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January 30, 2021

Noctuelles, a new solo album from pianist-composer Michael Brown featuring two gems of the 20th century piano repertoire, was released January 22 by the British label First Hand Records.

January 6, 2021

Michigan’s Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will present the long-awaited world premiere of Michael Brown’s Concerto for Piano and Strings on April 30, 2021, with Music Director Julian Kuerti conducting and Brown at the keyboard. Brown’s concerto—inspired by Beethoven and composed in 2020, a year rife with celebrations surrounding the 250th anniversary of that composer’s birth—was co-commissioned by the Kalamazoo-based Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Poland’s NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra. The initial performances were originally scheduled to take place during the Beethoven year with the Gilmore Festival Orchestra under Kuerti and in Wroclaw, Poland, under NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra Music Director Joseph Swensen. Both had to be cancelled as concert life came to a temporary halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brown composed the concerto while in residence at Copland House in Peekskill, NY. The three-movement work, he says, “seeks to integrate my own musical language with that of Beethoven, by weaving musical fragments of his various works into my own harmonic landscape. Specific Beethoven references include long pedal markings blurring harmonies and sonorities, as in the Largo of the Third Piano Concerto; extended use of trills; and the interweaving of small motivic fragments throughout the work. I have often dreamed of being a fly on the wall observing Beethoven playing his own creations, and I hope this may pay homage to him from the perspective of my being both a composer and a pianist.”

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s April 30 performance will take place at 7 pm EST and is being streamed on the orchestra’s website, where it will be available for viewing through May 30.

 

June 3, 2020

Pianist-composer Michael Brown, an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, was the first musician featured in that organization’s new Front Row: Artist Series—a weekly virtual concert series showcasing eight CMSLC artists. Brown also made a little bit of musical history this spring as the first artist to collaborate virtually, rather than live and in person, with educator/musicologist/composer Rob Kapilow on Kapilow’s long-running What Makes It Great? program.

February 24, 2020

On May 6, 2020, pianist-composer Michael Brown will perform the world premiere of his Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Strings with the Gilmore Festival Chamber Orchestra in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A highlight of this year’s Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the May 6 concert is the first of two performances of the new work this spring: on June 6 Brown takes it to Wroclaw, Poland, where the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra will present the European premiere under the baton of Joseph Swensen. A joint commission from the two organizations, the concerto was written to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven.

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