Coming to America Concerto” by Lisa Swerdlow

EP Review by New Age CD and New Age Notes Radio Staff

So much beautiful music was written during the 2020 pandemic lockdowns. “Coming to America Concerto” by Lisa Swerdlow is no exception. This is a poignantly expressive, emotionally evocative EP consisting of 3 separate “Movements,” and about 10 minutes total.

The “Concerto” is dedicated to Lisa’s Jewish grandparents, who immigrated from Russia, and to all immigrants who come to America with hope in their hearts. Lisa was inspired by the enormous amount of courage it must have taken to leave their homeland, cross the ocean, and embark on a totally new life in a new and foreign land.

One emotion that shines through the three pieces, and every note, is immense gratitude for their sacrifices that allowed Lisa to be born here and partake of all the choices and freedoms that America has to offer. I think a lot of us already here can relate to that if we think about it and reflect upon it.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lisa is a pianist and composer of classical crossover, neo-classical and New Age music. Her father played the piano, accordion, and mandolin, and her childhood home was always filled with music. As a natural segue, then, she began studying classical piano at the age of six, and by age sixteen she was writing and performing songs on both piano and guitar. She went on to study music theory and composition at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods.

This beautiful EP opens with “Home of My Ancestors,” which sets the stage perfectly for the next two movements. This piece tells the story of life in the Jewish villages and ghettos of Russia in the late 19th and early 20th century with all its ups and downs. We can literally feel the inspiring resilience and spirit of these people.

I should say that before I knew what the EP was about, I had a good listen, and more than once, as there was something quite stirring about it. I was initially struck by the sheer beauty, elegance, and grace of Lisa’s piano playing and the accompanying string instrumentation and orchestration (clarinet, cello, flute, oboe, and violin). But when you know what this “Concerto” is about, you realize that it truly is magnificent artistry in all regards.

In the second movement, “The Crossing,” Lisa has flawlessly captured and conveyed the gamut of emotions that must have been present for these immigrants while on the boat coming over here. We, here, who have never endured such, can only imagine what those conditions must have been like. But we can feel so much of that voyage through this music. This is passionate and emotional. As well, the piece has a decidedly dreamy quality to it, which makes it just exquisite.

“The Arrival” is the final movement, which is brimming with anticipation and hope. This, again, is truly outstanding. Gently cinematic and expansive, with gorgeous, flowing piano, percussion, and strings, we can feel the excitement building as the magnificent Statue of Liberty welcomes them and the reality of their new life is upon them.

So very beautiful, I would venture to say this is Lisa’s finest work yet. Bravo.

Be sure to watch the video concert here:

Video concert:

Recorded at Piano Haven Studio, in Sedona, AZ

Engineered by Joe Bongiorno

Orchestrated by Doug Hammer

Mastered at Dreamworld Productions

The album is available in various formats including physical CD, digital download, and streaming worldwide.

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Public relations: The B Company

For more information contact:

Windy Campbell

The B Company
(804) 314-0205

[email protected]