Monday, January 30, 2023

The No. 1 pianist of all time....

 One of the advantages of living in Atlanta is that there are 57 colleges and universities in the area. Many provide concert/recital programs that provide an opportunity to enjoy famous musicians in sometimes intimate settings. Among the best is the concert series at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia. Not only does it host world-class musicians, but it has an acoustical gem as its home base, that is, the renowned Spivey Hall. Not only does the hall sound good, but it also looks good; it is decorated in a refined spare Italianate style.

On January 29, 2023, Spivey Hall was nearly filled with patrons eager to hear a solo piano performance by Norwegian-born Leif Ove Andsnes, who is a multi-Grammy award nominee, a Gramophone award winner, and recipient of honors from around the world. Maybe with a bit of hyperbole, he has been named “The No. 1 pianist of all time” by Classic.FM!

For the complete review, go here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

On this crisp autumn afternoon, Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall hosted the annual Spivey Memorial Concert featuring tenor Ben Bliss and pianist Craig Terry. About sixty patrons attended Sunday’s concert which presented a mixture of art songs, operatic arias, and mid-20th-century American songs.

Mr. Bliss is an imposing figure on stage. He is tall and lean, characteristics that lessen the need for him to “overact” while singing. He has a clear yet full tenor, with no hint that the music ever challenges him technically. He has excellent breath control and is a relaxed singer; that is, his diaphragm and larynx don’t appear to struggle to keep his airflow. Yet, when he transitions from his operatic style to more popular songs, he becomes quite relaxed, retaining little to no body tension.  For the complete review, go here: 

Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN

A new beginning....

 The beginning of each Atlanta Symphony Orchestra season introduces patrons to updates made in the Memorial Arts building. This year, posh new lobby lounges and lighting were installed. Of course, there have been major changes to the ASO itself, especially with the arrival of its new Music Director Nathalie Stutzmann, who has yet to settle in, given the demands of her busy international schedule. Further, nearly half of the ASO’s section principal positions are vacant, and the brass and string sections have experienced a shortage of players. Even the principal librarian position is vacant.

For the complete review, go here: