Preludes, Fugues and Friends

What a sad and joyful time it is for the friends of the late composer Matt Dibble.  This English lad was only 40 when he died in 2021 from complications from a covid vaccine.  He left behind 48 tracks of Preludes and Fugues that he kept secret until hours before his death. 

His good friend Jon Hargreaves helped crowdfund the necessary funds to record the album with the pianist Matt Dibble loved the most.  Freddie Kempf.  There’s also a documentary about Matt Dibble. 

The Organic Result – The New York Études  

New York City can have quite an effect on you and so can Multiple Sclerosis.  Grammy winning composer Jeff Beal (House of Cards) deals with both in his new album:  The New York Etudes.  These solo piano works are somewhat of a departure from his compositions for TV and Film and that’s the way he wanted it. Beal says The New York Etudes is like a quiet place to land and recharge after a long day or the last few years.

Are You On The List?

Imagine that you are a non-profit organization in need of an infusion of music or a performance of a different type in your program.  The Texas Commission on the Arts has come to the rescue.  They’ve released their Texas Touring Roster for the next two years.  It means if you hire the performers on the list to perform, in Texas, the TCA will help you pay for it.

The Artistic Director of Montopolis, Justin Sherburn, here with his wife Sara, a cellist, says they have benefitted from this program for several years.

Twelve from Texas.  One From Austin. 

So, your child is leaving home for a summer of music, travel, learning and fun?

In the case of Noah Semsar, it’s to play with Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

Semsar, who plays the trumpet, is a graduate of Atkins High School, and is the only Austin resident among 12 Texans chosen to be in the orchestra. He’ll join about 100 others from all over the country. He says this has cemented his choice, for now, to be a professional musician especially since he’s headed to music school in the fall. 

Songs in Three Languages With A Tribute To Dad By Richard Danielpour

Many classical artists are now releasing some of the works they composed during the pandemic. Composer Richard Danielpour is one of them.  He’s released a new album: Songs in Three Languages, sung by Soprano Hila Plitmann.  One section of the album pays tribute to Danielpour’s Father who wrote love poems to his wife. Then there’s the opera he composed called The Grand Hotel Tartarus.   

A Love Letter To Home, Wherever It May Be

There’s no place like home.  A familiar line from a familiar movie and so very true.  The Miro Quartet, The University of Texas String Quartet In Residence with an international reputation and a GRAMMY nomination, honed in on the theme with their latest album Home. They illustrated the essence of Home with a video of their performance of Over The Rainbow

Daniel Ching, one of the founding members of the group says Home is a love letter to and appreciation of all the things they call home. 

The Lullaby Project

There’s a program coming up live and online in New York that is all about babies and music.  It’s from Carnegie Hall’s The Lullaby Project.  This is a concert of many of the songs composed by new parents with the help of professional musicians.  Some of the performers are opera singers who sang some of the compositions written by the parents.   Austin Classical Guitar was involved in this program, helping local parents express their emotions about their very young children.

Tiffany Ortiz, the Director of Early Childhood Programs at Carnegie Hall is inviting others to develop their own Lullaby Projects.    

The Young Masters

Imagine what it must be like to have someone give you a free trip to the arts camp you’ve always wanted to attend.

That happened to 15 high school students all over Texas via the Young Masters Program of the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust

Lerchen Zhong of Westwood High School in Round Rock is the only local student chosen for the program.  He already knows where he wants to spend his summer. 

Dr. Gary Gibbs, the executive director of the Texas Commission On The Arts says the grants are for all disciplines in the arts.

The Heller Awards for Young Artists

Something bright and refreshing graced the stage at the Long Center a few weeks ago.  It was the Heller Awards for Young Artists.  It honors the best high school musical productions from this school year. Two students are headed to the national competition, the Jimmys in New York next month. 

Ginger Morris, who runs the Hellers, is hoping more schools take part next year. 

Austin Opera Ends This Season In A Blaze Of Carmen

Austin Opera is ending their 2023-24 season with the red-hot opera Bizet’s Carmen.  The cast is full of young singers, many of whom are making their debut with the Austin Opera. 

CEO Annie Burridge is hoping this super popular work from Bizet will entice audiences back to the Long Center after the hibernation forced upon us by Covid.