About this project
LIEDER ALIVE! has embarked on a unique collaboration with the award-winning Alexander String Quartet and acclaimed mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich on the performance and recording of some of the great orchestral Lieder, transcribed for voice and string quartet by Zakarias Grafilo, the Quartet's first violinist. June 11, 2017 marked the world premiere performance of Gustav Mahler’s Lieder eines Fahrenden gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and the third of three beloved Mahler song cycles premiered by the ASQ and Kindra Scharich. This Kickstarter campaign will help bring these performances to the world through a series of world premiere recordings of Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, Rückert-Lieder, and Kindertotenlieder beginning in Spring 2018.
Typically, Lieder are scored for a single singer and piano, or later, as the art form developed, for singer and orchestra. People who have heard the transcribed song cycles in performance have said they never want to hear them any other way! Commissioned by LIEDER ALIVE!, Mr. Grafilo's exquisite Lieder transcriptions combine the lushness of the orchestral versions with the intimacy of chamber music, and the result is something completely new.
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About LIEDER ALIVE!
LIEDER ALIVE! was founded in 2007 to reinvigorate the teaching, performance, and appreciation of Lieder, an intimate and radiant art form that is generally described as 19th and early 20th Century songs with piano, set to Romantic German poetry. Lieder is a vital part of the canon of Western music. For singers, Lieder has its own singular quality: as Kindra Scharich, LIEDER ALIVE!'s Artist-in-Residence, said, “There’s something about the simplicity of song—a perfect beautiful poem, that’s set to music—that has a whole world inside of it, in two minutes, or three minutes.” Or as pianist Graham Johnson said in an interview on National Public Radio about Franz Schubert’s groundbreaking Gretchen am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel), “Billie Holiday would have understood."
Furthering this musical tradition is what LIEDER ALIVE! is about. We began with a single program, the Vocal Master Workshop series, which has since 2008 included public master classes presented by baritone Thomas Hampson, mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, soprano June Anderson, and baritone Håkan Hagegård. Our training programs currently include The Lieder Institut, directed by our Master Coach, John Parr of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and ongoing coach.ngs and consultations by founder and director Maxine Bernstein. LIEDER ALIVE! also presents Bringing Lieder to Life, a monthly master class offered in collaboration with renowned pianist Peter Grünberg for experienced and novice singers alike.
LIEDER ALIVE!’s main public program is the annual Liederabend Series, which is now in its sixth season and, more than any other program, has put the organization on the cultural map in San Francisco. The 2017/18 season will open in September with a performance by mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich and the acclaimed Alexander String Quartet of Zakarias Grafilo’s transcriptions of three Mahler song cycles; these exquisite transcriptions are being recorded by Ms. Scharich and the Alexanders in 2018 for release on the Foghorn Classics label. The upcoming season will also include our second biennial Neue und Alte Liederfest, curated by Kurt Erickson, our Composer-in-Residence, and featuring Mr. Erickson’s own compositions along with world premieres of commissioned works by two outstanding women composers—Veronica Krausas and Luna Pearl Woolf—performed by soprano Heidi Moss Erickson, Ms. Scharich, bass Kirk Eichelberger, and pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg. Mr. Erickson has been composing new works for the Liederabend Series since 2013, as well as overseeing the Neue Lieder Commissioning Program. Works commissioned by LIEDER ALIVE! are being compiled into the Neue Lieder Songbook, for online publication by Swirly Music.
The only organization of its kind in America so thoroughly devoted to the performance, training, and appreciation of German Lieder, LIEDER ALIVE! is dedicated to the presentation of outstanding master artists and exceptional singers and instrumentalists who share our unwavering commitment to keeping Lieder where it belongs – alive!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge beyond costs to this project will be time as the recording process and release timeframe can be unpredictable with so many moving pieces and so delivery dates should only be seen as estimates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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