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Steven Richman About Harmonie Ensemble/New York

"Harmoniemusik" is music for classical wind ensemble. Harmonie Ensemble/New York is something altogether larger and more diverse.

Founded in 1979 by conductor and music director Steven Richman, today the Ensemble encompasses every form of performance from chamber ensemble to symphony and chamber orchestra. Harmonie Ensemble/New York has a broad and highly eclectic repertoire that not only ranges from classical to contemporary, but includes symphonic jazz, and spirituals as well. The group's top-flight, highly versatile New York musicians are hand-picked from the classical and jazz worlds by Maestro Richman.

The Ensemble's uniqueness derives in part from Richman's success at uncovering rare gems, original orchestrations,

"First rate, an evening to admire and enjoy."

The New York Times
(St. Peter's Church concert)

"Superb! ... their performances were models of full-toned virtuosity, balance and absolute understanding of the musical idioms."

New York Daily News
(Merkin Hall: Richard Strauss and Mozart)

lesser-known works and historic arrangements, including chamber and symphonic works.

The group also produces and performs the annual international Dvorák Day Concerts, and for many years presented the closing gala orchestral concerts at New York's Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival.

The versatility of Harmonie Ensemble/New York (HE/NY) can be seen in the diversity of composers celebrated in the historic concerts which it has performed:
  • Handel, Dvorák, and Harry Burleigh (Dvorák's assistant)
  • Stravinsky
  • Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and Morton Gould
  • George Gershwin, Kay Swift (Gershwin's friend and colleague) and Ferde Grofé
  • Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Gil Evans, Henry Mancini
To date, HE/NY has released twelve CDs, including Music For Peter Gunn (2014) and Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington Nutcracker Suites: Classical and Jazz (2013). The Ensemble's credits include touring performances under Columbia Artists Management throughout the U.S., and radio and television broadcasts in the U.S. and worldwide.

The Ensemble's Copland CD on Bridge Records was featured in the Ken Burns PBS-TV series "The National Parks", episode 4, "Going Home", and on video internationally.

International Acclaim

Harmonie Ensemble/New York has been called "first rate" and "an unalloyed delight" by The New York Times, and "superb" by Gramophone Magazine (England). Mr. Richman and the Ensemble were recipients of a GRAMMY AWARD nomination (for Stravinsky: Histoire du Soldat) and other awards.

Their Dvorák Discoveries CD was recognized by The New York Times "Five Favorite CDs" for the 2004 Dvorák Centennial.

Rarities and Premieres

Among the ensemble's credits are United States, New York, world, and recording premieres and rare performances including:
  • Bizet/Toscanini: Carmen Suite
  • Waldteufel/Toscanini: Skaters Waltz
  • Brahms: Serenade No. 1 (original Nonette version, realized by Jorge Rotter)
  • Cherubini: Symphony in D (arr. Arturo Toscanini)
  • Copland: Two Ballads for Violin and Piano, Elegies for Violin and Viola, El Salón Mexico arr. for solo piano by Arturo Toscanini
  • Dvorák: Octet-Serenade, Prague Fanfare, Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home," arranged by Dvorák for solo, chorus and orchestra
  • Gershwin: Second Rhapsody (orch. Ferde Grofé)
  • Grofé: Grand Canyon Suite, Mississippi Suite (original Paul Whiteman Orchestra versions), Table d'Hote, Gallodoro's Serenade (saxophone and piano)
  • Handel: Royal Fireworks Music (original wind band version), March and Minuets for Winds, Trio for 2 Clarinets and Horn
  • Franz Krommer: Concerto for 2 Horns and Wind Instruments
  • Mussorgsky: Pictures at and Exhibition (arr. for brass ensemble by Elgar Howarth)
  • Nino Rota: Nonette
  • Saint-Saëns: Prière for Cello and Organ
  • Shostakovich: 2 Scarlatti Sonatas
  • Sibelius: Canzonetta, arr. Stravinsky
  • Stravinsky: Petit Ramusianum Harmonique (baritone and piano), La Marseillaise (solo violin), How the Mushrooms Went to War (bass voice and piano), Lied ohne Name for 2 bassoons, Tango for violin and piano
  • Kay Swift: Song for String Quartet, Theme and Variations for Cello and Piano
Steven Richman, Conductor and Music Director

Steven Richman, a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Award, is dedicated to the work of Harmonie Ensemble/New York, which he founded. Since 1997 he has been the Music Director and Conductor of the annual international Dvorák Day Concerts in New York featuring both the Dvorák Festival Orchestra of New York and the Ensemble.

Other recent engagements include conducting the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic, and conducting Dvorák with members of the National Symphony in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Richman has also served as Music Associate for international television broadcasts of United Nations Day Concerts, collaborating with conductors including Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel, Richard Bonynge, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and Zubin Mehta.

For the 2004 Dvorák Centennial, New York Times Favorite CDs, Mr. Richman was the only American, and living conductor, so honored. Steven Richman has been called "a masterful conductor" by the New York Daily News, "an excellent conductor, clearly a young man of unusual gifts" by composer Aaron Copland, and is recognized as a very special musician of extraordinary musicality, sensitivity and dynamism.

He is a frequent lecturer on subjects ranging from Gershwin to Toscanini, and also presents a series of radio talks on music. Mr. Richman writes on a variety of musical topics, reviews CDs on WQXR-FM's First Hearing, and also reviews concert videos. He has conducted master classes on Dvorák at Chicago's DePaul University. Maestro Richman was a founding member and Music Director of the Dvorák American Heritage Association, and contributed to Dvorák in America (Amadeus Press). Dvorák's recently discovered Arrangement for Solo, Chorus and Orchestra of Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home" was published, for the first time, in Mr. Richman's edition by C. F. Peters.

Artists Steven Richman has performed/collaborated/appeared with:

Conductors
Leonard Bernstein
James Levine
Aaron Copland
Igor Markevitch
Arthur Fiedler
Michael Tilson Thomas
Yehudi Menuhin
Zubin Mehta
Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos
Paavo Berglund
David Zinman
Julius Rudel
Erich Kunzel
Leon Barzin
Mitch Miller
Henry Mancini
David Raksin (composer of "Laura")
Maurice Jarre (composer of "Lawrence of Arabia")

Violinists
Itzhak Perlman
Mischa Elman
Michael Rabin
Ida Haendel

Singers
Marilyn Horne
Luciano Pavarotti
Placido Domingo
Frederica von Stade
Montserrat Caballe
Janet Baker

Pianists
Jose Iturbi
Earl Wild
Van Cliburn
Michael Feinstein

Cellists
Zara Nelsova

Horn
Radek Baborak, principal horn, Berlin Philharmonic

Film, theater, pop, rock
Steve Martin
Sonny and Cher
Johnny Mathis
Ethel Merman
Lillian Gish
Robert Redford
Catherine Deneuve
Tony Bennett
Bernadette Peters
Sergio Franchi
Rick Wakeman
Linda Ronstadt

Jazz
Lew Soloff (trumpet)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Lew Tabackin (tenor sax)
Al Gallodoro (clarinet/tenor sax)

Pop/soul
Isaac Hayes
Barry White


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