Artists around the world perform and talk about their music in these times.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2020

A Breath of Music - An Instant
Instantee by Dominique Charpentier

I have been listening to Dominique Charpentier. His music is what I would call new age with a French vibe. It makes me feel peaceful during these very different times. For some reason it touches my own deepest chords. It doesn’t bore me - though a bit repetitive, it’s lovely and soothing. I heard Charpentier’s music in a wonderful Israeli film called The Cake Baker. Instantanee his is my favorite pieces. - Jose Luis Pere

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SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

Variations for 2 Pianos by Michael Gould
Performance by the Dranoff Competition winners, Dominique Morel & Douglas Nemish

As Loretta Dranoff began putting together the foundation of Dranoff 2 Piano, she had three goals: discover young artists, commission great composers, and promote her field of two piano music. She grew up in New York City, studied with the great teacher Clarence Adler (whose father was Richard Adler of “Damn Yankees” fame ) and knew everyone in the classical music world. People found her vision and Loretta herself irresistible. But she did not do it alone.

Let me introduce you to two people who became part of the DNA of the Dranoff: Martin and Janet Bookspan. Marty was the greatest classical broadcaster of all time, and Janet, his beloved, gorgeous muse, was one of the top vocal coaches from the Manhattan School to the Metropolitan Opera. Marty Bookspan was for over 60 years the voice of Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a top announcer on daytime television and the only broadcaster to be inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame.

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SEPTEMBER 10, 2020

A Breath of Music - Lazy Afternoon in Giverny
Winton Marsalis, trumpet

When I listen to Winton Marsalis’s sultry performance of Jerome Moross’ Lazy Afternoon, it evokes images of Monet’s gardens in Giverny – the air shimmering over the water in the heat of a summer afternoon, redolent with the scents of the garden.

The song has been recorded about 150 times over the years by various singers including Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Julie Andrews, and most recently, the opera star, Joyce DiDonato. - Susanna Tarjan

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The Stranger Song - Leonard Cohen

One of the things I personally appreciate, really love, about being part of our Miami cultural arts world are the collaborations and relationships Dranoff has built.

When the Great Recession ripped into the arts world of very separate entities, it brought about a shift in recognition towards joining forces. This newly rethought universe is much richer for it. And it has prepared us – all of us in this universe – to have a better chance at making it through this current time of insecurity.

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A Breath of Music - A Brahms Ballad
Ballade Op.10 in B major by Johannes Brahms Emil Gilels, piano

It often happens that when musicians are in their youth, they experience moments giving their soul wings which propel them through their lives. . For us, it was encountering the music of Johannes Brahms. His piano concertos and miniatures inspired and motivated us, young students at the time!

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AUGUST 31, 2020

Bach. Berg. Bejerano
Invention in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Shelly Berg & Martin Bejerano, piano

I reached out to Shelly Berg with the request to curate a Music Mondays.

What he sent is infinitely better - he sent us a movement from a new recording. Not just any new recording. Johann Sebastian Bach, pure with a wonderful improvisation in the center. And not just any pure recital. A duo recital, together with Martin Bejerano I should have known not to expect anything ordinary from him. A masterful pianist, a brilliant arranger and composer, a revered educator, dean of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, he also is one of those people who give freely and openly of themselves. Thank you!

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AUGUST 27, 2020

A Breath of Music - The Magic of Flute
The Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christophe Willibald Gluck - Carol Wincenc, flute and Bryan Wagorn, piano

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AUGUST 24, 2020

Rachmaninoff from Seoul
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Suite for Two Pianos No. 2, Op.17

“Alas, the circumstances have turned out to be such that we weren’t able to meet up; I’ve been back under quarantine since Sunday, which was precisely the day Jackie was released. I was informed on Sunday that a friend I met up with tested positive for Corona, and that I have to be back under quarantine until next Friday, regardless of test results. But we did record a video using Zoom, which we hope suffices.”

A personal video message from Yoon-Jee in Korea and Jackie in Germany

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AUGUST 20, 2020

A Breath of Music - Cello
Suite #3 for Solo Cello, op. 87 by Benjamin Britten - The Conclusion

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AUGUST 13, 2020

A Breath of Music - Je Crois Entendre Encore - I still believe I hear
The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet. Placido Domingo

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AUGUST 10, 2020

Happy Monday! Changing things up a little bit, today’s newsletter begins with Carlene Sawyer’s reflections stimulated by a beloved 2 piano composition, the Variation on a Theme by Paganini by Witold Lutoslawski.

She selected two performances of this piece. The first one is by the Gold Medal Winners of the 2013 Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, Yuka and Ayaka Yamamoto, who were featured in the July 13 Music Mondays, and a performance by Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire.

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AUGUST 6, 2020

A Breath of Music - Infant Eyes, a sung poem
Poem by Roxana Amed. Music by Wayne Shorter. Performed by Roxana Amed,voice & Martin Bejerano, piano.

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AUGUST 3, 2020

Anne and Ed Turgeon, this Monday’s featured duo, are sending their love from Canada.

They asked our indulgence in not sending a video note because of certain reasons related to the coronavirus induced quarantine..... I hope Ed does not mind when I share his reason: “I look like Grizzly Adams, and although Anne is as beautiful and radiant as ever, I believe her sentiment is that, not having had the chance to visit a hairdresser since March prevents her from being able to agree to any kind of video, at least for now.” We all fully understand!

Let me just mention that there's an added treat: The Canadian Piano Quartet playing one movement of a Bach Brandenburg Concerto.

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JULY 27, 2020

This time, musical greetings are from Germany. We first met Barbara and Sebastian in 2013 for the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, when I was fortunate to host them, as well as their little son, Elias, and Barbara’s mother Marianne, who looked after him.

Duo imPuls won the Bronze Prize, plus other categories including the Audience Choice Award and Best Performance of the Commissioned Work. They have returned to Miami several times, including an excursion further south for a Latin American tour. (Including Elias and Marianne.) They had established their Duo imPuls just prior to the Competition and since then have built great successes with exciting programs that include Sebastian's own compositions for a special very personal statement.

Barbara and Sebastian send their hello's and talk about their most recent project, the minimal Bach Suites two of which you can enjoy right now.

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JULY 23, 2020

A Breath of Music - Joey Roukens
Roaming Empty Streets  by the contemporary Dutch composer Joey Roukens is poignantly apropos for our trying times. Listening to this recent piece which was composed for Heather Pinkham's initiative 'Music for Empty Spaces',     I feel that very emptiness, and the physical distances we now must maintain from one another. But the beauty of the music, and the fact that we can share it together, brings us closer nevertheless.

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JULY 20, 2020

Today, Music Mondays presents Bobby Mitchell and Ashley Hribar in a performance of original music for two pianos based on live improvisations for the classic silent film Metropolis by the Israeli pianist and composer Matan Borat.

The main mission of the Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation has been to discover and present the best duo piano artists and to connect them with new audiences. Some of these artists have been wildly adventurous in performance styles and repertoires, both traditional classical and contemporary.

Bobby Mitchell sends a short hello from the south of France, where he served as music director for the (virtual) En Blanc et Noir Piano Festival 2020. Ashley is currently in the Outback of Australia, staying safely away from he coronavirus.

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JULY 16, 2020

A Breath of Music - Meredith Monk
Nature and water have been our healing solace during the pandemic in NYC. They give us an opportunity to be freed from the confines of our apartment, reflect and unwind. We are both nature lovers; nature's beauty makes us feel safe and spiritually nourished.

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JULY 13, 2020

We met Yuka and Ayaka Yamamoto in 2013 when they came to Miami from Yokohama, Japan, for the Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition and won gold medals.  They were hosted and cared for by friends of Dranoff, and applauded and loved by audiences in Miami.  Now, years later, they are both live in Germany and have wonderful performance careers and rich personal lives. Both are married; Yuka has two beautiful children.  

Includes a hello from Ayaka and Yuka Yamamoto from Duesseldorf in Germany.

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JULY 9, 2020

A Breath of Music - Anouar Brahem
When I travelled through Syria in 2006, I was captivated by the middle eastern culture; not only the unforgettable landscape and delicious food, but the warmth and friendliness of the people. I was surprised to see churches and mosques built side by side in what seemed an interesting harmony between people. During these travels I encountered the music of the Tunisian composer and oud player Anouar Brahem.

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July 6, 2020

I hope you have had time this holiday weekend to get some rest, some time to reflect, and to connect with those who are important in your life. Rather than feature a particular duo, this Monday I wanted to honor the woman who started it all.

Loretta Dranoff was an original, a rara avis whose dedication to her beloved 2 piano work filled and informed her life. She decided that the best way to help sustain this art form was to offer a stage for young duos to shine. She created the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, from which dozens of duos emerged. She also realized that to anchor the growth of her beloved art form in the contemporary repertoire, she would need to encourage an expansion of the literature. So she began to engage some of the top composers of the times to write new works for 2 pianos.

Dranoff commissioned composers cover a wide gamut of styles. For this Independence day, we have chosen four Americans:  Gould. Corigliano. Rorem. Frank.

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JULY 2, 2020

A Breath of Music - Alexander Scriabin
Alexander Scriabin’s Etude in c-sharp minor , originally written for piano solo, is a true “musical rainbow”. It begins at a place of peace and understanding, grows to a peak of passionate expression, and gradually returns to the calm peacefulness of the opening.

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June 29, 2020

The Chinese concept of Yin & Yang represents the balancing, harmonizing factors of the universe. They are opposite energies that are totally dependent on each other and found within each other. Where on is dominant, the other is minimally present. But present it is. Always.

Daniele & Davide send their hellos from Bergamo, Italy.

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JUNE 26, 2020

A Breath of Music - Erik Satie
Even when I was a child I was in love with this music by Erik Satie. His first Gnossienne has this calm and flowing energy; it can go on forever.

Later when I started to play it I noticed that the score had no bar lines! Something that I had never seen before. Nevertheless it is not a-rhythmic; on the contrary; it’s slow repetitive mood could be regarded as the first minimal music piece. Sit down, or lie down and enjoy the music. - Jeroen Van Veen

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JUNE 22, 2020

We first met Lok Ping and Lok Ting Chau as semifinalists of the 2013 Dranoff Competition They were one of the youngest duos ever to compete in the history of the Competition. We have had the great pleasure to watch them mature artistically, and the even greater pleasure of contributing to this growth through our joint projects.

Includes a lovely message from Ping and Ting.

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JUNE 15, 2020

I hope you have enjoyed our visits with artists around the world who are part of the Dranoff family.

Elizabeth and Marcel Begmann have played many roles in our organization. Competition winners, they were invited by Loretta Dranoff as the first Artistic Directors of the Dranoff Competition to continue her vision of the role of the organization in the world of duo pianism. Marcel is a commissioned composer for Dranoff. And of course, they have returned many times for performances. They truly are family.

Includes a personal message from Elizabeth and Marcel, the Bergmann Duo.

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JUNE 8, 2020

Live music brings us together as human beings in community. We have expected it would always be so, but today, the concert world has ground to a halt. As individuals we probably are more physically distant now than we have been in our lifetime. And yet, while all of us are deeply concerned about what tomorrow may bring, we do still expect a future. We must invest in it. Today we share with you different artists and other performers involved in Dranoff‘s arts integration initiative, PIANO SLAM.

Includes Ashley Hribar and Bobby Mitchell performing Metropolis by Matan Porat, in Piano Slam 9.

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JUNE 1, 2020

This Music Monday features a wonderful duo we were so excited to introduce to Miami in our May concert, but you know what happened….. Before you settle into the music, please do not forget to fill out the very brief survey at the end of the newsletter.  It is time to begin an honest conversation with you on what you, our friend and supporter, want to see Dranoff develop as we evolve our performance models.  Your thoughts and your feedback are critical in our planning the season ahead. It will take two minutes. That is a promise.

Includes a personal message from Orlay and Orlando

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MAY 25, 2020

Susan and Sarah were about 12 years old when their talent brought them to Miami to participate in one of Dranoff’s early youth competitions.

They returned in 2008 to win the Silver Medal in the Dranoff International Competition, and since then we have had the joy of witnessing their growth and maturation as artists during their Miami performances over the years.

Includes a personal message from Susan Wang

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MAY 18, 2020

I just got a message about my average daily screen time. 8 hours last week. That can’t be! Or can it?

Like most of us are, I am spending a lot of my life virtually. It is one way – a safe way – to go about our lives, to continue working, learning, being connected to our circle. And it is also a way to escape this strange prison we inhabit right now. We can enjoy a play, watch a film, or listen to music. We close our eyes and we can go on a journey, no longer separated, but in the company of the artists and composers and writers. It feels good..

Includes personal message from Yoshie and Takashi

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MAY 11, 2020

As our world seems to become smaller and tighter, music has become more accessible, more present and definitely more important in our lives. It connects us to our own history and to our place in the greater history. It communicates our joys and hardships. And always, music and the arts are part of our path toward our future.

Includes personal message from Martin Bejerano

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MAY 4, 2020

Diana and Stanislava are two artists, two women and friends who have taught me so much about dedication.

I first met them in 2001 during their first visit to the United States as semi-finalists in the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, an artistically rigorous, fierce contest for one of the world’s few prizes for two piano performances. It was also my first year of involvement with the Dranoff. (It was an easy falling in love for me who has always loved music).

After having immigrated from Israel to the US just a week before the 2005 competition, they won Silver. Imagine leaving your life, your world, your friends, your language, everything familiar to you behind in pursuit of your Art. So risky because there will be no success unless you perform at the highest level.
It was these two women, girls at the time, who led to my dedication to the artform and the organization.

Includes personal messages from Diana.

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APRIL 27, 2020

This week, Music Mondays #4, Irina Silivanova and Maxim Puryzhinskiy send us their love from Moscow. We share the same concerns, anxieties, hopes and impatience they do. What separates us are large bodies of water. What unites us is our humanity and our music.

Includes personal messages from Irina and Maxim who are, of course, ensconced in their own places.

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APRIL 20, 2020

Here we are, confined in a strange existence for yet another week, month, whatever, trying to hold on to markers to make us feel part of community. We are at sea, as the saying goes. The one thing we have a lot of is time. Time to worry, time to dream, time to be angry, time for walks, for reading, for conversation, and time for music.

Includes a personal message from Jeroen van Veen and Mike Del Ferro

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APRIL 13, 2020

This Monday, we share with you the video of the second half of The Ocean’s Soul – last season’s concert dedicated to the great bodies of water.

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APRIL 6, 2020

Since 2008 over 80,000 Miami-Dade County Public students as well as 5,000 teachers have been part of  PIANO SLAM,  Dranoff's music and arts integration initiative.

A personal message from Ilana Ransom Toeplitz, the stage director for Piano Slam 11 and 12.

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MARCH 30, 2020

Our second issue of Music Mondays. Thank you, Stephanie and Saar for inviting us to listen to music you love and selected to share with us.

The Op 59 No. 3 Razumovsky is a fugue by Ludwig van Beethoven in a bravura version for piano, four hands. It is joyful music, and a joy to watch.

A personal message from Stephanie & Saar, who are bravely holding fort in New York.

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MARCH 23, 2020

As with life, values and perceptions evolve. We often think that masterworks were always masterworks. That was not the case with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Franz Liszt writes in a letter in 1865: “In 1840 the Ninth Symphony was considered an absolute terror by most musicians and so-called connoisseurs of music, in Europe.” Thankfully, that would be anathema today.

Includes a personal message from from Olha and Oleksiy

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