Classical Music

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  • New on the shelf

    Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
    Alex Ross
    24 Oct 2014 | 9:58 am
    The latest from Mark Berry.
  • James Levine Leads His 2,500th Met Performance Saturday

    NYT > Music
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:17 pm
    When James Levine leads the Metropolitan Opera in “Le Nozze di Figaro” on Saturday, it will be his 2,500th performance with the company.
  • Music as a Language: Victor Wooten at TEDxGabriolaIsland – YouTube

    Jason Heath's Double Bass Blog
    Jason Heath
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:13 pm
    Music as a Language: Victor Wooten at TEDxGabriolaIsland – YouTube.
  • Salzburg revives the dead to run its Easter Fest

    Slipped Disc
    norman lebrecht
    24 Oct 2014 | 7:11 am
    They’ve announced the new boss to succeed Peter Alward, who is stepping down from the Karajan Inc. enterprise next July. The suit they’ve picked is Peter Ruzicka, who was a deadly-dull artistic director of the summer festival from 2001-2006 and was then shoved off gently to the eternal Valhalla of the Munich Biennale. But Ruzicka, 66, is a master fixer – also a composer and conductor – and those types keep popping up well past their sell-by. Lucky old Salzburg.     Peter Ruzicka zum neuen Allein-Geschäftsführer der Osterfestspiele Salzburg ab 1. Juli 2015…
  • Two days in Guanajuato

    Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
    Alex Ross
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    Last week I traveled to Guanajuato, Mexico, a singularly beautiful old city, to participate in a convocation of critics from various disciplines. This was at the behest of the Cervantino International Festival, which, in its forty-second year, remains one of the more imposing arts festivals on the global scene. Unfortunately, I wasn't there long enough to gain a good impression of Cervantino's offerings, although I did catch a concert by the Next Mushroom Promotion Ensemble, from Japan. Tomoko Fukui's Schlaglicht, a grippingly spastic, wild-eyed piece for violin and piano, was…
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  • Great Danes: Three Symphonic Albums By Danish Composers

    Tom Huizenga
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:58 am
    From tiny Denmark comes a big symphonic sound. Three recent albums offer a glimpse of the Nordic sound, from the undervalued Carl Nielsen, the experimental Per Nørgård and the accessible Poul Ruders.» E-Mail This
  • Opera About 1985 Achille Lauro Hijacking Draws Protests At Met

    Scott Neuman
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:41 am
    Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was among those who denounced The Death of Klinghoffer by John Adams, calling it anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.» E-Mail This
  • After 200 Years, A Schubert Song Still Resonates

    Tom Huizenga
    19 Oct 2014 | 1:03 am
    On Oct. 19, 1814, an Austrian teenager named Franz Schubert wrote "Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel," a boldly innovative song that remains an inspiration for singers and songwriters.» E-Mail This
  • Postlude To A Kiss: Scriabin's Raging 'Poem Of Ecstasy'

    Marin Alsop
    18 Oct 2014 | 1:03 am
    Mystical Russian composer Alexander Scriabin saw music, heard colors and wrote music that goes from ecstasy to frenzy. Baltimore Symphony conductor Marin Alsop explores Scriabin's best-known piece.» E-Mail This
  • Twenty Years Later, 'Klinghoffer' Still Draws Protests

    Joel Rose
    17 Oct 2014 | 12:54 pm
    Some critics charge that John Adams' opera is anti-Israel, even anti-Semitic. But the opera's supporters dispute that. With its Met debut on Monday, there are calls to burn the set to the ground.» E-Mail This
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    Slipped Disc

  • How Herbert von Karajan lost his London job

    norman lebrecht
    24 Oct 2014 | 11:32 pm
    I’ve heard a version of this story from Neville Marriner, who was a close friend of the rebellious Peter Gibbs. But this account comes from a very young player whose career was almost cut off by the bust-up. Read on here.
  • Unseen video: Richard Strauss at lunch, Szymanowski in his dressing gown

    norman lebrecht
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:40 pm
    Xander Rodzinski has just uploaded his grandfather’s (pictured) 1930s home movies on Youtube…. and fascinating viewing it makes. Several immortals are caught at their leisure, including George Gershwin refusing to kiss a man on his lips. Another world.
  • Galina gets a postage stamp

    norman lebrecht
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:29 pm
    An honour belated, but richly deserved. Better than being a non-person, as she was for 15 years.
  • Salzburg revives the dead to run its Easter Fest

    norman lebrecht
    24 Oct 2014 | 7:11 am
    They’ve announced the new boss to succeed Peter Alward, who is stepping down from the Karajan Inc. enterprise next July. The suit they’ve picked is Peter Ruzicka, who was a deadly-dull artistic director of the summer festival from 2001-2006 and was then shoved off gently to the eternal Valhalla of the Munich Biennale. But Ruzicka, 66, is a master fixer – also a composer and conductor – and those types keep popping up well past their sell-by. Lucky old Salzburg.     Peter Ruzicka zum neuen Allein-Geschäftsführer der Osterfestspiele Salzburg ab 1. Juli 2015…
  • Just in: Chicago to receive full Klinghoffer broadcast

    norman lebrecht
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:31 am
    The Met won’t air or screen its controversial John Adams opera. So a Chicago radio station has stepped in. Land of the free, &c.   Next Weds Oct. 29 I will be broadcasting the Nonesuch recording of The Death of Klinghoffer on my radio show on WHPK-FM Chicago 12-3PM (Central Time) since the Met Opera will not broadcast it on their radio program or do a live HD screening in the theaters The show can be heard of the station’s website livestream online at www.whphk. Someone has to do it. Sergio Mims
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  • 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…
  • Some Amazing Design Tools To Improve Accessibility

    Drew McManus
    23 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    Toward the top of any good arts marketer’s tech resource list is, which published a fantastic article yesterday by design consultant Cathy O’Connor about design accessibility for online content. In short, there are some astounding tools available that help you simulate what users with one or more visual impairments experience when visiting your online platforms. O’Connor provides plenty of stats to help realize this is an aspect of design that is growing in importance but what’s genuinely fascinating is the increasing number of readily available…
  • Click. Click. Done. Sign Up For The ArtsHacker Launch

    Drew McManus
    22 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    ArtsHacker is marching steadily toward an early December launch and you can now sign up for the official launch notice (and maybe just a few special sneak peeks). While you’re at it, get your social on and connect via Twitter and Facebook where you can leave a question or topic suggestion for one of the ArtsHackers.
  • A Sad Day: Stephen Paulus Has Died

    Drew McManus
    21 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    Fifteen months after suffering a stroke composer Stephen Paulus passed away on 10/19/2014 and the field is better having him been a part of it. In addition to being a gifted and successful composer, Paulus was a genuine entrepreneur composer who was decades ahead of his time and generously shared his time and wisdom with fellow composers. In addition to a 23 year tenure as an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers board member, he founded The American Composers Forum, a leading service organization serving the needs of composers. You can read more about Paulus’ career and…
  • Downfall. Orchestra Style.

    Drew McManus
    20 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    In what might be one of the funniest things to hit the field since Ryan Gosling, Arts Administrator, an orchestra version of the long running Downfall meme hit YouTube on 10/11/2014. If you aren’t already in the know, the Downfall meme is a series of videos based on the climactic scene from the 2002 German film Der Untergang (Downfall), a movie about Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, recounts the Nazi dictator’s final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII. Sure, it may not sound like fodder for a string of parody videos, but creativity knows no bounds. In…
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  • 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.
  • Hindustani Music: Cultural Collisions (and Washing Machines)

    Reena Esmail
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:13 am
    The unlikely collisions between the two musical cultures I inhabit bring up so many questions for me about musical perception: What do people from one musical culture hear in the music of another culture? How much of our aesthetic association with specific music comes from repetition and reinforcement within our musical culture, and how much is simply hard-wired into us as humans?
  • The Know-Nothings of Jazz

    George Grella Jr
    23 Oct 2014 | 7:04 am
    Institutionalized jazz is safe, museum-piece jazz, but the music still happens in basements and lofts and living room performance spaces. These are the alternative venues and institutions for a music that, by definition, is outsider music, counter-culture music.
  • Chicago: A scavenger hunt of world premieres

    Ellen McSweeney
    22 Oct 2014 | 2:24 pm
    It was Open House Chicago this weekend. Open House is, apparently, a worldwide celebratory architectural free-for-all phenomenon that started in London. But I've only ever experienced it in Chicago. Here, it usually falls in late October, when each rainstorm is a tender rite of passage that strips the city of a bit more color.
  • League of American Orchestras & New Music USA Announce 12 New Music Alive Residencies

    NewMusicBox Staff
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:34 am
    Twelve orchestras and composers have been selected to receive Music Alive: New Partnerships grants of $7,500 each, the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA announced today.
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    Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

  • New on the shelf

    Alex Ross
    24 Oct 2014 | 9:58 am
    The latest from Mark Berry.
  • Two days in Guanajuato

    Alex Ross
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    Last week I traveled to Guanajuato, Mexico, a singularly beautiful old city, to participate in a convocation of critics from various disciplines. This was at the behest of the Cervantino International Festival, which, in its forty-second year, remains one of the more imposing arts festivals on the global scene. Unfortunately, I wasn't there long enough to gain a good impression of Cervantino's offerings, although I did catch a concert by the Next Mushroom Promotion Ensemble, from Japan. Tomoko Fukui's Schlaglicht, a grippingly spastic, wild-eyed piece for violin and piano, was…
  • Klinghoffer at the Met

    Alex Ross
    22 Oct 2014 | 6:48 pm
    Long Wake. The New Yorker, Nov. 3, 2014.
  • Protest and counterprotest

    Alex Ross
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:18 am
    In advance of The Death of Klinghoffer at the Met.
  • The Sellars Passion

    Alex Ross
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:13 am
    Atonement. The New Yorker, Oct. 27, 2014. In brief: Chaya Czernowin.
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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

  • 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
  • The Calder Quartet Plays Haydn

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    15 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The Calder Quartet plays Haydn in WGBH’s Studio One *** Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. I Benjamin Jacobson and Andrew Bulbrook, violins; Jonathan Moerschel, viola; Eric Byers, cello +++ Recorded at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on February 22, 2005 © 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation (photo of Calder Quartet by Autumn de Wilde)
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  • 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.
  • Golden Glow

    15 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    In his new production of Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by James Levine, director Richard Eyre brings to the fore the sensuality of Mozart's shimmering masterpiece.
  • 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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  • A tribute to Christopher Falzone

    24 Oct 2014 | 4:46 am
    The young American pianist Christopher Falzone has died at the age of 29, taking his own life. To say that the long story behind this is tragic is not saying enough - but for the moment, please simply listen to him for a few minutes in tribute. Above, he plays his own transcription of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.3.I would like to quote a poem by him that appears on another Youtube video in which he improvises a polonaise (the sound quality is not great).He writes:"The words that flow are countless,We are eternally bonded with nature's gifts,Our own talents give riseto unexpected…
  • Spiralling around that issue about women conductors again...

    23 Oct 2014 | 2:14 am
    At last Ricki and Cosi decided to sit for their official portrait by Lord Thingy.Cosi on the left, Ricki on the right. As you can imagine, it's not easy to get much work done with these little characters around. They're busy exploring...Luckily it was last week, not this week, that I went off to Formigine in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy to visit the extraordinary chamber orchestra Spira Mirabilis on its home turf. I listened to them rehearsing for four hours (most UK orchestras wouldn't fancy one minute over three - and this was four hours in the afternoon, following a similar quantity…

    22 Oct 2014 | 2:26 am
    PLEASE WELCOME TO JDCMB OUR NEW ASSISTANTS... RICKI AND COSIRicki and Cosi are Somali cats. A bit like longhaired Abyssinians. I met some Somali cats about 16 years ago and thought they were the most wonderful animals in all the world. Have harboured a secret longing for a Somali of my own ever since.They are pedigrees, and consequently highish maintenance. (They even have official Pedigree names: they are "Somantikks Siegfried and Isolde"...don't ask...) When Solti "crossed the rainbow bridge" a few months ago, life without him was so dismal that we knew we'd need someone very, very…
  • Today...

    21 Oct 2014 | 1:03 am
    ...we are fetching the new kittens. There just had to be a hurricane, didn't there. Please send us some good vibes and with any luck I'll be back later (most likely tomorrow) with the first pictures.Meanwhile, huge sober thank-yous to my Go Sober for October donators in the past week:Judith Mellor, my lovely neighbourBarbara Maria Rathbone, dynamic head of Musica Universalis Collaborative Artists' ManagementA kind anonymous donor.Current amount raised for Macmillan Cancer Support by Team JDCMB: £272. Keep it coming, folks - just 10 days to go. You can donate here for this marvellous…
  • A debate about Klinghoffer - the British way

    20 Oct 2014 | 9:39 am
    This is the civilised debate that ENO held about The Death of Klinghoffer and the nature of art before Tom Morris's staging opened here two years ago. The run itself was generally well received and passed without incident.Parterre has provided an audio streaming of the opera from its world premiere in 1991 and a link to the libretto, so it is perfectly possible to make yourself well informed about the reality of its content if you so wish., 9.40pm: here is my article on Klinghoffer from The Independent in…
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  • Choir of Westminster Abbey

    Charles T. Downey
    24 Oct 2014 | 5:11 am
    Music for Remembrance, Choir of Westminster Abbey, J. O'Donnell (Hyperion, 2014) Charles T. Downey, Westminster Abbey’s men and boys choir delights at National Cathedral (Washington Post, October 24, 2014) The tradition of the men and boys choir is most often associated with Britain, where it is maintained more fervently than anywhere else. One of the exemplars of the genre, the Choir of
  • Thoughts on Jordi Savall for AMS

    Charles T. Downey
    23 Oct 2014 | 11:31 am
    Charles T. Downey, The Jordi Savall Phenomenon Musicology Now, October 23 The giants of the early music movement of the 1970s have reached their golden years, a fact brought home in the last couple years by the passing of Gustav Leonhardt and Christopher Hogwood. One of them, viola da gambist and conductor Jordi Savall, 73, shows no signs of slowing down. His discography, already burgeoning with
  • Final Word on 'Death of Klinghoffer'

    Charles T. Downey
    22 Oct 2014 | 8:15 pm
    Death of Klinghoffer, Metropolitan Opera (photo by Ken Howard) The reviews are in for the Metropolitan Opera's production of The Death of Klinghoffer, which opened on Monday night. The commentary (not to say, the reviews), polarized in an unappetizing political way, has been difficult to read. The excesses of both sides are absurd: "Putting on this opera is equivalent to a second Holocaust!"
  • Matthew Rose @ Vocal Arts D.C.

    Charles T. Downey
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    Schubert, Winterreise, M. Rose, G. Matthewman (Stone Records, 2013) Matthew Rose's voice continues to grow, after first striking me as a little gruff and unrounded. The British bass, whose Leporello was one of the best parts of a Don Giovanni at Santa Fe in 2009, opened the Vocal Arts D.C. season on Sunday afternoon, with a lightly attended recital in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. The
  • Choral Arts Chamber Singers Go Finnish

    Charles T. Downey
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:07 am
    E. Rautavaara, Works for Mixed Chorus, Finnish Radio Chamber Choir, E.-O. Söderström (Ondine, 1996) Charles T. Downey, Choral Arts Chamber Singers perform ‘Under the Midnight Sun’ (Washington Post, October 20, 2014) Scott Tucker was appointed artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington in 2012. As the ensemble nears its 50th anniversary next year, Tucker has instituted the
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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. 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…
  • aworks album log :: september 27, 2014 #guitar #notguitar #21stcentury

    27 Sep 2014 | 9:17 pm
    American classical: Guitar in the 21st Century I like the concept and I like several of the works e.g. Sebastien Roux & Kim Myhr's SIX, Mike Vernusky's Nylah, and Duane Pitre's Music for Microtonal Guitars and Mallets. From 2009, this of course is little like traditional guitar, with Keith Rowe's Fragment from a Response to Cardew's Treatment and Jandek's The World Stops the most primitive, bordering on unpleasantly difficult. [Quiet Design Records] Lincoln Trio - Notable Women: Trios by Today's Female Composers I happened to listen to this after watching Stephen Spielberg's Lincoln for…
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  • Why Home Owners And Specialists Recommend Using A Steel Roof

    24 Oct 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Wood porch swings need no elaborate introductions. Nearly, everyone understands about them. Several places use these things. You see them in your neighbor’s property. You’ve watched them in movies. You took a seat on them in the parks. In essence, you know what their distinct type is which is hallmarked by their bench-like chair that is suspended in chains. Make confident the contractors you think about are certified to do roofing operate. Sometime roofing contractors will bid reduced if they are not appropriately certified. It is critical to find out about…
  • Which Is The Greatest Digital Cigarette To Buy? Five Top Ideas

    24 Oct 2014 | 3:16 pm
    Rapid expansion in the internet has unscreened many passages which are deserving of hearty pursuit. Between the many bounties presented e cigs are producing their possess different niche. It is in the way it is all place collectively that these marvellous pastimes turn out to be re-creative. Discovering one which satisfies you may be as fascinating as it is place collectively. The answer to this question is indeed, they are secure. Most E cig businesses which includes blu cig use a resolution of dissolved nicotine, propylene glycol and or vegetable glycerin. Propylene glycol is used in…
  • Health Insurance Policy – Financial Savings On Exceptional Protection

    24 Oct 2014 | 3:12 pm
    As unemployment in many states climb into double digits, preparing for a attainable work reduction is on many individuals’s minds. Whilst a layoff is past the management of most individuals, there are many issues that you can do to put together for the likelihood. A really trustworthy way is asking individuals you have faith in — People who are previously your close friends and acquaintances. Uncover out the price they acquire from their agent and insurance policy organization and how much they pay if you can inquire them. You can inquire them to refer you to their agent if…
  • Ways To Uncover The Proper Transmission Repair Store

    23 Oct 2014 | 4:24 pm
    Transmissions are a single of the most important aspects on any automobile, with no its appropriate maintenance, you jeopardize the procedure of your automobile. Everyone isn’t aware of this essential element. This is why it’s advantageous to get skilled guidance when making an attempt to fix or exchange this type of products. If you come across a transmission dilemma possibilities are, you won’t get anyplace else but the location the place your vehicle broke down. This implies you can’t get the vehicle to the nearest mechanic or car fix store. Owing to this, it is…
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    parterre box

  • Vissi d’artist

    Greg Freed
    24 Oct 2014 | 11:09 am
    The San Francisco Opera is batting a thousand where young singers are concerned this season. There, see? A gesture of goodwill to local sports fans. Boy, the “Niners” really took a “beating” in “game two,” huh? Anyway, where were we? Ah, yes. Young singers. Partenope was crawling with ‘em, and profitably so. Ballo’s only big splash was a cover with “up and coming” written in LEDs on her tiara. Tosca was a more evenly matched affair, but it’s hard to deny that the headliner and crowd favorite was Brian Jagde, an American lirico-spinto who can’t be more than thirty-two…
  • The magic sniff

    23 Oct 2014 | 10:44 pm
    On this day in 1947 American actor Kevin Kline was born. Born on this day in 1864 composer Franco Leoni Born on this day in 1882 composer Emmerich Kálmán Born on this day in 1913 baritone Tito Gobbi Born on this day in 1921 soprano Sena Jurinac Born on this day in 1925 composer Luciano Berio Happy 59th birthday soprano Cheryl Studer…
  • Battle of Broadway

    La Cieca
    23 Oct 2014 | 1:22 am
    La Cieca hears that there will be a little quasi-operatic activity on the Great White Way a year hence. Fall 2015 is the target date for an as yet untitled one-woman show based on the life of Kathleen Battle, scheduled to star Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. (And before you ask, no, the playwright is not Terrence McNally!)
  • Tops in flops

    23 Oct 2014 | 12:56 am
    On this day in 1967, the musical Henry, Sweet Henry opened at the Palace Theater. Born on this day in 1801 composer Albert Lortzing Born on this day in 1891 baritone Imre Palló Happy 93rd birthday soprano Denise Duval Happy 91st birthday composer Ned Rorem Happy 73rd birthday conductor Lawrence Foster Happy 63rd birthday soprano Mari Anne Häggander…
  • Anger’s aweigh

    John Yohalem
    22 Oct 2014 | 12:20 am
    It was a night a-tingle with excitement at the Metropolitan Opera House. At least part of this lay in never knowing when vocal protests might explode (verbally) somewhere in the auditorium. The place was crawling with cops, the plaza itself largely cordoned off. There were two serious outbursts, a bunch of folks in the Orchestra level between the Prologue and Act I, and a lone but loud “We will never forgive the murder of Klinghoffer!” at the top of the Family Circle between two scenes of Act I. That both disturbances took place when no music was being performed I take as a sign of…
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    The Wagnerian

  • 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…
  • LFO Announce Cast Of New Tristan Und Isolde - 2015

    23 Oct 2014 | 10:34 am
    Tristan and Isolde lithograph by Milen Litchkov  Longborough return to Wagner after a, sort of, rest season, with a new production of Tristan. Details below.12, 16, 18, 20 June CONDUCTOR Anthony NegusDIRECTOR Carmen JakobiDESIGNER Kimie NakanoLIGHTING DESIGNER Ben OrmerodCHOREOGRAPHER Didy Veldman Sung in German with English surtitles. Longborough’s Wagner journey continues with this eagerly-awaited new production conducted by Anthony Negus, directed by Carmen Jakobi. Performances begin at 3.00 pm and have a short interval after Act One and a longer 75 minute dining interval after Act…
  • The Fatality of Romanticism vs. The Metaphysics of Sexual Love: Wagner's Love Letter

    23 Oct 2014 | 10:05 am
    The Fatality of Romanticism vs. The Metaphysics of Sexual Love: Wagner's Love Letter to Schopenhauer and the Break-Up with Nietzsche.Robert Cowan Journal Article Monatshefte 106(1) 1-16 (2014)  "Goethe hat sich einmal die Fragevorgelegt, was die Gefahr sei, dieu¨ber allen Romantikern schwebe: dasRomantiker-Verha¨ngniss. Seine Antwortist: ,,am Wiederka¨uern sittlicher undreligio¨ser Absurdita¨ten zu ersticken.“Ku¨rzer: Parsifal".—Friedrich Nietzsche, Der Fall Wagner: Ein Musikanten-Problem (1888) Introduction: How to Achieve Transcendence Richard Wagner and Friedrich…
  • Free Audio Book: The Case of Wagner / Nietzsche Contra Wagner

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:31 pm
    From those very kindle volunteers at LibriVox.The Case of Wagner / Nietzsche Contra Wagner / Selected Aphorisms Friedrich NIETZSCHE (1844 - 1900), translated by Anthony Mario LUDOVICI (1882 - 1971) A collection of three of Nietzsche's writings concerning the music of Wagner. In particular, he relates Wagner's music as degenerate, unrefined and unintelligent and relates it to a gradually degenerating German culture and society. The translator provides a detailed introductionSection Chapter Reader Time Play 01 Introduction and Preface Edmund Bloxam 00:26:09 Play 02 The Case of Wagner First Half…
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    Naxos AudioBooks New Releases

  • HEYER, G.: Cousin Kate (Unabridged) (NA0182)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    When young and beautiful governess Kate Malvern finds herself unemployed, she is taken in by Minerva Broome, the aunt she has never met, and whisked away to the majestic country home of Staplewood. However, things are not as they seem: strange things start to happen in the manor and Staplewood soon turns from an inviting stately house to a cold and gloomy mansion with a dreadful secret! One of Georgette Heyer’s later novels, Cousin Kate sees the author take a more experimental turn as she blends the Regency romance genre with the suspenseful style of Gothic horror.
  • HARDY, T.: Under the Greenwood Tree (Unabridged) (NA0173)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Under the Greenwood Tree is an affectionate and youthful portrait of a world Hardy knew well—village life in ‘Wessex’—in which a romantic tale is set against changing circumstances. The traditional feature of local music-making performed by the village band and choir is challenged by the modern innovation of organ and organist providing music in the church. Fancy Day, the new, comely school mistress is also an accomplished organist, and these qualities create conflict in the village, especially when the unmarried young vicar and Dick Dewy, a member of the Mellstock…
  • DUMAS, A.: Man in the Iron Mask (The) (Unabridged) (NA0188)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The Man in the Iron Mask continues the adventures of the dauntless heroes of The Three Musketeers—Aramis, Athos, Porthos and d’Artagnan. In old age their swashbuckling ought to have been replaced by a more gentle way of life, but the veteran warriors find themselves at the centre of a plot in which both hearts and heads are broken, and the very throne of France is at stake.
  • GIBBON, E.: Memoirs of My Life (Unabridged) (NA0191)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Edward Gibbon (1737−1794) was an English historian and Member of Parliament known for his monumental series The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, which chronicled the dissipation of the Roman dynasties in a lofty, majestic style unique to its author. Memoirs of My Life, published posthumously in 1796, wholly unveils the character of the world’s greatest historian in full candour and openness. We follow him from birth, through to his education at Oxford, to his time in Switzerland where he met Voltaire and fell in love with a Swiss girl. We accompany him on his travels through…
  • GIBBON, E.: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (The), Vol. 6 (Unabridged) (NA0130)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has always maintained its initial appeal to both the general public and scholars alike. Its sheer scale is daunting, encompassing over a millennium of history, covering not merely the Western Empire from the days of the early emperors to its extinction in AD 476, but also the Eastern Empire, which lasted for another thousand years until the Turks vanquished it in 1453. But Gibbon’s style, part historical fact and part literature, is enticing, and the sheer honesty of the man, who endeavours to be scrupulously impartial in his presentation,…
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    Kenneth Woods- conductor

  • 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…
  • “Hey buddy! Does that there sarrusophone have a volume knob on it?” or “Can wind players do dynamics?”

    Kenneth Woods
    28 Sep 2014 | 8:56 am
    This Friday I’m conducting the winds of the English Symphony Orchestra in a program of wind ensemble masterpieces by Hans Gál, Mozart and Dvorák. You should come- it’s going to be fantastic! It’s no secret I’m a cellist, so I have grown up outside the wind ensemble tradition (although the wonderful Dvorák Wind Serenade actually has a significant cello part, which I’ve played many times). In spite of this, I absolutely LOVE (love!!!!!) conducting wind ensembles. I still remember the first time I conducted an all-wind group. It was the Stravinsky Octet for Winds. WOW! The…
  • Explore the Score- Shostakovich (arr. Barshai): Chamber Symphony, opus 110a

    Kenneth Woods
    9 Sep 2014 | 8:29 am
    Ken will be conducting this work with the musicians of the English String Orchestra on Saturday, the 13th of September, 2014 in Christ Church, Malvern. The ESO will be repeating this work on their concert at Elgar Concert Hall in May 2015, and will be recording the complete Shostakovich Chamber Symphonies for Avie Records for release in 2016.   Dmitri Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony opus 110a, an arrangement for string orchestra of his String Quartet no. 8 in C minor, opus 110, was the first of five orchestral transcriptions of his string quartets by his friend, the violist and…
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    Iron Tongue of Midnight

  • Key Man Insurance

    24 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    Key man insurance [sic] is what companies buy when the death of a particular individual would have a severe impact on a company's business operations.I report up to Urs Hölzle, not Alan Eustace, but I have to admit that when I saw the news that Alan had made a parachute jump from 136,000 feet, my first thought was to wonder what happens to a company's key man insurance when an executive does something like that. (This is undoubtedly because I spent the first six years of my work life in the insurance business.)Because I am a ghoul, my second thought was to be grateful that he was on the…
  • Metropolitan Opera Cast Change: Carmen

    23 Oct 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Same as on the 13th:Aleksandrs Antonenko is ill, and rather than calling in the regular cover, they've got Brandon Jovanovich singing Don Jose in tonight's performance of Carmen. Jovanovich is currently rehearsing for Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
  • Why We Need Proofreaders

    22 Oct 2014 | 3:43 pm
    Received in the mail, a fund-raising letter over David Gockley's name and signature. Somewhere in the bowels of the War Memorial Opera House, someone is grimacing, and it's not over the missing serial comma, either:We were able to present a superb roster of performers that day, all of whom will grace our main stage this fall. What a line-up! Thomas Hampson, Brandon Jovanovich, Brian Mulligan, Heidi Stober, Ramon Vargas and the powerhouse soprano Dolora Zajick, as well as our own recent Adler Fellow Brian Jagde. San Francisco Opera is one of the few opera companies in the world that can…
  • The Death of Klinghoffer Media Roundup

    22 Oct 2014 | 7:30 am
    Reviews are coming in; watch for updates:Anthony Tommasini, NY Times (Top of the page on the web just now)John Yohalem, Parterre BoxPamela McCorduck, Iron Tongue of MidnightJoe Dziemianowicz, Daily NewsJustin Davidson, James Jorden, NY ObserverGeorge Grella, NY Classical ReviewMartin Bernheimer, Financial TimesAnne Midgette, Washington Post (includes her media roundup)Manuela Holterhoff, BloombergHeidi Waleson, WSJMark Swed, LA TimesPaul Pelkonen, SuperconductorPoison Ivy, Poison Ivy's Wall of TextSam Reising, I Care If You Listen
  • Klinghoffer Sock-Puppetry

    21 Oct 2014 | 2:08 pm
    I hardly ever read opera-l these days, but happened to take a look because of all the Klinghoffer opinions flying around. And what do you know, the first alphabetic posting is by our friend "Genevieve Castle Room," and it cites something a lot like what I found on my blog the other day:GCR quotes "John Blackburn on Twitter": "Sad that Adams is held in such esteem. Musically bland pabulum spiced withprogrammatic narrative. By programmatic narrative, I mean his fondness for political libretti and such—cover for light musical thought""Carrie Theuring" on my blog: "It's sad that…
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    Musical Assumptions

  • 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…
  • Meet the Composer Podcast from WQXR

    8 Oct 2014 | 6:07 pm
    I listened to an interview with Caroline Shaw today on "Meet the Composer," the new podcast from WQXR's Q2 station. I was impressed with the way Nadia Sirota conducted the interview, impressed by Shaw, and impressed with her music and the way she explained the extended vocal techniques used by Roomful of Teeth, the vocal ensemble she sings with and writes for. I plan to listen to this podcast regularly.
  • Tendencies

    7 Oct 2014 | 5:17 am
    When I taught flute students I would often observe their throats getting tight when they found themselves in the musical land of many sharps. I noticed it in myself as well, and always had to work to counteract the tendency.Lately I have noticed the tendency of my bow arm to stray from the optimum sounding point when I find myself crossing strings in musical landscapes that have many flats.Hmm . . .
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    eighth blackbird » Blog

  • 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…
  • Heart and Breath at the Miller Theatre

    michael joyce
    3 Sep 2014 | 10:00 am
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 18, 2014 Press Contacts: Information: 212/854-7799; Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450; Charlotte Levitt, 212/854-2380; “a highly stylized, darkly beautiful love story that’s steeped in myth yet utterly modern.”  – Washington Post “a polished, personable, routinely dazzling sextet … a group whose professionalism and…
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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

  • New BBC Radio 3 supremo is off to a bad start

    24 Oct 2014 | 1:50 am
    The first public statement by BBC Radio 3's new controller Alan Davey - seen above - offers little hope for the classical station's future. In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme Davey dismissed the station's poor Q2 2014 listening figures saying: "It's one quarter's listening figures we are talking about". Which was a very unwise thing to say: as just hours after saying that the Q3 2014 figures were published and were even worse. Total listener hours for Radio 3 were down year-on-year in Q3 by a disastrous 9.2%, while benchmark station Radio 6 Music increased its listener hours in…
  • Did he jump or was he paid to jump?

    23 Oct 2014 | 1:50 am
    The charm offensive by BBC Radio 3's new controller Alan Davey has started with the full support of the mighty BBC PR machine. But there are still important unanswered questions about the departure of his predecessor Roger Wright, who is seen above. Something was not right about Roger Wright's move from the BBC to Aldeburgh Music. The BBC press release gave no reasons for his departure; however by omission it gave the clear impression that the Radio 3 controller had found a better job and would be following the standard procedure of working his notice and departing. But much that I admire…
  • How many protests against the death of an orchestra?

    22 Oct 2014 | 12:59 am
    I find protests against the Metropolitan Opera's production of The Death of Klinghoffer disturbing. I also find the threatened closure of the Ulster Orchestra - an invaluable ensemble praised in posts including What price the Simon Bolivar roadshow?- disturbing. And I find the imbalance between the abundant coverage in both the music and mainstream media of classical music's problems in New York, Atlanta, Minneapolis etc and the sparse reporting of the looming tragedy in Belfast disturbing. Also on Facebook and Twitter. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for…
  • Borrowed landscapes and borrowed music

    21 Oct 2014 | 8:56 am
    'Borrowed Landscape' (shakkei) is the Japanese garden design discipline that imports 'foreign' landscapes into local environments, and the borrowed landscape of Les Jardins du Loriot at Venansault in France featured in my 2012 post The sound of 4' 33". Shakkei is also practised by architects to import landscapes that are foreign in geographic or temporal terms. My photos show the Medina in Agadir, southern Morocco created by the architect Coco Polizzi in the early 1990s to provide the city with a traditional artisan's quarter after the original kasbah was destroyed in the disastrous 1960…
  • Change the celebrity musicians, not the audience

    19 Oct 2014 | 9:10 am
    Elsewhere the dead horse of changing concert hall conventions is being given another futile flogging. Has it not occurred to anyone else that concertgoers applaud between movements to add some spontaneity to the perfectly manicured and totally lifeless performances that are the stock-in-trade of the new generation of youthful maestros? Has it not occurred to anyone else that audiences bring drinks into concert halls because today's unadventurous and uninspired concerts are best experienced through an alcoholic haze? The sociologist Emile Durkheim posited that to redefine a convention you must…
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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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    Naxos New Releases

  • SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies, Vol. 11 - Symphony No. 13, `Babi Yar` (Vinogradov, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Petrenko) (8.573218)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. 13, Op. 113 in 1962. The climax of his ‘Russian period’ and, in its scoring for bass soloist, male chorus and orchestra, among the most Mussorgskian of his works, it attracted controversy through its settings of poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko (the ‘Russian Bob Dylan’ of his day)—not least the first movement, where the poet underlines the plight of Jews in Soviet society. The other movements are no less pertinent in their observations on the relationship between society and the individual. This is the final release in Vasily…
  • PINHO VARGAS, A.: Requiem / Judas (Gulbenkian Choir and Orchestra, J. Carneiro, Eldoro) (8.573277)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Much decorated by his native country, António Pinho Vargas, originally best known for his jazz performances, is now one of Portugal’s leading classical composers. His instrumental and film music has won numerous awards, and his chamber works have been performed by some of the world’s leading ensembles. In turning to the sacred, Pinho Vargas has crafted music of moving declamatory power. He has organised Judas into five specific scenes with an epilogue, whilst the Requiem is a very personal and powerful reply, in the composer’s words, ‘to a history of numerous…
  • CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO, M.: Evangélion (A. Marangoni) (8.573316)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was Jewish by culture but regularly composed on Biblical themes. A meditation on stories from the New Testament in music of tender simplicity, moving lyricism and potent drama, the epic but rarely heard Evangélion starts with The Annunciation and concludes with The Last Words and The Resurrection. Composed in 1947 soon after the death of the composer’s father, the work was possibly conceived after a visit to the Acolman Convent in Mexico. This is its first complete recording. Alessandro Marangoni can also be heard in Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s two Piano…
  • PAULUS, S.: Three Places of Enlightenment / Veil of Tears / Grand Concerto (Nashville Symphony, Guerrero) (8.559740)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Describing himself as ‘a composer who can satisfy all kinds’, Stephen Paulus possesses a remarkable versatility and gift for the dramatic. Concertos for string quartet and orchestra are a rarity, and Three Places of Enlightenment is both a journey of discovery for the listener and a spectacular showcase for the principal strings of the Nashville Symphony. Both this concerto and the reflective Veil of Tears are considered by the composer among his most significant works. Employing hymn fragments, the Grand Concerto is a work of sweeping gestures and melodies as well as wide…
  • Cello Music (Canadian) - COULTHARD, J. / WEINZWEIG, J. / GUERRERO, A. / ARCHER, V. (When Music Sounds) (J. Harrison, Keillor) (9.70126)

    30 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    This selection of undeservedly neglected Canadian works for cello and piano is framed by the music of Jean Coulthard, her 1946 Sonata establishing a personal voice while building on the influence of Debussy, the later When Music Sounds exemplifying her lyricism and sensitive treatment of both instruments. John Weinzweig’s Cello Sonata fascinatingly combines serial technique with Jewish melodic shapes, expressing national joy and the struggles of creating the new state of Israel. Remembered as the teacher of Glenn Gould, Alberto Guerrero’s Chants oubliés extend the…
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    The Naxos Blog

  • 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.
  • The devil’s in the detail

    25 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    “Why should the devil have all the best tunes?” … or something along those lines. The exact quotation and its source have long been the subject of speculation. But the devil certainly has attracted the attention of many fine composers who have etched him (or maybe her) into the musical annals as vividly as visual artists have done down the ages. My own first brush with a spooky chill down the spine happened at a production of Weber’s 1821 opera Der Freischütz in which the devil makes his dramatic midnight appearance at the end of the Wolf’s Glen Scene to claim the soul of…
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    Classical CD Reviews

  • Sergei Zhukov Piano and Violin Concertos

    Gavin Dixon
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:07 am
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  • Bach Cello Suites Viola de Hoog

    Gavin Dixon
    13 Oct 2014 | 8:31 am
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  • Wagner Die Walküre Solti 1961

    Gavin Dixon
    3 Oct 2014 | 3:41 am
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  • Lachenmann String Quartets JACK Quartet

    Gavin Dixon
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:22 am
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  • Kirill Gerstein Imaginary Pictures

    Gavin Dixon
    10 Sep 2014 | 7:42 am
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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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  • 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!
  • 5 Questions to Paul Dresher (Composer)

    Jason Charney
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    At Roulette, on Sunday, October 26, the Paul Dresher Double Duo will perform Double Ikat Part 2, Dresher’s invented instrument duo Glimpsed From Afar, John Cage‘s Six Melodies for Violin & Keyboard Instrument and Martin Bresnick‘s Fantasia on A Theme By Willie Dixon. TwoSense performing the world premiere of Dresher’s three movement duo for cello & [...] Visit I CARE IF YOU LISTEN's Blog to read more!
  • This week: concerts in New York (October 20 – October 26, 2014)

    Sam Reising
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Immix Christopher Yohmei Blasdel & Sasha Bogdanowitsch present new original works & improvisations for shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) , voice, world instruments & electronics, intermingling ancient instruments alongside contemporary creations. Monday, October 20 at 7:30 PM Tickets $12 JACK, 505 ½ Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY ..:: Website Sonic Tapestry | Roomful of Teeth Roomful of [...] Visit I CARE IF YOU LISTEN's Blog to read more!
  • I CARE IF YOU LISTEN Magazine: Issue 9 is out!

    Thomas Deneuville
    17 Oct 2014 | 5:10 am
      Issue 9 of I CARE IF YOU LISTEN Magazine is out! Ti Ra Ki Ta*  by  Thomas Deneuville Music for Heart and Breath on Deutsche Grammophon  by  Daniel J. Kushner Aspen Diaries  by  Aaron Holloway-Nahum Indian Music in New Music  by  Ronni Reich Michael Harrison: A Portrait  by  David Dies Getting Started With Arduino  by  Nick [...] 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™

  • 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™.
  • Top 10 Warning Signs You May Be a Piano Nerd

    Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    An adult piano student has detected an unintended consequence of her passion for piano: becoming a piano nerd. Here's a list of the top 10 warning signs. Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor The full article Top 10 Warning Signs You May Be a Piano Nerd is on Grand Piano Passion™.
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  • 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…
  • Moving!

    4 Jun 2014 | 10:18 am
    We are jumping ship from our present wordpress home and putting our blog where it belongs – on our regular website.  Find future posts (and old ones as soon as we migrate them) here!
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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

  • NEW TO YOUTUBE | 2Cellos, ‘The Trooper Overture’ – Rossini & Iron Maiden Cover [VIDEO]

    23 Oct 2014 | 11:41 am
    Released just this week, 2Cellos‘ latest video: ‘The Trooper Overture’ – featuring a rock club mash-up of Rossini’s ‘William Tell Overture’ with rock legends Iron Maiden‘s ‘The Trooper’. 2CELLOS | THE TROOPER | ROSSINI ‘WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE’ & IRON MAIDEN ‘THE TROOPER’ The post NEW TO YOUTUBE | 2Cellos, ‘The Trooper Overture’ – Rossini & Iron Maiden Cover [VIDEO] appeared first on The Violin Channel | The World's Leading Violin, Strings & Classical Music News Source.
  • BBC Scottish Symphony Chief Conductor Donald Runnicles to Become Conductor Emeritus

    23 Oct 2014 | 10:58 am
    It has been announced today that BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor Donald Runnicles will step down at the conclusion of the 2015/16 season – and assume the title of ‘Conductor Emeritus’. “Since the beginning it has been my great privilege to lead and work with this remarkable group of musicians,” Maestro Runnicles has said, “ … I am honoured and gratified to assume this new role, which enables me to deepen the artistic bond with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.” “The connection between Runnicles and the Scottish Orchestra is one of the great…
  • Prolific American Composer Stephen Paulus has Died – Aged 65

    22 Oct 2014 | 6:18 pm
    American composer Stephen Paulus has passed away from medical complications, following a stroke – aged just 65. During this 40 year output, Mr Paulus composed hundreds of works – including more than 60 orchestral scores, 10 operas and 150 choral pieces. He was the co-founder of the American Composers Forum, the largest composers’ services organisation in the US – and served periods as Composer-in-Residence with the Atlanta, Minnesota, Tucson and Annapolis Symphony Orchestras. He suffered a major stroke in July 2013 and sadly never recovered. Our condolences are with his…
  • 30 Year Old Michelle Merrill Announced as Detroit Symphony Assistant Conductor

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:54 pm
    Following a nationwide search, 30 year old American conductor Michelle Merrill has today been announced as the new Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. “I am honoured and beyond thrilled to be joining the DSO family,” Merrill has said,  “… having the opportunity to work with the extraordinary musicians of the orchestra and world-renowned Music Director Leonard Slatkin is a dream come true.” “Michelle impressed everyone with her musicality,” Maestro Slatkin has said, “… both in conducting the orchestra and in the interview phases she exhibited all…
  • Memphis Symphony Orchestra Musicians Agree to 38% Pay Cut to Aid Cash Crisis

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:22 pm
    The musicians of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra have today agreed to a 1 year 38% pay cut to aid the cash-strapped organisation balance its floundering fiscal position. “There was really no choice because the orchestra’s reserves, which had at one time been more than $6 million, had been spent over the years to cover operating shortfalls,” Memphis Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Roland Valliere has said. The Orchestra’s board has presented an aggressive fundraising plan committed to getting the organisation’s finances back on track. The post Memphis…
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    Stephen P Brown

  • 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... →
  • #PsalmQuest 30 – “How Long?” for brass quintet

    Stephen P Brown
    14 Oct 2014 | 3:56 am
    This is actually my first brass quintet in the #PsalmQuest, but the second I've ever written. It is a fun piece, and I would be thrilled if people from 30 different countries... Give me more... →
  • Refining more helps more

    Stephen P Brown
    9 Oct 2014 | 9:01 am
      Converse to many popular beliefs and teachings, when someone or a company narrows down their focus and refines their services, more people benefit. I know, weird, right? “Diversification” is still a buzz word in the Corporate world, as is “mergers and acquisitions” and a whole host of rebranded phrases … Give me more... →
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  • 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…
  • CONCERT REVIEW: Nash Ensemble/LSO St Luke’s, London

    21 Oct 2014 | 12:59 am
    Nash Ensemble: Marianne Thorsen, Laura Samuel (violins); Lawrence Power, Philip Dukes (violas); Rebecca Gilliver, Pierre Doumenge (cellos)LSO St Luke’s, Thursday 16 October 2014 Rating: **** It’s presently fashionable – and often enlightening – to explore the inner workings of the symphonic tradition through chamber-sized media, from Beethoven’s own piano-trio arrangement…
  • CONCERT OF THE WEEK: Dumay, Meneses, Pires/Saffron Walden

    19 Oct 2014 | 11:45 pm
    We look ahead to an unmissable music event over the next seven days Augustin Dumay (violin), Antonio Meneses (cello), Maria João Pires (piano)Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden, Saturday 25 October French violinist Augustin Dumay, Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses and celebrated Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires bring a combined 100-plus years of…
  • FEATURE: David Fulton – the Collector

    17 Oct 2014 | 2:33 am
    Seattle-based David Fulton has single-handedly amassed one of the world’s most prestigious collections of fine stringed instruments. Peter Somerford spoke to him about how he got started, what drives him – and how he ensures their immaculate condition for future generations There are plenty of individuals around the world with…
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