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                                                                                                              May 2011 e-newsletter

33 million and 3 invitations

In This Issue
Stefan Jackiw & YTSO outdraw U2
Joyce Yang makes Lincoln Center recital debut May 5
Alessio Bax previews new album May 16
Brooklyn Rider celebrates Glass CD May 17
Jessica Rivera inspires raves from Carnegie to California

May 1: Ocean Pines, MD
Stefan Jackiw   

Mid-Atlantic Symphony
Bernstein: Serenade


May 3: Santa Barbara, CA
Alessio Bax   

Santa Barbara Chamber Orch.

Mozart: Piano Cto. 27, K. 595

May 3: Seattle, WA

Joshua Roman

TownMusic Series at Town Hall

Gesualdo w/JACK Quartet

May 5: New York, NY
Joyce Yang
Alice Tully Hall

Petschek Recital: Scarlatti, Currier, Debussy, Schumann+

May 5-27: Berlin, Germany
Takesha Meshé Kizart
Deutsche Oper Berlin

Puccini: Madame Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San)

May 7 & 9: Vancouver, BC
Alessio Bax   

Vancouver Symphony
Mozart: Piano Cto. 27, K, 595

May 8: Everett, WA

Joshua Roman

Everett Philharmonic
Brahms: Double Cto. w/James Garlick

May 13: Dublin, Ireland
Stefan Jackiw    

RTÉ National Sym. Orch.
Sibelius: Violin Cto.


May 14: Waterbury, CT
Alessio Bax

Waterbury Symphony   Rachmaninov: Piano Cto. 3


May 14-22: Detroit, MI
James Valenti

Michigan Opera Theatre

Verdi: Rigoletto (The Duke of Mantua)


May 15 & 16: New York, NY
Brooklyn Rider   

Helicon Foundation Symposium 

All Dvorak

May 16: New York, NY

Alessio Bax

Rachmaninov CD Sneak Preview Party


May 17: New York, NY

Brooklyn Rider


Glass CD celebration & show


May 19: Tampere, Finland
Stefan Jackiw   

Tampere Philharmonic

Mendelssohn: Violin Cto.


May 19, 21, 22: Atlanta, GA

Jessica Rivera 

Atlanta Symphony Orch.
Britten: Spring Symphony


May 19: New York, NY
The Knights

Parent Journal Institute Benefit

w/ Yo-Yo Ma, cello



May 20, June 2: Frankfurt, Germany
Takesha Meshé Kizart   

Oper Frankfurt

Puccini: Tosca (Floria Tosca)

May 21-22: Guatemala City, Guatamala

Alessio Bax   

Bravissimo Festival

Stravinsky: Petrouchka w/Lucille Chung & Bits'n Pieces Puppet Theatre


May 22: Santiago, Chile

Joyce Yang

Teatro del Lago  


May 25: New York, NY

The Knights

Kaplan Penthouse, Lincoln Center: Spring Benefit

Vivaldi, Purcell, Komitas+  



May 26-29: Los Angeles, CA

Jessica Rivera  

Los Angeles Philharmonic

Górecki: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs


May 27, 28: Dallas, TX

Alessio Bax

Dallas Chamber Music International


June 1: Chicago, IL

Alessio Bax

Dame Myra Hess Series

w/Lucille Chung

June 5: Mamaroneck, NY

Stefan Jackiw & Joyce Yang  Sidney Singer Series

June 7: New York, NY

The Knights   

SummerStage in Central Park

Nights at the Caravanserai: Tale of Wonder

w/Yo-Yo Ma

June 8: Seattle, WA

Joshua Roman

TownMusic Series at Town Hall

Gabriela Lena Frank: solo cello suite premiere

June 9, 11, 14: Schloss-Elmau, Germany
Alessio Bax

In residence w/ Lucille Chung

June 10-12: Elgin, IL

Joyce Yang

Elgin Symphony Orch.
Rachmaninov: Piano Cto. 3

About 21C Artists To Watch
21C Artists To Watch is an image- and awareness-building program for artists on the brink of major careers in classical music.  Each month, 21C Media Group publishes an e-newsletter profiling several members of this select group and highlighting their recent and upcoming activities.
Read past newsletters here

For inquiries regarding
21C Artists To Watch, please contact:
Wende Persons
Artists To Watch Program Director
Phone (917) 691-1282; click here to e-mail


Stefan Jackiw & YTSO outdraw U2

Stefan Jaciw - YTSO When violinist Stefan Jackiw performed as soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra on March 20 at Australia's Sydney Opera House, the concert was streamed live on the Web and viewed by more than 33 million people across the globe. YTSO 2011 was the largest concert event YouTube has ever produced, dwarfing superstar rock band U2's previous record of 10 million viewers. View video of Jackiw's performance with 17-year-old Venezuelan conductor Ilyich Rivas.  


"Stefan Jackiw romped through the finale of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto," noted San Francisco Chronicle critic Joshua Kosman. NPR's Tom Huizenga commented, "Jackiw played with feline agility and a sense of style." While in Sydney, the 25-year-old, Boston-bred violinist was interviewed by Dutch TV, performed Bach at a nightclub, and sent frequent Twitter updates: "Just ate kangaroo and crocodile in Sydney. Kangaroo is delicious. Crocodile is sort of like very tough slightly fishy dried chicken."  Foodies, take note...


In other news, the raves keep coming for Jackiw's debut CD: "This is now the recording of Brahms's violin sonatas to have... If Sony or some other label doesn't record Jackiw in the entire mainstream violin repertoire just as fast as he can learn it, we will be missing out on hearing a young artist who may be well on his way to becoming one of the greatest violinists of the 21st century." - Fanfare, March/April 2011


For more information, visit, his YouTube channel or the Opus 3 Artists web site

Joyce Yang makes Lincoln Center recital debut May 5

Joyce YangPianist Joyce Yang had only finished her freshman year at Juilliard when she snared the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Competition, becoming the youngest prizewinner in the competition's history.  Between classes, she toured the world, performing on multiple occasions with the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago, San Francisco and Houston symphonies, among many others.  In 2010 she received an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Now, Juilliard has given its celebrated alum the William Petschek Piano Recital Award: a recital at Alice Tully Hall.   Previous Petschek recipients have included Jeremy Denk, Jon Kimura Parker and Orion Weiss.  


21C Artists To Watch newsletter recipients are cordially invited to Yang's Lincoln Center debut recital on May 5 at 8 PM.  For complimentary tickets, click here and put "YANG" in the subject line.


Yang will perform works by Scarlatti, Debussy, Chopin-Liszt and Schumann, along with related contemporary pieces: Sebastian Currier's Scarlatti Cadences and Brainstorm and Lowell Liebermann's Gargoyles. The program is designed "to have each piece illuminate the one that follows," says Yang. View video of Yang performing Gargoyles.


The 25-year-old Korean American heads into the studio at the end of May to record a solo album. Global audiences were able to enjoy her recent performance of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Sydney Symphony under Edo De Waart. The April 11 concert was streamed live via a new Android and iPhone mobile app, and touted as the debut of the world's first series of orchestral concerts to be streamed live through mobile applications, according to the Sydney Symphony and Telstra BigPond.


For more information, visit Joyce Yang's web site or the Opus 3 Artists web site

Alessio Bax previews new album May 16

Bax Rachmaninov CDThe new recording by pianist Alessio Bax is "the realization of a long-cherished dream," says the 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. "It is a look at the great Rachmaninov from different angles, a brief chronicle of the life and work of the last of the Romantics." To be released in June, Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (Signum Classics) features the composer's Op. 23 Preludes, along with pieces from both ends of the Russian's career and a set of transcriptions, including Bax's own transcription of the famous "Vocalise."


21C Artists To Watch newsletter recipients are invited to an intimate CD sneak preview party on May 16 at 6:30 PM in Lincoln Center's Rose Studio. The space is courtesy of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where Bax is a member of CMS Two. If you would like to attend, click here to RSVP and put "BAX" in the subject line.   


Bax enjoyed high praise for his previous Signum release, 2009's Bach Transcribed. In Gramophone, critic Jed Distler declared: "Here, Godowsky's outrageously upholstered treatment of Bach's G minor Solo Violin Sonata receives its most effortless and imaginatively nuanced reading on disc ... An album no fan of `hyphenated Bach' should miss." Gramophone singled out Bax's 2004 debut release on Warner Classics, Baroque Reflections, as an "Editor's Choice," with piano guru Bryce Morrison's review describing Bax's Handel-Liszt performance as full of "unfaltering virtuosity and poetic inwardness," and his interpretation of Rachmaninov's Corelli Variations as brimming with "an almost hypnotic intensity."


For more information, visit, his YouTube channel or the Barrett Vantage Artists web site.  

Brooklyn Rider celebrates Glass CD May 17

Brooklyn Rider - Philip GlassFor Brooklyn Rider's new album, Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass, the musicians have the composer's own imprimatur. The 2-CD set will be released May 10 by Glass's Orange Mountain Music label, with the composer himself saying, "Brooklyn Rider is an exciting ensemble that brings new life and energy into the medium of the string quartet. I'm very pleased with the group's surprising and individual interpretations of my string quartets." Along with the five string quartets is the first recording of Glass's suite from his score to Bent, the late-'90s film starring Clive Owen and Mick Jagger. Brooklyn Rider played the suite's world premiere at Lincoln Center's Tully Scope Festival in March, which coincided with the recording's digital release.

Come celebrate Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass on May 17 at 9 PM at Nublu, the Lower East Side club in New York City. 21C Artists To Watch newsletter recipients are invited to Brooklyn Rider's show.  Click here to RSVP and put "BROOKLYN RIDER" in the subject line.  


And view a video excerpt of Brooklyn Rider at the offices of Time Out New York. The magazine's Steve Smith commended the group for its "down-to-earth demeanor that demystifies contemporary classical music and invites everyone into the tent."


The Los Angeles Times has singled out the new recording's "grit," while the blog Lucid Culture marveled over the quartet's cohesiveness, pointing out how "the players - violinists Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords and cellist Eric Jacobsen - dig in with intensity and a group vision that borders on the telepathic."  Derek Beres wrote in the Huffington Post, "Once again, these four young musicians are proving themselves to be among the most fearless in the classical world today."   


For more information, visit, the group's YouTube channel, or the Opus 3 Artists Web site.

Jessica Rivera inspires raves from Carnegie to California

Rivera Jessica_ATW2Having sung key roles in such major works as Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar and John Adams's Doctor Atomic, soprano Jessica Rivera continues to win kudos from East Coast to West. Writing for the Financial Times, Allan Ulrich summed up the singer's allure: "California-born Jessica Rivera epitomizes the younger, post-Upshaw generation of American soprano, as much at home in Golijov, Salonen and Adams as she is in the conventional song literature and uncommonly eloquent in all of them. Match a voluptuous instrument that meets all technical challenges . . . with a formidable musical intelligence and a capacity for projecting a text that can seem both intimate and operatic and you have an artist for whom great scores may yet be composed."   

Reviewing Rivera's late March recital at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, which included the premiere of Mark Grey's Fire Angels, written especially for the event, the New York Times praised the singer's "radiant conviction" and ability to wield "her lovely voice to expressive effect." The San Francisco Chronicle, covering Rivera's April recital in Berkeley for Cal Performances, singled out her "eloquent and often brilliant accounts of songs by Schumann and Debussy," marked by both "a plush timbre" and "laser-like technical precision."  And the Plain Dealer chronicled her March debut with the Cleveland Orchestra led by Franz Welser-Möst, when she sang Mahler and Dvorak with a voice of "ravishing fullness."

Looking ahead, Rivera sings a song of the season: Britten's Spring Symphony with the Atlanta Symphony under Robert Spano, May 19-22. The soprano voices a graver contemporary classic on May 26-29, when she joins the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel for Górecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. And June 30-July 2 at Cincinnati Opera, she returns to a role she premiered in Vienna in 2006, Kumudha in John Adams's A Flowering Tree.

For more information, visit, her YouTube channel, or the IMG Artists web site.