Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 7:30pm

Rhapsody in Blue

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Single tickets will go on sale October 1st

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 7:30pm

Rhapsody in Blue

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Single tickets will go on sale October 1st

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 7:30pm

Rhapsody in Blue

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Single tickets will go on sale October 1st

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Time to event

 

Duration

75 minutes
no intermission

About this performance:

The pandemic of 1918-1920 helped to usher in the Roaring Twenties. Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks recreate this most pivotal decade for America. Michael Stern joins to conduct the iconic Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, with outstanding young pianist Mackenzie Melemed.

Musical Program to include:

Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Mackenzie Melemed, piano

Barbara Rosene, vocalist

Michael Stern, conductor

Performance does not include full Stamford Symphony

A Message From Music Director Michael Stern

Featured Artists:

Vince Giordano

Grammy-winner, New York native and multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano has played in New York nightclubs, appeared in films such as The Cotton Club, The Aviator, Finding Forrester, Revolutionary Road, Cafe Society, HBOs Boardwalk Empire and for concerts at the Town Hall, Jazz At Lincoln Center, the Newport Jazz Festival and the 92nd St Y for the past four decades. Recording projects include soundtracks for the award-winning Boardwalk Empire with vocalists like Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, St. Vincent, Regina Spektor, Neko Case, Leon Redbone, Liza Minnelli, Catherine Russell, Rufus Wainwright and David Johansen. Vince and his band have also recorded for Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World, Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages, Robert DeNiro’s The Good Shepherd, Sam Mendes’ Away We Go, Michael Mann’s film Public Enemies, and John Krokidas’ debut feature, Kill Your Darlings, along with HBO’s Grey Gardens and the miniseries Mildred Pierce. The Nighthawks are also seen and heard in the USA Network series Royal Pains and in the PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook. The band’s has also worked on Todd Haynes’ Academy Award nominated film Carol; the Emmy-winning Bessie bio-pic on HBO, and Cinemax’s The Knick starring Clive Owen. The guys have also recorded music for Maggie Greenwald film called Sophie and the Rising Sun that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
More recent projects include Woody Allen’s Café Society (2016) starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart; a Barry Levinson film for HBO called Wizard of Lies, starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer; a historical drama called The Promise, directed by Terry George, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac and season one and two of the Emmy winning series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. In 2019 we recorded music for Warner Brothers’ blockbuster film,The Joker. Vince also had a part singing in Martin Scorsese’s film, The Irishman. In the fall of 2020 the band released a recording with Loudon Wainwright III.
Hudson West Productions feature documentary “Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past” is complete! We are SO grateful to all the supporters who gave, and gave again, to see this project through the filming, editing, music clearance and onto the festival circuit. The film is currently available on Apple TV. A very special thanks to the directors Dave Davidson and Amber Edwards who found us as a worthy subject! Click on the title above to watch the trailer.
In 2017 Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks provided musical accompaniment to several silent films at MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) in NYC.
Giordano’s passion for music from the 1920’s & 30’s and the people that made it began at age 5. He has amassed an amazing collection of over 60,000 band arrangements, 1920’s and 30’s films, 78 recordings and jazz-age memorabilia. Giordano sought out and studied with important survivors from the period; Whiteman’s hot arranger Bill Challis and drummer Chauncey Morehouse, as well as bassist Joe Tarto among others. Giordano’s passion, commitment to authenticity, and knowledge led him to create a sensational band of like-minded players, the Nighthawks. For over 40 years, Vince Giordano has single handedly kept alive a wonderful genre of American music that continues to spread the joy and pathos of an era that shaped our nation.

Mackenzie Melemed, piano

Winner of The Juilliard School’s 2019 Leo B. Ruiz Carnegie Hall Recital Prize 2018 Arthur Rubinstein Prize, the Jade Medal at the 2019 China International Music Competition, and the first prize and chamber music prize from Finland’s 2017 Maj Lind International Piano Competition, 26-year-old American pianist Mackenzie Melemed’s international career continues to flourish. Praised by the New York Times as an “excellent young pianist” Melemed has performed in venues such as The White House (2004-2008), Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, and the Helsinki Music Centre. He’s performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Melemed was recently named one of ten annual recipients of The Juilliard School’s Career Advancement Grant, providing $20,000 in supplemental support. Melemed was also named a finalist of the 2021 American Pianist Association Awards, a distinction that includes a cash prize of $50,000.
With the help of Diana Glimm, the Altson family, and financial support offered by The Juilliard School and the American Pianists Association, Melemed has commissioned a new Piano Concerto from Israeli American composer Avner Dorman, to be premiered in May 2022. The project is ongoing, with plans for premieres on 3 continents during the premiere year.
In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Melemed transformed his New York City apartment into a home studio, performing concerts via live-stream and began offering virtual lessons to students around the world. He frequently collaborated with his roommate, violinist Max Tan, on platforms like Groupmuse; together, they gave seven 60-minute recitals of new repertoire during April-July 2020. Melemed now maintains a small teaching studio (with students in the United States, Europe, and Australia) on the Resonance and Play with a Pro platforms and offers mini-lectures and monthly live-streamed performances on Patreon.
In August 2020, Melemed moved to Finland, where he has established a new home base. His success following the 2017 Maj Lind Piano Competition, coupled with his fluency in Finnish from Columbia University courses, launched his successful performance career with nearly all the country’s orchestras. His Finnish agency, Fazer Artists, procured many performance opportunities despite the persistent lockdowns and restrictions, including Beethoven Concerto No.4 with Ville Matvejeff and the Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Mozart Concerto No.13 with Johannes Gustavsson and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Concerto No.23 with Tuomas Pirilä and the Hyvinkää City Orchestra, and a solo recital for the International Sibelius Festival in Lahti. Melemed’s recent performance of Scriabin’s Piano Concerto with Leif Segerstam and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra was live streamed on February 18th, 2021.
Recent seasons included solo recitals at Carnegie Hall, Paris’ Salle Cortôt, Sardinia’s Santa Barbara International Music Festival, the Gilmore Rising Star Series, and WQXR’s The Greene Space; concerti engagements included Jeajoon Ryu’s Piano Concerto (2017) with Yoel Levi and the KBS Symphony Orchestra (Korea) at the Beethoven Easter Festival (Poland), Barber Piano Concerto with Pablo González and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra in Beijing.
Melemed’s discography features world-premiere recordings: Avner Dorman’s “Three Etudes” on the Steinway and Sons label (2018) and Jeajoon Ryu’s Piano Concerto with Ralf Gothóni and Sinfonia Varsovia on the Warner Classics label (2019).
Additional honors include 1st Prize and Commissioned Work Prize at the 2017 Iowa International Piano Competition, 5th Prize at the 2012 Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition in Utah, and the Commissioned Etudes Prize of the 2012 New York International Piano Competition. At the age of three, Melemed’s grandfather bought him a keyboard at a yard sale, leading to his enrollment in a beginner piano course. Performances at local senior centers soon became a weekly occurrence, and by the time Melemed turned seven, he had given over 200 concerts for senior citizens and charitable organizations. When Melemed appeared on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, she remarked, “what a bargain!” at the $1 price-tag for the instrument that ignited his passion for music. A series of small local performances connected Melemed with Washington D.C. in 2004, and he was invited to perform at the White House Holiday Open House for five consecutive years. In 2007, only one year after beginning classical training, Melemed won the grand prize at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition and gave his Carnegie Hall debut.
Melemed is a recent graduate of the two-year Artist Diploma program at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald and Emanuel Ax. Melemed also holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where he graduated from the prestigious accelerated five-year-dual-degree program. Former teachers include Dean Arvidson, Alexander Korsantia, Olga Rogach and William Smiddy. In addition to English and French, Melemed is fluent in Finnish and studied the language at Columbia University for three years.

Barbara Rosene, vocalist

Barbara Rosene has built an unequalled reputation for interpreting the great music of the 1920s and 30s and 40s. She is a passionate vocalist whose interpretations uncover the richness of jazz classics through the subtle, skilled delivery of one truly in love with the genre she sings.
Rosene gives voice to songs in ways that are both gracefully provocative and warmly welcoming. Few singers have her feel for classic material, from all eras of Jazz, interpreting the music with not only a full understanding and love of the original time period but with the rare ability to make the material sound fresh and emotionally relevant today.
In her established career she has shared stages with jazz icons, performing internationally with The Harry James Orchestra, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, the late Les Paul at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club, The Woody Allen Band, at The Carlyle Hotel, as well as directing her own New Yorkers, and as guest artist with orchestras and in festivals across the world. She has played such venues as The Iridium, Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, The Montreal Jazz Festival, Night Town (Cleveland), Blues Alley (DC), The Arizona Music Festival, Jazz Amarinois, and The Hotel Villa Flori, Lake Como.
Barbara has been featured on Judy Carmichael’s NPR program ”Jazz Inspired”, and recently on NPR’s “Hot Jazz Saturday Night.” She has been recognized by Backstage Magazine (Bistro Award, 2006), “Jazz Improv Magazine”, and is featured in Scott Yanow’s “Great Jazz Singers.”
Rosene is personally committed to the significance of jazz music in American Popular Song and in America’s roots and spirit. Finding the soul of a song and linking its heart and expression with her own story brings this seductive blonde singer the satisfaction of a career well-spent. Recently she has begun lecturing on The Tin Pan Alley composers and early women jazz singers.
“Do what thrills you. Do what has meaning,” says Rosene, genuinely. “One thing I know is that it really is a privilege to perform. When someone is touched or broadened by something you have given them it is a gift to be able to give back to the world in that way.”
Barbara’s CDs include several on the Stomp Off label, all of which pay homage to the great composers and vocalists of the 1920s and 30s. Including “Nice and Naughty”, a collection of double entendre tunes, which features Conal Fowkes who’s voice and piano stylings as Cole Porter, were featured in “Midnight In Paris”. Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks ( Boardwalk Empire) collaborated on Barbara’s first CD entitled “Deep Night”.
Will Friedwald, author of Jazz Singing and Sinatra! has written: “No one evokes more vividly the music of the great singers of the 1920s than Barbara Rosene.”
Barbara’s CDs include releases on the Blues Back, Arbor’s and Azica labels.