Spring 2017 CelloChats on CelloBello

Cello Bello Blog - Mon, 2017-03-06 12:57

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Join the conversation with Inbal Segev of the Amerigo Trio, live on CelloBello
via Facebook Live!

Inbal Segev

NEXT: Tuesday, May 30th at 8 pm ET:

Join the interactive conversation on CelloChat with our incredible hosts, on Sundays this spring!

All Chats take place at 8 PM ET unless otherwise noted.

All Chats are broadcast via Facebook Live on the CelloBello Facebook page:

March 12
ROBERT JESSELSON
University of South Carolina

April 2
MARTHA BALDWIN

Cleveland Orchestra

April 9
NORMAN FISCHER
The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University

April 16
YEESUN KIM
Borromeo String Quartet, New England Conservatory

April 23
ROBERT DEMAINE
Los Angeles Philharmonic

May 1
LLUIS CLARET
New England Conservatory 

May 14
JEFFREY ZEIGLER
Mannes College at The New School

May 21
DAVID YING
Eastman School of Music

May 28
INBAL SEGEV
Amerigo Trio

PAST CELLOCHATS THIS SEASON:

FIVE SPECIAL CHATS CELEBRATING
THE CELLO SUITES OF J.S. BACH

January 29
“Bowings in Bach – A Topic That Never Goes Away!”
LAURENCE LESSER
New England Conservatory

February 5
“Decision Making in Bach, What’s Important?”
COLIN CARR
Stony Brook University, St. John’s College Oxford

February 12
“If It Ain’t Baroque, Don’t Break It?”
INBAL SEGEV
Amerigo Trio

February 19
“The Bach Suites as You Have Never SEEN Them Before”
ANTONIO LYSY
University of California, Los Angeles

March 5
KEE-HYUN KIM
Parker Quartet

The post Spring 2017 CelloChats on CelloBello appeared first on CelloBello.

The Needs of Strangers

Huffington College - Wed, 2017-02-22 19:29
El Sistema is a movement we have all experienced and we can now find it in many parts of the World. I have had a long and Tony Woodcock http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/tony-woodcock

Out delivering flyers today on this beautiful day in Boston!...

Preparatory School - Wed, 2017-02-22 18:27


Out delivering flyers today on this beautiful day in Boston! Check out our new program for Boston 3rd Graders this May/June 2017- NEC Prep Musical Explorers! This year’s program will feature double bass an trumpet. Check out our website to learn more and, if you are a 3rd grader, sign up! http://necmusic.edu/prep/young-children #necprepearlychildhood #necprepmusicalexplorers #bostoncenterforyouthandfamilies #bcyf #bostonpublicschools #bps (at Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF))

Out delivering flyers today on this beautiful day in Boston!...

Preparatory School - Wed, 2017-02-22 18:27


Out delivering flyers today on this beautiful day in Boston! Check out our new program for Boston 3rd Graders this May/June 2017- NEC Prep Musical Explorers! This year’s program will feature double bass an trumpet. Check out our website to learn more and, if you are a 3rd grader, sign up! http://necmusic.edu/prep/young-children #necprepearlychildhood #necprepmusicalexplorers #bostoncenterforyouthandfamilies #bcyf #bostonpublicschools #bps (at Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF))

The Bach Suites as you Have Never Seen Them Before – By Antonio Lysy

Cello Bello Blog - Thu, 2017-02-16 20:38

Hundreds of scholars have studied and written about the Bach Suites, yet we can only speculate about how or when they were first performed. The original manuscript is lost, leaving us with various facsimiles to decipher, and there are no written accounts by Bach’s contemporaries. The one advantage of this predicament is the wide spectrum of artistic decisions on which a cellist is compelled to ruminate, in order to make them “their own”.

Apparently the suites were not intended to be performed as a cycle, although this approach has become increasingly common in the last couple of decades. My current perspective, developed over many years of performing and teaching the suites, is that each of the six tells a distinctive story. And, like a series of books or films, each component is woven into a broader narrative. Presenting these works in chronological order highlights this overall structure as well as Bach’s astoundingly fluent compositional style. He begins, in the first suite, with youthful simplicity, and after choreographing an array of preludes and dances with heavenly sophistication, ends with the glorious, life-affirming sixth suite. It is as if the cycle is an etched outline of life itself, in one continuous brush stroke.

Embarking on this project to perform the Bach Suites cycle at The Broad Stage a year ago, allowed me to further explore the possibilities of presenting traditional classical music in a fresh light, while making every attempt to preserve its pure, aural integrity.

The performance’s visual component, a combination of projected photography, video, and lighting, stemmed from my experience producing the multimedia show Te Amo, Argentina. The projected backdrops became stimuli for reflection on an imagined narrative, and offered an inspired ornament to the setting, transporting the public to fantastical concert venues. Mark Swed of the LA Times eloquently described a similar concert experience: “to transform the space in which the music is performed through projections that alter one’s perception of space, place, and just maybe, sound.”

The virtual venues chosen by me and my production assistant Chloe Knudsen were: For the first Suite, an Antelope Valley cave, illuminating the stunning strata within, and the genesis of time; for the second, the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, in all its glory, allowing the audience to quietly and slowly survey some of its most celebrated frescoes; the third, the magnified lit-up interior of a cello, with light pouring in from the F holes – a glimpse into its soul; the fourth, a series of colorful and intricately decorated cupolas from Muslim temples (a tribute to tolerance of diversity in our country, right after the shooting in San Bernardino); the fifth, grand rooms of abandoned buildings, conveying the message of the futility of war, via the dark and dramatic qualities of this C minor Suite; and finally the sixth, celebrating the natural wonders of our earth, depicting fjords, salt deserts, the Giant’s Causeway, and in the final Gigue, a time-lapse explosion of the magical, dancing Northern Lights.

The most conspicuous feature of that afternoon’s performance, however, was my cello. The audience did not see the golden varnish of my three hundred year old Italian cello (a CarloTononi), but rather a gleaming, modern, Luis and Clark carbon fiber cello, made in Boston in 2014. This cello is light and quick to respond, which among other benefits, facilitates surprising physical freedom. That relative release of effort allows for remarkable surprises in tackling the Suites, from choices of fingerings, articulations of the bow, sound concepts, and a general psychological sense of liberty that encourages an improvisatory quality.

Performing the cycle on this cello taught me a great deal, and pushed me further to research the boundaries of interpretation, juxtaposing the contemporary and the ancient, and to strive to make a compelling case for interpreting Bach’s Suites on what preconceived notions would consider hardly a cello. It was risky, as for many it verged on the sacrilegious! No rotten tomatoes were thrown at me however, and by all appearances it was a success – the sold-out theater saw the audience on their feet after the closing bars, apparently not for a mad rush to the exit. I am now very curious about how such an instrument will change in time, and affect the evolution of performance practice in classical music!

To hear more from Antonio Lysy, click HERE

The post The Bach Suites as you Have Never Seen Them Before – By Antonio Lysy appeared first on CelloBello.

Teaching Tradition, Innovation, and Practicality at New England Conservatory

NEC @ Huff Post - Wed, 2017-02-15 21:10
Like Bartók in Mikrokosmos, I gave myself little equations to follow, in this case for making progressively more outrageous New England Conservatory http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/new-england-conservatory

We are ready! NEC Prep Suzuki playing the National Anthem at the...

Preparatory School - Wed, 2017-02-15 19:18


We are ready! NEC Prep Suzuki playing the National Anthem at the Celtics! 7:30pm ! TD Garden!!!! #celtics #suzuki #tdgarden #necprepontour (at TD Garden)

We are ready! NEC Prep Suzuki playing the National Anthem at the...

Preparatory School - Wed, 2017-02-15 19:18


We are ready! NEC Prep Suzuki playing the National Anthem at the Celtics! 7:30pm ! TD Garden!!!! #celtics #suzuki #tdgarden #necprepontour (at TD Garden)

If it ain’t Baroque, don’t Break it? Thoughts about Playing Bach Today…. – By Inbal Segev

Cello Bello Blog - Sun, 2017-02-12 20:59

When I decided to record the Bach cello suites a couple of years ago, I started not by
playing but by reading. I read Bach’s biography, and then a few Baroque practice books
(extremely dense and quite boring) and then I became inspired to change almost
everything about the way I played Bach. I eventually came back to doing things the way
that had been a part of my DNA after years of playing Bach the “modern” way (but
improved), and I’d like to share some of my experiments with you.

I never played from a manuscript copy before. The notes are difficult to decipher and so
the work is slow and cumbersome. Worth it! Playing from copies of the surviving
manuscripts by Anna Magdalena and Kellner taught me so much.

There is really no way of knowing if a particular bowing works unless you actually
practice it. Not only calculate it in your head, and not only read it a couple of times, but
REALLY practice it. And tha’s what I found I had to do. I focused on Anna Magdalena’s
copy because making a hybrid of Kellner and A.M. didn’t make sense to me. Her copy
was just too different from his and I felt I gravitated towards hers.

Experimenting: I tuned my cello to 332=A, then 334, 335, 336 and 338=A. Having
absolute pitch, this was mildly painful, but one can get used to anything over time. I
found, though, that my sound quality deteriorated. The colors and sonority that I thought
would change for the better, did not. It turned out that you can’t go half way on this. A
whole different set up is required, and gut strings sounded awful on my 1673 Ruggieri.
Why? The instrument was set up for modern playing. In order to change the setup I
would have to give up playing the Shostakovich concerto on this cello and I was not
willing to do so. I could possibly have played on a different cello, but there is a bigger
issue: the whole concept of Baroque sound and the stylistic changes that I tried to
emulate required permanent changes in my playing technique. Not something you can
snap in and out of, but rather a commitment for life.

And so, I started thinking back to my childhood and how the great Paul Tortellier
recordings where so fantastically beautiful that I would dance to each suite in our living
room and the orange and brown swirls of our old carpet are still etched in my memory.

Tortelier was not a Baroque cellist but he nevertheless brought Bach to life; he
understood Bach’s language. I wanted to understand it too.

What I suggest for anyone who is studying the suites:

— Harmonic analyzation of each movement. If you can’t do it yourself, here’s a book
that you need to read: Allen Winold’s Bach’s cello suites.

— Compare all the different Allemandes, different Courantes, different Sarabandes, etc.

to try to understand the differences and bring them out

To be continued…

Other reading suggestions (warning: may lead to severe drowsiness and eventual

sleep)

The History of violin playing from origins to 1761 by David D. Boyden

Extra points:

Dance and the Music of J.S. Bach by Meredith Little

The post If it ain’t Baroque, don’t Break it? Thoughts about Playing Bach Today…. – By Inbal Segev appeared first on CelloBello.

17 (Not so) Random Tips for Practicing the Bach Cello Suites – by Inbal Segev

Cello Bello Blog - Thu, 2017-02-09 13:49

1. First play the bass line. Then add the top voice.

2. Think about voicing.

3. Sequences.

4. Find circles of fifths and enjoy them!

5. Gestures on slurs; the Baroque bow is heavier at the frog and lighter at the tip and sometimes it’s beautiful to show the tapering of sound towards the tip.

6. Show where codas happen.

7. Interrupted cadence?

8. Sigh figures.

9. Be aware of the underlying harmony.

10. Echo effects (not too much!).

11. Vary bow pressure — Baroque bow is heavier on the down bow, lighter on the up bow. This can shape a passage of descending eight notes for example. They are not all equal in length and strength.

12. Gigue — breathe more. Feel like you are about to skip before the start.

13. When playing triplets — when two notes are slurred, the third note is still part of the group.

14. Gigue or Giga? French, Italian or a mix of both? Italian Gigue is brilliant, bright and simpler harmonically than the French, which has dotted rhythms and is contrapuntal.

15. Play with figuration. In other words, notice repetitive patterns and show that they repeat; change their expression as you repeat them.

16. Different registers have different colors.

17. Gut strings take a while to speak, especially thick C strings. Even if you play on modern strings — give them time. Also, when playing large intervals, take some extra time.

The post 17 (Not so) Random Tips for Practicing the Bach Cello Suites – by Inbal Segev appeared first on CelloBello.

We are off to a great start of day 3 with the 2017 Contemporary...

Preparatory School - Sun, 2017-02-05 12:06


We are off to a great start of day 3 with the 2017 Contemporary Music Festival! Concerts are free all day today 10:30am, 12:30, 2:00, 4:00pm. Come join us!!! http://necmusic.edu/event/16765. #necprepcontemporaryfestival #todaysyouthperformtodaysmusic #horticulturalhall (at Horticultural Hall)

We are off to a great start of day 3 with the 2017 Contemporary...

Preparatory School - Sun, 2017-02-05 12:06


We are off to a great start of day 3 with the 2017 Contemporary Music Festival! Concerts are free all day today 10:30am, 12:30, 2:00, 4:00pm. Come join us!!! http://necmusic.edu/event/16765. #necprepcontemporaryfestival #todaysyouthperformtodaysmusic #horticulturalhall (at Horticultural Hall)

On Saturday, February 4th at 3pm, come to Pierce Hall to hear a...

Preparatory School - Fri, 2017-02-03 17:25


On Saturday, February 4th at 3pm, come to Pierce Hall to hear a recital by the students of the Advanced Piano Seminar II. The works performed will cover a wide range of emotions, from lighthearted duets to somber tributes. Pictured is Morgan Flanigan playing the ominous opening of Larry Bell’s piece, “Prayer for Christian Taylor,” from his “First Book of Prayers”. NEC Prep Faculty Member Larry Bell visited the 3pm seminar class this past week to coach students on his own composition! #necpreppianoseminars #contemporaryfestival2017 #ourfacultymembersareamazing (at New England Conservatory Preparatory School)

On Saturday, February 4th at 3pm, come to Pierce Hall to hear a...

Preparatory School - Fri, 2017-02-03 17:25


On Saturday, February 4th at 3pm, come to Pierce Hall to hear a recital by the students of the Advanced Piano Seminar II. The works performed will cover a wide range of emotions, from lighthearted duets to somber tributes. Pictured is Morgan Flanigan playing the ominous opening of Larry Bell’s piece, “Prayer for Christian Taylor,” from his “First Book of Prayers”. NEC Prep Faculty Member Larry Bell visited the 3pm seminar class this past week to coach students on his own composition! #necpreppianoseminars #contemporaryfestival2017 #ourfacultymembersareamazing (at New England Conservatory Preparatory School)

This Saturday, February 4th at 2pm in Pierce Hall, come hear the...

Preparatory School - Fri, 2017-02-03 17:19


This Saturday, February 4th at 2pm in Pierce Hall, come hear the Advanced Piano Seminar I students perform works by Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera. From the famous Danzas Argentinas to the lesser-known Twelve American Preludes, experience Ginastera’s use of bitonality and exciting rhythms in this concert of the Contemporary Festival! Pictured is Steven Chen performing the war-like prelude, “Homenaje a Roberto Garcia Morillo”. #necpreppianoseminars #contemporaryfestival2017
(at New England Conservatory Preparatory School)

This Saturday, February 4th at 2pm in Pierce Hall, come hear the...

Preparatory School - Fri, 2017-02-03 17:19


This Saturday, February 4th at 2pm in Pierce Hall, come hear the Advanced Piano Seminar I students perform works by Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera. From the famous Danzas Argentinas to the lesser-known Twelve American Preludes, experience Ginastera’s use of bitonality and exciting rhythms in this concert of the Contemporary Festival! Pictured is Steven Chen performing the war-like prelude, “Homenaje a Roberto Garcia Morillo”. #necpreppianoseminars #contemporaryfestival2017
(at New England Conservatory Preparatory School)

The NEC Prep Contemporary Festival is fast approaching! Today we...

Preparatory School - Fri, 2017-02-03 17:00


The NEC Prep Contemporary Festival is fast approaching! Today we are featuring student composer and tuba player, Benjamin Romanov. Hear his work and other fantastic compositions from 10:30am-4pm this Sunday at Horticultural Hall!

Ben, 16 years old in February, is a versatile musician. In addition to being involved at NEC Prep on Saturdays, he’s also principal tuba and bass trombone for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra on Sundays! He also plays in Newton South High School’s jazz band and their honors jazz combo group. Ben also is a bass guitarist with a rock band and he’s playing percussion/Latin bongos in this year’s musical production of “Rent.” He is often heard playing flugelhorn, piano, and of course intensely studying composition. While Ben believes the tuba to be a solo instrument (F tuba), he’s
also presently working on the Shostakovich 1 piano concerto. Ben sings and acts in musicals and runs track at school each year, and he rides a unicycle.
#necprep #2017contemporaryfestival #todaysyouthperformtodaysmusic #studentcomposers #unicylcingisawesome
http://necmusic.edu/event/16764 (at New England Conservatory Preparatory School)

The NEC Prep Contemporary Festival is fast approaching! Today we...

Preparatory School - Fri, 2017-02-03 17:00


The NEC Prep Contemporary Festival is fast approaching! Today we are featuring student composer and tuba player, Benjamin Romanov. Hear his work and other fantastic compositions from 10:30am-4pm this Sunday at Horticultural Hall!

Ben, 16 years old in February, is a versatile musician. In addition to being involved at NEC Prep on Saturdays, he’s also principal tuba and bass trombone for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra on Sundays! He also plays in Newton South High School’s jazz band and their honors jazz combo group. Ben also is a bass guitarist with a rock band and he’s playing percussion/Latin bongos in this year’s musical production of “Rent.” He is often heard playing flugelhorn, piano, and of course intensely studying composition. While Ben believes the tuba to be a solo instrument (F tuba), he’s
also presently working on the Shostakovich 1 piano concerto. Ben sings and acts in musicals and runs track at school each year, and he rides a unicycle.
#necprep #2017contemporaryfestival #todaysyouthperformtodaysmusic #studentcomposers #unicylcingisawesome
http://necmusic.edu/event/16764 (at New England Conservatory Preparatory School)

On Inspiration for The Caulfield Suite, by Audrey Wu, NEC Prep...

Preparatory School - Thu, 2017-02-02 23:38


On Inspiration for The Caulfield Suite, by Audrey Wu, NEC Prep student composer. Check out her works and many others this weekend at the NEC Prep Contemporary Festival! http://necmusic.edu/event/16765

As some may be able to guess from the title, much of my inspiration for this piano suite came from J.D. Salinger’s widely-known novel The Catcher in the Rye, which I read in English class this fall. Although conversations about the book within the classroom as well as world-wide have been and most likely will continue to be controversial, I find discussion around the story compelling and influential to my music. My intention of the piece was to depict certain moments in the book that struck me, and to illustrate a sort of “backwards” demonstration of Holden’s struggle with childhood and adulthood. As for the formatting, specifically adding memorable quotes to introduce each movement, I was inspired by The Orphée Suite by Philip Glass, which I highly recommend taking some time to listen to. #studentcomposersforthewin #todaysyouthperformtodaysmusic #2017contemporaryfestival (at New England Conservatory Preparatory School)

On Inspiration for The Caulfield Suite, by Audrey Wu, NEC Prep...

Preparatory School - Thu, 2017-02-02 23:38


On Inspiration for The Caulfield Suite, by Audrey Wu, NEC Prep student composer. Check out her works and many others this weekend at the NEC Prep Contemporary Festival! http://necmusic.edu/event/16765

As some may be able to guess from the title, much of my inspiration for this piano suite came from J.D. Salinger’s widely-known novel The Catcher in the Rye, which I read in English class this fall. Although conversations about the book within the classroom as well as world-wide have been and most likely will continue to be controversial, I find discussion around the story compelling and influential to my music. My intention of the piece was to depict certain moments in the book that struck me, and to illustrate a sort of “backwards” demonstration of Holden’s struggle with childhood and adulthood. As for the formatting, specifically adding memorable quotes to introduce each movement, I was inspired by The Orphée Suite by Philip Glass, which I highly recommend taking some time to listen to. #studentcomposersforthewin #todaysyouthperformtodaysmusic #2017contemporaryfestival (at New England Conservatory Preparatory School)


LIFE IS A LOT LIKE JAZZ. IT'S BEST WHEN YOU IMPROVISE. GEORGE GERSHWIN