Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Maria Schneider Scores Big At Grammy Awards!


"Best Contemporary Classical Composition," "Best Classical Vocal Solo"
and "Best Engineered Album, Classical"
"Lyrical, flowing, intimately expressive, with all the elements of words, music, voice and instruments in a seamless blend, this is music to fall in love with the first time - then immediately want to hear again."
- John Montanari, NPR

"Winter Morning Walks is a sterling standard for American art song."
- Jeff Kaliss, San Francisco Classical Voice
World-renowned Minnesota-born, New York-based composer/orchestra leader Maria Schneider's CD Winter Morning Walks featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw, has won three 2014 Grammy Awards. Winter Morning Walks earned awards in the categories of Best Contemporary Classical Composition (Winter Morning Walks), Best Classical Vocal Solo (Dawn Upshaw) and Best Engineered Album, Classical (David Frost, Brian Losch & Tim Martyn, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer).
Winter Morning Walks features two commissioned works composed and conducted by Schneider with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra, and poetry by Ted Kooser and Carlos Drummond de Andrade (English translations by Mark Strand). Blurring the line between classical and jazz, Winter Morning Walks - released in March of 2013 through ArtistShare®  (www.artistshare.com) and available exclusively through MariaSchneider.com - is one of the first-ever fan-funded CDs to feature major orchestras and be released without in-store distribution.
"I'm hugely grateful for all the recognition that this recording has received," says Schneider. "I'm especially grateful to have been able to do this with the support of so many wonderful fans through ArtistShare. In these times, when it's very easy for people to make other choices to get music, fan loyalty means the world. And ArtistShare has given me the tools to build an intimate dynamic relationship with fans that I've enjoyed for almost ten years now. It's made a complex and expensive project, such as this, possible.  In this day and age, I could not do this any other way.  It's the single sustainable model out there."

Winter Morning Walks brings together two preeminent figures in jazz and classical music. Schneider, who is admired worldwide for her work with her stellar orchestra, has won three GRAMMY Awards and has been nominated for seven more. Writing for TIME Magazine, Terry Teachout said, "To call Schneider the most important woman in jazz is missing the point two ways. She's a major composer-period." Upshaw was deemed "one of the most consequential performers of our time" by the LA TIMES, and is a multiple GRAMMY winner, MacArthur Fellow and frequent performer at the Metropolitan Opera.

In 2004 Schneider pioneered the fan-funding model by becoming the first artist to sign with ArtistShare® to release Concert In The Garden, the first web-exclusive recording to win a GRAMMY. 
She won a subsequent GRAMMY for her composition, "Cerulean Skies," on her acclaimed 2007 CD Sky Blue.

Schneider is currently working on her next CD to be recorded next August (2014). "I feel like I've been playing hooky on my band in the last few years while doing these orchestral projects, but now I have a renewed energy to write for my own group and finally record them after a too-long hiatus. It's high time."
Schneider's Grammy-nominated composition, "Winter Morning Walks," consists of nine songs and includes poetry by U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Ted Kooser. The title is taken from his book of the same name. Three musicians long associated with Schneider's jazz orchestra, Jay Anderson (bass), Frank Kimbrough (piano), and Scott Robinson (alto clarinet + bass clarinet), seamlessly add colorful improvisation throughout these pieces.
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