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CRAZY FOR...GERSHWIN! and More Set for Symphony Space, Oct 2012

CRAZY FOR...GERSHWIN! and More Set for Symphony Space, Oct 2012

Tuesday, October 16 brings one of Symphony Space's starriest presentations of the season: "Crazy for…Gershwin!," headlined by violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. They're accompanied by one of New York's most dynamic young music collectives: Le Train Bleu, conducted by Ransom Wilson. It all takes place at Symphony Space's Peter Jay Sharpe Theatre.

The program spotlights both sides of George Gershwin's genius, with an enticing selection of concert pieces and show tunes. McDermott and company bring Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue to life, while Salerno-Sonnenberg and the ensemble play Jascha Heifetz's glorious arrangements of It Ain't Necessarily So, Bess You Is My Woman Now, and Prelude #1, as well as Embraceable You. The evening is rounded out by a set of songs with vocalists Katie Geissinger and Robert Osborne.

It is the first of Symphony Space's Trio of Tributes this season, with further evenings devoted to Stephen Sondheim (March 9, 2013) and Paul Motian (March 22). Tickets are $45, $38 for members, and $15 for under-30's, available at Symphony Space's website.


Thursday, October 4 (7:30 pm)
Ljova & the Kontraband
Eastern-European and Gypsy melodies, Latin rhythms, jazz-inspired improvisations, and deeply rooted Classical forms spawn new hybrids, with a nostalgic gaze to the past. Paired with a complimentary glass of smooth Armenian brandy; part of Symphony Space's Rebels + Reds series combining music and libations.
Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space
Venue/ticket link

Thursday, October 11 (8 pm)
All-Fairouz concert
Featuring New York premiere of The Named Angels, Borromeo String Quartet, with additional performances by the Cygnus Ensemble and pianists Kathleen Supové, Taka Kigawa, and Blair McMillen.
Presented by Issue Project Room at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, 113 Remsen St., Brooklyn
Venue/ticket link

Tuesday, October 16 (8 pm)
Crazy for…Gershwin!
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Anne-Marie McDermott, Ransom Wilson + Le Train Bleu; Katie Geissinger and Robert Osborne.
Peter Jay Sharpe Theater, Symphony Space
Venue/ticket link

Friday, October 19 (7:30 pm)
"Seeing Jazz" with Darcy James Argue and George Wein.
Known for leading The Secret Society, the idiosyncratic steam-punker Darcy James Argue engages in dialogue with jazz impresario George Wein, while the Pedro Giraudo Septet offers a performance of Argue's music on a smaller scale in the intimate Thalia setting. Part of Symphony Space's Salon Series.
Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space
Venue/ticket link

Sunday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 23 (7 pm)
World premiere of Mohammed Fairouz's song cycle Audenesque, based on elegiac texts of W. H. Auden and Seamus Heaney. Featuring mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and the Metropolis Ensemble under Andrew Cyr.
Le Poisson Rouge
Venue/ticket link

Symphony Space traces its beginnings to a free marathon concert, Wall to Wall Bach, held in 1978 and organized by co-founders Isaiah Sheffer and Allan Miller. The music marathon then drew thousands of visitors and has since become one of the organization's signature events. Today Symphony Space presents more than 600 events each season, including music, dance, theater, film, and literary readings. Some of its best known programs include Selected Shorts, a reading of short stories by stars of stage and screen, and one of the most popular series on public radio; the Thalia Film Club, a trendy film club hosted by Marshall Fine featuring pre-release screenings and behind-the-scenes conversations with film stars; Just Kidding, one of the most talked about family destinations around town; and, more recently, The Music of Now, presenting an eclectic range of music in all styles and sensibilities, focusing on emerging artists and unusual work. Uptown/ Showdown has been called "New Yor k's best comedy series" by New York Magazine. For more information, visit

Symphony Space is located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. Box office hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 1 pm – 6 pm , open two hours prior to performances and events. Tickets can also be purchased through, or by calling 212/864-5400.

Mohammed Fairouz, born in 1985, is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers of his generation. Hailed by The New York Times as "an important new artistic voice" and by BBC News as "one of the most talented composers of his generation," Fairouz melds Middle-Eastern modes and Western structures to deeply expressive effect. His large-scale works, including four symphonies and an opera, engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purpose. His solo and chamber music attains an "intoxicating intimacy," according to New York's WQXR.

A truly cosmopolitan voice, Fairouz had a transatlantic upbringing. By his early teens, the Arab-American composer had traveled across five continents, immersing himself in the musical life of his surroundings. Prominent advocates of his instrumental music include the Borromeo and Lydian String Quartets, the Imani Winds, The Knights Chamber Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, violinists Rachel Barton Pine and James Buswell, clarinetist David Krakauer, and conductors Gunther Schuller, Fawzi Haimor, and Yoon Jae Lee.

He has been recognized as an "expert in vocal writing" by the New Yorker magazineand as a "post-millennial Schubert" by Gramophone Magazine. Among the eminent singers that have promoted his wealth of vocal music are Kate Lindsey, Sasha Cooke, Lucy Shelton, D'Anna Fortunato, David Kravitz and Randall Scarlata. Commissions have come from the Borromeo Quartet, Imani Winds, New York Festival of Song, Da Capo Chamber Players, New Juilliard Ensemble, Cantus Vocal Ensemble, Cygnus Ensemble, Counter)induction, Alea III, Musicians for Harmony, and many others. Recordings of his music are available on the Naxos, Bridge, Dorian Sono Luminus, Cedille, Albany, GM/Living Archive, and GPR labels.

Mohammed Fairouz is the subject of a documentary by BBC World Service TV, has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and BBC/PRI's The World, and has been profiled in Symphony, Strings, New Music Box, and the Houston Chronicle, among others. His principal teachers in composition have included György Ligeti, Gunther Schuller, and Richard Danielpour, with studies at the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory. His works are published by Peermusic Classical. He lives in New York City. Website:

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