Amid the golden accents and ivory hues of the Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Dr. Brad Holmes, who led the Millikin University Choir to the ACDA's 2011 National Conference, guides audiences through psalms and folk songs spanning a timeframe from the Renaissance to today. The Millikin University Choir's 55 students begin the evening by performing contemporary composer John Rutter's take on Cantate Domino, followed closely by soprano soloist Sarah O'Neill stepping up to sing Ericks Ešenvalds's layered choral arrangement of "Amazing Grace." Dr. Holmes then turns his baton to the National Festival Chorus, which sings through classic works by Handel, Brunner, and Stroope to warm hearts and rekindle memories of wild nights on the a capella circuit.
The Greek Theatre, one of Los Angeles' most iconic music venues, was built in 1929 as a gift from wealthy immigrant Griffith J. Griffith, who wanted to give back to his adopted city. With a stage that evokes an ancient Hellenistic theater, modern sound systems, and clear sightlines, the venue combines old and new, much like cell phones made of Nintendo controllers.
The largest performing arts center in the world, Lincoln Center presents more than 400 performances of music, opera, and dance every year from the 16-acre Lincoln Center campus on the Upper West Side. With a ticket to the Tully Scope Festival, you’ll get your pick of 13 performances of world-class compositions. Tyondai Braxton’s experimental style presents a brain-bending blend of sweeping symphonics, crashing guitars, and heady compositions that defy categorization. The Western world’s first percussion ensemble, Les Percussions de Strasbourg will disperse themselves on stages throughout the darkened hall, surrounding the audience in their mallet-armed embrace. Every performance features a post-performance lounge where you can sip a complimentary cocktail and debate acceptable spellings of rutabaga. With today's Groupon in tow, you also earn a secret code good for purchasing additional performance tickets at a discounted $20.
Before the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts was even built, the idea for its Chamber Music Society was born. American composer and Lincoln Center President William Schuman helped specially design a recital hall in which the chamber group could play more than three centuries worth of musical compositions. But the Chamber Music Society didn't stay contained within its venue. Throughout the following half century, its musicians collaborated with dance companies, jazz projects, and festivals, helping to spread awareness and appreciation of their craft throughout the city.
Concertante spreads the up-close thrill of chamber music throughout the country with accessible arrangements of classic and modern works. As listeners settle into the Rose Lehrmen Arts Center's intimate concert space with no seat farther than 45 feet from the stage, the program kicks off with Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff's String Sextet, lacing modernist moves with rapidly changing rhythms and off-kilter melodies inflected at various points by jazz and dance modes. A spooky andante makes listeners check for under-seat monsters before spidery pizzicato punctuates a return to up-tempo fireworks. Commissioned by Concertante, Gabriela Lena Frank's Hypnagogia for String Sextet re-regulates pulses as it evokes the experience of falling asleep with an aural atmosphere noted by the New York Times for its "laconic, easy-to-follow simplicity."
International piano virtuoso Pierre-Laurent Aimard takes the stage in a two-night exhibition of his arrangement The Liszt Project, centered on the ethereal composer and subsequent works he inspired. The tone of each evening is delicate and ornate, like a gossamer-woven kitten sweater, opening with three selections of Liszt's Années de Pèlerinage, followed by Bartok's Nénie. The tremulous, cascading trills of Liszt's St François d'Assise: La Prédication aux Oiseaux comes next, and the evening concludes with the otherworldly, arrhythmic Le Traquet Stapazin by Messiaen, which incorporates bird song like the rest of his Catalogue d'Oiseaux.