"Los Angeles is a capital of song, if for no other reason than it is the center of the recording industry. We are becoming ever more a capital of art too, helped by an influx of young artists. But this town has never been much of a capital of the art song.
SongFest 2015 aims to change all that, if only for a month. The June festival and training program at the Colburn School hosted a celebration of Southland song on Sunday at Zipper Concert Hall. There was no apparent agenda other than to gather music from composers who live here.
The festival has become increasingly impressive. The SongFest faculty now includes not just vocal experts but essential singers, such as Lucy Shelton and Dawn Upshaw, who have transformed modern vocal music and performance. More and more composers are involved. Emerging singers give dozens of concerts and recitals and take public master classes during the month.
The resources allowed Sunday's program to employ 19 young singers and 10 young pianists. All were accomplished. Nine composers, born between 1952 and 1981, were represented by a short song or two, with one exception. Anne LeBaron was commissioned to write a full song cycle for the occasion, and it proved the major news of the day..." - Mark Swed for the LA Times (read more...)