No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  nyfos

Passionate educator, solo/collaborative pianist, and recording artist Leann Osterkamp talks about her time in NYFOS’s Emerging Artist program and reveals her (crazy) solution to winter weather’s wear on her fingers. Leann will return to NYFOS’s Mainstage in Hyphenated-Americans on February 20, 2019 at Merkin Hall.




 |  Leann Osterkamp

Perhaps the most famous contemporary cross-cultural composer, Bright Sheng has an original compositional dialect that combines Western traditions and Chinese traditional and folk music. His music results from both his personal cultural upbringing and his intentional study and research of the principles underlying both nations’ musical traditions. His schooling was primarily in America. However, he is constantly involved in compositional and academic endeavors that strive to blend and define international musical styles.




 |  Leann Osterkamp

At the turn of the century, political unrest and a new desire (and ability) to travel the world led many classical composers to call America their new home. One such political event was the Russian Revolution, which forced Sergei Rachmaninoff to flee to America around 1918. Though he longed for his home country, he earned great success in front of American audiences.




 |  Leann Osterkamp

What makes Daniel’s music so riveting is its ability to educate and challenge the ear while also providing small fragments of classical familiarity. His vocal music is always technically challenging, melismatic, romantic, and organic. His song “Khaham keh bar zolfat” challenges our ear with Farsi, an unfamiliar language to most of us, but also provides us with strings of beautiful Persian sounds and language patterns.




 |  Leann Osterkamp

This particular song portrays the voice of a woman who has broken free of societal roles and expectations. She sings that through her art, she is authentically herself and is not at the ownership or disposal of anyone or anything. Julia de Burgos was a Puerto Rican civil rights activist who lived from 1914-1953. Traveling between Puerto Rico, New York, and Cuba, she was fully involved in the nationalist philosophies that defined her life.




 |  Leann Osterkamp

This terrific remastered original cast recording from the 1953 rendition of Wonderful Town portrays Wreck, a guy who describes his fame and glory days as a student because of his ability to pass the ol’ pigskin. In this hilarious song, Wreck can’t spell, read, or write… but he introduced Albert Einstein, passed the bar exam, had every girl he could ever want, and got every scholarship… because he could pass that football!!




 |  Leann Osterkamp

Perhaps Bernstein’s most well-known work, “Somewhere” has an inherent timeless relevance. It expresses the hope of a world in which conflict is absent and people are able to live without prejudice and hatred. Bernstein spent his entire life being involved in social justice both in the U.S. and abroad. He was famously quoted, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”




 |  Leann Osterkamp

“Little Smary” is an example of Bernstein’s art song repertoire outside of the theater. The words are by Jennie Bernstein (Bernstein’s mother). The story depicts a young girl playing with her “wuddit” (rabbit). The story was a common bedtime story told to Bernstein by his mother.