Brahms v. Radiohead

Special Event

Valentine Theatre

March 7, 2020

Concert Time: 8:00 pm

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Steve Hackman, conductor
Andrew Lipke, vocalist
Kéren Tayar, vocalist
Bill Prokopow, vocalist

Airbag/Introduction
Brahms 1st Movement Exposition
Paranoid Android
Brahms 1st Movement Recap
Karma Police
Brahms 1st Movement Coda
Subterranean Homesick Alien
Brahms 2nd Movement Beginning
No Surprises
Brahms 2nd Movement Ending
Brahms 3rd Movement Beginning
Let Down 
Brahms 3rd Movement End
Brahms 4th Movement Intro
Exit Music (For A Film)
Brahms 4th Movement Exposition
Electioneering
Brahms 4th Movement Coda

Radiohead’s landmark OK Computer goes even deeper when eight tracks – including Paranoid Android, Karma Police, No Surprises, and Let Down – are seamlessly interwoven with Brahms’ lush First Symphony. The Toledo Symphony is joined by vocalists and arranger/conductor Steve Hackman in this not-to-be-missed exploration of what happens when two masterpieces from two different centuries are fused together.

Note: Radiohead and Brahms do not appear on this performance.

Media sponsor is Toledo City Paper.

Musical visionary of incomparable gifts, Steve Hackman is a daring voice leading the charge among a new generation of classical musicians intent on redefining the genre. Equally adept in classical and popular forms, his breadth of musical fluency and technique is uncanny – he is at once a composer, conductor, producer, DJ, arranger, songwriter, singer, pianist, and even rapper. He uses those wide-ranging abilities to create ingenious hybrid compositions that blur the lines between high and pop art and challenge our very definitions thereof.

Hackman’s unique style of musical metamorphosis sees modern musical techniques applied to the classical repertoire and vice versa. The result is evocative hybrid works that are both derivative yet wholly original. He synthesizes Brahms and Radiohead, Bartók and Björk, and Tchaikovsky and Drake into epic orchestral tone-poems; re-imagines Stravinsky and Shostakovich into original orchestral-electronic concept albums; samples Verdi and Debussy and interpolates them into hip-hop tracks; writes songs with hidden melodies of Beethoven embedded.

His performances of these pieces have surprised and thrilled diverse sellout audiences across the country, including with the orchestras of Seattle, Pittsburgh, the Boston Pops, Nashville, Oregon, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Columbus, Charlotte, Florida, Alabama, and the Colorado Music Festival.

In May of 2018 Hackman’s dream of assembling an orchestra of like-minded, creative virtuosos became a reality with the debut concert of STEREO HIDEOUT: BROOKLYN at the Kings Theatre. Of the evening’s main piece Brahms V. Radiohead, Grammy.com wrote, “Hackman re-composed and compiled something so creative and special yet so natural and real.” Stereo Hideout is a hand-picked ensemble of the crème de la crème of young classical musicians in New York City, many of whom are multi-genre composers, arrangers, songwriters, and musical disruptors themselves. Their concerts will continue to feature Hackman’s hybrid and original works, guest artists, as well as showcase projects of the orchestra members.

Upcoming engagements for Hackman include debuts with the Colorado Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic, as well as returns to Seattle, Oregon, Nashville, Indianapolis and others. In October he will debut his newest creation, West Side X West Side, an orchestral/hip-hop synthesis of Bernstein’s West Side Story and the music of West Coast rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Ice Cube, Warren G, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

On January 25, 2018, Hackman premiered his choral treatment of Bob Dylan, a fifteen-song, 70-minute anthology entitled The Times They Are A-Changin’ with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. The piece was commissioned by six American choirs. In March 2018, he performed Brahms V. Radiohead in Lakeland and Fort Myers, Florida, and Tchaikovsky V. Drake with the Nashville Symphony. He began 2018 with Brahms V. Radiohead at the Oregon Symphony, and later in the month released the new STEREO HIDEOUT album The Gates Unknown, which features a full orchestra of musicians from Hackman’s alma mater Curtis Institute of Music, as well as Louisville-based artist and rapper 1200.

In June 2017, Hackman made his debut with the Boston Pops, conducting four concerts of a program titled “Beatles & Beyond.” He returned to the Pittsburgh Symphony for a concert later in June and premiered his latest mashup with the Colorado Music Festival in July, titled Mashupalooza––a trip through an imaginary music festival where both classical and popular artists perform together.

From 2015-2017, Hackman served as creative director and conductor of FUSE@PSO, a genre-defying series at the Pittsburgh Symphony that has introduced the symphony and its repertoire to thousands of new listeners. The series has received accolades from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Quarterly magazine, Whirl magazine, Table magazine, Next Pittsburgh and Made in PGH. On March 8, 2017, KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today Live led with the story “Pittsburgh Symphony’s FUSE Series getting rave reviews.” On March 22, 2017, Hackman led the Pittsburgh Symphony in a sold-out concert of his Tchaikovsky V. Drake. Hackman’s work as an artistic innovator was recently recognized by an invitation to speak at the TedX Conference.

From 2013 to 2015, Hackman was music director of the “Mash-Up” series at the Colorado Music Festival. From 2009 to 2013, Hackman served as co-creative director of the Happy Hour at the Symphony Series with the Indianapolis Symphony, where, along with co-artistic directors Time for Three, he pioneered a new type of concert experience by producing, arranging/composing and conducting compelling presentations that blended classical with pop. Hackman served as the music director of Time for Three from 2011-2012, and has collaborated closely with the group for nearly a decade, producing two of their albums and penning over fifty arrangements, orchestrations and compositions.

In 2014, Hackman released the debut STEREO HIDEOUT album The Radio Nouveau along with several music videos. The album was mixed in London by Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Depeche Mode) and mastered in Brooklyn by Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors). The follow-up album Down with the Classics (a mixtape introduction to classical music), was co-produced by Grammy-nominated producer Good Guy Dez (Big Sean, will.I.am, Juicy J, Meek Mill, Kid Cudi, King Los, Puff Daddy), and features thirteen songs, all of which sample a different classical composer and layer melodies and raps over top.

Successful as a composer and arranger, Hackman’s work includes pieces for ensembles and artists as diverse as the string trio Time for Three, violinist Joshua Bell, and choral ensembles Chanticleer and The Tallis Scholars. His orchestrations for artists like Time for Three, The Five Browns, Michael Cavanaugh, My Brightest Diamond, Arlo Guthrie, Aoife O’Donovan and Joshua Radin have been performed by nearly all the major orchestras in America. Hackman is a frequent contributor to From the Top.

Hackman was a four-year member, producer and musical director of the a cappella group The Other Guys at the University of Illinois, a group that under his direction placed runner-up in the International Competition of Collegiate Acapella at Avery Fisher Hall. He is a prolific songwriter, having written hundreds of songs and releasing several albums of original music. His song “The Pendulum Song” was chosen among tens of thousands as a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, and he has also received honorable mention in the Billboard songwriting competition. In season seven of American Idol, Hackman was one of 164 contestants chosen from more than 150,000 to attend Hollywood Week. He finished in the top 64.

Hackman studied counterpoint, composition and improvisation under his mentor Dr. Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He received an advance diploma in conducting at Curtis under Otto-Werner Mueller and studied subsequently with David Zinman at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. He received further training in orchestration from the prolific Broadway orchestrator and composer William Brohn (Miss Saigon, Wicked, Ragtime and countless others). His undergraduate degree is in piano performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Gustavo Romero. He served as the assistant conductor of the Reading Symphony for two seasons, where he led subscription, family, education and New Year’s Eve programs.

Hackman is active on social media under the handle @stevehackmanmusic, and many of the pieces referred to here can be watched in their entirety on YouTube via the @stereohideout channel.

Philadelphia based, South African born Lipke, moved to Philadelphia to pursue a degree in composition at The University of The Arts and has since gone on to become a critically-acclaimed and sought-after composer, performer, arranger, producer, and educator. Andrew is driven by a passion to find the common ground between disparate styles of music, and his career reflects this. He has performed with and composed/arranged for several prominent American orchestras and ensembles such as The Aizuri Quartet (The Curtis Institute string quartet-in-residence), Indianapolis Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, among others. He has produced dozens of records for local and regional artists and released five solo albums. In 2010, Andrew formed the Azrael String Quartet to perform music he had written for his album The Plague which upon release was named one of 2011’s 50 best albums by Philadelphia Weekly. Through his involvement with the Philadelphia based non-profit LiveConnections, Andrew has collaborated with several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and other prominent musicians to create cross-genre presentations for young people highlighting the transformative and boundary-crossing nature of music.

The field of music is a vast exploration for Kéren. She "sang before she could speak," and grew up in a multicultural environment where Western and Eastern musics were celebrated and influential. At the age of seven, Kéren began her musical theater career performing on some of New York City’s prominent stages. As she entered her teen years, Kéren picked up the guitar, which opened doors in the worlds of songwriting and accompaniment, and allowed for her musical palette to expand into new territories. During her years studying at the Berklee College of Music, Kéren was featured in many of the school’s major showcases, and could frequently be found in the studio late into the night, working on various albums, recording projects, and commercial jingles.

Kéren ventured to the West Coast soon after her studies to work with renowned music industry personnel, and recorded her debut album Bliss Point with her band, Jungle Fires. As her career continues to develop and expand, Kéren enjoys collaborations with a variety of artists and producers and also tours and performs around the world. Since 2015, Kéren has been working with Steve Hackman on various projects including his mash-up series, performing in the Brahms vs. Radiohead program, as well as in the Copland vs. Bon Iver program. Through these works, she has been honored to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, and many others. 

After Kéren's initiation into meditation practices and healing modalities, she began to use her musical skill-set to accompany and deepen her practices, working with soundscape design, voice, indigenous/world instruments, singing bowls, and more. 

Kéren looks forward to continuing her exploration of music and sound as a means for connection, community, and healing. In her upcoming endeavor, Kéren will release her original compositions and arrangements for the first time as a solo artist in a new project. (Follow @kerensound for info!) 

It is with deep gratitude and that Kéren shares her gifts.

Known for his beautiful compositions, soaring vocals, and out-of-this-world projection mapped live shows, Bill Prokopow is a true musical tour-de-force. Prokopow has been writing and performing music since he was six years old and through the decades he has honed his taste and talents in nearly every way, from orchestras to a cappella groups, Warped Tour to Carnegie Hall, and everywhere in between.

Under the pseudonym “Will Post” Bill creates mind-bending live shows using projection mapped visuals that feel like a modern day Fantasia—taking audiences through a fully-immersive visual and sonic journey of the soul. The genesis album for this concept, “Panthenon” won the Independent Music Award’s first prize in the Concept Album category in 2015.

As a highly in-demand performer, Prokopow has had the honor of being a featured soloist with some of the top orchestras in the US, including the symphonies of San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Nashville, and Oregon.

He also is a prolific composer, collaborator, and award-winning arranger. His instrumental compositions can be heard in movies, TV shows, and trailers all over the world. As a producer and performer, he was a founding member of the chip tune-based rock band I Fight Dragons and has mixed songs for many artists over a wide spectrum of genres including Chance the Rapper, I Fight Dragons, Dana Williams, Elijah Noll, Roy English, and many others.

Bill feels most at home when combining his classical sensibilities with the ethos of the current moment, creating work that serves the now and launches itself into the future, toward eternity.

Instagram: @prokopow

Listen to the full playlist on Spotify!

Check out this video of Steve Hackman's BRAHMS V. RADIOHEAD: An orchestral synthesis of the Brahms 1st Symphony and Radiohead's 'OK Computer.'

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