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  • Bold venture is more glorified jam session than fully-achieved work

    Posted on November 7th, 2015 in Review

    Wynton Marsalis has made several forays across the jazz-classical divide, but his Concerto in D, which was written for – and, more importantly, with - the violinist Nicola Benedetti, marks a bold new departure.   Keep reading »

  • Benedetti, LSO, Gaffigan, Barbican

    Posted on November 7th, 2015 in Review

    A full house for a premiere performance: Wynton Marsalis bucks the trend in contemporary music. He’s an established name, more for his jazz than his classical work. But in recent years he has produced a substantial body of orchestral music, so the flocking crowds know what to expect. His new Violin Concerto continues the trend.   Keep reading »

  • Nicola Benedetti gives premiere of Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto

    Posted on November 7th, 2015 in Review

    Curiously – for an orchestra that promoted a 12-concert Violin Festival at the end of last season, but which included no new works for the instrument – the LSO followed its recent UK premiere of John Adams’s Scheherazade.2 with another American composer’s violin piece written for a female soloist (Leila Josefowicz), this time by Wynton Marsalis for Nicola Benedetti. Both are substantial, lengthy and impressive works in four movements.   Keep reading »

  • Nicola Benedetti and Wynton Marsalis, Barbican, review: ‘a labour of love’

    Posted on November 7th, 2015 in Review

    It’s often said that the London Symphony Orchestra is our most American-sounding orchestra. And boy, didn’t it seem so last Friday. It was an evening of unabashed American pizzazz, led by the diminutive American conductor James Gaffigan, who at times looked like a Broadway show dancer doing a spot of moonlighting on the podium. Unorthodox his knee-bends and hip-sways may have been, but they certainly did the job.   Keep reading »

  • Nicola Benedetti: the violin virtuoso teams up with jazz titan Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on November 3rd, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    It’s a gorgeous, breezy day in mid-August in the little lakeside community of Chautauqua in the north-western corner of New York state. Inside the modest concert hall there’s music emanating from the large orchestra on the platform, which is intriguingly hard to place. The trombones are giving vent to a throaty moan but they are surrounded by sophisticated harmonies, in strings and woodwinds, from a later era. And soaring above it all is the silvery sound of a solo violin, played by a young woman of glowing Italianate good looks, with a cascade of unruly hair spilling over bare shoulders. She looks ready for a day on the beach, except that she plays with a concentrated frown.   Keep reading »

  • 10 Questions for Nicola Benedetti and Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on November 3rd, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    He’s an American jazz giant; she’s a Scottish doyenne of the classical violin. Anyone familiar with one more than the other – and that’s more or less everyone – would do a double take to see their names on the same bill. But this week at Barbican Hall, a new concerto by Wynton Marsalis will be premiered by Nicola Benedetti and the London Symphony Orchestra.   Keep reading »

  • The leading man of jazz

    Posted on November 1st, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    In 1994, when Wynton Marsalis was only six years into his tenure as artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Ed Bradley did a 60 Minutes profile on the New Orleans jazz man. “Not long ago, people were saying jazz was dead and nobody wanted to hear it anymore,” Bradley said, “but then Marsalis and his trumpet came along and breathed new life into the music.”   Keep reading »

  • 10 Questions to Wynton Marsalis by Sinfini Music

    Posted on October 29th, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    Wynton Marsalis is the Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning trumpeter-composer behind some of the 21st century’s greatest jazz works. A seasoned classical performer and composer, too, he will next week oversee the world premiere of his new violin concerto, written for Nicola Benedetti. So what makes him tick?   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis and Nicola Benedetti on creation of a new concerto

    Posted on October 22nd, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    On Friday 6 November, the LSO and Nicola Benedetti perform the world premiere of a new Violin Concerto by Wynton Marsalis, the result of a collaboration between the violinist and composer that has spanned over eleven years. We spoke to Nicola and Wynton to find out how they ended up working together, the inspirations behind this new piece, and what to expect from the concert in November.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis and Nicola Benedetti: across the divide

    Posted on October 16th, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    They might have gone a lifetime without meeting. She is a Scottish violinist, a Yehudi Menuhin School alumna, something of a poster-girl for the British classical music industry. He is a legendary New Orleans-born jazz trumpeter, composer and teacher whose impression of playing an imaginary violin is passable at best. In fact the two musicians happened to meet 10 years ago at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center — and in the past few months Nicola Benedetti, 28, and Wynton Marsalis, 53, have become a double act.   Keep reading »