Thursday, December 31, 2009

South Texas Finest in 2009

Here are ten concerts that knocked my socks off around South Texas this last year - host John Clare.
Ten great concerts in 2009

10. Austin Symphony Peter Bay May 2009 – World Premiere of Dan Welcher’s Fifth Symphony – wonderful celebration of 10 years with Peter Bay leading the Austin Symphony and a orchestral tour de force from Welcher.

9. Round Top Festival Orchestra JoAnn Falletta June 2009– Ballet Russe 100th – Ballet scores presented with young people of Round Top and maestro Falletta, hard to beat!

8. Five Browns in Kerrville May 2009 – Debussy Nocturnes with two pianos blew me away but how fun is The Planets with five pianos!

7. SOLI gone Mad! May 2009 – Music by Higdon, Torke & Maxwell Davies. Stunning visuals and out of this world singing by guest Timothy Jones.

6. Czech it out! Mid Texas Symphony David Mairs Di Wu September 2009 – Musical interpretation of Chopin’s First Piano Concerto with this Cliburn Competition finalist.

5. SAIPC Silver Medalist Andrea Lam October 2009 – stunning Prokofiev Piano Sonata from this young Australian!

4. Carmina Burana & Gil Shaham San Antonio Symphony Ken David Masur September 2009 – Shaham’s encore of Bach was to die for, and his Barber was equally stunning.

3. Beethoven 7 San Antonio Symphony Alondra de la Parra October 2009 – The clear choice for Music Director, Alondra de la Parra brought out the best for Beethoven’s masterpiece.

2. Assad Brothers in concert Southwest Guitar Festival February 2009 – Amazing duo and solo playing from the dream team from Brazil.

1. Solely SOLI March 2009 – Music by Rodriguez, Williams, Puts, and Vega. Excellent programming and playing from SOLI Chamber Ensemble.

Classical Spotlight: New Year Edition

We look at 2009 with a best of Classical Spotlight, including never heard before segments and upcoming concerts in and around San Antonio.
Don't miss Ken Freudigman talking about Camerata San Antonio's American Rhythms coming up on January 7,8 & 10th!
We'll revisit releases by Richard Wernick and Jessica Mathaes, plus an in studio performance by Bill Kanengeiser from the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

Bill Kanengiser LIVE from John Clare on Vimeo.

We'll also hear the world broadcast premiere of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra & Philippe Entremont in Haydn's final Symphony #104 from Vienna on the 75th birthday of the great pianist/maestro!
Tune in @ 2pm for Classical Spotlight on KPAC & KTXI, online @

Special bonus...a documentary about Entremont on his 75th birthday:

Composing Thoughts Vienna from John Clare on Vimeo.

Tomorrow's Piano Titans, Today!

Young musicians from all over came to the Alamo City to compete in the 10th San Antonio International Piano Competition this last October. Thanks to the artists competing and board of directors of the SAIPC, KPAC is pleased to present these performances Sunday Afternoons through January.

The Piano will feature different performers starting with the Semi-Final competition and this Sunday the contestants will play three piano sonatas by Haydn, Scriabin and Beethoven.

The Piano, this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

JC off, not gone

I thought I'd mention I'm just off on Friday, New Year's day, not gone or have quit. If you've read any releases about SOLI Chamber Ensemble lately, you will have seen that I've been "appointed" executive director for the ensemble. Please know I'll still be on the airwaves and conducting interviews for Classical Spotlight on KPAC & KTXI. Happy New Year!
John Clare, KPAC Afternoon host and newly appointed Executive Director for SOLI Chamber Ensemble

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New deputy commander

The Band of the West would like to introduce one of its newest members, Deputy Commander 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Hansen! 2nd Lieutenant Hansen, originally from Gunnison, Colorado, graduated Officer Training School in October of 2009, and joined the Band of the West shortly thereafter.

Prior to joining the Air Force, 2nd Lieutenant Hansen was a music educator in the Colorado Springs area, teaching all levels of band--elementary through high school. After living in Colorado Springs, among many people serving in the military, his desire to serve grew and he auditioned as a pianist for the Army National Guard band. He begun drilling with the Army Guard, but before he left for Basic Training, he auditioned for and won a conducting position with the Air Force. 2nd Lieutenant Hansen is excited to be in the band and looks forward to touring, performing for communities, troops and spreading the Air Force message through music.

See members of the band perform here, and an interview with their commander as well!

75 years of Top Ten

The BBC has released the most played classical music over the last 75 years...the winner? Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
Here's the story. And here's their list:
1 Orff - O Fortuna (Kurt Eichhorn)
2 Vaughan Williams - Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis (Bernard Haitink)
3 Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade (Charles Mackerras)
4 Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty (Mikhail Pletnev)
5 Schumann - Romance In F Sharp Major Op 28/2 (Joseph Cooper)
6 Delibes - Sylvia (Richard Bonynge)
7 Rachmaninov - Symphony No 2 (Vladimir Ashkenazy)
8 Holst - The Planets (James Loughran)
9 Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty (Valery Gergiev)
10 Schubert - Symphony No 5 (Neville Marriner)

How do these stack up against San Antonio's top 100? Take a look here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Classical Spotlight: Behind Bars

This week we'll learn more about Tchaikovsky and performances of the Nutcracker in San Antonio, plus a quartet from the San Antonio Symphony play some holiday music for an outreach program.

See them in action below!

SA Sym: Silent Night from Classical Spotlight on Vimeo.

SA Sym: Little Drummer Boy from John Clare on Vimeo.

SA Sym: Rudolf from John Clare on Vimeo.

SA Sym: Feliz Navidad from John Clare on Vimeo.

And some pictures from last Friday at the Bexar County Correctional Facility.

Mary Ellen Goree, Allyson Dawkins, Eugene Dowdy & Ken Freudigman

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

John's Top Violinists 2009

These are my top ten picks for violin albums that came out in 2009 - host John Clare.

#10. Rachel Podger Haydn/Mozart (Channel Classics)

#9. Jessica Mathaes (pictured right) Suites & Sweets (Centaur)

#8. Rachel Barton Pine A German Boquet (Cedille)

#7. Mark O’Connor O’Connor (OMAC)

#6. Augustin Hadelich Bartok/Paganini/Ysaye/Zimmermann (Avie)

#5. Caroline Goulding Debut Album (Telarc)

#4. Julia Fisher Bach (Decca)

#3. Anne-Sophie Mutter Mendelssohn (DG)

#2. Gil Shaham Sarasate (Canary Classics)

#1 Janine Jansen (pictured left) Beethoven/Britten (Decca)

And watch out in 2010, Hilary Hahn has Bach this next month!

Of course, you should check out SIMPLE GIFTS at TPR dot org.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Musica Antiqua: Christmas Edition

Voci di Sorelle On the Air!
One hour of highlights from:
Exultate! Early Music of Christmas

“Under the direction of founder Ruth Moreland, the women scored a complete triumph through their focus, their clarity of voice, their impeccable diction and a purity of approach that had the grateful audience on its feet at the end.”
—John Griffin, Special to Kerrville Daily Times

On December 6th Voci di Sorelle presented “Exultate! Early Music of Christmas” to a full house at Mission San Jose. Portions of this exquisite concert will air in a special Christmas edition of Texas Public Radio’s weekly program, “Musica Antiqua.” Ruth Moreland joins host Gerald Self for an hour of this concert’s highlights.
Don't miss it, Wednesday, December 23, 9 p.m. on KPAC, 88.3 FM and KTXI, 90.1, online @

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If you build it, they will come

The Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation has chosen the joint venture of Houston-based Linbeck Group, LLC and San Antonio-based Zachry Construction Corporation (ZCC) as the team to provide pre-construction and construction manager-at-risk services. Linbeck/Zachry will work with the architectural design team to determine best practices for constructing the center, which will involve a combination of renovation and reconstruction of the historic Municipal Auditorium.

Linbeck/Zachry is responsible for recommending to the design team best processes, equipment and budget items that will allow for cost savings and timely completion of construction. Services will include a construction management plan and cost evaluation of best options for each building system, such as structure enclosure and architectural finishes. Linbeck/Zachry will also provide cost and quality control as well as develop and manage the construction schedule.

"While each of the final four finalists of these national/local teams of construction firms provided outstanding experience in building performing arts centers, Linbeck's overall experience in building the Bass Performance Hall in Ft. Worth among others, coupled with Zachry's experience and reputation for successfully completing many important San Antonio projects, guided our decision to select this Texas-based team," said J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., Chairman and President of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation. "We know the Linbeck/Zachry team shares our passion and commitment to make our performing arts center a new San Antonio icon of which we can all be proud."

"We are very excited about beginning discussions with the construction team to determine how we are going to build a one-of-a-kind performing arts venue," said Steven Q. Lee, Chairman of the Building Committee. "The Linbeck/Zachry team has great experience in building performing arts venues and a shared value system with the Foundation to not only build an exceptional facility but also be good stewards of financial resources. Their expertise will be critical as we begin to examine how we are going to get this facility built."

"We are excited to work on this project and look forward to working together with the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation to create a new facility which will forever transform San Antonio's performing arts 'stage'. Our people are passionate about projects that significantly impact our communities," said Charles Greco, Linbeck President and CEO.

"We fully understand the vision for the new performing arts facility and respect the critical role the new center will play in advancing San Antonio's performing arts capabilities," said David Zachry, President and CEO of ZCC.

The Linbeck/Zachry team share a combined 150-plus years of experience in Texas and have significant experience in working on both historically sensitive facilities and performing arts centers. Examples of Linbeck's experience include construction of the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall and Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth; the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House in the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas; the Nokia Live indoor theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas and the Marion D. Campbell Performing Arts Center in Massachusetts. Locally, Zachry has constructed the San Antonio River Improvement Museum Reach, the Medical Instructional Facilities that will be the cornerstone of Fort Sam Houston's new Medical Education Training Complex, the Westin Tower, the downtown Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel and is currently building the Embassy Suites Hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk.

On May 10, 2008, the voters of Bexar County approved the extension of the venue tax that will provide $100 million in funding for the Bexar County Performing Arts Center. With this public mandate, the Foundation will work to raise an additional $32 million in private funding to renovate the historic auditorium and adjacent Fire Headquarters building.

The new performing arts center will celebrate the unique character of an historic property while offering state-of-the-art acoustical interior design. With access to the San Antonio River, the Bexar County Performing Arts Center will be a gateway to cultural arts for residents and visitors alike.

The Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization that is undertaking the renovation of the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium to build a world-class performing arts center for the citizens of South Texas. The Foundation owns the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium and the old San Antonio Fire Headquarters building, which together will function as the heart for San Antonio's cultural arts organizations. Upon completion of the renovations of the Municipal Auditorium, the Foundation will continue to own and operate the Municipal Auditorium and Fire Headquarters building as the newly transformed Performing Arts Center.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Music for the holidays

This is the time of year that you hear Christmas music whereever you go...I recently waited in line at the post office and heard carol after carol! Having worked in a retail music store in college, played the violin over 30 years, and worked in radio for over 15 years, I usually cringe at the thought of holiday music. I'm not a Grinch, but it takes alot to hear the same tunes over and over and over.

I do have a favorite album of Christmas songs though! I find it inventive and uplifting. The harmonies, orchestrations and performance is outstanding. It's called "A Christmas Treasure" with Julie Andrews and Andre Previn. The most recent incarnation for mp3 and cd is known as "Greatest Christmas Songs" with Julie Andrews and Andre Previn (that also has three pop songs).

These don't grow old, and make me smile. Not sure exactly, but it seems to me that in 1966 when they were recorded (43 years ago!) that both Previn and Andrews were in their prime. It definitely shows. You can hear selections on the links above, happy holidays!

Be sure to check out TPR staff selections for "Simple Gifts" here.
- KPAC Afternoon/Classical Spotlight Host John Clare

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

YOSA Podcast: Daron Hagen 4

This is the fourth podcast in a series for the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio...they perform the world premiere of Daron Hagen's Northern Lights, a fanfare in celebration of Troy Peters' first season as music director coming up in January 2010.

YOSA Podcast: Daron Hagen 4 from Classical Spotlight on Vimeo.

Next for YOSA, it's a concert Wednesday, January 6, 2010 featuring cello students from the private studio of Ken Freudigman, principal cello of the San Antonio Symphony. Join us at 6:30pm for a night in downtown San Antonio at the Radius Center while you enjoy a free concert. The Studio Recital Series features six concerts on the first Wednesday of every month between November and April. Showcasing young musicians from the most advanced teaching studios in San Antonio, all concerts are open to the public and FREE.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Six grants ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 have been awarded to American Indian/Indigenous musical artist in the sixth round of grant making from First Nations Composer Initiative (FNCI), a program of ACF. The awards are made under the Common Ground Grant Program, generously funded with the support of the Ford Foundation’s IllumiNation portfolio.

FNCI is dedicated to serving the needs of American Indian/Alaska Native/First Nations/Indigenous makers of new music throughout Indian Country. FNCI is committed to supporting activities that build careers of Indigenous musicians, including commissions, residencies, performance and production, travel/study, and outreach.

Please join us in congratulating the following sixth round 2009 Common Ground grant recipients and feel free to visit their web pages:

Joy Harjo - (Mvskoke) New Mexico/Genre: Traditional. Funding to assist in the production of an original traditional music album. This musical project will be a series of honor songs. Songs will feature Native flutes, turtle shell and other traditional Mvskoke rattles as well as multiples voices both sung and spoken.

Shirley Kendall and Maria Williams - (Tlingit/Haida) Alaksa/Genre: Traditional. Funding to assist in developing both a written songbook and a DVD songbook based on Tlingit social songs. The idea behind the songbook is to provide the Tlingit song texts, the cultural contextual information, correct pronunciation and the clan history association with the songs.

Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Mestis/Cree-non status) Ontario/Genre: Contemporary/Multidisciplinary. Funding to assist in developing and creating an audio map of Cheryl’s journeys around Toronto by singing the urban landscape, animals, people and their activities.

Shelly Morning Song (Northern Cheyenne) New Mexico/Genre: Contemporary. Funding to assist with musician and producer fees for new album “Full Circle,” which will consist of songs that encourage healing, awareness and empowerment for the people.

Murray Porter (Mohawk) Vancouver BC/Genre: Blues. Funding to assist with musician fees, rehearsal and studio time, mixing and mastering expenses for CD recording project of 12 original blues songs.

Janet Rogers (Mohawk/Tuscarora) Victoria BC/Genre: Spoken Word. Funding to be used to assist with a tour plan for live performance of spoken word works accompanied by violinist Swil Kanim and cellist Cris Derksen and development of video component which will run simultaneously with performance.

It's beginning to look

alot like Christmas around the KPAC studios!
Kudos to Development Associate Pam Toth who made this wreath for us!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Go figure

It was oil and pine resin. There you go!
From the Australian:

It has long been suspected that the beauty of a Stradivarius violin was skin-deep, with its gleaming lacquer responsible for the instrument's supreme, bright sound.
But after years picking apart scraps of varnish taken from Stradivarius instruments, scientists have ruled out any secret ingredient as the key to the fiddles' superb timbre. They reveal that Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) applied two simple products in his workshop in northern Italy: oil and pine resin.

"There is no indication that allows us to say that the lacquer has an influence on the sound," says Jean-Philippe Echard, a chemical engineer at Paris's Museum of Music, which took part in the four-year study.

"There's been talk of fossil amber or propolis, which is produced by bees. But we haven't found any of these ingredients, which may have given the impression of something mysterious or rare."

Far from being a magic ingredient to make the instruments sing, the resin was more likely used to give them a rich colour.

"We also found red pigments in the varnish," says Echard.

The study was carried out on lacquer from five instruments -- four violins and a viola d'amore -- made over a period of 30 years. The chemists scrutinised the samples under infra-red light, identifying the two layers of varnish and their chemical composition.

"We have found that Stradivari employed and easily available components," the researchers wrote in their report, published by the journal Angewandte Chemie (Applied Chemistry). "He might not have possessed an unusual or `secret' ingredient, but he was an outstandingly skilled craftsman who had mastered the art of violin making."

Friday, December 4, 2009

YOSA Podcast: Daron Hagen 3

This is the third podcast in a series for the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio...they perform the world premiere of Daron Hagen's Northern Lights, a fanfare in celebration of Troy Peters' first season as music director coming up in January 2010.

YOSA Podcast: Daron Hagen 3 from Classical Spotlight on Vimeo.

Coming up this weekend, it's the Junior Strings Series: Winter Delights on Sunday December 6th, at the Magik Theatre at 4 p.m.. Get in the holiday spirit with a concert featuring YOSA's Prelude and Capriccio Strings. Program includes 'Twas the Night Before Christmas! This concert is part of the Junior Strings Series which feature elementary and middle school performers; all concerts are free.

Beyond the Scratches

It was said that nobody played the music of Frederic Chopin like the composer himself. Pages and pages have tried to describe the experience of sitting in the artist's presence hearing the music as if it was played the first time. It is poor reasoning to think that just because we have the un-altered notes on paper that today's pianists play the music the way it was meant to be heard. I find it fascinating to hear the shift in fashions and musical trends of older recordings. Most of us prefer the "Original Artist" when it comes to Pop music, why not Classical? Hearing these 19th century pianists is the closest thing we have to time travel.

On the Piano a trip back in search of Chopin's authentic sound. Who knows you might like the 19th century more than you think. The Piano, this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host Randy Anderson

SA Sym: News on the Messiah

Word is out that John Silantien will conduct this weekends Messiah performances for the San Antonio Symphony...Ken David Masur was to lead, but with the birth of his new child, will be with his family! Congrats Ken David and Melinda!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Great example of Kaiser

Here is a perfect example of what Michael Kaiser was talking about yesterday in San Antonio, institutional marketing:
It's a story about oboists but it's also a great mention for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Bravo! All Orpheus did was invite a NY Times reporter to dinner. (Kaiser joked about food and the does work!)
Hear Kaiser himself at the San Pedro Playhouse in this entry.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grammys Classical Style

Just announced!
Category 95:
Best Engineered Album, Classical
(An Engineer's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.))

Britten: Billy Budd
Neil Hutchinson and Jonathan Stokes, engineers (Daniel Harding, Nathan Gunn, Ian Bostridge, Gidon Saks, Neal Davies, Jonathan Lemalu, Matthew Rose, London Symphony Chorus and London Symphony Orchestra)
[Virgin Classics]
Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio From Symphony No. 10
Peter Laenger, engineer (Michael Tilson Thomas & San Francisco Symphony)
[SFS Media]
QSF Plays Brubeck
Judy Kirschner, engineer (Quartet San Francisco)
[Violinjazz Recordings]
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé
Jesse Lewis and John Newton, engineers (James Levine, Tanglewood Festival Chorus & Boston Symphony Orchestra)
[BSO Classics]
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 15
John Newton and Dirk Sobotka, engineers (Valery Gergiev and Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre)

Category 96
Producer Of The Year, Classical (A Producer's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.))

Blanton Alspaugh
Carlson, David: Anna Karenina (Stewart Robertson, Christine Abraham, Sarah Colburn, Robert Gierlach, Christian Van Horn, Kelly Kaduce, Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra)
Menotti: Amahl And The Night Visitors; My Christmas (Alastair Willis, Ike Hawkersmith, Kirsten Gunlogson, Dean Anthony, Todd Thomas, Kevin Short, Bart LeFan, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Nashville Symphony Chorus and Nashville Symphony Orchestra)
Ravel: L'Enfant Et Les Sortilèges (Alastair Willis, Julie Boulianne, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Chattanooga Boys Choir, Nashville Symphony Chorus and Nashville Symphony Orchestra)
Schubert: Death And The Maiden (JoAnn Falletta and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)
Sierra, Roberto: Missa Latina 'Pro Pace' (Andreas Delfs, Nathaniel Webster, Heidi Grant Murphy, Milwaukee Symphony Chorus and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)

Steve Epstein
Adams: Doctor Atomic Symphony (David Robertson and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra)
Bernstein: Mass (Marin Alsop, Jubilant Sykes, Asher Edward Wulfman, Morgan State University Choir, Peabody Children's Chorus and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra)
Corigliano: A Dylan Thomas Trilogy (Leonard Slatkin, George Mabry, Sir Thomas Allen, Nashville Symphony Chorus and Nashville Symphony Orchestra)
Fauré: Piano Quintets (Fine Arts Quartet and Cristina Oritz)
Yo-Yo Ma and Friends: Songs Of Joy And Peace (Yo-Yo Ma and Various Artists)

John Fraser
Britten: Billy Budd (Daniel Harding, Nathan Gunn, Ian Bostridge, Gidon Saks, Neal Davies, Jonathan Lemalu, Matthew Rose, London Symphony Chorus and London Symphony Orchestra)
Midsummer Night (Kate Royal, Edward Gardner, Crouch End Festival Chorus and Orchestra Of English National Opera)
Schubert: Schwanengesang (Ian Bostridge and Antonio Pappano)
Shadows Of Silence (Leif Ove Andsnes, Franz Welzer-Möst and Sinfonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks)

David Frost
An American Journey (Eroica Trio)
Journey To The New World (Sharon Isbin, Mark O'Connor and Joan Baez)
Korngold: Violin Concerto; Schauspiel Overture; Much Ado About Nothing (Philippe Quint, Carlos Miguel Prieto and Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria)
Mozart: Piano Concertos 21 and 22 (Jonathan Biss and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra)
O'Connor, Mark: String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 (Ida Kavafian, Mark O'Connor, Paul Neubauer and Matt Haimovitz)

James Mallinson
MacMillan, James: St. John Passion (Sir Colin Davis, Christopher Maltman, London Symphony Chorus and London Symphony Orchestra)
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 (Valery Gergiev, Choir Of Eltham College, Choral Arts Society Of Washington, London Symphony Chorus and London Symphony Orchestra)
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 15 (Valery Gergiev and Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre)
Shostakovich: The Nose (Valery Gergiev, Andrei Popov, Sergei Semishkur, Vladislav Sulimsky, Chorus Of The Mariinsky Theatre and Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre)
Field 28 — Classical

Category 97
Best Classical Album (Award to the Artist(s) and to the Album Producer(s) if other than the Artist.)

Bernstein: Mass
Marin Alsop, conductor; Jubilant Sykes; Steven Epstein, producer; Richard King, engineer/mixer (Asher Edward Wulfman; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Morgan State University Choir and Peabody Children's Chorus)
Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio From Symphony No. 10
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Ragnar Bohlin, Kevin Fox and Susan McMane, choir directors; Andreas Neubronner, producer; Peter Laenger, engineer/mixer; Andreas Neubronner, mastering engineer (Laura Claycomb, Anthony Dean Griffey, Katarina Karnéus, Quinn Kelsey, James Morris, Yvonne Naef, Elza van den Heever and Erin Wall; San Francisco Symphony; Pacific Boychoir, San Francisco Girls Chorus and San Francisco Symphony Chorus)
[SFS Media]
Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé
James Levine, conductor; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer; Jesse Lewis and John Newton, engineers/mixers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer (Boston Symphony Orchestra; Tanglewood Festival Chorus)
[BSO Classics]
Ravel: L'Enfant Et Les Sortilèges
Alastair Willis, conductor; Julie Boulianne; Blanton Alspaugh, producer; Mark Donahue and John Hill, engineers/mixers (Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Chattanooga Boys Choir, Chicago Symphony Chorus and Nashville Symphony Chorus)
Shostakovich: The Nose
Valery Gergiev, conductor; Andrei Popov, Sergei Semishkur and Vladislav Sulimsky; James Mallinson, producer; John Newton and Dirk Sobotka, engineers/mixers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer (Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre; Chorus Of The Mariinsky Theatre)

Category 98
Best Orchestral Performance (Award to the Conductor and to the Orchestra.)

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Simon Rattle, conductor (Susan Graham; Berliner Philharmoniker)
[EMI Classics]
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5
Benjamin Zander, conductor (Philharmonia Orchestra)
Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé
James Levine, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra; Tanglewood Festival Chorus)
[BSO Classics]
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 15
Valery Gergiev, conductor (Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre)
Szymanowski: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4
Antoni Wit, conductor (Jan Krzysztof Broja, Ewa Marczyk and Marek Marczyk; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra)

Category 99
Best Opera Recording (Award to the Conductor, Album Producer(s) and Principal Soloists.)
Britten: Billy Budd
Daniel Harding, conductor; Ian Bostridge, Neal Davies, Nathan Gunn, Jonathan Lemalu, Matthew Rose and Gidon Saks; John Fraser, producer (London Symphony Orchestra; Gentlemen Of The London Symphony Chorus)
[Virgin Classics]
Messiaen: Saint François D'Assise
Ingo Metzmacher, conductor; Armand Arapian, Hubert Delamboye, Rod Gilfry, Henk Neven, Tom Randle and Camilla Tilling; Karin Elzendoorn, producer (The Hague Philharmonic; Chorus Of De Nederlandse Opera)
[Opus Arte]
Musto, John: Volpone
Sara Jobin, conductor; Lisa Hopkins, Joshua Jeremiah, Museop Kim, Jeremy Little, Rodell Rosel and Faith Sherman; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (Wolf Trap Opera Company)
[Wolf Trap Recordings]
Shostakovich: The Nose
Valery Gergiev, conductor; Andrei Popov, Sergei Semishkur and Vladislav Sulimsky; James Mallinson, producer (Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre; Chorus Of The Mariinsky Theatre)
Tan Dun: Marco Polo
Tan Dun, conductor; Stephen Bryant, Sarah Castle, Zhang Jun, Nancy Allen Lundy, Stephen Richardson and Charles Workman; Ferenc van Damme, producer (Netherlands Chamber Orchestra; Cappella Amsterdam)
[Opus Arte]

Category 100
Best Choral Performance (Award to the Choral Conductor, and to the Orchestra Conductor if an Orchestra is on the recording, and to the Choral Director or Chorus Master if applicable.)
Handel: Coronation Anthems
Harry Christophers, conductor (Alastair Ross; The Sixteen Orchestra; The Sixteen)
Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio From Symphony No. 10
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Ragnar Bohlin, Kevin Fox and Susan McMane, choir directors (Laura Claycomb, Anthony Dean Griffey, Elza van den Heever, Katarina Karnéus, Quinn Kelsey, James Morris, Yvonne Naef and Erin Wall; San Francisco Symphony; Pacific Boychoir, San Francisco Symphony Chorus and San Francisco Girls Chorus)
[SFS Media]
Penderecki: Utrenja
Antoni Wit, conductor (Gennady Bezzubenkov, Iwona Hossa, Piotr Kusiewicz, Piotr Nowacki and Agnieszka Rehlis; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Boys' Choir and Warsaw Philharmonic Choir)
Song Of The Stars: Granados, Casals and Blancafort
Dennis Keene, conductor (Erica Kiesewetter; Mark Kruczek and Douglas Riva; Voices Of Ascension)
A Spotless Rose
Paul McCreesh, conductor (The Gabrieli Consort)
[Deutsche Grammophon]

Category 101
Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra) (Award to the Instrumental Soloist(s) and to the Conductor.)
Bartók: 3 Concertos
Pierre Boulez, conductor (Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Neil Percy, Tamara Stefanovich and Nigel Thomas; Berliner Philharmoniker and London Symphony Orchestra)
[Deutsche Grammophon]
Bermel, Derek: Voices For Solo Clarinet And Orchestra
Gil Rose, conductor; Derek Bermel (Boston Modern Orchestra Project)
Track from: Bermel, Derek: Voices
Korngold: Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35
Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor; Philippe Quint (Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria)
Track from: Korngold Violin Concerto; Schauspiel Overture; Much Ado About Nothing
Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor; Evgeny Kissin (Philharmonia Orchestra)
[EMI Classics]
Salonen, Esa-Pekka: Piano Concerto
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Yefim Bronfman (Los Angeles Philharmonic)
Track from: Salonen
[Deutsche Grammophon]

Category 102
Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra) (Award to the Instrumental Soloist.)
Caroline Goulding -Caroline Goulding (Christopher O'Riley and Janine Randall)
Chopin -Maria João Pires
[Deutsche Grammophon]
Journey To The New World -Sharon Isbin (Joan Baez and Mark O'Connor)
[Sony Classical]
Oppens Plays Carter -Ursula Oppens
[Cedille Records]
Sonatas and Etudes -Yuja Wang
[Deutsche Grammophon]

Category 103
Best Chamber Music Performance (Award to the Artists.)
Ginastera: String Quartets (Complete) - Enso Quartet (Lucy Shelton)
The Hungarian Album - Guarneri Quartet
[RCA Red Seal]
Intimate Letters - Emerson String Quartet
[Deutsche Grammophon]
Schumann/Bartók: The Berlin Recital - Martha Argerich and Gidon Kremer
[EMI Classics]
Takemitsu, Toru: And Then I Knew 'Twas Wind - Yolanda Kondonassis, Cynthia Phelps and Joshua Smith
Track from: Debussy and Takemitsu: Air: Music For Harp, Flute and Strings

Category 104
Best Small Ensemble Performance (Award to the Ensemble (and to the Conductor.))
Bach: Orchestral Suites For A Young Prince
Monica Huggett, conductor; Gonzalo X. Ruiz; Ensemble Sonnerie
[Avie Records]
Josquin: Missa Malheur Me Bat
Peter Phillips, conductor; Tallis Scholars
Lang, David: The Little Match Girl Passion
Paul Hillier, conductor; Ars Nova Copenhagen and Theatre Of Voices
[Harmonia Mundi]
Song Of Songs
Stile Antico (Alison Hill and Benedict Hymas)
[harmonia mundi]
Vivaldi: Concertos
Daniel Hope and Anne Sofie von Otter; Chamber Orchestra Of Europe (Kristian Bezuidenhout)
[Deutsche Grammophon]

Category 105
Best Classical Vocal Performance (Award to the Vocal Soloist(s).)
Bach - Anne Sofie von Otter (Lars Ulrik Mortensen; Anders J. Dahlin, Jakob Bloch Jespersen, Tomas Medici and Karin Roman; Concerto Copenhagen)
[Deutsche Grammophon]
Bel Canto Spectacular - Juan Diego Flórez (Daniel Oren; Daniella Barcellona, Patrizia Ciofi, Plácido Domingo, Mariusz Kwiecien, Anna Netrebko and Fernando Piqueras; Orquestra De La Comunitat Valenciana; Cor De La Generalitat Valenciana)
Recital At Ravinia - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Drew Minter; Peter Serkin)
[Harmonia Mundi]
Un Frisson Français - Susan Graham (Malcom Martineau)
[Onyx Classics]
Verismo Arias - Renée Fleming (Marco Armiliato; Jonas Kaufmann; Orchestra Sinfonica Di Milano Giuseppi Verdi; Coro Sinfonica Di Milano Giuseppi Verdi)

Category 106
Best Classical Contemporary Composition - (A Composer's Award. (For a contemporary classical composition composed within the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year.) Award to the librettist, if applicable.)
Crumb, George: The Winds Of Destiny
George Crumb (James Freeman)
Track from: Crumb: American Songbooks 2 and 4
[Bridge Records]
Higdon, Jennifer: Percussion Concerto
Jennifer Higdon (Marin Alsop)
Track from: Alsop Conducts MacMillan, Adès, and Higdon
[London Philharmonic Orchestra]
Pärt, Arvo: In Principio
Arvo Pärt (Tõnu Kaljuste)
Track from: Pärt, Arvo: In Principio
[ECM New Series]
Sierra, Roberto: Missa Latina 'Pro Pace'
Roberto Sierra (Andreas Delfs)
Wyner, Yehudi: Piano Concerto "Chiavi In Mano"
Yehudi Wyner (Robert Spano)
Track from: Wyner, Yehudi: Orchestral Works
[Bridge Records]

Category 107
Best Classical Crossover Album - (Award to the Artist(s) and/or to the Conductor.)
A Company Of Voices: Conspirare In Concert
Craig Hella Johnson, conductor; Conspirare (Tom Burritt, Ian Davidson and Bion Tsang)
[Harmonia Mundi]
Paquito D'Rivera Quintet (Trio Clarone)
[TIMBA Records]
The Melody Of Rhythm
Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer (Detroit Symphony Orchestra)
[E1 Music]
QSF Plays Brubeck
Quartet San Francisco
[Violinjazz Recordings]
Twelve Songs By Charles Ives
Theo Bleckmann; Kneebody
[Winter and Winter]
Yo-Yo Ma and Friends: Songs Of Joy And Peace
Yo-Yo Ma (Odair Assad, Sergio Assad, Chris Botti, Dave Brubeck, Matt Brubeck, John Clayton, Paquito d'Rivera, Renée Fleming, Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Natalie McMaster, Edgar Meyer, Cristina Pato, Joshua Redman, Jake Shimabukuro, Silk Road Ensemble, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Wu Tong, Alon Yavnai and Amelia Zirin-Brown)
[Sony Classical]

Thanks to Dr. Dick for the lead!

The Arts in Crisis?

Michael Kaiser spoke in San Antonio today. I've never heard such a delightful optimist make arts management and marketing sound so easy. He has an amazing track record and gave sound advice:
1. Plan ahead - way ahead! Minimum of 3 years, try to be 5 years out.
2. Talk about success and excitement, not about trouble and dispair.
3. Take risks, don't cut programming.
4. Be frugal, cut corners - but never do so at the expense of your mission/programming.
5. Don't just push for the next event/concert, but be in the public eye for what you do, not just specifics.
6. Have a board that is engaged and always focus on what you do at each meeting (if its a ballet company, have some dancers; an orchestra - a musical performance, etc etc)
7. Board members should keep up their support (in whatever manner your nonprofit has set in the bylaws) and should be the cheerleaders for your group - inspire them and they will inspire others!
8. Talk to your audience and get to know them, let them know as much about your organization. Kaiser gave an example of an audience member who had given $50 yearly, then once $500, came to a donor party, giving $5000, and then went to $500000 and now at a 1 million dollar gift, just from to your audience and supporters!
These are a few points - and are not as refined as Mr. Kaiser, but are some of the highlights of the morning. Here is a short excerpt of the talk:

His talk will be available in the future from KSTX and the NewsMaker Hour with Ernie Villareal.

SA Sym: Toys

The San Antonio Symphony will host a toy drive to benefit the San Antonio Police Department Blue Santa Program during the Holiday Pops weekend (December 18-20, 2009). Patrons attending either the Holiday Pops concert at Municipal Auditorium on December 18 & 19 or the Family Holiday Celebration at Trinity University on December 20 are asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy to the Blue Santa Toy Drive. For each toy donated, the patron will receive a ticket voucher for future Pops or Family Series concerts.

The Toy Drive will begin at the Symphony’s Holiday Pops concerts at Municipal Auditorium on Friday and Saturday December 18 & 19, 2009 and will conclude at the Holiday Family Series concert on Sunday December 20, 2009 at Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium. In addition to the concert, patrons may enjoy interactive activities beginning one hour prior to each performance including instrument making workshops, an instrument “petting zoo,” and a free family photo session with photographer Greg Harrison.

“The Symphony looks forward to this fun and charitable event,” says President and CEO Jack Fishman, “connecting our Holiday Concerts and the Police Department’s Blue Santa toy drive is a natural. We hope we can make it easy for our audiences to donate lots of toys to this wonderful cause.”

According to the SAPD, the Blue Santa Program “provides an excellent opportunity for our officers to show they care about the community in which they serve.” After the unwrapped toys are collected the SAPD will distribute the toys to needy families in the community.

This is only one of many donation drives the San Antonio Symphony will host this season. Already the Symphony raised a record 200 packages of diapers (approximately 7,500 individual diapers) to benefit the Children’s Shelter. The Symphony will sponsor many more charitable events throughout the season.

Blue Santa began with the San Antonio Police Department back in 1976 when officers began proving assistance to the underprivileged of San Antonio. SAPD Officers would identify families in need during their routine calls. The San Antonio Police Officers began accepting Blue Santa applications from November 1, 2009 through midnight on December 1, 2009. Each of the six Police substations will be accepting the applications. Last year the Blue Santa program was able to help approximately 3800 families and 11,518 children.