Monday, April 8th and Tuesday, April 9th mark the twenty-first annual Jazz Meets Classical concerts of Musical Offerings. The performances include traditional classical composers and jazz, and often mix the two genres! This year the theme includes tributes to the great composer and performer Dave Brubeck, who passed last December.
While the Tokyo String Quartet commissioned and premiered "An Exaltation of Larks," it is almost poetic that the Lark String Quartet has recorded the work by Jennifer Higdon. In fact, the larks have quite a history with new music and Jennifer Higdon.
Critics consider Ana Cervantes –daughter of a Nebraska (USA) mother and a Mexican father– “a physical, emotional performer, with extraordinary touch and mastery of tone and colour”; an artist of “commanding intensity,” “great interpretive qualities and enormous passion”.
Her special ability to function as interlocutor between cultures, her charismatic stage presence and imaginative programming which embraces both contemporary and traditional repertoires, have earned her the accolade “ambassadress for the music of Mexico”.
Irving Berlin is one of those who could easily have written a couple of songs, then retired to fame and great wealth. But like most highly creative people, his life was one of ceaseless creation, to the very end. Among his more than 900 songs are three which might be described as his Holiday Big Three: “God Bless America,” “White Christmas,” and “Easter Parade."