion; Bill Toles, light-magic; Chihiro Cute-Beat Kobayashi, movements and poses.)

Of this concert, JD Parran says, “In the past I have performed in Interpretations concerts that have marked high points in my work. I am excited about this concert as an opportunity to compose and perform the music  for two specific projects close where I live in my creative self.”


Interpretations continues its tradition of playing host to composers, interpreters, and improvisers — artists of both local and international scale, with myriads of approaches to music.

On the heels of last year’s acclaimed 30th anniversary, the Interpretations Series is dedicated to nurturing the relationship of innovative composers with the growing community of new music virtuoso performers. “When we started, this was a real need, especially for the more experimental new music,” says Founder and Artistic Director Thomas Buckner. “Now we are experiencing a blossoming of new music groups and solo performers, which makes the series necessary in a new way. There are so many exceptional composers and performers who need a great place to perform.”


※ THURSDAY DECEMBER 5, 2019: MOMENTA QUARTET + ELIZABETH BROWN, FRANCES WHITE
The Momenta Quartet joins forces with composers Elizabeth Brown and Frances White in a multimedia evening fusing Western contemporary music with Japanese aesthetics, literary references, and a video/sculpture installation by artist Lothar Osterburg.

※ THURSDAY APRIL 9, 2020: THOMAS BUCKNER
Baritone Thomas Buckner presents his 31st annual concert of newly commissioned pieces with works by Earl Howard, Pauline Kim, JD Parran, and Buckner himself.  With performers Soo Yeon Lyuh (haegeum, a two-stringed Korean bowed instrument); Andrew Drury (percussion); Earl Howard (synthesizer and saxophone); JD Parran (reeds).

※ THURSDAY MAY 7, 2020: MÉLANIE GENIN | ENSEMBLE L’ART POUR L’ART
Mélanie Genin performs new music for harp by Christian Dachez, Michael Greba, Saad Haddad, Pauline Kim Harris, Mantovani, and Ricardo Romaneiro. / Ensemble L’Art Pour L’Art perform works by Matthias Kawl, Stephan Streich, Killian Schwoon and others.  With Matthias Kawl (percussion); Astrid Smelik (flute). Michael Shorder (guitar); plus special guest Thomas Buckner (baritone voice).


For more information, please visit interpretations.info