Concert Reviews

Mimi Stillman and Dolce Suono Ensemble: Concert Review

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, January 2015, Reviews | 0 comments

Mimi Stillman and Dolce Suono Ensemble: Concert Review

"Music of Spirit, Longing, and Passion" was the title of Mimi Stillman's Dolce Suono Ensemble concert on December 7th at the Old Pine Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.   It was a beautiful concert that featured music of J.S. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Vivaldi, and Charles Abramovic.   The concert featured Mimi Stillman on flute, Misoon Ghim, mezzo-soprano, Yiying Julia Li, violin, Yumi Kendall, cello, and Charles Abramovic, piano and harpsichord. I was excited to hear the program, because I was unfamiliar with most of the works except the "La Folia" Variations (except these were Vivaldi's violin variations from his Trio Sonata in D Minor, not the common Marin Marais variations that we all know). Beginning with "Bist du bei mir,"  which I had thought was J.S. Bach's work (actually by Gottfried Heinrich Stolzel as Ms. Stillman explained), the concert began its theme of Emotions.   The text was very powerful.  "If you are with me, I will gladly go to [my] death and to my rest.  Ah, how pleasant would my end be if your dear, fair hands shut my faithful eyes!"  Ms. Ghim's voice blended very well with the flute and accompanying instruments in this arrangement. Bach's arias were also explored, as the ensemble beautifully played one from St. Matthew Passion ("Erbarme dich, mien Gott"), and two from his Cantatas ("Ich will dich all mien Leben lang" and "Vergnugte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust").  The ensemble played with great passion, always fitting to the concept of the concert. "Laus D" by Charles Abramovic was a humorous take on Haydn, and I enjoyed watching the musicians having fun with the piece!  Mr. Abromovic quoted many Haydn works, such as his Sixth Symphony, Cello Concerto, and String Quartet, all in D major. Vivaldi's "La Folia" Variations were refreshing and technically executed by Ms. Stillman, Ms. Li, and Mr. Abromovic.  The variations were much different (and more spirited) than the Marais solo flute variations.  I like to play La Folia with some harmony, too, so I was pleased to hear this piece as a trio. I am excited to hear more from Dolce Suono Ensemble, and you should be too.  Their next concert on January 18 is a Tribute to Julius Baker and features Jeffrey Khaner.  Mark your...

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NYU Faculty Concert Review. By Fluterscooter

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, November 2014, Reviews | 0 comments

NYU Faculty Concert Review.  By Fluterscooter

"Flute music is alive and well in New York City," Brad Garner said before an almost full audience at the Frederick Loewe Theatre on October 21st.  The stellar lineup of artists on one concert was one that you would normally see at a National Flute Association Gala Concert, so to have Keith Underwood, Gary Schocker, Robert Dick, Brad Garner, and Soo-Kyung Park share a stage in New York City really made for a special night of flute music.   Keith Underwood opened the program playing baroque flute along with David Ross for J.S. Bach's Trio Sonata in D Major followed by Gary Schocker's original piece "Nachbach."  I particular enjoyed Schocker's piece, as it contained elements of Bach and Schocker's signature compositional style.  However, my favorite piece on the program was "Tracing Back" by Shen Yiwen.  The piece, played by Brad Garner, was originally written for Chinese dizi flute, and the composer gave Dr. Garner a special arrangement for transverse flute.  The Chinese melodies and style of dizi flute were very apparent in the piece, and Dr. Garner imitated the sound of the Chinese flute perfectly throughout the piece.  Robert Dick opened the second half of the program was Karg-Elert's Sonata Appassionata and then his original piece, "Sliding Life Blues" with the Glissando Headjoint.  I love Robert Dick's music and especially the whammy bar type of effects the Glissando headjoint is able to produce, so of course I really enjoyed this piece!  Soo-Kyung Park played Lukas Foss' "Three American Pieces" beautifully and expressively, and the concert ended with Gary Schocker and Keith Underwood playing Schocker's 2 flute and piano piece, "Danger High Voltage," which had fun Latin rhythms and flair. A side note:  We, as a flute community, need to continue to support our colleagues and fellow flutists.  Although this (free) concert was pretty full, I expected standing room.  I try and go to as many flute events that I can in my area, and this concert was actually the 3rd concert I saw in 4 days.  Maybe I just have more time on my hands or I just don't have a life (haha), but I love hearing others play and still continue to learn by hearing others' interpretations of flute music I know and also by hearing music I have never heard before.  Way too often I attend flute concerts with low attendance, and I have had this discussion with flutists in all parts of the country, and it seems as if this is a common trend recently.  The strength of the flute community lies within all of us, and we only get back what we give.  So lets all try and make more of an effort to support our local flute...

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Gloria Jee Eun Park. Concert Review

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, November 2014, Reviews | 0 comments

Gloria Jee Eun Park.  Concert Review

Gloria Jee Eun Park, Principal Flutist of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, played a brilliant recital on October 5, 2014 in Seoul, Korea with Pianist Ian Yungwook Yoo.  Park’s melodic lyricism combined with Yoo’s brilliant technical command of his instrument made for a most enjoyable evening of melodic romantic compositions. The program began with the 3 Lieder transcribed for Flute and Piano by T. Boehm.  Gute Nacht and Der Lindenbaum from “Die Winterreise” and Ständchen from “Schwanengesang” where Park played mournfully, full of expression and lyricism, never loosing sight of the vocal nuances and gentle graceful melodies. The Schubert Variations on “Trockne Blumen”  is a major work in the flute/piano literature and notably one of the most difficult and demanding works in the repertoire.  Most impressive was Park and Yoo’s mournful theme followed by exquisite and elegant variety of variations, each one delicately and expertly unique;  at times commanding, compelling, at times whimsical,  mercurial,  as well as gentle and serene, never loosing site of the lyric vocal theme. After the intermission, the duo performed Carl Maria von Weber’s Sonata No. 2 in A flat major Op. 39.  Each movement displayed a variety of colors, technical brilliance and supreme musicality, never loosing sight of the romantic nature of the piece.  Park’s haunting lines combined with Yoo’s fierce control paired to display an excellent duo in concert. Park and Yoo weaved a romantic tale starting with love’s pains in the first half of the program and finishing the recital with triumph, euphoria and joy.  They left their audience spellbound and leaping to their feet with a full standing ovation.  Park chose to end the evening with her solo version of Amazing Grace which she performed in a rendition that was intimate, fragile, sensitive..... powerful. Gloria Jee Eun Park, flute and Ian Yungwook Yoo Recital  October 5, 2014 at 7:30pm Sejong Center Chamber Hall in Gwanghwamun in Seoul, Korea --Viviana...

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Flutronix and Meeranai Shim Concert Reviews

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in April 2014, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Flutronix and Meeranai Shim Concert Reviews

Flute and electronics are alive and well in New York City, as Flutronix and Meeranai Shim showed me this month!  Since I am spending more time in New York recently, I make sure to go out and support my fellow flutists whenever I can (this is something we all need to do more of as a flute community). Luckily, there have been some great flute concerts lately from both New York-based flutists and flutists here on tour. Brooklyn-based Flutronix, whose sophomore album 2.0 comes out this month, was playing a show at Lower East Side venue Pianos, traditionally a venue for bands and singers, but not usually for a flute concert.  However, with Flutronix’ “urban art-pop” feel, they fit right in at the venue, and everyone in the audience agreed as they grooved to Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull’s smooth flute lines over intricate electronics and thumping beats provided by Joe Blaxx on the drums. Their instrumentation is 2 flutes (sometimes with additional voices), live drum set, and electronic tracks.  Flutronix, founded in 2010 when the 2 flutists met on MySpace, writes all their own music, which has a distinct sound of both minimalist and hiphop elements combined with virtuosic and expressive flute playing.  Did I mention everything is always memorized?!  (seriously, I’ve seen them play multiple times and not one memory slip) There is a remarkable chemistry and camaraderie between Joachim and Loggins-Hull, something that is rare to see among classical musicians these days. Performing selections from their new album as well as covers (my favorite was their take on Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” with Joachim singing better than Rihanna herself), their set had something for everyone: a thought-provoking message in “Typewriter,” technical flutey flair in “Life Lines,” and even a love song.   The combination of electronics, flute, and most recently, Joachim’s and Loggins-Hull’s voices, was fresh, fun, and always entertaining, presented in a way that can cross any genre and appeal to listeners of everything from hiphop to electronic to classical music. Flutronix is bending the rules and paving the way for flutists of this generation and the future, and I’m excited to see everything they have in store!  Their new album, 2.0, is available on www.flutronix.com.   After the New York Flute Fair, I read Meeranai Shim’s tweet that she was playing at Spectrum, a popular new music venue also on NYC’s Lower East Side.  As much as I wanted to attend the New York Flute Club’s Gala concert, there are only so many times I can watch someone playing a PVC contrabass flute, so I chose to go to Meeranai’s show, and I was happy I did. Her flute and percussion duo, AB Duo, consisting of Shim and percussionist Christopher Jones are both based in San Francisco (Shim) and Rochester, NY (Jones).  They have been touring and commissioning works specifically written for their unique instrumentation since 2012. The first piece performed was entitled “Sol Moon Rocker” by composer Zack Browning, and it contained both interpolations of popular rock songs as well as some fun flute and piccolo playing.  Next was Carolyn O’Brien’s piece “Nocturne,” which was by far my favorite, as it was written for the strange combination of contrabass flute and djembe.  I was unsure of what contrabass flute and djembe would sound like, but Shim...

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NFA Overview

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Blog, Concert Reviews, Featured, Reviews, September 2013 | 0 comments

NFA Overview

The National Flute Association Convention took place in New Orleans August 8-11, 2013 which boasted nearly 3,000 participants this year.  The program Chair was Tadeu Coelho and his assistant, Krisztina Dér.  This wonderful attendance outcome perhaps was due to the increase in number for regional flute choirs who performed.  For example, there were large Flute Choirs from China, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico. There were several on-site created Flute Choir rehearsals and performances with charming New Orleans based names, such as the Jambalaya Flute Choir, Swamp Jazz Flute Orchestra, Gumbo Flute Orchestra and the Orquesta de Flautas de las Americas featuring flutists from Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Europe and USA brought together by Angelita Floyd. A particular highlight included hearing Gary Schocker present a 10am concert of his own world premiere.... memorized!  What a delight he and pianist Fumi Kuwajima were on Friday morning.  Another delight was hearing Orlando “Maraca” Valle in concert as he presented his latin extravaganza.  Hubert Laws was another welcomed treat at this year’s NFA.  The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Barthold Kuijken, Auréle Nicolet and Angeleita Floyd.  The Saturday Gala Concert featured Karl-Heinz Schütz, Sarah Jackson, Nobutaka Shimizu, Janos Balint, Sophie Cherrier, Marianne Gedigian, Marco Granados, Gary Schocker and Carol Wincenc, conducted by Ransom Wilson. Jane Lenoir led a workshop on the Brazilian choro, and all of the participants got to play along and improvise with the excellent accompanying guitarist and percussionists.  Ms. Lenoir later played the choro arrangements in the Flute and Guitar concert, along with Viviana Guzman, whose Piazzola Histoire du Tango was crisp, lively, and fun.  Rogerio Wolf also played on the concert, with music by Brazilian composer Paulo Porto Alegre. This year at NFA in New Orleans The Green Golly Project were exhibitors!!!  We had our own Green Golly booth where we introduced three new offerings from The Green Golly Project and got to meet a cross section of flutists attending the convention.  From this new vantage point I got a chance to meet many flutists that I might never have met before from all over the country and I got to learn about their responses to the project.  Many flute teachers tried the Green Golly by Di Zhao flutes and also bought our new book "Green Golly and Her Golden Flute,  as well as the Green Golly sheet music collection (published by Theodore Presser) for their students.  It was gratifying to see that many flutists were interested in the project and enjoyed our products. Unfortunately since I was glued to my booth I wasn't able to hear many of the wonderful concerts being offered.   But I did get to see a bit of what my colleagues were showing and tried some flutes and head joints.  Right next to me were my friends and colleagues from Bernard Hammig Flutes with some amazing flutes made in Germany.  And right across from me were the beautiful Garner Headjoints, two of which I tried.  I visited the Presser booth, the Powell booth, Di Zhao, Flute Center of NY, Altus Flutes and Sankyo.   And saw many old friends who came by.  It is a strange perspective for someone who performs a lot and is also an entrepreneur, but this NFA I was definitely on the sales side...

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Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival. by Barbara Siesel

Posted by on Aug 17, 2013 in August 2013, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 2 comments

Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival.  by Barbara Siesel

The Green Golly Project was honored to be invited to participate in the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival Summer Symposium this past August 3rd. http://www.imaniwindsfestival.com/IWCMF/SYMPOSIUM.html The symposium, which took place at Mannes College of Music, featured master classes, concerts, reading sessions and exhibits by some of the top woodwind artists in the country.  Unique for this flutist was the joy of hearing woodwinds other than flute!! I attended two very different but equally inspiring events – Greg Patillo's Beat Boxing Workshop and Paula Robeson's master class.  Greg challenged us all to improvise and create beatboxing sounds, which sure was a stretch for many of us. Paula's class took the performers to new places too, helping us think about our interpretations of French repertoire in fresh ways.  She inspired me to take out some long buried music and play them again!! Here are other master classes and events of the symposium, (unfortunately – since we were performing and working at the Green Golly Booth we missed many of these). Master Classes with Masters: Mariam Adam, Clarinet (“The Eastern Role of the Clarinet”) Michelle Baker, Horn Stanley Drucker, Clarinet Monica Ellis, Bassoon Greg Patillo, Flute (“Beatbox Flute”) Paula Robison, Flute (“French Impressions”) Gary Schocker, Flute Toyin Spellman-Diaz. Oboe Some Wonderful Concerts: Afternoon Showcase: An American Landscape Featuring Aaron Copland’s “Quiet City”, Leanna Primiani’s “The Black Swan”, and selections of Wind Quintet and Brass Quintet Music by American Composers. Education Showcase: (Hey that's us) The Green Golly Project: Barbara Siesel and Keith Torgan will give an interactive and entertaining sampling of “The Green Golly Project”: story-telling performances and products (Books/CDs) for children. Whether you are a parent looking for a Saturday activity, or a teacher/student who want s better insight on giving children’s performances, Green Golly is for you. Evening Concert: TRIFECTA: An Evening of Provocative and Hip Trio Works Exciting and energetic performances featuring The Zodiac Trio, Project Trio, Transatlantic Ensemble, Monica Ellis - Bassoon and Toyin Spellman - Diaz - Oboe, and Sato Moughalian - flute. Program includes  Stravinksy’s L’Histoire du Soldat, Bartok’s Contrasts, and two works from the pen of Valerie Coleman: Dumesnil Trios for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, and Portraits of Langston for flute, clarinet and piano. There was a terrific emphasis on new compositions and composers too. Attendees had the opportunity to bid on commissioning a short solo or chamber work written just for them or their ensemble.   The silent auction’s roster of  composers include Eric Ewazen, Mohammed Fairouz, Valerie Coleman and Jeff Scott! Proceeds of the silent auction will go towards the IWCMF Scholarship Fund. I'm looking forward to hearing about all the new works that come out of the auction. And for those attending the one day event there were reading sessions of duo's, trios and more so everyone was playing music all day long! The Symposium Day was a part of the two week long Imani Winds Woodwind Chamber Music Festival.  We met students from all over the world. They were inspired, working and practicing very hard and I'm sure the festival was a great experience for them. This event happens every summer and I recommend it to all of...

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Hadar Noiberg Concert Review. by Barbara Siesel

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Concert Reviews, Issues, May 2013, Reviews | 0 comments

Hadar Noiberg Concert Review.  by Barbara Siesel

On Saturday, April 6, I attended a concert at 92Y/Tribeca where I had the joy of hearing the Hadar Noiberg Trio perform (Flute, Double Bass and Drums). It was an astonishing performance - Hadar Noiberg is an Israeli jazz flutist living in NYC.[private] Her musical language, which transcends her Middle Eastern roots, fuses styles seamlessly, weaving jazz improvisation, western harmonies with Middle Eastern and North African rhythms and sounds. Hadar is a beautiful original player; I was riveted to each piece, always surprised by her choices which took my ear on unexpected journeys. In addition she and the other members of the trio were in perfect rhythmic, emotional and harmonic synchronicity. Rarely have I heard a jazz performance with this level of both freedom and tightness of ensemble. Her sound is beautiful - she plays a wooden Haynes flute from 1907, which matches perfectly the Middle Eastern and North African style melodies she writes with a technique that is virtuosic and relaxed. If you have a chance to hear her live, go, I’m sure you will enjoy the show!!  www.hadarnoiberg.com by Barbara...

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