The Cattaraugus County Arts Council recently held an awards reception for New York State Council on the Arts decentralization re-grant recipients. The Cattaraugus County Arts Council now serves three counties – Cattaraugus, Allegany, and Chautauqua – as a distribution point for NYSCA DEC funding as well as providing programs and services to help produce a thriving arts community. Representatives from several Chautauqua County organizations received Community Arts Grants for outstanding 2018 programming, and attended the assembly held at JCC in Olean. Among them are Joe Braeger from Community Music Project, Sally Ulrich from Jamestown Concert Association, Ken Hardley from Rolling Hills Radio, and James Colby from St. Luke’s Church/Green Up Jamestown.
The Jamestown Concert Association is pleased to announce that Kinan Azmeh will be performing with Dinuk Wijeratne!
Described as a Winning Performance by the Daily Star, The Art of the Duo is a collaboration project between the award winning Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh and Sri Lankan-born Canadian innovative pianist and composer Dinuk Wijeratne. This project fuses elements of Arabic and south-east Asian vocabulary with classical and jazz music idioms to create a new sonic world that the legendary Marcel Khalife called wings of Breath. The duo has released their album Complex Stories, Simple Sounds in 2009 and has been touring with their recital around the US, Canada, Argentina, Europe, and the Middle-East.
Sri Lankan-born Canadian Dinuk Wijeratne is a JUNO award-winning composer, conductor, and pianist who has been described by the Toronto Star as ‘an artist who reflects a positive vision of our cultural future’, and by the New York Times as ‘exuberantly creative’. His boundary-crossing work sees him equally at home in collaborations with symphony orchestras and string quartets, tabla players and DJs, and takes him to international venues as poles apart as the Berlin Philharmonie and the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Dinuk made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2004 as a composer, conductor, and pianist, performing with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. A second Carnegie appearance followed in 2009, alongside tabla legend Zakir Hussain. Dinuk has also appeared at the Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Opera Bastille (Paris), Lincoln Center (New York), Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Sri Lanka, Japan, and across the Middle East.
A passionate educator, Dinuk has lectured at the universities of Dalhousie, Acadia and Saskatchewan, and is in his twelfth season as Music Director of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He has conducted the orchestras of the National Arts Centre, Thunder Bay, PEI, Scotia Festival Orchestra, and appeared numerous times with Symphony Nova Scotia during his 3-year appointment as Conductor-in-Residence. He is the recipient of the Canada Council Jean-Marie Beaudet award for orchestral conducting; the NS Established Artist Award; NS Masterworks nominations for his Tabla Concerto and piano trio Love Triangle; double Merritt Award nominations; Juilliard, Mannes & Countess of Munster scholarships; the Sema Jazz Improvisation Prize; the Soroptimist International Award for Composer-Conductors; and the Sir John Manduell Prize – the RNCM’s highest student honor. His music and collaborative work embrace the great diversity of his international background and influences.
Check out his biography on his webpage http://www.dinukwijeratne.com/without-sidebar/ . Also you can view a video from their performances at http://kinanazmeh.com/theartoftheduo/ . Join us for a fabulous evening of entertainment at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Friday, 18 May 2018 at 8:00 pm.
Art of the Duo with Kinan Azmeh and Dinuk Wijeratne | 18 May 2018 | 8:00 pm | St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
It’s hard to believe that the last concert of the 2017-2018 season is here already! This concert will feature the clarinet, played by Kinan Azmeh and Dinuk Wijeratne on piano. Hailed as a “Virtuoso” and “Intensely Soulful” by the New York Times and “Spellbinding” by the New Yorker, and “Incredibly Rich Sound” by the CBC. His utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres has gained him international recognition as clarinetist and composer.
Born in Damascus, Syria in 1976, Azmeh began to play the clarinet at age six. Azmeh studied at the Arab conservatory of music in Damascus. Azmeh received his master's degree and graduate diploma in music from the Juilliard School in New York City. In 1997, Azmeh was the first Arab musician to win first prize in the Nicolay Rubinstein International Youth competition in Moscow, Russia.
In 2009, Azmeh played at the Arabesque Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He has also played with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, debuting a clarinet concerto written especially for him by Zaid Jabri at the opening of the Damascus Opera House. In addition, he has played with Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Azmeh is currently based in New York City, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. at the City University of New York with Charles Neidich. He regularly travels to Damascus, where he plays in a Syrian chamber group and gives concerts and workshops. These trips have since ended since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution.
Azmeh is a complex man whose background is comprised of widely divergent facets. Check out his biography on his webpage http://kinanazmeh.com/bio/. Also you can view videos from various performances in the Video Gallery at http://kinanazmeh.com/videos/ . Join us for a fabulous evening of entertainment at St. Luke's Episcopal Churrch on Friday, 18 May 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
Carpe Diem String Quartet | 20 April 2018 | 8:00 pm | St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Carpe Diem String Quartet returns to Jamestown! Carpe Diem was last here in 2013, and the Jamestown Concert Association is thrilled to welcome them back. Carpe Diem String Quartet: the premier American “indie” string quartet. Winners of five PNC Foundation ArtsAlive Awards for their commitment to community engagement and musical education, the group performs the classical string quartet repertoire, as well as gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music. Defying easy classification, Carpe Diem breaks boundaries and pushes the limits of the string quartet by writing, arranging and performing music of all styles, working with artists of diverse genres, therefore bringing new audiences into the concert hall and revitalizing the chamber music experience.
Like many musical organizations, the quartet is dedicated to sharing the joy of music - particularly chamber music. During their free time, the quartet continues to work with schools and arts groups to foster kids' love of music. Their concerts are interactive and hands-on for the students and relate to core academic classes. The quartet has launched two new programs: Musicare and Music Goes to School, which enable the quartet to bring music to everyone in the Central Ohio area, regardless of their means or circumstances.
Carpe Diem is a member of Chamber Music America (CMA). CMA defines chamber music as music composed for small ensembles, with one musician per part, generally performed without a conductor. The term once referred only to Western classical music for small ensembles, such as string quartets. But today chamber music encompasses myriad forms, including contemporary and traditional jazz, classical, and world genres.
Just in case you missed them when they were here last, check out their website www.cdsq.org or listen to these files for a sample of what you might hear on April 20th:
The Jamestown Concert Association opens the second-half of their 2017-18 season on Friday, 23 March 2018 with Calmus. Calmus is a vocal quintet from Leipzig, founded by Martin Lattke in 1999. The quintet is comprised of the following voices: Anja Poche - soprano, who joined the quintet in 2001, marking the group's transition from an all-male to a mixed ensemble. Besides her involvement with Calmus, Anja regularly performs as a solo singer in oratorio and cantata concerts throughout Germany, Ireland, Great Britain and Switzerland, A particular emphasis of her repertoire is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries. Sebastian Krause - countertenor, co-founded the Calmus Ensemble in 1999. Aside from Calmus he was both a member of the "Sächsisches Vokalensemble" under Matthias Jung. Sebastian is also an arranger for all kinds of vocal music both for Calmus and other vocal ensembles and choirs. Tobias Poche - tenor, has been the tenor of the Calmus Ensemble since 2006. As a soloist and as an ensembel singer, his diverse field of activity has taken him to all parts of Germany, throughout Europe, Asia and to North and South America. Ludwig Bohme - baritone, the founding member of Calmus, loves vocal music - as a singer, a conductor, a lecturer or an arranger. Ludwig, in addition to many other musical endeavors leads workshops for vocal ensembles and choirs and is Lecturer for Conducting at the Protestant Academy for Church Music in Halle/Saale. He has also achieved success as an arranger and a composer. Manuel Helmeke - bass, is the newest member, joining Calmus at the beginning of 2015. Manuel is passionate about conducting his initiated choir projects.
Together, these voices are the perfect blend of sound, precision, lightness and wit. These are the hallmarks of Clamus, now one of the most successful vocal groups in Germany. The ensemble has forged a refined sound which few groups achieve. The wide range of sound colors, the joy in performing that musicians convey on the concert platform, and their varied and imaginative programs are praised by the press time and time again.
The musicians are tireless in their quest to discover new repertoire. Shaped by the centuries-old tradition of great German boys' choirs, they are naturally at home in the vocal music of the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Romantic. The music of our own time is also a real passion. It goes without saying that they revel in singing pop, folk and jazz, as well as chansons and golden oldies from the 1920s.
Check out some of the links below to get a sense of the vocal mastery of Calmus, and be sure to join us in March!
Join us at. St. Luke's Episcopal Church on November 3rd for a fabulous concert with Nikita Mndoyants! Coming from a family of professional musicians, Nikita Mndoyants began to play piano and compose at a very young age. He gave his first public recital at age eight and recorded his first CD at age ten. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory (Moscow Conservatory), where he studied composition with Professor Alexander Tchaikovsky and piano with Professor Nikolay Petrov and Professor Alexander Mndoyants. Since 2013 he has taught orchestration at the Moscow Conservatory.
Nikita Mndoyants has enjoyed a career in Europe and his native Russia as a pianist and composer for many years. Since winning the Cleveland International Piano Competition, he has been engaged for numerous concerts in the US, additional appearances in Europe, and debut tours of China (2017) and South Africa (2018).
Mr. Mndoyants has released solo and chamber recordings on the Classical Records and Praga Digitals labels. A new recording on the Steinway & Sons label, featuring works by Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Schumann, will be released in June. His piano and chamber compositions are made available by publishing houses Composers, Muzyka, and Jurgenson, and have been performed by Daniel Hope, Nicolas Stavy, the Szymanowski and the Zemlinsky Quartets, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and others. Here are some links to a few of his performances for your listening pleasure:
On 14 October 2017, we welcome the first artist of the 2017-2018 season is Katherine Siochi, the award-winning harp soloist and newly appointed principal harpist of the Sarasota Orchestra. Ms. Siochi began her musical studies with the piano when she was 5 years old, and began learning the harp at age 9. She holds her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in harp performance from the Julliard School, where she studied with NY Philharmonic principal harpist Nancy Allen.
Katherine was the recipient of the distinguished Kovner Fellowship while earning her master's at Julliard. She has since won acclaim as the 2016 gold medalist of the 10th USA International Harp Competition, one of the world's most prestigious harp contests, and is only the second American to win the prize since 1989! Katherine has also received many awards in national harp competitions, as well as performing internationally.
The instrument that Katherine plays is the pedal harp (also known as the concert harp); this harp is a large and technically modern harp, designed primarily for classical music and played either solo, as part of a chamber ensemble, or in and orchestra. Pedal harps are essentially diatonic instruments which are fitted with the double-action pedal mechanism to allow chromatic alterations and key changes. They use the mechanical action of pedals to change the pitches of the strings. There are seven pedals, each affecting the tuning of all strings of one pitch-class. Each pedal is attached to a rod or cable within the column of the harp which then connects with a mechanism within the neck. When a pedal is moved with the foot, small discs at the top of the harp rotate. The discs are studded with two pegs that pinch the string as they turn, shortening its vibrating length. (Information source is Wikipedia.)
To hear a sample of Ms. Siochi's expertise on the harp, go to www.katherinesiochi.com/listen/ and click on the links to hear the various selections. Enjoy!
Wow! What a treat! One of the artists at Chautauqua this week is the Akropolis Reed Quintet. Their concert will take place at 4:00 pm on Monday, 10 July 2017 in Lenna Hall.
If you remember they were featured by the Jamestown Concert Association a year or two ago. They are just fabulous, and they are also the first ever reed quintet to win the Fischoff Gold Medal in 2014! Akropolis took Grand Prize at the MTNA and Plowman chamber music competitions consecutively in 2011, and has garnered prizes at three additional national competitions. Championing the next generation of maverick musicians, Akropolis is also winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award, delivering impactful outreach at schools ranging from kindergarten to conservatory.
You can check them out at http://www.akropolisquintet.com/artists. I guarantee that this will be a concert that you won't want to miss!
Some other musical happenings at Chautauqua Institution this week include:
Welcome to Noteworthy, the Jamestown Concert Association's blog. I will be using this space to provide more information about the artists that are scheduled for the season and about what's happening with the Concert Association. I hope that you find this blog both useful and informative - be sure to stop by often to check for new content.
It's summertime and the Jamestown Concert Association is on hiatus, but that doesn't mean that you are out of options for music this summer. Chautauqua Institute has a wide variety of music options available, from Opera to Popular Entertainment. Check out their Arts and Entertainment page to see what is available.
This Sunday, 2 July 2017 is a free admission day to the Institute. There will be lots of things happening.
Watch for our next post! We will showcase some more opportunities for local music. Until then, have a safe and happy summer.