MoMA's Glenn Lowry: Merging Music and Art

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Glenn Lowry is the director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which boasts a collection of more than 150,000 works. Its library and archives represent more than 70,000 artists. A passionate music-lover, Lowry reveals to host Gilbert Kaplan:

— His favorite opera is Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

— That given any spare time, “I’d go to the opera.”

— The “greatest music” is the duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers.

— How musicians and visual artists can inspire each other.

— Risk-taking in reinterpreting classics should be encouraged.

— How Janet Cardiff’s musical sculpture was inspired by Thomas Tallis’ work.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:   Don Giovanni, Overture. Philharmonia Orchestra. Carlo Maria Giulini. EMI 5 67873.

Thomas Tallis:   Spem in alium. The Sixteen. Harry Christophers. CORSACD 16016.

Johannes Brahms:   Piano Concerto No. 1 [excerpt]. New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Leonard Bernstein. Glenn Gould, piano. Sony Classical 60675.

Nick Drake:   “River Man.” Universal-Island 842915.

Richard Wagner:   Tannhäuser, Overture [excerpt]. Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. Daniel Barenboim. Teldec 8573-88064-2. “O du mein holder Abendstern” [“Song to the Evening Star”]. Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. James Levine. Bryn Terfel, baritone. Deutsche Grammophon 445866.

George Bizet:   The Pearl Fishers [excerpt]. RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra. Renato Cellini. Jussi Björling, tenor; Robert Merrill, baritone. BMG Classics 7799.

Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richards Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Since my childhood at age 10, when on WNYC I heard the Rhine Journey and Siegfried's Funeral Music from Gotterdammerung with Toscanini conducting his New York Philharmonic version before the Symphony of the Air much later recorded version, I have been an ardent fan of Wagner's oeuvre. I started vocalizing with my child's voice on the music I studied from the Wagner partiturs [full orchestral scores] and piano vocal scores of Wagner's operas that were donated to the Jersey Avenue Main Library of Jersey City by the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration as part of their Works Project Administration. Wagner's music convinced me that I JUST HAD TO COMPOSE AND SING. Because of that ALLADIN'S LAMP inspiration, I have made a career as a Wagnerian heldentenor and an opera composer. My cousin MICHAEL BLANKFORT wrote both the books and screenplays for the 1953 film THE JUGGLER Hollywood film made in Israel starring KIRK DOUGLAS and the 1950 Hollywood film BROKEN ARROW starring JAMES STEWART and JEFF CHANDLER [Cochise]. The music for THE JUGGLER was composed by opera composer GEORGE ANTHEIL, in whose opera VOLPONE I sang the tenor leading role [Mosca] in its professional world premiere in NEW YORK in 1953. ANTHEIL, famous for his opera TRANSATLANTIC and BALLET MECHANIQUE looked exactly like Peter Lorre. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I opened my three hour concert with the Invocazione di Orfeo from Jacopo Peri's opera EURIDICE composed in 1600, the first opera, composed in the same year as Shakespeare wrote HAMLET. Also, at this same three hour long solo concert are my singing of Florestan's monologue "Gott! welch dunkel hier!' from "FIDELIO" and "Sound an Alarm" from Handel's "JUDAS MACCABAEUS." They can be heard from my live performance on my three websites,, ,, and They received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. My voice teachers were the legendary MET OPERA singers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Frieda Hempel, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, Karin Branzell and Margarete Matzenauer. As an opera composer myself ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] I fully comprehend the assumed urgency of recognition of the still living. However, it's important to revere and enjoy the MASTERPIECES of art, music, literature, architecture and science in its multiple formats . I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles. On my websites one may download, free, at "Recorded Selections" my singing of Siegfried, Gotterdammerung Siegfried, Tristan, Siegmund, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Rienzi, Walther von Stolzing, Otello, Eleazar and Florestan.

Dec. 24 2012 06:36 PM

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