Hsin-Yun Huang & More Honored with Classical Recording Foundation Awards

Hsin-Yun Huang & More Honored with Classical Recording Foundation Awards

The Classical Recording Foundation (CRF) is pleased to announce the 2013 winners of its twelfth annual Classical Recording Foundation Awards. Four prizes will be presented at the Foundation's Annual Awards Concert and Benefit at 7:30pm on Monday, November 25, 2013 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall.

The event will feature CRF Young Artist of the Year pianist Roman Rabinovich performing selections from his CD Ballets Russes (Orchid; March 2013), pianist Laura Leon performing works by CRF Composer of the Year Peter Schickele's album The Music of Peter Schickele, Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artists Award winners Hsin-Yun Huang and Sarah Rothenberg in selections from their recording Viola Viola (Bridge; November 2012); and Classical Recording Foundation Award winner, cellist Sophie Shao, performing selections from her upcoming double-CD set of J.S. Bach's Cello Suites. The proceeds from the 2013 Classical Recording Foundation Award Ceremony and Benefit will go toward the 2014 Awards.

The Classical Recording Foundation (CRF) was formed to address the growing needs of classical musicians who have found it increasingly difficult to record their musical visions. The Foundation applies the universal model of philanthropically supported live concerts to the recording of new classical performances. Founded in 2002 by Grammy Award winning producer Adam Abeshouse, CRF has since supported more than 40 new recordings. Criteria for Classical Recording Foundation Awards include artistic merit of the project, historic significance, strategic value to the artist's career, and breadth of interest. CRF encourages artists to release performances of their choosing, of music about which they are passionate.

CRF's Young Artist of the Year pianist Roman Rabinovich is being honored for his debut album, Ballets Russes released on Orchid Classics in March 2013.Ballets Russes features arrangements of music from three monumental Russian ballets: Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, and Stravinsky's Petrushka. The album was given a four-star review by BBC Music Magazine, which stated, "This is clearly a labour of love. Rabinovich's stylish line drawings adorn the booklet, and the enthusiasm of his joyful playing is infectious. There is plenty of dazzling passagework to savor, with the Dance Russe zinging along merrily. It is the broad palette of colours that is most impressive, especially in the more poetic moments, such as the closing pages of Romeo and Juliet." Rabinovich was the top prize winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, as well as the winner of the competition's prestigious Mezzo Award, best classical concerto, best young Israeli competitor, and best performance of an Israeli piece. He has also won first prize at the Animato Piano Competition, the Rafi Gouralnik and Meira Gera audience prizes at the Aviv Competition, the Salon Virtuosi award, and the Vendome Virtuosi prize. Rabinovich has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel at such prestigious venues as Leipzig's Gewandhaus, London's Wigmore Hall, the Lucerne and Dovos Festivals in Switzerland, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Merkin Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Philadelphia, and the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory. In spring 2014 Rabinovich will be touring with the Haifa Orchestra throughout the United States, performing as soloist in 28 cities. At age 10 he made his Israeli Philharmonic debut under the baton of Zubin Mehta and has since performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Ann Arbor Symphony, Dohnny Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Ashland Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, and Neuchatel Chamber Orchestra. Rabinovich, "whose mature, self-assured playing belies his chronological age" (San Francisco Classical Voice) is also an avid chamber musician and teaches at the newly founded arts center U-Hac. He is also is a gifted artist, often combining his concerts with exhibitions of his paintings and drawings. Rabinovich is a Steinway & Sons artist.

CRF Composer of the Year Peter Schickele is being honored for his upcoming album The Music of Peter Schickele. Composer, musician, author, satirist - Peter Schickele is internationally recognized as one of the most versatile artists in the field of music. His works, now well in excess of 100 for symphony orchestras, choral groups, chamber ensembles, voice, movies and television, have given him "a leading role in the ever-more-prominent school of American composers who unselfconsciously blend all levels of American music" (The New York Times). His commissions are numerous and varied, ranging from works for the National Symphony and The Minnesota Opera to compositions for distinguished instrumentalists and singers. Mr. Schickele's Symphony No. 1 "Songlines" was premiered by the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin, and has since been played by the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and other orchestras around the country. His work for narrator and orchestra, Lincoln at Ease, presents a sampling of Lincoln's well-developed sense of humor; it was commissioned and premiered by the Louisville Orchestra under Jorge Mester. Schickele is the recipient of five Grammys. Peter Schickele arranged one of the musical segments for the new Disney animated feature film, "Fantasia 2000" and created the musical score for the film version of Maurice Sendak's children's classic "Where the Wild Things Are," along with another Sendak classic "In the Night Kitchen," which Mr. Schickele narrates. In his well-known other role as perpetrator of the oeuvre of the now classic P.D.Q. Bach, Peter Schickele is acknowledged as one of the great satirists of the 20th century.

Pianist Laura Leon, who will be performing works by Peter Schickele, is recognized for her insightful and sensitive performances of works by a wide roster of American composers - including Schickele, Eric Ewazen, Hugo Weisgall, Leo Kraft, William Bolcom, Morton Gould, Steven Rosenhaus and Mark Isham - at Tilles Center with violinist Colin Jacobsen honoring Morton Gould, the NY Australian Consulate premiere of Rosenhaus' Matilda Variations; the Center for Jewish History'sImagination and Catastrophe International Symposium featuring Weisgall's Yiddish song cycle "The Golden Peacock" with soprano Emily Duncan-Brown; the ASJM's Music in Our Time with soprano Ena Freeman; and Heifer's International's Bee Day Celebration featuring Schickele, Copland, Ewazen, Martinu and an Isham premiere. Laura produced - and performed in - Peter Schickele's 75th birthday concert at Steinway Hall, collaborating with an exciting roster of musicians and Robert Sherman. She premiered Mr. Schickele's PRESENTS II at her 2008 NY recital American Images from the Piano: Neo-Classic to Nature 1946-2008, and recorded his Michael Praetorius on her CD Preludes to Passion. She recently interviewed Mr. Schickele, honoring P.D.Q. Bach's 271st birthday on her website's "At the Piano Bench." www.Lauraleonpiano.com

CRF Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artists violinist Hsin-Yun Huang and pianist Sarah Rothenberg are being honored for their recording Viola Viola, which was released in November 2012 on Bridge Records. Of the disc, Hsin-Yun said, "Viola Viola is the culmination of many different loves in my life across many years. My love for viola as an instrument, my love for commissioning new works for the instrument, and lastly my love for the musicians whose friendship have inspired me tremendously. Sarah Rothenberg is not only a phenomenal artist but also a dear friend has made this collaboration a total joy. I look up to her for her creativity and flexibility as a pianist and feel incredibly lucky that she placed her trust in me. Poul Ruder's Romances is such a surprise to both of us. We delighted in discovering it's wit and whimsy and are also proud of taking part in its creation." At age 17, violist Hsin-Yun Huang was the youngest-ever winner of the gold medal at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. In 1993, she took the top prize at the ARD Competition in Munich, winning at the same time Japan's prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall award. She has appeared as a soloist with the Berlin Radio Symphony, the City of London Sinfonia; the Russian State Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Zagrab Soloists, the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra; ICE; Evergreen Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony of Taiwan amongst many others. Recent highlights include concerto appearance in New York's Central Park and Alice Tully Hall, collaborations with the Guaneri, the Juilliard, the Brentano, the Orion and the St. Lawrence String Quartets, and special project of new chamber concertos by Steven Mackey for viola with chamber ensemble premiered in the Aspen Festival. She was the violist of the world-renowned Borromeo Quartet for six years. Huang is a dedicated teacher and currently a member of the faculties at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School.

Sarah Rothenberg is a pianist of "heart, intellect and fabulous technical resources" (Fanfare) and "a prolific and creative thinker" (Wall Street Journal) who creates unique multidisciplinary performances linking music to literature and visual art. Presented by Great Performers at Lincoln Center for five consecutive seasons and widely toured, her programs have received international acclaim. She has also performed at the Kennedy Center, Barbican Centre, the Concertgebouw, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bard Summerscape, The 92nd Street Y, Library of Congress, Van Cliburn Foundation, and Le Poisson Rouge among others. Rothenberg has recorded for Bridge, Arabesque, GM, Koch, and Naxos, including the U.S. premiere recordings of Fanny Mendelssohn's Das Jahr which won an INDIE Award for Best Solo Classical Recording. A member of the Da Capo Chamber Players from 1985-1995, she has performed over 80 world premieres. Rothenberg is the Artistic Director of Da Camera of Houston. She co-founded the Bard Music Festival in 1990 and was co-artistic director of the Festival for five years. A three-time winner of Chamber Music America-ASCAP's Adventurous Programming Award, Rothenberg received a unique Special Commendation for Creative Programming Concepts from CMA in 1999. Her writings appear in the literary journals TriQuarterly, Threepenny Review, Brick, and Conjunctions, as well as The Musical Quarterly, Nexus, and Chamber Music. In 2000, she was awarded the prestigious French Medal of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. As a chamber musician, Rothenberg has performed with members of the Brentano, Juilliard, Orion, Schoenberg, and St. Lawrence string quartets; pianists Rudolf Firkusny and Leon Fleisher, violinist Vera Beths, violist Tabea Zimmerman, and many others. After graduating from The Curtis Institute of Music, Rothenberg studied the music of Olivier Messiaen in Paris with the composer's wife, Yvonne Loriod, who wrote: "Sarah Rothenberg has many gifts: generosity, sensitivity, passion, intelligence...She is a 'Presence' at the piano, a flame between the composer and the public!" Olivier Messiaen wrote, "A magnificent pianist."

CRF Award winner Sophie Shao, cellist, is being honored for her recording of a double-CD set of J.S. Bach's Cello Suites. At the age of nineteen, cellist Sophie Shao received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and has since performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, the New York Times has applauded her "eloquent, powerful" interpretations of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Crumb. Shao has collaborated with members of the Brentano, Emerson, Guarneri, Juilliard and Orion quartets, and with artists such as Alessio Bax, Jonathan Biss, Jeremy Denk, Gil Shaham, and Andre Watts, among many others. She has also a frequent guest at many leading festivals including Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Bard Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Dedicated to the music of our time, Shao has recently premiered concertos by Richard Wilson and Howard Shore, and has recorded the music of Wilson, George Tsontakis, Anna Weesner and Barbara White. She has collaborated with Cho-Liang Lin in Tan Dun's dynamic Ghost Opera in Indianapolis and last summer premiered a work by Lowell Liebermann for mezzo-soprano and ensemble at Chamber Music Northwest. A native of Houston, Texas, Sophie Shao was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with David Soyer. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music and plays on a cello made by Honoré Derazey from 1860 once owned by Pablo Casals.

About the Classical Recording Foundation:
The mission of the Classical Recording Foundation is to provide great performing artists and composers with an opportunity to record, release, and promote new classical recordings in a manner that captures ideal performances that define our era, by providing established artists with awards and new artists with grants.

Recent Classical Recording Foundation award recipients continue to receive accolades and success. Pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, CRF Young Artist of the Year in 2009, won the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition. 2010 Young Artists of the Year Natasha Paremski and Orion Weiss have also received esteemed recognition: Paremski played a month-long tour with Gideon Kremer and Orion Weiss was called to substitute for Leon Fleisher at Tanglewood. Paremski's new album also garnered the distinction of rising to No. 9 on the Billboard Classical Chart within two weeks of its release. Pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who was honored in 2006 and 2007, received the prestigious Diapason D'or Award for her Bach Goldberg Variations recording and in 2011 signed an exclusive recording agreement with Sony. Cellist Zuill Bailey, also honored in 2006 and 2007, joined the Telarc label and has since released an acclaimed recording of Bach's solo cello works as well as a recording of the Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich Cello Concerti (supported by CRF) with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. CRF's Composer of the Year for 2008, Justin Dello Joio, has been commissioned to write a piano concerto for Garrick Ohlsson. CRF, in collaboration with Bridge records, received its first Latin Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Composition for Barcelonazo, music for orchestra by Jorge Liderman. The Foundation was fortunate to receive a Copland Grant that provided partial funding of this recording. In 2008, CRF was awarded three Aaron Copland Grants, an Argosy Grant, and received continued support from the National Endowment for the Arts for its work on a new DVD release about eminent American composer George Crumb. In addition, CRF has begun to help in the restoration of the landmark live recordings from the archives of the Library of Congress by supporting Bridge Records in that effort. 2006 marked the first year of a Library of Congress collaboration with a remarkable disc featuring Samuel Barber and Leontyne Price, which garnered a Billboard "Top 10 of the Year" distinction.

Other artists who have benefited from CRF's support in previous years include Philip Lasser, Bridget Kibbey, Barbara Govato, Marcantonio Barone, Gerald Ranck, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Kalish-Krosnick Duo, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, Anne-Marie McDermott, Benita Valente, The Juilliard String Quartet, Andres Díaz, Judith Gordon, George Crumb, the Harmonie Ensemble, Paul Moravec, Inon Barnatan, Stephen Jaffe, Benjamin Verdery, Giora Schmidt, Rohan De Silva, Simone Dinnerstein, Zuill Bailey, The Daedalus String Quartet, Michael Harrison, Vassily Primakov, Justin Dello Joio, and Richard Wernick.

CRF does not benefit from record sales or royalties, and depends entirely on support from generous individuals and corporations, as well as merit-based grants from public and private sources.