EMI Classics Announces Global Release of The JUILLIARD SESSIONS
Today marks the global release of The Juilliard Sessions, a partnership between EMI Classics and The Juilliard School that aims to present to the world some of classical music's most promising young stars in a series of digital EP albums. The three inaugural recordings are by recent Juilliard alumni Paul Appleby (tenor) and Sean Lee (violin), as well as pianist Conrad Tao, who is a Pre-College alumnus currently at Columbia University studying in The Combined bachelor-master degree program with Juilliard. They will be released by EMI Classics, available now exclusively on iTunes (www.itunes.com).
This unprecedented joint initiative offers a way to help these students gain exposure and experience in the fast-moving digital world of today's classical music, teaching them the process of recording and releasing an album online.
Each student was selected by a panel of judges first at Juilliard, then at EMI Classics, and was given the opportunity to record an EP-length album consisting of repertoire they themselves selected. The EPs are mastered specifically with iTunes in mind, using high-resolution sourced audio to deliver the music to listeners exactly the way the artists and recording engineers intended.
Juilliard will celebrate the release with a FREE public concert featuring all three students in performance on Monday, March 12th at 8:00PM in the School's Paul Recital Hall (155 W. 65th St., New York, 10023; Messrs. Appleby, Lee, and Tao will perform selections from the tracks recorded for The Juilliard Sessions. Free tickets are available starting February 27 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard, 155 West 65th Street, Monday – Friday, 11 AM – 6PM. Phone 212 769-7406; information at events.juilliard.edu.
The three EP releases feature a broad variety of repertoire, reflecting the diverse musical tastes of the three winners. Pianist Conrad Tao chose a pair of Debussy preludes, followed by Stravinsky's Three Movements from 'Petrushka' (a piano arrangement of music from the ballet of the same name), and closing with a work composed by Conrad himself, entitled Three Songs. Tenor Paul Appleby recorded a trio of Schubert songs and Britten's Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo. Twenty-four year old violinist Sean Lee recorded Richard Strauss' Sonata for Violin & Piano in Eb major, a work written when the composer was the same age as Lee is now.
Paul Appleby is a tenor who has performed at the Metropolitan Opera (most recently in their acclaimed new production, The Enchanted Island), and is a National Winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as a recipient of a 2009 Sara Tucker study grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Sean Lee is a violinist who studied with Itzhak Perlman, and who won both the Juilliard Concerto Competition and the William Schuman Prize. In addition to his solo career, Lee performs regularly with the New York-based Metropolis Ensemble and also dedicates himself to a variety of educational initiatives. Seventeen year old Conrad Tao is a pianist/violinist/composer who has received numerous honors ranging from the Gilmore Young Artist prize to the US Presidential Scholar award, and most recently was named as the only classical artist in Forbes magazine's '30 Under 30: The Youngest Stars in the Music Business' list, alongside the likes of Adele, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and others.
The Digital Debut Series – which launches with The Juilliard Sessions recordings and a similar series of releases from students at The Royal College of Music, London – is an initiative by EMI Classics to present to international audiences the work of some of classical music's most promising young stars. Beginning with two the world's most prestigious music schools, Digital Debut plans to expand each year to include new conservatories from around the world.