Pembroke Taparelli Arts and Film Festival “Official Selection”

Judith Lynn Stillman’s film “When the Music Stopped” is an official selection at the Pembroke Taparelli Arts and Film Festival in Hollywood, CA.

Boston Globe – “Reaching refugees with music”

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

 

Reaching refugees with music

Judith Lynn Stillman’s trip to Athens, Greece to meet with refugees  is the subject of Kevin Cullen’s feature article in Sunday’s National section of the Boston Globe.

Click here to read the story.

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Kevin Cullen is a Boston Globe columnist who has written for the Spotlight team, Foreign Desk and Metro section. He was a member of the 2003 Globe investigative team that won the Pulitzer Prize.

 

 

Views of the World Film Festival “Best Multimedia Film” Winner

Judith Lynn Stillman’s film “When the Music Stopped” was winner “Best Multimedia Film” at the Views of the World Film Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Canadian Diversity Film Festival Winner

Judith Lynn Stillman’s film “When the Music Stopped” was winner “Best Music Video” at the Canadian Diversity Film Festival.

Rhode Island PBS Premiere Broadcast of “Armenia 100”

 

 

Watch the broadcast premiere of Judith Lynn Stillman’s concert film of her Armenia 100:  Honoring Armenian Cultural Arts in Commemoration of the Genocide Centenary event.

The following is the Armenian Weekly review of this extraordinary tribute.  Now experience Stillman and friends’ remarkable achievement for yourselves.

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Judith Lynn Stillman’s ‘ARMENIA 100’ and ‘When the Music Stopped’: An Extraordinary Tribute

May 15, 2015 

By Diane Minasian

“Armenia 100: A Musical, Theatrical and Artistic Tribute to Armenian Culture in Remembrance of the Genocide Centenary,” is a breathtaking masterpiece, conceived of and brilliantly executed by pianist, composer, and artistic visionary Judith Lynn Stillman. Stillman’s innovative opus celebrates Armenian culture, acknowledges the horrors of genocide, and ultimately demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit.

The event was performed at Rhode Island College’s Sapinsley Hall at the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, April 22. Chief Judge Haiganush Bedrosian, the Honorable Scott Avedisian, and Reverend Fathers Shnork Souin, Gomidas Baghsarian, and Kapriel Nazarian gave opening remarks.

Stillman herself welcomed the audience in beautifully spoken Armenian—the first indication of her deeply passionate commitment to Armenian language and culture.

The initial part of the program pays homage to three great Armenian composers: Komitas Vartabed, Arno Babajanian, and Aram Khachaturian. With a cast of remarkable musicians and outstanding soloists, Stillman weaves together music, song, projected visual images, and even “art in motion.” Every sense is engaged as the audience intently witnesses the creation of a painting on stage, paced expressively to Khachaturian’s “Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano.” Mher Khachatryan, whose work was recently exhibited at the Armenian National Gallery of Art in Yerevan, sweeps his brush (and eventually his hands) over the canvas in a tender, meditative dance that is absolutely captivating. Equally poignant is the juxtaposition of young emerging talent with the skill of a grand old master, as duduk player David Gevorkian and kemancha player David Ayriyan share the stage.

The second part of the program is devoted to the world premiere of Stillman’s operatic theater piece, “When the Music Stopped: A Tapestry of Songs and Texts to Commemorate the Armenian Genocide Centenary,” with music and book by Stillman. Stillman’s true genius shines as she catapults the audience into a multi-layered, artistically complex presentation exploring injustice, survival, and hope. Using narration based on centuries of Armenian poetry translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian, visual images, and a startlingly beautiful musical score, Stillman leads the audience on a journey through pain and loss, toward healing, solidarity, and growth. Stillman’s sensitivity to the history, art, and psyche of the Armenian people is apparent throughout.

To execute her ambitious vision, Stillman brings together an extraordinary group of talent from near and far. Armenian-Canadian soprano Aline Kutan was a winner in the Metropolitan Opera auditions, and appears regularly in leading roles with the Montreal Opera and as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Kutan captivates the audience from the start, with her nuanced and evocative singing. Vagharshak Ohanyan, born in Yerevan and currently based in New York, has been featured with the New York City Opera and at Carnegie Hall. His powerful baritone voice commands the stage with strength and grace. Armenian-American actor Armen Garo (“The Departed,” “American Hustle,” “The Sopranos”) provides pivotal dramatic narration.

A chamber choir and a chorus that emerges from the audience add to the variety and depth of vocal expression. The accompaniment throughout the program is sensitively and skillfully executed by a host of accomplished musicians; however, Stillman’s virtuoso performance at the piano stands out as a highlight of the evening. Her power, her emotional intensity, and her precision at the keyboard provide an electric backdrop for the unfolding of this evocative drama.

Stillman is an internationally renowned concert pianist and composer. She holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School, where she received the Dethier Prize for Outstanding Pianist and won the Juilliard Concerto Competition. Among many distinctions is her musical partnership with Wynton Marsalis, her performances for White House dignitaries, and her participation in numerous music festivals around the world. She is currently the Artist-in-Residence at Rhode Island College.

Stillman has been dubbed the “poetess of the piano,” and “When the Music Stopped,” a product of her creative vision, deserves to be performed worldwide. This opus is an ambitious, interdisciplinary undertaking. Stillman reaches for the stars and succeeds brilliantly in transporting us through darkness toward life and growth.

She describes her work as having been inspired by Kenneth Rexroth’s words: “Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense: the creative act.” So, with bold and courageous innovation, Stillman brings awareness and appreciation for the Armenian Genocide and, in doing so, we recognize that any injustice, occurring anywhere, is an affront to all of humanity.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits over the air on 36.1; on Rhode Island cable: Cox cable 08/1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08/508HD, Full Channel 08; on Massachusetts cable: Comcast 819HD (Comcast SD subscribers check local listings for standard definition channel), Verizon FiOS 18/518HD; satellite: Dish 36/7776, DirecTV 36.

For more information, visit Rhode Island PBS.

Interfaith Commemoration of the Holocaust

The Jewish Voice features Judith Lynn Stillman in the article “Yom ha-Shoah features unique Phoenix from the Ashes.”

Download the article.

Rhode Island PBS Rebroadcast of “Phoenix from the Ashes”

 

Phoenix from the Ashes: A Film by Judith Lynn Stillman, has as its centerpiece the premiere of a song cycle for soprano and piano, based upon poems from Terezín Concentration Camp, celebrating the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

The documentary features the world premiere of Phoenix from the Ashes: Seven Songs for Soprano and Piano, composed by internationally-renowned musician, Judith Lynn Stillman. Dramatic soprano of the New York Metropolitan Opera Lori Phillips sings, with Stillman as collaborative pianist. Stillman is the Artist-in-Residence and a professor of music at Rhode Island College.

The song texts are based upon poems from Vedem: The Secret Magazine of The Boys of Terezín. From 1942 through 1944, a group of 140 teenage boys, aged 13-16, living in the barracks at Terezín, secretly documented their lives in a weekly magazine called Vedem (Czech for “In the Lead”), which included their art work, essays, reviews, and poetry. It was a huge risk to produce – they would have been sent to death camps if caught – but the magazine was never discovered. Of the 140 boys who participated in the effort to produce Vedem, only about 15 survived, and only five are alive today.

Only one of them, Zdeněk (Sidney) Taussig, remained in Terezín until its liberation in May 1945. He had the insight to save the nearly 800 pages of the manuscript in the hopes that it might survive the war. After he was liberated, he retrieved the manuscript and brought it back home with him to Prague.

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Mr. Taussig — the 82-year old survivor who showed such extraordinary bravery and foresight as a teen — tells his compelling story in this documentary in interviews interspersed with the songs. Texts for the Phoenix song cycle come from the pages miraculously hidden and retrieved by Taussig, who was present at the debut to hear his boyhood friends’ poems realized in Stillman’s songs.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits over the air on 36.1; on Rhode Island cable: Cox cable 08/1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08/508HD, Full Channel 08; on Massachusetts cable: Comcast 819HD (Comcast SD subscribers check local listings for standard definition channel), Verizon FiOS 18/518HD; satellite: Dish 36/7776, DirecTV 36.

Rhode Island PBS Premiere Broadcast of “Dueling Double Divas”

Judith Lynn Stillman’s film, Dueling Double Divas: A Comic Micro-Opera, showcases the world premiere of her composition performed by New York Metropolitan Opera soprano Lori Phillips and mezzo-soprano Mary Phillips during their recent appearance at Rhode Island College.  This performance by the identical twins marks their first ever recital together.

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Mary Phillips (left) and Lori Phillips

Conceived and composed for the Phillips twins by pianist and Rhode Island College Artist-in-Residence Judith Lynn Stillman, the micro-opera is “an entire operatic tale told in 15 minutes.””[The form] works well for the short attention span society,” Stillman said. “If you’re afraid of opera, this is a great way to get your feet wet.”

The half-hour film also includes works by Jake Heggie and Lee Hoiby. Dueling Double Divas: A Comic Micro-Opera premieres on Sunday, January 10, 2016, at 6 p.m. on WSBE Rhode Island PBS as part of the ongoing series Rhode Island Stories, with encore broadcasts throughout the month.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits over the air on 36.1; on Rhode Island cable: Cox cable 08/1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08/508HD, Full Channel 08; on Massachusetts cable: Comcast 819HD (Comcast SD subscribers check local listings for standard definition channel), Verizon FiOS 18/518HD; satellite: Dish 36/7776, DirecTV 36.

For more information, visit Rhode Island PBS.