News from Primo Artists | Summer 2020

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CONDUCTOR JAMES GAFFIGAN LEADS BERGEN PHILHARMONIC AND STAVANGER SYMFONIORKESTER AND SPEAKS TO THE NEW YORK TIMES

In April, we welcomed conductor James Gaffigan to our roster! James Gaffigan was our first artist to return to the stage in this lockdown period! He led livestreamed concerts with the Bergen Philharmonic and Stavanger Symfoniorkester of Norway. The broadcasts can be viewed here and here.

Gaffigan was set to lead the opening night of Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the Metropolitan Opera on March 12th. Following the cancellation, he was interviewed by The New York Times on his thoughts about being a conductor in COVID-19 times and why live performance is so special. He said: “We don’t make sound as conductors … So we can’t do our craft right now.”

NICOLA BENEDETTI PRESENTS THE BENEDETTI FOUNDATION’S VIRTUAL BENEDETTI SESSIONS, RELEASES A NEW ELGAR ALBUM ON DECCA CLASSICS

Nicola Benedetti launched her very first Virtual Benedetti Sessions this summer, providing musicians of all ages and stages from all over the world, with three weeks of consistent, scheduled online tuition and inspiration. Over 7,000 students from 66 countries and 41 states from America participated in preparing collectively over the three-week period for a finale concert celebrating the coming together of our global music community. Watch the concert here!

Nicola Benedetti recentlyreleased a new album on Decca Classics of works by Elgar featuring the Violin Concerto with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic, coupled with solo works for violin and piano. Check it out here!

GEMMA NEW CONDUCTS ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY AND RETURNS TO NEW ZEALAND TO MAKE HER DEBUT WITH NEW ZEALAND SYMPHONY

Gemma New returned to St. Louis for a rare visit with her St. Louis Symphony family for a broadcast of George Walker’s Lyric for Strings! She also led the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis inan at-home rendition of Bernstein’s “Make Our Garden Grow”as a benefit for the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Artist Relief Fund, which raised over $350,000!

This month, Gemma returns home to New Zealand to conduct her debut with the New Zealand Symphony and Beethoven 9 with the Dunedin Symphony with a cast that includes tenor Simon O’Neill!

BEATRICE RANA RELEASES A NEW ALBUM ON WARNER CLASSICS AND PERFORMS AT REOPENING OF LA SCALA AND WITH VALERY GERGIEV

Beatrice Rana performed a concert with Valery Gergiev and the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini at the Ravenna Festival celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birth year! She was also invited to perform for the reopening of Teatro alla Scala in Milan alongside cellist Misha Maisky and baritone Luca Salsi on a program of Liszt, Brahms, Giordano and Verdi.

Beatrice Rana’s newly released album on Warner Classics features Stravinsky’s Petrushka and The Firebird and Ravel’s Miroirs and La Valse. Check it out here!

SEONG-JIN CHO RELEASES “THE
WANDERER” ALBUM ON DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON AND BREAKS RECORDS FOR DG LIVESTREAM

Seong-Jin Cho’s long-awaited recital album titled The Wanderer was released by Deutsche Grammophon! This is Seong-Jin Cho’s first recital disc of repertoire featuring Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy, Berg’s Piano Sonata and Liszt’s B Minor Sonata. He also broke the record for the number of viewers in a Deutsche Grammophon YouTube livestream with over 50,000 viewers tuning in!

Seong-Jin Cho performed at the Solsberg Festival with Sol Gabetta and Sabine Meyer in chamber concerts in Switzerland. Watch here.

JOSHUA BELL PERFORMS A VIRTUAL RECITAL ON PBS SPECIAL AND CONNECTS WITH HEALTHCARE HEROES THROUGH MUSIC

Joshua Bell is keeping busy with various livestreams! He will be presenting an intimate recital from his home in a PBS Special “Joshua Bell: Music From My Home” on August 16th which will feature Larisa Martínez (soprano), Jeremy Denk (piano), Peter Dugan (piano) and Kamal Khan (piano).

Joshua Bell also showed his appreciation to healthcare workers who continue to keep us safe amid this pandemic by sharing a virtual collaboration of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor. Check it out here!

CHRISTIAN REIF VIRTUALLY DIRECTS MUSIC ACADEMY OF THE WEST REMOTE LEARNING INSTITUTE AND LAKES AREA MUSIC FESTIVAL

Christian Reif directed the Music Academy of the West’s Remote Learning Institute Summer Program Fellows in a socially distanced performance of Haydn’s “London” Symphony!

This month, Christian Reif leads online education workshops with the Lakes Area Music Festival and conducts the virtual finale of the Festival on August 16th. Tune in here!

WYNTON MARSALIS FEATURED ON CBS, MSNBC, NPR, WQXR, BBC AND NY DAILY NEWS AND PRESENTS WEEKLY TALKS ON HIS SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

Wynton Marsalis has been making frequent media appearances through the lockdown on world issues including racial justice and the importance of arts and culture. He has been featured on CBS, MSNBC, NPR, WQXR and BBC.

Wynton Marsalis has also been engaging in weekly conversations on his social media channels to further highlight these issues. Watch here!

CRISTIAN MACELARU RELEASES AN ALBUM ON SONY CLASSICAL, LEADS VIRTUAL INTERLOCHEN AND CABRILLO FESTIVALS AND EXTENDS HIS CHIEF CONDUCTOR CONTACT WITH WDR SYMPHONY TO 2025

Cristian Măcelaru recently released a new Sony Classical album featuring Three Continents, a new work by Nico Muhly, Sven Helbig and Zhou Long, written for cellist Jan Vogler, with the WDR Sinfonieorchester. In June, the WDR Sinfonieorchester announced the extension of Cristian Măcelaru’s Chief Conductor contract to 2025!

Cristian Măcelaru has been curating virtual programs for his inaugural season as the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra Summer Program and the Virtual Cabrillo Festival. Watch the Interlochen students presenting a virtual performance of Liszt’s Les Préludes here!

SONY AND WARNER CELEBRATE ITZHAK PERLMAN’S 75TH BIRTHDAY BY RELEASING BOX COLLECTIONS AND DVD SETS

Itzhak Perlman has been rolling out videos from home which have enlightened and warmed hearts of many throughout the world! Perlman recently joined U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) live on Instagram to discuss what is at stake in the 2020 election.

In celebration of Itzhak Perlman’s 75th birthday this month, Sony Classical is presenting the first-ever collection of Itzhak Perlman’s complete recordings for RCA and CBS/Sony in a single box set, which includes 18 CDs spanning the years 1965 to 2012! On September 18th, Warner Classics will release a 6-DVD box set of important landmarks in Perlman’s career with the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Primo has been keeping busy with leading the Performing Arts Managers & Agents Coalition (PAMAC) to lobby for legislative reform for every segment of the arts sector in the wake of COVID-19.

The Change.org petition advocating for legislative relief for the arts industry has over 16,000 signatures and has been shared over 2,000 times by leading members of the broader arts industry such the rock band My Morning Jacket, actress/director/author Felicia Day, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Hilary Hahn and more.

Last week, PAMAC brought together leading musicians of Kentucky with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senior Staff to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the arts sector. Read more here.

Contact your Representatives this Friday in an industry-wide effort to have a critical mass of fellow arts advocates weighing in together on the vital issue that the arts sector needs relief in the forthcoming stimulus bill!

Watch our advocacy video below!

Based in New York, Primo Artists is a classical music agency representing several of the world’s finest artists: Violinist/conductor Itzhak Perlman, violinists Joshua Bell and Nicola Benedetti, pianists Beatrice Rana and Seong-Jin Cho, conductors Cristian Măcelaru, Christian Reif and Gemma New and composer Wynton Marsalis
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