Of Note Episodes
Grace, passion and precision run throughout Helene Grimaud’s new recording of Brahms’ two piano concertos for Deutsche Grammophon.
Although Grimaud immediately embraced Brahms’ 1st (op. 15), as “intimate,” discovering it as a child and first recording the concerto in 1997, she reluctantly approached the 2nd out of duty in 2007. Then, in 2011 the piece came “knocking on the door from the inside,” as she explained, when her true connection was made.
In addition to her career as a musician, Grimaud founded the Wolf Conservation Center in upstate New York, is an active member of Musicians for Human Rights and continues to champion both environmental and human rights causes.
When asked about how her role as a musician connects with her role as an activist she explained: “One of the basic precepts of the German Romantic school is that nature is the ultimate muse we do not really invent anything, that we simply rediscover what is already there and that all disciplines take root in a global intuition.”
For Grimaud it makes a lot of sense to be at once a musician and an activist because they are intrinsically connected.
“It’s one of the ways one can give back. When you have the privilege of being able to do what you love doing, to live from what you love doing, it’s the ultimate luxury,” she explains. “So you of course are motivated to give back in any way shape or form you can.”
Violinist Michelle Makarski collaborated with jazz giant Keith Jarrett in a new recording of Bach sonatas for violin and piano. When she spoke with Katy Henriksen she elaborated on her comparison to time-lapse photography for the endeavor.
NYC-based composer Bruce Adolphe was commissioned by the University of Central Arkansas to write a new piece. When he found out the Cassatt Quartet would be debuting the composition, he decided to write about Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt. The piece "Mary Cassatt: Scenes From Her Life" will be presented by the Cassatt Quartet at the Great Hall of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Friday, Oct. 4.
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