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Teddy Abrams and Louisville Orchestra Top U.S. Classical Chart with All In on Decca Gold

Now celebrating its 80th anniversary season, the Louisville Orchestra went straight to No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Traditional Chart with the release on September 22 of All In, its first new recording in almost three decades. Marking the orchestra’s first title for Decca Gold, the new album showcases galvanizing young Music Director Teddy Abrams as conductor, composer, and clarinet soloist in a joyful, genre-melting celebration of the communicative power of American music. As NPR Music observes, “If we’re relying on the younger generation to help boost interest in classical music, look no further than Teddy Abrams,” while Time magazine marvels, “A genre-defying orchestra in Louisville? Believe it. The locals do.”

The youngest Music Director of a major American orchestra, Abrams explains:

“We are honored to hear that our album All In has reached No. 1 on the U.S. classical charts. We made this album both for our Louisville community, as a testament to its belief in the orchestra, and also for the global community, as a showcase for what is possible in our beautiful city. The Louisville Orchestra had an extraordinary history of recording adventurous music in its first half-century, and we are thrilled to reconnect with that history and continue – in this, the orchestra’s 80th anniversary season – sharing our musical vision.”

All In’s centerpiece is the world premiere recording of Abrams’s ballet Unified Field, which draws on influences ranging from neo-Romanticism to jazz, funk, bluegrass, and the blues. This shares the program with Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, featuring the Music Director – “a triple threat and then some in the classical music world” (San Francisco Chronicle) – as soloist, and selected songs by Abrams, Cole Porter, and vocalist Storm Large, who joins the orchestra to sing them. Click here to order All In.

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On the heels of their new release, Abrams and the orchestra joined superstar pianist Yuja Wang for a program of Russian masterworks that gave Arts-Louisvillea renewed faith that classical music is indeed still relevant and necessary in our society.” This season-launching concert kicked off a characteristically adventurous lineup, of which fall highlights include the world premiere of Abrams’s new genre-straddling work, The Greatest: Muhammad Ali (Nov 4) and “Why Beethoven?” (Oct 14), which offers an innovative and eye-opening approach to a timeless European classic. Reconnecting the orchestra with its remarkable past while reestablishing it as the cornerstone of today’s vibrant Louisville music scene, Abrams’s “tireless advocacy and community outreach” are, notes Listen magazine, “putting the history-rich Louisville Orchestra – and classical music – back on the map.” Click here for a complete schedule of the Louisville Orchestra’s 2017–18 season.

About the Louisville Orchestra

Established in 1937 through the combined efforts of Louisville mayor Charles Farnsley and conductor Robert Whitney, the Louisville Orchestra is a cornerstone of the Louisville arts community. With the launch of First Edition Recordings in 1947, it became the first American orchestra to own a recording label. Six years later it received a Rockefeller grant of $500,000 to commission, record, and premiere 20th-century music by living composers, thereby earning a place on the international circuit and an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall. In 2001, the Louisville Orchestra received the Leonard Bernstein Award for Excellence in Educational Programming, presented annually to a North American orchestra. Continuing its commitment to new music, the Louisville Orchestra has earned 19 ASCAP awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, and was also recently awarded large grants from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the National Endowment for the Arts, both for the purpose of producing, manufacturing and marketing its historic First Edition Recordings collections. Over the years, the orchestra has performed for prestigious events at the White House, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and on tour in Mexico City. The feature-length, Gramophone Award-winning documentary Music Makes A City (2010) chronicles the Louisville Orchestra’s founding years.

High-resolution photos are available here.

Louisville Orchestra and Teddy Abrams, Music Director

All In

Label: Decca Gold

Release date: Sep 22

TEDDY ABRAMS: Unified Field (world premiere recording)

COPLAND: Clarinet Concerto (with Teddy Abrams, clarinet)

COLE PORTER, TEDDY ABRAMS, STORM LARGE: Songs (with Storm Large, vocalist)

Fall concerts in the Classics Series

All concerts in this series take place at 8pm at the Kentucky Center for the Arts

Oct 14

“Why Beethoven?”

With Teddy Abrams, Music Director

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7 in A (a breakdown by movement)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7 in A

Nov 4

“The Greatest Muhummad Ali”

With Teddy Abrams, Music Director

TEDDY ABRAMS: The Greatest: Muhammad Ali (with Jubilant Sykes, baritone and director; Jecorey Arthur, vocalist; Rhiannon Giddens, vocalist; dancers TBA; Rosie Herrera, choreographer)

All dates, programs, and artists are subject to change.

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© 21C Media Group, October 2017

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