If you’ve never seen a show called Now Hear This, now may be the time. It’s a program featuring a modern look at classical composers from many years ago and those making music today.
Who needs a conductor? Not Austin Unconducted. It’s a string ensemble that works with its members to choose the music they’ll play in any given concert. Co-founder Luis Bellorin and the rest of the group is preparing now for their season finale concert. It’ll be at the Draylen Mason at KMFA on April 6th.
The New York Times called composer Jessie Montgomery the “future of classical music”. She was gobsmacked by that, even though orchestras all over the country are clamoring to play her works. The Austin Symphony will perform one of her pieces in November. In addition, she’s on a three year assignment with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as their Mead Composer in Residence. This makes her one of the busiest classical composers in America.
The recently concluded Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth had many moving parts. To keep things running smoothly and an eager audience informed, they hired classical pianist Dr. Artina McCain. In addition to her busy touring schedule, she’s a Professor of Piano at the University of Memphis. Dr. McCain was the Mistress of Ceremonies. She says it turned out to be a tough but fun job.
And because her outfits got so much attention, here are a few photos of the many looks she wore during the competition.
Even though composer William Grant Still wrote nearly 200 compositions, many of not most of them have never been recorded. That changed with the new album “William Grant Still” performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on the Naxos label. Conductor Avlana Eisenberg was encouraged to record this album by her mother – a violinist. Eisenberg and Still’s granddaughter Celeste Headlee curated and produced the album.
Conductor Avlana Eisenberg and Celeste Headlee with her Grandfather William Grant Still and today.
Sometimes there’s a meeting of the minds and hearts between classical artists. In this case, Quinn Mason, the young and fast rising composer and conductor and the experienced pianist, and producer and Classical Woman Of The Year, Lara Downes. Mason and Downes have formed sort of a loose partnership.