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Press Releases

Salastina to Release First-Ever Recordings in Late 2024

July 1, 2024 | By TJ Sclafani
Communications Manager, Sounding Point

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact:

Adrienne Andisheh, Sounding Point
adrienne@soundingpoint.la
(310) 871-9281

TJ Sclafani, Sounding Point
tj@soundingpoint.la
(732) 501-4159


Additional Press Materials HERE

SALASTINA TO RELEASE FIRST-EVER RECORDINGS IN SUMMER AND FALL 2024

World Premiere Recordings of Music by
Philip White, Eric Whitacre,
Jeremy Cavaterra & Mieczyslaw Weinberg

LOS ANGELES, CA - Salastina, one of Los Angeles’s foremost chamber music ensembles, will release their first-ever recordings in the latter half of 2024 — Music for Flute and Strings by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, an album featuring flute-focused chamber music by the late Soviet-Polish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg; fragile certain songs, an album featuring the world premiere recordings of the song cycle of the same name by LA-based composer Philip White and  Jeremy Cavaterra’s Three Neruda Arias; and the world premiere recording of GRAMMY Award-winning composer Eric Whitacre’s You Feel Like Home: Suite from The Sacred Veil.

Celebrating their 15th year of providing exceptional chamber music to audiences in Los Angeles county, the albums are a milestone for an organization that “aims to bring a dose of culture to Los Angeles” (LA Times). These albums will be released independently and available to stream and purchase on Spotify, Apple Music, and on Salastina’s website, among other services.

Each release features music that Salastina has performed live, either recently or over the past 15 years. “These releases are about our musical family and the many years that have gone into nurturing those relationships. As we approach our 15th anniversary season, we're taking stock of both to reflect on why we do what we do,” says Salastina’s Co-Artistic Director Maia Jasper White. “This consequential anniversary struck us as the right time to bring our body of recorded works in a better proportion with our live performances in the Southern California community.”

Considered to be "the third great Soviet composer, along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich" by Classical Net Review, Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s music has only been re-discovered recently in the Western world. His music was primarily known only to Soviet composers and musicians due to the Iron Curtain in the mid-20th century. Salastina’s Resident Flutist Benjamin Smolen, who specializes in Weinberg’s music, became enamored with the composer while studying abroad in Moscow. On Music for Flute and Strings by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Smolen and Salastina perform chamber versions of Weinberg’s Concerto No. 1 for Flute and Strings, Op. 75 and 12 Miniatures for Flute and Strings, Op. 29. Smolen and Salastina performed these works live on Sept. 16, 2023 at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music to open their 2023-24 season. The ensemble performing on this release are Smolen, Jasper White, Co-Artistic Director Kevin Kumar, Resident Violist Meredith Crawford, Resident Cellist Yoshika Masuda, and guest bassist Ted Botsford.

The second release, fragile certain songs, features music by California-based composers for voice and chamber ensemble with text from 20th-century poets. Philip White’s fragile certain songs sets texts from e.e. cummings for mezzo-soprano, tenor, and piano quintet, while Jeremy Cavaterra’s Three Neruda Arias sets poems by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda for soprano, string quintet, winds, and harp. Both pieces were commissioned and premiered live by Salastina: the Three Neruda Arias were premiered on Salastina’s inaugural concert at Zipper Hall on June 17, 2010, and fragile certain songs was premiered on Salastina's fifth-anniversary concert, “5 Years / 5 L.A. Composers,” on October 5, 2014. White’s song cycle holds particular significance for the members of Salastina, as it was written for his wife, Salastina’s Co-Artistic Director Maia Jasper White, throughout their relationship. The recording includes a song from the cycle that was written and performed for their wedding day.

The vocalists featured on the album are mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski (Minnesota Opera, Seraphic Fire), tenor Chris Hunter (Boston POPS, Pacific Opera Project) and soprano Elizabeth Futral (Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera). The ensemble on this release includes Jasper White, Kumar, Smolen, Crawford, Masuda, and Resident Pianist HyeJin Kim, as well as guest artists violist Rob Brophy, cellist John Walz, bassist David Parmeter, horn player Rong-Huey Liu, flutist Timothy Hagen, and harpist Julie Smith Phillips.

Finally, Salastina will release You Feel Like Home: Suite from The Sacred Veil by composer Eric Whitacre as an EP on Whitacre’s label, UNQUIET. This world-premiere chamber arrangement adapts  The Sacred Veil, Whitacre’s 2018 work for choir, cello and piano, for Salastina’s piano quintet. Initially a 12-movement work commissioned by the LA Master Chorale as a meditation on love, loss, and grief, this suite for Salastina highlights the intimacy of the first five movements, which depict a couple falling in love and the early years of their marriage. Salastina premiered the suite on January 27, 2024 at the Mountain View Mausoleum in Altadena, CA.


To learn more about the recordings and Salastina, visit their website at salastina.org.

###

Salastina is a visionary chamber ensemble and presenting organization based in Los Angeles. The winner of San Francisco Classical Voice’s Audience Choice Award for “Best Chamber Ensemble” and “Best Streaming Series,” Salastina is a 21st-century reimagining of the chamber music salon: a place where musicians and audience members gather to share in the beauty of the art form through performance and conversation, whether in-person for intimate, local audiences or online for tens of thousands around the world. Salastina presents up to 25 public performances per year, most of which are live-streamed online.

Integral to Salastina’s live concerts are context and storytelling, dynamically provided by Resident Host and Artistic Partner Brian Lauritzen (of KUSC fame), as well as ample opportunities for audience members and musicians to engage in conversation. As one audience member put it: “Where else can audiences have a personal conversation with a 'famous musician' who might have been a role model and inspiration? People oftentimes can't even pay money to talk to their favorite performers backstage. Yet Salastina has created an arena where musicians and audiences can connect.”

In keeping with Gustav Mahler’s definition of tradition as “not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire,” Salastina invests equally in the classics and the generation of new music. Salastina’s work in this area has been broadcast dozens of times nationally on Performance Today. Its tuition-free, highly-competitive Sounds Promising Young Composers Program has provided dozens of composers from Italy to Singapore with mentorship and world-class audio-video recordings of their work. Armed with these recordings in their portfolio, alumni have gone on to secure professional commissions. Salastina has also given presentations on career development to students at USC’s Thornton School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

In May of 2020, Salastina partnered with Project: Music Heals Us and UCLA Medical Center to create Vital Sounds, a program bringing the healing power of music to patients in UCLA’s Intensive Care Unit. Since then, Salastina has provided over 40,000 minutes of one-on-one virtual bedside concerts to over 2,400 patients.

To support Salastina’s work and learn more about upcoming concerts, visit salastina.org. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @salastinala.

 


 

Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor, Eric Whitacre, is among today’s most popular musicians. A graduate of The Juilliard School (New York), his works are programmed worldwide, and his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united well over 100,000 singers from more than 145 countries. Among his accolades and awards, in recent years Eric received the Richard D. Colburn Award from the Colburn School and an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Chapman University (CA).

Eric served consecutive terms as Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and currently holds the position of Visiting Composer at Pembroke College, Cambridge University (UK). He’s also an Ambassador for the Royal College of Music in London (UK) and is proud to be a Yamaha artist.

A long-term relationship with Universal/Decca Classics has produced several no.1 albums which have enduring success. New works include Eternity in an Hour which will receive its premiere in 2024 at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall (London) followed by performances in Belgium, Australia and the USA. In 2025, Murmur, commissioned by revered violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers, will receive its premiere performed by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Insatiably curious and a lover of all types of music, Eric has worked with legendary Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, as well as British pop icons Laura Mvula, Imogen Heap and Annie Lennox. 

A widely respected conductor, Eric has worked with the world’s leading choirs and orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2024, he conducted Mozart Requiem alongside his own pieces with The Louisville Orchestra. His collaboration with Spitfire Audio resulted in a trail-blazing vocal sample library which became an instant best-seller and is used by composers the world-over.

His composition, Deep Field, was inspired by the achievements of the Hubble Space Telescope and became the foundation for a pioneering collaboration with NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and film-makers 59 Productions. His long-form work The Sacred Veil, a profound meditation on love, life and loss, was premiered by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, conducted by the composer, and released on Signum Records. In 2021, Eric launched the Virtual School with its first course “The Beautiful Mess: Masterclass in Composition and Creativity.”

A charismatic speaker, Eric Whitacre has given keynote addresses for many Fortune 500 companies, in education and global institutions from Apple and Google to the World Economic Forum in Davos and the United Nations Speaker’s Program. His mainstage talks at the influential TED conference in Long Beach, CA received standing ovations.


 

 

Multiple BMI Award-winning composer Philip White writes music for film, television, interactive media, and the concert stage. He has composed the scores for Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming, The Loud House Movie (2021 HMMA nomination for Best Original Score for an Animated Film), Jexi, A Madea Family Funeral, Nobody’s Fool, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, and Alex & Me. Most recently, he co-arranged “Wondrous Journeys,” the Disneyland fireworks spectacular celebrating 100 years of Walt Disney animation.

In television, Philip most recently scored The Winchesters for the CW and had the pleasure of working on Supernatural for its historic 15 seasons. Other major TV credits include Apple TV’s reboot of Fraggle Rock, Lost in Space, Ray Donovan, What/If, Bates Motel, Agent Carter, When We Rise, Revolution, and Dallas. He has written additional music for Superintelligence, Smurfs: The Lost Village, The War With Grandpa, Kevin Hart: What Now?, Identity Thief, HOP, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Disaster Movie, the French thriller La Horde, and the Smurfs holiday specials A Christmas Carol and The Legend of Smurfy Hollow. His interactive credits include James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Starhawk, Space Miner Wars, and The Sims 3: Pets Expansion Pack.

Outside his work in media, Philip enjoys composing for the concert stage. The Los Angeles Master Chorale performed two of Philip's choir pieces, On This Side of the Window and El Niño Mudo. His piece for voice and piano quintet, since feeling is first, premiered in New York in 2014 and received its West Coast Premiere by Salastina in Los Angeles later that year. His film music was performed live in concert at the 7th International Film Music Festival in Úbeda, Spain, in the summer of 2011. In addition, Philip collaborated with renowned Cuban jazz legend Arturo Sandoval as part of Christopher Lennertz’s Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project.

Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Philip began studying music through classical and Flamenco guitar. He graduated with dual degrees in Drama and Composition from Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music and later received his graduate degree from the USC Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program. The Sundance Institute named him a fellow in the 2012 Feature Film Composers Lab. He is also an alum of the Nautilus Composer-Librettist Studio. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Maia Jasper White, their son, Galen, and their daughter, Naomi.

 


 

Jeremy Cavaterra has established himself as a very busy composer and pianist in the United States and abroad. Reviewing his Monterey Suite for orchestra, San Francisco Bay Area critic Joseph Gold wrote: “Cavaterra would hold his own in any period of music history. What sets this contemporary music apart, and high above the others, is rhapsodic melodic line and brilliant orchestration, which is never heavy or overbearing.”

Born in New York City in 1971 and educated at the Manhattan School of Music, Jeremy now lives in California. From 2010–2018, he was Composer-in-Residence for Salastina in Los Angeles. Since 2018, he has been Composer-in-Residence for The Young People’s Symphony Orchestra in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jeremy's work spans the range of ensembles from solo instrumental, vocal and choral, chamber, through symphonic orchestral works. Recent premières include Nemeton, for oboe and strings; Capriccio Concertante for clarinet, strings, and harp; Lost Coast, commissioned and performed by the Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose; and the forthcoming Ascent to the Sierras, a symphonic tone-poem commissioned by the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra. Jeremy has been recently commissioned to write a cello concerto for Robert DeMaine, principal cellist of the LA Phil.

 

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