VIDEO: Kentucky Opera’s “The Girl of the Golden West”

Young Artist Competition Results

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Classical 90.5/PNC Wealth Management Young Artist Competition! See the results below and attend the free winner’s recital on Wednesday, November 26th at noon, on Lunchtime Classics. The first place, second place, and honorable mentions perform on the winner’s recital.

First Place

Aemin Kim (16), piano

Second Place

Tie
Emily Redden (17), soprano
Maxwell Thompson (16), marimba

Honorable Mentions

Colin Crothers (12), piano
Landys Guo (16), piano
Ted Kang (17), violin
Sarah Martel (13), piano
Megan Wang (14), piano
Clara Warford (16), harp
Christopher Zhou (18), clarinet

Junior Award

Kennan King (9), piano

Judges

Krista Wallace-Boaz
Michael Hill
Daniel Gilliam

GIVEAWAY: Jessye Norman at Kentucky Author Forum

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Jessye Norman will be speaking at the Kentucky Author Forum on Monday, and it’s SOLD OUT, but you can enter for a chance to win two tickets. Details below…
This contest is now closed! Thanks for entering and good luck!

Holiday Choral Festival 2014

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The Louisville Chamber Choir, Protus, Voces Novae and the Youth Performing Arts School Women’s Choir are the four ensembles you can hear December 7th at 7pm on the 2014 Holiday Choral Festival. Non-member tickets are $15. Members and children (17 & under) are $10. Tickets available here and by calling (877) 435-9849, and available in person at Louisville Public Media, 619 S. Fourth Street, Louisville, KY, 40202.

New Music Festival Preview: Agata Zubel

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Editor’s Note: This post is part of series previewing the 2014 New Music Festival at the University of Louisville School of Music.

Agata Zubel (b. 1978) has been described as ‘a rarity’ in the world of musical composition. A native of Wrocław, Poland, she studied percussion and music theory at the Karol Szymanowski High School of Music. Her studies continued at the Karol Lipinski University of Music in composition under the tutelage of Jan Wichrowski as well as vocals with Danuta Paziuk-Zipser. She is an active performer, composer, and music professor at The Academy of Music in Wrocław. She formed a vocal and electronic ensemble with Cezary Duchnowski, and together they perform under the name ElettroVoce. She has won numerous awards for her compositions, including the Polityka Passport Award for classical music (2005). Agata Zubel has received a special award for the duo ElettroVoce at the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in Amsterdam, and First Prize at the Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition of Contemporary Chamber Music.

The listener might think of calling her style “percussive vocalism” – beatboxing comes to mind. She has created a musical language that places the process of sound production in a place of equal importance to the sounds themselves. Her music is full of surprising contrasts, such as the pairing of long, lyrical violin playing with shouting. Zubel is a gifted performer and often performs the vocal part to her own compositions. Sound collages are created by making syllabic vocal sounds, for example, purposeful stuttering to begin a phrase; continued by stretching out the process of making the word or phrase come out of her mouth, and resulting in an overall statement. Her timbral requirements are daunting for the vocalist: pops, clicks, hisses, growls, and moans are included as part of the text. Sometimes these vocal acrobatics are paired with electronics to create loops or reverberation. The sounds are often stacked in layers to create complex and fascinating webs during the climactic moments of her music. Although instruments are often used in her works, they tend to play a secondary role to the vocal line. Her music is at once sensual and unpredictable, dynamic and unforgettable.

Zubel will be featured as a visiting composer and performer on the University of Louisville School of Music’s 2014 New Music Festival. She will be performing her pieces Cascando and Parlando during the festival. The following week she returns with the Illinois Modern Ensemble to perform Not I based on the monologue by Samuel Beckett, winner of the top award at the 60th UNESCO International Composer’s Rostrum and 2014 “Polonica Nova” Prize.

Michelle Gilfert, Jon Hodge, Matt Wetmore and Samantha Holman contributed to this article. They are students of Dr. Rebecca Jemian, a member of the music theory faculty at the University of Louisville.