Pianist Rachel Z trained at the New England Conservatory before beginning her professional career as a performer with the likes of Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell and the fusion band Steps Ahead. She also worked with saxophonist Wayne Shorter on his Grammy-winning comeback album, High Life.
It's always been a treat to sit down with pianist Louis Lortie. In part because of his sound at the piano — the brightness, purity and clarity of his playing. But all the better to have a conversation with him, too. He is a sober, serious thinker, with an incisive point of view on every piece of music he chooses.
As springtime gives way, ever so slowly, to summertime --- and as Memorial Day weekend, summer's unofficial gateway, draws nearer and nearer --- the minds of many music-lovers will wander, perhaps inevitably, and perhaps even repeatedly, to reveries of catching a nice concert or two at this or that outdoor venue.
Or else, as the case may be, this or that indoor venue. (Sometimes it rains. Or a nightclub beckons.)
The iconic jazz label Blue Note Records turns 75 this year, and it celebrated in Washington, D.C. As the capstone to a week of performances, film screenings and discussions, Blue Note artists gathered in the 2,465-seat Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for a special performance.
It's not easy being a mom, but it's even tougher for mothers in opera. So often they're completely absent while fathers have leading roles in shows like Rigoletto, La traviata, The Flying Dutchman. When depicted at all, operatic moms are usually under supreme stress. They can be murderous, manipulative or simply mad. Only rarely are they the loving moms who brought us into the world. Here your job is to identify the operas and their mothers. Score high and brag to your own sweet (or stressed) mom. Score low and go to your room without supper.
At the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February, one couldn't help but notice the striking new grand piano on the main stage, emblazoned with the name SHADD. When the many accomplished pianists that weekend sat down to strike those keys, it was equally easy to spot their delight in the instrument.
That piano was the product of a trailblazer in his field. The Shadd in question is jazz drummer Warren Shadd, the first African-American piano manufacturer. That makes him the first large-scale commercial African-American instrument manufacturer, period.
Described by the Washington Post as "one of the gold-plated names in chamber music," the Fine Arts Quartet ranks among the most distinguished ensembles of our time, with an illustrious history of performing success and an extensive recording legacy. Founded in Chicago in 1946 and based at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1963, the Quartet has recorded and toured internationally for over half a century. Presented by Chamber Music in Oklahoma on Sunday, April 6th at Christ the King Catholic Church in Oklahoma City, the ensemble offered the String Quartet in F Major, Op 74, No.