Back – and Badder Than Ever!

Albert ImperatoTue 15th December 2009
The Hudson Valley - Dutch Master style! (photo: Albert Imperato)The Hudson Valley - Dutch Master style! (photo: Albert Imperato)

I was really enjoying doing my Gramophone blog before the site was taken down for redesigning: it was a nice change of pace from writing press releases and it was fun getting feedback – especially from several friends I hadn’t heard with for many years, not to mention my mom and father-in-law. But life goes on, and I got over it. And now the first stage of the new website has been launched, and I’m happy they want me to start posting again. So here goes…

I can’t recall how long it’s been since I last posted a blog here, but plenty has happened thus far this season, both on a personal and professional level. As it turns out, December marks the 10th anniversary of my leaving my old job at Universal Classics, and January 12, 2010 marks the exact day, ten years later, that I co-founded 21C Media Group. What a ride!

In any case, I’m thinking that a quick at-a-glance recap of what I’ve been up to might not be a bad way to get the ball rolling. Items listed in no particular order:

Some work projects I’ve been really turned on by (21C clients): Alan Gilbert’s first several programs as the new Music Director of the New York Philharmonic have been simply fabulous; Mahler's Third in September left me in puddle of tears. Alan’s recording of Mahler's Ninth with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic (BIS) is pretty fabulous too. Leif Ove Andsnes and Robin Rhode’s “Pictures Reframed” blew my mind: I think Leif Ove’s live and recorded traversals of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition are some of the greatest keyboard performances I have ever heard; they have completely transformed and deepened my appreciation of this work.

Unforgettable concert (not a client): John Eliot Gardiner conducting the ORR and the Monteverdi Choir in Haydn’s The Seasons at Carnegie Hall – the perfect match of artists and repertoire and a performance of vivid intensity. Haydn’s the man (RIP HC Robbins Landon).

Current crush: the wonderful and profoundly talented French-American cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, who just performed at New York’s Poisson Rouge and who records for one of my clients, the Paris-based naïve label. One of the most soulful and beautiful artists I know.

Fun nights out with clients: hearing Deborah Voigt sing "Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine" at WNYC’s annual gala was fab: she really owns that song! Dinner with Joyce DiDonato and my colleagues Glenn Petry and Philip Wilder at the SoHo House in New York City’s meatpacking district was a total blast. Joyce’s talent knows no bounds; watching the World Series with Alan Gilbert at Barcibo Enoteca on Broadway at 69th street.

Current obsessions (TV): 30 Rock continues to be the funniest thing on television in America; Glee is adorable even if it’s overrated (the scripts could use a little tightening); Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has enough creative twists to breathe some new life into the tired talk-show format.

Current obsessions: (recording): Schubert’s G major String Quartet, D887 – part of the Auryn Quartet’s Schubert cycle for CPO, one of the really great CD sets I’ve obtained in quite a while.

Current obsessions (technology): new iPhone changed my life; Netflix on demand and downloaded to TV is insanely cool; still not tired of Facebook – does that make me boring?.

Thing I’m happiest to have off my to-do list: bathroom renovation at my apartment in New York City (took me ten years to finally get it done – ridiculous!)

Best clothing investment: black Pringle Suit with velvet collar – still get compliments on it more than a year after I purchased it.

Most encouraging feedback to something I wrote: my “Boulez Blimp” piece for Huffington Post was picked up by some entertainment newswires and I got a number of great responses. You can check it out, along with some of my other posts for them.

Fabulous restaurant food: Marea, which replaced San Domenico’s on Central Park South, has some amazing fish dishes (killer California lobsters!); Mercer Kitchen’s duck salad was tasty beyond belief.

Cities recently discovered: Thumbs up for Portland, Oregon and Montreal, Quebec, which Brian and I visited for the first time late this past summer. Both are highly recommended, especially the coffee in the former and the bagels in the latter.

Landscape photo I’m proud of: not sure if the image posted here does it justice, but this afternoon shot from our place in the Hudson Valley could have been inspired by a Dutch master painting.

Next “real” post soon…Happy Holidays!

Albert Imperato

Albert Imperato is co-founder of 21C Media Group, a classical music and performing arts PR, marketing and consulting firm. His on-line journal gives a window into the New York music world, as seen through the eyes of a leading PR guru.

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