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Music Bites: Grammy noms for Andy Akiho and Esperanza Spalding; Deanna Tham goes to Paris; Tomás Cotik goes 3D

Akiho's "Sculptures" and Spalding's collaboration with Fred Hersch received multiple nominations, Tham has been selected for an international conductor competition, and Cotik has unveiled a prototype of his new interdisciplinary media project.


Andy Akiho playing Jun Kuneko's 'Ceramic' sculptures. Photo courtesy of Oregon Symphony and the composer.
Andy Akiho playing Jun Kaneko’s ‘Ceramic’ sculptures. Photo courtesy of Oregon Symphony and the composer.

Oregon ArtsWatchers have been alerted to these newsy tidbits:

Oregon will be well represented at the Grammy Awards by Andy Akiho and Esperanza Spalding

Portland-based percussionist and composer Akiho has racked up three Grammy nominations, including best classical instrumental solo for “Cylinders,” best classical compendium for Sculptures along with producer Sean Dixon, and best contemporary classical composition for “in that space, at that time.” All three were played by Akiho with the Oregon Symphony, which co-commissioned the music as well. OAW spoke with Akiho about Sculptures here, and reviewed that performance here.

Bassist and composer Spalding–along with her collaborator, jazz pianist Fred Hersch–received two Grammy nominations. Their recording, Alive At The Village Vanguard was nominated for best jazz vocal album and their song, “But Not For Me” for best jazz performance. Spalding, a multiple Grammy award winner, was born in Portland and resides in Hillsboro and Brooklyn, New York.

The 66th Grammy award ceremony will take place in Los Angeles at the Arena on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.


Deanna Tham, associate conductor of the Oregon Symphony, has been selected to participate in La Maestra International Competition for Women Conductors. Chosen from 197 applicants from 47 countries, Tham is one of fourteen women and the only American who will conduct the Philharmonie de Paris and Paris Mozart Orchestra on March 14-17, 2023. 


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Oregon Symphony Associate Conductor Deanna Tham. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Oregon Symphony Associate Conductor Deanna Tham. Photo courtesy of the artist.


A prototype of a new interdisciplinary media project called Música AR 3D has been released by Tomás Cotik, violinist and associate professor in the PSU’s School of Music & Theater. Música AR 3D is an augmented-reality, three-dimensional method of experiencing classical music via a smartphone. The prototype allows users to walk around Cotik as he plays Spanish Romance and view him from different angles and distances and locations in Portland. In the meantime, Cotik is on sabbatical in Spain as part of his 2023 Fulbright Fellowship. His album of Bach’s Cello Suites (transcribed for violin by Cotik himself) will be released in early 2024.

Violinist Tomás Cotik. Photo courtesy of Portland State University.
Violinist Tomás Cotik. Photo courtesy of Portland State University.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

James Bash enjoys writing for The Oregonian, The Columbian, Classical Voice North America, Opera, and many other publications. He has also written articles for the Oregon Arts Commission and the Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition. He received a fellowship to the 2008 NEA Journalism Institute for Classical Music and Opera, and is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America.

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