Bela Fleck’s classical turn

Posted on: January 9, 2012

In Sunday’s (1/8) Birmingham News (Alabama), Michael Huebner writes, “Bluegrass banjo player Bela Fleck has been veering ever closer to the classical world for the past several years. In some ways, that is his destiny. His father, once an aspiring opera singer, named him Bela Anton Leos Fleck, after Bartok, Webern and Janacek, three giants of early 20th century music. Fleck’s album, ‘Perpetual Motion,’ won Grammys in 2002 for Best Classical Crossover Album and Best Arrangements for his collaboration with violinist Joshua Bell, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, guitarist John Williams, mandolinist Chris Thile, bassist and album producer Edgar Meyer, and others. Tracks included music by Debussy, Scarlatti, Bach, Brahms, Chopin and Beethoven. In September, Fleck’s Banjo Concerto, the first large-scale classical work composed entirely by his hand, was premiered in Nashville. Giancarlo Guerrero conducted the Nashville Symphony and Fleck soloed. On Thursday, Fleck will go through the rigors in front of the orchestra again, this time with the Alabama Symphony. Fawzi Haimor will conduct the ASO in a Classical Edge concert at the Alys Stephens Center. … Composed in conventional three-movement form, the concerto reflects Fleck’s three-decade career, which has taken him from his beloved bluegrass to the music of India and Africa, in addition to classical.”

Posted January 9, 2012