Thursday, December 11, 2014

Menil Repurposes Sacred Space For Contemporary Art

ByzantineChapelMuseumWhen the Byzantine Fresco Chapel at the Menil Collection in Houston opened in 1997, it displayed a group of 13th-century Greek Orthodox frescoes. But after restoration of the works, which the Menil had rescued from looters for the Church of Cyprus, the museum returned the frescoes to Cyprus as a donation when the agreed loan expired in 2012.
So what to do with that chapel (at right), which has now been deconsecrated? The Menil has commissioned a year-long installation from the team of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet has been a hit wherever it is installed, but especially when in 2013 it was place in the Cloisters’s 12th-century Spanish chapel, as the first work of contemporary art ever to be shown at the Met’s medieval art branch. More

Friday, December 5, 2014

Grammys 2015: List of Classical Nominees

In-house orchestra labels had a particularly strong showing in the nominations for the 57th Grammy Awards, which were announced on Friday afternoon.
Dominating the orchestral categories are Seattle Symphony Media (three nominations), the Atlanta Symphony's ASO Media (two different albums, each receiving one nod), and Berlin Philharmonic Recordings (one nod). Seattle scored two further nominations with its recording of John Luther Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean, released on the Cantaloupe label. More

Classical Recordings Distributor Goes Belly Up

Classical Recordings Distributor Goes Belly Up
Another classical recording distributor has collapsed. This time it is Netherlands-based T2 Entertainment group, whose labels included Brilliant Classics, Alia Vox, Col Legno, Membran, Preiser, ARC, and Newton Classics, a reissue label of about 230 titles, most of them from the archives of Decca, Philips, and EMI.

Its demise follows that of Qualiton in the U.S., Harmonia Mundi Iberica in Spain, Codaex in Benelux and--just a few months ago--Fuse Group of Australia.

Theo Lap, founder of Newton Classics, in receivership when T2 took it over, has been hired by Brilliant, one of T2's backers, to set up an independent distribution network. Lap reports that he already has agreements with "quite a few important labels."

Much of the distribution business had moved from business-to-business to business-to-consumer, he said. subscribers read the full story  

Wolfgang Rihm wins 2015 Grawemeyer Award

Wolfgang Rihm Wins 2015 Grawemeyer Award
German composer Wolfgang Rihm, 62, has won the 2015 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for his In-Schrift 2,commissioned last year by the Berlin Philharmonic to honor the 50thanniversary of the Philharmonie.

Rihm's prize is the first of the five Grawemeyer Awards, $100,000 each; the others go to ideas improving world order, psychology, education, and religion.

"The work evokes dark colors and uses mostly low instruments--no flutes, violins, or violas, for example," Award Director Marc Satterwhite said. "It begins and ends in quiet and mystery, taking many interesting paths along the way."

Described as an exploration of spatial boundaries, the 15-minute piece uses six clarinetists and three percussionists. At its 2013 premiere, they were stationed in various spots around the room.