New York Times: When Musicians Get Up and Move

…If opera singers are expected to move about the stage and interact with other performers, Ms. Woolf argued, so could string players. “When we hear a musical phrase, we hear a statement of language,” she said. “We all are in the business of emotional storytelling — with everything we have.”

A Victorian dictum, now out of fashion, states that children should be seen, not heard. The opposite might be said of the 19th-century concert setup: Players were to be heard, not seen — or at least not draw attention to themselves.

But that view is changing as well. Continue reading “New York Times: When Musicians Get Up and Move”

Calgary Herald: New Music review: Evelyn Glennie and Land’s End Ensemble provide spectacular evening of six premieres at the Bella

By STEPHAN BONFIELD

…perhaps best summarized as an opera aria for cello, entangling a dramatic theatricality and an erotic intimacy between instrument and performer(s). — a striking image about music and our acoustical relationship to it through the innateness of deeply felt rhythmic vibration, elucidating our permanent entanglements with such deeply intimate musical experiences…

This past Friday night was a truly special one for Calgary’s new music community and a milestone for the city’s arts community as a whole. Land’s End Ensemble hosted internationally-renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie its 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University, in a wrap-up recital of epic proportions capping off the new hall’s exciting début series.

The sold-out concert was the month’s hottest ticket in town, featuring percussion-themed premieres of no less than six new compositions specially written for Glennie by Allan Gordon Bell, Luna Pearl Woolf, Omar Daniel, Derek Charke and Vincent Ho, the ensemble’s artistic director and concert curator.

Continue reading “Calgary Herald: New Music review: Evelyn Glennie and Land’s End Ensemble provide spectacular evening of six premieres at the Bella”

Superconductor: Concert Review: Let Me Drown. Novus NY plays Become Ocean.

Friday, May 19, 2017

by Paul J. Pelkonen

The concert opened with After the Wave by Ms, Woolf. It started with a lone, faraway trumpet, answered from a seemingly great distance by oboe and English horn, that most desolate sounding of wind instruments…Swelling surges of strings and brass crashed and broke on the senses, at turns meditative and anguished, moaning of irredeemable loss

The composer John Luther Adams who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Become Ocean.

St. Paul’s Chapel, located in the long shadow of the World Trade Center is one of the oldest and most historic churches in New York. On Thursday afternoon, the last matinee concert of the annual music series sponsored by Trinity Church featured another historic occasion: the second New York pperformance of Become Ocean, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning composition by John Luther Adams. This concert, featuring contemporary orchestra Novus NY under the baton of Trinity Church maestro Julian Wachner, paired Mr. Adams’ creation with works by contemporary composers Luna Pearl Woolf  and Jessica Meyer. All three composers were in attendance. Continue reading “Superconductor: Concert Review: Let Me Drown. Novus NY plays Become Ocean.”

New York Music Daily: Vast, Intricate, Awe-Inspiring Oceans of Sound Downtown

May 19, 2017

…From the first few stark, distantly enigmatic notes of Luna Pearl Woolf’s After the Wave, …it was clear that Julian Wachner’s fearlessly eclectic ensemble had come to deliver a message…a flood of low tonalities and bracing close harmonies as haunting as anything in Adams’ work

What’s the likelihood that the two opening works on a program featuring John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean would hold their own alongside that epically enveloping, meticulously churning, playfully palindromic masterpiece? It happened yesterday at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, where Novus NY delivered a mighty coda to this season’s program of music on themes of water justice, staged by Trinity Church.

The pervasive cynicism that still exists at corporate rock concerts has roots in the classical world: “Let’s warm up the crowd with something short and random and then get down to business.” From the first few stark, distantly enigmatic notes of Luna Pearl Woolf’s After the Wave, a portrait of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and its aftermath, it was clear that Julian Wachner’s fearlessly eclectic ensemble had come to deliver a message. With just the hint of foreshadowing, the methodical pulse of daily routine gave way to a flood of low tonalities and bracing close harmonies as haunting as anything in Adams’ work. From there the orchestra made their way through an unexpectedly triumphant latin-tinged fanfare of sorts, up to a conclusion that signaled triumph and recovery over an ocean of devastation. Continue reading “New York Music Daily: Vast, Intricate, Awe-Inspiring Oceans of Sound Downtown”

NOVUS NY performance: After the Wave

NOVUS NY Ensemble will feature their fantastic performance of After the Wave from the Sunken Cathedral series on their website.

From the New York Times Classical Music in NYC listings:

NOVUS NY at St. Paul’s Chapel (May 18, 1 p.m.). If your John Luther Adams cravings are not fulfilled by the Crossing’s concert on Friday and Alarm Will Sound’s on Sunday, here’s a free lunchtime opportunity to hear “Become Ocean,” his symphonic masterpiece of tone painting, compositional process and ecological awareness, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014. Alongside it, Julian Wachner conducts a premiere from Jessica Meyer and Luna Pearl Woolf’s “After the Wave.”

212-602-0800, trinitywallstreet.org

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Center for New Music: Interview with Luna Pearl Woolf about Act Without Words I

March 14, 2017

…”Music is storytelling. We are drawn to a piece of music, whether it’s classical or another genre, because of the emotion it evokes in us. What I love about dramatic music is that it’s a long form – it’s not simply expressing one or two emotions, but it’s constantly drawing you from one state into another through a transformational experience”ActWoWordsRenataRakovaMichaelMohammedCreditKevinFryer Continue reading “Center for New Music: Interview with Luna Pearl Woolf about Act Without Words I”

OPERA-L: The Washington Chorus “New Music for a New Age” features the fabulous music of Luna Pearl Woolf

…The final work was indeed the highlight of the afternoon with a semi-world premiere of Ms. Woolf’s Opera, The Pillar with libretto by David Van Taylor … all we wanted was more than thirty something minutes!

Oxingale Records

12472551_10153312822265877_8573125744741823225_n-1March 1, 2016

On Sunday our dear friend, tenor Jonathan Blalock was in town as a soloist with the Washington Chorus at the National Presbyterian Church just up the street from our home, and we had to attend. The fact that the program was dedicated to new music and specifically the works of composer, Luna Pearl Woolf, who just had such a huge success with her world premiere of BETTER GODS at Wash Natl Opera made it even more of a treat.

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