Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Speaking of Mozart and his 255th birthday, do you remember the Milos Forman film Amadeus? Just for fun, let’s imagine a remake of the movie and a brand new cast. Whom would you choose to play Mozart? How about Salieri? And what about Mozart’s wife, Constanze?
Friday, January 21, 2011
Behind every successful man there is a woman, or so the old saying goes. In the music world, behind every brilliant soloist there is his or her accompanist. Jascha Heifetz had his Brooks Smith, Anne-Sophie Mutter has her Lambert Orkis, Midori had her Robert McDonald and among many other things, Benjamin Britten was the reliable accompanist to his Peter Pears.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Finally!! Brooklyn lives up to its hipper-than-hip image! Alan Pierson, the 36-year old conductor of the groundbreaking New Music ensembles Alarm Will Sound and Dublin-based Crash Ensemble, is bringing his prodigious talents and badass programmatic instincts to the Brooklyn Philharmonic as their new Artistic Director, effective immediately. Pierson has made a name for himself as a tireless advocate of innovative music through collaborations with composers such as Steve Reich, Aphex Twin, Michael Gordon and Donnacha Dennehy.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
There was a time when musicians were considered peons on the social ladder and great composers remained anonymous. Both performer and composer were servants to aristocrats or the church. Applauding their craft was radical and perhaps even sacrilege. These days, audiences heartily applaud great performances across sacred and secular mediums. While I enjoy hearing live music and applauding inspired performances, some music is just better without applause.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Spending time last December in Grace Rainey Rodgers Auditorium at the Met brought back great memories for me. As I sat in rehearsals and the concert, watching two brand-new works and a nearly-new one on a hot streak come together, I was glad to do a little reminiscing, but was also able to focus my attention differently since the last time I was there.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
This holiday season WQXR and WNYC are broadcasting a radio drama version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with David Hyde Pierce as Scrooge and many of your favorite public radio hosts as narrators and characters. Composer John Forster played piano and A Prairie Home Companion's Fred Newman performed stunning live sound effects.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
You've hopefully heard Q2's "stings" countless times by now. Stings are the pre-recorded, station-identifying short bits of music used as segues between songs. In radio jargon, they're also referred to as sweepers, stingers, radio/station imaging, bumpers, shotguns... admittedly, the radio industry has some eccentric terminology.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
As the New Year approaches, people always talk about their resolutions, primarily what they plan to do. But what about what you plan not to do? I saw a piece on the news about a woman who was encouraging mothers not to volunteer so much! Horrors! Seems like a very non-PC thing to say, but what with PTA, non-profits, religious and other volunteer organizations, people are finding less time for their themselves, family and friends.