Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy International Women's Day!

At the Michigan Philharmonic are dedicated to supporting and promoting music by female composers. The Michigan Phil highlights these composers not just because the composers are women, but because the music they compose is innovative, influential and dynamic. All these women were successful because the arts were a part of their early education.

This month, you have the opportunity to support MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS and the educational programs of the Michigan Philharmonic by joining us On March 28th for our 3rd annual 100 Women Strong fundraiser - celebrating the power of women in support of music education. This is how we, at the Michigan Phil, #PressForProgress, - how do you? #IWD2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Patrick Johnson

Patrick Johnson appears regularly throughout the Midwest as a solo, chamber, and orchestral pianist. In the summer of 2014, he performed with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Other 2013-14 performances included chamber recitals on the seasons of both the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, as well as solo recitals in metro Detroit and at Michigan State University. An avid orchestral musician, he is Principal Piano for the Michigan Philharmonic and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. He is featured on over forty recordings. Now in his eleventh year as a sacred musician for the Archdiocese of Detroit, he is organist and music director at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Hazel Park. Patrick received degrees in piano performance from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, as well as a master’s degree in music theory at Michigan State University, where he is currently a doctoral candidate in piano performance and an instructor of music theory. Patrick will be joining the Michigan Phil as featured soloist on Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ Etruscan Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1954) during our “Tchaikovsky Spectacular” on Sunday, March 18th at the First United Methodist Church in Plymouth.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Peggy Glanville-Hicks

Peggy Glanville-Hicks is perhaps one of the most important female composers of the 20th century. Born in Melbourne to an English father and New Zealand-born mother. Encouraged by her mother—an amateur singer and artist—Peggy began composing at the age of seven. She studied composition at the Albert Street Conservatorium, leaving Australia afterwards to study at the Royal College of Music in London (a traveling scholarship she had been awarded additionally allowed her to study in Vienna and Paris). Peggy Glanville-Hicks was the first Australian (and one of the youngest composers represented) to have their music performed at a concert for the International Society of Contemporary Music. Glanville-Hicks moved to New York in 1941 and several years later began her career as a respected critic and commentator on modern music when she published a review of an ISCM festival held in Copenhagen in 1947. Basing herself in the United States, Peggy gained prominence as an “exotic” composer and advocate of performance of new music. Glanville-Hicks served on the junior council of the Museum of Modern Art as well as the director of the Composers’ Forum. Via these positions she initiated several concerts to premiere and promote new music and contributed over 100 articles to the 1954 edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
            While making a name for herself as a scholar and reviewer of music, Glanville-Hicks was still breaking barriers and pushing the envelope in her compositions. The Transposed Heads (1954)—an opera commissioned by the Louisville Philharmonic Society—solidified her status as an important composer of her time as well as expressed her interest in Indian music and promoted the fusion of Eastern and Western composition. Glanville-Hicks’ interest in the relationship amongst music forms continued well in to the 60s when she was awarded grants to study the relationships among music forms in the West, the Middle East, and Asia as well as an award devoted to research on the traditional music of Greece. Glanville-Hick’s opera Nausicaa (1960) illustrated this interest when it was performed at the Athens Festival in 1961 with an imported company of Greek-American singers. This performance was broadcast in the USA and received universal praise and recognition for “its lyricism and ingenious orchestration”. Later works of Glanville-Hicks were primarily ballets often created with the assistance of New York choreographer John Butler. Glanville-Hicks’ composing output was greatly limited when a pituitary tumor robbed her of her eyesight later in life. Major surgery in 1969 to remove the tumor restored her eyesight but resulted in a loss of smell.

Towards the end of her life, Peggy Glanville-Hicks returned to Australia permanently in 1975. Her fondness for the Asian inspirations of younger composers led to her being a consultant for the Asian Music Studies at the Australia Music Centre in Sydney. She received an honorary Music Doctorate from the University of Sydney in 1987, and passed away in Darlinghurst, Sydney at the age of 77. Peggy Glanville-Hicks is an important mid-twentieth composer who blurred the culture divides of composition, and the Michigan Philharmonic is excited to be performing her Etruscan Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1954) Sunday, March 18th during our “Tchaikovsky Spectacular” at the First United Methodist Church in Plymouth. 


Congratulations Weston!

Recently announced by the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association was the student placements for the 2018 All-State Ensembles Program. This year the program—via recorded auditions—selected from a pool of 2,614 students to fill 393 slots in the programs five ensembles. Our very own Weston Welch, concertmaster for the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, is among the student placements. Weston Welch, a junior violinist from P-CEP, earned a spot on the All-State High School Orchestra. Weston along with five other students from P-CEP joined the rest of the All-State High School Ensembles in Grand Rapids late January where they rehearsed for two and a half days with nationally recognized conductors before performing at the Michigan Music Conference. Congratulations to Weston Welch as well as all the other student placements for this years All-State Ensembles Program!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Guest Composer Zhou Tian

His work being described as both “lush and distinctive”, Grammy-nominated composer Zhou Tian (JOH TEE-en; Zhou is his last name) has had his works performed by leading orchestras and performers across the United States and the world. Raised in a musical family (his father was a commercial composer in China), Zhou started playing piano in recording sessions and arranging all kinds of music when he was 12 years old. Zhou, originally from Hangzhou, China, studied at Shanghai Conservatory, Curtis Institute of Music, Julliard School, and USC Thornton School of Music but his style is not restricted by borders, culture, or language. 

Zhou’s music is described as a seamless blend of cultures that connects performers and audience members on a higher level. Known for not only his classical compositions but for also his film, dance, and crossover music, Zhou has earned an Honorable Mention for his Jazz Composition Duet, critical acclaim for his filming scoring in the major Chinese feature film Eternal Beloved, and his Concerto for Orchestra was also nominated for a 2018 Grammy Aware for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. 

Dr. Zhou will be joining the Philharmonic for our Tchaikovsky Spectacular concert on March 18th. Zhou will be joining Music Director and Conductor Nan Washburn for a pre-concert chat where they will discuss—among other things—his piece “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” that the Philharmonic will be performing during the Tchaikovsky Spectacular. 


Friday, January 19, 2018

Rock, Pop & Soul!

Get to know Lonnie Reed

Lonnie Reed, a Texas native, recently finished his Master’s in Vocal Performance at the University of Michigan, School of Music.  Lonnie served as tenor section leader at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI, where he has been one of the featured solo artists in all of the ministry’s fundraising events and concerts, which included Camille Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noel.  Lonnie will conclude his time at FUMC as tenor soloist with Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. 

As he continues his studies at the University of Michigan, Lonnie received private voice instructions from the gifted performer and scholar Dr. Scott Piper. Under his direction, Lonnie was featured as a soloist for the School of Music’s Chamber Choir Fall Concert in 2013, as he rendered a choir/duet performance of “Soon ah Will be Done/I Wanna Die Easy” by Craig Hella Johnson. During that same Fall term, he was featured on a combined choir and orchestral work composed by Christopher Theofanidis: Here and Now, performed at the historical Hill Auditorium.

He has performed for the Arbor Opera Theater’s 15th Anniversary Gala where he sang the role of Basilio in a scene from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and as Arturo in a most notable sextet, “Chi mi frena in tal momento,” from Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti. Lonnie was previously featured as a tenor soloist in a performance of Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass in May of 2015; and, with Arbor Opera Theatre, where he sang the role of Gastone in the company’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata in June 2015. Come hear Lonnie 

Music Arrangements
"Rock, Pop & Soul" concert are songs straight from the artist like Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” or Selections from Michael Gore’s Fame. Other pieces, however, are medleys or collections that have been arranged by a more recent composer. But what is an arranger? Arranging music can often be confused with orchestrating music and less often confused with composing music, but the distinction is very clear. 

Composing music of course is the creation of music from nothing. The bringing together of ideas from within the mind of the composer to create a new piece of art. Whereas orchestration is the assignment of notes from a previously composed piece to new instruments to make the composition accessible to a wider variety of performers, arrangement is the reimagining—to a degree—of a previously composed piece of music. Where arrangement does make use of orchestration techniques, it is a more in-depth process that also uses reharmonization, paraphrasing, and changes in development to add variety to an already existing melody.

The arrangers in our "Rock, Pop & Soul" concert took several songs by different artists and turned the collection into one cohesive piece per artist. By doing this, the arrangers like Patrick Roszell and Victor Lopez turn multiple songs into one interconnected, enjoyable, and comprehensible piece of music. Be sure to join us a for night of The Doors on Tour, The Eagles on Tour, A Whitney Houston Tribute, and many more. Only at the Michigan Philharmonic’s "Rock, Pop & Soul".

Next Concert

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hail to the Veterans!

Pairing the music of conflict against the voices of innocence, the Michigan Philharmonic is excited to feature three children’s choirs during our “Hail to the Veterans” concert. The largest of the choirs is the Detroit Children’s Choir. Made up of over 300 children, their diverse collection of members come from many cities in Southeast Michigan. In addition to having the opportunity to perform on a plethora of stages in the metro Detroit area, choir members also receive training in music literacy, sight reading, and vocal techniques. Joining us as well is Plymouth’s own Main Street Opera Children’s Chorus. Located just upstairs from the Philharmonic at P.A.R.C., the Children’s Chorus plays an important role in the performances by the Main Street Opera Theater. The third choir joining us will be Our Lady of Good Counsel’s own Plymouth Counselors Youth Chorale, an ensemble for the elementary and middle school students from the parish and school. Additionally, the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra–Sinfonia will be joining the Philharmonic for a side-by-side performance during our “Hail to the Veterans” November 10th concert.