New York, I Love You

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Why do so many musicians end up building their careers in New York? The answer may seem obvious, but performers and composers alike flock to the Big Apple for many different reasons. Some are lucky enough to have been born here.

Yungchen Lhamo was born in a labor camp in Chinese-occupied Tibet, and in 1989 she fled the camp and trekked 1,000 miles on foot to India, where her career as a professional a cappella vocalist was about to begin. Although Tibetan singing was banned during the Cultural Revolution, she managed to nurture her talent as a child with the help of her grandmother, and after her escape was even encouraged by the Dalai Lama himself to pursue a musical career. Her unique gift and compelling singing (even her name means goddess of melody and song) has brought her to audiences around the world, but she ended up in New York City, where she chooses to live and make music.

This week, we're listening to an improvisation by Lhamo, performed live in New York Public Radio's  The Greene Space last year. We are also listening to Philip Glass, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Giancarlo Vulcano and Cornelius Dufallo of string quartet ETHEL fame, all of these artists have lived and worked in New York City.


Improvisation No. 1
Yungchen Lhamo
Yungchen Lhamo, vocalist
WNYC Archives

3 x 3, no. 1
Giancarlo Vulcano
Giancarlo Vulcano, guitar
Yvonne Troxler, piano
Romulo Benavides, violin
Enid Blout, clarinet
Innova 688

Cornelius Dufallo
Cantaloupe 21037

City Called Heaven
Angela Brown/Tyron Cooper
Angela Brown, soprano
Tyron Cooper, guitar
Albany 721

Gymnopedie No. 1
Erik Satie
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon 449186

I Travel Alone
Noel Coward
Ian Bostridge, tenor
Jeffrey Tate, piano
Angel/EMI 57374

Preludes, Op. 23
Sergei Rachmaninoff
John Browning, piano
Delos 3044

Men's Songs: Selections
Veljo Tormis
Sofia Soderberg Eberhard, conductor
Svanholm Singers
Toccata Classics 0073

Three Romantic Waltzes
Emmanuel Chabrier
Georges Rabol, piano
Sylvie Dugas, piano
Naxos 553080

Elegy for Violin and String Orchestra
Keith Jarrett
Michelle Makarski, violin
Thomas Crawford, conductor
The Fairfield Orchestra
ECM 1450

Daniel Bernard Roumain, violin
Philip Glass, piano
Thirsty Ear 71792

The Secret Agent
Philip Glass
Elias Arizcuren, conductor
Cello Octet Conjunto Iberico
Orange Mountain Music 0032

Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582
Johann Sebastian Bach
Peter Hurford, organ
London/Decca 443485

Music Knows No Boundaries
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Heads Up 3083