Postcards From Vienna is a mini-series of four videos designed for anyone who'd like to learn something new about some of the most prominent composers in history: Brahms, Mahler, Haydn and Schoenberg.
You might know these four names, or you might not. You might be studying music in school, or a lifelong classical music lover, or new to classical music. It doesn't matter. All we ask is that you come curious and ready to listen closely!
Each 30-minute episode starts with a talk by British conductor Jonathan Berman. Jonathan shares his active, curious approach to listening to music. He draws on examples in visual art and sculpture and points out musical details you might not have noticed before.
Together, you'll discover nuances that bring the music to life.
Following each talk you'll see the music performed, up close and in high definition, by American pianist George Fu and Australian mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean.
Filmed in the Austrian Cultural Forum in London in July 2020.
Episode 1: Johannes Brahms. Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 1
Episode 2: Gustav Mahler. Um Mitternacht (At Midnight) from Rückert-Lieder
Episode 3: Joseph Haydn. Piano sonata in E flat No. 59, 1st movement
Episode 4: Arnold Schoenberg. Six Little Piano Pieces Op. 19
"WOW wow wow - truly fascinating. I learnt a lot, and George Fu plays beautifully. I will certainly search out some more Brahms after this."
"George Fu and Lotte Betts-Dean's performances were so strong, youthful and energetic."
"Jonathan is a natural and inspiring communicator."
"I loved having my own private lunchtime recital every day this week. 30 minutes is just the right length to fit into my day."
"So needed at this time: can we have more please!"
Jonathan Berman is a Conductor who performs with orchestras all over the world. He is known for his unique approach to communicating complex ideas with all audiences. He goes above and beyond the traditional role of a conductor, forming the trust of audiences from traditional listeners to the next generation. He is currently in the process of recording the complete symphonies and promoting the music of Franz Schmidt. At the start of lockdown, he began the website standtogethermusic.com in order to promote artists who have had cancellations.
Described by the Boston Music Intelligencer as a “heroic piano soloist” with “stunning virtuosity”, Chinese-American pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu is establishing a reputation as a captivating performer with distinctive intelligence and sensitivity.
Australian mezzo soprano Lotte Betts-Dean is a versatile and dynamic concert artist, whose performance experience encompasses opera, oratorio, contemporary music, art song recital/chamber music, early music and non-classical collaborations. She has been based in London since 2014 and works internationally, most often in the UK and Australia. Lotte is Associate Artist with Southbank Sinfonia, and is a member of London-based contemporary music group Ensemble x.y. She is also a City Music Foundation Artist for 2017-2019, recently won the 2019 Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, and was selected as a 2020 Samling Young Artist. Lotte is a regular collaborator with guitarist Andrey Lebedev with whom she won the inaugural 2018 New Elizabethan Award. Lotte is one 2018 bursars with the Imogen Cooper Music Trust and in 2019 became a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Writer and presenter: Jonathan Berman
Executive Producer: Emily Ingram
Producer: Clementine Seely
Piano: George Fu
Mezzo-Soprano: Lotte Betts-Dean
Director of Photography: Sophie Sparkes
1st Camera: Oliver Bowrig
Sound Engineer & Editor: Adam Bonser
Editor: Jonathan Berman
Showrunner: Alex Ferragamo
Titles Design: Hannah Matthews
With special thanks to Stand Together Music and all the staff at the Austrian Cultural Forum.
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