Friday, July 16, 2010
How many of us could've predicted this pairing, Aretha Franklin and Condoleezza Rice singing and playing the classics. Neither of these women is a stranger to classical music. Dr. Rice has performed at the White House with Yo Yo Ma and Ms. Franklin stepped in and covered for Pavarotti at the Grammy Awards in 1998.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Singers from the Metropolitan Opera put on a great show for their first recital of the season, at SummerStage in Central Park. As I sat there listening, I couldn't help noticing how diverse the audience was. People of every age, ethnic background, gender identification, you name it, all out there enjoying opera on a summer night.
Monday, July 12, 2010
As a cellist, Jonathan Golove is at ease in both the Western classical tradition and in contemporary art music. Since his participation as the cello theremin player in a performance of the Varèse work, Ecuatorial, at the University of Buffalo (where he also teaches cello), Golove has extensively researched this theremin-related instrument. Below, Golove colorfully profiles the relatively obscure cello theremin while describing Varèse's attraction to it.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
This weekend, the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance program draws to a close with fully staged productions of The Magic Flute, Gianni Schicchi and Donizetti’s Rita at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. I distinctly remember the first time I attended one of the Foundation’s summertime performances. It was an extremely hot day and the air conditioned comfort of the theater was absolutely delightful. It was even better than going to the movies because there was a live orchestra and beautiful sets and costumes. What a way to spend a summer day!
Friday, July 02, 2010
This week on WQXR we’ve been featuring Eric Whitacre’s choral music on a new Naxos CD. Eric is a young American composer who is taking the world of choral music by storm. Everywhere I go, I hear singers and conductors talking enthusiastically about his music.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I felt it a few years ago at a concert where Robert White and Dick Hyman shared memories of the Golden Age of Radio, the time when Bobby was a child singer and actor and Dick was playing the piano and organ on live radio soap operas. I felt it recently, attending South Pacific, when the orchestra struck up that amazing overture. And I feel it every time I hear live music at the Naumburg Band Shell in Central Park.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Merriam-Webster defines diva (Italian for "goddess") as a prima donna (Italian for "first woman"). The dictionary gives two English definitions for prima donna: (1) a principal female singer in an opera, and (2) a vain or undisciplined person who finds it difficult to work…as part of a team.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Now in its 15th year, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas is a music, theater, and dance festival that takes place in New Haven, CT's historic courtyards, auditoriums and theaters. Festival highlights include a performances by Brooklyn's Electric Junkyard Gamelan, a percussion ensemble that builds its own instruments from found objects, Phillip Glass' performance of his solo piano music and a concert featuring the chamber ensemble repertoire of Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Christopher Rouse. With the festival's "arts and ideas" theme in mind, EJG founder Terry Dame describes the path that led her toward green instrument building.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Xenakis expert and contemporary music heavyweight Douglas Perkins will be a participating percussionist for Persephassa, part of the sprawling Make Music New York: Xenakis in Central Park happening on Monday, June 21 at the Central Park Boating Lake. It's a full afternoon of outdoor performances by the trailblazing Greek composer, featuring the bombastic Persephassa, for six percussionists, who will surround audience members experiencing the piece in floating rowboats on the lake!
Friday, June 11, 2010
This week at a dinner party I met Pam, who left the get-together early. I'm a night owl myself (on the air weekend evenings, after all), but Pam told us that she regularly gets up at 4 am each day. She feels that rising early lets her "own the day," and gives her invaluable time to think and get things done.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
This week marks the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann's birth, which we've been celebrating all week long on WQXR. Robert Schumann was well known for writing music and prose--in addition to being a composer, he was also a music critic and journalist. But it's clear that Robert Schumann would not have had nearly the success he did if he hadn't married Clara Wieck, a highly talented pianist and composer who served as his partner and muse.