Vinyl shortage hits record industry

Supply chain shortages and delivery delays – disrupting manufacture and distribution of products ranging from computer chips to cuddly toys – are now bogging down production of vinyl records, one of the biggest success stories of the recording industry in recent years.

“[G]lobal sales of vinyl are up by more than 700 percent in the past decade, says the IFPI [International Federation of the Phonographic Industry],” James Tapper reports for The Guardian. But a shortage of polyvinyl chloride, from which records are made, “after a storm in February halted Texan petrochemical plants, and a fire in 2020 at a lacquer plant in California [that] left only one factory in Japan making the master discs that records are cut from,” have led to delays of months for recordings already in the pipeline and postponements of new releases on vinyl:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/oct/03/first-petrol-then-pasta-now-record-labels-are-running-out-of-vinyl

Carlisle Floyd (1926-2021)

Carlisle Floyd, one of the most prolific and accessible opera composers in the US, has died at 95.

Floyd, the South Carolina-born son of a Methodist preacher, was best-known for “Susannah,” in which the Apocryphal biblical story of Susanna and the Elders plays out in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.

Along with The Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess,” “Susannah” became the one of the most widely staged American operas, especially popular with regional, collegiate and community ensembles. Premiered at Florida State University in Tallahassee in 1955, it was staged by the New York City Opera a year later. “Susannah” waited until 1999 to be produced by the Metropolitan Opera. Virginia Opera mounted a production in 2006.

Many of Floyd’s other operas, including “Of Mice and Men,” “Willie Stark” and “Cold Sassy Tree,” are based on well-known literary works, set in Southern and rural locales, with working-class characters singing in regional accents.

Written melodically and with vernacular American texts, Floyd’s works often were belittled by critics for a lack of sophistication. The composer said he sought “subjects from the American experience, drawing from American literature,” hoping to dismantle “the barriers between opera and Broadway.”

Floyd lived in the South, principally in Tallahassee, where he taught at Florida State, for most of his life.

An obituary by The New York Times’ Robert D. McFadden:

October calendar

The course of Covid-19 infections may require postponements, cancellations, substitution of artists or repertory, or other changes. Many indoor venues have instituted seating limitations, vaccination and mask-wearing requirements, and other safety measures. Check with presenters and/or venues for details.

Oct. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
UR Women’s Chorale & Schola Cantorum
UR Jazz Ensemble
UR Wind Ensemble
UR Symphony Orchestra

“Family Weekend Concert
program TBA

free; tickets required
(804) 289-8980
http://modlin.richmond.edu

Oct. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
CNU Lawn, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Erin Freeman conducting
Nick Ziobro, vocals

“Symphony under the Stars”
Smith: “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Porter: “Can-Can: Selection for Orchestra”
David: “This Guy’s in Love With You’
Strouse: “Lotta Livin’ To Do”/“Shall We Dance”
Ellington: “Duke Ellington! a Medley for Orchestra”
Gold: “Forever Young”
Porter: “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”
Gershwin: “An American in Paris”
Hosay: “Patriotic Sing-Along”

free
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 1 (11:30 a.m.)
Oct. 2 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda conducting

Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major
Hilary Hahn, violin
Florence Price: Symphony No. 3 in C minor
$15-$89
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 2 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Oct. 3 (3:30 p.m.)
Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center, Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Road
Charlottesville Symphony
Benjamin Rous conducting

members of Charlottesville Ballet
Mozart: Divertimento in D major, K. 136
Elgar: Serenade in E minor
Dvořák: Serenade in E major
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor – Adagietto
Gabriela Lena Frank: “Escaramuza”

$8-$45
(434) 924-3376
http://music.virginia.edu/events

Oct. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Academy Center of the Arts Historic Theater, 600 Main St., Lynchburg
Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra
Lynchburg Symphony Youth Orchestra
David Glover conducting
Emily Rist Glover, violin

“Lynchburg’s Finest”
program TBA

$6-$75
(434) 846-8499
http://lynchburgsymphony.org

Oct. 3 (3 p.m.)
Grace Street Theater, Virginia Commonwealth University, 934 W. Grace St., Richmond
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
Harlem String Quartet
Mozart: Quartet in F major, K. 590
Jessie Montgomerey: “Strum”
Dizzy Gillespie: “A Night in Tunisia”
(arr. Dave Glenn & Harlem Quartet)
George Walker: “Lyric for Strings”
Adonis G. Matos: Fugato
William Grant Still: “Lyric Quartet”
Wynton Marsalis: “At the Octoroon Balls”
(excerpts)
Guido López-Gavilán: “Cuarteto en Guaguanco”

$30
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/music/concerts-and-events/

Oct. 6 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Grove Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Terry Austin directing

program TBA
free
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/music/concerts-and-events/

Oct. 7 (5:30 p.m.)
lawn of Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Oct. 9 (3 p.m.)
Heritage Amphitheater, Pocahontas State Park, 10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield
Oct. 10 (3 p.m.)
Barrett’s Landing Park, 100 Barrett St., Franklin
Oct. 12 (5:30 p.m.)
Williamsburg Community Building, 401 N. Boundary St.
Oct. 13 (5:30 p.m.)
Portsmouth Art & Culture Center, 400 High St.
Oct. 14 (7 p.m.)
Zeiders American Dream Theater, 4509 Commerce St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Opera
conductor TBA
Frances Pollock & Jessica Murphy Moo: “Earth to Kenzie” (family chamber opera)
cast TBA
free
(866) 673-7282
http://vaopera.org

Oct. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
31st Street Park, 31st Street at oceanfront, Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Erin Freeman conducting

students from Governor’s School for the Arts
“Symphony by the Sea”
Copland: “Rodeo” – Hoe Down
Rodgers-Bennett: “The King and I”
Brahms-Parlow: “Hungarian Dance” No. 5
Jobim-Ployhar: “The Girl from Ipanema”
Florence Price: Symphony No. 1 in E minor – “Juba Dance”
Johann Strauss II: “Thunder and Lightning” Polka
Rouse-Harrell/Richman: “Orange Blossom Special”
Kander-Ricketts: “Chicago” Medley
Garland-Holcombe: “In the Mood”
Gamble-Lowden: “TSOP: The Sound of Philadelphia”
Saint-Saëns: “Samson et Dalila” – Bacchanale
Williams-Bachalis: “Happy”

free
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 7 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 9 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 10 (3 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Paavo Järvi conducting

Erkki-Sven Tüür: “Aditus”
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor
$15-$89
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 8 (7:30 p.m.)
Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway
Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting

Weber: “Der Freischütz” Overture
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor

Inna Faliks, piano
Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major (“Rhenish”)
$55 (live attendance); $25 (access to online stream)
(757) 229-9857
http://williamsburgsymphony.org

Oct. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Grove Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Andrew Stevenson, classical guitar
program TBA
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/music/concerts-and-events/

Oct. 10 (4 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Grove Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Sonia Vlahcevic, piano
program TBA
free
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/music/concerts-and-events/

Oct. 11 (8 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Grove Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Myssyk conducting

Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate: “Chokfi,’ Sarcasm for string orchestra and percussion
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”)

free
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/music/concerts-and-events/

Oct. 14 (6:30 p.m.)
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Overbrook Road at Ownby Lane, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
conductor TBA
program TBA
$15
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://www.richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 14 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 15 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 16 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Steven Reineke conducting

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” with live orchestral accompaniment
$39-$99
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Oct. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Pops
Erin Freeman conducting

“Hotel California: a Salute to the Eagles”
$25-$81
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 16 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Grove Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
Jon Nakamatsu, piano
program TBA
$30
Public masterclass at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 15, Vlahcevic Concert Hall (free admission)
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/music/concerts-and-events/

Oct. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Oct. 17 (3:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Chamber Music Series:
Marco Schirripa: “Five Encounters”
Ayn Balija, viola
I-Jen Fang, marimba

Katherine Hoover: “Two Preludes”
Kelly Sulick, flute
I-Jen Fang, marimba & vibraphone

Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25
John Mayhood, piano
David Sariti, violin
Ayn Balija, viola
Adam Carter, cello

$15
(434) 924-3376
http://music.virginia.edu/events

Oct. 17 (3 p.m.)
Shaftman Performance Hall, Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave. SW, Roanoke
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Jeff Midkiff, mandolin
Akemi Takayama, violin

“From Baroque to Billy Joel”
program TBA

$34-$56
(540) 343-9127
http://rso.com

Oct. 17 (4 p.m.)
Trinity Lutheran Church, 2915 N. Parham Road, Richmond
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
Johnny Gandelsman & Njioma Grevious, violins
Jordan Bak, viola
James Wilson, cello
Mary Boodell, flute

Amy Beach: Theme and Variations, Op. 80, for flute and string quartet
Florence Price: Quartet No. 2 in A minor
Dvořák: Quartet in F major, Op. 96 (“American”)

$30
(804) 304-6312
http://cmscva.org

Oct. 17 (3 p.m.)
Center for the Arts. George Mason University, Fairfax
Sphinx Virtuosi
“Tracing Visions”
Xavier Foley: “Ev’ry Voice”
Florence Price: Quartet No. 2 in A minor – Andante cantabile
Jessie Montgomery: “Banner!”
Ricardo Herz: “Mourinho”
Andrea Casarrubios: “Seven”
Ginastera: Concerto for strings – Finale: Furioso

$29-$48
(703) 993-2787
http://cfa.calendar.gmu.edu

Oct. 17 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Jonas Kaufmann, tenor
pianist TBA
program TBA
$59-$169
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 18 (7 p.m.)
Historic Mankin Mansion, 4200 Oakleys Lane, Highland Springs
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Angélica Negrón: “A través del manto luminoso”
works TBA by Rhiannon Giddens, Tyshawn Sorey, Conrad Tao, Christina Courtin

$30
(804) 304-6312
http://cmscva.org

Oct. 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:
Cho-Liang Lin & Stella Chen, violins
Paul Neubauer, viola
Sihao He, cello
Anthony Manzo, double-bass

Mozart: Divertimento in D major, K. 136
Purcell-Britten: Chacony
Dvořák: String Quintet in G major, Op. 77

$12-$39
(434) 924-3376
http://tecs.org

Oct. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Dover Quartet
Haochen Zhang, piano

Schubert: Quartettsatz in C minor, D. 703
Marc Neikrug: Piano Quintet No. 2
(premiere)
Mendelssohn: Quartet in D major, Op. 44, No. 1

$45
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Oct. 23 (7:30 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Oct. 24 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Steven Jarvi conducting

Wynton Marsalis: Concerto for tubist and orchestra
Carol Jantsch, tuba
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”)
$25-$81
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra
Peter Wilson conducting

“Symphonic Masquerade: an Evening Out of this World”
works TBA by Holst, Richard Strauss, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Michael Giacchino, Alan Silvestri

$30-$75
(434) 979-1333
http://theparamount.net

Oct. 22 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
University Singers
Virginia Glee Club
Virginia Women’s Chorus
UVa Chamber Singers

“Family Weekend Choral Showcase”
program TBA

$10
(434) 924-3376
http://music.virginia.edu/events

Oct. 23 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 24 (3 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting

Melissa Dunphy: “Overdrive”
Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major

Sterling Elliott, cello
Stravinsky: “Pulcinella” Suite
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D major (“Classical”)

$10-$82 (live attendance); $30 (online video-audio stream, accessible from Oct. 27)
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://www.richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Kaufman Theater, Chrysler Museum of Art, 1 Memorial Place, Norfolk
Feldman Chamber Music Society:
Ariel Quartet
Wolf: “Italian Serenade”
Schubert: Quartet in A minor, D. 804 (“Rosamunde”)
Beethoven: Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3 (“Razumovsky”)

$25
(757) 552-1630
http://feldmanchambermusic.org

Oct. 26 (8 p.m.)
Williamsburg Regional Library, 515 Scotland St.
Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg:
Ariel Quartet
Wolf: “Italian Serenade”
Schubert: Quartet in A minor, D. 804 (“Rosamunde”)
Beethoven: Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3 (“Razumovsky”)

$25
(757) 741-3300
http://chambermusicwilliamsburg.org

Oct. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Will Liverman, baritone
pianist TBA
program TBA
$25
(804) 289-8980
http://modlin.richmond.edu

Oct. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg
Imani Winds
Catalyst Quartet

“(im)migration: music of change”
Mongo Santamaria: “Afro Blue”
Florence Price: “Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint”
Roberto Sierra: “Concierto da Cámera”
Jessie Montgomery: “Sergeant McCauley”

$20-$45
(540) 231-5300
http://artscenter.vt.edu

Oct. 28 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 29 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 30 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier conducting

Bizet: “L’Arlésienne” suites Nos. 1-2 (selections)
Angélica Negrón: “En otra noche, en otro mundo”
Ravel: “Daphnis et Chloé”

$15-$89
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 29 (7:30 p.m.)
Salem Civic Center, 1001 Roanoke Boulevard
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Pops
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Jean ’n Classics, guest stars

“Every Breath You Take: Music of Sting & the Police”
$31-$56
(540) 343-9127
http://rso.com

Oct. 30 (11 a.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony LolliPops
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting

“Halloween Spooktacular!”
program TBA

$10-$20
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://www.richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Pops
Benjamin Rous conducting

“Music: the Final Frontier, a Sci-Fi Spectacular”
$25-$110
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
St. George’s Episcopal Church, 905 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg
Achim Loch, John Vreeland & Trystan Bennett, organ
“Scary Music for Organ”
J.S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
Toto: “Dune”
works TBA by Buxtehude, Reger, Langlais, Leo Sowerby, others

free
(540) 373-4133
http://stgeorgesepiscopal.net

Oct. 31 (3 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra PB&J
Helen Martell conducting

“Halloween Spooktacular”
program TBA

$12-$22
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Review: Richmond Symphony

Valentina Peleggi conducting
with Louis Schwizgebel, piano
Sept. 25-26, Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center

(reviewed from online stream, posted Sept. 29)

During his three-year stay in the United States in the 1890s, Antonín Dvořák told his hosts that a genuinely American strain of classical composition could grow from the roots of Black and American Indian melodies and dances. Over the next generation, a number of US musicians took his advice, none more successfully than Black composers whose works resonated to spirituals, work songs and dances.

Florence Beatrice Price (1887-1953), an Arkansas-born pianist and composer, is one of the last of that generation whose music has been revived. Few of her works were heard after their premieres in the 1930s and ’40s; some have waited until this century to be published and performed. Not surprising – the composer was a Black woman in a White man’s world. Also working against her, posthumously, was that some of her major scores barely survived being kept in storage in a house that was falling apart around them.

The US classical establishment is rushing to make up for decades of neglect: The Philadelphia Orchestra has just released recordings of Price’s First and Third symphonies; the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington will play the Third Symphony next weekend; and several of her works figure in Richmond concert programs this fall, starting with her Piano Concerto in D minor, presented alongside Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”) in last weekend’s season-opening program of the Richmond Symphony’s Masterworks series.

The concerto, completed in 1934, is roughly contemporaneous with William Grant Still’s First Symphony (“Afro-American”), the “Negro Folk Symphony” of William Levi Dawson and The Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess.” Price’s concerto resembles those works melodically and expressively, but in style and construction the piece more closely echoes European late romanticism – a rhapsody in concerto form.

Louis Schwizgebel, a Swiss-born pianist based in London, proved to be a winning advocate for the Price concerto, technically pristine without turning anodyne or denatured as he shifted seamlessly between playing as the concerto’s protagonist and as a partner to the orchestra’s musicians – notably in duets with oboist Shawn Welk in the dreamy, bittersweet central slow section of the concerto – and playing energetically and idiomatically in the symphonic cakewalk that concludes the piece.

Valentina Peleggi, conducting a full complement of musicians for the first time since the March 2020 concerts that secured her appointment as the symphony’s sixth music director, consistently kept the orchestra on the wavelengths of Price’s creation and Schwizgebel’s interpretation – richly rhapsodic and rhythmically on its toes.

The conductor’s treatment of Dvořák’s “New World” was unabashedly late-romantic, with highly flexible tempos and dynamics and phrasing in long arcs of melody. Peleggi’s pacing was generally measured in the opening movement and scherzo, surprisingly brisk in the largo – featuring a songful but unindulgent reading of the “Goin’ Home” theme by English horn player Lauren Williams – and dramatic and energized, bordering on headlong, in the finale.

The curtain-raiser, “Fanfare on ‘Amazing Grace’ ” by the Virginia composer Adolphus Hailstork, signaled one shortcoming that cropped up repeatedly in the performances, at least as heard in the audio mix of the online stream. Brass and woodwinds consistently over-balanced strings, often pushing supportive or internal instrumentation too far into the aural foreground. This inside-out quality was especially pronounced in Hailstork’s fanfare, obscuring the hymn tune that is projected by strings.

Occasionally jolting camera work gave this viewer a sensation akin to motion sickness.

The Richmond Symphony’s “Symphony at Home” Masterworks streams, posted on the Wednesdays following the concerts, are accessible through June 30, 2022. Access: $30 per concert, $180 for the full series. Details: (800) 514-3849 (ETIX); http://www.richmondsymphony.com

San Antonio Symphony musicians on strike

Musicians of Texas’ San Antonio Symphony have gone on strike after rejecting a “last, best and final” offer by management that would reduce the orchestra’s roster from 72 to 42 full-time players with 26 part-timers.

The strike was called on Sept. 27, but the orchestra’s management “signaled a willingness to continue negotiations,” Nicholas Frank reports for San Antonio Report:

San Antonio Symphony musicians declare strike over proposed cuts

(via http://www.artsjournal.com)

$50 million given to build UVa arts center

The University of Virginia has announced a $50 million gift from Tessa Ader, a longtime supporter of the arts in Charlottesville and at the university, to build a performing-arts center that will include a concert hall with more than 1,150 seats, a 150-seat recital hall, an experimental performance space and rehearsal studios.

“My late husband, Richard, and I long felt that a state-of-the-art performing arts center was needed by the University of Virginia,” Ader said in a statement issued with the announcement of her gift. “I believe this new facility will be a wonderful asset to our community and am hopeful my gift will encourage others to come forward as well to make it a reality.”

“This is an extraordinary gift. It is, to my knowledge, the largest gift by far to the arts at the University of Virginia,” Jody Kielbasa, UVa’s vice provost for the arts and director of the Virginia Film Festival, told Bryan McKenzie of The Daily Progress:

http://dailyprogress.com/news/uva/50-million-gift-to-prompt-construction-of-uva-performing-arts-center/article_91f17f74-1d8c-11ec-a256-3f39d39d7879.html

Virginia Opera taps Liverman as advisor

Will Liverman, the baritone starring in the Metropolitan Opera production of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” the first work by a Black composer in the Met’s 138-year history, has been named creative partner and advisor of Virginia Opera, working with the company’s community engagement activities.

Liverman, a native of Virginia Beach and graduate of the Juilliard School, starred as Figaro in Virginia Opera’s 2016 production of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” He went on to perform with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Aspen Music Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Philadelphia and in several Met productions.

“This is a major development for Virginia Opera as we focus on key long-term goals: audience development and diversity, community engagement, and partnerships,” Peggy Kriha Dye, the company’s general director and CEO, said in a statement announcing Liverman’s appointment. “Will is an absolute tour-de-force in the opera world, and as a Virginia native, we feel he is uniquely positioned to contribute to our evolving mission.”

Liverman will perform in recital on Oct. 28 at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Arts Center.

British violinist slams ‘Jurassic FM’

Nigel Kennedy, the British violinist known for mixing classical, popular and folk music in his performances and recordings, has canceled a date at London’s Royal Albert Hall with the Chineke! orchestra, known for its ethnically diverse membership and programming, after Classic FM, the network that was to have aired the concert, nixed Kennedy’s plan to present a tribute to rock great Jimi Hendrix and requested Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” instead.

In canceling the performance, Kennedy attacked the classical channel as “culturally prejudiced” and re-christened it “Jurassic FM,” The Guardian’s Dalya Alberge reports:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/sep/20/violinist-nigel-kennedy-cancels-concert-after-classic-fm-stops-hendrix-tribute

In the London Review of Books, Mark Sinker tries to fix Kennedy’s place in a long line of performers who’ve straddled popular and classical genres, from Paul Whiteman to Emerson, Lake and Palmer to Yehudi Menuhin and Stephane Grappelli. “Whether emollient or transgressive,” Sinker writes, Kennedy “has never lost his commitment to these odd no man’s lands.”

http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2021/september/the-fifth-season

(via http://www.artsjournal.com)

About reviewing

I had hoped that by now I would be attending concerts and writing reviews of them. Then along came the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Although I’m fully vaccinated – and, given that the classical-music crowd trends older, I might safely assume that most people in concert audiences would be vaccinated, too – infection rates are rising and various case-trackers show most of Virginia in high-risk territory.

So, for a while yet – a short while, I hope, for more than concertgoing reasons – I’ve decided to continue playing it safe.

I’ll miss hearing today’s Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia-sponsored program by the Thalea String Quartet and cellist James Wilson. I’ll also miss attending next weekend’s season-opening Masterworks program by the Richmond Symphony; but I’ve signed up for the “Symphony at Home” video-audio stream that goes online a few days later and plan to review that performance.

And then we’ll see how things look in October and beyond.