The Journey of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg & the NEW CENTURY Chamber Orchestra
NSS MUSIC today announced the May 8, 2012 release of its first DVD, ON OUR WAY The Journey of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra.
Four years in the making, ON OUR WAY, by CounterPoint Films, in association with NSS MUSIC, candidly reveals how one of the most electrifying soloists and daring recording artists in the classical music world came to partner with a then 16-year old, accomplished, conductorless string chamber orchestra from the West Coast, and her goal to take the 19-member ensemble from a highly regarded entity in California to a nationally renowned chamber orchestra.
Following the release of two acclaimed recordings, Together, (―Salerno-Sonnenberg was and most definitely is a force to be reckoned with [and] the superb musicianship of her cohorts ensured that it was far more than her show... [Together is] a marvelous CD that should help propel the NCCO into the national spotlight." –- Jason Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice) and LIVE- Brahms Strauss Mahler, (―New Century Chamber Orchestra uncorks brilliant live recording‖ – Oregon Music News), Nadja has brought the New Century Chamber Orchestra on two successful national tours in the past two seasons.
Live footage from the February 9, 2011 tour concert at the Eli and Edyth Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California, features prominently in ON OUR WAY (―I believe so much in the moment, live music, that moment anything can happen, anything should happen!‖ says Nadja), and demonstrates the ensemble’s commitment to music making of the highest caliber. Featured works include: Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade; Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires; Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48, as well as Alfred Schnittke’s Polka, and Bess, You Is My Woman Now, from George Gershwin’s ―Porgy and Bess.
The DVD also includes on-camera anecdotes, rehearsals and behind-the scenes footage. Candid comments from orchestra members (―You really get to show your soul, even though you’re one of 19, you get to say, musically, what you need to say.‖ –Dawn Harms, Associate Concertmaster), and Nadja herself (―When I signed the contract with this group, I felt my responsibility is to bring them to a position of recognition. I want them to be a household name.‖), provide a personal look at the journey that these musicians have embarked upon. As stated by music critic Joshua Kosman in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Best of 2009, ―This stalwart string orchestra - always excellent, always overlooked - took a gamble on star power by bringing in the forceful violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as its new music director, and got a jolt of much-needed vitality as a reward."
& NADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG
―It's hard to imagine any ensemble making a more impressive debut at the Mondavi Center than that of the New Century Chamber Orchestra on Saturday evening.... These fresh-faced musicians, whose orchestra operates much like symphonic collectives common in Europe, were smart in picking the iconoclastic Salerno-Sonnenberg as musical leader, for there is nothing ordinary about her. Salerno-Sonnenberg's musical approaches are sincere and her performances have an electric edge. She brings star quality to the stage – a very good thing for this ensemble despite its collectivism. On Saturday, musical spark and intelligent musicianship were at play in what was the orchestra’s last concert of a taxing, month long national tour.
- The Sacramento Bee, (CA) February 14, 2011
―Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, intense and passionate violin soloist, has been on our radar screens for some time. Last night at Rackham Auditorium we met another Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg: inspiring leader; intense and passionate concertmaster; lover of a good joke and a good time; and music director of the most exciting chamber orchestra you may have never heard, the Bay Area-based New Century Chamber Orchestra. Check off all those Salerno-Sonnenberg qualities for the NCCO, now on its first — and sure not to be its last — U.S. tour, with Salerno-Sonnenberg in the director’s chair (and as soloist). Add in a few more: bravura technique, fearlessness, aural imagination. It added up, Friday evening, to a performance that crackled with electricity from start to finish. I'm already waiting for the Universal Musical Society to issue the next invitation. It was an evening in which dance rhythms held the floor, from Wolf through Bartok and Piazzolla to Tchaikovsky. And how alive and vital those rhythms were. - AnnArbor.com, (MI) February 4, 2011