Amanda Sewell

Music Director

Amanda Sewell is a musicologist who holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her research about music has appeared in textbooks, academic journals and music encyclopedias.  She is the author of Wendy Carlos: A Biography (Oxford University Press). Amanda lives in Traverse City with her husband, son and two dogs.

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason visited IPR's Studio A today for an interview and performance. The two will perform tonight at Milliken Auditorium in Traverse City as part of the Dennos Museum Concert Series. 


 

Since 2007, the Boston-based Lorelei Ensemble has been reinventing women’s vocal music. The ensemble includes nine professional vocalists, united by a goal of advancing the women’s ensemble and expanding repertoire for female vocalists. The ensemble performs both as the full nine-voice unit and as smaller ensembles of selected members. Besides commissioning more than 50 new works since their formation, the ensemble has also reinvented classic Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque pieces.

The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Chorus presented the holiday concert Messiah Plus One earlier this month. The concert included the Oratorio de Noël by Camille Saint-Saëns and the Prophecy and the Nativity from George Frederic Handel’s Messiah. Soloists included soprano Risa Renae Harman, mezzo-soprano Jamie Beth Platte, alto Martha Hart, tenor Tom Cilluffo, and baritone Jason Coffey. Messiah Plus One took place at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Petoskey.

Earlier this month, the Traverse Symphony Orchestra presented its annual Home for the Holidays concert. The TSO was joined by the NMC Grand Traverse Chorale and Children's Choir.

Thursday evening's Sounds of the Season concert at Interlochen will feature Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. Since its album release in 1960, this piece has hardly ever been performed. Thursday's performance of Ellington and Strayhorn's Nutcracker Suite is the first time the piece  has been performed at Interlochen.

Brian Asawa, whom Opera Today has called “the most important countertenor in the world today,” passed away Monday at the age of 49. In 1991, he became the first countertenor to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Asawa specialized in 18th-century operas of Handel and Gluck as well as in 20th-century operas by Britten and Ligeti.

On April 18, 2016, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. It is only the ninth musical to ever win in the drama category, joining previous winners such as South Pacific, A Chorus Line, and Rent.  

On Thursday, Maestro James Levine announced that he would be leaving his position as the Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera. Levine, 72, has served as Music Director at the Met since 1976. He has had numerous issues with his health lately, including multiple sclerosis as well as a spinal injury that forced him to miss two entire seasons. Levine has conducted over 2500 performances during his tenure, including the Met’s recent production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.

Soprano Kathleen Battle, who was fired from the Metropolitan Opera in 1994, has been invited to return next season.  Battle’s diva-like behavior at the Met was as remarkable as her voice. She is said to have skipped rehearsals, been unprofessional at the rehearsals she attended, and, according to legend, she once phoned her agent from her limousine to ask him to ask the limo driver to adjust the air conditioning. 

 Nikolaus Harnoncourt, a conductor best known as one of the pioneers of historically informed performance, died Saturday at the age of 86. Harnoncourt served as a cellist with the Vienna Symphony from 1952 to 1969. In 1953, he and his wife, violinist Alice Hoffelner Harnoncourt, founded the Concentus Musicus Wien, an ensemble dedicated to performing Baroque music on period instruments and according to historically informed performance practice. 

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