Joyful Music for Uncertain Times

March 25, 2020 - Second Edition featuring Louis Nagel

Monica’s Musings…
For this second edition of Joyful Music For Uncertain Times, I wanted to offer something that represented our Classical Salon Series.  Right away, pianist and Steinway Artist, Louis Nagel, came to mind.  Louis has performed at Kerrytown Concert House regularly since its inception, and loves our Steinway Hamburg Model C – especially in its newly refurbished state!  In fact, he appeared here last month, giving another fantastic performance entitled, “Some Chestnuts and a Harder Nut to Crack!”  Plans are already in the works for his return next year!  About KCH, Louis said, “The Kerrytown Concert House with its wonderful piano, beautiful artwork and history of great performances is an Ann Arbor gem.  I love performing and listening in this unique space.”
A graduate of The Juilliard School (earning three degrees) and Professor Emeritus of Piano at The University of Michigan School of Music Theatre and Dance, his recordings include works of Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Liszt and Balakirev. Some of these recordings were made at KCH! Louis is also a passionate teacher, and each year, he places an ad in our programs for his teaching studio. This year, when asked if he’d like his ad to be in color instead of black and white, he said, “I exist only in black and white, like the piano I play.”

In my interactions with Louis since I became the KCH director, I have found him to be funny, brilliant, humble, confident, approachable and utterly charming. Listening to his recordings online in search of something joyful to share with you, I picked a Bach Gigue and the “Islamey” by Balakirev and asked Louis if it was okay if I used them. Of the Bach Gigue (recorded at KCH), his response was: “You know, that G major gigue is better than I thought. Use it.” And of “Islamey,” by Balakirev, he wrote: “The Balakirev was live from Austin, Texas, years ago, but it was the only time it ever went really well!”

I would say it went more than “really well,” and I hope that Louis’ words and his music are a bright spot for you today!

With warmest regards,

Monica Swartout-Bebow
Artist and Executive Director

Joyful Music for Uncertain Times

March 17, 2020 - First Edition featuring Noah Fishman

Mandolinist and composer, Noah Fishman, is a jazz performer by training, a classical composer on paper, and a traditional musician at heart – a perfect fit for Kerrytown Concert House! Below is a message and music from Noah:

Dear friends of Kerrytown Concert House,

If your inbox is anything like mine right now, it’s full of cancellations, postponements, and logistical upheaval. Maybe even a touch of fear and frustration.  With so much now cancelled or on hold, I’m taking a moment to send a beam of joy out into the internet. What I can offer today is some music: A nice video of a nice tune, plus an energetic, uplifting album.

Creating “The Way Home” in Sweden with Samuel Lundh, Ida Meidell Blylod, and Simon Nyberg required taxis, buses, planes and trains. It seems those days may be on hold for a while: I’m so glad we were able to get our synergy on film.  “The Way Home” is now on Spotify, Apple Music, or your platform of your choice.

The tune in the video above is “Evan’s Chambers,” a lovely, crazy jig that I wrote for my dear teacher Evan Chambers, my professor from my days at the University of Michigan!

Wherever you are, I hope you’re taking good care!