Thursday, May 7, 2015

Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC)Returns to New York City July 2015

From a media release:

Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC)
Returns to New York City
Public Performances July 7, 8 & 11 2015

• Tuesday, July 7th - St. Mary's Park, Da Bronx - Our Latin Thing / DJ Afro
• Wednesday, July 8th - Central Park SummerStage - Compass / Systema Solar / Helado Negro
• Saturday, July 11th - Central Park SummerStage - Vicentico / Ximena Sariñana / No Te Va Gustar

• Early-bird Conference Registration For Only $99 Is Now Open At LatinAlternative.com
• Discounted hotel rates now available at the link


The Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) returns to New York this summer for a special 16th anniversary celebration, including free concerts at Central Park SummerStage featuring Systema Solar, Helado Negro, and Compass on July 8 and Vicentico, Ximena, and No Te Va Gustar on July 11. Plus, we’re  returning the LAMC to the Bronx with a showcase at St. Mary’s Park with Our Latin Thing and DJ Afro on July 7th.

Join thousands of musicians, entrepreneurs, DJs, journalists, marketers, managers, programmers and all kinds of music lovers in New York City to celebrate LAMC’s Sweet Sixteen at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Now in its 16th year and called the "Sundance of Latin music", the LAMC features free concerts at SummerStage in Central Park and Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park, plus intimate private concerts at various venues around the city. The LAMC also includes industry panels and Q&A’s with special guests, showcases and other events that are soon to be announced.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - St. Mary’s Park, Bronx
Our Latin Thing / DJ Afro 


Born in Caracas, DJ Afro (aka José Luis Pardo) is a Brooklyn based guitarist, DJ, composer and producer, and was a founder of Los Amigos Invisibles. A Grammy award winner and six-time nominee, Pardo began his DJ career in Caracas, where club owners quickly took notice of his eclectic musical tastes and natural ability to move any dance floor, and began booking him in the hottest spots all over town. Through his studio recordings, remixes, compilation albums, mixtapes, and live performances, Pardo has amassed a stellar body of work rich with soul and flavor. He now has over 50 remixes under his belt, for a wide variety of musicians including The Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Devendra Banhart, Julieta Venegas, Natalia Lafourcade, and Basement Jaxx.  DJ Afro's latest project is Orquesta Discotheque, recently releasing “Musica Moderna,” which features modern interpretations of classic Latin pop, reimagined with a funky nu-disco bounce.   

In August 1971, New York gave birth to a sound that would change the face of Latin Music forever. That evening at the renowned Cheetah Nightclub, Jerry Massucci, president of the legendary label FANIA, presented an ensemble of its best artists- The Fania All-Stars. The show was billed as "Our Latin Thing". In the decades ahead the Fania All-Stars would become the ambassadors and juggernauts of salsa around the world. They became the musical reflection of the times, needs, and struggles of New York's Latino community. Their music was "Salsa Gorda", influenced by American Jazz, Soul, and Rock and Roll. Their music became part of Americana. In 2010 an ensemble of 17 musicians debuted to pay tribute to the legendary group. Billed as "Our Latin Thing", the group performs as an assortment of the All Stars' top hits. This Musical/Theatrical like revue takes the audience on a musical poetic journey. "Our Latin Thing", in it's own right, is an All Star group, made up of lead singers and musicians of New York's top young bands.



Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - Central Park SummerStage
Compass / Systema Solar / Helado Negro


Compass is Camilo Lara (aka Mexican Institute of Sound) and Toy Selectah, who have been mainstays of the Latin American music scene. They have recorded what Toy has dubbed “our PhD thesis on global music production.” Recorded at Red Bull Studios in New York, Los Angeles, London, and São Paulo, amongst other locations, Compass includes collaborations with more than 100 artists, ranging from Boy George to reggae legend Toots Hibbert from Toots & the Maytals. This upbeat hip hop jam boasts contributions from Notch (formerly of Born Jamericans), New York’s Matty Rico and Ohmega Watts, ghetto-techno empress Maluca, legendary Cali dj Kut Masta Kurt and Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark– block-party vibes a plenty.

Systema Solar is a musical-visual collective from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Through live performance, music, video, and theatrical costumes, Systema Solar is a complete, immersive experience, best described as “Tropical psychedelia.” With an innovative approach towards nu-Colombian music, their music is old school cumbia samples partnered with techno fierceness, carnivalesque euphoria with streetwise politics and humor mixed in. Their two albums, the self-titled debut "Systema Solar," and the recent "La Revancha del Burro" have taken the band to new heights within the local scene and internationally, as the band has performed at SXSW, Glastonbury and Roskilde.

A South Florida native, born to Ecuadorian immigrants and based in Brooklyn, Helado Negro aka Roberto Carlos Lange’s upbringing provides essential elements to his songwriting, including his consistently bilingual – English and Spanish– lyrics. While citing the influence of electro and Miami-bass he heard on the radio in his youth, his diverse work as Helado Negro points to shades of kraut rock bathed in his mesmerizing rhythms, loops and hair-raising melodies. Known for his craftsmanship, Lange has cultured his identity, ideology and musical dexterity with constant artistic and introspective development, pouring his heart and full sincerity in his music. His fourth LP Double Youth released in 2014 garnered acclaim with Pitchfork naming it “the boldest and most intricate Helado Negro work to date.”

Saturday, July 11, 2015 - Central Park SummerStage
Vicentico / Ximena Sariñana / No Te Va a Gustar


Vicentico has long been a crucial figure in the history of rock music in Latin America.  On top of a significant career as the lead vocalist of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, he is also recognized for being a successful solo artist.  With six platinum solo albums under his belt, international tours, and MTV, Gardel, and Latin Grammy awards, Vicentico recently released the album, “Ultimo Acto.” Recorded in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Kingston, and Buenos Aires, “Ultimo Acto” features collaborations with Willie Nelson, Sly & Robbie, Intocable, Vaeria Bertuccelli, Our Latin Thing, and offers new takes on some of Vicentico’s most beloved and well-known hits.

Ximena Sariñana is a Mexican singer-songwriter and actress. Sariñana received critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for her debut album, "Mediocre," which was also nominated for two Latin Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Song. Sariñana has worked with musicians like Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Jason Mraz. Her second, self-titled album was released in 2011, and her third studio album, "No Todo lo Puedes Dar", was released in November 2014.

Latin Grammy nominated No Te Va Gustar was formed in 1994 in Montevideo, Uruguay.  A blend of rock, pop, and reggae, their music mixes heartfelt and intelligent lyrics with a unique sound that blends local and international influences. No Te Va Gustar has released eight studio albums, all of which have gone Gold or Platinum in Uruguay and Argentina, and three live DVDs, No Te Va Gustar originally started as a trio but later expanded and added new styles of music to its repertoire such as reggae, candombe, salsa, ska and murga. With a career spanning over 20 years, No Te Va Gustar has been on tour over the last decade performing to fans worldwide

Watch the recap of last year’s LAMC:

This is the LAMC from LAMC on Vimeo.

Southern Italian Trance on Ludovico Einaudi’s Taranta Project (Ponderosa Music; US release: May 4, 2015)


From a media release:

From Salento to the World: The Global Soul of Southern Italian Trance on Ludovico Einaudi’s Taranta Project
(Ponderosa Music; US release: May 4, 2015)

Buy the CD


Salento is the heel in the boot of Italy, part of the region known as Puglia, kept dry and dusty by the hot wind that crosses the Mediterranean from the Sahara and North Africa. Long before the Roman Empire existed, Salento was a Greek province, and the traditions and culture run deep here. None more so than the taranta, a musical form connected to the tarantula spiders often found in the fields. Their deadly bite could reputedly only be cured by the trance-like dance. All of that forms the heart of Taranta Project, the new album by acclaimed composer, conductor, and pianist Ludovico Einaudi (Ponderosa Music; US release: May 4, 2015).

His aim was to bring the taranta to a more universal level by connecting it with music from West Africa and Turkey. It explores tradition while keeping it firmly of the core of Taranta Project; the unmistakable hypnotic rhythm of the taranta provides the foundation of everything. “In 2010 and ’11 I was invited to direct a concert that’s happened for the last 15 years in Salento,” Einaudi explains. “It drew 100,000 people and we toured it the next year, recording what we did. After that we did more in the studio, and the result is that Taranta Project has a studio sound, but with all the energy of a live performance.”

“I started by working with a regional orchestra,” Einaudi recalls. “There was accordion, percussion, and mandola. Then I brought in Ballaké Sissoko with his kora. And on the other side I had Justin Adams on electric guitar and Juldeh Camara on one-string ritti fiddle and vocals.” That was just the beginning. Mercan Dede added electronics, Turkish percussion, and ney flute, while the Roma Film Orchestra brought sweeping grandeur to the piece.

In this music, the sands are constantly shifting: On “Nazzu Nazzu,” desert blues dances with taranta in a fiery mix, powered by a raw guitar riff. The breathtaking “Preludio Nar-I Sehar” builds across 10 minutes, from reflective piano and violin to Arab percussion before resolving into a glorious cascade of notes in a kora improvisation. And everything closes with the quiet gentleness of voice and piano on “Nuvole Bianche.”



From the ancient, otherworldly polyphonic harmonies to the rich orchestral harmonies that climax “Santu Paulu Finale,” it’s a disc of remarkable adventure and breadth, weaving a web between countries and histories while keeping the sensibility of Salento intact. The music of Taranta Project captures not only the head but also the heart.

Einaudi is no stranger to mixing classical and roots music, to finding profound emotion in intellectually complex composition, or to collaborating with people from around the globe. He was a pupil of avant-garde composer Luciano Berio and has written works for modern classical chamber groups and orchestras as well as recording solo on piano. Knighted in Italy for his music, this is the most ambitious labor he’s undertaken.

“After I put the musicians together,” he says, “the big work after the rehearsals and the concerts was to select just an hour of it for the album. I wanted to stay close to the reality of the music without changing too much, to put myself into the music of taranta.”

Certainly those who worked with him feel he succeeded in his aim. “He took the tradition and he gave it a fresh seasoning from the future,” notes Mercan Dede. “He created a perfect balance.”

“It’s less foursquare than most European folk music,” observes Justin Adams. “Repetition is such a big part of it and it goes deep into your soul, both when you’re playing and when you’re listening to it. Ludovico makes it go from the epic to the intimate.”

Past and present come together with beauty and primal force, elegance and passion. And the Taranta Project has changed at least one life – that of Ludovico Einaudi. “Before this experience I thought I was a boy from northern Italy,” he admits with a smile. “After it, part of my heart is in Salento.”

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Read Me: Short Story in the Spring 2015 issue of Origami Journal


Read Me:
Short Story in the Spring 2015 issue of
Origami Journal

Check it out at the link

SPRING 2015 - A short story of mine was included in the recent Spring 2015 issue of Origami Journal. The web-based magazine publishes short fiction, poetry and photography on a quarterly basis.

My story, entitled 'Happy', was inspired by my first work experience - a part-time job working at a butcher/delicatessen kind of place. I don't mention it in the story but I will here: I couldn't eat meat for five years after six months on the job there.

Enjoy!

- Anya Wassenberg

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 28 & 30 at Hot Docs Toronto - They Will Have To Kill Us First:Malian Music In Exile

From a media release:

They Will Have To Kill Us First:
Malian Music In Exile
Canadian Premiere at Hot Docs
www.TheyWillHaveToKillUsFirst.com


Remaining Hot Docs screenings are as follows:
Hart House Theatre - Tuesday 28 April 3.30pm
Hart House Theatre - Thursday 30 April 3.30pm

Tickets

TORONTO
- Together Films and Spring Films are proud to announce the Canadian Premiere of They Will Have To Kill Us First, the debut feature directed by Johanna Schwartz, produced by Sarah Mosses (Together Films), executive produced by Andre Singer (The Act of Killing), and with an original score by Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), will take place at Hot Docs festival on Sunday 26 April 6.30pm at Scotiabank Theatre 4.

Islamic extremists have banned music in Mali, but its world famous musicians won't give up without a fight. They Will Have To Kill Us First tells the story of Mali's musicians as they fight for their right to sing.

With a specially commissioned soundtrack from some of Mali's most exciting artists, the film follows the stories of musicians: Kharia Arby, Fadimata "Disco" Walet Oumar, Moussa Sidi and introducing Songhoy Blues.

Music is the beating heart of Malian culture, but when Islamic jihadists took control of northern Mali in 2012, they enforced one of the harshest interpretations of sharia law in history and banned all forms of music. Radio stations were destroyed, instruments burned and Mali's musicians faced torture, even death. Overnight, Mali's revered musicians were forced into hiding or exile where most remain, even now. But rather than lay down their instruments, the musicians are fighting back, standing up for their freedoms and identity. Throughout their struggle, they have used music as their weapon against the ongoing violence that has left Mali ravaged.

They Will Have To Kill Us First sees musicians on the run, tells the story of the uprising of Touareg separatists, reveals rare footage of the jihadists, captures life at refugee camps where money and hope are scarce, charts perilous journeys home to war-ravaged cities, and follows our characters as they set up and perform at the first public concert in Timbuktu since the music ban. A number of internationally renowned Malian musicians were commissioned to write bespoke songs for the soundtrack, including: Vieux Farka Touré, Abdallah AgAlhousseyni from Tinariwen and Afel Boucom. The soundtrack also exclusively contains two unreleaSed duets between Toumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure, unreleased Songhoy Blues tracks, stunning vocals from newcomer Kankou Kouyate and more.

Andy Morgan, renowned journalist and former manager of Grammy award winning Malian band Tinariwen, co-wrote the film alongside director Johanna Schwartz. A soundtrack album will be released to accompany the film later in the year, Autumn 2015 date tbc.

105 mins
#TheyWillHaveToKillUsFirst @Music_In_Exile / Facebook.com/Music4mali




Key musicians featured:
Songhoy Blues –
One of the most exciting new bands in Mali, created when four budding musicians from different corners of Mali fled to exile in Bamako. Writing and performing in response to the conflict, they captured the attention of Damon Albarn, featured on the recent Africa Express album before signing with Atlantic records and embarking on a sold out tour. We follow Songhoy on their rise to fame, from defying the ban by gigging in empty clubs in Bamako during the conflict, to recording their debut album with Nick Zinner and performing onstage at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall. But despite their success, all they really dream of is going back home to perform, something which, for the moment, they cannot do.

Disco’ and ‘Jimmy’ – Disco is a renowned singer, UN recognized humanitarian and outspoken activist. She is married to Jimmy, a leader within the MNLA – the group of Northern Touareg separatists who inadvertently allowed the Islamic militants to hijack their separatist rebellion and ban music. Disco organises gigs from her refugee camp base in Burkina Faso and is a constant support for musicians in exile, who look to her to eventually lead them home. If Disco goes back to Mali, everyone else will follow, but tense race relations within Mali since the conflict have led to violence and Disco is unsure of her safety. A surprise change of heart from Jimmy at the end of the film catapults both of their lives into a new sphere.

Moussa Sidi – Jimmy’s nephew from Northern Mali, Moussa was a relaxed, dreadlocked, jobbing musician and wedding singer before the conflict, but when jihadists took control he quickly adhered to the law they imposed, giving up music. For Moussa, jihadist rule was preferable to that of the Malian government who often targeted the Touareg ethnic groups. But when fighting escalated, and the Malian army rolled back into town, Moussa fled, fearing reprisals on light skinned Touaregs. Leaving his wife behind, he fled to Burkina Faso. His wife consequently spent six months in prison in Bamako for supposed associations with enemies of the state. Now in exile, Moussa will return home during filming to face his wife and community.

Kharia Arby – The “Nightingale of the North”, internationally renowned and the mother of music in all of Mali. Kharia’s home was raided by Jihadists and her records and instruments destroyed. Her life was threatened on many occasions, yet she remains firm in her criticism of the jihadists, despite the danger. She campaigns tirelessly for democracy and organises the first public concert in Timbuktu since the conflict to prove that musicians will not be silenced. But with Timbuktu still blighted with frequent suicide bombs, and the future of Mali’s musicians on her shoulders, her dream to return music to TImbuktu hangs in the balance.

Cavalia's Odysseo Extended to May 24 2015 in Toronto

MORE SHOWS ADDED!
ODYSSEO RESPONDS TO ONGOING DEMAND IN GTA
Performances Scheduled to May 24 2015!

Check out my earlier review


«There is grace, there is poetry, there is wit and there is wonder. » Toronto Star
«Odysseo must be seen to be believed.» National Post
« A Masterpiece » Toronto Sun
« You will be mesmerized. It’s unbelievable.» City TV


Tickets

WHAT: Odysseo by Cavalia continues to win over the Greater Toronto Area audiences. Three weeks after the tremendous success of its Opening Night in Toronto, twelve performances have been added to the limited engagement of show presented Under the White Big Top at the Port Lands.

WHEN: Matinee and evening shows now scheduled through May 24.

WHERE: Under the White Big Top, at the Port Lands -  383 Lakeshore Boulevard East - Toronto, M5A 1B6

TICKETS: Available at www.cavalia.net or by calling 1-866-999-8111 FREE. Tickets are priced from $34.50 to $264.50 + applicable taxes and fees. Special pricing and packages also available for groups, children (2-12), juniors (13-17) and seniors (65+).

INFO:
www.cavalia.net

Theatre Smash and fu-GEN Theatre Company present the Canadian premiere of DURANGO by Julia Cho May 16 to 31 2015

From a media release:

Theatre Smash and fu-GEN Theatre Company present the Canadian premiere of
DURANGO by Julia Cho

Buy tickets

In association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre May 16 to 31, 2015
                                                     
Toronto, ON –
Theatre Smash and fu-GEN Theatre Company, in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, present DURANGO – a play by Julia Cho that follows a Korean American family’s impromptu road trip as it uncovers growing rifts between father and sons. Directed by Theatre Smash’s artistic director Ashlie Corcoran, and featuring Ardon Bess, Hiro Kanagawa, Philip Nozuka, Adrian Shepherd and fu-GEN’s artistic director, David Yee, DURANGO is on stage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.) from May 16 to 31.

“I am thrilled to be staging Julia Cho’s beautiful play, one which is inspired by both traditional American naturalistic family dramas, and mesmerizing theatrical feats of magic realism,” said Corcoran. “What is most captivating, for me, is how Julia Cho builds upon and subverts American family dramas, subtly and slowly drawing out the family’s secrets, at almost every step giving the audience more information than the characters themselves.”

One of American theatre’s rising stars, Cho is a playwright with a reputation for creating intricate narratives that blend fact and fantasy. Although she has received numerous awards, this is the first time Cho’s work will be produced in Canada. In DURANGO, Cho explores the entanglement of family values and personal responsibilities through the lives of a Korean immigrant and widower, Boo-Seng Lee (Kanagawa), and his two sons (Yee and Nozuka) as they take an ill-advised vacation to Durango, Colorado.

Told in the style of the American classics, DURANGO is more than a family road trip; tackling ideas of racism, homophobia and generational secrets in an intimate and complex story of a family’s disintegration. The design from set & costume designer Jung-Hye Kim – a family home sinking into the ground – uses visual metaphor to express this idea, bridging the two aesthetics of DURANGO’s world: magic realism and stark naturalism.

DURANGO also marks the first collaboration among the three producing companies: Theatre Smash, fu-GEN Theatre Company and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

“We have been looking for an opportunity to partner with both Smash and Buddies for a while, always thinking it would have to be two separate projects,” said Yee. “What Julia Cho does so beautifully is seamlessly weave disparate dramatic narratives together within a theatrical aesthetic that all three of our companies responded to quite viscerally. The play has the quiet and stillness of that Arizona desert they’re travelling along on the surface, while there is a storm raging just below. That tension spoke to all of us, the nature of it pulled our companies together, and it made the decision to program Durango rather simple.”

DURANGO will be presented at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.) from May 16 to 31. The performance is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets from $20 to $37 are available online at buddiesinbadtimes.com or by phone at 416.975.8555.

Facebook: Theatre Smash; fu-GEN Theatre Company
Twitter: @theatresmash; @fuGENTheatre
Twitter Hashtag: #DurangoTO


DURANGO by Julia Cho
Venue: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.)

Dates: May 16 to 31; Opening and media night: Wednesday, May 20, 8 p.m.
Tickets on sale: General tickets $25 to 37 (with $20 previews, PWYC Sundays; Arts Worker and Under 30 Discounts available), at buddiesinbadtimes.com or by calling 416-975-8555.

Produced by Theatre Smash & fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Friday, April 24, 2015

Triple Release: Pianist Stephen Hough with Three New Recordings on Hyperion May & June 2015

From a media release:

STEPHEN HOUGH HAS THREE NEW RECORDINGS ON HYPERION,
TWO OF WHICH INCLUDE HIS OWN COMPOSITIONS,
TO BE RELEASED IN MAY AND JUNE 2015

Grieg Lyric Pieces (May 5, 2015)
Hyperion CDA68070
Stephen Hough, piano

Mendelssohn, Grieg & Hough: Cello Sonatas (June 1, 2015)
Hyperion CDA68079
Steven Isserlis (cello), Stephen Hough (piano)

Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem; Hough: Missa Mirabilis (May 5, 2015
Hyperion CDA68096
Colorado Symphony Chorus, Colorado Symphony, Andrew Litton (conductor)

New York, April 23, 2015-
-Stephen Hough, as a recitalist, chamber musician, and composer, adds three new releases to his extensive discography on the Hyperion label.  On May 5, Hyperion releases two recordings. The first devoted to Grieg’s Lyric Pieces, features Mr. Hough’s selections from the ten volumes of miniatures which encompass the Norwegian master’s best-loved solo piano music. The second release is Stephen Hough’s own “Missa Mirabilis” coupled with Ralph Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, both performed by the Colorado Symphony and Chorus and Andrew Litton. The third recording, scheduled for release on June 1, is Mendelssohn, Grieg & Hough: Cello Sonatas with long-time collaborator, cellist, Steven Isserlis.

For his solo album of Grieg Lyric Pieces, Stephen Hough has programmed twenty-seven of the sixty-six brief musical tone-poems.  Grieg composed the first volume of Lyric Pieces, his Opus 12, in 1867, along with the tenth and last volume, his Opus 72, published in 1901. In addition to some of Grieg’s most famous music, including Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Mr. Hough includes selections from the final Opus 72.



Stephen Hough’s choral work, Missa Mirabilis, is coupled with the twentieth-century British classic, Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Originally composed as a Mass for Westminster Cathedral, Missa Mirabilis was reshaped for large chorus and large orchestra and commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  On the recording, Andrew Litton conducts the Colorado Symphony and Choir.

Mr. Hough says that giving his Mass the title “Mirabilis” (miraculous) is purely personal:
“I gathered a year’s-worth of sketches for the Mass together in September 2006 and wrote three of the movements in three days… the following day I had a serious car crash, overturning on the motorway at 80 mph; I stepped out of the one untouched door in my completely mangled car with my Mass manuscript and my body intact.  I was conscious, as I was somersaulting with screeching acrobatics on the highway… of feeling regret that I would never get to hear this piece.”  Of the remaining movements he sketched the Agnus Dei in St Mary’s Hospital, waiting for four hours for a brain scan. Gloria was written later.



On June 1, Hyperion releases Mendelssohn, Grieg & Hough: Cello Sonatas a duo recital recording with Steven Isserlis in which two nineteenth century Romantic Cello Sonatas are heard along with Stephen Hough’s own Sonata. Mr. Isserlis suggests that, although there are many differences between the three sonatas, there are also strong connections: “all of them are by pianist-composers; all require considerable virtuosity from both players; and, most significantly, all three works combine classical forms with a passionately romantic spirit.”

Mr. Hough’s Cello Sonata, which is scored for Cello and Piano left-hand, was composed at Mr. Isserlis’ request when a mutual friend, also a pianist, injured his right hand. The Sonata was co-commissioned by the U.K.’s Tetbury Music Festival and the Kronberg Festival in Germany. Mr. Hough and Mr. Isserlis premiered the Sonata in 2013. By employing only the left hand the piece takes on a “distinctive range of dark textures”. The Sonata in one continuous movement bears the subtitle ‘Les Adieux’ which Hough explains “underlines the melancholy spirit of the piece”.



Stephen Hough has released more than 50 recordings on 15 record labels, with works by more than 100 composers, including his own. He has won four Grammy nominations and eight Gramophone awards including two ‘Record of the Year’ awards—one for concertos by Scharwenka and Sauer and the other for the complete works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, which was also given the Gramophone ‘Gold Disc’ Award after being voted by readers of The Times as the finest classical recording of the last 30 years. His recording of the complete Chopin Waltzes received the Diapason d’Or de l’Année—France’s highest recording award—and his live recording of the Rachmaninoff piano concertos became the fastest-selling record in Hyperion’s history, while his recording of the Hummel concertos remains Chandos’ best-selling disc to date.

Stephen Hough was the first solo instrumentalist featured by the award-winning app publisher Touch Press on an iPad app launched in July 2013 on which he performs Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor. The New Yorker wrote that the app “is superbly put together, seamless, and intuitive, but it’s Hough that makes it special.” 

Upcoming engagements in the 2015 season in the U.S. include orchestral performances with the Oregon Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, and the Omaha Symphony.  In recital, Stephen Hough can be heard in Carnegie Hall as part of the Keyboard Virtuoso Series on May 9 in a program of Debussy and Chopin; in the Celebrity Series, Boston on May 8, and on May 12 in San Francisco.

To find out more about Mr. Hough, please visit his website (http://www.stephenhough.com), his blog for The Telegraph, his Facebook fan page (facebook.com/houghhough), or his Twitter page (@houghhough).

Image of Stephen Hough by Sim Canetty-Clarke