The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Tenor Andrew Moore’s first solo recital in September 2010 was a traditional affair, with works by George Frideric Handel, Vincenzo Bellini, Johannes Brahms and other usual suspects in classical vocal music. Moore got a little loose in the second half with some Irish folk songs.
As he started planning his second recital, he mentioned to his voice teacher, Phyllis Jenness, that he would like to focus on works by Morehead-based composer Jay Flippin, the longtime accompanist of the Lexington Singers, of which Moore is a member.
“She said, ‘Hmmm. What if you did all American composers, even all Kentucky?’” Moore says. “So I started doing research and found quite a few really fine composers right here in Lexington.”
His recital Sunday night in the Carrick Theatre at Transylvania University (see the photo caption, above, for details) will feature the works of two iconic Kentucky-connected composers, Stephen Foster and John Jacob Niles, and active composers Joseph Baber, Greg Partain and Flippin.
“I think the recital has turned out to be an interesting and high-quality representation of Kentucky song composers,” says Jenness, who founded the Lexington Singers and directed the voice program at the University of Kentucky until 1993.
Moore, a landscape architect by day, says he would not be giving any recitals if not for Jenness.
May22Filed under: Classical Music, Norton Center for the Arts, Podcasts; Tagged as: Astor Piazolla, Centre College, Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David Finkel, Escher String Quartet, Franz Schubert, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Jakor Koranyi, Joseph Silverstein, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Memorial Day weekend, Music@Menlo, Norton Center for the Arts, Orion String Quartet, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Stephen Collins Foster, Wu Han, Yura Lee
Click play to hear a podcast of our conversation with Wu Han and David Finkel.
The unplayed tune that has colored the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass is a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic: Getting to Know You.
For the fourth consecutive Memorial Day weekend, the festival will bring together members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Central Kentucky classical music fans at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
“I could feel there’s a sense of trust that’s been building up on the reputation and the quality of the music,” says pianist Wu Han, who co-directs the festival with her husband, cellist David Finkel.
She points out that in the festival’s first years, she and Finkel brought along other brand-name classical stars such as violinist Joseph Silverstein and the Orion String Quartet. This year, like last year, leans more on new faces. Last year’s fresh entry was the Escher String Quartet. This year, it’s some hot young soloists, including violinist/violist Yura Lee and cellist Jakor Koranyi.
That duo will play Maurice Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello, which earned them flat-out raves when they played it in New York last month. In his review for the New York Daily News, Howard Kissel acknowledged it was not a piece he was familiar with, but he was completely taken with Lee and Koranyi’s performance.
Offering performances like that put the festival, presented by Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts, on a trajectory it should be on, Wu Han says.
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