Sunday, February 12, 2017

Congrats to GRAMMY winners appearing at Spivey Hall

Spivey Hall guest artists are no strangers to the annual GRAMMY Awards. 

Coming Home by Mark O'Connor and The O'Connor Band just won the 2017 Best Bluegrass Album GRAMMY.  Congratulations! Fresh from this honor, they'll be performing at Spivey Hall THIS SATURDAY, Feb. 18, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Get your tickets online by clicking here.


Among the 2017 GRAMMY recipients who have performed at Spivey Hall in recent seasons:


Soprano Dorothea Röschmann and pianist Mitsuko Uchida's Schumann & Berg CD (selections of which they performed at Spivey Hall) tied with the "Shakespeare Songs" projects led by tenor Ian Bostridge (who's given three solo recitals at Spivey Hall) for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. Magdalena Kozena, who made her third Spivey Hall appearance earlier this season, in October, was also a nominee for this GRAMMY Award.


Jazz pianist Fred Hersch, a 2017 GRAMMY nominee for both Best Improvised Jazz Solo and Best Jazz Instrumental Album, returns to Spivey Hall for one night only in a solo piano performance Saturday, Apr. 8 at 7:3o PM.  And it's great to see Rene Marie (a two-time Spivey Hall jazz headliner, with us last season) also nominated, as well as the Kenny Barron Trio, seen and heard at Spivey Hall (more good news about them soon, too).


Two instrumentalists nominated for the  2017 Best Instrumental Solo GRAMMY will be performing at Spivey Hall next season, details of which will be announced at the Spivey Hall Season Announcement Celebration  (by invitation only) in early March. Want an invitation but not yet a Friend? It's not too late -- become a Spivey Hall Friend by making your online donation here.



Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Southeast Region winners

Today was another great day for singing at Spivey Hall, with 15 accomplished vocalists ages 24 to 29 representing North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee West, and Middle and East Tennessee each performing two arias during Southeast Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, vying for the opportunity to be named Regional Winners and advance to the next round of auditions in New York.

The judges -- Brad Woolbright, Director of Artistic Administration for the Santa Fe Opera; Melissa Wegner, Associate Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; and Jonathan Dudley, a New York City vocal coach and long-time opera leader in New York as well as former General Director of Opera Omaha -- presented not one, not two, but three Ryan Smith First Place Awards, each of $4000, to soprano Jacquelyn Stucker (age 27) of North Carolina, tenor Alasdair Kent (29) of Middle and East Tennessee, and bass-baritone Alan Higgs (29) of Georgia.

Accordingly, there were no Second Place or Third Place awards. Encouragement Awards of $500 each were presented to Gabriella Sam and Courtney Johnson, both 25-year-old sopranos from South Carolina.

Pianist Carol Anderson of Utah Opera collaborated excellently as the pianist for all 15 of the contestants.

In her welcoming remarks to the audience, Southeast Region Chairman Margaret Talmadge Howell thanked the state directors, volunteers and donors for their critical assistance in making the day's auditions a success, dedicating them to the memory of Elizabeth Nohe Colson (9/23/25-2/2/17), a nationally renowned voice teacher, a tireless advocate for singers, and a dedicated supporter of vocal art.

WABE 90.1 FM will broadcast today's Southeast Regional Finals on the Atlanta Music Scene on Monday, March 6, 2017 at 9:00 PM.

The Regional Winners will arrive in New York on March 9, 2017. The National Semi-Finals are March 12, and the National Grand Finals Concert on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera will be Sunday, March 19, 2017.  In bocca al lupo to Ms. Stucker and Messrs. Kent and Higgs!


Thursday, December 29, 2016

"A language of the human psyche"

The extraordinary British pianist Imogen Cooper (a favorite of Spivey Hall audiences) was interviewed in May 2008 by Stephen Moss for The Guardian.  The published interview concludes with a marvelous story, and a beautiful thought for the approaching new year:

Playing the piano is not a technical exercise, she insists, but an attempt to express profound thoughts and emotions. "I played in Buenos Aires," she recalls. "It was an all-Schubert recital. A young girl, she must have been about 18, came and saw me afterwards. She said, 'I've never been to a classical concert before; can I tell you about what I heard? I heard fear, horror, death, tenderness; I heard somebody who was very solitary.' She described exactly what this music is about, yet she knew nothing about Schubert at all. That's miraculous. Within this unspoken language of music, you can somehow find a language of the human psyche."