- What they say about Angel
- Concert reviews
- Disc reviews
What they say about Angel
Invigorating… Gil-Ordóñez led a vital renditionAlex RossThe New Yorker (April 2017)
(…) one of the country’s most innovative music groups – the Post-Classical Ensemble (…)Philip KennicottThe Washington Post (February 2015)
Charismatic PCE Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez led a taut, unforgettable reading.Brett CampbellMusical America (March 2011)
The PostClassical Ensemble announced Friday that after 14 itinerant seasons, it has found a stable home — at Washington National Cathedral. Starting next season, it will become the cathedral’s newest ensemble-in-residence. This means that the ensemble, which calls itself “an experimental orchestral laboratory” and has performed in venues from the Indonesian Embassy to the Library of Congress, will present three of next season’s concerts at the cathedral, two of them in collaboration with the cathedral’s chorus. It will continue to perform in other locations around Washington as well.
PostClassical Ensemble: Full-on activists. Galvanizing issue: Diplomacy. “We’ve never practiced art for art’s sake,” Horowitz, 70, says of the cross-disciplinary organization created in 2003. “Our premise is that music is an instrument for human betterment.” Both men are international-minded: This spring, Gil-Ordóñez, 59, led an exchange that took his Georgetown University students to Cuba, and that brought visiting Cuban musicians to the Washington campus. “Instead of building walls, building bridges,” Gil-Ordóñez told Washingtonian magazine this spring.
If today we remember Redes, it’s because the Spanish conductor Ángel Gil-Ordóñez has recovered for the Naxos record label the original soundtrack of the film that was recorded and interpreted in a deficient way at the time, and because Gil-Ordóñez himself interprets it today, At 8 pm at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid.
Ángel Gil-Ordóñez (Madrid, 1957) has been giving all he’s got for years as director of the PostClassical Ensemble in Washington, an unorthodox orchestra where the members have a didactic and contextualized way of interpreting classical music.
Concert reviews 9
The piece de resistance, of course, was the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, with Meyers and the Festival Orchestra, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez. The Festival Orchestra, of students and faculty, just continues to get better. In this performance it was indistinguishable from a professional ensemble that has played together for years. There was a reversal of the usual balance problems, with the conductor having to turn down the volume to avoid drowning out the soloist.
The project devised by the Spanish orchestra conductor Angel Gil-Ordóñez after Washington and Havana reopened their diplomatic relations was fulfilled this spring. “It seemed to me a magnificent opportunity to bring together young people from both countries to get to know each other better and to overcome stereotypes.” Inspired by the Israeli-Palestinian orchestra founded by Daniel Barenboim, he opted to bring together the interpreters of his Georgetown University Orchestra, students of diverse music disciplines, and musicians from the Lyceum Mozartiano of Havana.
I went to the Harman Center for the Arts to attend a PostClassical event entitled “Music Under Stalin: The Shostakovich-Weinberg Connection.” The group’s music director is Angel Gil-Ordóñez; its executive director is the scholar-impresario Joseph Horowitz, who, in the nineties, staged meaty festival weekends with the late, lamented Brooklyn Philharmonic.
In the context of the México se escribe con X Festival, the RTVE Orchestra dedicated last Friday a monograph to the great composer Silvestre Revueltas, one of the most extraordinary musicians in Mexico in the thirties. The forte of the concert was the presentation of the music composed for the film Redes, prepared and directed admirably by Angel Gil-Ordóñez.
Disc reviews 41
The result of this recording is simply magnificent. Tim Fain and Michael Borinskin are soloists of great class, and Angel Gil-Ordóñez does an extraordinary job at the helm of his PostClassical Ensemble of Washington.
The performances are irreproachable, which make this recording the best introduction ever registered to the work of Harrison.
Three intriguingly special works, extremely well served by the performers. The recording is altogether first class and one superb homage to Lou Harrison for his 100th birthday.
Lou Harrison had a pioneer’s imagination, not least regarding what might be walloped in the name of music – his Violin Concerto calls for flowerpots, plumber’s pipes and clock coils in the percussion. What’s more striking in this performance by Tim Fain, the PostClassical Ensemble and conductor Angel Gil-Ordóñez is the brilliance of his writing for violin, a collision between itchy dance rhythms and soaring lyricism.
People respect you if you know what you are asking them to do. Then you have to be able to convey what you want. All simply. Through gestures and communication that goes beyond language. I think the orchestra is the most extraordinary achievement of humanity. Can you imagine something more sophisticated than that? One hundred people without verbal communication playing together for one hour? That goes beyond everything. Beyond thinking. To me [it] is the most incredible achievement. People making music together. It’s a miracle.
In March, 12 Georgetown University music students went to Cuba to work with musicians at Lyceum Mozartiano de La Habana. This Saturday, the Cuban musicians will return the favor, performing a free concert at Gaston Hall with their DC counterparts. Washingtonian spoke with Georgetown music director and professor Angel Gil-Ordóñez about the program.
One of Naxos’ April highlights is an all-Lou Harrison CD from the Washington, D.C.-based PostClassical Ensemble; the highlight of the CD is a recording of Harrison’s Concerto for Violin and 5 Percussionists.
Hear music by the PostClassical Ensemble and Angel Gil-Ordóñez’s remarkable story on this week’s episode, along with opening tracks by the Sultans of String and the wonderful Lila Downs, a prior musical collaborator with the Ensemble. Antidote is broadcast live every Tuesday at 9 am on WERA 96.7FM, and streams live on www.wera.fm, Sundays at 4 pm.
PostClassical Ensemble (PCE) celebrates the music of the “most under-rated 20th-Century American composer,” Bernard Herrmann. Author, music historian and co-founder of PCE Joseph Horowitz co-hosts this bi-monthly program with PCE Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez and Exploring Music Host Bill McGlaughlin. This week’s broadcast includes performances by PostClassical Ensemble of Herrmann’s Clarinet Quintet, Sinfonietta, and Psycho Narrative, as well as music from his radio play Whitman and his Cantata Moby Dick.
PostClassical Ensemble celebrates Lou Harrison with a new Naxos recording that is stellar. Harrison was born 100 years ago and it is delightful to have some fresh releases and performances. Tim Fain is the main featured soloist, in Harrison’s Violin Concerto and Grand Duo. Pianist Michael Boriskin (of Copland House) collaborates brilliantly in the gamelan-esque 1988 work with Fain. WBAA’s John Clare spoke with the leader of PostClassical Ensemble, Angel Gil-Ordóñez about the new disc.
This two-part podcast about Copland and the Cold War is part of PostClassical, a bi-monthly program that features performances by PCE’s music director Angel Gil-Ordóñez and artistic director Joseph Horowitz. Each program is thematic and reshapes the classical music experience through music and discussion. Bill McGlaughlin, host of Exploring Music, co-hosts with Horowitz and Gil-Ordóñez. These programs are recorded at Digital Island Studios in New York City and produced at the studios of WWFM – The Classical Network.
My professional work as a conductor has been always accompanied with a dedication to young musicians. In this video I present some thoughts about the importance of music education for the youngest, for the underprivileged, and for those whose future professional life won’t be related to artistic activities.
A group of Cuban musicians is set to join students from Georgetown University for a first-of-its-kind orchestra performance. News4’s David Culver reports how the concert is meant to bridge the longheld divide between two nations. Music for US-Cuban Relations is an International Cultural Exchange Project created by Angel Gil-Ordóñez between the students and faculty of Georgetown University and members of Lyceum Mozartiano de La Habana, which consists of travel between the two countries and joint musical presentations in Havana, Cuba. The first edition of the program took place in March of 2017 and in Washington, D.C. in April of 2017.