Katelyn Barry

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www.laradownes.com

Women composers and performers united to create art from the human condition with pianist Lara Downes’ latest album “Holes in the Sky,” named for a poem by Georgia O’Keeffe. In addition to representing women in music, “Holes in the Sky” also served to support human welfare efforts, including PLAN International to support impoverished children.

University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas recently welcomed Gerry Snyder as the School of Art's first ever executive director. He will play an instrumental role in cultivating the newly minted School of Art's role at the university and beyond following the $120 million gift from the the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and $40 million gift from the Windgate Foundation to develop an art and design district.

Violinist Itamar Zorman navigated exotic Israeli scales and modes to release his newest album “Evocation,” which highlights distinctive works by German-born Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim.

“There is a really delicate but wonderful balance between the emotional content and the technical form of the piece, and the analytical part of it,” Zorman explains about reflecting Ben-Haim’s multi-cultural influenced compositions.

The possibilities of artistic expression are limitless with every piece of music, but composer and pianist Craig Swanson took it to another level with the release of his album “The French Suite Kit.”

Swanson was inspired by pianist Glenn Gould to create multiple unique variations of Bach’s French Suite No. 4 in Eb Major, giving listeners more control over how they prefer to hear Bach expressed.

The Fort Smith Symphony’s upcoming season promises film scores and more, but it’s not your average John Williams programming. Music Director John Jeter picked film scores of Hans Zimmer and Bernard Herrmann to take center stage.

“Now, there is a whole series of composers who have kind of taken over that mantel, and we wanted to kind of celebrate that different approach to film scoring,” Jeter says.

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

On a journey of musical and personal self-discovery, violinist Janet Sung dove into vulnerability to produce her latest album “Edge of Youth,” which represents who she is as an artist through personal expression.

The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas’ upcoming season promises to be their best yet, honoring Beethoven’s 250th birthday with “bucket list pieces” such as “Carmina Burana” and “Pictures at an Exhibition.”  Paul Hass, SoNA's music director, credits the orchestra’s success to its familial atmosphere.

“It’s so exciting to be a part of something like this that’s constantly growing,” Haas says. “It really is like a family—we all care about each other. This is something special; not every community has this.”

Mark Battrell

Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis’ newest album “dreams, soars and levitates” through an intricately flowing compositional architecture with the inclusion of a newly commissioned harp concerto by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon.

Voces8 has once again found a way to represent the world's magnificence by using their voices-- and nothing else. The a capella group's latest album, "Enchanted Isle," pays homage to some of the members' inspirational European homelands.

"Many of my formative musical memories come from my town there," says Barnaby Smith, the ensemble's music director. "A lot of the first music I heard as a child came as I was looking at that vista."

Listen to the full interview between Barnaby Smith and Of Note's Katy Henriksen with the streaming link above.

Balazs Borocz

Pianist Roman Rabinovich's deep dive into the Haydn sonatas brought him revelations. Because Haydn's life bridged both the Baroque and Classical periods, his compositions reflect how the technology of the piano constantly progressed.

"Instruments really changed like computers today, at that pace," Rabinovich said.

Uzbeki-born, Israeli-trained Rabinovich continues to reflect Haydn's compositional invention since the Haydn project's debut at the Lincoln Center by performing the sonatas internationally.

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