1. Ryan Shaw sings “Evermore” from his 2012 album Real Love

    We’re pleased to present Ryan Shaw, a recent addition to the cast of tonight’s sold-out 80th Birthday Celebration of Songwriter Mike Stoller and his partnership with lyricist Jerry Leiber, which produced such iconic songs like “Jailhouse Rock,” On Broadway, “Love Potion #9” and “Is That All There Is?”

    This weekend Ryan just received his third Grammy nomination, Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Yesterday” in his new CD, Real Love, as well as a collective nomination for Best Cast Album for Motown: The Musical. To introduce Ryan, we asked him our “Stoller Q&A.”

    What’s your favorite Leiber and Stoller song?
    “I Who Have Nothing.” It was my first audition song in New York. It was my second day in New York City on my own, and I had an audition for Smokey Joe’s Cafe. I did my best to recreate Victor Cook’s rendition—and I received a standing ovation from the panel. But the problem came in the dance callback…yikes!

    What other artists would you like to perform with whom you haven’t yet?
    I would love to perform with Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder (who I now play on Broadway in Motown: The Musical).

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  2. Bettye LaVette’s standout performance: “Love Reign O’er Me” at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors

    We’re honored to welcome Bettye LaVette to the guest roster of our 80th Birthday Celebration of Songwriter Mike Stoller, now numbering more than two dozen artists. Mike Stoller and his lyricist partner Jerry Leiber made one of the greatest songwriting teams of all times.

    Enjoy Bettye’s responses to our “Stoller Q&A.”

    What’s your favorite Leiber and Stoller song?
    There are too many to name just one.

    What artists would you like to perform with whom you haven’t yet?
    I’d enjoy singing with Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard or Bobby Womack.

    What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” song?
    “Travelin’ Man” by Ricky Nelson, but I don’t feel guilty about it.

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  3. Sally Kellerman sings “La Vie en Rose” in a duet with Bertie Higgins. The song was originally sung by Edith Piaf; Leiber & Stoller wrote their “L’Homme à la Moto” for Piaf.

    The great Sally Kellerman joins us for our 80th Birthday Celebration of Songwriter Mike Stoller hosted by Paul Shaffer. Mike Stoller and lyricist Jerry Leiber bridged the gap between R&B and rock ‘n’ roll through songs like “Hound Dog,” “There Goes My Baby” and “Stand By Me.” We asked Sally a few questions to get ready for the big night.

    What are your favorite Leiber and Stoller songs?
    “Is That All There Is?,” “Kansas City,” “I’m a Woman,” “On Broadway” and “Love Potion No. 9”

    What other artists would you like to perform with whom you haven’t yet?
    Rod Stewart, Kenny Loggins, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Michael McDonald, Sting, Smokey Robinson, Van Morrison and Barry Manilow

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  4. Video: A classic 60s clip from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Corky Hale accompanies Tony Bennett, chats with Johnny, gives Johnny a harp lesson then sings her own number with the band.

    We’re thrilled to have Corky Hale as part of our 80th Birthday Celebration of Songwriter Mike Stoller hosted by Paul Shaffer. If you’re unfamiliar with the name Mike Stoller, you know his songs: “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Potion #9,” “Is That All There Is?,” “There Goes My Baby” to name a few. Together with lyricist Jerry Leiber, he bridged the gap between segregated R&B dance music and mainstream rock ‘n’ roll.

    We asked Corky a few questions to get ready for the big night.

    What are your favorite Leiber and Stoller songs?
    One that I will be performing on December 9: “Loving You” and one that people have yet to hear, from the new Oscar Wilde musical that Mike is working on, called “My Darling Oscar.”

    What other artists would you like to perform with whom you haven’t yet?
    Brian Stokes Mitchell

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  5. Video: Dee Dee Bridgewater with Ray Charles: “Precious Thing”

    We’re thrilled to have Dee Dee Bridgewater as part of our 80th Birthday Celebration of Songwriter Mike Stoller hosted by Paul Shaffer. If you’re unfamiliar with the name Mike Stoller, you know his songs: “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Potion #9,” “Is That All There Is?,” “There Goes My Baby” to name a few. Together with lyricist Jerry Leiber, he bridged the gap between segregated R&B dance music and mainstream rock ‘n’ roll.

    We asked Dee Dee a few questions to get ready for the big night.

    What are your favorite Leiber and Stoller songs?
    “I’m a Woman,” “Hound Dog”

    What artists would you like to perform with whom you haven’t yet?
    Bill Withers, Prince, Susan Tedeshi & Derek Trucks

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  6. How does an artist create a recital program? On Tue, Dec 3, Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang will give the second concert in the new 92Y at SubCulture series. She’s written an introduction to her program explaining her selections and her feelings towards the music.
My program takes you on a musical journey from the 1600s through 2013, and across Europe, South America and Asia. Along the way I will showcase three pieces that are considered 20th century masterworks for the instrument and give the world premiere of a piece from my homeland China.
The first half features the music of Benjamin Britten and Schubert. The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the British composer Benjamin Britten. He wrote just one piece for solo guitar, Nocturnal after John Dowland, for the British guitarist Julian Bream. It is based on the theme of sleep, and dreams. It is one of the most important pieces written for the instrument. I love this piece and want to play it for you in this centenary year.
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Britten’s Courtly Dances are from his opera Gloriana, set almost 500 years ago in the Royal Court of Queen Elizabeth I. In this anniversary year, I have transcribed the full set of dances for solo guitar. At first, I thought a couple of the dances were impossible to play, but I finally figured them out. So I hope you will agree with me that they work on the instrument and are a worthy addition to the guitar repertoire.
I always include a Romantic piece in my program, and this time I chose one of my all-time favourite Romantic composers, Franz Schubert whose music speaks to me directly. I have selected six of his songs, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the 19th century guitarist/composer Johann Kasper Mertz for these beautiful arrangements.
I will start the second half with the USA premiere of a piece (commissioned for me by Wigmore Hall in London) from the USA-based Chinese composer Chen Yi. I am very excited about this piece as it is the first I have received from a Chinese composer. It is based a Chinese folk-style called Shuo Chang which typically uses drums, singing and speaking to present a musical drama. This piece presents all these elements as a monodrama on a single guitar. I hope you will enjoy the sounds, colours and textures of this piece.
For the final two pieces of the second half, I chose two of the masterworks from the 20th century guitar repertoire. William Walton was a British composer who wrote these Five Bagatelles for Julian Bream. Although “Bagatelle” means a short, light piece, these are technically challenging to play. The pieces carry some of the warmth of the Italy, where Walton spent many years of his life.
The final piece is by Alberto Ginastera and written for Brazilian guitarist Carlos Barbosa Lima. His Sonata in four movements showcases and deconstructs the sounds, ambiance and rhythms of his native Argentina, ending in a frenzied and exciting finale to close the concert.

    How does an artist create a recital program? On Tue, Dec 3, Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang will give the second concert in the new 92Y at SubCulture series. She’s written an introduction to her program explaining her selections and her feelings towards the music.

    My program takes you on a musical journey from the 1600s through 2013, and across Europe, South America and Asia. Along the way I will showcase three pieces that are considered 20th century masterworks for the instrument and give the world premiere of a piece from my homeland China.

    The first half features the music of Benjamin Britten and Schubert. The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the British composer Benjamin Britten. He wrote just one piece for solo guitar, Nocturnal after John Dowland, for the British guitarist Julian Bream. It is based on the theme of sleep, and dreams. It is one of the most important pieces written for the instrument. I love this piece and want to play it for you in this centenary year.

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  7. “200 years after their genesis, Beethoven’s quartets still hold tons of exciting questions for us.”
So says Rainer Schmidt, second violinist of the Hagen Quartet, in a Q&A with 92Y about the Quartet’s first complete Beethoven string quartet cycle in North America, currently underway. In its review of the Quartet’s first concert on Nov 7, The New York Times raved, “in the rich history of Beethoven cycles, this shapes up as a standout.”
The cycle continues Thu 14, Sat 16, & Sun 17.

    “200 years after their genesis, Beethoven’s quartets still hold tons of exciting questions for us.”

    So says Rainer Schmidt, second violinist of the Hagen Quartet, in a Q&A with 92Y about the Quartet’s first complete Beethoven string quartet cycle in North America, currently underway. In its review of the Quartet’s first concert on Nov 7, The New York Times raved, “in the rich history of Beethoven cycles, this shapes up as a standout.”

    The cycle continues Thu 14, Sat 16, & Sun 17.

  8. We visited pianist Jonathan Biss in his home for talk about Beethoven Sonatas, how he came to play the piano, and the pleasure of performing with his mother.

    Listen to Biss and his mother Miriam Fried, “a glorious combination,” perform at 92Y on Nov 2.

  9. The Segovia Master Class in Spain (1965)

    One way Andrés Segovia furthered his legacy was by giving master classes around the world. Of the seven artists performing in 92Y’s Segovia Tribute concert tomorrow, four—Oscar Ghiglia, Adam Holzman, Richard Savino, Christopher Parkening—were chosen to participate in Segovia master classes. (Eliot Fisk was a pupil but never did a master class.)
     
    Oscar Ghiglia’s 1965 master class with Segovia in Spain was filmed; watch this beautiful footage above.
     
    Fast forward 48 years, and Mr. Ghiglia brings that legacy to 92Y and a new generation this Sunday, Oct 27, by leading his own master class at the 92Y School of Music.

    Previously: Segovia and his Guitars: 92Y Concerts visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art
     

  10. What makes Beethoven so enduring and so popular? 
That’s one of the questions we asked Orli Shaham, artistic director of the pre-school program Baby Got Bach, in a recent interview about her all-Beethoven Family Concert this Sunday at 92Y. The concert kicks off a month of Beethoven at 92Y. 
So what makes Beethoven so enduring and so popular?  [[MORE]]
"Beethoven is one of those mythical characters who excites us when we even just hear his name. He and his music are so emotional, so filled with romanticism; he captures our imagination. I think it can be especially true for kids. There is something about that Beethovean energy that I think will spark their interest and creativity." 
What do you hope the audience will gain from the concert experience?
"Our plan is for the kids—and their parents—to get the feeling of what it must have been like to be Beethoven, so we’ll talk about the different aspects of his life and of his sound world, and how that affected his music.
But even more, we want to give everyone a sense of what it must be like to have all those ideas swirling around in your head all the time, and give them the chance to experience what it’s like to compose music. With any luck, we’ll trigger their own creativity and show them that they too have something important to say. We’ll give them the example of how a creative genius like Beethoven goes about saying it.” 
Tell us about your narrator, Naomi Lewin, and why you asked her to join you.
"I’ve known Naomi for many years. She’s the afternoon host for WQXR but even more importantly, she does the “Classics for Kids” program out of Cincinnati, which is one of the best programs out there that acquaints kids with music; it tells the stories behind the music that kids will understand and appreciate.
She knows so well how to talk to kids about music, so when this opportunity came up, I knew she would be my perfect partner. She’ll do most of the talking, and I’ll do most of the playing along with my two other guests, violinist Adam Barnett-Hart and cellist Caroline Stinson.
We’ll have lots of little bits of Beethoven’s music. We won’t overwhelm the kids with 20 minutes from a single work but they’ll get a good 20 minutes or more of Beethoven’s music.” 
This Sunday, Oct 27 at 3 pm, Orli Shaham presents an all-Beethoven Family Concert for ages 6 and older. 

    What makes Beethoven so enduring and so popular? 

    That’s one of the questions we asked Orli Shaham, artistic director of the pre-school program Baby Got Bach, in a recent interview about her all-Beethoven Family Concert this Sunday at 92Y. The concert kicks off a month of Beethoven at 92Y. 

    So what makes Beethoven so enduring and so popular?  

    Read More