- Featured: James Rivers & Julie
- Release Date: 9/23/2008
JAMES AND JULIE RIVERS â€œWinning the hearts of their audiences wherever they playâ€¦â€ ____Isaac Van Grove, Los Angeles This collection of favorite twentieth century duo piano works from their live performances celebrates the fortieth year of James and Julie Riversâ€™ professional collaboration. They met as piano students of Stefan Bardas at the University of North Texas where their earliest concerts were given. Associated with three touring programs over the years (Texas, Kansas and the Mid-America Arts Alliance) they played dozens of concerts each year from the Oregon Bach Festival to the Texas Round Top Festival with countless appearances in smaller communities and major cities across the United States. They have performed major duo piano concerti (Mozart, Poulenc and Bartok) with symphonies in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas and Missouri, including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. A native Texan, Julie Rivers, made her solo debut with the Dallas Symphony under a Rockefeller Foundation grant while a student at UNT. She won every award in the school of music. At age two, she began to play familiar melodies by ear. Her training began at age five at Texas Wesleyan University and continued at the Fort Worth Conservatory of Music. Since 1996, Julie Rivers has pursued writing her own compositions, receiving ASCAP awards every year from 1998 through 2007 and recording four original albums for EarthStar Recordings. She is one of seventeen pianists nationwide on a Spring Hill label recording benefiting families of the 9/11 tragedies. Julie Rivers was designated 2007 Commissioned Composer for Kansas by the Kansas Music Teachers Association and Honored Composer of Kansas in 2003 by the Kansas Federated Music Clubs. She is a four-time first place national winner in the National League of American Pen Women composition contest and was recognized by the Kansas Arts Commission with a Fellowship Award for composition. James Rivers is artist in residence at Washburn University. Since his acclaimed debut in New Yorkâ€™s Town Hall at age 25, he has performed internationally as soloist with major orchestras, in solo recitals in major North American and European cities, and in chamber music concerts with some of the worldâ€™s finest artists. He is a featured artist at many music festivals, including Spoleto, Crested Butte, Buzzardâ€™s Bay and the Sunflower Festival. He is widely known through network radio and television appearances in this country and abroad. He has recorded seven solo albums, is a published composer (ASCAP) and a graduate of Juilliard. In over 500 appearances, his Young Peoples Concerts have warmed the hearts of more than one million children nationwide. A noted teacher, his students have won major prizes in competitions including the Van Cliburn International. Also a popular speaker, he delights audiences with true tales of his life as a concert artist in his hilarious presentation, My Piano Gets Twenty Miles Per Gallon. The performances on this album are live and unedited. They were retrieved from in-hall tape recordings of live concerts for capacity crowds attending Topeka Chamber Music Series concerts between April 1978 and November 1983, some of our most active concertizing years. During our collaboration, we played for audiences, not recording studio microphones. We recently decided we would like to document those years with a compilation of music from the concerts most memorable to us. We hope this memento will be accepted by listeners in the joyful spirit in which the performances were offered and received at the time of these recordings. _____ James and Julie Rivers Credits Recording Producers: James and Julie Rivers Tape transfers and mastering: Randy Wills, Exceptions Studio, Topeka, Kansas Recorded: White Concert Hall, Washburn University, Topeka Kansas, under the auspices of the Topeka Chamber Music Series between April 1978 and November 1983 Pianos: Steinway & Sons Model D Percussion: George Boberg and Jay Wanamaker Cover Artwork: Art Rivers Design: Daric Wells, Graphic Arts, Topeka, Kansas.
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