Classical Music

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  • Just in: Jordi Savall refuses Spain’s National Music Prize

    Slipped Disc
    norman lebrecht
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:12 am
    The venerable early music pioneer hates the Government’s culture policies and tells them so in a letter (below), accusing Madrid of ‘dramatic disinterest and gross incompetence in the defense and promotion of the arts and their creators’. The prize carries 30,000 Euros and great prestige. Jordi, 73 (pictured left), is not bothered by such things.     30 de octubre de 2014 Sr. José Ignacio Wert Ministro de Educación, Cultura y Deportes Gobierno de España Distinguido Sr. Wert, Distinguidos Señores del Jurado del Premio Nacional de Música 2014, Recibir la noticia…
  • National airs and graces

    The Naxos Blog
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    One of the side discussions during the Scottish independence referendum held last month focused on what that country’s national anthem might be, should the majority vote to separate from the United Kingdom. Following the outcome of the referendum, the question became redundant. It got me thinking, however, about the anthems of three European nations in particular – Britain, France and Germany – and how they keep popping up in works by classical composers. If you need a reminder as to how they sound, click on the country’s name to activate the audio link: Britain  (8.225357)…
  • Nightafternight playlist for Halloween

    Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
    Alex Ross
    28 Oct 2014 | 8:58 am
    — Ustvolskaya, Violin Sonata, Clarinet Trio, Duet; Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Markus Hinterhäuser, Reto Bieri (ECM) — Milhaud, L'Orestie d'Eschyle; Lori Phillips, Dan Kempson, Sidney Outlaw, Sophie Delphis, Brenda Rae, Tamara Mumford, Jennifer Lane, Julianna Di Giacomo, Kristin Eder, with Kenneth Kiesler conducting the University of Michigan Symphony, University Choir, Orpheus Singers, and UMS Choral Union (Naxos) — áltaVoz: works of Felipe Lara, José Luis Hurtado, Mauricio Pauly, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann; JACK Quartet (New Focus) — Andrew McIntosh, Symmetry Etudes,…
  • Lorin’s fond farewell: streamed live tomorrow

    Slipped Disc
    norman lebrecht
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:22 am
    Click here at 1230 EST (1730 Europe) tomorrow.    
  • Weighing in on Suzuki

    Musical Assumptions
    28 Oct 2014 | 10:05 am
    The latest discussions about whether or not Shinichi Suzuki fictionalized his credentials as a violinist makes more sense after watching this film clip:Here's the blog post that started the current ruckus, and a response from 2013 to O'Connor's earlier blog post. I should mention that there are many excellent alternatives to the Suzuki method, and there are excellent ones that are available for free in the IMSLP. I have always believed that it is the teacher and not the method that makes for a successful musical experience.
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  • A Violin Concerto Back From Beyond The Grave

    Nina Totenberg
    30 Oct 2014 | 1:46 am
    After composer Robert Schumann died, his Violin Concerto languished in a library — until a grandniece of the man he wrote it for got out her Ouija board.» E-Mail This
  • Just Who Is This Opera Star Singing At The World Series Tonight?

    Anastasia Tsioulcas
    29 Oct 2014 | 1:39 pm
    Joyce DiDonato — a Kansas native and lifelong Royals fan — happens to be one of the world's greatest opera singers. Here's what makes her so extraordinary.» E-Mail This
  • Ghosts In The Music: A Spooky Songs Quiz

    Tom Huizenga
    29 Oct 2014 | 5:03 am
    Think you know your musical ghouls and ghosts? From country and classical to rock and jazz, try this hair-raising Halloween puzzler.» E-Mail This
  • Maya Beiser Shreds The Cello

    NPR Staff
    26 Oct 2014 | 2:01 pm
    Beiser gives some of her favorite rock and blues numbers a modern cello workover on her new album, Uncovered.» E-Mail This
  • Danish String Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

    Tom Huizenga
    25 Oct 2014 | 5:03 am
    The Danish String Quartet doesn't live on Brahms and Beethoven alone. Watch the versatile group play Danish folk tunes, from centuries-old Fanø wedding dances to traditional Roskilde reels.» E-Mail This
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    Slipped Disc

  • Just in: Jordi Savall refuses Spain’s National Music Prize

    norman lebrecht
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:12 am
    The venerable early music pioneer hates the Government’s culture policies and tells them so in a letter (below), accusing Madrid of ‘dramatic disinterest and gross incompetence in the defense and promotion of the arts and their creators’. The prize carries 30,000 Euros and great prestige. Jordi, 73 (pictured left), is not bothered by such things.     30 de octubre de 2014 Sr. José Ignacio Wert Ministro de Educación, Cultura y Deportes Gobierno de España Distinguido Sr. Wert, Distinguidos Señores del Jurado del Premio Nacional de Música 2014, Recibir la noticia…
  • Exclusive: Berlin Philharmonic fixes date for music director vote

    norman lebrecht
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:02 am
    We hear from several trustworthy sources that the orchestra wants to get on with making an appointment. Although Simon Rattle remains music director until the summer of 2018, the players want to end speculation and will announce a decision in the middle of May. Given the paucity of available top flight candidates, that somewhat limits their options. They could go for a short-term appointment, such as Daniel Barenboim, who has indicated he would be available to hold the fort for 3-4 years. Or they could take the plunge and start negotiating to release their chosen one early from his present…
  • Just in: Carnegie Hall launches free streaming

    norman lebrecht
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:37 am will run Carnegie’s first live stream next week – a Joyce DiDonato recital, on Tuesday. The broadcast will be free, both in the live version and on-demand for 90 days. There will be three further Carnegie streams: Anne-Sophie Mutter (Nov 18), Leonidas Kavakos/Yuja Wang (Nov 22) and Daniil Trifonov (Dec 9). That’s right, folks: it’s free.
  • Met parts company with its press director

    norman lebrecht
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:25 am
    The Metropolitan Opera is parting company with Peter E. Clark, director of its ineffectual press office. Clark is taking early retirement in March after 30 years at the Met. Never a proactive press director, he is not personally to blame for the company’s negative media profile.   His departure is unlikely to get the Met off the world’s worst press offices list.
  • Lorin’s fond farewell: streamed live tomorrow

    norman lebrecht
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:22 am
    Click here at 1230 EST (1730 Europe) tomorrow.    
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  • What’s Your Child Policy?

    Drew McManus
    30 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    Yesterday’s post about the MTT situation at the New World Symphony prompted a number of direct replies from arts mangers who were all quite keen to share a wide variety of anecdotes and most took the time to mention their respective organization’s child policy (or lack thereof), all of which made me curious to know more as I’ve never seen any sort of field-wide survey (if you know of one, I’d love to see it). To that end, today’s post is a trio of queries: Does your organization encourage parents to bring children to all and/or certain types/series of events?
  • Okay, Let’s Talk About MTT

    Drew McManus
    29 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    In case you’ve been buried under a mountain of work lately, you’ve probably seen the hubbub surrounding Michael Tilson Thomas’ (MTT) encounter with a mother and eight year old child during a 10/17/2014 performance with the New World Symphony. In short, there’s plenty of talk about whether MTT acted appropriately and accounts of the actual event vary depending on which source you read. The story originally broke in the South Florida Classical Review and there’s another good post about it by Brian Wise in the 10/22/2014 WQXR blog. But in the end, the lesson for…
  • Atlanta Musicians Offer Last Minute Counter Proposal

    Drew McManus
    28 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    There are mixed reports in mainstream media about a revised counter-proposal from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association (ASOPA) eleventh hour counterproposal to their employer’s 10/27/2014 4:00pm ET deadline to accept an offer that contained a clause guaranteeing management the right to set the number of full time musicians as they see fit as opposed to certifying a fixed minimum number. According to an article by Howard Pousner in the 10/27/2014 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the ASOPA amended their offer from 10/23/2014 from defining a minimum number…
  • Expect More Cancellations In Atlanta

    Drew McManus
    27 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    After three weeks of mediated negotiations, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO)/Woodruff Arts Center (WAC) are no closer to an agreement with their musicians than before they locked them out on 9/7/2014. According to an article by Jenny Jarvie in the 10/24/2014 edition of, the WAC remains firmly entrenched, failing to modify their previous offer while a press statement from the musicians indicates that have offered concessions from previous proposals on health care benefits and salary. Currently, talks have broken down following the WAC’s decision to attach a deadline for…
  • Here’s Hoping Some Good Comes From All Of The Klinghoffer Hoopla

    Drew McManus
    24 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    The opening night for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of The Death of Klinghoffer came and went. The protesters dissented and few even attempted to disrupt the performance albeit, fortunately, to no avail. If nothing else, the media storm attached to this particular performance will hopefully serve as the high water mark for John Adams’ embattled work and from here on out, protests will drift away to nothing more than occasional “remember when” style musings. If you’re looking for a good overview of not only the opening night but some insightful commentary on…
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  • Hindustani Music: The Four-Syllable Darling and Text Setting in Hindi

    Reena Esmail
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:06 am
    Learning Hindi in its written and sung forms simultaneously has been revealing in so many ways. Little idiosyncracies I would have otherwise missed in the language are illuminated through song.
  • Intense, Hardworking and Fun Loving—Remembering Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)

    Libby Larsen
    28 Oct 2014 | 10:08 am
    Steve was tremendously disciplined. He composed every day, whether he wanted to or not. He completed everything he started. You could count on him for advice. He gave me the best financial advice of my professional life when he said “Just envision the amount of money you will need next year, believe it, and it will be there.” He was right.
  • ACF Announces 2014 JFund Awardees

    NewMusicBox Staff
    27 Oct 2014 | 2:12 pm
    The American Composers Forum (ACF) has announced that twelve new music projects have been awarded grants through the Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund).
  • Disposable Spaces, Plastic Music

    Emily Green
    27 Oct 2014 | 7:45 am
    We mostly listen to recorded music, and we likely hear it alone—in a car, through headphones, maybe through a set of speakers at home. This kind of listening space is simultaneously ephemeral—in that it is fundamentally malleable—and monumental—in that its infinite repeatability aspires to cultural permanence.
  • We Are Sitting In (Another) Room: Improv with Architecture

    Molly Sheridan
    24 Oct 2014 | 7:21 am
    Today marks the 40th anniversary of Nicolas Collins’s Pea Soup, a piece that uses electronics to “play” the signature acoustics of a space. In honor of that milestone, Collins today unveils Pea Soup To Go, a free virtual jukebox programed with recordings of 70 different versions of the work.
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    Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

  • Nightafternight playlist for Halloween

    Alex Ross
    28 Oct 2014 | 8:58 am
    — Ustvolskaya, Violin Sonata, Clarinet Trio, Duet; Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Markus Hinterhäuser, Reto Bieri (ECM) — Milhaud, L'Orestie d'Eschyle; Lori Phillips, Dan Kempson, Sidney Outlaw, Sophie Delphis, Brenda Rae, Tamara Mumford, Jennifer Lane, Julianna Di Giacomo, Kristin Eder, with Kenneth Kiesler conducting the University of Michigan Symphony, University Choir, Orpheus Singers, and UMS Choral Union (Naxos) — áltaVoz: works of Felipe Lara, José Luis Hurtado, Mauricio Pauly, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann; JACK Quartet (New Focus) — Andrew McIntosh, Symmetry Etudes,…
  • Tomoko Fukui

    Alex Ross
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:50 pm
    Gaku Yamada obtains some astonishing sounds from the guitar in Fukui's color song III.
  • New Soper

    Alex Ross
    27 Oct 2014 | 4:58 pm
    Kate Soper's The Understanding of All Things, on a Kafka text. Wet Ink, which is currently on tour in Germany, will perform the piece in New York in December.
  • Rodzinski's home movies

    Alex Ross
    26 Oct 2014 | 12:42 pm
    Via the invaluable site Composers Doing Normal Shit, here are remarkable home movies taken by the conductor Artur Rodzinski in the early and mid-nineteen thirties. They have been uploaded to YouTube by his grandson, the film composer Xander Rodzinski. The parade of celebrities includes Clemens Krauss, Richard Strauss, Vladimir Horowitz, Leopold Stokowski, George Gershwin, William Andrews Clark, Jr. (founder of the LA Phil), Maurice Ravel, Serge Koussevitzky, Arthur Lourié, Franz Schreker, and Karol Szymanowski (seen at home in Zakopane). Olin Downes, the longtime chief music critic of the…
  • New on the shelf

    Alex Ross
    24 Oct 2014 | 9:58 am
    The latest from Mark Berry.
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  • Gnarwhallaby in Concert at Boston Court Pasadena

    Paul Muller
    15 Oct 2014 | 9:26 pm
    The friendly confines of Boston Court in Pasadena was the venue for a concert by Los Angeles-based gnarwhallaby on Saturday, October 4, 2014. The quartet appeared complete with their trademark rock-solid playing and black jumpsuits for the performance of six pieces by European and American composers of new music. The concert opened with Euphorium (1995-96) by the Czech composer Martin Smolka. This featured Matt Barbier on euphonium and Brian Walsh on baritone saxophone. Combined with the piano and cello this produced a wonderfully robust bass line and a big sound that bounced and jumped…
  • Experimental Sound Practices Concert at Cal Arts

    Paul Muller
    10 Oct 2014 | 11:35 am
    On Friday October 3, 2014 Cal Arts opened the WaveCave, a new experimental sound installation space and hosted a reunion concert by alumni on campus at the Roy O. Disney Music Hall. The WaveCave occupies a room just off the lobby of the concert hall and is intended to be a permanent venue for sound art installation. The space will be filled with Experimental Sound Practices alumni works for the Fall of 2014 with current student works premiering in 2015. Zephyrs, a sound installation by Mark Trayle is the initial work to appear in the WaveCave and included three separate assemblies consisting…
  • ETHEL Celebrates 10 Years of Grand Canyon Residency

    Jerry Bowles
    7 Oct 2014 | 7:43 am
      At Window Rock: ETHEL’s Kip Jones, dear friend James Bilagody, Jesse and Fiona Sherman. For the past decade, the nationally acclaimed string quartet ETHEL has served as the Ensemble-in-Residence of the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP). To date, ETHEL’s residency has impacted almost 18,000 students, premiered over 150 works by Native American children, and touched more than 15 schools throughout Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. For about three weeks, the quartet conducts intense, one-on-one tutorial sessions, readings and…
  • Outside of music — On the role of the audience

    Steve Layton
    1 Oct 2014 | 2:45 pm
    [Editor's note: Samuel Vriezen is a brilliant Dutch composer, performer, poet, polymath... oh, let's just say the list goes on. I've known Samuel -- online, at least -- for the better part of 15 years now, following his artistic and aesthetic progression, getting into stimulating conversations and sharp smack-downs along the way. Just the other day Samuel approached me with an essay that he'd been working on, that he felt might be ready for a wider audience through a place like S21. Of course I immediately agreed; Samuel has one of the sharpest minds I know, and whatever rolls around and…
  • ensemble: Périphérie – Morris, MN, 9/23/14

    Wes Flinn
    29 Sep 2014 | 8:13 pm
    (image source ensemble: Périphérie) A common theme in my reviews is that new music is what and where you make it. ensemble: Périphérie ascribes to the same philosophy. The group, founded in 2010 by composers Luke Dahn and Joseph Dangerfield, contains performers from all over the United States; they get together a few times a year for a week of intense rehearsals and a short tour. Make no mistake, though; while the rehearsal time may be brief, these musicians are skilled and the performances are high-quality. The group started its Fall 2014 tour at the University of Minnesota Morris, where…
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    Classical Performance Podcast

  • The Parker Quartet Plays Dvorák

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    28 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The Parker String Quartet performs Dvorák in the Fraser Performance Studio *** Antonin Dvorák: String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 51 The Parker String Quartet: Daniel Chong, violin; Karen Kim, violin; Jessica Bodner, viola; Kee-Hyun Kim, cello +++ Recorded at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on June 6, 2008 © 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation (photo of the Parker Quartet by Jamie Jung)
  • Beethoven from H+H

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    8 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Handel and Haydn Society Trio performs Beethoven in the Fraser Performance Studio *** Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Trio No. 5 in D, Op. 70, No. 1 Members of the Handel and Haydn Society: Susanna Ogata, violin; Guy Fishman, cello; Ian Watson, fortepiano +++ Recorded at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on June 5, 2012 © 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation
  • Markus Schirmer and A Far Cry

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Markus Schirmer and A Far Cry play Mozart in the Fraser Performance Studio *** Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K.414 Markus Schirmer, piano; A Far Cry +++ Recorded at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on May 20, 2009 © 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation photo of Markus Schirmer by BIG SHOT/Christian Jungwirth, courtesy of the artist
  • Kirill Gerstein Plays Weber

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    18 Aug 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Kiril Gerstein plays Weber in the Fraser Performance Studio *** Carl Maria von Weber: Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 Kiril Gerstein, piano +++ Recorded at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on March 26, 2012 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation
  • Hadelich Plays Ysaÿe and Kreisler

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Augustin Hadelich plays Ysaye and Kreisler in our WGBH Studios *** Eugene Ysaye: Sonata No. 4 in E minor, “Kreisler” Augustin Hadelich, violin Fritz Kreisler: Caprice Viennois Augustin Hadelich, violin; Philip Fisher, piano +++ Recorded at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on November 16, 2012 and April 12, 2007 © 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation
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  • Levine's Full Docket

    30 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    After a testing-the-waters return season last year, Music Director James Levine now embarks on a jam-packed 2014–15 schedule of six operas, three Met Orchestra concerts, and a pair of recitals with the Met Chamber Ensemble.
  • Power, Perfection and Natural Artistry

    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Violinist Lisa Batiashvili's virtuosity, curiosity, and musical passions together make her the perfect choice to be this year's Philharmonic Artist-in-Residence.
  • Troy Schumacher on His First Work For City Ballet

    10 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    "I have no idea what it's going to be like and I love that," says Troy Schumacher, speaking ahead of a milestone: the debut of his first ballet created for NYCB, which premiered at the Company's Fall Gala performance on September 23.
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  • Cassandra takes wing

    29 Oct 2014 | 6:02 am
    In today's Independent, my interview with the young choreographer Ludovic Ondiviela and Royal Ballet rising star Olivia Cowley about the new ballet Cassandra, opening tomorrow at the Linbury. I watched a rehearsal and it was shaping up to be fascinating stuff, and pretty harrowing.
  • Who is your favourite British contemporary composer II?

    28 Oct 2014 | 1:14 am
    I've been awake half the night remembering all the composers I didn't include in the poll of 12 British contemporary composers, so this morning I've added a second group featuring another 12. You can vote once IN EACH GROUP and you have until 3 Nov to vote in Group 1 and until 4 Nov to vote in Group II. It could be that a third group will materialise too at this rate. Then we could have a run-off at the end.YOU SEE WHAT FABULOUS COMPOSERS WE HAVE IN THE UK TODAY?

    27 Oct 2014 | 11:52 am
    I love my colleagues at BBC Music Magazine very, very much. In their latest poll, together with the TV programme Countryfile, they've had a little poll to find the nation's favourite British composer. Result: [surpriiiiiiise!] Edward Elgar.There was one teensyweeensy problem with this poll, which was that there was nobody on the list who was not dead, white, English and male. Well, except Delius, who was German by family heritage. So here in the sidebar, just as a fun little exercise to help Ricki & Cosi get a pawndle on their rapidly forming musical tastes, is a JDCMB Alternative…
  • Meet the Kelemen Quartet - tomorrow!

    25 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    This is the multiple-award-winning Kelemen Quartet - led by the Hungarian violinist Barnabas Kelemen, with Katalin Kokas (aka Mrs Kelemen) second violin - who are in London this weekend and will be doing a Wigmore Hall coffee concert tomorrow morning at 11.30am. In the afternoon, at 4pm, I'll be at the Amati Exhibition at the Lansdowne Club to interview them all for the audience about life - and love - in a string quartet. Above, they play Tchaikovsky at the Kelemen's festival in Hungary, Kaposfest in Kaposvár.Do come and join us chez Amati for a stimulating afternoon surrounded by wonderful…
  • Pinky

    25 Oct 2014 | 2:38 am
    I caught Pinchas Zukerman for a chat when he was in town giving masterclasses at Cadogan Hall not long ago. He is a mesmerising person on stage, holding forth to the audience and students alike with his memories and anecdotes about the great musicians with whom he studied, and the youngsters who were playing to him seemed to be lapping up his every word. The violin's history is aural, in more ways than one: this is how its traditions, secrets and marvels are passed down most effectively. “My teacher, Ivan Galamian, used to say that if it sounds good, you feel good,” Zukerman told us all.
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    Classical Music Features from Minnesota Public Radio

  • Regional Spotlight: NES (Nerd Enhanced Sound)

    30 Oct 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Video game music from one of the Twin Cities' newest and most exciting bands, Nerd Enhanced Sound is in this week's Regional Spotlight.
  • National Lutheran Choir to premiere new work about finding hope and peace amidst dementia

    30 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    As he watched his father in the last stages of dementia, Tim Schmidt, who sings second bass for the National Lutheran Choir, would play Thad Fiscella's Ivory Hymn on the piano nearly every day. Schmidt could see in his father's eyes that the piece would help bring his father back to the present moment, causing him to rise in his chair.
  • Top Score: Super Marcato Brothers

    30 Oct 2014 | 8:50 am
    Karl and Will Brueggemann, known as the Super Marcato Brothers, live and breathe retro video games. They compose original and game-inspired music, often playing a number of instruments in the tracks.
  • Introducing the Minneapolis Music Company

    29 Oct 2014 | 12:50 pm
    Mischa Santora, former associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, is the artistic director of a new ensemble in the Twin Cities. The Minneapolis Music Company opens its new season this week.
  • The science of sleep: How relaxing music works

    29 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    Scientists have found that music can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity; decrease anxiety, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate; and possibly have positive effects on sleep in regards to muscle relaxation and distraction from vexing thoughts.
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  • Briefly Noted: Scarlatti the Younger

    Charles T. Downey
    30 Oct 2014 | 1:59 pm
    D. Scarlatti, Stabat mater (inter alia), Vox Luminis (re-released on June 24, 2014) Ricercar RIC258 | 61'42" Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) now is known mostly for his bite-size keyboard sonatas, mostly composed when he worked for crowned heads in Portugal and Spain. However, like his father, Alessandro, Scarlatti filius also composed sacred music, including for the period in
  • Briefly Noted: Ott and Tristano

    Charles T. Downey
    29 Oct 2014 | 1:50 pm
    Stravinsky, Rite of Spring (and other music for two pianos), A. S. Ott, F. Tristano (released on September 9, 2014) DG 4793541 | 61'42" What has happened to the Yellow Label? The distinctive logo of Deutsche Grammophon, the home of Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, used to be a standard that meant seriousness of content. Since the absorption of the company by Universal Music
  • Belcea Quartet @ Shriver Hall

    Charles T. Downey
    28 Oct 2014 | 5:34 pm
    Beethoven, String Quartets, Belcea Quartet (Zig Zag, 2014) Schubert, "Rosamunde" Quartet (inter alia), Belcea Quartet (EMI, 2009) The Belcea Quartet contributed to one of the more memorable concerts of my listening life, with tenor Ian Bostridge at the Library of Congress in 2006. Between that time and their 2013 performances at the Schubertiade Festival in Schwarzenberg, the group had a
  • La Plus Que Douce

    Charles T. Downey
    27 Oct 2014 | 1:43 pm
    This review is an Ionarts exclusive. French pianist Adam Laloum came onto my radar when he won the Clara Haskil Competition in 2009. His Washington debut came on Friday night at the French Embassy, in a concert that paired Schumann's Études Symphoniques with Schubert's magisterial sonata in B-flat major, D. 960. Laloum plays with subtle finesse, concerned with minute details of musical phrasing
  • Perchance to Stream: Ten Years Old Edition

    Charles T. Downey
    26 Oct 2014 | 10:22 am
    Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to online audio and online video from the week gone by. After clicking to an audio or video stream, you may need to press the "Play" button to start the broadcast. Some of these streams become unavailable after a few days. From the Summer Opera Festival in Munich, a performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo, recorded last July in the Prinzregententheater,
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    The Rambler

  • Hear me talk at the Red Gallery, 23 October

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:08 am
    This Thursday, as part of the Nonclassical 10th anniversary celebrations/We Break Strings book launch, I’ll be joining some very fine people in a panel discussion on the new music scene at the Red Gallery, Shoreditch. Details all on the flyer above. Do come along – it should be lively.  Filed under: Music Tagged: nonclassical
  • Back from the RNCM, with love

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    2 Oct 2014 | 8:50 am
    It was a real pleasure to talk yesterday at the Royal Northern College of Music on the subject of contemporary music history. I don’t know what attendance is usually like for these events, but there were people standing at the back and sitting on the floor at the front, so I couldn’t have been happier … Continue reading →
  • On the latest issue of Tempo

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:21 am
      The October 2014 issue of Tempo has just dropped through the door, I think the fifth since its editorship passed from Malcolm Macdonald to Bob Gilmore last year. And it’s another good one: Gilmore is doing great stuff there. In his editorial he notes that one of the things he wanted to do with Tempo upon taking over was … Continue reading →
  • Help fund the first Heather Roche composition competition

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    16 Sep 2014 | 2:39 am
    Clarinetist Heather Roche is crowdsourcing a brand new composition competition. Heather is one of the hardest working young players in the business, and most people involved in new music – particularly in central and northern Europe – will know her for her dedication and enthusiasm for creating new repertory, as well as her talents as a player. (If you’re a clarinetist … Continue reading →
  • Wandelweiser’s Minnesota debut

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    15 Sep 2014 | 2:36 am
    Word from Crow With No Mouth promotions that the Wandelweiser group will be making its Minnesota concert debut later this month. Here are the details from the event blog: our wandelweiser festival program will consist of the premiere of nine new pieces, written by nine composers integral to the wandelweiser collective, especially for our weekend. this is … Continue reading →
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    aworks :: "new" american classical music

  • aworks album log :: no. 11 #phases #places #idiom

    26 Oct 2014 | 3:51 pm
    American classical: Stefan Grasse - Guitar Phases [Gallileo Music Communication] Excellent recording of music by Steve Reich and others. Sarah Cahill - Mamoru Fujieda: Patterns of Plants  [Pinna Records]Joshua Kosman: "winsome but also a little wan." Sounds to me like Terry Riley in slow motion. This is a gargantuan amount of minimalism. Lois Svard - Other Places [Lovely Music]Works by Elodie Lauten, Jerry Hunt, and Kyle Gann.  Various - Sean Hicky: Cursive, piano and chamber works [Delos] Beyond: Zammuto - Idiom Wind [Make Mine] Weirdly creative music from a member of The Books. This is…
  • aworks album log no. 10

    18 Oct 2014 | 6:02 pm
    American classical John Schneider - Por Gitaro: Suites for Tuned Guitars How come I only discovered this album of Lou Harrison guitar music fourteen six years after it was released? [Mode] Brooklyn Rider - The Brooklyn Rider Almanac [Mercury Classics] Meredith Monk - Key [Lovely Music] Cypress String Quartet - How She Danced: String Quartets of Elena Ruehr [Cypress String Quartet] Joan Jeanrenaud & PC Muñoz - Pop-PopFormer cellist of the Kronos Quaret paired with a multi-disciplinary artist. I list this under "American classical" but it doesn't particularly sound like "American…
  • aworks album log :: oct. 12, 2014 #carsick #book #rider

    12 Oct 2014 | 3:49 pm
    Carsick Cars - 3 Upbeat Chinese rock with crisp guitars and drums. [Maybe Mars Music] Joseph Kubera - Books of Horizons Especially like Michael Byron's Book of Horizons. [New World Records] Meredith Monk - Key [Lovely Music] Brooklyn Rider - The Brooklyn Rider Almanac [Mercury Classics] Herva - What I Feel EP [Delsin Records] Issa Bagayogo - Mali KouraRecommended by as being similar to Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté and Tinariwen. This is more percussion and piano than the expected guitar. [Six Degrees Travel Series]Date Palms - Of Psalms Recommended by as being…
  • aworks album log :: oct. 4 #feldman #brooklyn #monk #theotherchrishughes

    4 Oct 2014 | 8:57 am
    University of California Berkeley Chamber Chorus, California EAR Unit - Morton Feldman: Rothko Chapel / Why Patterns? The canonical Morton Feldman album. [New Albion] Brooklyn Rider - The Brooklyn Rider Almanac A kickstarter-funded project. Works by Vijay Iyer, Glenn Kotche, Bill Frisell and others and inspired by Keith Haring, William Faulkner, James Brown, Chick Corea and others. [Mercury Classics] Meredith Monk - Key From 1995. I like the songs with minimalist accompaniment. The Vision tracks are just too weird, though.[Lovely Music] Nate Wooley - Seven Storey Mountain Two tracks of…
  • aworks album log :: sept. 29, 2014 #motets #nixon #remixes

    29 Sep 2014 | 8:19 pm
    American Classical: Marcus Creed, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart - America: Copland, Reich, Cage, Feldman, Bernstein, Barber Four Motets by Aaron Copland is a worthy work and new to me. [haenssler CLASSIC] Robert Orth, Maria Kanyova, Etc./Marin Alsop: Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado Chorus - John Adams: Nixon in China, Act 1 [Naxos] Gil Rose, Boston Modern Orchestra Project - Milton Babbitt: All Set Also new to me, but not appealing as these things go. All Set almost sounds jazz-ish. Correspondences is more serious. [BMOP/sound] Beyond: Tinariwen - Remixed 2012 recording; I really…
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  • How To Pick A Grand Rapids Veterinary Clinic For Your Pet

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:52 pm
    While summertime’s thunderstorms can instill dread in canines, they can be qualified to manage their reactions and truly feel calmer through all the noise and bright flashes. In Eric Knight’s beloved traditional, “Lassie Come Residence” a brave puppy treks across a thousand miles to reunite with the boy who loves her. Envision if you will, a grandmother reading through that tale to her grandson. That small boy’s eyes shine with wonder. The power of a sense of belonging, that deep need to truly feel linked to one particular another, turns into clearer to both…
  • Selecting A Dupage County Divorce Lawyer

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:44 pm
    When you are arrested for domestic violence you want the greatest lawyer you can get. Ever since the infamous OJ Simpson case, law enforcement has taken a harsh and unreasonable stance on these types of cases. The policy is often arrest first, and let the prosecutor and the judge kind it out. The first choice is to compare your expenses with income and make a decision whether or not you have the prospective to pay back credit card debt in full even by increasing the monthly quantity. He was experienced and produced expeditious selections primarily based on information. He was meticulous in…
  • Reverse Mobile Phone Number Examine – What Sort Of Info Can You Discover?

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:36 pm
    Finding information about the individual who is annoying you by making the overlook calls or performing calls from an unknown quantity. There are specified issues you ought to observe. Initial of all, let me inform you one factor that, there is no specific ebook or anything at all like that which will aid you in checking that who known as you. There are some telephone directories which are a good aid for getting the information about the individual who is annoying you. The other factor which is a good way of getting the information is by way of world wide web. Obtain your financial…
  • Why You Should Scrap Your Automobile And Where

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:05 am
    Used automotive elements render reward to the two consumers as effectively as sellers. If you have a auto which you want to dispose just because it’s old or has achieved any accident, in this situation it’s much better to sell your auto to any junkyards or salvage yards. They will take a look at your auto very carefully and will consider out all the elements that are in excellent functioning situation. This way you will get some funds back again for your scrap auto and the supplier will also be benefited by promoting all the employed elements of the auto. What other options do you…
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    parterre box

  • Prison riot

    30 Oct 2014 | 12:09 pm
    Herbert von Karajan once said listening to some of his old recordings made him envy painters who could simply burn the pictures they disliked. He’d quite possibly be stacking kindling for Myto’s 1962 Fidelio from Vienna, a hard-driving, impulsive performance that reveals the maestro to be anything but an august stickler and stands out mostly for what it is not.   Invidious comparisons are hard to avoid because the formidable trio of Jon Vickers, Christa Ludwig and Walter Berry featured here recorded the same work earlier that year under Otto Klemperer, producing what many still regard as…
  • Pulped friction

    La Cieca
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:31 am
    Those dwindling few of you who are not already aware that Norman Lebrecht generally behaves like a narcissistic cunt, prepare to have your eyes opened.
  • Red shoe diaries

    La Cieca
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:13 am
    “Sonya Yoncheva will make her North American role debut as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata at the Met this January. Yoncheva was originally scheduled to sing Musetta in La Bohème at the Met this season. Instead, she will sing Violetta, one of her most acclaimed roles, as a replacement for Marina Poplavskaya, who has withdrawn from the performances. “Yoncheva sings the role on January 14, 17, 21, and 24. Marina Rebeka will replace Yoncheva as Musetta in the three performances of La Bohème she was scheduled to sing:January 15, 19, and 24 matinee. The performances will…
  • What’s seen cannot be unseen

    La Cieca
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:24 am
    Which Met superstar—who’s no stranger to blind items this season—is the first to accede to the Met’s suggestion of a fee reduction of 7% for principal artists in upcoming seasons?
  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

    La Cieca
    29 Oct 2014 | 10:46 pm
    Just in time for Halloween, Decca Classics has released the trailer for the upcoming CD Renée Fleming: Christmas in New York.  ”The album celebrates the sparkle and sophistication of the beloved Christmas season in New York City, with music conjuring such iconic scenes as the holiday windows lining 5th Avenue, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center and carriage rides in Central Park.”
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    The Wagnerian

  • The Wagnerians - 2014

    30 Oct 2014 | 5:24 pm
    Time flies so  quickly it seems, for it is now 10 months since we first asked you to nominate entries, in  a number of categories, in the first "Wagnerian's Readers Choice Awards (henceforth "The Wagnerians"), Indeed, so enthusiastic was the response that we needed to run a semi-final a few months later to reduce the number of  entries in the male and female performer categories - from over 18 in each down now to more manageable 8. So why has it taken so long to get the final voting? A number of reasons, that included not only technical ones but the way in  which we could…
  • Now Available: Wagner Journal November 2014

    30 Oct 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Contents:• 'Kundry’s Baptism, Kundry’s Death' by Christopher Wintle• 'Timely Timelessness: Regietheater at Bayreuth in the 1970s' by Simon Williams• 'Wagner Manuscripts at the British Library' by Nicolas Bellplus reviews of:the Hans Castorf Ring in BayreuthDer fliegende Holländer in CopenhagenTristan und Isolde in Lübeck and Florencea concert performance of Götterdämmerung in LeedsCDs of a solo disc by James Rutherford and of Wagner's edition of Gluck's Iphigenia in Aulis Stefan Herheim's Die Meistersinger, Parsifal directed by Romeo Castellucci and Wolfgang Wagner on DVD,…
  • How Much Would You Pay To Watch Gergiev Conduct The Ring?

    26 Oct 2014 | 10:31 am
    Valery Gergiev - Going cheap?About a year ago, the Birmingham Hippodrome (UK) and the Mariinsky Opera announced that the Mariinsky Opera/Gergiev  Ring would be performed, complete and fully staged, this November. Now, as I am sure most of you are aware Ring cycle tickets have a tendency to sell out - and quickly. However, that has not been the case in Birmingham. Indeed, as I type there are over 500 seats still unsold across the entire cycle. Why? No one seems to be saying.  Is it a rather tepid Walkure on CD from Gergiev last year? Or is it that this particular cycle did not…
  • Boston Wagner Event: The Beauty of the Abyss

    24 Oct 2014 | 9:40 am
    Jean Delville, "Tristan et Iseut, The View from the Rim: Tristan, the Grand Canyon, and the Beauty of the Abyss Presented by James Holman, Chairman of the Wagner Society of Washington DC The quarter century from 1857 to 1883, from the composition of Tristan und Isolde to the composer’s death, marked a period of unprecedented and revolutionary change, change in the way we look at the world and the way we look at ourselves. The “discovery” of the Grand Canyon, and the beauty of looking “downward,” is an apt metaphor, both for Wagner’s masterpiece and for a civilization coming…
  • History Of The Ring Cycle In The USA - 1850-1903

    23 Oct 2014 | 12:20 pm
    "While Tommasini’s statement seems to neatly encapsulate the Ring cycle’s significance today, it also raises the question of why it appears to be Wagner’s cycle, and not some other operatic work, that now defines one pinnacle of opera production, or perhaps to a certain extent, even cultural progress, in cities all over the world." Hannah ChanA highly readable doctoral dissertation from Dr Hannah Chan, that documents and discussesthe American performance and reception of Wagner's Cycle between 1850-1903 and its legacy and impact. Highly recommendedDer Ring des Nibelungen in the New…
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    Kenneth Woods- conductor

  • A rationale for reporting as false as the theory being reported

    Kenneth Woods
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:36 am
    The media have been ablaze this week with news of a new film espousing the completely discredited theory that Anna Magdalena Bach actually composed the Bach Cello Suites and a number of other important works by Bach. BS is the food, water and air of the mass media, so should we be surprised or disappointed that so many major newspapers and media outlets covered such a patently false theory in such detail? Everything in this headline and the following bullet points is either completely false or wildly misleading. Here’s a comparison that makes me just a little cross.The number of…
  • Explore the Score- Schnittke String Trio

    Kenneth Woods
    25 Oct 2014 | 5:01 am
    Ensemble Epomeo- Penderecki, Kurtág, Schnittke and Weinberg String Trio’s £12.00 Add to cart The new recording on Avie Records of Schnittke’s String Trio by Ensemble Epomeo is released on October 27th in the UK, November 10th in the USA, but available direct from the Downbeat Store via the link above. The disc also includes string trios by Penderecki, Kurtág and Weinberg Alfred Schnittke Alfred Schnittke’s String Trio, composed in 1985, was commissioned in celebration of Alban Berg’s centenary. Schnittke later arranged the work as a Piano Trio, and his friend, Gidon…
  • Feature article on KW in The Tablet- “Rock to Redneck Mahler” by Rick Jones

    Kenneth Woods
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:49 am
      There’s a nice feature piece in the October 18th issue of The Tablet by journalist and critic Rick Jones. Click here to subscribe. You can read his reviews of selected Bobby and Hans CD’s on his blog Robert Schumann Symphony no. 1- KW/OOTS and Yannick Nezet Seugin/COE “Two Springs” Hans Gál and Robert Schumann- First Symphonies £12.00 Add to cart Schumann Symphony no. 2 and Gál Symphony no. 4 Hans Gál- Symphony no.4 “Sinfonia Concertante,” Robert Schumann- Symphony no. 2 £12.00 Add to cart            …
  • CD Review- Gramophone Magazine on Sawyers Symphony no. 2, Cello Concerto and Concertante for Violin, Piano and Strings

    Kenneth Woods
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:27 am
    Critic Andrew Achenbach writes in the current issue of Gramophone Magazine about the new Nimbus CD of orchestral music by Philip Sawyers. Buy your copy today, or better yet, subscribe. Buy your copy of the CD in the Downbeat Store. Philip Sawyers- Symphony no. 2, Cello Concerto, Concertante for Violin, Piano and Strings £12.00 Add to cart   “Here are three recent works of strong personality, genuine substance and warm-hearted integrity…uncommon skill in handling instrumental forces…performed here with thrilling conviction and formidable assurance by soloist Maja…
  • Thoughts on the Saint Louis Requiem Protest

    Kenneth Woods
    5 Oct 2014 | 4:28 am
    Via the Saint Louis Dispatch “Michael Brown protesters interrupted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Saturday night, causing a brief delay in the performance at Powell Symphony Hall. The orchestra and chorus were preparing to perform Johannes Brahms’ Requiem just after intermission when two audience members in the middle aisle on the main floor began singing an old civil rights tune,  “Which Side are You on?” They soon were joined, in harmony, by other protesters, who stood at seats in various locations on the main floor and in the balcony. The…
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    Iron Tongue of Midnight

  • Domino Effect: Met Cast Changes

    30 Oct 2014 | 10:02 am
    Marina Poplavskaya has withdrawn from her scheduled Met Traviata performances (as Violetta, natch). The results:Sonya Yoncheva sings the tubercular courtesan on January 14, 17, 21, and 24, making her North American and Met role debut. (She would have originally sung this role in San Francisco in June, but withdrew because of pregnancy.) To sing Violetta, Yoncheva withdrew from some Boheme performances, where she was to sing Musetta.Marina Rebeka sings Musetta on January 15, 19, and 24.
  • All That AND Joyce Di Donato!

    29 Oct 2014 | 10:20 pm
    Awright, that was some series, and I say that as someone who hadn't watched a baseball game in years. Hunter Pence! Pablo Sandoval! (Pay him what he wants!)And what about that Madison Bumgarner?!?! Three Two wins and one save in this series! Pitching five innings in relief after going to whole nine on Sunday! Terrifying consistency and absolute cool!The Royals are a terrific team and it was a great series.
  • SF Opera Cast Change: La Cenerentola

    29 Oct 2014 | 4:10 pm
    Baritone Efrain Solis, an Adler Fellow, will sing Dandini in the upcoming run of La Cenerentola, replacing Fabio Capitanucci, who has withdrawn for health reasons. Cenerentola opens on November 9 and runs to the 26th.Solis had a memorable couple of minutes on stage in Un Ballo in Maschera, somehow upstaging everybody else on stage as Christian, a sailor. "Everybody else" included Dolora Zajick, so you can imagine.
  • Compare & Contrast 27

    28 Oct 2014 | 2:49 pm
    Some disagreement about LA Opera's Dido & Aeneas/Bluebeard's Castle double bill, directed by Barrie Kosky.Out West Arts: "You should see the double bill that LA Opera just opened on Saturday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. It’s not just that it is one of the best productions the company has mounted in the last four years. It’s also evidence that the company has without question transitioned into a new artistic era." [There follows a lot of praise of Kosky, the productions, and the singers.]David Gregson's Opera West: Attending Los Angeles Opera’s current…
  • Rubin Institute for Music Criticism

    27 Oct 2014 | 10:32 pm
    The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is hosting the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism November 5-10, with a host of events at various places. I have some thoughts, which I'll try to get into a separate posting, but there's a press release below the cut. I also received a press release about the Rubin Fellows, a talented group of most-double-majors from four colleges and universities. (That in itself is interesting: does this mean it's tough luck if you go to Brandeis or Reed?)The Stephen and Cynthia Rubin Institute for Music CriticismSan Francisco Conservatory of…
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    Musical Assumptions

  • Weighing in on Suzuki

    28 Oct 2014 | 10:05 am
    The latest discussions about whether or not Shinichi Suzuki fictionalized his credentials as a violinist makes more sense after watching this film clip:Here's the blog post that started the current ruckus, and a response from 2013 to O'Connor's earlier blog post. I should mention that there are many excellent alternatives to the Suzuki method, and there are excellent ones that are available for free in the IMSLP. I have always believed that it is the teacher and not the method that makes for a successful musical experience.
  • Rant on Immortality

    27 Oct 2014 | 6:22 pm
    My mother, who painted the above watercolor, is very much alive, but she no longer paints because she can no longer see. When I told her that I wanted to put her paintings on a blog so that her friends and acquaintances could see her work, she remarked that she wasn't able to get much money for the paintings she sold because she was a living artist. I wonder why is it that after someone dies their work becomes more valuable. It is because there is a finite end to their output? My mother's finite end to her work came when she could no longer see lines and colors, but I believe talking about…
  • Using a Product Logo as a Teaching Tool

    20 Oct 2014 | 6:35 pm
    My violin students need to be constantly reminded to keep their left arms under the violin while they are playing. Today, while I was (once again) reminding a pre-teen student to keep her arm under, I noticed that all her clothes had the "Under Armour" logo on them. I drew it in her music to remind her to keep her arm under. Under Armour = Arm Under.We both laughed. I told her that I would share this idea with other violin teachers on line, so here it is. Remember that you read it here first!
  • Rules

    17 Oct 2014 | 12:44 pm
    While I was slowly and carefully playing through the last of Bach's English Suites until a few minutes ago, I kept thinking about how many rules of counterpoint Bach breaks, and how often he breaks them. Then it occurred to me that Fux (1660-1741), the guy who wrote the rules of counterpoint as we know them, may have predated Bach by a generation, but he didn't write his Gradus Ad Parnassum until 1725, and by the time Bach could have even gotten his hands on a copy he could no longer see.I have nothing against Fux. I cut several sets of teeth on Gradus Ad Parnassum. I just had a sudden…
  • Teaching

    16 Oct 2014 | 2:01 pm
    I used to enjoy teaching music appreciation classes at our local community college. In the early years of the 21st century I had students in my classes who were genuinely interested in the material. Some were adult students who had returned to college after having children, some were adult students who were trying to make a new start by getting an education after unproductive early adulthood, and some were students who had served in the military. I had extremely smart students of normal college age who were using community college as an inexpensive way of taking courses that could be…
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    eighth blackbird » Blog

  • Grammy buzz for In the Ivory

    29 Oct 2014 | 1:56 pm
      Our recent collaboration with jazz bassist extraordinaire Matt Ulery, In the Ivory, is being considered for a Grammy nod in a few categories, including the new category of Contemporary Instrumental Album! We just joined Matt and his band at Littlefield in Brooklyn during their whirlwind east coast tour a couple weeks ago. We are also planning a special premiere in Chicago this summer – more on that at a later date.  Please help get the word out about this gorgeous album – get it here or on iTunes, and vote if you can!The post Grammy buzz for In the Ivory appeared…
  • BAM!

    20 Oct 2014 | 9:27 am
    the hipster's view of Manhattan Brooklyn Bridge ussie! LA Dance Project company bow #pitstylin' rehearsal the Brooklyn Bridge in all its splendor   We just came back from a wonderful week in Brooklyn, where we made our debut (albeit in the pit) at Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an exciting week full of meetings and rehearsals and even the requisite celebrity sighting: Natalie Portman at opening night with her husband Benjamin Millepied, who is the founder of LA Dance Project.  We had rehearsal the night of our arrival, which was mostly to check tempi and work out how we’d get…
  • Pattycake en masse

    27 Sep 2014 | 7:33 am
    Who doesn’t know how to play Pattycake?? It’s one of those things that all children seem to do in the schoolyard – elaborate hand clapping routines with a partner accompanied by rhyming chants or songs. I certainly knew a whole bunch of them and loved playing them with my sisters and friends. I don’t remember how I learned them; they just seemed to come naturally. Lisa, Matthew, Nick, and I are learning Sean Griffin’s Pattycake for this year’s acoustic program. It’s a boisterous and theatrically satisfying clapping piece that anyone can do. Well, anyone with good rhythm and…
  • Colombine Redux

    26 Sep 2014 | 7:19 pm
    We remounted our staged production Colombine’s Paradise Theatre two weeks ago for two shows only: one at our beloved MCA in Chicago and the other as a season opener for the Miller Theatre in New York. Ellen McSweeney writes in New Music Box: “Only a mind-boggling amount of labor—memorizing the score and learning elaborate physical staging and choreography—could have produced such a performance.” Tell me about it. It was somewhat easier the second time around, but Mark took the opportunity of our already knowing the music and movement to push us harder and refine bad habits, all of…
  • World Premiere of John Luther Adams’ SILA: The Breath of the World

    michael joyce
    15 Sep 2014 | 10:59 am
    Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams has released the video to his latest performance, called Sila: The Breath of the World. On July 25th 2014, a crowd of over two thousand people gathered in Lincoln Center’s Hearst Plaza to watch the pulitzer prize winners latest performance, which included eighty musicians mostly from the New York area.   Drawing heavily on nature for inspiration, John explains the title of his latest piece: “In Inuit tradition the spirit that animates all things is Sila, the breath of the world. Sila is the wind and the weather … Sila…
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    an unamplified voice

  • Midlife

    6 Oct 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Macbeth - Metropolitan Opera, 9/24/2014Lucic, Netrebko, Calleja, Pape / LuisiThis was, despite what seems to be generally positive press, a dispiriting night at the Met. It hasn't been that long since Anna Netrebko was the wonder of the Mariinsky's 1998 tour, a bel canto soprano of limitless beauty and promise (as one can hear from Gergiev's Bethrothal in a Monastery and Ruslan & Lyudmila recordings), but that silver-voiced singer never really sang with this company -- at least not past her official debut in 2002's War and Peace. Netrebko returned in the late-Volpe/early-Gelb era a different…
  • High life

    29 Sep 2014 | 3:30 pm
    Le Nozze di Figaro - Metropolitan Opera, 9/22/2014Abdrazakov, Petersen, Majeski, Leonard, Mattei / LevineAfter a less than memorable closing run two seasons ago for Jonathan Miller's production of Figaro (which served the house well long after the director banished himself in a snit about Bartoli's airing of alternate arias), the Met opened 2014-15 with another Englishman's production. Richard Eyre's attempt isn't much better or worse than his predecessor's. It will probably serve the house in much the same way through casts both better and worse than this one.The physical production won't…
  • The 2014-15 season, at its start

    25 Sep 2014 | 1:21 pm
    This is a revision of the original preview post from February. Changes are in bold and discussed [in brackets].Figaro (new Richard Eyre production)Abdrazakov, Majeski, Petersen, Leonard, Mattei / Levine (September-October)Schrott, Willis-Sørensen, de Niese, Malfi, Kwiecien / de Waart (December)Levine opens the season, as he should, with an excellent male cast and a somewhat odd but not impossible female cast for this new Figaro. As for the second bunch, I've knocked Erwin Schrott's Figaro in the past, and still have little hope for dramatic parts, but his excellence in comedy since then…
  • Some other show

    24 Sep 2014 | 8:51 am
    Monday, facing out from the Met Plaza...These protesters were probably right, but they were also a month too early.
  • Day one

    22 Sep 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Although I've been snarky about the latest news, the announcement last month that the labor talks threatening to derail the season had successfully concluded pleased me rather more than I'd expected.It should not, perhaps, be news that an institution is determined to function, that it's set on carrying out its mission despite the human failings of its management, employees, performers, audience, supporters, and critics - Ich selber exkludier' mir net! - but given the endless parade of counterexamples that now greets the eye - not least in the opera-free zone across the plaza - it apparently…
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    On An Overgrown Path

  • Jordi Savall's bold gesture leaves me puzzled

    30 Oct 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Jordi Savall has refused Spain's national music award the prestigious Premio Nacional de Música - which is worth 30,000 euros - because of his objections to the Spanish government's arts policies. Readers will know that I am a huge fan of Jordi Savall, both as a musician and a humanitarian. But his refusal of the Premio Nacional de Música leaves me puzzled as well as pleased. In a few weeks time - as seen above - Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI present a specially commissioned musical tribute to the 14th century traveller and diarist - "voyager of Islam" - Ibn Battuta in the capital of the…
  • Listening with the ear of the heart

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:31 am
    Mysticism is older than religion; in fact it is as old as mankind. Listening to music can provide a range of experiences from the entertaining to the ineffable, and at the highest level listening to music can be a mystical - which is very different to religious - experience. There are many great traditions of mystical music, and the music performed at Sufi rituals is one of those great traditions. In recent years there has been a revival of interest in mystical art music, possibly as a reaction against the attempted annexation of Western classical music by the entertainment industry. Sufi…
  • How long can classical music ignore the glaringly obvious?

    28 Oct 2014 | 3:45 am
    Celebrated Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csiszentmihalyi argues that flow is a mental state of immersive and exclusive concentration that at the highest level can trigger mystical experiences - the state where nothing else seems to matter. Mihaly Csiszentmihalyi explains that music reduces psychic entropy by organising the mind of the listener, and he defines psychic entropy as the disorder generated by information that conflicts with and distracts from the carrying out of priority intentions. Extending his theory of how music reduces psychic entropy, Csiszentmihalyi proposes that greater…
  • We all make mistakes

    27 Oct 2014 | 12:40 am
    Norman Lebrecht recently asked* whether Forbes is aware that Barrett Wissman, who is writing arts reviews for the magazine, has a fraud conviction. Which prompts me to ask if Sinfini Music (aka Universal Music), to which Norman Lebrecht contributes reviews and interviews, is aware that subsequent to a civil action being brought in London's High Court of Justice in 2007 alleging "inaccuracies" in the text, Lebrecht's publisher agreed to recall and destroy all copies of his book "Maestros, Masterpieces & Madness"? Here are extracts from the New York Times report:The book, “Maestros,…
  • What music was broadcast on the day you were born?

    25 Oct 2014 | 12:13 pm
    That is Edmund Rubbra at the piano in the photo above. Mark Berry, who writes the authoritative Boulezian blog, has added a comment to my post about the first interview with designate BBC Radio 3 controller Alan Davey. In his comment Mark strongly disagrees with Alan Davey's view that the Third Programme - the predecessor of Radio 3 - had brought no 'context' to works. Coincidentally, I have been playing recently with the beta release of the addictive BBC Genome which lists the programmes for every day of broadcasting on the Third Programme/Radio 3 and all other BBC radio and TV channels. The…
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  • My two favorite patter songs

    Roger Bourland
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:59 pm
    “Pick a little, talk a little” from Music Man by Meredith Willson. “Not getting married” from COMPANY by Stephen Sondheim. Both of these are inspirations for my patter song in LA PALOMA Y EL RUISEÑOR where Julián nervously reintroduces himself to Ángela as she returns to Mexico from Europe.
  • Armando Piña performs “Ja vas lyublyu” (Prince’s Aria) from The Queen of Spades by Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky

    Roger Bourland
    13 Oct 2014 | 11:17 am
    A handheld private recording made by someone, but you’ll get a glimpse into the talent of Armando Piña performing in a recent competition who will be premiering the role of Julián in LA PALOMA Y EL RUISENOR, at the Teatro Angela Peralta; Nov. 14, 15, 2014 in Mazatlán, Mexico. The work Armando performs here is “Ja vas lyublyu” (Prince’s Aria) from The Queen of Spades by Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky. From Final del XXXII Concurso Nacional de Canto Carlo Morelli, conducted by Enrique Patrón de Rueda, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City.
  • Penélope Luna performs Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra by Reinhold Glière

    Roger Bourland
    12 Oct 2014 | 4:18 pm
    I had the honor of working with a most brilliant soprano on the faculty in Mazatlan, Penelope Luna, who will play Rosa in LA PALOMA Y EL RUISENOR. I made a number of adjustments for her voice and talent. And after I heard this Gliere performance, I felt free to go even higher! You will get an idea of her talent by this amazing performance of the Gliere Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra under the baton of Enrique Patron de Rueda. Conductor Scott Dunn and I are honored to have the assistance of Maestro Patron and Maestra Martha Félix in coaching the chorus and soloists in our…
  • Jessica Loaiza performs “Era desso il figlio mio” – Donizetti

    Roger Bourland
    3 Oct 2014 | 6:33 pm
    Jessica will performing the role of Ángela Peralta in Mazatlán in November. Here she is performing “Era desso il figlio mio” by Donizetti VI Concurso Canto Internacional Sinaloa 2014 Jessica Loaiza Pérez, segundo lugar, premio del Público y premio La voz Sonfonic. Orquesta Sinaloa de las Artes Mtro. Enrique Patrón de Rueda, director Era desso il figlio mio de la Ópera Lucrezia Borgia de Donizetti
  • Channeling a countermelody

    Roger Bourland
    1 Oct 2014 | 10:44 am
    Many of my faithful readers know that I channel dead composers from time to time. Well, not really, I pretend to and it makes for a good read. But something eery happened recently that was very likely channeling something or someone. And I have a witness. Conductor, Scott Dunn sat with me for several days going over the orchestration of my opera [on my computer using notation/playback software called Sibelius] with meticulous detail. While going over part of Act 2, I heard an amazing countermelody. I tried to not say anything. I scrolled to look at the horn part as the countermelody was in…
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    The Naxos Blog

  • Podcast: A Québec Classic

    30 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    This month’s release in the Naxos Canadian Classics series focuses on the string chamber music of Jacques Hétu (1938-2010). The theme of past and present links composer and performers, as Raymond Bisha surveys Hétu’s works dating from the 1960s (when the original Orford String Quartet was formed) to music written a few years before his death, coincidentally the time of the formation of the New Orford String Quartet, who perform here with distinguished guest players. Album details… Naxos 8.573395
  • National airs and graces

    23 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    One of the side discussions during the Scottish independence referendum held last month focused on what that country’s national anthem might be, should the majority vote to separate from the United Kingdom. Following the outcome of the referendum, the question became redundant. It got me thinking, however, about the anthems of three European nations in particular – Britain, France and Germany – and how they keep popping up in works by classical composers. If you need a reminder as to how they sound, click on the country’s name to activate the audio link: Britain  (8.225357)…
  • Podcast: Twists and turns

    16 Oct 2014 | 4:45 pm
    In this week’s podcast, Raymond Bisha explores works by the Italian musical adventurer Gian Francesco Malipiero, the fascinating 20th-century composer who trod his own prolific path, often defying tradition with his idiosyncratic flair. Album details… Naxos 8.573291  
  • Playing on one’s name

    9 Oct 2014 | 4:43 pm
    Many instruments evolved over centuries, their names changing in tandem with their timbre. The lute became the guitar, the viol progressed to the violin and the sackbut got transformed into the trombone. Just occasionally, however, an inventor introduces a brand new kid onto the block and, naturally enough, gives it the family name. The most widely recognised example is probably that of Adolphe Sax, the son of a Belgian musical instrument maker. Born 200 years ago he went on to cultivate a new instrument, the saxophone, which in turn cultivated numerous enemies (including Adolf Hitler, the…
  • Podcast: Shostakovich 13

    2 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra bring their brilliant cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies to a stupendous conclusion with the release of the Thirteenth Symphony, Babi Yar. It’s a work the Russian conductor has inhabited since his teenage years, when he first recorded it as a member of the male chorus. In conversation with Edward Seckerson, Petrenko reveals his insights into a work that simultaneously courted controversy and attracted fame for the composer.
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    Anne Midgette: Most Recent Articles and Archives

  • The verdict(s) on “Klinghoffer:” a review roundup

    Anne Midgette
    22 Oct 2014 | 6:22 am
    I am still in the process of reading all of the critical responses that have appeared so far to the “Death of Klinghoffer” at the Metropolitan Opera, and I know more will follow. I am compiling all the links here in part simply as a service to myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who is interested in the discussion. I’ll keep adding more as I get them. Read full article >>
  • Lindsey, Portillo shine in Washington Concert Opera’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”

    Anne Midgette
    29 Sep 2014 | 2:52 pm
    The Wolf Trap Opera deserves a lot of credit. This is not, to be clear, a review of a Wolf Trap production. The show I saw on Sunday, Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” (a.k.a. “Romeo and Juliet”), was presented by the Washington Concert Opera, and an engrossing, melodious presentation it was. But two of its brightest lights have sung leading roles in this region. David Portillo, a tenor, and Kate Lindsey, a luminous mezzo-soprano, each spent two summers at the Wolf Trap company, which identifies and supports young talent. (Lindsey, from Richmond, was back at Wolf Trap for an…
  • Eric Owens on singers and opera companies: “We need to help them help us.”

    Anne Midgette
    11 Jul 2014 | 10:28 am
    I wanted to write about Eric Owens, the bass-baritone, because he seems to be turning up an awful lot of places as artist-in-residence — Glimmerglass, Wolf Trap, and the Washington National Opera. I didn’t realize, however, just how deep his commitment to expanding his role actually is — something I outline in my article in this Sunday’s Washington Post, as he spends six weeks with the young singers at the Wolf Trap Opera. Read full article >>
  • The NSO’s ‘Fantasia,’ a critic’s guilty pleasure

    Anne Midgette
    31 May 2014 | 10:17 am
    Putting together a picnic, and sitting on the lawn with friends, sipping warm white wine out of plastic cups, a couple of which inevitably develop hairline cracks from being sat on or squashed in the car on the way over, while a balloon bobs over your picnic basket to make it easier for your other friends to find you in the crowd, until the person behind you protests that the balloon blocks her view and the usher comes over to tell you to get rid of it, and you wish you could let it drift up in the sky, like some of the other freed balloons, rising over the grounds and perhaps signaling to…
  • The audience of the future responds to “The Magic Flute.”

    Anne Midgette
    3 May 2014 | 8:39 pm
    My review of the Washington National Opera’s “The Magic Flute,” which opened on Saturday night, will appear on line on Sunday, and in print in Monday’s paper. I was, however, accompanied by a friend who was so eager to report that he took notes during the show, returned home and produced an overnight review on the spot. Here, then, is a ten-year-old’s initial assessment, as told to me (with minimal editing), of “The Magic Flute.” Read full article >>
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  • Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble: Realign the Time

    Jason Charney
    30 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Since their formation in 2010, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble has dedicated itself to commissioning and premiering new works for female, a cappella vocal quartet. They have performed around the country and collaborated with many composers and other new music ensembles with unique aplomb and versatility. This passion shows through their recently released debut album “Realign the [...] Visit I CARE IF YOU LISTEN's Blog to read more!
  • Sonic Topographies / Vancouver New Music Festival 2014

    Joanne Lam
    28 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Vancouver New Music Festival celebrated its 2014 edition from October 16 to October 19 with the theme Sonic Topographies, bringing together the works of composers and sound artists alike into a common discourse on the nature of music, sound, and sustainability. True to these topics of interest, the third night of the festival on Saturday, October 18 featured a diverse and inquisitive [...] Visit I CARE IF YOU LISTEN's Blog to read more!
  • This week: concerts in New York (October 27 – November 2, 2014)

    Sam Reising
    27 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    All-Steve Reich Program: Colin Currie, Daniel Druckman, Simon Crawford-Phillips, Philip Moore Two of Reich’s early works, Clapping Music and Drumming, will be performed alongside the US premiere of Quartet—co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall. Don’t miss the pre-concert talk starting at 7:00 PM in Zankel Hall: Steve Reich and Colin Currie in conversation with Ara Guzelimian, Provost [...] Visit I CARE IF YOU LISTEN's Blog to read more!
  • Dosia McKay’s Glossolalia, an Achievement of Aural Antics

    Angelina Panozzo
    24 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Dosia McKay is no stranger to success – her compositions have been premiered at universities and galleries across the United States, and has also been heard on National Public Radio. Native to Poland, she moved to the United States in 1991 and has built a career focusing on aural oddities and surprising sounds. McKay spends [...] Visit I CARE IF YOU LISTEN's Blog to read more!
  • Met Opera premiere of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer

    Sam Reising
    22 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Monday, October 20 marked the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s highly anticipated production of The Death of Klinghoffer, with a score by John Adams and a libretto by Alice Goodman. The Met’s production has been dripping with controversy and allegations that the opera is anti-Semitic, which led to the cancellation of the international simulcast of [...] Visit I CARE IF YOU LISTEN's Blog to read more!
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  • How I Re-Started Teaching Piano in One Week

    Grace Miles
    23 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    Starting with students is different for everyone, and I’m not about to sugarcoat. I’m going to tell you how I jumpstarted my teaching again. A former student’s mother convinced me to teach piano to her daughter again. I don’t let people into my piano studio anymore, so I agreed to walk to their house each week. At home, I flip […]
  • 9 upbeat pop songs I had on repeat

    Grace Miles
    16 Oct 2014 | 8:30 am
    Many Classical pianists don’t “learn” pop music, but let’s face it: playing pop music can be motivating and catchy. Let’s add some pop into the mix. I picked out some favourite songs from my playlist for you. Then I paired these with video clips from the summer, that were swimming on my computer. The piano sheet music solos are […]
  • How to start a concert tour across the country

    Grace Miles
    4 Oct 2014 | 9:30 am
    If you’re a performer, concert tours might be special for you. Even if you’re not a performer, you’ll benefit from meeting people who love what you do. My friend the metal guitarist, Andrew Baena, is home from touring across Canada so of course we had to sit down. He first started playing guitar in his bedroom, and made some smart choices that grew his […]
  • How to Ignite a Passion That You Thought Was Dead (Plus a Giveaway!)

    Grace Miles
    13 Sep 2014 | 8:40 pm
    There are many reasons we phase out of doing something we love, and often we don’t notice how far we’ve strayed until we’re long gone. I was in the garden, watering, when my neighbour’s piano-playing filtered through like the ghost of an old friend. This neighbour and I had never met, but we’d shared the same taste in piano music and […]
  • How Comfortable Are You With Your Wild Side? Here’s a Quiz.

    Grace Miles
    4 Sep 2014 | 7:40 am
    Being wild isn’t the same as being comfortable in your own skin. A pianist can be wild in the practice room but uncomfortable displaying this onstage. We have so many names for this– nerves, performance anxiety, butterflies. I’ve interviewed performance experts around the world, and so many of them suggest that the playing must push […]
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    Grand Piano Passion™

  • Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, First Movement, Amplified

    Cosmo Buono, Special Contributing Writer
    27 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    The Beethoven Moonlight Sonata's first movement is not as simple as it seems; find historical context and tips on ways to interpret the piece with rubato. Cosmo Buono, Special Contributing Writer The full article Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, First Movement, Amplified is on Grand Piano Passion™.
  • A Pianist Experienced with Hearing Loss

    Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Amateur pianist Joyce Morton plays Beethoven and talks about coping with hearing loss and customizing her hearing aids for music in this video interview. Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor The full article A Pianist Experienced with Hearing Loss is on Grand Piano Passion™.
  • Your Brain on Adult Music Lessons

    Lesley Green Leben, Contributing Writer
    6 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Studies show that music lessons are good for your brain as a child or an adult. An adult student wants to see if studying the flute will improve her memory. Lesley Green Leben, Contributing Writer The full article Your Brain on Adult Music Lessons is on Grand Piano Passion™.
  • Piano Keys: Theory, History, and Secrets Unlocked

    Jay Alan Zimmerman, Contributing Writer
    8 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    Learn the history of how our modern piano keys came to be, and what they represent, from sound frequencies and mathematical relationships to music theory. Jay Alan Zimmerman, Contributing Writer The full article Piano Keys: Theory, History, and Secrets Unlocked is on Grand Piano Passion™.
  • A Listening Profit from My Hearing Loss

    Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor
    2 Sep 2014 | 9:55 am
    Nancy M. Williams looks back on how she used to hide her hearing loss, but realizes she draws strong listening skills and musicality from her hearing loss. Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor The full article A Listening Profit from My Hearing Loss is on Grand Piano Passion™.
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  • Halloween worksheet on . . . dah dah dum “the devil in music”

    27 Oct 2014 | 5:22 pm
    As many of you may know, the tritone (aka augmented fourth or diminished fifth) has always had some spooky connotations. (For those of you who aren’t so familiar with its history and are interested, you can read about here and here Listen to a classic example of the use of the tritone in this great animated version of Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens. Teach your students about this interval using this very simple free worksheet. It’s written so that it can be used by students who aren’t ready to know about diminished and augmented intervals, instead discussing only whole steps.
  • Free piano concert tonight at Tulane @8pm

    20 Oct 2014 | 7:27 am
    Here are the program details: Newcomb Dept. of Music Presents Pianist Andre Ponochevney Monday, October 20th- 8:00 pm Dixon Hall-Tulane University Free admission Program Domenico Scarlatti, Six Sonatas                                                                                      D Minor K 213 E Minor K198 C Major K487 B Minor K87 E Major K531 A Major K24 Sergey Prokofiev,    Sonata No.7 in B flat major, Op. 83                                                           Allegro…
  • Free Halloween worksheet pack from!

    13 Oct 2014 | 8:16 am
    I just happened upon this bundle from in my inbox this morning. It’s a great assortment of beginner music theory worksheets for children. I printed them all out and am going to assemble a worksheet packet that my students will work through up until Halloween. Kristin (the lady behind the packet) gives great suggestions for how to make these exercises extra fun for kids. I’m especially looking forward to the rhythm dictation worksheet called “Knock, Knock Trick or Treat.” If the student “knocks” correctly, they get the…
  • JK. We decided to stay here.

    13 Oct 2014 | 8:02 am
    I know I said we were moving, but wordpress called us back. So just ignore that moving thing we mentioned here.  Note: posts that were made on our website are still there.  Maybe one day I’ll move them here, but in the meantime, check there for content too.
  • 15 Things You Need to Know About Supporting Your Child Learning to Play the Piano

    15 Sep 2014 | 9:33 am
    Collin:Has some really great insights. Especially nos. 3, 5, and 9. I may print this out and distribute to students! Originally posted on Elissa Milne: This list was first published in It Takes Two Generations at the end of 2013.  If you’re a parent who has no background in playing a musical instrument it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the number of things the piano teacher accidentally takes for granted along the way. Don’t be overly worried about this – the teacher won’t have enough time in each lesson to fill in all the gaps and still keep your child engaged and enthused about…
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    Classical Music Headphones

  • Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

    Matthew Simpson
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Noise-canceling headphones have rapidly risen in popularity over the past few years as frequent fliers and bus commuters opt to cancel out the sounds of airplane and bus engines. Noise-cancellation technology doesn’t merely block out noise from your ears, but actively cancels out extraneous noises by generating anti-noise signals that effectively destroy … Continue reading → The post Best Noise Cancelling Headphones appeared first on Classical Music Headphones.
  • Audio Technica ATH-M50 Review

    23 Oct 2014 | 5:52 pm
    Audio Technica ATH-M50 Review Find the Best Price for These Headphones: $199.00 View Store     First, let’s get this out of the way: the ATH-M50’s are the best headphones you can buy for under $200. In fact, if you’re budget is $300, I would still recommend the M50’s, along with the classical music oriented … Continue reading → The post Audio Technica ATH-M50 Review appeared first on Classical Music Headphones.
  • Best Headphones under $200

    23 Oct 2014 | 12:57 am
    Best Headphones under $200 We’ve had a round up of the best headphones under $100, and the best headphones under $300, so it’s ridiculous that we haven’t had a round-up of headphones in the $200 price range. When you invest $100-$200 on a pair of headphones, you expect great sound and great build quality. All … Continue reading → The post Best Headphones under $200 appeared first on Classical Music Headphones.
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    Classical Commentary: Barry Lenson's Classical Music Blog

  • Let’s All Boycott The Death of Klinghoffer

    Barry Lenson
    22 Oct 2014 | 6:06 am
    Is there any possible reason why an opera with this power and deeply moral message should be protested?Protests raged the other night when the opera The Death of Klinghoffer by John Adams was performed at the Metropolitan Opera.  It is good to protest operas that incite hatred, ask us to think about evil people, contain offensive stereotypes, or marginalize anyone.But if you want to do away with Klinghoffer, moral consistency requires that you boycott the following operas too, or possibly burn their scores . . . You must never again attend performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which…
  • When Composers Need Promotion

    Barry Lenson
    5 Oct 2014 | 6:57 am
    Carl Nielsen I always feel a little suspicious when the works of a particular composer need “promotion,” don’t you? The first such composer who comes to mind is Paul Hindemith. Back in the 1940s, my parents attended some meetings of a Hindemith Society in New York, an organization that endeavored to teach music-lovers about the system that Hindemith (1895-1963) used to compose music. The society also aimed to encourage listeners to appreciate his works. Today, several Hindemith societies still exist, including the Hindemith Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. And then there are the…
  • The Dumbest Thing I Ever Heard about Opera, Part One

    Barry Lenson
    15 Sep 2014 | 2:39 pm
    Dolora Zajic – Are you going to tell me that anybody sang this aria better than this in years gone by?In case you missed it, the title of today’s post is a joke. But it is a joke with a point, because just when you think you have heard the dumbest thing ever said about opera, somebody seems to come along to top it.But of all the dumb things ever said about opera, this is surely one of the dumbest . . . “All the great voices . . . where have they gone?”I have heard this idiotic opinion many times over the years. I think the first time was about 40 years ago (gulp, I must be old) when I…
  • A Very Smart Bluffer’s Guide to Classical Music

    Barry Lenson
    4 Sep 2014 | 7:18 am
    I recently wrote an article “Twelve Musical Works that Every Student Should Know,” for the Classical Archives Newsletter.In the weeks since then, I’ve been thinking about cultural literacy, which can be roughly defined as a person’s knowledge about the most important stuff that ever happened.   I don’t know about you, but I have come to know many people who have graduated from college – even very prestigious ones – who don’t know a dog-eared thing about some of the most important cultural milestones ever.  Here are some examples, which don’t pertain only to…
  • Toscanini Genius: The 1954 Ballo Broadcast

    Barry Lenson
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:11 am
    I grew up listening to recordings of Toscanini performances on LP. Mostly, I played a boxed set of Wagner orchestral excerpts so often that the LPs were practically playing both sides at once. I also spent a lot of time listening to the 1947 Toscanini recording of Otello with Ramon Vinay, Herva Nelli and Giuseppe Valdengo. They were great recordings, but I now realize that they lacked punch. Perhaps the engineering and analog vinyl format submerged the immediacy of the actual performances.  That could be why I find a YouTube audio of Un Ballo in Maschera to be so extraordinary and…
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    Stars & Catz » Classical Music & Opera Buzz

  • Music Review: American Symphony Orchestra Presents ‘Marriage Actually’ + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
      Today’s News & Buzz   The Kuss Quartet Particularly Impress in Haydn and Mendelssohn –  Haydn, Janáček, Mendelssohn: Kuss Quartet [Jana Kuss & Olivier Wille (violins), William Coleman (viola), Mikayel Hakhnazaryan (cello)], King’s Place, London, 17.10.2014 (CS) Haydn: String Quartet in D Op.50 No.6 (Hob. III:49, The Frog) Janáček: String Quartet No.1 (Kreutzer […]
  • Mahler's First Symphony: Victory and Paradise + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:02 pm
      Today’s News & Buzz   Classical Music News – Mats Rondin – Swedish cellist and conductor Mats Rondin died in October 2014, aged fifty-four Continue Reading On » Troubadour Blue by Nils Bultmann on Innova – Often the viola is not thought of as a solo instrument. It is the connecting […]
  • Rare Performance of Peter Ronnefeld’s Nachtausgabe + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    14 Oct 2014 | 9:02 pm
      Today’s News & Buzz   One more into the breeches – “Norwegian mezzo-soprano Ingeborg Gillebo will make her Met debut singing the role of Cherubino in this evening’s performance of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, replacing Isabel Leonard, who is ill.” This from the Met press office. Continue Reading On » BBCSO/Oramo/Hadelich […]
  • Avec la garde montante + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    13 Oct 2014 | 10:02 am
      Today’s News & Buzz   Alcina, The English Concert, Barbican, London and touring – review – At times, this concert performance of Handel’s opera resembled a sing-off between starry soloists Continue Reading On » Mozartian magic, a bacchanal – IN Concerto for Orchestra, premiered by West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Carl Vine […]
  • Keeping my head in the clouds + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    12 Oct 2014 | 6:02 am
      Today’s News & Buzz   The Trial, Music Theatre Wales, Linbury Studio Theatre, review: 'cannily pitched' – Rupert Christiansen wishes Philip Glass could build dramatic momentum into his opera Continue Reading On » Philip Glass : The Trial, Music Theatre Wales Linbury ROH – Music Theatre Wales presented the world premiere […]
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    The Violin Channel | The World's Leading Violin, Strings & Classical Music News Source

  • VC GIVEAWAY | Win 1 of 10 Menuhin-Type Shield Violin/Viola Mutes – 10 Chances to Win!

    29 Oct 2014 | 5:14 pm
    To help celebrate the international release, The Violin Channel in conjunction with Alpine Mute Company is this week giving away 10 Menuhin-type ‘Professional’ violin/viola shield mutes. Available for the first time in 20 years, the Menuhin style mutes are designed with a brass insert to create effective muting with a maximum warmth of tone.   Exclusive VC Giveaway! | 10 Chances to Win! Enter now:  Entries Close: November 6th, 2014. The post VC GIVEAWAY | Win 1 of 10 Menuhin-Type Shield Violin/Viola Mutes – 10 Chances to Win! appeared first on The…
  • VC BUZZ | SouthWest Airlines Inflight Cello & Beat-Boxing Air Steward Duet

    29 Oct 2014 | 4:42 pm
    Southwest Airlines beat-boxing flight attendant, Maximilian with cellist, passenger Francisco Vila – performing Bach’s ‘Bouree’ from the Solo Cello Suite No. 3. Filmed mid-flight, earlier this month. MAXIMILIAN & FRANCISCO | SOUTHWEST AIRLINES | BEAT-BOXING & CELLO DUET | BACH | BOUREE The post VC BUZZ | SouthWest Airlines Inflight Cello & Beat-Boxing Air Steward Duet appeared first on The Violin Channel | The World's Leading Violin, Strings & Classical Music News Source.
  • Ji-Won Song from South Korea Awarded $50,000 Chinese International 1st Prize

    29 Oct 2014 | 3:25 pm
    21 year old Ji-Won Song, from South Korea has been awarded 1st prize at the China International Violin Competition, in Qingdao, China. 2nd prize was awarded to Naoka Aoki from Japan – and 3rd prize to VC ‘Young Artist’ Fedor Rudin from France. 4th, 5th and 6th prizes were awarded to Jee Won Kim from South Korea, Romuald Grimberg-Barre from France and Maryana Osipova from Russia. A student of Ida Kavafian and Shmuel Ashkenasi at the Curtis Institute of Music, Ji-Won is a former prize winner at the Menuhin International Violin Competition – and former 1st prize winner at the…
  • VC ‘Schubert’ Chamber Music CD Giveaway Winners Announced!

    29 Oct 2014 | 3:00 pm
    And the winners are in! The following 5 lucky VC members will each be receiving a personally autographed CD copy of ‘Schubert’ – featuring a selection of Schubert chamber music works by violinist Lara St John, Berlin Philharmonic Principal Harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet, Soprano Anna Prohaska and Berlin Philharmonic Principal Cellist Ludwig Quandt – courtesy of Ancalagon Records. Richard Marin from the United States Akiko Ohashi from Japan Jordan Hilliar from Canada Nick Wilkinson from Australia Ayesha Pahor from the Netherlands Congratulations to our winners and…
  • 23 Year Old Adrien Boisseau Announced as New Ébène Quartet Violist

    28 Oct 2014 | 2:28 pm
    The Paris-based Quatuor Ébène has today announced 23 year old French violist Adrien Boisseau as their newest member. A graduate of the L’cole Nationale de Musique de Nevers, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Academy of Music Hanns Eisler and the Kronberg Academy, Adrien is a former prize winner at the Max Rostal, Tokyo and Yuri Bashmet International Viola Competitions. He will replace Matthieu Herzog, who in June this year announced he would be leaving the ensemble, after 15 seasons – to devote himself to conducting. PREVIOUS Violist Mathieu Herzog to…
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    Stephen P Brown

  • #PsalmQuest 31 – “Cerddoriaeth 3″ for solo clarinet

    Stephen P Brown
    29 Oct 2014 | 3:33 am
    One of the most difficult aspects of playing the clarinet is crossing 'the bridge' - a few notes about an octave above middle C that transform the sound of the instrument as the holes proceed from almost... Give me more... →
  • Top 1% earners

    Stephen P Brown
    28 Oct 2014 | 8:45 am
    The Times Rich List, Poke London, the World Bank all say the same thing: You are in the top 1% of earners if your salary is more than US$32,425 (GB£20,219) per annum. It would take someone in Indonesia until 2057 (43 years) to earn the same money you do this year. In Ghana, they … Give me more... →
  • Invitation: Annual Reader Survey 2014

    Stephen P Brown
    24 Oct 2014 | 4:30 am
      For the past three years I have been coaching a young lady from El Salvador with a passion for orchestral and chamber music. She plays the viola and gleaned what she could from other players and the conductor of her youth orchestra as well as the National Symphony Orchestra … Give me more... →
  • Classical vs. Pop Music

    Stephen P Brown
    16 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Sometimes I wonder if blog posts are fake, trying to prove a point that there are still people in the world who are passionate and take things too seriously. I know I do. On purpose. But I can... Give me more... →
  • Reaching for ‘comfort’

    Stephen P Brown
    16 Oct 2014 | 2:45 am
    I recently spent some time delving into some possible reasons why live music affects us so much and so intimately - when we choose to let it. It was a fascinating study that led to... Give me more... →
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    Amati Auctions, News, Reviews and Magazine - Amati International Directory - Amati International Directory

  • THE GREAT CONCERTOS: Brahms Violin Concerto

    30 Oct 2014 | 2:56 am
    In the third of a series exploring masterpieces of the string concerto repertoire, Julian Haylock looks into the respectful collaboration behind what is perhaps music’s most balanced, symphonic concerto One of Brahms’s most radiantly inspired scores, the Violin Concerto is the musical culmination of his long-term friendship with violin virtuoso…
  • COMMENT: Contemporary strings 1 – Liza Lim’s Invisibility

    29 Oct 2014 | 2:16 am
    From Bach to Beethoven to Bartók, the established repertoire for stringed instruments contains some of the finest and best-loved works in all classical music. Yet how much do we know about more recent developments in string writing? Contemporary composers are no less drawn to stringed instruments than their predecessors. Part…
  • CONCERT OF THE WEEK: Leonard Elschenbroich/Ayr

    27 Oct 2014 | 2:16 am
    Leonard Elschenbroich (cello), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ainars RubikisTown Hall, Ayr, Friday 31 October A little gem of a cello concerto turns up in Ayr this Friday, with the enterprising and talented young German player Leonard Elschenbroich the featured soloist. The BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, who chose Kabalevsky’s Second…
  • FEATURE: Music and transformation

    23 Oct 2014 | 2:23 am
    Two charities supported by Amati – London Music Masters and the Music Fund – aim to bring social change through music education. We discover the impact of their work on the ground Marzena Ramjohn always knew her son Tristan was ambitious. The 39-year-old mother of two, who lives with her…
  • FEATURE: The making of The Monograph Collection

    22 Oct 2014 | 10:13 am
    With the fourth volume in The Monograph Collection, a collaboration between J&A Beare and Amati, about to be published, the series’ writer John Dilworth reveals the challenges and discoveries of putting the books together In early 2013, less than a year after the publication of his monumental dictionary The Brompton’s…
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