Christopher Hahn, Pittsburgh Opera’s General Director, in conversation with Rick Perdian

This season was to be a celebration of Christopher Hahn’s twentieth anniversary with the Pittsburgh Opera. It was, but not as anyone could possibly have imagined a year ago. Hahn was appointed General Director of the Pittsburgh Opera in 2008, having served as Artistic Director since 2000. During his tenure, the company has been transformed. … Read more

Rick Perdian in conversation with Brandon Ridenour and Ben Russell of Brooklyn-based ensemble, Founders


Even in the midst of a pandemic, a Zoom call with Brandon Ridenour and Ben Russell is an upbeat experience. Their plans for performances, tours and just about everything else hit a brick wall in March, as they did for just about everyone on the planet. For Russell, it has been a peripatetic few months: circumstances required him to leave Brooklyn early in the pandemic and, since then, he and his wife have stayed in a cabin in Maine and with family in California and Mississippi. Apart from a few brief trips out of New York, Ridenour has stuck it out in Brooklyn.

Founders (l to r) – Ben Russell (violin/vocals), Hamilton Berry (cello/vocals),
Brandon Ridenour (trumpet/piano), Greg Chudzik (bass), Yoonah Kim (clarinet)

They are two of the five members of Founders, the award-winning, Brooklyn-based ensemble, a songwriting collective that is reimagining the boundaries of musical styles. In addition to Russell (violin/vocals) and Ridenour (trumpet/piano), the other members of the group are Hamilton Berry (cello/vocals), Yoonah Kim (clarinet) and Greg Chudzik (bass). All are conservatory-trained musicians.

Individually, they have worked with songwriters such as James Taylor, Sufjan Stevens, Sting, and Björk, as well as with classical ensembles such as Canadian Brass, A Far Cry and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. They have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as on television broadcasts such as The Late Show and Saturday Night Live.

January saw the release of Founders’ latest recording, Songs for the End of Time, Vol. 1, which features Russell and Ridenour’s arrangement of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Their adaptation of this seminal work received its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca New Music Festival. With this thoughtful, imaginative and at times stunningly beautiful rethinking of Messiaen’s Quartet, Founders is introducing it to audiences that might never have encountered it before.

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Bergen Philharmonic’s Wintermezzo is a free ‘streaming festival’ which continues until 12 February

Wintermezzo is a free ‘streaming festival’ which began on 19 January and includes both pre-recorded concerts and live streams, featuring Chief Conductor Edward Gardner and guest conductors as well as top Norwegian and international soloists including a residency by pianist Víkingur Ólafsson.

Once streamed the concerts will remain available on demand until 12 February on the orchestra’s streaming platform (click here).

Artists: Lise Davidsen |Vilde Frang |Víkingur Ólafsson |Leif Ove Andsnes |Tine Thing Helseth | Ragnhild Hemsing | Sandra Lied Haga |Adam Walker | Nicolas Hodges |Edward Gardner | Pablo Heras-Casado | Jan Willem de Vriend | Juanjo Mena | Tabita Berglund | Edvard Grieg Kor| Per Hannevold | Ilze Klava | Christian Stene | Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Music by: Beethoven | Mozart | Bach | Schumann | Mendelssohn | Grieg | Halvorsen | Tveitt | Sibelius |Verdi | Hummel | Vaughan Williams | Brahms | Strauss | Stravinsky | Bartók | Tsjaikovskij | Rakhmaninov | Sevåg | Penderecki | Vasks | Ligeti | Kurtág | Glass | Steen-Andersen | Nielsen

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Austrian violinist Johannes Fleischmann in conversation with Antoine Lévy-Leboyer

Vienna violinist Johannes Fleischmann spoke to Seen and Heard on the release of his new album EXODUS: The Men Who Shaped Hollywood, celebrating the music of two Jewish Austrian composers who fled World War II to California: Erich Korngold and Eric Zeisl. Antoine Lévy-Leboyer: For those who do not live in Vienna and who would … Read more

English National Ballet update their Ballet on Demand lockdown plans for 2021

English National Ballet – February 2021 Announcement

ENB perform Derek Deane’s Swan Lake © Laurent Liotardo

For more about English National Ballet click here

For more about Ballet on Demand click here

English National Ballet is bringing Derek Deane’s mesmerising Swan Lake to online audiences via its recently launched streaming service, Ballet on Demand. A recording of the iconic ballet will be available to rent for £7.99 from 10am on Monday 1 February 2021.

Derek Deane’s version of Swan Lake has delighted audiences worldwide for over two decades. The production captures all the magic of the classic ballet, from the ballerinas in white tutus moving in unison, to the captivating romance between Prince Siegfried and the Swan Queen Odette. Recorded at the Liverpool Empire in 2018, this performance sees Isaac Hernández dancing the role of Prince Siegfried with Jurgita Dronina as Odette/Odile and features Tchaikovsky’s glorious score performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Swan Lake is the latest world-class production English National Ballet has made available to online audiences, both in the UK and internationally, through Ballet on Demand. Other titles available to rent now include Akram Khan’s award-winning Giselle, the epic pirate adventure Le Corsaire and the Company’s first ever digital season, a series of five original and diverse dance films.

Ballet on Demand is part of ENB at Home, English National Ballet’s dedicated video-on-demand platform which gives audiences access to a wide range of ballet content from the stage and beyond, from the comfort of their homes. Launched in November 2020, the platform also features BalletActive, a library of online ballet-based training and classes from the professionals at English National Ballet, available by subscription.

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English National Opera and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s ENO Breathe goes nationwide

English National Opera and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust announce national rollout of ENO Breathe programme for people recovering from COVID-19

Following the success of an initial six week pilot, English National Opera (ENO) today announces that ENO Breathe is to be rolled out nationally, beginning today.

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Rick Perdian in conversation with Julian Gargiulo and María Dueñas

Julian Gargiulo and María Dueñas talk to Rick Perdian

María Dueñas

Julian Gargiulo is a pianist, composer and recording artist who has performed widely in North America, Europe and Asia. He was named a Steinway Artist in 2014, a title conferred upon the best pianists of the day. Like other Steinway Artists, Gargiulo has chosen to perform exclusively on Steinways, possesses his own Steinway piano and receives no remuneration for doing so. The latter is unique among product endorsements, as is Getting to Carnegie, the annual international music competition founded by Gargiulo in 2015.

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Fresh Horizons is St Martin-in-the-Fields new online concert series

St Martin-in-the-Fields Launches New Concert Series

  • London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields launches a new concert series entitled Fresh Horizons, putting the venue at the heart of music-making in the capital
  • The series features internationally acclaimed artists including Chineke!, Stile Antico, Peter Donohoe, The Gesualdo Six and Academy of Martin-in-the-Fields
  • Each concert will be recorded behind closed doors and streamed to ticketholders through the St Martins Digital platform, and available for 30 days
  • The series will move to live performances when possible
  • The concert series is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund      

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