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National Sawdust Celebrated “A Moment Of Disruption” At The Alhambra Ballroom

The Knockturnal

This past Thursday, National Sawdust, the Brooklyn-based performance venue and a recording studio, raised funds to support its mission of continuing to build new audiences for classical and new musicians by honoring several internationally renowned artists for its 2018 Spring Gala at the uptown Alhambra Ballroom.  

This year’s theme, “movement of disruption,” demonstrated the power of art to disrupt and challenge the musical landscape of today. Honorees of the night included countertenor and operatic trailblazer Anthony Roth Costanzo; mezzo-soprano and arts advocate Joyce DiDonato; Grammy-nominated vocalist and UN Women activist Magos Herrera; Emmy-nominated genre-bending composer, violinist, and arts leader Daniel Bernard Roumain; award-winning throat singer and activist Tanya Tagaq; and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Du Yun.  The gala was chaired by Ann Ziff, hosted by Jill Steinberg, and emceed by Terrance McKnight.

The evening featured impressive performances, including a rare collaboration inspired from the text of Frank O’Hara’s “Opening hymn: To the poem” by composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding, former Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler​ and dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones. Other performances included Magos Herrera and string quartet Brooklyn Rider performing “Niña-Poem” by Octavio Paz with music by Herrera & Felipe Perez Santiago; Procession & Scene III “Feathers are Prickly” from Du Yun’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Angel’s Bone performed by choral group The Crossing, featuring Michael Nicolas of Brooklyn Rider providing cello drone; Anthony Roth Costanzo and banjoist Noam Pikelny (The Punch Brothers) performing George Frideric Handel’s “Lascia Ch’io Pianga;” a selection from Paola Prestini’s Body Maps performed by soprano Marguerite Jones and cellists Jeffrey Zeigler, Michael Nicolas, and Marika Hughes​; Tanya Tagaq, Yuka C. Honda​, and Jeffrey Zeigler performed a collaborative improv.

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17 Aug

Exquisite partners in every way .... ! https://t.co/4Ee1QXn3w8

15 Aug

I know it's been a hot summer, but I hope you all can stand to embrace "Into the Fire" ~ it was a great joy for us… https://t.co/R95m1rPdMj

14 Aug

Such a meaningful, transformative project! #LISTEN https://t.co/G4IER7OUsT

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I am *THRILLED* to let you know that “Shakuntala” - the first preview track of my new album "Into the Fire” has just been released on @AppleMusic and @Spotify. 🎧 Listen to it here: 🔗link in bio. Recorded live at the iconic Wigmore Hall, this recital with my treasured partners, the Brentano Quartet, was conceived around Jake Heggie’s song cycle "Camille Claudel: Into the Fire", a work written for me. Jake is not only a brilliant composer but he has also been a dear friend for many years. This new recording is truly one of most moving projects I’ve ever been part of and I hope will enjoy it. When Camille utters, “Thank you for remembering me” at the conclusion of this beautiful cycle, it is my hope that we not only remember her, but that we vigorously honor her genius and her vision, as well. @warner_classics . . . Photo: @chrissingerme Design: @lennysstudio #camilleclaudel #wigmorehall #brentanoquartet #joycedidonato #jakeheggie #strauss #debussy #lekeu

How to #paella, 101. #summerlovin #hadmesomerice #gambasforever

🎈 I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about the upcoming release of “Songplay” on @warner_classics . It's a truly unique project that unites extraordinary musicians from the worlds of opera, jazz, and tango in the pure pleasure of improvisation, experimentation, and exchange. Together we create our own musical language, surprising listeners with timeless melodies transformed and universal stories retold over centuries; songs in English, in Italian and – naturally – in the universal language of music. I had one of the most exhilarating musical weeks of my life recording the album #Songplay with a world-class band. Trust me: you’re going to remember each one of these guys! It’s an incredible family of musicians – bass, piano, trumpet, drums and bandoneon. We have essentially created our own sound-world, fusing together music from the Baroque era and classics from the jazz world – with a few other surprises tossed in,’ explains Joyce. ‘We’ve all let down our guard (some of us have even let down our hair) and we’ve each expanded the musical traditions that we have come from to create our own style for this album. It’s joyful, it’s exuberant, it celebrates great music, and it shines a spotlight on the timeless nature of a great song. I hope you’ll want to hear this album over and over, and will grow to appreciate the value of playing with a song! #Songplay - coming to you in February 2019. Stay tuned! Photo: @chrissingerme

Who doesn’t love a lady who lives life without apology? #TheFlorenceFoaterJenkinsStory is available NOW on Amazon Prime in the US and UK. At the end of our filming, I had a profound, new level of admiration and love for this astonishing and complex Lady. I believe you will, as well ... #watchnow @primevideouk @primevideo

Magique......

So happy to be back in #Paris for tonight’s #BastilleDay Concert at the #tourdeiffel. #liberté #egalité #fraternité http://www.maisondelaradio.fr/evenement/concert-symphonique/concert-de-paris

I love beginnings. What an inspiring day, yesterday, with dear @nezetseguin, as we begin a new journey together....do, oh DO, stay tuned! #newadventure #themezzoandthemaestro #summerlovin #badenbadenbliss #anticipation

Summer lovin’, has me a bla-hast .....

Leaving Athens with the fullest of hearts, having met these extraordinary - and I do mean EXTRAORDINARY - young men in Athens. They played and sang for me and with me, along with many other beautiful young people, and they deserve every single opportunity in the world. Thank you, boys, for bringing such beauty, joy, love, and peace to me! We will meet again! @alabrasabdullah @pouya.pouya.372 @vic_palazzo2004 #skaramagascamp @elsistemagreece

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There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato