The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Trumpeter Caleb Hudson, a Lexington native who first turned heads in the Bluegrass before heading off to the Interlochen Academy and the Julliard School, has officially joined the Canadian Brass, arguably the world’s best-known brass ensemble.
Hudson’s appointment came in a surprise announcement at a March 15 concert at Goucher College in Baltimore that was played on SiriusXM Pops. Hudson, 25, had been billed as a guest artist, but then was announced as the Brass’ newest member. He will be joining the Brass for an eight-month tour of North America, Europe, Asia and South America.
Before last Friday, Hudson had already been making headlines with appearances such as his solo debut with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performing J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and at the Aspen Music Festival, where he was soloist with pianist Vladimir Feltsman in a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Orchestra. Last year he graduated from Julliard with bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He is a performing and teaching artist with The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall.
Hudson attended Paul Laurence Dunbar High School for his freshman and sophmore years, was a member of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, and went to the Governor’s School for the Arts in the Summer of 2005. Later that year, he returned from Michigan as a soloist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.
At the pre-concert lecture for that performance, Hudson’s trumpet teacher Rich Byrd said the first thing that struck him about Hudson was his work ethic.
“Never in my 20 years of private teaching have I ever had a student as serious and hard working as Caleb Hudson,” Byrd, an Eastern Kentucky University trumpet professor, said. “No matter what I assigned Caleb, he always returned to me with his lesson completed exactly as I asked, and often would prepare more than I asked.”
Hudson, at Byrd’s urging went on to enter and win at the National Trumpet Competition multiple times.
The Chamber Music Festival of Lexington ended its Wednesday night master classes with a performance of ‘Spring’ from Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ with musicians from the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras. CKYO alum and Chamber Fest artistic director Nathan Cole was the conductor and soloist. This is the final portion of ‘Spring,’ ‘Allegro Pastorale.’ The festival runs through Sunday, Sept. 2. Visit chambermusiclex.com for more information.
Nathan Cole doesn’t waste a lot of time after master class students finish playing their pieces at Central Christian Church.
Right away, he is telling Jessie Li (photo above) that as a soloist, she needs to work to sound “more exciting than the musicians you’re playing in front of in the orchestra.” A lot of his advice lay in the bow and drawing out longer, more fluid notes.
The Paul Laurence Dunbar High School student had an idea what to expect as she has participated in two previous master classes with Cole, the Chamber Festival’s artistic director.
“He always helps me with my sound quality and my tone,” Li, 17, said after the class.
After Li, Boston University student Michael Hustedde played, getting in a little advice from a fellow Lexingtonian before heading back to school. As a violin student, Hustedde said he found it inspiring playing for Cole, who has gone on to be the associate concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Waiting in the wings were Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra musicians who will play with the Chamber Festival’s string musicians later this evening. Seeming to recall his CKYO days, Cole said, “They’ve had pizza, so they should be in good shape.”
Several times during his chat with his first student, pianist Alessio Bax tells her that her piece by Alberto Ginastera is “so beautiful, it sounds great no matter how you play it.”
That piece was “Danza de la moza donosa,” played by Yuri Kim (above) a master’s student of Irina Voro at the University of Kentucky.
“He had different ideas than Dr. Voro,” said Kim, who noted Bax was encouraging her to play longer phrases and connect them more.
“I don’t know if I did that,” she said. “He made me play as easy as I can.”
Bax thanked his next student, Ethan James McCollum, for choosing C.V. Alkan’s “Premier Nocturne.”
“It does not get played that often,” Bax told him, before going through an extensive talk about separating the left hand and right hand to bring more focus in playing with each. And he encouraged the University of Louisville student to slow down.
“What you don’t want is for it to sound hurried, it’s such gentle music,” Bax said.
Like Li with Cole, McCollum had been in master classes with Bax before.
“I’m Facebook friends with him,” he said. “he’s great.”
After Bax’s class, the piano was moved back and festival musicians Jasmine Lin, violin; Priscilla Lee, cello; and Burchard Tang, viola; took the stage to rehearse “Spring” from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” with students from the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras symphony orchestra.
At one point in the second movement, Cole, serving as conductor and violin soloist, asked if anyone knew what animal the viola solo was supposed to represent.
A dog, was the answer. “Kind of an angry dog,” Tang said. “He wrote him loud.”
Cole added, “And a surprisingly rhythmic dog.”
Some of Cole’s direction did concentrate on setting up the soloist, though he also dropped some orchestral secrets like, “if you get lost, just drop out and look for a place where you can come back in. That’s what we do all the time in orchestra.”
At another point, Cole looked at the assembled strings and said, “I’m going to trust you here.”
Then, with little fanfare, the brisk performance of “Spring” began, shortly before 8.
The 2012 Chamber Music Festival of Lexington opens tonight (Aug. 29, 2012) with a reunion of sorts: artistic director Nathan Cole and the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, which Cole played in for several years.
In an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader last year, Lexington native and nationally revered jazz violinist Zach Brock recalled his days in CKYO joking fondly, “and then there was this guy, Nathan Cole, kicking everyone’s butt.”
It was a sign of things to come, as Cole went on to a career with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and now the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he is the associate concertmaster. But, in running his own festival, Cole says he has always wanted to reconnect with the youth orchestra.
“We haven’t been a teaching festival,” Cole said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “That brings a whole other layer of complexity and would probably require expanding the festival to two weeks. We haven’t wanted to do it unless we could do it well — have students here, really, full time.
“So this was a great way to work with the CSO [sic] on a shorter piece, one that’s not tremendously difficult in itself, so that a lot of people could participate and the public could see as well. So it’s a real pleasure for me to work with CS … sorry … CKYO, since I did play in there so many years.”
Years in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra put the CSO acronym a bit closer to the tip of Cole’s tongue. But his affection the CKYO and excitement for working with it are also palpable.
As part of the festival’s traditional master classes, the CMFL string players will work with students from the CKYO Symphony Orchestra. Then they will join them for an 8 p.m. performance of Spring Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons featuring Cole as the violin soloist.
Prior to the performance, Cole will conduct a violin master class and guest artist Andrew Bain will lead a horn class, both at 5 p.m. Pianist Alessio Bax will lead a master class at 6 and the orchestral master class with the festival string players will be at 7.
“Hopefully it will be fun for them to work with us and see us as well,” Cole said.
All events will be at Central Christian Church, 205 East Short Street.
Full disclosure: Rich Copley does have a child in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, but he is not involved in this performance.
Jul21Filed under: Balagula Theatre, ballet, Central Kentucky Arts News, Classical Music, dance, Film, LexArts, Lexington Art League, Lexington Children's Theatre, Lexington Philharmonic, Lexington Singers, Music, Opera, Photography, Theater, UK, Visual arts; Tagged as: allocations, Balagula Theatre, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Central Kentucky Concert Band, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, grants, Kentucky Ballet Theatre, Kentucky Craft History and Education Association, Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Kremena Todorova, Kurt Gohde, LexArts, Lexington Art League, Lexington Bach Choir, Lexington Children's Theatre, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Lexington Singers, Living Arts and Science Center, The African American Forum, University of Kentucky Opera Theatre
LexArts has announced its recipients of general operating support and community arts grants.
The general operating support funds are unrestricted grants, generally to larger organizations in Lexington.
This year’s recipients are:
■ Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, $20,000
■ Lexington Art League, $62,000
■ Lexington Children’s Theatre, $120,000
■ Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, $165,000
■ Lexington Singers, $9,000
■ Living Arts and Science Center, $102,000
Community Arts Grants are given at two levels: Program grants to groups for operating support and specific endeavors and project grants to groups or individuals for specific projects.
Program grants go to:
■ Balagula Theatre Company, $8,600 – for its 2011-12 theater season
■ Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, $8,600 – for the Kentucky Great Writers Series, which brings 12 Kentucky authors to the center to work with writers
■ Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, $4,000 – for the 2011 festival
■ Kentucky Ballet Theatre, $8,400 – for the 2011-2012 season of performances
■ Kentucky Craft History and Education Association, $3,000 – for Stringed Instruments, The Art of the Luthier, a documentary film about stringed instrument-making in Kentucky
■ Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Inc., $7,500 – for the 2011 event
■ University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, $5,000 -for the Academy for Creative Excellence, which provides theater and music training for first through eight graders
Project grants go to:
■ The African American Forum, $1,500 – for The Smooth Jazz Fest
■ Artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, $2,500 – for 1000 Dolls, a project to create and install 1000 local-designed dolls along Limestone
■ Central Kentucky Concert Band, $1,750 – for the closing concert of the 2011-2012 season
■ Lexington Bach Choir, $1,000 – for the 2nd Annual Lexington Bach Choir Vocal Competition in which students age 30 or younger compete for cash and a solo opportunity with the Bach Choir
DANVILLE – It was only a rehearsal, but Nick Niehaus was breaking out the tux anyway.
“This is the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra!” Floyd said, explaining his late morning attire. “I thought, I have the tux, I ought to wear it.”
The 18-year-old freshman joined most of the student body at Centre College at the campus’ Norton Center for the Arts Monday morning to hear a rehearsal by the orchestra and conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who were set to perform Monday night in a concert that will see many more black ties and evening gowns in the audience.
For many students, just hearing a rehearsal was exhilirating.
“They’re breathtaking,” Niehaus said. “My heart was pounding.”
Louesa Akin, a 20-year-old freshman from Paducah said, “They’re so smooth and everything that’s in the music shows. Watching Dudamel, you see the excitement and the passion.”
Joining the Centre students were others from the Central Kentucky music community, including the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. They got to see the extent of the event planned for the concert, including cameras mounted on giant cranes over the stage for NBC to film the concert.
For Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras music director, it was a chance to reconnect with an orchestra she had enjoyed a summer program with and to see another Youth Orchestra conductor who’d made it big. Dudamel first became known for work he did with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, a youth orchestra in Caracas, Venezuela, that is part of the arts education program El Sistema.
“It means this job can be the start of an awesome career,” said Dan, who asked Dudamel to sign a score for her. Dan said she knew of about eight to 10 CKYO kids who are coming to the concert, “but I can’t, because we have rehearsal. I let them off though. It was a good excuse.”
After watching the rehearsal from backstage, Dan said, “The energy comes from him, and his sound is just amazing. The soft is amazingly soft – you can barely hear it.
“It takes time to do that, and a lot of young conductors just rush to the next thing, but he works with it.”
UK Symphony director said the Philharmonic, “knows that music inside-out, and with that, they can really make it their own.”
Jasmine Watts, a 20-year-old Centre junior from Boston said that while she has plenty of cultural opportunities back home, “this is pretty special to have it right here on campus, and its free.”
For Akin, the rehearsal was not to be missed because, “This will never happen again at Centre College, so it’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Jul23Filed under: Central Kentucky Arts News, LexArts; Tagged as: Bluegrass Community Foundation, Boomslang, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, Chamber Music Society of Central Kentucky, Fund for The Arts, Governor's School for the Arts, Kentucky Ballet Theatre, Kentucky Chinese American Association, KY Women Writers Conference, LexArts, Lexington Art League, Lexington Ballet Company, Lexington Chamber Chorale, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Lexington Fayette Urban-County Government, Lexington Opera Society, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Lexington Singers, Living Arts & Science Center, Music Institute of Lexington, Nexus: Toward New Land Art, Theatre of PossABILITIES, WRFL
LexArts recently announced that the 2010 Fund for the Arts campaign took in $1,003,000 and released its list of recipients of allocations and grants for the coming fiscal year.
The fund’s total exceeded the goal by $3,000 and included $450,000 from the Lexington Fayette Urban-County Government. Money raised by the campaign supports LexArts grants and allocations.
This was the first year for tiered allocation recipients, as LexArts split eligible organizations into two groups:
■ General Operating Support I, for not-for-profit arts organizations that are managed by paid full- time staff with budgeted expenses exceeding $250,000. The recipients are:
Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, $165,000
Lexington Children’s Theatre, $120,000
Living Arts & Science Center, $102,000
Lexington Art League, $62,000
■ General Operating Support II, for not-for-profit arts organizations managed by paid full- or part-time staff with budgeted expenses exceeding $50,000:
Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, $10,000
Lexington Singers, $9,000
Music Institute of Lexington, $5,000
■ LexArts Community Arts Grants, designated for specific projects and programs are:
Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, $7,500 for Kentucky Great Writers Series.
Kentucky Chinese American Association, $7,000 for Chinese New Year celebration 2011.
KY Women Writers Conference, $5,000 plus free use of the Downtown Arts Center for the Conference.
Lexington Ballet Company, $5,000 for new works in the 2010-2011 season.
Kentucky Ballet Theatre, $5,000 for 2010-2011 season.
Lexington Opera Society, $5,000 for Get Stuffed, a children’s opera that teaches healthy eating habits.
Lexington Chamber Chorale, $5,000 for additional community performances during its 20th season.
Governors School for The Arts, $2,500 for instrumental music program.
Theatre of PossABILITIES, $2,500 for a two-week theatre camp for children with ADHD, ODD and bipolar disorders.
Bluegrass Community Foundation, $2,500 for Legacy Trail Public Art Project.
WRFL, $2,500 for Boomslang, A celebration of Sound and Art.
Chamber Music Society of Central Kentucky, $5,000 for 2010-2011 concert series.
Nexus: Toward New Land Art, $2,000 for artist expenses with temporary installation for the Loudoun House in Castlewood Park.
Jun25Filed under: Central Kentucky Arts News, Classical Music, Lexington Philharmonic, Music; Tagged as: Alessio Bax, Alltech Fortnight Festival, Arnaud Sussmann, Astor Piazolla, Avery Fisher career gran, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, Evelyn Glennie, God Bless America, Lexington Philharmonic, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, New York Yankees, Paragon Music Theatre, Ronan Tynan, Ryan Shirar, Scott Terrell, The Four Seasons, Three Irish Tenors, UBS Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, UK HealthCare
The Lexington Philharmonic‘s new music director, Scott Terrell, is going to start his tenure with more marquee names on the season schedule than the orchestra has had in quite a while. In addition to Evelyn Glennie, probably the best-known classical solo percussionist in the world Sept. 25, the Phil will also present:
Irish tenor Ronan Tynan in a concert that will be part of the Alltech Fortnight Festival Oct. 10. Tynan came to fame as one of the Three Irish Tenors and has been a ubiquitous presence at New York Yankees games in the past decade singing the full version of God Bless America. Terrell says this concert will probably tell him a lot about possible directions in which to take a revived Philharmonic Pops season.
World-renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will join the orchestra for an April 17 concert benefitting UK HealthCare. Terrell says Sonnenberg will be playing Astor Piazolla’s take on The Four Seasons.
The violinist added for the Feb. 12 Masterclassics concert is also a bit of a get: Arnaud Sussmann, who won a prestigious Avery Fisher career grant in April along with Alessio Bax, who is the pianist with the UBS Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, Aug. 26-30.
Also added to the full schedule, which will be released next week, are family concerts on Oct. 25 (a Youth Arts concert that will feature members of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras playing with the Phil and other young artists) and Dec. 13, which will bring Paragon Music Theatre director Ryan Shirar back to the Philharmonic podium.
When it rains, it pours in Lexington’s classical music world.
Friday, we heard Scott Terrell was taking the baton for the Lexington Philharmonic. Monday, we learned Kayoko Dan will ascend the podium for the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras. Today, we can report on a new guy will be conducting the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, and he already has a job at UK.
Head football coach Rich Brooks will borrow the baton from orchestra director John Narolillo to conduct the UK Symphony for a performance of John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever at the beginning of Friday night’s otherwise all-Beethoven concert.
The guest conductor gig is part of the University of Kentucky Symphony’s status as the beneficiary of this year’s Maker’s Mark commemorative bottle for UK athletics. The bottle features Brooks likeness, in recognition of his UK Symphony-like success the last three seasons, and proceeds are going to the orchestra’s educational efforts.
The idea came up, Nadolillo said, when he and Brooks were dipping the bottles in blue and white wax.
“I said, ‘Why don’t you come conduct the orchestra,’” Nardolillo recalled. “He said, ‘OK, what do you want me to conduct?’ I said, ‘How about Beethoven’s Ninth?’ He said, ‘Fine. And you can coach the LSU game.’”
For those unfamiliar with both professions, those would be comparable tasks.
Nardolillo, by the way, will conduct the rest of Friday’s concert, which will include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Choral,” featuring the UK choirs directed by Jefferson Johnson and Lori Hetzel, and Symphony No. 1.
Nardolillo says the orchestra stands to receive $1.2 million from the project, sponsored by Maker’s Mark and the Keeneland Foundation, which will go into an endowment fund for educational outreach programs.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich