Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Debut of All Access: Spoleto TV

Welcome to Spoleto TV: All Access: Spoleto TV launches with its first preview report by host Blake Whitney. This all-Spoleto channel will be updated with new videos regularly—before, during and after the festival.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Conrad Tao

Photo Credit: J. Henry Fair

Conrad Tao

Not many 13 year olds can claim the title of composer, pianist, or violinist, but Conrad Tao can claim all three. At 18 months old, he began picking out his favorite children’s songs on the piano and by age 4, he had already given his first public piano recital. Now, at the age of 13, Tao is an accomplished musician and composer, having won prestigious awards such as the BMI Carlos Surinach Prize and ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer award, as well as having won the Walgreens National Concerto Competition and being a recipient of the Stradivari Society violin. Studying piano and violin, Conrad is enrolled in the Pre-College Division at Juilliard. He can be seen performing next month with the Russian National Orchestra at Festival of the Arts Boca, in Boca Raton FL.

Upcoming: Festival of the Arts Boca February 29-March 16

Tao Performing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #3

Video by dimithaug.

Festival of the Arts BOCA

Photo Credit: Center for the Arts

Festival of the Arts BOCA

Florida’s keeping out the cold this season with all kinds of hot winter festivals. February is no exception. At the end of this month, the Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park will put on its second annual Festival of the Arts BOCA in Boca Raton, Florida. From the sizzling sounds of the Gipsy Kings to the Russian National Orchestra to sixteen-time Grammy winning guitarist, Pat Metheny, the 17-day Festival is guaranteed to appeal to music lovers across genres, all the while placinga high emphasis on the participation of music students in the festival, offering master classes and the opportunity to sit in at rehearsals. In addition, it features nonmusical events such as wine tasting, literature programs, and lectures by renowned authors.

Headliners: the Gipsy Kings, Russian National Orchestra, Joshua Bell, the 5 Browns, Conrad Tao, Tiempo Libre, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Rene Fleming, and Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway.

No video available.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The value of Villaume

Music director of Spoleto Festival USA, Emmanuel Villaume, received rave reviews for his performance last month with the Juilliard Orchestra. Steve Smith of the New York Times described the event as one that far surpassed his expectations, calling Villaume's interpretation of "Don Juan" (Strauss) "brawny and voluptuous, without skimping on precision and clarity."

Villaume also received praise for two pieces by Debussy and Berlioz:

The electricity Mr. Villaume mustered in Berlioz’s “Royal Hunt and Storm,” from “Les Troyens,” was all the more impressive for the control with which he wielded it. Countless details surfaced with the impact of fresh revelations during a concluding performance of “La Mer” by Debussy, which ebbed and flowed with suitable capriciousness but never lost coherence.
The good news is that if you missed his performance in New York, you can see him conduct La Mer at Spoleto on June 5 in Gaillard Auditorium. To read more about Villaume's night with the Juilliard Orchestra, read the article here.