Friday, May 29, 2015

The Peter Greve Sessions


Last Wednesday PARMA returned to Boston to record a chamber piece by Dutch composer and new PARMA artist, Peter Greve

Peter is from Graveland, a village 20 km south-east from Amsterdam, where he lives his childhood dream of being a composer, conductor, arranger, and pianist. 

From the end of his studies to until he retired in 2002, Peter worked as a scientific researcher in the pharmaceutical industry and state service, serving various UN food and energy organizations. He holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the State University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

Parallel to his studies at the University, Peter received musical training from Dr. Marcus van Crevel (theory), Jean Antonietti and Léon Orthel (piano), Myers Foggin and Terence Lovett (orchestral conducting) and Theo Laanen (trumpet).


The piece that we recorded, "Trio", was written in the memory of Peter's dear friend Mary, who passed away on March 18, 2012. The three movements of "Trio" reflect the three aspects of life which were especially dear to Mary: nature, philosophy, and enjoying the presence of people around her.

We were lucky enough to be joined by Peter in the studio, who traveled to Boston from the Netherlands to meet PARMA and the musicians performing his works. Peter's years spent as a conductor really shined in the studio while guiding the musicians through his complex and emotional piece, as he was able to indicate special dynamic and performance techniques that are impossible to capture on the page.


Peter's music is set to be released in 2016 on an upcoming Navona Records chamber compilation - stay tuned in for updates on Peter's music as well as a short interview about his life and music.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New PARMA Artist: Daniel Zehringer


Cincinnati-based trumpet player and Wright State University professor Daniel Zehringer has signed on to release an album of works for trumpet in 2016. The album will consist of chamber and solo works written by fellow PARMA artist, Steven Winteregg.

Dan completed his undergraduate studies in at Bowling Green State University, where he earned a Bachelors degree in Music Education. He earned his Masters of Music degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.

During his tenure at Eastman, he toured Japan with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, as principal trumpet. Dan is currently finishing his doctoral studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Dan was a faculty member at Wittenberg University and Xavier University before becoming an Associate Professor at Wright State University, where he has taught since 2006. When not in the classroom, Dan has presented clinics and masterclasses across the United States, as well as Athens, Greece and Sydney, Australia.

Throughout his career, Dan has shared the stage with a number of outstanding musicians from many backgrounds, including the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, the Key West Symphony Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Doc Severinsen, and Aretha Franklin. He can currently be heard as Principal Trumpet with the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Middletown Symphony Orchestra.

For more information about Dan and his work, you can visit his page on the Wright State University website here. Stay tuned for more information about Dan's album leading up to its release, but in the meantime, please join us in welcoming him to the PARMA family!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 PARMA Student Composer Competition Finalists and Grand Prize Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the top 10 finalists of the 2015 PARMA Student Composer Competition! This year’s competition called for scores written for full orchestra by composition students under the age of 30 years old. We would like to extend a sincere thank you to the many young and talented composers who submitted this year. Following a strong reception, PARMA and our three judges - composer, conductor, and professor at Harverford University, Heidi Jacob; Founder and President of Boston New Music Initiative, Tim Davis;  and conductor Nathan Lofton - have deliberated and carefully chosen.

The Top 10 Finalists:
Ictus Solis Eugene Asapov
Grey Hill Nathan Brown
Janus Antics – Scott Lee
Asphodel – Nick DiBerardino
To Remember is Always Forgetting – Baldwin Giang
Stony Mountains to Rise – Joel Järventausta
Eyelids are Islands – Tonia Ko
Black Hole – Nejc Kuhar
LAIR: fantasia for chamber orchestra – Andrew V. Ly
"Sleeping I am carried..." – David Mettens

Congratulations to all of the finalists! We are excited to feature each of these composers works in the 2015 volume of the PARMA Anthology of Music, a free resource for ensembles, performers, and music directors to access contemporary well-written and programmable scores by young and emerging composers. Please check out our past anthologies here, and check back later this year for the 2015 Anthology.

A special congratulations to our three Grand Prize Winners, Eugene Austapov, Nathan Brown, and Scott Lee! In addition to having their works published in the 2015 PARMA Anthology of Music, they will also receive a reading and archival recording of their piece by a professional orchestra through PARMA’s PrimaVisa program. We look forward to sharing their experiences with the PARMA community.

Interested in past years' Grand Prize Winners? Please listen to the live recording of 2014 winner Michael Mikulka's piece for brass quintet, To Throw, by the Redline Brass Quintet at the 2014 PARMA Music Festival:

New PARMA Artists: Mikylah McTeer and Francesca Arnone

 
Mikylah McTeer
Francesca Arnone
PARMA is pleased to welcome Mikylah McTeer and Francesca Arnone to our family of artists and composers. Mikylah and Francesca have signed on to release an album of works for violin, flute, and interactive electronics.

Mikylah and Francesca both studied at Oberlin Conservatory, and taught together at West Virginia University, before Francesca became the head of the flute studio at Baylor University.

The new album features eight works from four different composers, including Ben Johansen, Margaret Schedel, David Taddie, and PARMA artist Russell Pinkston. Mikylah and Francesca will be finishing up recording sessions for the album later this year.

With each piece, the composers make creative and engaging use of a variety of soundscapes and  digital timbres, which blend with the acoustic  instruments to create a unconventional and  unique sonic experience.

Currently, Francesca serves as principal flute in the Waco Symphony and the Baylor Faculty Chamber Players, while Mikylah actively performs in a number of orchestral and chamber settings, in addition to performances at music festivals across Europe and the United States.

Stay tuned for more updates about the new album. In the meantime, you can learn more about Mikylah and Francesca by checking out their websites, here and here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New PARMA Artist: Kostov-Valkov Duo

We are pleased to welcome the Kostov-Valkov Duo to the PARMA family of artists. We are excited for the upcoming release of cellist Lachezar Kostov's and pianist Viktor Valkov's album, KOSTOV-VALKOV DUO: TRANSCRIPTIONS & PARAPHRASES FOR CELLO AND PIANO.

The Houston TX based duo began their close friendship and professional collaboration in 2000 and have been performing with each other for over 10 years, appearing at concert venues in the United States, Japan, and Europe.

A formidable pair, Kostov has been hailed for the “awesome purity of his playing,” while critics have pronounced Valkov as “the lion of the keyboard.” In 2002 the Duo were named winners of the Grand Prix of the Music and Earth Competition in Sofia, Bulgaria. Following their early success, the Duo preformed in several European festivals, such as Russian Music Days in Dortmund, Germany.

In 2008, Kostov and Valkov appeared in their first major New York City performance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. The following year, the Duo debuted at New York’s Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall to critical acclaim. Strad Magazine has said of the Duo, “Impressive playing that manages to surmount a heavy-going musical voice,” while critic Harris Goldsmith praised their “formidable virtuosity” and described them as “prodigiously skilled protagonists.”

Their self-titled album, which will feature repertoire by Liszt, Orr, Martinů, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco, is set to be released on Navona Records in August 2015. In the meantime check out the Kostav-Valkov Duo performing Figaro Fantasy by Castelnuovo-Tedesco on the YouTube player below. For more information on the Kostov-Valkov Duo check out their web page.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ron Nagorcka: "Song of the Central Tree"

In October of 2014, PARMA artist and composer Ron Nagorcka traveled to Norway to perform keyboard, didjeridum and and sing alongside four organists, a contralto, a trombonist, a trumpeter, and a double bassist to record 8 of his compositions for his upcoming release with PARMA Recordings, "Song of the Central Tree."

The program features an exciting mix of instrumentation and styles, each piece calling upon different strengths of the instruments at hand.  Ron is in the final stages of this project and needs some support to get these recordings produced and widely appreciated.

Ron has created a Pozible campaign for his project to gain support and spread the word about these recordings. Learn more about the project below and listen to select pieces from the upcoming release here.


Monday, May 18, 2015

PARMA Takes Manhattan: Trio Casals at Carnegie Hall

Concert Poster
Tuesday, May 12th saw PARMA's return to Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall with one of our longtime partners, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, for the first time since 2013.

The concert was the second of two performances to promote MOTO CONTINUO, a new album of works for piano trio and solo cello by composers Osias Wilenski, Nicholas Ascioti, Diane Jones, John A. Carollo, Robert Fleisher, and Brian Noyes.

The program featured a diverse array of moods, textures, and timbres that effectively highlighted the character of the composers' work, as well as the versatility of Trio Casals' playing.

Ovidiu was joined onstage by his colleagues in Trio Casals: violinist Sylvia Ahramjian and pianist Anna Kislitsyna. The performance in New York culminated over a year of preparations that included Trio Casals rehearsing each piece for the recording studio as well as the stage.

Many of the composers featured on the program were present at Weill Hall, with some travelling from as far as Wales and Hawaii to be there. Each composer was invited to the stage to introduce their piece and to share some insight in their inspiration behind its creation, adding another layer of depth to the project.

Trio Casals during sound check at Weill Recital Hall
The virtuosity of Osias Wilenski's "Variations for Trio" kicked off the program with a great sense of momentum, leading smoothly into Diane Jones's Copland- and Shostakovich-influenced "Three Songs." Composer John A. Carollo praised Trio Casals for bringing about "one of the best interpretations of my music I've ever heard," prior to the performance of his dramatic and moving "Piano Trio No. 1."

"Ma mère," Robert Fleisher's reinterpretation of "Jeux de Vagues" from Debussy's La mer, opened the second act with alternately calm and rapid melodic flourishes between brief moments of silence. Nicholas Ascoti's "Adirondack Tableau" continued the bright musical reflection that he began with "Adirondack Meditation" on 2013's MOTO PERPETUO. The evening concluded with Brian Noyes's "Piano Trio Op. 38," a piece that spans the entire dynamic spectrum, gradually building from whispering harmonics in the introduction to a powerfully aggressive climax before regressing towards a softer yet engaging finale.

L-R: Sylvia Ahramjian, Brian Noyes, Anna Kislitsyna,
and Ovidiu Marinescu, after the concert
The concert was well-received by audience members and composers alike, with the audience giving a strong ovation at the end of the show while the composers met the musicians onstage for a final bow. From the opening passages of Osias Wilenski's "Variations for Trio" to the final resolution of Brian Noyes's "Piano Trio Op. 38," Trio Casals gave a highly energetic performance of the entire program, weaving through each piece with artistry and emotion.

MOTO CONTINUO will be released on Navona Records on July 10th. In the meantime, you can check out some more information about the album and some audio samples here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May Releases Out Now on Navona, Ravello, and Big Round Records

ANDALUSIAN FANTASY
NV5999
Lionel Sainsbury



The Spanish tradition of flamenco music, by way of Paco Peña and Paco de Lucia, has significantly influenced the classical music world. Now composer and pianist Lionel Sainsbury explores the fiery passion and harmonic tension of flamenco on his latest Navona Records release ANDALUSIAN FANTASY.

The composer says of his affinity for flamenco music, "It has been described as containing 'the brilliance of the guitar playing, the haunting laments of the singers, and the electrifying rhythms of the dancers.' It's that triumvirate, and its incredible complexity that appeals to me - that dark passion, almost a blackness, or duende, a wonderful, untranslatable Spanish word that combines nostalgia and suffering." The composer-pianist translates the flavor of the flamenco guitar to the keyboard, with his polished and intricate technique and agile playing.  READ MORE


TRANSITS: MINIMAL TO MAYHEM
NV6001
Sergio Cervetti



TRANSITS: MINIMAL TO MAYHEM, his fifth full Navona Records release, is an abridged sequence of five works from a set time and concrete place that maps composer Sergio Cervetti's creative progression over four decades of composing.

Written in 2013, Concertino for piano, woodwinds and timpani is a rowdy and raucous array of South American rhythms tempered by a tender quote from Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder. One of Cervetti's last minimalist works, Exiles (1980), was created on the Synclavier and begins with a slow piano rendition of a melodic theme from the Uruguayan patriotic song Mi Bandera, which is soon overwhelmed by electronic textures. In contrast, Guitar Music (the bottom of the iceberg) is an early minimalist work for solo guitar from 1975 that is an experiment with "restricted pitch-classes" and a nuanced tour-de-force with a soupçon of flamenco.  READ MORE


NATURE
RR7904
The City of Tomorrow



The conch shell exemplifies the versatility, sublimity, and transcendence of nature - a natural dwelling, a biological work of art, and, as shown by the City of Tomorrow, an instrument. NATURE, the debut Ravello Records release by the City of Tomorrow wind quintet - consisting of Elise Blatchford, flute; Stuart Breczinski, oboe; Camila Barrientos Ossio, clarinet; Laura Miller, bassoon; and Leander Star, horn - showcases works by four contemporary composers that explore the evolution of humanity's relationship with nature. 

David Lang's breathless illustrates the tireless flow of time - the constant and steady movement of events - each instrument playing the same phrase throughout which overlap and create a continuously evolving unity. The innate balance between order and chaos is portrayed in Luciano Berio's ricorrenze, a piece in which interweaving virtuosic lines are grown from a single unison note, like sprouting from a seed.  READ MORE


CROSS-CULTURAL COLLISIONS, REINVENTIONS, AND FERTILIZATIONS 
RR7905
Michael Sidney Timpson

In 2008 PARMA Recordings acquired Capstone Records, the highly respected New York-based classical label founded by composer Richard Brooks in 1986, with the intent of shepherding the company and its music into the digital era. This product, originally released on Capstone and now presented by PARMA's Ravello Records imprint, is one of a series of re-releases from the catalog called THE CAPSTONE COLLECTION. For more music in this series, please visit www.ravellorecords.com

This album features works by composer Michael Sidney Timpson that combine three different "spheres of influence:" European avant-garde, American jazz and pop, and various Asian musical traditions. These spheres "collide" with inventive friction, often fuse to "reinvent" convention, and merge to "fertilize" the mind with inspirational seeds for further hybrid creativity.  READ MORE


DETOURS
BR8938
Joe Porter & Joel Goodfellow



DETOURS, the debut Big Round Records release from percussionist Joe Porter and pianist Joel Goodfellow, showcases the jazz duo's capacity for collaboration and improvisation, with animated and dynamic versions of well-known film and literary compositions.

Ennio Morricone's theme music for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is given an emotionally-charged and heroic interpretation, with precise piano passages and vibraphone textures that match the expression of the soprano. Porter and Goodfellow create vivid and fluid narratives in Concerning Hobbits from The Fellowship of the Ring and Prometheus Rapture, Seven Legends for Snare Drum and Orchestra, melding improvised passages with expressive imagery. Paul Desmond's well-known jazz standard, Take Five, is given a vibrant rendition in which Porter switches between vibraphone and drum set.  READ MORE

Friday, May 8, 2015

New PARMA Artist: Gina Biver

We are happy to announce that we will be working with Virginia based composer and performer Gina Biver.  Please join us in welcoming her to the PARMA family!

Gina will be working with PARMA on a release of her chamber works performed by the Fuse Ensemble, a conceptual new music and media performing group directed by Biver and based in Washington D.C.

Over the past seven years, the Fuse Ensemble has been on the cutting edge of live performance, incorporating elements of live video, kinetic installations, and electronic playback alongside live instruments.


Biver and the Fuse Ensemble have given a voice to new music composers through their interactive live performances, often integrating software such as MaxMSP/Jitter and Processing, and sometimes using sensors on musicians and live interactive cameras on stage.  The Fuse Ensemble has performed at American University's Katzen Arts Center, the Schlesinger Center, Wooly Mammoth, the Kennedy Center, The Firehouse Space in Brooklyn, NY, and many other venues, representing music from some of today's most compelling composers.


Aside from Fuse Enesmble, Biver is a composer of electro-acoustic music for chamber ensemble, choir, multimedia, dance and film.  She has won numerous grants and awards and her music has been performed worldwide through her collaborations with choreographers, filmmakers, and multimedia artists.  She actively promotes new music as well as the work of video artists, kinetic sculptors and other visual artists.

Biver and the Fuse Ensemble are currently holding a Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording and production of this upcoming album.  You can learn more about the group and donate at the following link: www.kickstarter.com/projects/943723707/fuse-ensemble-recording 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Vytautas Smetona at Severance Hall May 8th, 2015

PARMA pianist Vytautas Smetona will be performing at Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Hall tomorrow (5/8/2015) night in Cleveland, OH in support of his new release, ALL THE WAY BACK.

The performance starts at 7:30 PM - more information is available at Smetona's website: vytautassmetona.com/event/reinberger-chamber-hall/.




New PARMA Artist: Steven Winteregg

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra will feature the world premiere of “The Great Divide,” a piece composed by Dr. Steve Winteregg.
Steven Winteregg
PARMA is pleased to welcome composer Steven Winteregg to our roster of artists and composers. Dr. Winteregg has signed on to record his piece "Prelude for Charles," in memory of conductor Charles Wendelken-Wilson, for an upcoming album of contemporary works for orchestra. 

Dr. Winteregg's diverse catalog of works includes ballets, concertos and orchestral works, and pieces for solo instruments and chamber ensembles.

In addition to his work as a composer, he is also an accomplished tuba player, having previously served as Principal Tuba in the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been a Professor of Music at Cedarville University in Ohio since 2004. 

Of the man who inspired "Prelude for Charles," Dr. Winteregg writes:

"Charles Wendelken-Wilson greatly advanced the Arts as a conductor, a classical radio station program director, and a champion of symphonic and operatic music. As I attended the memorial concert for Charles Wendelken-Wilson, my reflective thoughts were overwhelmed with a flood of memories about Charles: his love of Romanticism, his appreciation of the dramatic moment in a symphony, his affection of opera, his fondness for the odd musical story in a rehearsal and much, much more.

Prelude for Charles mirrors that experience in that it starts in a very contemplative mood but soon dissolves into a myriad of musical thoughts of Charles, all in a neo-Romantic style. The thematic materials are based on musical representations of the name “Charles” with a written “c” represented by a musical “c” and the written letters without a corresponding musical letter assigned a musical note to represent them. The harmony rarely features a simple musical triad and is somewhat more complicated.

 While Charles was very accessible, he was not what one would describe as a “simple” man but a complicated person with layer upon layer of depth. Ultimately Prelude for Charles is not only a musical representation of Charles but also a piece that I hope that Charles would have enjoyed rehearsing and conducting."

We'll be recording "Prelude for Charles" with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in Olomouc, Czech Republic this June. Stay tuned for more updates about this and other summer orchestral sessions!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

New PARMA Artist: John Gentry Tennyson


Please join us in welcoming Los Angeles based pianist, composer, conductor, and producer John Gentry Tennyson to the PARMA family!  Tennyson has signed with PARMA to record his "Adagio for Strings" this summer with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra.


Tennyson has had a lifelong career in music.  As the son of well-known studio musician Hal Tennyson, Gentry began his career as a composer and pianist, moving from Houston, TX to New York to perform in the New York jazz circuit.  During his time in New York, Tennyson performed with artists such as Al Di Meola, Les Paul, Hiram Bullock, Randy Brecker, Dewey Redman, and many more.

After twenty-plus years in New York, Tennyson now splits his time between New York City and Los Angeles and works as a composer and producer in TV and Film.  He co-produces with Suzanne DeLaurentiis Productions at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

While in New York, Tennyson produced his first recording of original compositions, Real World Trio, gaining the attention of Angel/EMI Records, leading to Tennyson's major label debut, Europa (2000).



Since the release of Europa, Tennyson has been an active composer, producer, musical director, performer, and conductor for various projects spanning film to musical theater.  He has acted as pianist and/or keyboardist for Sarah Brightman, Diana Ross, Jennifer Holliday, Dianne Reeves, Liza Minelli, Maurice White, Freddie Jackson, The Pointer Sisters, Paul Simon and Carly Simon, among many others, and served as Musical Director for Francesca Zambello in The First Wives Club,  Andre De Shields in Harlem Song and as Associate Conductor for George C. Wolfe in Harlem Nocturne. 


Fifteen years after the release of Europa, Tennyson has re-orchestrated "Adagio for Strings," originally "Vesna e Zorica" written for violin and piano and released on Europa, for string orchestra and solo violin.  The recording this summer will be part of a release showcasing modern orchestral works. 


Tennyson is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of this project.  Please check out the video, contribute if you can, and spread the word about this project! You can read more at the following link: 
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1507804749/adagio-for-strings 


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sneak Peek: Fred Broer's "Symphony for String Orchestra"

This past March, we traveled to Olomouc, CZ to record with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring orchestral works from longtime PARMA Artists Stephen Yip, Paula Diehl, Alan Beeler, Michael J. Evans, and new PARMA Artist Fred Broer. We're nearly finished editing Fred's "Symphony for String Orchestra" from these sessions, and I wanted to share a short clip from this audio as a preview:



Fred Broer's career in music has encompassed a diverse spectrum of involvements. He has taught music on the college level for over 25 years, and also served in several college administrative positions, most recently as Director of the North Shore Conservatory of Music at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. He has frequently performed in solo and chamber music recitals as a pianist, and held music director positions in several churches around the Boston north shore area. Fred currently serves as director of the Manchester Singers in Manchester, MA.

Keep an eye out for more info about our upcoming orchestral compilation which will feature Broer's Symphony, and check out our earlier post for more info about these sessions plus a great in-depth interview with composer Michael J. Evans (at http://www.parmarecordings.blogspot.com/2015/03/march-orchestral-sessions.html).

Friday, May 1, 2015

New PARMA Artist: Ruth Lomon

Ruth Lomon
We are pleased to announce that composer Ruth Lomon has joined the PARMA family of composers and artists. Ruth has signed on to record an album of works for piano with pianist Eileen Hutchins and the PARMA production team later this year.

Ruth grew up in Montreal, Canada and studied at le Conservatoire de Quebec and McGill University. She went on to continue her studies with composers Frances Judd Cook at New England Conservatory and with Witold Lutoslawski at Dartington College in Devon, England.

Ruth's talents as a composer have earned her grants, commissions, residencies, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Mexico Arts Division, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony, among others. As a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute, Ruth composed "Songs of Remembrance," an hour-long song cycle setting of poetry by survivors of the Holocaust. The work has received notable performances at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, and the International Alliance for Women in Music Congress in London.

Since 1998, Ruth has been a Composer/Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. 

Her new album is slated to be released in 2016 and will be produced by Boston-based conductor and producer Jane Ring Frank. To hear some of Ruth's music in the meantime, you can hear a live excerpt from her oratorio "Testimony of Witnesses" below. For more information about Ruth, visit her website here.