Sunday, January 21, 2018

Phillip Boykin starring in Broadway revival of Once on this Island

After appearing on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George, On the Town, etc., Phillip Boykin is currently starring as TonTon in the revival of Once on this Island.  I saw the performance and can say from firsthand experience that he is terrific and the cast is wonderful.

Congratulations, Phillip!


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Conversation with Peter Furlong on His New Recording

Thanks for taking the time to converse with me, again, Peter.

Q. First question - it has been a little while since you participated in the 5 Questions interview series. What have you been doing professionally since then?


A. Really? Only a little while? Well, it feels like 2015 was only a short while ago, that’s for sure. 


Back to the question, what have I been doing... Most recently I recorded a CD of Mahler’s piano version of Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) which was just released in August 2017 in the US and is getting some nice reviews and I’m quite proud of this little CD. 


I have been training for some heavy duty Wagner roles. There’s been quite a buzz going around Berlin and Germany in general about me being a ‘real’ Heldentenor (Heroic tenor), which is both exciting and utterly frightening. 


I’m going to auditions in New York and Boston this winter to get some buzz happening in the US as well. 


I’ve sung quite a few concerts and Liederabends, the most recent being a Liederabend of Beethoven’s ‘An die ferne Geliebte’ (To the distant beloved) which was quite nicely received, and all of Copland’s 'Old American Songs' which I sang with my wife, Julie Wyma (who also sang Debussy’s ‘Ariettes Oubliées). A  hometown concert I did in Framingham, Mass in 2016 was great fun (especially as I hadn’t sung in Framingham in 29 years). Seeing one’s High School Music teacher and realizing he has somehow not aged at all is an amazing/humbling feeling. Doing concerts in the US also allows me to return to being a grease monkey, repairing the old cars and various motorbikes my family has accumulated and cared for.


Reaching further back, I performed the roles of Max in ‘Der Freischütz’ and Adam in “Der Vogelhändler’ at Kloster Chorin here on the outskirts of Berlin. 


Add to that being a dad to an amazing little violinist (who attended River’s School Conservatory Summer Camp this past summer) and all around smart cookie, and the husband to my wonderfully amazing wife - life has been good. 


Q. This is all very exciting.  I want to circle back to the performances in a bit, but first a few questions about the recording.  I recall studying Das Lied von der Erde in 20th Century Lit. class with the late James Sellers – a terrific work.  That was the version with full orchestration.  Tell me a little more about the piano version and how you came to select that work in particular for this recording.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

James Sellars Memorial Celebration

On December 6, 7, and 8, 2017, The Hartt School celebrated the musical life and legacy of James Sellars, Professor of Composition 1978 - 2002.  Composers, performers, faculty, alumni, current students, and friends gathered for a series of performances of James' music and music composed in his honor.  Robert Black organized the effort with the help of many others.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Original School Brochure 1920-21

1920 - World War I had ended.  Jazz was just emerging.  Warren G. Harding was elected President of the United States.  Prohibition began.  Women attained the right to vote.  Mass media was born with a license given to the first commercial radio station.  America was about to start Roaring. 

And, The Hartt School was officially formed.  1920 is the founding date of our school and, thanks to the University of Hartford archives and Prof. Dee Hansen (leading the committee planning Hartt's centennial celebrations), below is the original brochure for the school.

Contained in these several pages is the philosophy on which our founders built their legacy.  The prose is elevated and contained within are a few surprises.

How many of us had heard of "Boris" Paranov?  Most of know Morris Perlmutter changed his named for professional reasons to Moshe Paranov, but I had never know that Uncle Moshe once went by Boris.  Ernest Bloch as a faculty member.

Citation - Julius Hartt Musical Foundation, Inc. records (ARCH161). University of Hartford Archives and Special Collections.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Obituary for Raymond D. Hanson

Raymond D. Hanson, beloved father, devoted husband, concert pianist and teacher, died peacefully of natural causes in his home in Heath, Massachusetts on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the age of 98.

Born October 5, 1919 to David and Martha Hanson of Evanston, Illinois, Raymond began studying piano at the age of 12. By the age of 15, he appeared as a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Raymond attended Northwestern University until the beginning of WWII, and his commitment to non-violence and peaceful protest led him to become a Conscientious Objector. This eventually brought him to Middletown, Connecticut.

After the War, in 1945, Raymond met Moshe Paranov and was offered a teaching job at Hartt College of Music. While at Hartt, Raymond worked with the renowned pianist and pedagogue, Harold Bauer, who took him under his wing and mentored him. Raymond was promoted to full Professor of Piano and eventually served as Head of the Piano Department where he remained for over 40 years. Throughout this time, he performed as a soloist with Hartford Symphony, Boston Symphony and Boston Pops; performed concerts and world tours with noted artists such as Roman Totenberg , Pinchas Zukerman, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf; and he appeared on his own weekly television program, Piano Pops, with Leonard Seeber. In addition, he created the piano series En Blanc et Noir, which featured young and upcoming pianists.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Hartt Hall of Fame - Inaugural Class Induction

In 2016, the Board of Trustees of The Hartt School created The Hartt Hall of Fame.  As created by the Board:

The Hartt Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the accomplishments and contributions of individuals associated with The Hartt School who have helped in significant ways to further the mission of the School and showcase the best of the School to external audiences.

The Inaugural Class consists of the following people:
Samuel Berkman
Edward Diemente
Alfred C. and Primrose Fuller
Raymond Hanson
Julius Hartt
Irene Kahn
Jackie McLean
Elemer Nagy
Elizabeth Warner Paranov
Moshe Paranov
Imanuel Willheim

The induction ceremony for the Class of 2017 will take place on November 30, 2017 at 12:15 p.m. in Millard Auditorium during Paranov Hour (previously known as Musicianship Class).  The ceremony will be streamed live on the internet.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Remembering Brenda Lewis

Brenda Lewis passed away on Saturday in her home in Westport, CT.  She was born on March 2, 1921.  After a long and critically acclaimed career singing and acting on Broadway and, among others, at City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, she was a professor of voice and acting at Hartt.

Here is the obituary that appeared in the NY Times.