Rhiannon Giddens, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer are in Knoxville, TN, this Memorial Day weekend for Yo-Yo Ma’s Our Common Nature: An Appalachian Celebration. Thomas Adès leads Ballet Opéra de Paris in Dante. Sam Amidon celebrates Harry Smith’s centenary at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Richard Goode plays Beethoven in San Juan. k.d. lang gets Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in Ottawa. Brad Mehldau concludes Netherlands Chamber Orchestra residency in Rotterdam. Jeff Parker performs in California. Cécile McLorin Salvant tours Spain. Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway are in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Maryland.
Rhiannon Giddens, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer are in Knoxville, Tennessee, this Memorial Day weekend for Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted concert presentation, Our Common Nature: An Appalachian Celebration—a three-day series of cultural experiences and conversations with musicians, storytellers, and poets from throughout the Appalachian region—in partnership with the Knoxville-based arts nonprofit Big Ears.
Following his performance with Amythyst Kiah at the Bijou Theatre last night, Thile joins Giddens, Meyer, Ma, and a host of regional musicians for “Yo-Yo Ma & Friends”—featuring solos, duos, trios and more, as well as storytellers, poets, puppets, and dancers—at World’s Fair Park tonight.
Giddens heads to the Bijou Theatre, joined by fellow Carolina Chocolate Drops alum Justin Robinson and Dirk Powell, for a concert on Saturday. Giddens, who was recently named the winner, with Michael Abels, of the Pulitzer Prize in Music for their opera, Omar, releases You’re the One, her third solo studio album and her first of all original songs, August 18 on Nonesuch.
Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer released Bach Trios, an album of works by J.S. Bach originally written for keyboard instruments plus a sonata for viola da gamba, on Nonesuch in 2017. Thile and Meyer released two duo albums, Bass & Mandolin and Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, on Nonesuch in 2014 and 2008, respectively. Rhiannon Giddens wrote the song “Build a House” for the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth in 2020 and performs it on a recording with Ma and Francesco Turrisi in a recording released last fall on Nonesuch.
The Ballet Opéra de Paris French premiere performances of the Wayne McGregor ballet The Dante Project, set to Thomas Adès' score, continue at Palais Garnier tonight and Saturday, with the composer conducting the orchestra. The production continues through Wednesday, with Courtney Louis conducting the final three performances.
The first recording of Dante, made by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel in concert at Disney Hall, debuted at No. 1 on the UK Specialist Classical chart last month and was named one of the 100 Best Pieces of Classical Music by the Times. The collectable limited vinyl two-LP edition includes artwork by Dean and photography from the Royal Ballet’s premiere performances.
Sam Amidon, joined by special guests Beth Orton and Meskerem Mees, plays re-imagined versions of songs from Harry Smith’s The Anthology of American Folk Music at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels on Sunday, as part of a three-day celebration marking Smith’s centenary. Amidon performs from Smith’s beloved and influential Anthology of American Folk Music on Fatal Flower Garden EP (A Tribute to Harry Smith), a four-track 7” vinyl record released on Nonesuch in 2019. Orton, Amidon’s wife, contributes vocals to three tracks on Amidon’s latest album, his self-titled 2020 release.
k.d. lang is being awarded the 2023 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada’s highest honor in the performing arts, in an Awards Gala at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Saturday. The award recognizes artists for having made an indelible contribution to cultural life in Canada and around the world. "I can't even actually fathom being placed in the same company as the people, the artists who have influenced me so tremendously," lang says. "Canada has such an embarrassment of riches, so many tremendous artists, and to be bestowed with this honor is unthinkable really ... So, thank you."
Pianist Richard Goode performs an all-Beethoven program at Sala Sinfónica Pablo Casals in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Saturday, as part of Festival Casals. On the program are the Andante—Allegretto in G Major, Bagatelles, Op. 119; Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109; and 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120. Gramaphone calls Goode’s Grammy-nominated, ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven sonatas, released on Nonesuch in 1993, “one of the finest interpretations ever put on record.”
Brad Mehldau concludes a four-date residency with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Clark Rundell, at De Doelen in Rotterdam on Saturday, performing his piano concerto and a suite of music from Jonny Greenwood’s score for Paul Thomas Anderson's Academy Award–winning 2007 film, There Will Be Blood. Also on the program is Philip Glass's Symphony No. 3.
Mehldau’s new live solo album, Your Mother Should Know: Brad Mehldau Plays The Beatles, was released on Nonesuch earlier this year. Mojo gives it four stars, calling it “an inspired set that reveals new ways of hearing pop classics.” The first-ever vinyl edition of his 2002 Jon Brion–produced album, Largo, is due next month.
Guitarist Jeff Parker performs solo as the sun goes down at Z Ranch, the historic arts ranch in Altadena, California, on Monday evening as part of the Floating series of outdoor events. Parker's latest album, the solo guitar recording Forfolks, released on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records in 2021, includes six original compositions plus interpretations of Thelonious Monk's "Ugly Beauty" and the standard "My Ideal." "A beautifully freewheeling, guitar-driven expression of joy and musical exploration," says Guitar World, "a masterpiece of improvisation." "Beautiful, resonant, and focused," says the Quietus. "This matches anything he’s produced during his career so far."
Cécile McLorin Salvant begins a nine-city European run in Spain this weekend, bringing music from her new album, Mélusine, and more to Auditorio y Palacio de Congresos de Castelló in Valencia on Saturday and Clasijazz in Almería on Monday. Mélusine, which was released on vinyl earlier this month, follows Salvant’s 2022 Nonesuch debut, Ghost Song, which recently won her the Deutscher Jazzpreis in Germany for International Vocal Album. “Anyone who thinks they already know the full extent of Cécile McLorin Salvant's artistry should listen to Mélusine without further delay,” exclaims Jazzwise. “It's a remarkable recording in several respects. Beautifully recorded, Salvant continues to confound and delight at every turn.”
Molly Tuttle and her band Golden Highway play headlining shows at Levitation Backyard in Marshfield, Massachusetts, tonight, and Elevation 27 in Virginia Beach on Saturday, followed by a set at Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland, on Sunday, as part of DelFest. Their new album, City of Gold, due July 21 on Nonesuch, follows their acclaimed 2022 label debut, Crooked Tree, which won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. You can watch a live performance video of “El Dorado,” the new album’s lead track, here.
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