Monthly Archive: September 2009

Centers of gravity

Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009

Dawn Upshaw, Bridget Kibbey and Avi Avital in the premiere of 'The North Wind was a Woman'

What a wonderful world-premiere of The North Wind was a Woman on Wednesday evening at the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Centre. We had a great reaction from the audience, which CMS director and cellist-extraordinaire David Finckel kindly describes on his blog:

"With highly-skilled instrumental writing to support Dawn's magical singing...the piece was one of the most smashing successes for a new work I have seen in a long time. A prolonged ovation brought musicians and composer to the stage time and again before the intermission."

The New York Times also praised the work, calling it the center of gravity for the evening, and describing it as 'fresh' and 'striking'. I was particularly happy that my dear friend and collaborator Avi Avital was singled out for much deserved praise of his 'exquisitely sensitive playing'. Bravo Avi!

Alex Fiterstein and Todd Palmer, who play a bass clarinet duet
in the opening of 'The North Wind was a Woman'

With Mandolinist Avi Avital after the performance.

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A warm welcome from Alice

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tomorrow night is a very special night for me. My new piece The North Wind was a Woman will be premiered at the Gala opening of the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center.

Special for the sheer quality, beauty and warmth of the singing, playing and atmosphere. It's a beautiful hall and a beautiful occasion. Sometimes you can't help feeling incredibly lucky...

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A climactic Push!

Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009

In this month's Spectator magazine, Michael Tanner's subject is the new 'Grimeborn' festival in Dalston, Cumbria. But he starts by reminiscing over a decade of similar chamber opera ventures, and Tête à Tête's role at the forefront of that movement. Tanner then writes

Tête à Tête itself... has had a largely successful decade, the climax being, for me, the full-length opera Push!, the chronicle of a day in the life of a maternity ward, set to often brilliantly apposite music, and performed with vocal and histrionic virtuosity.

It's a pleasant surprise to get a good review when the topic of the review in question isn't even your piece. It makes you feel like they must really mean it!

[>> read more about Push! here]

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Gumboots in Queensland

Posted on Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More details here of one of the Strahlend Quintet's performances of Gumboots in Nambour, a short hop up the sunshine coast from Brisbaine on 16th Oct.

They are touring as 2009 winners of Queensland Arts Councilís Gertrude Langer Ensemble Award, which each year sends a talented young ensemble on a debut Queensland tour.

Other dates on the Queensland tour are up on my Calendar page

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Dawn in Hyde Park

Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dawn Upshaw was in town at the end of August for her Prom concert with the Tonhalle orchestra from Zurich (who impressed me tremendously). The day before we took the opportunity to do some publicity shots ahead of our concert at the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center on 23rd Sept. The photos were done by Neil Matthews. Here are a couple of the best:

and then there's the cutest one :

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