Friday, December 19, 2008

The famous House of Nanking

When I first moved to San Francisco in 2000, I lived at a weekly hotel in Chinatown while I looked for a place to live.  The first nice restaurant we went to (to congratulate ourselves on our fine Chinatown digs, I guess?) was the House of Nanking (on Kearny between Jackson and Columbus).  

It was a small affair at the time.  If you managed a seat at one of the six or so tables, the owner would greet you, ask what sort of food you were interested in, and order for you.  

Well... seven years later they have expanded!  Over dinner break yesterday (between rehearsal and our performance of Messiah at Grace Cathedral), a few of my colleagues and I headed over to the House of Nanking.  (Thank you Blackberry for the navigation.)  

The restaurant has expanded to include the next-door space.  Gone was the long line (although it was 5 PM), and the over-eagerness of the owner.  

The food was excellent!  Of interest was this green tea concoction that they brought.  The tea-tritus is a mixture of tea leaves, edible flower buds, and some sort of berry.  And a bunch or completely inedible stems :-).  
After the owner took our order, I asked him how we were supposed to drink it?  

"Just sip it" was his response...  

We ended up straining it with our teeth.  

I would recommend the food to anyone visiting China town!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The purfuit of...

Waiting in JFK's mighty terminal 8 for my San Francisco bound flight (taking me to my American Bach Soloists Messiahs), I smile at the name of these little arcade areas.

It reminds me of the 'free speech zones' at the 2004 RNC, as though the entire country weren't already zoned for that. Ok, less ominous to be sure, and Jefferson's promise of the pursuit of happiness isn't exactly a guarantee of fun... and perhaps it is a fair indictment of how 'un-fun' the rest of the airport can be. Ok, never mind :-)

Sent from my not quite iPhone.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas comes late this year...

Hello everyone. I just learned that the release date of my American Bach Soloists CD has officially been pushed back to April of 2009. *sighs* These things always take five times longer to assemble than you'd hope! I'll keep everyone posted as the process moves forward. The best way to keep informed is through my e-mailing list (no spam, and at most one email per month) you can sign up here.
I intend to offer a pre-release pre-order deal, so keep your interweb eyes peeled.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Passing of Lynne Vardaman

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my technique teacher, Lynne Vardaman. She died in her New York apartment early last week.

The effect that she had upon my voice cannot be underestimated. I would not the the singer, teacher, thinker, or person that I am had it not been for my three years of private study with Lynne.

She was not always peaceful in her life; I hope that she has found peace in her death.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

2008-2009 Season

I am pleased to annouce my 2008-09 season.
I will make debuts with several groups, including:

The Vancouver Chamber Choir (Chichester Psalms),
The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia (B-Minor Mass), and

The Staunton Music Festival (Theodora).

I return to sing with:

The Choir of Men and Boys of Saint Thomas
Fifth Ave (Messiah),
The Princeton Glee Club (B-minor),
and one of my favorite groups, The American Bach soloists
(Messiah, Pergolesi Stabat Mater & Handel Italian Duets with soprano Mary Wilson).

I also launch my first tour with the Baroque ensemble Tableau in February-March of 2009.

And don't forget, my CD with the American Bach Soloists (see story below) will be released in December! Check back for more info,
join my mailing list to receive a notice.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Handel's Inheritance/Tableau Web-launch

Iconic composers are not born great; they are the synthesis of everything they have heard,
learned, and experienced and their music is a reflection of their world as they knew it.
Thus it was for George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), a composer best known for the Italian
Operas and English Oratorios that comprised the bulk of his mature output. But what about
young Handel? What music would have been playing in the courts and chapels of his youth?
What about the music of his teachers? What innovations did Handel borrow, and what new
musical ideas did he unleash upon the world?

Join me and Tableau Baroque in the Spring of 2009 for a concert exploring
the sonic landscape of Handel's formative years.  

We are proud to launch a new website
promoting these concerts.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Debut Solo CD recorded with The American Bach Soloists

I joined conductor Jeffrey Thomas and The American Bach Soloists April 23rd-26th
to record a CD of beautiful baroque music. Repertory includes:
Bach's Cantata 170 Vergn&252;gte Ruh, Domenico Scarlatti's Cantata Salve Regina, and Handel opera and oratorio arias from
Saul (O Lord whose mercies numberless), Giulio Cesare (Al lampo dell'armi), Orlando (Fammi combattere & Orlando's Mad Scene),
Rinaldo (Cara sposa), and Serse (Ombra mai fu). We are planning on a December release.
The CD, "1685 and the Art of Ian Howell," will be available for purchase online and in stores, and available for download from iTunes and Magnamusic. Stay tuned for more information.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Premiere of Songs by Pablo Ortiz

I premiered a set of three songs written by Argentinian born composer

Pablo Ortiz, during a concert at UC Davis in Davis, CA. Russ Irwin commissioned these pieces for me
to texts by the Mexican poet Rosario Castellanos. Listen to a live recording of the second movement,
Elegia, by clicking here.