Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New PARMA Artist: Alicia Terzian

We are proud and excited to welcome Argentinian composer Alicia Terzian to the PARMA family!

Terzian has enjoyed a vast and inspirational career as a composer, conductor and musicologist, and we will be traveling to Russia later this year to record a full album of her works for string orchestra with Maestro Vladimir Lande. 

Born in Córdoba, Argentina on July 1st 1934, she studied at the National Conservatory of Music and Drama of Buenos Aires with Alberto Ginastera, Gilardo Gilardi, Roberto García Morillo, Floro Ugarte, Pedro Saenz, the poet Pedro Miguel Obligado, where she studied piano and was awarded the First Prize and Gold Medal in composition in Alberto Ginastera´s professorship (1959).

In 1962 Terzian traveled to Europe to study the religious medieval Armenian music with Father Dr. Leoncio Dayan at the Mekhitarist Monastery in Saint Lazaro, Venice. She finished her musical studies of orchestra conducting with Mariano Drago.

In 1968 she created the International Encounters for Contemporary Music Foundation where she serves as Artistic Director. Following Maestro Ginastera’s advice, she created this institution for the promotion of the Argentine contemporary music in her country and in the world.  Since 1979, the Encuentros Foundation is the Argentinian Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and her annual Festival Encuentros have become an important forum for Latin American music.

As a complement to her annual Festivals, Terzian formed the Grupo Encuentros with the intent of promoting and educating audiences about music written by Argentine and Latin American composers, alongside the music of other important international composers.

In 1990 Terzian was elected by unanimity as the Vice President of the International Music Council, Unesco, as well as the Secretary and later on, the President of the Three Americas Music Council COMTA (CIM-UNESCO-Paris), this latest appointment was held until 2004.

In 2003 she was appointed by unanimity Honorary Member of the International Music Council during the General Assembly integrated by 100 countries.

Keep an eye out for updates from Alicia's project, and in the meantime, you can hear some of her work in the following video: 

Friday, March 11, 2016

March Releases Out Now on Navona, Ravello, and Big Round Records!


The nucleus of the program on Trio Céleste’s self-titled debut release on Navona Records is a collection of variations on the well-known and stately opening theme of the second movement from Beethoven’s Piano Trio in G Major, Op. 1, No. 2. Consisting of Iryna Krechkovsky, violin; Ross Gasworth, cello; and Kevin Kwan Loucks, piano; the Trio has been praised as “a first-class ensemble” (Orange County Register) and “exuberant and technically dazzling” (Long Beach Gazette) and “one of the best young chamber groups around today” (Philip Setzer, Emerson String Quartet). Read More

San José Chamber Orchestra | Barbara Day Turner, conductor

Celebrating their 25th-anniversary concert season in 2016, the San José Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maestra Barbara Day Turner, presents a commemorative collection of contemporary works on Navona Records, showcasing the ensemble’s commitment to new music as well as their stylistic versatility. Read More

Jonathan Sheffer

"I met the Swedish saxophonist Anders Paulsson in the early 90s through my friend and mentor John Corigliano. Anders, always a very entrepreneurial sort of musician, was to be the focus of a 1996 concert on Swedish Public Television. Fortunately for me, the program included funding for a commission of a new concerto, and Anders kindly asked me to compose something for soprano sax and large orchestra." Read More

Mathew Fuerst | Heath Mathews | Bill Pfaff | Sally Reid | William Thomas McKinley

Navona Records presents RIPPLES, a collection of contemporary works from composers Mathew Fuerst, Heath Mathews, Bill Pfaff, Sally Reid, and William Thomas McKinley, that showcase percussion alongside either a pianist, saxophonist, or chamber ensemble, exploring the textures and tonal colors possible within each instrument combination. Read More

Ron Nagorcka

On his debut release on Ravello Records, SONG OF THE CENTRAL TREE, enigmatic Australian composer Ron Nagorcka presents an eclectic collection of his chamber and electroacoustic works that highlight his affinity and aptitude for creating complex and asymmetrical rhythmic patterns, utilizing just intonation, and, in a number of works, reflecting the Australian landscape. Read More

Ted Moore

Composer and sound designer Ted Moore presents his Ravello release Gilgamesh & Enkidu, a six-movement interpretation of the ancient Mesopotamian epic poem scored for string quartet and laptop. The work follows the friendship of Gilgamesh and the wild Enkidu, his enemy-turned-friend, as they defy the gods and defeat their beast, Humbaba, in the name of humanity. After the gods murder Enkidu as punishment, Gilgamesh falls into despair and wanders the earth in search of the secret of immortality so he can resurrect his friend. When an empty-handed Gilgamesh returns to his kingdom, he sees that, in his absence, his people have built great monuments in his honor. He realizes that humanity is destined for mortality, and that overcoming adversity is part of the full human experience. Read More

James Zingara

The trumpet has a wide array of tonal colors which have been widely employed in several genres of music, from the jazz and free form music of Miles Davis, to the world and electroacoustic music of Jon Hassell. Trumpeter James Zingara continues to expand the performance repertoire of the trumpet with TEXTURES, his debut release on Ravello Records. Hinged on the 21st-century art music style of composition, the works in this collection, all written after 2002, strengthen the trumpet’s diversity and adaptability in settings with computer-generated sounds, syncopated rhythms, blues forms, and atonal harmonic structures. Read More

Betty R. Wishart

Ravello Records presents PIANO SONORITIES, the debut release by composer Betty R. Wishart. The album presents a collection of her solo piano works performed by award-winning pianist Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi. PIANO SONORITIES highlights Wishart's use of distinctive harmonic structures, tension, and space. Read More

Henry Wolking

It's evident from hearing the jazz big band works of composer, arranger, conductor and trombonist Henry Wolking’s debut album on Big Round Records, IN SEA, that he effectively mixes complexity with simplicity in his jazz harmonies and colorful orchestrations that make for an exciting and memorable listening experience. The inspired solo work of band members and guest artists add to the sincere and fresh cosmopolitan character of the recording. Read More

PARMA Recordings Announces Signing of Chicago Arts Orchestra!

PARMA Recordings is pleased to announce the signing of the critically-acclaimed Chicago Arts Orchestra to an exclusive representation and recording agreement.

Under the baton of conductor and Artistic Director Javier Jose Mendoza, the Chicago Arts Orchestra (CAO) has earned an international reputation for bringing new attention to under-appreciated musical works. The CAO’s 2013 Navona Records release AL COMBATE: REDISCOVERED GALANT MUSIC FROM EIGHTEENTH CENTURY MEXICO was heralded for its “lively musical invention... performed with style” by the Chicago Tribune, which has regularly featured the ensemble as a “Critic’s Pick.”

“We are committed to shining a new light on music both old and new,” says Mendoza. “The opportunity to work with living composers to help bring fresh works to fruition is a tremendous one, and we’re looking forward to contributing to the creation of premieres both in the studio and on the stage.”

In addition to his work with the CAO, Mendoza is the director of the orchestra at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is one of the few American conductors actively working with an El Sistema-inspired youth orchestra program in Latin America. As guest conductor of El Sistema de Orquestas de Guatemala and the Escuela Municipal de Musica, he has led concerts at the Teatro Nacional (National Theatre), Sexta Avenida, and Casa Santa Domingo among others.

“PARMA’s mission since our inception has been to capture, preserve, and present high-quality music and to bring it to new listeners and audiences everywhere,” says PARMA CEO Bob Lord. “Our relationship with Javier and the CAO will enhance the effectiveness of both organizations in this

PARMA and the CAO are now accepting submissions for recording and performance projects. A specific call for scores will be issued in the coming weeks on the company’s website at www.parmarecordings.com.

For more information, please contact press@parmarecordings.com.

Stay tuned for more news on the Chicago Arts Orchestra's upcoming projects, and in the meantime check out AL COMBATE on Navona Records: www.navonarecords.com/catalog/nv5902/

Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Project: F. Gerard Errante

PARMA Artist F. Gerard Errante has recently signed on to release a full album of clarinet music he has recorded throughout his career.

This will be Gerry’s second project with PARMA, and the album will be released on Ravello Records this August, just in time for Gerry to present the release at this year's Clarinet Fest 2016 (hosted by the International Clarinet Association) - http://tasteofmissouri.com/clarinet/index.php/fest/fest-2016/

Stay tuned for more news on Gerry's upcoming release, and in the meantime check out LYRIC CLARINET on Ravello Records: http://www.ravellorecords.com/catalog/rr7886/ 

Carmine Miranda - "Decoding the Schumann Cello Concerto" | CONCERTI FOR CELLO & ORCHESTRA

Carmine Miranda
We're very pleased to announce CONCERTI FOR CELLO & ORCHESTRA, the next release from internationally acclaimed cellist, Carmine Miranda, via Navona Records.

CONCERTI FOR CELLO & ORCHESTRA features Miranda performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor (1895) and Schumann’s Cello Concerto (1850) alongside the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra (Olomouc, Czech Republic). The release will be available June 10th, 2016. 

Miranda has spent his career mastering these concerti. Following in the footsteps of great historians and scholars, he has uncovered secret codes hidden within the scores throughout his intense study and interpretation of the works.  

Miranda's research has finally been published, and you can learn about the hidden messages he uncovered within Schumann's Cello Concerto in the March 2016 issue of The Musical Times.

Pre-order links will be posted soon. Until then,
 you can hear samples from the release at the Navona Records website.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New PARMA Artist: Deems Taylor

Deems Taylor as the narrator in Disney's Fantasia (1940)
PARMA is pleased to announce that prolific American composer Deems Taylor has joined our roster of artists.

Deems Taylor (1885-1966) was one of the most prominent American composers in the early 20th century. A contemporary of George Gershwin and Jerome Kern, Deems’ music has been performed all around the world.

One of his most well-known works is “Through the Looking Glass," a suite based on the novel by Lewis Carroll that has been performed by many notable conductors and ensembles, including Willem Mengelberg with the New York Philharmonic and Leopold Stokowski with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In addition to his work as a composer, Deems was also a music critic, author, and radio personality. He is widely recognized for his role as the original narrator in Disney’s Fantasia (pictured above). From 1942-1948 Deems was also the third president of ASCAP, who has an annual award named after him that recognizes excellence in books, articles, broadcasts, and websites about music.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Deems' passing, we will be recording and releasing "Three Century Suite" as a digital single on Navona Records in 2016. "Three Century Suite" received its lone performance at Interlochen, MI in 1960 and hasn't been performed or recorded since, so we're excited to help get this music heard by the audience it deserves through this project.

We'll be hitting the studio this summer, but in the meantime, you can learn more about Deems on his website, and you can hear his work by checking out the Columbia Broadcasting Symphony's recording of "Through the Looking Glass" via the YouTube player below. Stay tuned!

New PARMA Artist: Altius String Quartet

We're very excited to formally welcome the Altius Quartet to the PARMA family!  The quartet will be working with PARMA on their debut releases, to be recorded later this year.

Founded in 2011 at Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts, Altius holds the position of Fellowship String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The quartet has been hailed as "rich" and "captivating" by "I Care If You Listen," and they are quickly garnering an international reputation and capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere.

The Altius Quartet has a very active performance schedule and has won awards such as the University of Colorado-Boulder's Ekstrand Prize, a CMA Classical Commissioning Grant, and have performed at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in Australia.

Below, check out a video of the group performing Haydn's "String Quartet in C Major" and catch them at the following concerts and events:

3/16 TBA - Dallas, TX
4/1 Atlas Concert Series - Boulder, CO
4/6 Pendulum New Music - Boulder, CO
4/15-4/17 Western Slope Concert Series - Grand Junction, CO
5/22 Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival - Fayetteville, TX

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Look Behind the Curtain: Henry Wolking's IN SEA

Henry Wolking
One week from today marks the release of IN SEA, the full-length album of big band charts by Utah-based composer / trombonist / professor emeritus Henry Wolking, on Big Round Records. 

To say the album has been a long time coming would be an understatement — as Henry notes, "this is truly the album I've waited 40 years to record." In anticipation of its release, we caught up with Henry to talk about the album, what led up to it, and what's coming up next.

While you spent most of your career in Salt Lake City, I understand you’re originally from Florida. What led you out west? 

While doing graduate work at University of North Texas (then North Texas State University) where I was studying classical composition but playing trombone in and writing for the 1:00 O’clock Lab Band (directed by Leon Breeden) and conducting the 3:00 O' Clock Lab Band, I saw a post on the bulletin board about a position for a jazz composer/performer at the University of Utah. I applied for the gig and here I am after 40 years retired as Professor Emeritus. I will say Utah offers some of the finest skiing, hiking, and wilderness activities as any place in the world-never a dull moment.

You were Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Utah for nearly 40 years. Do any concerts or performances you directed stick out in particular? 

In the first decade of teaching 1973-83 there was still National funding for jazz artist residencies. I was able to bring Thad Jones out twice for week long residencies. We became friends, and I personally learned more from him than any other jazz composer, except perhaps Bob Brookmeyer. The concerts we gave of his music with him playing and conducting remain one of the highlights of my teaching career.

How long have you been working with Jerry Floor and the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra? How did you start working with them? 

I started playing with the band from its very beginning  around 1973. It was then known as the Floor/Crismon band, and was co-lead by Bill Crismon, a very fine jazz trumpet player who doubled on bass. I have performed on and off with the band up to the present. When Jerry Floor organized the first Salt Lake International Jazz Festival nearly a decade ago, the band was renamed to reflect its status as Utah’s flagship professional jazz orchestra. The Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra  is not only the house big band for that festival, but for the annual Utah Arts Festival as well.

There’s no shortage of fantastic players on this record, especially the guest soloists Kris Johnson, Greg Floor, Kevin Stout, and David Halliday. Knowing you’ve got a wealth of talented friends, colleagues, and former students, how did you decide on who to feature on your album? 

It was a tough call since I am fortunate to have taught and interacted with so many gifted and talented students over the years. I was incredibly fortunate to have met Kris Johnson, who holds my former position at the U of U, when he came out to interview for that job last Spring. His playing completely blew everyone away. We knew he is the Basie band’s jazz trumpet soloist and that he has a couple albums with his own groups, but hearing him live—wow! He graciously agreed to play on my album. Greg Floor, Jerry’s son was a child prodigy. I knew him as an undergrad student, and then as a colleague teaching in our program. I can’t use enough superlatives in describing not only his playing but that of David Halliday, Kevin Stout and all the soloists in the band as well.

I remember the sessions at Metcom Studios last August running pretty smoothly, but it’s no secret that things can sometimes get complicated during a recording. What would you say was the biggest challenge going into or during the session, and how did you overcome it? 

The biggest challenge was to get 12 fairly difficult charts done in two five hour sessions. Since I had to include breaks, it left me with under an hour to get each chart in the can. Several of the solo tracks were to be overdubbed later, but the challenge for me as conductor was to stay focused, not panic, and to pace the sessions to keep the brass from wearing out their chops. In the end it all came together because the players were committed, motivated, and had done their endurance prep work.

Some of these arrangements were written within the last couple of years, but you mention that others like “Rush Hour Shuffle” date back to the early 1980s. How did you decide which charts to record for the album? 

I wanted to do the newer works written in the last five years or so, but Reed LeCheminant, my lead trumpet and jazz soloist, asked me to consider doing “Rush Hour”, so I went back to the recording we did of that piece when Reed was a student, and realized I’d forgotten just how good he sounded on it. It also allowed me to feature other soloists on that chart who were former students at about the same time. Finally, I’ve always really liked that chart, and the band made it sound as fresh as if it were written yesterday.

Four of the charts on the album (“Reverie,” “Claire de Lune,” “Jimbo’s Lullaby,” and “A Piece of Cake”) are either inspired by or arrangements of Claude Debussy’s work – how has Debussy’s music been an inspiration to yours? What did you learn from studying his work? 

Like other jazz composers who studied Debussy’s harmonic language, I learned that jazzers didn’t invent non functional minor nine, sus, or altered dominant chords. Debussy was such a radical composer for his time because he left the restrictions of conventional harmony and chord progressions, and composed music that was both personal and universal yet new and individualistic. I sort of see Gil Evans as a reincarnation of Debussy, that is, he too had an exquisite disregard of conventional chord voicings and melodic structures. With both composers, the music never seems random but fully informed and highly individualistic.

While you’ve received well-deserved attention for your work as a composer and arranger, not everyone knows that you’re also an active trombone player. How has your experience as a trombone player influenced your composing, and vice versa? 

I think the reason so many trombone players are arranger/composers is that we play an instrument that is not only located in the middle, or center of the big band, but that has a range or tessitura  located at the exact pitch of the notes we sing and think. In conventional big band set ups, the trombone section is also  is located closest to the rhythm section, so we literally have time coming into and out of our ears. When composing melodic material in my head I tend to hear it internally on either the piano or trombone, this helps give internal pitch reference. Having said that, I hear whatever I write exactly as it will sound on any instrument I write for, including strings and rhythm section instruments, and including full ensemble sounds from small to large orchestra groups. I’ve never needed computer playback devices, though they do help locate mistaken notes.

What or who are you listening to right now? 

To name just a few favorites that I’ve listened to in the last couple weeks : James Darcy Argue, John Hollenbeck, Kurt Elling, and Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Other than the release of IN SEA this month, what do you have going on in 2016? 

I’ll be going to Oakland to see my young grandson, Thelonius, and perhaps see who’s playing at Yoshi’s, as well as coordinating jazz events at the Utah Arts Festival, and conducting the Utah based Phoenix Jazz Band with singer Jack Wood in an all Sinatra tribute. I’ll also be performing at various venues with the Wasatch Jazz Project Big Band and trying to decide who or what to write for next for the remainder of the year.

IN SEA will be available March 11th. Until then, you can check out the title track on SoundCloud below. Congratulations, Henry!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New Project: The Music of Hans Bakker and Peter Greve

PARMA Artists Peter Greve and Hans Bakker have signed on to record and release a split-album project. The project will feature various chamber pieces that the composers have written over the years.

The two composers met after both of their pieces were placed on the recently released PARMA compilation of contemporary chamber music works, PINNACLE. 

After discovering their names on the release, Hans and Peter were surprised to find out that they actually lived less that 5 kilometers away from each other!

This discovery sparked a new relationship for the composers, and they were able  put their heads together on various parts of the project.

Since the release of PINNACLE, Hans and Peter have been exploring a new split-album project for their music. The pieces will be recorded this summer, and the composers will be working closely together at each step.

This new project will feature Hans’ “Trio” for flute, oboe and clarinet, along with “Leys / Krachtlijnen” for solo flute and “Petite Pièce” for cello and piano, and Peter's Flute Sonata and a piece called "Dialogues" for flute, cello, piano, and narrator. This will be the 7th PARMA release featuring Hans’s music (also included on two of the FINE MUSIC series) and will be Peter's second project with PARMA.

Stay tuned for more news on the upcoming duo album, and in the meantime check out the newly released PINNACLE in Navona Records' catalog: http://www.navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6022/