Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Monday, April 20, 2015
Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO), Vermont’s
only statewide symphony orchestra, announced this week during a choral concert
in Burlington, Vermont that Robert De Cormier has been honored as Conductor
Emeritus, Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus. De Cormier held the position of
choral conductor for twenty years having retired in 2014.
Mr. De Cormier retired as Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus at the end of the 2013/2014 season, and his tenure was celebrated in January 2014 in Burlington and Rutland with two remarkable and memorable performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and A German Requiem by Johannes Brahms, under his baton. De Cormier has been a Vermont resident for over forty years; however, his reputation is known beyond the state. During his tenure with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the chorus has won unqualified praise. Vermont concert goers have been treated to many significant choral works including the Requiems of Verdi, Faure, and Mozart. Many performances featured De Cormier’s personal arrangements and favorites.
“It is fitting to honor Robert De Cormier with the Orchestra’s first-ever emeritus recognition. He has established a legacy through his forming and development of our wonderful and dedicated VSO Chorus,” remarks Alan Jordan, Executive Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. This honor has been heartily endorsed by Music Director Jaime Laredo, the new Director of the VSO Chorus, José Daniel Flores-Caraballo, and the staff.
Friday, April 3, 2015
“Masters in Springtime” will be conducted by José Daniel Flores- Caraballo, director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus, as his inaugural stand-alone concert. Melissa Dickerson will accompany on piano. Newly-appointed chorus director Flores-Caraballo comments, “The legacy of Maestro Robert De Cormier is alive, and it will be witnessed this night.”
The program features a selection of favorite master choruses of all time, including works by Bach, Handel, Brahms and Vaughan Williams. Flores-Caraballo remarks, “The audience will enjoy a feast of the best of the best; favorite movements from all-time favorite masterworks. It is like shopping on iTunes and making your own CD with the music you love!”
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus is a full chorus representing premier voices from around the state. The Chorus performs a variety of literature both with the orchestra and with smaller instrumental complements. “It has been a great pleasure working with these dedicated singers this season!” notes Flores-Caraballo.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Monday, March 9, 2015
Classical music composer David Ludwig has written the original score to director Michael Almereyda's new feature film Cymbeline, an explosive modern-day drama based on Shakespeare's play by the same name. Academy Award nominees Ethan Hawke (Best Supporting Actor, Training Day, 2001) and Ed Harris (Best Actor, Pollock, 2000) lead a powerhouse cast including Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, Dakota Johnson and Anton Yelchin, with Bill Pullman and Delroy Lindo in a gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. Oscar-winning Anthony Katagas (12 Years a Slave, Killing Them Softly) is producing the film for Keep Your Head Productions alongside Michael Benaroya (Margin Call, Lawless, The Words) for Benaroya Pictures. Although Ludwig has composed for documentaries and animated shorts, Cymbeline marks the feature-length film-scoring debut for the composer.This project represented a musical transition from concert stage to big screen for Ludwig, who is on the composition faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and has written for numerous major orchestras and some of the top performers in classical music today.
Film director Michael Almereyda commented: "Having listened to a number of his orchestral pieces, I knew David could write music with complexity, depth and emotional power. The question was, could he harness these qualities in a film score, following the fixed contours of given scenes? Could he write dramatic music that rides the wave of the film's dialogue and action? His score for Cymbeline demonstrates that he can do exactly that, very capably, often brilliantly."
"Writing for film requires a very different sense of timing and pacing, great flexibility, a handle on technology, and strong communication skills," said Ludwig. "But it is equally rewarding in so many ways. There's nothing quite like seeing the finished picture with your music framing the richness of each scene."
Cymbeline was a recent feature at the Venice Film Festival in September 2014 and was nominated for the Venice Horizons Award. This is Almereyda's second modern-day adaption of Shakespeare. In 2000, he directed the highly acclaimed Hamlet, with Ethan Hawke in the title role.
Preserving the original language and plot lines of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," the film is a fresh take on a universal story of love, betrayal and revenge. Cymbeline the movie opens on March 13, 2015 in theaters and on Video On Demand.
David Ludwig (b. 1972) is "a composer with something urgent to say" (Philadelphia Inquirer). An award winning and highly sought after composer, Ludwig's recent concert commissions include those from Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Ravinia Music Festival, among many others. His latest recording Two x Four on Cedille Records was released in April 2014 to great acclaim, and the CD was nominated for a Grammy Award in multiple categories. In 2013 his choral work, The New Colossus, was selected to open the private prayer service for President Obama and his cabinet at his second Inauguration. NPR Music named Ludwig as one of the "Top 100 Composers Under Forty in the World." More information at davidludwigmusic.com.
Friday, March 6, 2015
How the music of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra has Moved Me
In July, just before I began working, my family and I attended the Summer Music Festival Tour concert at Shelburne Farms. What fun it was to dance to the big band sound of Benny Goodman and Glen Miller with my daughter!
This journey is just beginning and I am sure it will continue to move me through the incredible music that this orchestra of very talented musicians plays at every turn.