Gary has been abundantly patient with me, waiting since February for this video to get edited and posted! This is actually the first of two videos, both performances being related to this Sonata in A minor by Bach for flute and keyboard:
Even though my video editing pipeline cranks slower than molasses in Alaska, i'm really pleased with the way this video turned out - here are two achingly beautiful songs by Sergei Rachmaninoff, sung beautifully by my good friend Jacquelyn Familant during our summer recital at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ:
I want to blog - i really do! But guilt has me working on way-overdue projects first before i can allow myself to indulge in unplugging the data-dam in my brain. In the meantime, i'll leave you with some videos that i managed to post up to YouTube in a jiffy, mainly because i didn't have a separate audio track to synchronize, but also due to my experiments with the Vista version of Windows Movie Maker. Nothing to really write home about, but the transition effects are nice enough and it "does the job" of slapping video together in a semi-presentable format.
From Wallenstein Castle in Prague, during my Music Technology lecture demonstration, i present to you these videos showcasing the expressive capabilities of the Pianoteq" virtual piano program:
Here's a neat comparison pitting the Pianoteq program back to back with a Petrof concert grand:
Again, my apologies for the mediocre audio quality, due to using only the Canon GL2's embedded microphone. I've since realized that i need to invest in a high quality, portable XLR microphone input solution (which i have - details and review coming soon!).
Many thanks to the Music Bridges International Organization for inviting me to participate in such a lovely festival! I'm still waiting for the audio tracks to put together clips from the other two days of performances, so be sure to stay tuned for more video from Prague.
In preparation for a concert with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony on Oct. 31, 8 pm at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, Hugh Sung interviews the PCS's Artistic Director Karl Middleman. Karl is a master of thematic programs that bear the fruits of his amazing scholarly insights. The Oct. 31st recital will feature soloists Madeline Blood, harp, Hirono Oka, violin, and C.J. Chang on both viola and violin, and feature works by Mozart, Stamitz, Boieldieu, Beck, and the remarkable Afro-French Rennaisance composer Chevalier Saint-George.
Best temp job i've had in years - i'm a regular pianist for the Philadelphia Orchestra's auditions and conductor rehearsals, but this is the first time i've actually worked on stage as part of the subscription concert series. This is definitely being chalked up to "learning experience" - Monday's rehearsals saw me flubbing and floundering most of my entrances in the Bartok and particularly in the "Mercury" movement from the Holst, making me a prime target to become the conductor's pinata. Carmina didn't require nearly so much careful coordination with its simplistic, repetitious melodies.
"The Miraculous Mandarin", my foot...that work should be called "The Masochistic Mandarin" instead. Bartok, simply put, is a meanie.
Nevertheless, i'm having a blast, and my tablet pc is still turning out to be a life-saver. I found that scanning miniature scores is much better than full sized scores, since the smaller book format lends itself to closer spacing of the staves and a larger note font in general.
As i mentioned in my previous post, i have an aversion to orchestral tacet counting. The Bartok in particular requires exceptional coordination with the clarinet solos and several other poly-rhythmic tricksy entrances. I absolutely love being able to use my tablet pc's highlighting capabilities within PDF Annotator to quickly see my part buried amidst all the others, as well as creative fingering and beat markings to help me keep on track.
Despite Monday's shaky start, i think yesterday's rehearsal went much better overall. I found myself in a bit of a Goldilocks moment: Monday's pinata beating said that i was too soft. Tuesday's pinata beating said i was too loud. As Luis Biava put it, after cooking the steak too well-done and then too rare, it's now time to aim for "medium". LOL - he's so great!
Sorry for the brevity of this post and its scattered composition - i have to hurry and snarf the rest of my breakfast and take a shower before driving the kids to school and heading out to the orchestra's morning rehearsal. Here are some pictures from my temporary life with the Orchestra:
Tonight, following the Philadelphia Orchestra's concert as part of their "Postlude" series, i'll be performing the Strauss Cello Sonata in F major, Op. 6 with cellist Derek Barnes on stage at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center:
This early work is very prescient of the much better known Violin Sonata in E-flat major - lots of majestic themes, dramatic chord colorings and harmonic shifts. A wonderful sonata that deserves to be played more often!
Visual Recital Workshop Jan. 12, 2008 2:00 pm in Willow Grove, PA
Presented by the Northern Delaware Valley Chapter of PMTA, the Visual Recital Workshop comes to the Jacobs Music Store in Willow Grove, PA on Jan. 12, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.! Join pianist Hugh Sung as he demonstrates artistic and pedagogical techniques for combining synchronized visuals with live performance.
Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students (free admission for members of the Northern Delaware Valley Chapter of PMTA)
Visual recital performance this past Monday at Inglis House with the Astral Piano Trio...another Visual Recital solo performance yesterday at the Hamilton School in North Philadelphia...have to start driving up early tomorrow morning to Saratoga Springs, NY for my recital with Gary Schocker and Jan Vinci later in the evening, sleep 3 hours then drive back home to drive kids to swim lessons Saturday morning, followed by a business lunch meeting and rehearsals for a CD recording project taking place next week in NYC...days of insanity are keeping me from updating this blog! Aack! Much to catch up on, just not enough breath to sit down and type...stay tuned, LOTS of neat stories to come...hopefully...
Hugo Wolf – Italian Serenade
André Jolivet – Concertino for Trumpet, Piano & Strings
Roger Quilter – To Julia
Alessandro Scarlatti – Cantata for Soprano, Trumpet and Strings - Su le Sponde del Tebro
Igor Stravinsky – Concerto in D
I'll be busy with the Jolivet, that's for sure - tons of fiendish notes in that one! Believe it or not, i've actually worked on the piano reduction (HAH! more like "augmentation" compared to the original piano-only parts!) with trumpeters for several years, but i've never played it in the full setting with strings.
The Quilter is a gorgeous set of "Hallmark-moment" love songs - lovely writing, really!
This may be the very first time i've ever had a performance in one of the Student Recitals at Curtis reviewed, thanks to a new blog called Chamber Music Today:
Many thanks to Dr. McNair for the insightful review not only of Elena Urioste's wonderful performance, but of the background to the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor as well. Be sure to check out the references to my Tablet PC in performance!
A dear friend of mine from Curtis - Margo Drakos, cellist with the San Diego Symphony and faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music - has been busy launching an exciting new Classical Music site called InstantEncore.com with high ambitions to become THE portal for artists, audiences, and presenters - sort of the YouTube of Classical Music, according to venture capitalist William Stensrud. The site is young, but already there's an impressive roster of top artists in the field with recordings and podcasts available for download. Videos will be forthcoming soon, and you may very well start seeing episodes of Music Meets Tech there (at least, that would be neat, wouldn't it?) One really cool feature that seems to be built into the site is the ability to create your own custom 'home page' where you can keep track of your favorite artists' concert schedule, recording activities, and the like.
Here's the 'official' blurb about InstantEncore.com from Margo, but please don't take my word for it - visit the site for yourself and have a peek at the future of Classical Music marketing!
InstantEncore.com is the new digital classical music community designed to provide audiences with the resources to easily find and enjoy live classical music anywhere and anytime. InstantEncore.com makes it simple for visitors to find concert information, download music, enjoy concert video and audio streaming, and access Podcasts and pre-concert talks. Customers can customize their homepage to follow their favorite cities, venues, artists, ensembles, conductors, and composers and sign up for Inside Scoop: email alerts about new digital content from their favorites. There is no subscription fee to login and enjoy InstantEncore. For audience members, a special bonus: an Instant Encore! Take the concert home with you for free - Organizations may provide their concertgoers with a unique card entering your hall that allows the audience member to download the concert they attended for free! For organizations, this provides a special opportunity to obtain meaningful corporate sponsorship. A corporate sponsor logo is featured on the download card and a click-through advertisement is positioned next to the concert event listing and in the digital music store. InstantEncore.com a digital destination designed to keep the audience of today while creating the audience of tomorrow!
SPECIFICS FOR ORGANIZATIONS:
1) Increase your Ticket Sales! Add more value to your concert seats with a complimentary digital download of a concert
2) Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities: Offer valuable advertising opportunities to corporations through our services
3) Personal Thank-You Gifts to Friends! Design digital download packages of your music for donors, friends, special events and as part of education outreach
4) Expand your Brand: locally, nationally, and around the world!
The Kelvin Grout International Piano Accompanists' Competition
I just received an email message from Kelvin Grout, a pianist based in the Netherlands, announcing the Kelvin Grout International Piano Accompanists' Competition in Amsterdam September 8th to the 13th, 2008. Entry forms will be available from October 15th of this year, and the top prize is a whopping 10,000 Euros! From what i can tell from the announcement page, this competition seems to be aimed primarily for accompanists who work with vocal literature - no mention of any collaborative instrumental categories. Mr. Grout, who is celebrating his 50th year as a professional pianist in 2007, is also working on a book and DVD film, both titled "Behind the Notes", and both scheduled to be released simultaneously with the start of the competition.
Competitions for soloists abound - those for accompanists are almost unheard of, so this is a rare and wondrous treat for those who "work in the shadows"! Best wishes to Mr. Grout and the patrons of this new competition!
This past Saturday i had the honor of once again performing with my dear friend, the legendary violinist Aaron Rosand, in a special 80th Birthday tribute concert at Curtis. Aaron and i performed an all-Brahms first half, and a wonderful medley of students and illustrious alumni from Aaron's class performed the second half, including Alex Kerr, Benjamin Schmid, and Steven Copes.
Want to see violinists geek out? Watch them pull out their instruments and talk shop! Worse than video gamers at an E3 convention! LOL
A lovely, heartfelt afternoon of camaraderie and a breathtaking evening of music-making ensued. I can't think of a more beautiful, fitting tribute to such an incredible master - Happy Birthday, Aaron, with hearty wishes for many more yet to come!
Piano4, that dynamic quartet of grand pianos, will be giving a concert at the Kimmel Center this coming Wednesday, March 28th at 7:30 pm. I had a reading session with them once, and it was a blast! They have the most wonderful repertoire, the most amazing arrangements - you really have to hear the power and the beautiful blend of these instruments to appreciate the full scope of their expressive artistry!
They're introducing a new member to their group, a fantastic Curtis alumni pianist Vitalij Kuprij, who's bound to add an amazing energy and charisma to the ensemble!
Click on the picture below to see a 5 minute video documentary on this wonderful Philadelphia-based group.
I just returned from West Palm Beach, Florida, after having played a recital with violin phenom Stephanie Jeong at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Given our important Curtis connections in the area, Charles Sterne III, our Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, accompanied us during our Florida trip and was kind enough to chauffeur us from our motel to our various destinations.
Prior to the recital, we had a wonderful impromptu lunch and private performance for one of Curtis' most generous benefactors, Mr. Jack Wolgin.
Although the space where we performed was on the acoustically dry side, the audience was warm and enthusiastic. Stephanie did a fantastic job, and even our Chairman of the Board Gerry Lenfest and his wife Marguerite were on hand to enjoy the performance.
Too bad the Florida weather was a bit too windy for me to get any swim time in! More pictures from my Florida trip can be seen in the Picture Gallery.
Thank you for visiting this site! I hope you'll find this to be a friendly place to learn about and discuss the fascinating technologies available for the Classical Musician. A great place to get started is with the ongoing "Getting Started" series. Remember, the worst questions are the ones you never ask, so feel free to email me!