Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Alex Steinweiss, who dreamed up the concept of album cover art in the 1930s and gave us the first examples of creatively illustrated record sleeves, died on July 17. He was 94. Check out some of his handiwork in this slideshow.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Placido Domingo, the peripatetic tenor, conductor and opera house impresario, added another feather to his cap on Tuesday: as the new chairman of IFPI, a British trade group representing the recording industry.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Situated on 26 acres of farmland on the bank of Otsego Lake a few miles north of Cooperstown, NY is the Alice Busch Opera Theater. It’s not where you might expect to find one of America’s largest summer opera festivals, but driving so far out of the way to find the Glimmerglass Festival is one of the biggest reasons why it makes for such a wonderful weekend trip.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is the example of an orchestra for which everything seemed to be going well. Now it's reported that the orchestra is in considerable debt.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Last week, American pianist, Van Cliburn celebrated his 77th birthday. This came just weeks after the Russians gave Cliburn a warm welcome when he returned to their country to serve as honorary juror in the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He was a true hero "returning home" 53 years after winning the country’s premiere musical competition at the height of the Cold War.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Mikhail Arkadyev, the conductor of Vladivostok's Pacific Symphony Orchestra, found out what happens when you refuse to get on board in Vladimir Putin's Russia.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Leaked details of New York City Opera’s 2011-12 season show that the financially ailing opera company will travel to at least three different venues bringing a mix of standard and offbeat repertoire.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Over the years, some of the most popular questions we've fielded here at WQXR have to do to do with old record collections – especially 78’s. Can the records be sold? Can they be given to schools… or libraries? Surely there must be a place of honor for these cherished musical memories that have been preserved with such loving care. After all, some fabulous performances risk being forgotten forever if the records are simply discarded, right? And what about the ongoing "quality" discussion? I mean, do LP's actually sound better than CDs or downloads?
Monday, July 04, 2011
In an orchestra world pummeled by strikes, deficits and closures, some recent news from the Toronto Symphony has been far brighter. This month, the orchestra reported that 35% of its audience is younger than 35 years old.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
After filing for bankruptcy in April, the 111-year-old Philadelphia Orchestra announced an aid package potentially worth $45 million on Wednesday.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
For the second year in a row, WQXR jumped into the June 21st "Make Music New York" festival with both feet. Actually, with many more feet than that -- Jeff Spurgeon and I both sang, accompanied by Jing Li, who's a member of the WQXR music team, and we brought along an audio/video crew of three to capture it for you to enjoy on our Web site.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
LaGuardia High School, best known as the school upon which the movie and TV show "Fame" was based, is about to get its first Renaissance music club. Kids will learn instruments like the crumhorn and recorder.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I've sung plenty of outdoor gigs (including WQXR's appearance last summer at the "Play Me I'm Yours" piano near Columbus Circle, where the video producer was kind enough to cut away at the point when I nearly tripped over a tree root in mid "Amour!"). Outdoor performances proliferate in summer -- and so do the hazards that come with them.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Last week, PBS aired a program in its American Masters series called James Levine: America's Maestro. The show included great footage showing how James Levine gets the results he does from his musicians, and interesting insights from some of the people who work with him. If you missed it, you can watch it online, through June 16.
Monday, June 06, 2011
I have always relished the feeling of being “backstage.” There’s a crazy lovely thing that happens when you get to feel a sort of ownership for a huge historical building or site, be it a concert hall, a cathedral or a museum. When I was a little kid, I spent the summers at Tanglewood in the Berkshires, where my parents taught. This was a Tanglewood more or less unchanged from the days of Koussevitzky, where Bernstein and Copland were to be found eating in the cafeteria, and where Seiji Ozawa could be found zooming around in his sports car.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
With the first-ever Gilbert and Sullivan sing-along taking place at Symphony Space and Caramoor kicking off its summer season with H.M.S. Pinafore, Naomi Lewin and Midge Woolsey talk about the timeless charm of the dynamic operetta duo.