Friday, September 22, 2017
Austrian composer Franz Schubert died at age 31. He left us more than 600 songs (Lieder), as well as chamber music, piano music, symphonies, and more. All of these express the events, illness, and tragedy that made up his life. The performers of today’s music are Lucas and Arthur Jussen. They have performed with nearly all Dutch orchestras, among which the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Rotterdam and The Hague Philharmonic orchestras, and the Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra. They have also performed with acclaimed international orchestras, among others the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, MDR Sinfonie Orchester and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. They have worked with conductors for example Jaap van Zweden, Claus Peter Flor, Elihu Inbal, Jan Willem de Vriend, Stéphane Denève, James Gaffigan, Sir Neville Marriner and Frans Brüggen. Moreover, they have collaborated with several renowned musicians such as Chinese star pianist Lang Lang, with whom Lucas shared the stage during the Prinsengracht Concert in Amsterdam in 2006. In October 2013, Lucas and Arthur performed the world première of Together, a work for two pianos written for them especially by Theo Loevendie. One of my favorite compositions is Schubert’s Fantasie in F-Minor for piano 4 hands. Listen to this music, and explore how it feels:
With a 2017 GRAMMY nomination, awards from the American Composers Forum and Chorus America, and a growing international profile, The Crossing requires strong administrative leadership and increased fund-raising. Reports to the Board and works in partnership with acclaimed Artistic Director, Donald Nally. Position Summary and Opportunity The Executive Director will be based in Philadelphia, report to the Board of Directors, and be responsible for the overall management and day-to-day leadership of the organization. He/she will help enhance the visibility of the group on a worldwide stage, ensure the continued financial strength of The Crossing through development leadership, and initiate and execute initiatives that promote the advancement of the group. The Executive Director will oversee part-time staff in operations, marketing, production, and finance, and will engage consultants as needed. Primary Responsibilities: Development and Fundraising Develop and execute a comprehensive strategy of financial and resource development; serve as the key development face of the organization; identify new sources of income from individuals, corporations and foundations; establish committees to implement fundraising projects; oversee the execution of foundation and government grant proposals; plan the annual donor campaign and appeals. Marketing Work collaboratively with the marketing staff and Artistic Director to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote the ensemble on local, national, and international levels; coordinate promotion materials and programs; keep abreast of new marketing technologies; oversee educational outreach. Community Relations Develop an ongoing relationship with peers in the arts community; represent the ensemble at community functions. Financial Management Work collaboratively with appropriate staff/consultants to prepare budgets and manage financial operations; manage the business 'office'; work with the treasurer of the Board to prepare the annual organizational budget; help to monitor projections, cash flow and expenses with bookkeeper; comply with all tax regulations and 501c3 compliance. Board of Directors and Board Development Work directly with the board of directors to build a consistent pipeline of potential board members and leverage board relationships in the community; attend all board and committee meetings; prepare reports and assist the president in developing agendas. Staff, Office, and Planning Oversee and collaborate with all staff and consultants and work the the Artistic Director on the yearly production calendar; monitor productions; recruit, manage and supervise volunteers and consultants. Candidate Profile A strategic thinker and planner who can work collaboratively to establish and communicate a vision for the company and plan for developing sustainable resources to support it. An inspiring leader with exceptional networking skills and a high energy level for donor cultivation and fundraising. An exceptional manager with strong financial skills in sales and marketing, as well as superb skills in building a management team and creating a positive working environment. An experienced executive who understands the direct shirtsleeves involvement necessary to run a performing arts organization with a small staff on a financially sound basis, and who also understands how to work effectively with a volunteer board. A confident and respected leader who can command the trust of the Board, staff, volunteers and community, and who can represent the company to its audiences, its stakeholder and the public. A new music advocate, with knowledge of and passion for the art form. Ideal Experience Education: This job requires organizational, analytical and communications skills normally acquired through the completion of a bachelor's degree. An advanced degree or professional certification in arts management, business, or other relevant areas would be a valuable addition. Experience: prior experience in managing comparable staff and budget; experience leading a performing arts organization would be ideal. Strong financial management skills are essential. Demonstrated experience in working with a non-profit Board of Trustees. The ideal candidate will be eager to take on the role of the first executive director and to partner with artistic director Donald Nally. He/she will have the entrepreneurial spirit and drive to build a management team and organizational structure that will serve as the foundation and support for this extraordinary ensemble as it continues its rise to prominence in the world of 21st-century choral music. About The Crossing: The Crossing is a premier, internationally recognized choral ensemble known not only for its presentation of contemporary choral music, but also for commissioning and inspiring substantial new works for choirs in the U.S. Founded in 2005 by a group of friends, under its acclaimed artistic director and conductor, Donald Nally, the ensemble works with composers to create new ways for those composers to write, new ways for singers to perform, and new ways for audiences to experience that music. The ensemble focuses on and inspires engagement with environmental and political issues that affect us all. It has both a local and a global outlook. Its goals in the coming years include: continuing to commission works from composers of widely varying cultural, geographical and stylistic backgrounds; recording these commissioned works; touring; and maintaining the compensation of its singers at the highest level in the field. The Crossing has appeared at Disney Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall and the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place with the American Composers Forum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Gardner Museum in Boston, National Sawdust, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Mostly Mozart Festival and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Next season the ensemble will appear at the National Gallery in Washington D.C., Northwestern University, and the Ojai Festival. The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artist Management. The Company: The Crossing presents a home season of at least six programs, culminating in their annual Month of Moderns, a festival of new music featuring three concerts in one month. The annual December concert, The Crossing @ Christmas sells out every year, with over 1000 people hearing it in 2016. The ensemble has an annual residency of two weeks at The Big Sky Conservatory. At The Big Sky Choral Initiative Composing Fellows work with Donald Nally, a prominent composer-in-residence, and members of the ensemble to develop new works. Composer-in-residence have included Gavin Bryars, Ted Hearne, and Gabriel Jackson. While the core group is 24 singers plus the accompanist and conductor, the ensemble regularly appears in groups from as few as three in David Lang's 'lifespan' to as many as 32 in John Luther Adams' Canticles of the Holy Wind, both of which were written for The Crossing. Ensembles with which The Crossing collaborates include: the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), eighth blackbird, TILT Brass, JACK Quartet, and the baroque orchestra Quicksilver. The Crossing currently has a 14-member Board of Directors and a budget of $700,000. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest along with résumé in confidence, preferably by e-mail: Kathryn Taylor, President of the Board The Crossing 8855 Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19118 email@example.com For additional information: www.crossingchoir.com
Details of the Hall’s opening gala: We are excited to inform you that legendary jazz artist Chick Corea will join Lang Lang as featured soloists in a two-piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as part of the Opening Night Gala concert on Wednesday, October 4. Also performing at the keyboard with Lang Lang during the piece will be 14-year-old pianist Maxim Lando, an alumnus of the Lang Lang Foundation’s Young Scholars Program. Lando will partner with Lang Lang, as he continues to recover from an inflammation of his left arm.
Simon Rattle is one of a number of celebrity musicians who have spoken out against Brexit because of their concern over the resulting potential restrictions on freedom of movement. For his farewell Asian tour with the Berlin Philharmonic and soloist Lang Lang, Rattle takes the orchestra in November to Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Wuhan and Hong Kong. Human Rights Watch reports that: "On January 29, 2016, the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court’s sentenced Tang Jingling, Yuan Xinting, and Wang Qingying to five, three-and-a-half, and two-and-a-half years respectively for “inciting subversion of state power.” The three men were convicted for promoting the ideas of “non-violent civil disobedience” and of promoting peaceful transformation to democratic rule in gatherings of activists. The guilty verdicts and prison terms reflect the Chinese government’s politicized manipulation of the courts and its increasing hostility toward peaceful dissent". There is more on the persecution of Guangzhou activists in a New York Times story from which the photo* of protesters in the city is taken. Next stop on Simon Rattle's itinerary is Wuhan. Another human rights monitoring organisation Front Line Defenders reports that: "On 11 April 2016, Mr Liu Xinglian was released from custody in Wuhan No.2 Detention Centre due to ill-health. He had been arrested on 19 June 2015 on charges of 'inciting subversion of state power' by police in Wuhan city, Hubei province. Liu Xinglian is a human rights defender and secretary of the domestic organisations China Human Rights Watch and the Rose Group. Both are domestic organisations which pursue equal rights for all, highlight cases of human rights abuses and assist those who have had their rights violated. Liu Xinglian is also President of the Haikou City Muslim Association and he works with marginalised groups in the Muslim community in Hainan province". Hong Kong hosts two concerts on the Berlin Philharmonic tour and earlier this year Human Rights Watch reported that: "The Hong Kong authorities’ arrest of 11 pro-democracy advocates over two days raises grave concerns of a politically motivated crackdown. While all have been released on bail, they face prosecution and possible prison sentences. Hong Kong authorities have prosecuted at least 18 pro-democracy political leaders in the territory since the end of the massive Umbrella Movement in December 2014. "Prosecution as persecution seems to be the new norm for the treatment of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “Hong Kong authorities’ abuse of the law to intimidate dissent increasingly resembles tactics employed just across the border.”" Despite recent widespread approval of political interventions, Simon Rattle and his peers have remained notably silent about human rights abuses by the Chinese regime. The value of the music market in China is forecast to reach $1.05 billion by 2019. So protests about human rights in China are out of the question because classical music's celebrities and their management want a slice of that very tasty cake. This is the world we live in, and please do not let us pretend otherwise. * Photo credit is Jerome Favre/European Pressphoto Agency. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.
The pianist announced in April that he was taking three months off with an arm injury. It appears his recovery is taking longer than expected. We hear he has cancelled US dates in the second week of September, starting with the Charlotte Symphony.