Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Urban Cultural Fix in New York City

After The Future of the Japanese Music Heritage: Strategies for Nurturing Japanese Traditional Instrumental Genres and New Music summit was over, I took a advantage of New York's City's cultural offerings. In the afternoon I attended a concert by the London Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sun, Mar 10, 2013 | 3:00 PM | Avery Fisher Hall
Vladimir Jurowski, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
SHOSTAKOVICH: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5
Pre-concert lecture by Scott Burnham at 1:45 in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse

This first evening with the splendid London Philharmonic Orchestra centers on what is deservedly one of the most beloved works in the repertoire—Beethoven’s transformative Fifth Symphony—paired with an elegant Shostakovich concerto that plays on the Beethoven work.

“Everything we've come to expect from the LPO and Jurowski: precise gestures, judiciously paced movement, and wonderfully balanced sound.”

In the evening, I attended a live jazz concert of the Arturo O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at Birdland. Despite the fact that I was raised and grew up in New York, this was the first time I ever stepped into this cultural landmark.
Grammy Award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O'Farrill -- leader of the "first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz" (NY Times) -- was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Son of the late, great composer Chico O'Farrill, Arturo was Educated at Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He played piano in Carla Bley's Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte.

The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is the resident large format ensemble of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) founded by Arturo O'Farrill in 2007 and dedicated to preserving the music and heritage of big band Latin jazz, supporting its performance for new audiences, and educating young people in the understanding and performance of this important cultural treasure. For more information about the orchestra and other ALJA initiatives, please visit us at

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