Latest Posts From Liz Friedman

avatar A closet piano and trumpet player, Liz Friedman engages in an entrepreneurial career in the business of music and artist management, working with primarily young classical and jazz performers and composers. Liz has worked in theatre, opera and dance, with classical and jazz musicians, and for several regional performing arts centers and ensembles including, The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Proctors, Glimmerglass Opera, and Albany Pro Musica and the Four Nations Ensemble. Liz has negotiated artist contracts, settled ticket sales for touring shows, procured foreign work permits, fulfilled chauffeur duties, did grocery shopping to fulfill contract riders, and cleaned toilets for audiences and artists alike. Believing that at the heart of every rewarding professional music career is the entrepreneurial spirit and drive, Liz is the founder of Green Room Artist Development, LLC. While her musical tastes are quite eclectic, she has an ongoing passion for early music, big bands, and contemporary classical. Liz has a BA in Theatre Production Management from Binghamton University, an MBA from the University of Albany, and a Masters Certificate in Artist Management from Berklee College of Music. She is a member of Chamber Music America, the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association, Upstate Independent (Film), and the Freelancers Union.

September 15, 2017 - 0 Comments

Concerts in the Village: Master, Mentor, and a Contemporary

WAMozart-JCBach-JMHaydn2:00 pm • Sunday, September 17th 2017
Van Buren Hall • Kinderhook, NY

Despite the warmth and humidity in the air, the autumn colors appearing in the trees and the garden are telltale signs that fall is around the corner. With that comes various “season openers” through out the region. This Sunday afternoon, Concerts in the Village (CITV)  opens its 2017-18 season with a performance that features the Broad Street Orchestra and clarinetist Paul Green with a program entitled “Master, Mentor, and a Contemporary.”

Despite his extraordinary precociousness, W.A. Mozart was not without the important influence of others, most notably J.S. Bach’s youngest son, Johann Christian. The music performed in this CITV program makes clear how remarkably strong J.C. Bach’s influence was on Mozart’s stylistic development, including compositional features that remained throughout Mozart’s brief, but productive life. The Mozart and Haydn families were fairly close and Michael Haydn, younger brother of the more famous Joseph, has been described as a “musical kinsman.”
David Smith leads the Broad Street Orchestra with a program that highlights the connections between the master, the mentor, and the contemporary:

  • J.C. Bach — Overture to Artaserse
  • Michael Haydn — Incidental Music to Voltaire’s Zaïre
  • W.A. Mozart — Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 6222
  • J.C. Bach — Sinfonia in D Major
  • W.A. Mozart — Symphony No. 33 in B-Flat Major, K.319

The Concerts in the Village performance takes place in the long-neglected, but acoustically wonderful performing space on the second level of the Kinderhook Village Hall, which has recently been restored and renamed Van Buren Hall. For more information on Concerts in the Village or to contact them for tickets, please visit their website by clicking here.

Enjoy your weekend and may it be filled with happy musicking!

 

September 7, 2017 - 0 Comments

For the Love of Chamber Music: South Mountain and Elizabeth Sprague Cooldige

SouthMountainConcertHall3:00 pm • Sunday, September 10th 2017
South Mountain Concert Hall • Pittsfield, MA

Nestled in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, just east of the Hudson River, is the concert hall at South Mountain. It was specifically designed for chamber music in a colonial style using timber from an old textile mill. The hall seats 440 (how appropriate) and provides fine acoustics and an intimate setting for the genre. Built in 1918 to host what was then the Berkshire Festival of Chamber Music, it is now on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The mover and shaker behind what is now known as the South Mountain Concert Hall for the Berkshire Festival was the American patroness of music, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge who brought her vision and her generosity to the region.

Today this wonderful concert hall is maintained by the South Mountain Association, which presents an annual chamber music series that typically highlights the work of one of the leading string quartets of the day. This Sunday’s South Mountain concert, the second of its 2017 series, features the Orion String Quartet [Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips, violins; Steven Tenenbom, violist, and Timothy Eddy, 'cellist].

Elizabeth_Sprague_CoolidgeBefore getting to the program, it’s worth giving a nod to Elizabeth Sprague Cooldige. She was not just a patron of music, but a musician in her own right who was a champion of and for chamber music. She was a serious pianist well into her 80s as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to funding The Sprague Memorial Hall at Yale University, commissioning numerous compositions from practically every leading composer of the early 1900’s— primarily for chamber ensembles, coming to the aid of various chamber groups, establishing the Berkshire String Quartet in 1916; Liz Coolidge, as she was known amongst friends, often introduced American radio audiences to chamber music in partnerships with major networks and underwrote concerts so they could be offered with no admission charge.

Perhaps her greatest endeavor, however, grew out of a her concern for long-term support and interest in chamber music. “In 1924 Mrs. Coolidge submitted a formal proposal for the construction of an auditorium at the Library of Congress. It took an act of Congress (January 23, 1925) to accept this unprecedented gift to the government, and construction lasted only one year before the auditorium was ready for its first performance in 1925.” * In the 500-seat Coolidge Auditorium, the Library of Congress continues to host chamber music performances as none other than Concerts from the Library of Congress. Kudos to Mrs. Coolidge!

But now… getting back to this Sunday’s South Mountain Concert… the program has flutist Tara Helen O’Connor  joining the Orion String Quartet to perform:

  • W.A. Mozart – Flute Quartet No. 3 in C Major, K. 285b
  • F. Joseph Haydn – String Quartet in B Minor, Op. 33, No. 1, Hob III:37
  • Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartet No. 8 in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2

If the traditional string quartet is your thing, this concert certainly will offer some delightful music-making that you won’t want to miss. If not, chamber music abounds throughout the region this weekend. There is a wide range of repertoire choices and instrument combinations to choose from, albeit the flute is taking center stage in a number of works being performed … especially at the Leaf Peepers Concert on Saturdayfeaturing the Imani Winds. Regardless of what you decide to take in … happy musicking this weekend!

September 1, 2017 - 0 Comments

Musical Marriages: 23Arts and Windham Chamber Music Festival

MusicalMarriages8:00 pm • Saturday, September 2nd 2017
Windham Civic & Performing Arts Center • Windham, NY

Despite the fact the evenings have been getting quite chilly, summer concerts are coming to a close, and notices about the fall and winter series are coming with more frequency, there are about three more weeks of summer left. Yet we can’t ignore the fact that Labor Day weekend is upon us and change is in the air.

One change that has been afoot is with the Windham Chamber Music Festival that has nestled within the Catskill Mountains for two decades. Last year, with the conclusion of their 20 year run with the concert series they nurtured in the quaint and accousticaly fine 1826 Presbyterian Church (now the Windham Civic & Performing Arts Center), WCMF founders Robert Manno and Magdalena Golczewski decided to turn over the reins of the Festival to the 23Arts Initiative, an organization centered in Tannersville and dedicated to infusing the performing arts in the region’s mountaintop communities.

This summer brought the inaugural 23Arts Windham Summer Music Festival, which included a total of seven performances featuring a mixture of jazz, classical and folk. This Saturday brings this “new” Festival’s debut season to a close with an evening of “musical marriages” to honor Robert and Magdalena’s marriage and their legacy of the Windham Chamber Music Festival. 23Arts Windham’s Classical Artistic Director and pianist Jonathan Yates has curated a program of pieces from various classical “musical marriages” and selected Mahler’s Tenth Symphony, his final composition, as the concert’s centerpiece. Yates comments:

Written while Mahler was suffering from a fatal heart condition, and with the knowledge that his wife Alma had had an affair with the architect Walter Gropius, it is among the most passionate and personal utterances in classical music. He never ceased his love for Alma, and the score is covered in writings such as ‘To live for you! To die for you!’ and his pet name for Alma, ‘Almschi!’ He left most of it un-orchestrated at his death; the version performed on our series is an arrangement of the first two movements by composer Michael Galente for eleven players. To set the scene for this remarkable work, we begin with songs by other musicians in well-known musical marriages, including those of Robert Manno, who with his wife, the violinist Magdalena Golczewski, are the dedicatees of our concert.”

The program highlights works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Alma and Gustav Mahler, and Robert Manno with the following:

  • Robert Schumann — Romance for Oboe and Piano in A minor, Op. 94 No. 1
  • Clara Schumann — Romance for Violin and Piano in D-flat Major, Op. 22 No. 1
  • Jacques IbertChansons de Don Quichotte
  • Robert Manno — Dylan’s Aria from Do Not Go Gentle
  • Gustav Mahler —  Adagio and Scherzo-Finale from Symphony No. 10

Featuring the Initiative String Orchestra led by Jonathan Yates, and baritone vocalist Louis Otey of the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, it will no doubt be a delightful season finale.

If you can attend, you’ll want to know that by arriving around 6:30 pm you can join 23Arts Windham at the Windham Fine Arts Gallery (5380 NY-23, Windham, NY) for a pre-concert drinks party to celebrate the inaugural 23Arts Windham Summer Music Festival. Happy Musicking this weekend!

For ticket information, click here or contact 23 Arts Initiative at:  info@23Arts.org

August 11, 2017 - 0 Comments

Surround Sounds with Ensembles Large & Small in Cooperstown

Romie de Guise-Langlois | Glimmerglass Festival OrchestraCooperstown Summer Music Festival
7:30 pm • Friday, August 11th 2017
Christ Episcopal Church •  Cooperstown, NY

Cherry Valley Artworks: Ensembles Large and Small
7:30 pm • Sunday, August 13th 2017
Star Theater • Cherry Valley, NY

For many, Cooperstown NY is simply about baseball thanks to the Civil War officer Abner Doubleday who has been credited as the inventor of baseball. Cooperstown is to have served as the location of Doubleday’s alleged first game of baseball. Despite the controversy surrounding the validity of the Doubleday myth, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was built in Cooperstown and remains a revered summer sojourn for many embracing baseball’s legacy.

However as many of us know, Cooperstown and the surrounds of Otsego Lake are much more than baseball. From the Farmer’s Museum, Fenimore Art Museum to the Ommegang Brewery, camping and picnicking at Glimmerglass Stage Park, and the Glimmerglass Festival where opera takes center stage. Indeed there is something for just about everyone. And, if chamber music adds delight in your musicking adventures, this weekend in the Cooperstown region may be just the place for your excursions.

On Friday evening, the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival continues its 2017 season with an evening dedicated to the genius of Mozart, featuring his sublime clarinet quintet and clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois. The all W.A. Mozart program is to include:

    • Flute Quartet K. 285b in C  Major
    • String Quartet K. 575 in D Major
    • Clarinet Quintet K. 581 in A Major

The performers include Linda Chesis, flute; Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet;  Miho Saegusa and Katherine Fong, violins; Dov Scheindlin, viola; Clancy Newman, ‘cello.

On Sunday evening, the musicians of the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra are let out of the pit for what has become the annual “Ensembles Large and Small” concert that is presented by Cherry Valley Artworks at The Star Theater in the village of Cherry Valley. This is an opportunity for some musical rollicking through the traditional classical to the contemporary for the passionate performers who spend most of their summer  playing in the darkness of the orchestra pit at the Alice Busch Opera Theater down the road. This year marks season number 7, and now that major rehearsals have come to an end and the Glimmerglass Festival is in full rep for the rest of the season this is their chance to perform works that they have wanted to dig into and have some fun with.

Here’s a sampling of what the program is to include:

    • Louis Spohr — Duo No. 2 for two violins, Op. 67
    • Mike ForbesThe Grumpy Troll for tuba
    • Henri TomasiLe Tombeau de Mireille
    • David Sampson — Suite No. 2 from Notes From Faraway Places
    • Zoltan Kodaly — selected mov’t from Sonata for Solo Cello Op. 8
    • Darius Milhaud — Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 157b
    • F. Joseph Haydn — Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano
    • Dag Wirén — Serenade for Strings, Op. 11, conducted by Ubaldo Valli
    • George Gershwin — Our Love is Here to Stay
    • Jimmy Van Heusen — Polka Dots and Moonbeams
    • Charlie Parker — Yardbird Suite

The performers for this “Ensembles Large and Small” concert are:

    • clarinet — Pascal Archer
    • bassoon — Mark Timmerman
    • trumpet and flugelhorn — Don Batchelder and Jerry  Bryant
    • tuba — David Saltzman
    • percussion — Matthew McClung
    • piano — David Moody
    • violins — Katherine Hannauer, Ruotao Mao, Jennifer Reuning Myers, Laura Smith, Alexandra Van de Geijn, Heather Wittels
    • violas — Meghan Dewan,, Megan Newman Dyer, Katrina Smith
    • ‘cellos — Dylan Beckerman, Ruth Berry, Janet Nepkie,
    • double bass — David Irvin

If you have never attended one of these concerts, do go. They are engaging, full of camaraderie, and great music-making. In case Sunday evening doesn’t work out for you, the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra musicians take the stage again at the Pierstown Grange in Cooperstown on Monday evening (click here for details).

Regardless of what sumptuous sounds you take in this weekend, such as The Grumpy Troll below, have fun and happy musicking!

August 2, 2017 - 0 Comments

Music & Poetry with Summerland Music Society… mais c’est si amusant!

carniv11:00 AM • Friday, August 4th 2017
Crandall Public Library • Glens Falls NY

Although Camille Saint-Saëns was quite smitten with the idea of writing something for fun that was fun when he wrote Le carnaval des animaux, he was quite adamant that this “fun” little collection of 14 pieces not be published until after his death. He feared so much that his image as a serious composer would be tarnished if the zoological program was let loose for public audiences and critics (!) to hear. Saint-Saëns wrote Le carnaval des animaux to take a much needed break from composing his Third Symphony. He wrote a letter to his publishers Durand in Paris acknowledging that while he knew he should be writing this symphony, this other piece was, well “…mais c’est si amusant!” … in other words just too much fun!

And, indeed this wonderfully humorous musical suite of fourteen movements is terrifically engaging for audiences of any age, but particularly to the younger set… especially when performed with the humorous verses written by poet Ogden Nash in 1949 that could accompany each movement. [These were written for a Columbia Masterworks recording that was conducted by Andre Kostelanetz and recited on by the masterful Enlglish playwright, composer, director, actor and singe Noël Coward who was known for his wit and flamboyance.]

On Friday morning—in collaboration with the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls—it is this version of Saint-Saëns lighthearted and whimsical musical menagerie of animals that the Summerland Music Society is performing with Domenica Newell-Amato, professor of French at Utica College, narrating Nash’s humorous poetry.

SummerlandMusicSocietyLe carnaval des animaux was originally scored for an ensemble of 11 instruments and has been adapted for larger ensembles and smaller configurations. The Summerland Music Society is performing a pared-down version to feature Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra cellist Charlie Powers, Glens Falls Symphony Principal Flutist Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough, pianist Kristine Mezines and Summerland Music Society Co-Directors pianist Carol Minor and clarinetist Christopher Bush.

If you are not yet familiar with this menagerie, here’s the run down:

  • Introduction et marche royale du lion (Introduction and Royal March of the Lion)
  • Poules et coqs (Hens and Roosters)
  • Hémiones (animaux véloces) (Wild Asses: Swift Animals)
  • Tortues (Tortoises)
  • L’éléphant (The Elephant)
  • Kangourous (Kangaroos)
  • Aquarium
  • Personnages à longues oreilles (Characters with Long Ears)
  • Le coucou au fond des bois (The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods)
  • Volière (Aviary)
  • Pianistes (Pianists)
  • Fossiles (Fossils)
  • Le cygne (The Swan)
  • Final (Finale)

If you haven’t encountered this work before in it’s entirety, you probably (regardless of age) have come across bits and pieces of the work used in other settings. A few examples:

  • Aquarium” has been incorporated into films trailers and soundtracks such as Days of Heaven (1978), Only You (1994), The Godfather Part II (1974), Babe (1995), Charlotte’s Web (2006), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Those familiar with the Disney film Beauty and the Beast (1991) will hear Saint-Saëns “Aquarium” influence in the film’s prologue. Alan Menken, the film’s composer has acknowledged that he purposely patterned the music after Saint-Saëns’ work. It  also can be found in a variety of television shows. from the Simpsons, The Ren and Stimpy Show to How I Met Your Mother, and video games.
  • Saint-Saëns mimics his own composition, the Danse macabre. in “Fossiles.”
  • In “L’éléphant“, Saint-Saëns pulls and plays around with thematic material taken from the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Berlioz’s “Dance of the Sylphs” from The Damnation of Faust.
  • Clearly poking fun at the pianist as an animal, any one who has had to plod through the various scales and dexterity exercises in their early years will delight in the musical playfulness found in the “Pianistes.”

These are just a few examples of the fun that can be had this Friday morning. I encourage you to go and bring the whole family.

But, before leaving this post, let’s come back to the reluctance of Saint-Saëns of publishing this fun little piece due to his incredible fear that it would prevent him from being taken seriously. It’s wonderful writing that has proven itself over time. Not only is this one of Saint-Saëns’ most popular works, but it continues to influence others today as well as being incorporated into other works. This is a bit disturbing as Saint-Saëns is not the only composer who has experienced such fear. While we know the critics and scholars can be brutal to one’s ego and subsequently one’s confidence, we hope audiences are more forgiving, so that composers can flourish with doodling around and having some fun. Those of us who are fans of the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s chamber ensemble Dogs of Desire know and can appreciate that serious concert music can be fun and that fun music can be serious concert music … if we let it. This is perhaps most evident through their work with the brilliant composer David Mallamud.

With all of this in mind, grab your friends and family, and go take in some good music that is engagingly delightful and anything but “stuffy.” Spend a portion of your Friday morning with the Summerland Music Society at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls. There is no admission charge (although I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a donation), so go do some great musicking!