For our Japanese-speaking friends: if you'd prefer to read about our upcoming tour in Japanese, all of our upcoming tour information can be found here, at a website created by our presenters: http://andersonroe-japantour.com/
Hope to see you soon!!
To make classical music a relevant and powerful force in society.
To connect with others; to engage, provoke, illuminate; to serve as a conduit for the composer's voice; to express our inner lives; to share the joy and fulfillment that only music can elicit.
...to free the world from the constraints of sleep-inducing concerts.
Glorious… The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo’s performance was something rarely encountered in concert-going. They have a truly deep artistry … a massive range of sound and impeccable technique. Imagine two pianos on steroids. Who says classical musicians are stuffy?
Totally delightful … unforgettable moments of heartbroken, bittersweet, eternal love … utterly poignant. Everything is beautifully realized by Anderson & Roe; it will change the lives of all who hear it, both for the music and the way it is played.
The audience, like Vesuvius, erupted with one massive cheer, jumping to its feet, settling for a moment like hot pumice only to explode again minutes later for two more dazzling pyrotechnic encores. …all the flamboyance, adrenaline and infectious passion that youth and virtuosity could muster.…sublime, heart-felt musicianship. [Their performance of Bach's] Concerto for Two Keyboards in C major showed exquisite phrasing, beautiful rich tone and a synchronicity in performance and interpretation that I have rarely seen in a live performance.
Beautifully crafted, brilliantly played … this jaded old music critic was impressed by the impeccable technique and musicianship of the duo.
Exquisite … nothing short of brilliant … Their playing left me in awe and amazement.
A gateway drug to classical music … [Anderson & Roe] get people listening and having fun doing it. Two highly skilled, energetic young pianists … really wonderful, sensible ensemble … clever, complex arrangements. Their piano four hands performance of their arrangement of the first section of Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring, which turned 100 last year, was timeless.
Immensely talented and entertaining…
Mixing music and mayhem … [Anderson & Roe's] playing was marked by virtuosity and bubbled with youthful energy. Excellent music that was markedly different from what we usually hear, a full measure of originality, and Cliburn-level pianism.
In celebration of what would have been Sergei Rachmaninoff's 141st birthday, I'm super excited to announce the release of my brand new solo album. From the heavenly heights of Bach's French Suite No. 5 to the fiery depths of hell portrayed in Rachmaninoff's Piano Sonata No. 1, the album makes for a thoroughly unearthly and transcendent journey.
Together they represent my personal journey as a pianist: I first played the French Suite as a fledgling pianist growing up in Minnesota, and the sonata I began years later as a doctoral student at Yale University. They are forever special to me; I hope that you'll similarly find meaning and beauty while exploring them.
BIG news—it's finally here! We're thrilled to announce that our brand new all-Mozart album, An Amadeus Affair, is officially available! Our sonic love letter to the work of Wolfgang is already garnering rave reviews:
Way too hot to be background music, this duo commands and demands your attention. (Midwest Record)
The quicksilver spirit of Mozart shines in a new way in this disc of music for two pianos and four hands … Anderson & Roe make it a marvel, each note just right … [It] has to be heard to be believed ... Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe play pretty much as one and they sound as if they are enjoying it, too. (Buffalo News)
The wit and playfulness of Mozart are the primary elements on display here … [An Amadeus Affair] is polished to a fine sheen and delivered with panache. (Infodad)
My cocktail blog has suffered of late (mostly due to my indecision regarding the forthcoming "Rite of Spring" cocktail), but there's nothing like the romance of Valentine's Day to rekindle one's inspiration. Today, I present not one, not two, but THREE cocktail recipes, all inspired by the simple and magnificent "Bellini."
A Bellini cocktail is the perfect combination of white peach puree and Prosecco. Most classical music aficionados instantly assume the cocktail is associated with Vincenzo Bellini, an Italian composer known for his impossibly gorgeous (and endless) melodic lines. (The drink, sadly, has nothing to do with the composer—it's inspired, rather, by a 15th century artist—but I still like to think that the two are indelibly linked.) As such, and after MUCH taste-testing, I propose three new cocktails inspired by early-nineteenth century bel canto opera:
In theory it's a stretch, but in taste, it's perfect:
Pour the pineapple purée into a chilled champagne flute, then gently (GEN-T-LY!) add the sparkling wine. If the "gentle" addition of sparkling wine results in a lava flow of froth, try adding the sparkling wine with a baster, inserted below the surface of purée. Drink flamboyantly while careening about your living room to the "Mad Scene" from Lucia di Lammermoor.
Um. Yes. Since an "elixir" (especially the love variety) ought to be complicated to produce, this drink adds a fussy, but delicious step to the "Donizetti" recipe listed above:
Lightly muddle the sage leaves with the pineapple purée/juice. (Vigorous muddling can make a bitter mess of sage leaves, so try to stay calm. Experimentation is key.) Remove the bruised leaves. Pour the infused pineapple mixture into a chilled champagne flute, then gently (GEN-T-LY!) add the sparkling wine. Share with a lover while listening/crying to "Una furtiva lagrime" from Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore.
I know, I know, for years (centuries, actually) the bubbly music of Rossini has been compared to champagne, but I'm going to go out on a limb with the following:
Mix together in a collins glass with plenty of ice.
With the inclusion of limoncello (from Sorrento) and San Pellegrino (from northeast of Milan), the drink is undeniably Italian and "bubbly." BUT, there's something to this drink that's even perkier, more joyous, and less pretentious than even champagne. Opera's rom-com master, Rossini, now has a new drink to celebrate his glittering carouses of the stage. :-)
Here's a quick blurb about the album:
Mozart's fascination with romance and Anderson & Roe's infatuation with Mozart come together in a sonic whirl of intrigue, scandal, exhilaration and mischief. Featuring Mozart's own Sonata for Two Pianos and scintillating Mozart arrangements by his not-so-secret admirers, this kaleidoscopic collection of works reveals the composer's mastery of opera, concerto, and the sonata. The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, hailed as "the most dynamic duo of their generation" (San Francisco Classical Voice), brings Mozart's musical dialogue to life in a flirtatious interplay of four hands at one and two pianos.
AND, the album already has its first review, and it's a stellar, five-star review at that:
Throughout An Amadeus Affair, Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe bring Mozart’s greatness to a new generation while escalating the role of the classical piano duo to a new level of virtuosity and sophistication. [Anderson & Roe] excel at a level unheard in recent years by similar concert pianists of their generation.
After months of planning, recording, filming, and editing, we proudly present to you the 10th and final episode of our "Rite of Spring" project:
More pertinent, perhaps, is what comes next! The film wasn't originally designed to be split into installments, but we also knew our YouTube subscribers might be overwhelmed by a 35-minute-long extravaganza. As such, we decided to divide the work into 10 episodes, which we've posted on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
But now we're working toward our ultimate vision: a seamless, engrossing, and dramatic film — "The Rite of Spring: A Musical Odyssey." We strung the episodes together and re-edited everything; we've re-shot scenes, restructured concepts, and revised and fine-tuned the editing. We are super excited to show you, our fans, the entire film, but we have other ambitions to tackle first. We're currently applying to a handful of carefully selected film festivals, and later we plan to create a DVD/blu-ray version of the film, complete with directors commentary and a behind-the-scenes documentary. Stay tuned for more developments... ;-)
We outsourced our blogging duties to Gramophone Magazine! Don't miss our provocative essay in which we discuss lost toenails, Lady Gaga, and the challenge of serving classical music effectively via YouTube.
Today, we take a moment to honor the antique Clough & Warren organ that played a significant role in our Rite of Spring music film — and in many peoples' lives over the past 135 years.
I found the organ on Craigslist exactly a year ago. The owners, who were totally charming and helpful, had cared for the instrument for several generations and were looking to de-clutter. No judgements on them: while the instrument, built in 1878, was something of a family heirloom and an example of impeccable craftsmanship, it was a bit of an eyesore... a gothic monstrosity... the Debbie Downer of furniture items. It's so creepy, in fact, that they advertised the organ on Craigslist as the perfect addition to a haunted house!
They were so taken with our videos that they generously offered us the instrument for a price we couldn't refuse, even though we had no idea how we would incorporate the instrument into a future video.
The organ quickly made it's way into the conception of our Rite of Spring film, after we had decided upon the themes of materialism, gluttony, and sacrifice — as a symbol of the first two, and something that could serve as, well... a sacrifice. The organ first makes its way into the film in Episode 6 (the "Introduction to Part II"), stark and alone in the middle of the desert. Throughout the film, and especially throughout the video shoots, the instrument took an enormous beating: we covered it in paint, red wine, bugs, bubbles, and sweat. In the end, we managed to bring our original vision to life: we sacrificially destroy the instrument in a baptism of flames and water. Watch for the dramatic sacrifice in the final episode. We literally pushed the organ into the ocean, then hauled it back out and set it on fire. :-)
(The organ got its comeuppance when it tore off my large toenail while filming in the massive waves of water.)
We grew fond of the organ after working with it for nearly a year. We'll show some footage of us playing it — really playing it — when we release the behind-the-scenes video. For now, suffice it to say that while the complete and utter destruction of a beautiful, 135-year-old organ was sad (tear-inducing, even), we did it for the music. We went to these extreme lengths because we ultimately had no other choice: we had to stay true to the colossal scope and vision of the music. In the end, while the instrument will no longer play its reedy tune, it will live on forever in our visual realization of Stravinsky's cacophonous and apocalyptic score.