Friday, December 05, 2008

More good news: tenor Lawrence Brownlee's program

Following yesterday's receipt of Murray Perahia's program details, I have the happy news today of what star tenor Lawrence Brownlee will sing for his Spivey Hall debut on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 8:15 PM -- news made happier still in that the excellent Martin Katz, who performed at Spivey Hall twice last season with David Daniels and Christine Schaefer, will be Mr. Brownlee's pianist.

Misero, o sogno o son desto?
Concert aria, K.431

Chanson triste
Le manoir de Rosemonde

Languir per una bella,
from L’italiana in Algeri


Three Sonnets by Petrarch
Pace non trovo
Benedetto sia ’l giorno
I’ vidi in terra angelici costumi

Ah, mes amis, quel jour de fête,
from La Fille du regiment

Cantata (1964)

This promises to be a great recital. An elegant Mozart concert aria to open, with an interesting variety of songs. I love the Duparc and Liszt, and I'm eager to hear the Carter Cantata, which I understand combines elements of African-American spirituals and classical forms in an expressive modern style. PLUS...we'll hear two wonderful bel canto opera arias by Rossini and Donizetti, complete with vocal bravura, and not a few high notes! (Check out or the New York Times on the web and you'll get the idea.) And perhaps some encores...?

Performing in the company of some very illustrious "big names," Lawrence Brownlee would seem to have taken pride of place at the most recent Richard Tucker Foundation Awards gala, in October. Vivien Schweizter wrote in The New York Times:

Artists supported by the foundation, created in 1975 to assist emerging singers with awards, grants and performance opportunities, include Lawrence Brownlee. This impressive tenor, the recipient of the 2006 Richard Tucker Award, is earning recognition for his prowess in bel canto roles. Here he sang "Languir per una bella" from Rossini's "Italiana in Algeri" with aplomb, easily navigating the coloratura hurdles with a warm, sweet timbre."

So, Atlanta will hear this same the glorious acoustics of Spivey Hall. Obligatory avviso: programs (but not, I hope, artists) subject to change.

Mr. Brownlee stays busy at major opera houses in Europe, and returns to the Met Opera in May for Rossini's La cenerentola. When not performing hither and yon, he calls Atlanta home, and I'm proud that Atlanta area music-lovers -- and all our loyal vocal recital fans who travel from afar, including Savannah, Florida, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Alabama -- will have a chance to hear him sing in January. In his free pre-concert talk at 7:15 PM, Clayton State University's Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller (himself a tenor) will give informative historical and musical insights into the program.

The day after Lawrence Brownlee and Martin Katz perform, Spivey Hall hosts the Southeast Regional Finals of the Metropolian Opera National Council Auditions, on Sunday, January 25 at 2:00 PM. This is traditonally one of the season's most popular and highly-anticipated events. It'll be an exciting weekend for singing.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Murray Perahia program announced

The blog is back! It actually never went away, but I did -- extensive travels over the summer and into the fall (more on that later).

The great news of Murray Perahia's recital program has broken my blog log-jam.

Just today I've learned that for his Sunday, March 22 '09 recital program, he'll perform Bach's Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830; Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28, "Pastoral"; and Brahms's Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 -- a beautiful program which I'm tremendously eager to hear him play.

Mr. Perahia also is giving a master class at Spivey Hall on Saturday, March 21 '09, and we're receiving applications of pianists who wish to participate (deadline for receipt of applications: Friday, Feb. 20 '09). Music-lovers, piano teachers, aspiring pianists, and people who just wish to come, listen and learn may also attend -- see the Spivey Hall website for details.

We are immensely proud to be welcoming Murray Perahia back to Spivey Hall. His master class and recital promise to be great highlights of the season.