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John Schneider and Partch win 2015 Grammy Award

Posted By Connie Sheu, Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Congratulations to former GFA President John Schneider in producing the Grammy-winning album Partch: Plectra and Percussion Dances in the category of Best Classical Compendium, released on David and Becky Starobin's label Bridge Records. 

PARTCH specializes in the music & instruments of the iconoclastic American Maverick composer Harry Partch who, between 1930 and 1972, created one of the most amazing bodies of sensually alluring and emotionally powerful music of the 20th century. Partch wrote music drama, dance theater, multi-media extravaganzas, vocal music and chamber music—all to be performed on the extraordinary orchestra of instruments that he designed and built himself.

Since their formation as Just Strings in 1991 to perform the music of Lou Harrison and Harry Partch, the group has gone on to commission and premiere works by Larry Polansky, Mamoru Fujieda, John Luther Adams, Mari Takano, Sasha Bogdonawitsch and others. In 1995 they toured Japan under the auspices of the American Embassy's prestigious Interlink Festival, giving three weeks of concerts and lectures on new music. In 2005, with the completion of their twelfth Partch instrument, the group began performing under the name Partch. They have performed for Chamber Music in Historic Sites, the LA County Museum of Art, UCLA’s Partch Centennial Celebration, Sacramento’s Festival of New American Music, Minnesota Public Radio’s American Mavericks, the Songlines series at Mills College, and the Gordon Getty Concerts at the Getty Center. In 2004, they made their Disney Hall debut premiering Harry Partch’s Bitter Music, and have returned every year since. Partch is the resident ensemble of MicroFest, Los Angeles’ yearly festival of microtonal music.

Their 2006 performance of “Castor & Pollux,” choreographed by Liz Hoefner, was released on the DVD Enclosure 8: Harry Partch (Innova Records). In 2007, Partch performed in Albuquerque (36th Annual Composer’s Symposium), Santa Cruz ( April in Santa Cruz Festival of New Music), Oakland (Mills College Partch Dances premiering Molissa Fenley’s new choreography of “Castor & Pollux”), Disney Hall (their annual REDCAT multimedia survey of Partch’s music), LA’s outdoor festival Grand Performances, and were awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Copland Fund for Music to record Partch’s monumentalBitter Music for Bridge Records. Their 2008 season included the world re-premiere of Partch’s hour long Plectra & Percussion Dances (1952), a week-long residency at Salt Lake City’s RDT (Repertory Dance Theater), and performing opening week at the exciting new Broad Stage for critically acclaimed Jacaranda music series. In 2009, Partch gave the LA premiere of the composer’s 11 Intrusions, and traveled to Mexico on a NEA sponsored exchange with the Guadalajara International Book Fair. 2010 included their performance at LACMA to celebrate the John Baldessari retropective Pure Beauty, while in 2011, they gave the SoCal premiere of Summer 1955, & released their premiere recording of Partch’s Bitter Music, and were featured by the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks Festival in 2012.

Partch's recording of Bitter Music was Grammy Award nominated for Best Classical Compendium of 2012, while the 57th Grammy Awards nominated their performance of Castor & Pollux for Best Chamber Music Performance, and awarded their Bridge Records release of Plectra & Percussion Dances with the Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium of 2014.

Tags:  grammys 

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Jason Vieaux Wins 2015 Grammy Award

Posted By Connie Sheu, Sunday, February 8, 2015
New York, NY – Guitar virtuoso Jason Vieaux has won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for his album Play. This is Vieaux's first Grammy nomination and win. Released on Azica Records in January 2014, the album celebrates Jason Vieaux’s 20th anniversary as a performer by featuring the Spanish, Mexican, South American, Cuban, French, and American classics that Vieaux has found to be universal audience favorites over the past two decades. The music includes showpieces by Barrios, Sagreras, Bustamante, and Sainz De La Maza, Tárrega’s classics Recuerdos de la Alhambra and Capricho Arabe, Vieaux’s own in-demand arrangement of Duke Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood, and Andrew York’s popular Sunburst.

NPR describes Vieaux as, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation,” and Gramophone magazine puts him “among the elite of today's classical guitarists.” Of Play, Soundboard Magazine wrote, “If you ever want to give a friend a disc that will cement his or her love for the guitar, this is a perfect candidate,” while Premier Guitar raved, “You’d be hard pressed to find versions performed with more confidence, better tone, and a more complete understanding of the material.” The Huffington Post declared that Play is “part of the revitalized interest in the classical guitar.” NPR Music listed “Zapateado” by Sainz de la Maza among its “50 Favorite Songs of 2014 (So Far),” in June 2014.

Jason Vieaux’s next appearances include concerts in Oberlin, OH (February 11); Akron, OH (Akron Symphony, February 14); Miami, FL (Florida Guitar Foundation, February 21); New York, NY (92Y, February 28); Oak Ridge, TN (Oak Ridge Symphony, March 7); Brookville, NY (Long Island Guitar Festival, April 26); Philadelphia, PA (World Café Live, May 7); New York, NY (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, May 15); Boston, MA (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, May 17), and Cleveland, OH (Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival, May 28). For details: http://www.jasonvieaux.com/schedule.htm

Vieaux’s latest album is Together, with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis (released January 2015, review copies available). Together features original works for harp and guitar including Alan Hovhaness’ Spirit of Trees, Xavier Montsalvatge’s Fantasia, Máximo Diego Pujol’s Suite Magica, and two world premiere recordings of works commissioned by the duo: Knock on Wood (2012) by Keith Fitch and Hypnotized (2013) by Gary Schocker. Sample Together: http://bit.ly/PreviewTogether

Jason Vieaux has earned a reputation for putting his expressiveness and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music, and his schedule of performing, teaching, and recording commitments is distinguished throughout the U.S. and abroad. His solo recitals have been a feature at every major guitar series in North America and at many of the important guitar festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico. Recent and future highlights include returns to the Caramoor Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and New York's 92nd Street Y, as well as performances at Argentina’s Teatro Colon and Oslo, Norway’s Classical Music Fest. Vieaux’s appearances for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music@Menlo, Strings Music Festival, Grand Teton, and many others have forged his reputation as a first-rate chamber musician and programmer. He collaborates in recitals this season with Escher Quartet, acclaimed harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and accordion/bandoneón virtuoso Julien Labro. Vieaux’s passion for new music has fostered premieres of works by Dan Visconti, David Ludwig, Jerod Tate, Eric Sessler, José Luis Merlin and Gary Schocker.

Jason Vieaux has performed as concerto soloist with nearly 100 orchestras, including Cleveland, Houston, Toronto, San Diego, Ft. Worth, Santa Fe, Charlotte, Buffalo, Grand Rapids, Kitchener-Waterloo, Richmond, Edmonton, IRIS Chamber, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Chautauqua Festival, and New Hampshire Music Festival. Some of the conductors he has worked with include David Robertson, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jahja Ling, Stefan Sanderling, Michael Stern, David Lockington, Steven Smith, and Edwin Outwater.

Vieaux’s previous eleven albums include a recording of Astor Piazzolla’s music with Julien Labro and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra; Bach: Works for Lute, Vol. 1, which hit No. 13 on Billboard’s Classical Chart after its first week and received rave reviews by Gramophone, The Absolute Sound, and Soundboard; Images of Metheny, featuring music by American jazz legend Pat Metheny (who after hearing this landmark recording declared: “I am flattered to be included in Jason's musical world”); and Sevilla: The Music of Isaac Albeniz, which made several Top Ten lists the year of its release. Vieaux’s albums and live performances are regularly heard on radio and internet around the world, and his work is the subject of feature articles in print and online around the world, including such magazines as Acoustic Guitar, MUSO, Gramophone, and on NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence.” Vieaux was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” series.

In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an unprecedented technological interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the guitar department at The Curtis Institute of Music, and he has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1997, heading the guitar department since 2001.

Vieaux is a member of the Advisory Board of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is affiliated with Philadelphia’s Astral Artists. His primary teachers were Jeremy Sparks and John Holmquist. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious GFA International Guitar Competition First Prize, the event’s youngest winner ever. He is also honored with a Naumburg Foundation top prize, a Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant. In 1995, Vieaux was an Artistic Ambassador of the U.S. to Southeast Asia. Jason Vieaux is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd. For more information, visit www.jasonvieaux.com; Jason is tweeting @JasonVieaux, and his Facebook fan page is www.facebook.com/jasonvieaux.

Album Information
Jason Vieaux: Play
Alan Bise, Producer and Digital Editor | Bruce Egre, Recording Engineer
Azica Records

Tracks:
1. Jongo by Paulo Bellinati (Brazil)
2. El Colibri by Julio Sagreras (Argentina)
3. A Felicidade by Antônio Carlos Jobim (Brazil) arr. Roland Dyens (France)
4. Cavatina from The Deer Hunter by Stanley Myers (UK)
5. Capricho Arabe by Francisco Tárrega (Spain)
6. Sunburst by Andrew York (US)
7. Danza Caracteristica by Leo Brouwer (Cuba)
8. Tango en Skai by Roland Dyens (France)
9. Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega (Spain)
10. Las Abejas by Agustin Barrios (Paraguay)
11. Estudio Sin Luz by Andrés Segovia (Spain)
12. Vals Venozolano No. 3 by Antonio Lauro (Venezuela)
13. Misionera by Fernando Bustamante (Argentina) arr. Jorge Morel (Argentina)
14. Por Ti Mi Corazon, Trad. Mexican Folk Song arr. Manuel Ponce (Mexico)
15. Zapateado by Regino Sainz de la Maza (Spain)
16. Vals, Op. 8, No. 4 by Agustin Barrios (Paraguay)
17. In A Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington (US) arr. Jason Vieaux (US)

Tags:  grammys 

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2014 Grammy Nominations

Posted By Connie Sheu, Friday, December 5, 2014

Guitar virtuoso Jason Vieaux’s solo album Play has been nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category. Released on Azica Records in January 2014, the album celebrates Jason Vieaux’s 20th anniversary as a performer by featuring the Spanish, Mexican, South American, Cuban, French, and American classics that Vieaux has found to be universal audience favorites over the past two decades. The music includes showpieces by Barrios, Sagreras, Bustamante, and Sainz De La Maza, Tárrega’s classics Recuerdos de la Alhambra and Capricho Arabe, Vieaux’s own in-demand arrangement of Duke Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood, and Andrew York’s popular Sunburst

Guitarist and producer David Starobin received a Grammy nomination in the category of Producer of the Year, Classical. Starobin has produced numerous award-winning classical albums, including:

All The Things You Are (Leon Fleisher)
Complete Crumb Edition, Vol. 16 (Ann Crumb, Patrick Mason, James Freeman & Orchestra 2001)
Game Of Attrition - Arlene Sierra, Vol. 2 (Jac Van Steen & BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
Haydn, Beethoven & Schubert (Gilbert Kalish)
Mozart: Piano Concertos, No. 12, K. 414 & No. 23, K. 488 (Marianna Shirinyan, Scott Yoo & Odense Symphony Orchestra)
Music Of Peter Lieberson, Vol. 3 (Scott Yoo, Roberto Diaz, Steven Beck & Odense Symphony Orchestra)
Rochberg, Chihara & Rorem (Jerome Lowenthal)
Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Op. 18 & Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 (Joyce Yang, Alexander Lazarev & Odense Symphony Orchestra) 

Lutenist and conductor Paul O'Dette was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Opera Recording for his conducting in the album Charpentier: La Descente D'Orphée Aux Enfers.  

The 57th Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 8, 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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