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$1,610
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, May 31 2015 8:34 AM UTC +00:00
John Gentry TennysonBy John Gentry Tennyson
First created
John Gentry TennysonBy John Gentry Tennyson
First created
$1,610
pledged of $8,500pledged of $8,500 goal
39
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, May 31 2015 8:34 AM UTC +00:00

About

THE STORY 

Sixteen years ago I wrote an album called, Europa. I lived it, every single moment and every single note of it.  Blood, sweat and tears...  and Love. Being a fan of Steinbeck, Hemingway and Bartok, I prefered to live my artistic process. I wrote about what I experienced and therein laid my connection to the story and the music that emerged. I have to admit that journey was nothing less than magnificently inspiring, and recounting it now, to anyone that was not there, will be difficult to believe. It was the stuff of dreams... 

I had a gig with Tony-award winning director/choreographer, George Faison (Alvin Ailey Dance Company and The Wiz).  I was the pianist, conductor and arranger for an industrial show that George was producing in Monte-Carlo for Peugeot. We played every night for the royalty of Monaco. We hung out with Princes and Princesses, high rollers, and whatever other celebrities were in Monte-Carlo at the time. I became friends with John Mordler, the director of the Opera du Monte-Carlo, and the former producer of a great many recordings of Leonard Bernstein. I worked out at the spa with Ringo Starr. Yeah, it was like that. Crazy stuff. For real. 

I returned to New York, but my heart was still in Monte-Carlo and France and Italy, all the places I had just visited and played. So, I did what anyone with any sense would do. I went back. 

A friend of mine owned and operated a little bar called, Bravo Bar. He offered me an opportunity to come back anytime, play a couple of sets a night and he would cover my expenses, food and lodging. I thought, “Why not?” It was the perfect opportunity to explore a whole new chapter of life and write some music chronicling my stay and the people I met, so I accepted the offer and flew to Nice. What happened next changed the course of my life forever. 

Over the next three years, and a journey that took me from Monte-Carlo, Paris, Roma, Barcelona, Ibiza and finally back home to New York, I composed the music for what was to become my Angel/EMI Records release, Europa. Originally titled, Vesna e Zorica, in honor of two wonderful sisters that I met from Split, Croatia, the violin and piano duet featured top NYC session violinist, Joyce Hamman

Vesna e Zorica    ©2000 Angel/EMI Records

Now, sixteen years later, Bob Lord of Parma Recordings has offered me a new record deal and an opportunity to re-record this duet in the Czech Republic with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra for a promotional release of Parma Recordings artists for the beginning of 2016. I accepted the offer and re-orchestrated Vesna e Zorica into a full string orchestra piece with solo violin, now re-titled as, Adagio for Strings

Now, comes the hard part. I'm new to KickStarter and this type of crowd-sourcing campaign.  

I’m asking for your help to cover the remaining costs. The recording takes place in Olomouc, CZ, on Wednesday, June 10. And recording a symphony orchestra with 40-plus musicians and a world-class solo violinist in the Czech Republic is very expensive. As you know, on KickStarter, if the goal amount is not reached, no money can be collected, so I need your help to make this all happen.

Please give as generously as you are able! I promise you, it will be a gorgeous and meaningful recording. Thank you all so much for bringing this beautiful story to life.

EUROPA

 Europa  ©2000 Angel/EMI Records

Musicians:

Piano - John Gentry Tennyson, Violin - Joyce Hammann

Headshot photos: Joanne Savio       Location photos: Paul Nowinski

ABOUT JOHN GENTRY TENNYSON

I am an American composer, living and working in Los Angeles, successfully breaking into TV & Film after a lifelong career as a pianist, arranger and Music Director for dozens of Grammy, Tony, Emmy and Oscar award-winning artists.  I grew up in a musical household, as the son of well-known studio musician, Hal Tennyson.  My father was on over 600 recordings during the Swing Band Era with bandleaders such as; Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Jack Teagarden, Charlie Spivak and Claude Thornhill.  He studied alto saxophone with Joe Allard at Julliard, performed with the NBC orchestra under Toscanini and was best friends with Tex Beneke, Nelson Riddle, Skitch Henderson and Stan Getz.  So, to say I had a rich musical upbringing is an understatement.

I've performed and toured in almost every conceivable genre, from classical to jazz, rock to R&B, musical theatre to orchestral.  I love it all, but now I'm returning to my first love; classical music.  I was incredibly fortunate to have two of the finest piano teachers; Patricio Gutiierrez and Berthe Odnoposoff. They instilled love and respect into each and every note.  It is with this same loving attention and care to detail that I record this new string orchestration, Adagio for Strings.

I consider every artist I've ever worked for to be my teacher.  And some of those included in that are; Al Di Meola, Les Paul, Hiram Bullock, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Rodney Jones, Chuck Loeb, Bucky Pizarelli, Howard Alden, Gil Parris, Lou Pallo, Frank Vignola, Monty Alexander, Dewey Redman, Frank Foster, J.J. Johnson, Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Stanton Davis, Mark O’Connor, Mark Feldman, Todd Reynolds, Mel Lewis, Grady Tate, Joe Morello, Buddy Williams, Jeff Hirshfield, Terry Silverlight, Gerry Brown, Joel Rosenblatt, Munyungo Jackson, Chip Jackson, Will Lee, Chuck Rainey, Kermit Driscoll, Lonnie Plaxico, Marc Johnson, Eddie Gomez and John Patitucci.

In addition, there are many others from every genre; Diana Ross, Liza Minelli, Jennifer Holliday, BJ Crosby, The Pointer Sisters, Michelle Williams, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Queen Esther, Odetta, Patricia Racette, Sarah Brightman, Mary Fahl, Sophie B. Hawkins, Martika, Antonia Bennett, Paul Simon, Carly Simon, Maurice White, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Nelson Riddle, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Holland, Dozier & Holland, Ray Price, Tom Wopat, Sam Harris, Karen Ziemba, Barbara Walsh, and Brian Lane Green, to name a few.

VÍT MUŽÍK

Czech violinist and producer, Vít Mužík (b. 1972) is one of the most multi-faceted musicians working on the contemporary classical music scene. His abilities both as a performer on the concert stage and in the recording booth have led to appearances on more than 60 recordings in the Navona catalog, making him one of PARMA Recordings’ most frequent collaborators.

Mužik studied under Prof. Ladislav Gořula at the Janacek Conservatory of Ostrava in his native Czech Republic, and his pursuit of advanced studies on the violin later brought him to Mannes College at The New School for Music in New York City, the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria under Sándor Végh. Since 2004, Mužik has served primarily as the Concertmaster for the world-renowned Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, frequently serving also as a producer for recording sessions held at Reduta Hall in the ensemble’s home base in the historic city of Olomouc, Czech Republic.

 PETR VRONSKY

Petr Vronský has been successfully performing in many foreign concert stages and is considered to be one of the foremost Czech conductors. He began his career as a violinist and won several violin competitions. However, during his studies at the Prague Music Academy he decided on the career of conductor. After his graduation in1972, he started to work as a conductor in the Opera House in Pilsen and later he continued in Usti nad Labem.

He has conducted many symphony orchestras all over the world, including; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Antwerp, Berliner Symhoniker, Devlet Senfoni Orchestrasi Istanbul, Metropolitan Orchestra Tokyo, Orquestra Filarmónica do Rio de Janeiro, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, Göteborgs Symfoniker, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, etc. Continuously, he has been regularly cooperating with the best Czech orchestras, including the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Prague, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the prominent Czech Opera Houses - the National Theatre Prague (Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen, Verdi: Don Carlos), the State Opera Prague (Janáček: Jenufa) and with theatres from abroad (Kammeroper Wien, Dance Theatre Haag). In 1999, he cooperated with Zdenek Macal in a series of performances of Smetana’s Bartered Bride at the Opera du Monte Carlo.

Maestro Vronský is considered to be a highly vivid conductor with a great sense of interpretation. His large repertoire includes more than 200 classical and modern symphonic works and operas.

MORAVIAN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1945 and belongs to the foremost and the oldest symphonic orchestras in the Czech Republic. It resides in the historic Moravian city of Olomouc.

Significant personalities of the Czech music culture have led the MFO and it has been conducted by internationally renowned artists such as; Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Václav Neumann, Libor Pešek, Vladimír Válek and many more. Famous soloists have performed with the orchestra, for example; 
S. Richter, I. Oistrach, G. Kremer, S. Ishikawa, P. Fournier, J. Suk, V. Hudeček, E. Indjic, J. Carreras, A. Baltsa, J. Cura.

The orchestra has performed with great success in the majority of European countries and has taken part in many important international music festivals in the Czech Republic and abroad, such as; The Prague Spring Festival, Smetana’s Litomysl, the Summer Music Festival in Reims, France or the Thurn und Taxis Festspiele in Regensburg, Germany. The orchestra has also performed on important European stages such as Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Saal der Munchner Philharmonie, Vereinsaal Wien, Saal Pleyel Paris, Tonhalle Zurich or Palaois de Musica in the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Valencia.

PARMA RECORDINGS

PARMA Recordings is a New England-based music company specializing in orchestral, chamber, choral, and commercial recording as well as distribution, product design, strategic marketing, and licensing/publishing. Our work spans classical, jazz, rock, experimental, and more, and features artists such as Grammy-winner Richard Stoltzman, Pulitzer Prize-winner Lewis Spratlan, Pete Townshend of The Who, renowned percussionist Steve Gadd, and New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow among others.

PARMA’s music has been featured in projects and programming from CBS, ABC, Fox, PBS, C-SPAN, National Geographic, A&E, Showtime, Microsoft, and numerous other media outlets, and we are dedicated to creating the highest quality music and presenting it in unique, innovative, and engaging recorded and live formats.

BOB LORD

Bob Lord is a producer/composer/bassist and CEO of PARMA Recordings, parent company of label imprints Navona Records, Ravello, Big Round, MMC, and Capstone Records. He is also notable for being the bassist/composer of the experimental rock trio Dreadnaught, Music Director for the NHPR/Music Hall series Writers on a New England Stage, and in-studio producer of Grammy-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman.

He has more than 150 credits as a producer, executive producer, performer, arranger, label manager, and composer, and with Pete Townshend of The Who.

Risks and challenges

I don't foresee any problems with this project. The highest degree of professionals are in command of every detail and step along the way. There is a long and successful track record for myself, the performers, the technicians involved, and Parma Recordings. I have every faith and confidence in the team that I have meticulously built.

There are, however, always surprises along the way of every project recording, and in that light, I've built in a very reasonable time frame to deliver on the rewards. I will make every possible effort to fulfill what is promised in a timely and satisfactory way.

I want you to know how much this means to me, and everyone else involved, that you are supporting the life and growth of the arts. Thank you all for your support!

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Funding period

- (30 days)