Welcome, Odradek Records!
1 July 2012
A new classical music label with a specific focus on
artist-controlled material and piano repertoire is now in operation.
Based in the US but with a global outreach, Odradek Records
is the brainchild of the company’s director John Anderson. Anderson was
inspired to create a record label that could offer recording facilities for
musicians who want to remain free from the constraints and demands of larger
commercial companies. ‘We are convinced that there are many artists who can give an original and high
quality contribution to musical research, and who are unsatisfied with the
current musical world,’ says Anderson.
‘We think that these musicians are only lacking a voice, a channel that permits them to express their talents in a way which is clean and financially accessible, independent from economic and political considerations, or from the criteria of a star system. We believe that classical music, produced in this way, has not only an already existing affectionate public, but a potentially much larger new public, waiting only to be reached.
‘In short, Odradek Records wants to be a voice for artists
who share our philosophy and a channel between them and the public.’
As well as providing a platform to record material, Odradek Records offers all its net profits to the artists. ‘We don’t accumulate capital, only recuperate its expenses. This buys us freedom from the markets and the logic of the star system and culture industry,’ explains Anderson. ‘Artists join our label through an honest and open application process, without consideration of their backgrounds, financial status, political connections, or past successes.’
The label has chosen to specialise in piano works and has attracted pianists from across the globe, such as Duo Miho and Masumi Hio, and Domenico Codispoti. In addition to its recent releases – including the complete piano works of Schoenberg by Pina Napolitano – Odradek Records has received the first recording rights from Boosey & Hawkes for Unsuk Chin’s Piano Études. The label is currently programming its first series of music festivals around Italy this July.
Odradek records are available to buy through Amazon, with digital versions available via the company website and iTunes.
Purchase the July/August edition of International Piano magazine for a FREE 22-track download of piano music, including works by Ravel, Ligeti and Schoenberg, as well as eight exclusive tracks from Javier Negrin's future release and a world premiere recording of Unsuk Chin's Six Etudes.
Elijah Wood to star in thriller 'Grand Piano'
14 May 2012
Pianists make scintillating subject matter for filmmakers – see: The Pianist, The Piano et al – and now Grand Piano, a thriller starring Elijah Wood as the piano-playing protagonist, is slated for creation later this summer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film, described as ‘Speed but with a piano’ features Wood as a once-great concert pianist who has developed crippling stage fright. After spending five years away from the stage, he returns to perform at a gala, only to discover a threatening note on his music sheet. Wood must then play to save both his own life and his wife’s.
Eugenio Mira will direct, working from a script by Damien Chazelle, and Buried team Rodrigo Cortes and Adrian Guerra are involved as producers.
Llyr Williams scoops South Bank Sky Arts Award
2 May 2012
Welsh pianist Llyr Williams has won a South Bank Sky Arts
Awards for his Beethoven sonata series.
In 2011, Williams performed all 32 of Beethoven’s sonatas across 14 days at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh. He was featured as ‘One to watch’ in the March/April edition of International Piano this year and told the magazine that although he feels closest to Beethoven’s music he finds some of the sonatas ‘difficult to make sense of’. ‘I don’t feel I’ve reached the top of the mountain with them yet,’ he commented, ‘But you never do with that music’.
The award was announced at the 16th South Bank
Sky Arts Awards ceremony on 1 May. The event is the only one of its kind to
represent a broad spectrum of British arts, including visual arts, opera,
television drama, dance, film and literature.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Roald Dahl’s
Matilda, created by Dennis Kelly and comedian-pianist Tim Minchin, won the
theatre category. Elsewhere, Grayson Perry was handed the Visual Arts award by
Tracey Emin for his hit exhibition, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, at the
Piano highlights at this year's BBC Proms
23 April 2012
Benjamin Grosvenor, who made his Proms debut in 2011, is set to perform Saint-Saens Concerto No 2© Chris Christodoulou/Proms
The line-up for this year’s BBC Proms – which takes place 13 July – 8 September – will include pianists Murray Perahia, Imogen Cooper, Steven Osborne, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Benjamin Grosvenor and Joanna MacGregor, among others.
The festival will draw on themes inspired by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, and on the opening night of the Proms, four British conductors – Martyn Brabbins, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner and Sir Roger Norrington – will ‘pass the baton’ on stage.
The 118th season includes 17 new commissions, with a further five world premieres and 14 other UK and London premieres, including that of Richard Dubugnon’s Battlefield concerto, written for and performed by Katia and Marielle Labèque.
British composers celebrating significant birthdays include Oliver
Knussen and Simon Bainbridge at 60, and Hugh Wood and Alexander Goehr at 80. There
are also 150th-birthday tributes to Debussy and Delius. Joanna MacGregor will
perform Wood’s piano concerto and Pierre-Laurent Aimard gives a solo recital of
Daniel Barenboim and his celebrated West Eastern Divan Orchestra
make Proms history by performing all nine Beethoven symphonies and the festival
hosts six major opera performances. Other headline-grabbing concerts include
the Children’s Prom, which will feature a concerto penned by none other than
animated inventor Wallace (of ‘& Gromit), and a complete performance of My
Promming tickets remain at £5 and for the first time ever, seats are half-price for under-18s. Every Prom is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and many are televised on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four.
The Musical Brain prepares for upcoming Beethoven conference
16 April 2012
Thinking organisation The Musical Brain has announced details of its upcoming conference ‘The Beethoven Question: Can Art Make Life Worth Living?’, which will be held in the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre on 27 and 28 October.
Speakers include Barry Cooper, world authority on Beethoven and Professor of Music at the University of Manchester, and writer Stephen Johnson Writer, regular presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Discovering Music, among other notable participants.
The Musical Brain examines the effects of music and other art forms upon the human mind, brain and body, and creates opportunities for intellectuals and artists to debate issues before an audience of enthusiasts. Delegates include individuals with an amateur interest in the subject and participants from within the music industry.
Tickets are priced £95 for a single day and £160 for the weekend (with limited student tickets on offer for £45 and £75 respectively) and are available online here or via the box office on 0844 847 9910.