Ligeti at the New York Philharmonic

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I’m really looking forward to the New York Philharmonic’s production of Le Grand Macabre, by György Ligeti. Ligeti wrote some wonderful, innovative music.  When I was in college, I got to sing his Lux Aeterna (which also put in an audio appearance in "2001: A Space Odyssey"). It was one of the most memorable choral experiences of my life. 

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Looking for a Miracle

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just like I expected Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers to knock off the Boston Celtics, I was hopeful that Gustavo Dudamel and his Los Angeles Philharmonic would knock Bernstein out of the park during their East Coast tour last week. Over consecutive weeks, both superstars appeared mortal.

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Listen to the Children

Friday, May 21, 2010

I have only a few rules in my life and one of them is when asked to host at Carnegie Hall, I always say yes. Such was the case many years ago when I was asked to appear for a few minutes, mid concert, with The New York Youth Symphony. After hearing everything from 1st graders to high schoolers play, I was not sure what to expect. But within minutes of hearing these remarkable young people, I was blown away.

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Young and Old

Friday, May 21, 2010

This Sunday at 4:05 pm, you'll hear the baroque orchestra Juilliard415 join me in the WQXR Studio to perform and chat. Juilliard415 features graduate-level students from The Juilliard School's new Historical Performance program. So these are young people performing on very old-style instruments.

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Music and Memories

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is there music that triggers instant memories for you that have nothing to do with the music itself?

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Embracing New Technology

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sometimes I’m slow about embracing new technology, and sometimes I’m the first one there. When I worked for Channel 13, I was the very first to buy a fax machine for the Great Performances unit. Until then, we had been using snail mail, FedEx and the Telex (remember the Telex?) to communicate with production companies all over the world.

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Skál from Iceland

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I’ve had quite the month. For the most part, I’ve been on a bus tour of Europe with the Bedroom Community label (Iceland). This label is unique in that the organizing principle is not really style or genre so much as quality, or interest or something.

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What's in the Mozart Effect?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Among the advice proffered when I was pregnant with my son was the thought that playing Mozart (and placing headphones on my planet-sized belly! ) would help my unborn baby’s brain development.

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A Concert for Dogs

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dogs enjoy many of the things that we enjoy: table food, water, beer and surprises. But what about music? Some seem to, but perhaps their pleasure is derived from the enjoyment they sense from their owners as they listen. 

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Spanish Bagpipes

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have a thing for bagpipes--especially Spanish ones. Last night I heard Galician gaiteira extraordinaria Cristina Pato. She's a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, but this time, she was with her own ensemble, serving as ambassador to the 2010 Holy Year (Xacobeo) in Santiago de Compostela, one of the great pilgrimage sites of the world.

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Radios and Taxi Cabs

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do you remember when riding in a cab in New York often included either an interesting conversation with the driver or a pleasant  listening experience via the car radio? These days it seems to be all about passengers on cellphones and the video screen on the back of the front seat that starts doing its thing the minute the ride begins--whether you like it or not!

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Community Spirit

Monday, May 10, 2010

A student recital I recently attended has really stayed with me. Such performances are music-school requirements, and to complete them successfully is a big relief for the performers, I’m sure. But there was a sense of exultation in the room after the senior recital of Rollin Simmons, a cantorial student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and that feeling has continued to buoy up my spirits ever since.

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Mama Said

Friday, May 07, 2010

Mother’s Day is Sunday, and WQXR listeners have already eloquently told us about their mothers' musical influence.

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WQXR Mother's Day Giveaway Winner

Friday, May 07, 2010

The winner of the WQXR Mother's Day Giveaway is....

Audrey from New York, NY

She won dinner for four to Balthazar, a traditional French Brasserie located on Spring Street in Soho.

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Thomas Quasthoff at Carnegie Hall

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I've been waiting for years to go to a Thomas Quasthoff concert. I'd seen him on T.V. and listened to his recordings, but last night I finally got to hear him in person at Carnegie Hall.

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WQXR - It's Everywhere You Want To Be

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A few weeks ago I got a text message from a friend saying she was listening to me on air at a bodega in Brooklyn. Just last week I listened to my colleague Midge Woolsey while at my doctor’s office in Manhattan.

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Cooking With Classical Music

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I was rearranging some of my books recently and came across my copy of Kitchen Classics with the Philharmonic by my former WQXR colleague June Lebell (great book, btw). It made me think how important it is to have the right music playing when you are preparing meals.

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Boo Hoo

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Recently the much loved opera tenor Placido Domingo stepped on stage into his 131st role at the age of 69 after undergoing colon cancer surgery. While he had given millions of opera lovers decades of joy and zillions of notes, how was he thanked? By being booed! People paid good money and sat for hours to see a super star in the world of opera return after a possibly life threatening illness--and he was booed!!

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"Songs My Mother Taught Me"

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Mother’s Day is coming up and we’d like to invite you to contribute some fun musical programming ideas. What comes to your mind when you mix classical music and mothers?

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Are Choreographers’ Styles Immediately Recognizable?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The New York Times dance critic Roslyn Sulcas is absolutely correct when she says, “Although we don’t think about it much in daily life, the way someone moves is as distinctive as a voice or facial features. Of course some movements, voices or features are more striking than others.”

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