In this Handel anniversary year (he died 250 years ago), Neil Fischer of the Times of London dissected George Frideric’s career to find out just why he was so wildly successful. He lays it all out very clearly in this article.
*(Results not typical. Your actual results may vary.)
Public School Houses sadly aren’t rocking like they used to due to severe budget cuts, but a few rock musicians are putting up their own money to make music education available for school kids in California. The reason: music was their savior from failure.
here’s the Washington Post article
Every year about this time, Charleston, South Carolina, becomes a hot spot for performance of all kinds as the Spoleto Festival USA takes over the town. This year’s festival began this past Friday and continues through June 7th.
One of the festival’s principles is to give young artists the chance to work with more experienced ones. Among those whose careers got a boost from Spoleto are soprano Renée Fleming, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Emerson String Quartet and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Who are this year’s future stars? Skim the festival’s official website or read one blogger’s reviews of particular performances to see if you can pick ’em.
The blog of pianist Stephen Hough has been mentioned here before, but it deserves another plug. Hough writes in very readable style about music, but also whatever is on his mind, from religion to pastry (he admits to a bit of a sweet tooth). And since he’s spending some time in Minnesota soon, for a series of concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, who knows what might show up on the blog?
UPDATE, May 28: The Minnesota blog postings have begun to appear.
I love it when musicians’ websites reveal something about their personalities, and I’m especially excited when these “high priests of art” are willing to show their baby pictures. (See samples here and here.)
But clarinetist Julian Bliss goes a step further–he’s young enough that his entire career is on video, and on his website he includes a progression of himself from precocious 4-year-old (!) clarinetist through to young adult virtuoso.
See him grow here (start at the bottom and work your way up).
In sports, if you make the most goals or run the fastest or punch out the other guy, you win.
In music, it’s not so cut-and-dried. Winning a major music competition can often mean the difference between a career taking off or fizzling out. But choosing the one lucky “winner” from a highly-talented group can be tough. With the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition set to begin Friday, the Dallas Morning News explores the challenge for the judges to look into the future and decide which pianist has the right mix or skill, virtuosity, musicality, flair and promise to ensure a successful international career. One way the Van Cliburn distinguishes itself from other competitions is by giving the process enormous coverage, including a webcast, so even one of the “losers” will be seen and heard by an international community of press, managers and concert-promoters and that in itself may be enough to kick her career into overdrive. It should be an exciting event to watch, but since the judges are human too, don’t count on your favorite pianist winning!
note: coming up next month in the Twin Cities, it’s the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition June 29 – July 10. Stay tuned for our coverage of the competition at Classical Minnesota Public Radio.
As this Newsweek story says, “Don’t hate him because he’s popular.”
Composer Nico Muhly is not yet 30 years old, but he’s got one major film score under his belt, and is working on his first opera–commissioned by the Met.
And as luck would have it, the Juilliard grad is performing in Minneapolis tonight and tomorrow at the Southern Theater.
For quite a while, walkers in New York City could see an echt-NYC juxtaposition on the Bowery: CBGB, the cradle of punk, next to the Amato Opera, a mom-and-pop company (literally) with a tiny stage, and budget, but an unquestioned commitment to opera.
CBGB has been gone for a few years (though with a continuing online existence). Now Amato Opera is closing its doors as well; Ray Suarez has an appreciation.
We usually only hear about how much orchestra musicians and their Music Directors are compensated when an orchestra is at odds with its management or the orchestra is operating in the red and in danger of cutting its season or closing its doors. With the downturn in the economy, a recent piece in the Chicago Tribune explores whether the time is ripe for a new business plan including aligning musician salaries with market rates and capping soloist and conductor fees to ensure the orchestra is investing wisely. Since orchestras receive public funds, it seems to me more transparency and accountability may be required during this recession. What do you think?
I should mention that just this weekend, the Chicago Tribune reported that the CSO musicians accepted a salary cut as part of an institution-wide budget cut.
A gig’s a gig–so when tenor Marcello Bedoni was booked to sing a concert for some English cows, he was very gracious. “They are a great audience,” he said.
Well, at least they don’t cough too much and rattle their programs, as you can see below. Read more about the occasion here.