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  1. Robert Levine says

    Hi again.

    The Heilbrun book is here:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=SWGhvkoI-i0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=james+heilbrun&ei=bg0eSMf-MoecjgHQpdSGBg&sig=LKxcQlbCTsVNk5MhZpk8clmnjbc#PPA153,M1

    Now that I’ve read it, I see it much more as a defense of Baumol than as a critique of him. And, as I’ve found out, that’s how Flangan sees it, too. The book states both sides of whatever argument there is, which maybe explains why people on both sides can cite it in their defense. But in the end, I think it comes down on Baumol’s side.

  2. says

    Hi Greg,

    I’ve been an avid reader of the book-in-progress for ages.Forgive the unsolicited approach but if you can spare a few minutes, I think you’ll approve and it would be great if you could give us a mention.

    We’d like to introduce you to http://www.bachtrack.com. We started the site in the UK in January, and we’re launching it in the US this week.

    The object is simple: to give classical music and opera fans the best possible way to find out what’s playing. We keep around 5,000 events listed, including most of the best events from the top orchestras and opera houses. Currently, around 1,300 of these are in the US, with the rest mainly split between the UK and Europe.

    The site is easy, flexible and fun: please try it! you can browse by composer, work, performer or orchestra, venue, city, type of work, date or any combination of these; you can even see league tables of what’s being performed most often.

    Our starting point was this: we’re convinced that there’s a very large number of people who enjoy classical music but don’t go to concerts: frequently, potential concert-goers simply don’t know what’s being played, and many wonderful events play to half-full halls because their promoters don’t know how to tell audiences about them.

    If you’re trying to find your favorite symphony or what concerts are on within an hour’s drive from your home, standard search engines simply aren’t useful. Imagine yourself looking for your favorite work, performer or concert near your home, and try Googling “Shostakovich Symphony 5 concert”: the results page is a sorry mess. You won’t do much better with “Shostakovich Symphony 5 Live”, “Classical concerts Boston”, “Bellini Norma” or countless similar searches.

    We’ve put huge amounts of effort into making the concert finder easy, fast, and accurate. We did a major update over the summer, and we’ve had many plaudits from music professionals. We released the US version of the site this week, with events from major US orchestras and opera houses (Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and others). Listings on the site are free, and Bachtrack is beginning to attract US concert promoters of all types to input listings. The site also features a special section to attract kids into classical music with listings of concerts and events for kids and teens.

    As well as finding concerts, site visitors can see venues on a map, find recommended CDs of many of the works, “Listen” buttons to play clips from even more, and biographies and pictures of an increasing number of the performers.

    Please do try the site by clicking on http://www.bachtrack.com. If you like what you see, please link to us and/or tell everyone about us; if you don’t like anything, please tell us! And, of course, we’d love to speak to you anyway: we’re passionate about what we do and always keen to exchange views.

    Best regards and happy listening

    David and Alison Karlin

  3. Barry Lyons says

    Regarding Christoph Eschenbach and seeing that your wife probably knows him to some degree, maybe she can get him on the horn and find out what’s up with EMI’s seeming refusal to not release on CD (for the first time) the three remaining Beethoven sonatas he recorded for the company. Have you heard Eschenbach’s “Moonlight”? The opening movement has got to be the slowest ever recorded, and I find it absolutely jaw-dropping. It’s unbelievable that this sonata has never been released on CD (the other two in the can are Op 13 and Op 26).

    Yes, I’ve contacted EMI many times to no avail. Yes, I’ve contacted ArkivMusic to see if they may want to issue these three sonatas, but they have a policy of only reissuing CDs that have already seen a previous release on CD. And, yes, I sent an e-mail to Eschenbach via his website. That, apparently, went nowhere (if he even saw it).

    So do you have any pull in this area? Is there anyone you can contact at EMI? Really, these three sonatas have got to be released on CD — and you’ve got to hear Eschenbach’s “Moonlight”. I have no doubt it divides people: some will find it mesmerizing and riveting (me) and others will find it preposterously slow and glacial. Once you hear it (if you ever get a chance to), I’ll be curious to find out where you stand.

  4. Free Press Cleveland says

    Dear Mr. Sandow,

    Thanks for your excellent articles on the Plain Dealer – Rosenberg mess.

    Here below is a letter we sent to the Plain Dealer, along with the petition attached. If you feel it’s appropriate to publicize our action in your blog, please feel free!

    Thanks for your help.

    Free Press

    Free Criticism

    Free Rosenberg!

    FreePressCleveland@live.com

    ——————————————————————————–

    From: freepresscleveland@live.com

    To: tegger@plaind.com; sgoldberg@plaind.com

    CC: drosenbe@plaind.com

    Subject: Reinstate Don Rosenberg

    Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 23:05:02 -0400

    Dear Mr. Egger and Ms. Goldberg,

    Attached please find a petition calling for the reinstatement of Don Rosenberg. So far, this petition has only been posted on the Baltimore Sun website, so very few people in Cleveland know about it. Nevertheless, of the people who happened to see the Baltimore blog posting about the petition, 27 have contacted us and indicated their wish to be signators. (Hard copies of the emails from signators have been attached to the hard copy of the letter which was delivered to your mailroom today.) This letter was sent into the PD letters website 2 days ago, but at that point there were 23 names – 4 more have come in since then.

    We have not yet sent the petition to the various news media that have been publicizing this act of censorship – the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian in London, the L.A. Times, Cleveland Scene, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” WKSU, etc. If we do that, presumably many more signatures will come in.

    From the musicians and concertgoers of -

    FREE PRESS CLEVELAND

    Free Press

    Free Criticism

    Free Rosenberg!

    FreePressCleveland@live.com

    FREE PRESS CLEVELAND is an informal group of musicians and concertgoers, brought together out of shock and deep concern about the state of arts coverage at the Plain Dealer. So far, this group has not incorporated or made any effort to recruit members. This email account was set up for the protection of group members who are professional musicians who might face retaliation if they speak out openly. While some group members have discussed a boycott of the PD and its advertisers, that step has not yet been taken.

  5. says

    DANIEL ABRAMS’ Opera For Piano concert on Oct. 15, at the Mannes College of Music, will include the American premier of his Musical Portraits from Wagner’s ‘Ring’ (each”Portrait” is based on the musical motif of that character, a particular scene of importance, and/or a verbal statement of consequence).

    The program also includes ABRAMS’ Chaconne on “Dido’s Lament” from Dido And Aeneas , Variations on “Voi Che Sapete” from The Marriage of Figaro, and Variations on “Ein Engel Leonora” from Fidelio. Opera For Piano retains each pieces original style, preserving its complex moods and subtle powers — as if the composers themselves had written the operas as piano music. They are not transcriptions, but music that Abrams’ deeply loves and wished to be able to play on the piano. Abrams considers this series his most important legacy to music and feels that Opera For Piano is adding some glorious music to the performing pianist’s repertoire.

    DANIEL ABRAMS has been internationally acclaimed as both a pianist and as a composer. He had a double Fulbright in piano & composition (which was renewed for a second year) to the Royal Academy of Music, and performed extensively throughout Europe as an American Cultural Ambassador. His highly heralded New York debut at Town Hall in 1957 brought him major management and years of concertizing. Also, appearances on many TV and radio shows (including The Today Show, the Mike Wallace show, Joe Franklin, Pegeen Fitzgerald, etc.) In 1962, shortly after surviving a plane crash while on a concert tour in S. America, Abrams accepted a teaching position at Goucher College and The Johns Hopkins University. While in Baltimore, he founded and, for sixteen years, conducted The Goucher/Hopkins Community Symphony. He has continued to perform as soloist with orchestras and in recitals, but has restricted his appearances to the area in which he lives. Recently, Martha Argerich heard some of Abrams’ music and included it in her Lugano Piano Festival.

    Following is an excerpt from The New York Herald Tribune review for the first concert (of his four concert cycle) of the Mozart piano sonatas at the Kaufman Y: “Mr. Abrams, as has been noted before, is born to the piano; he cannot help but make beautiful sounds and he brings to whatever he tackles not only musicianship, technique and interpretative prowess, but a very special kind of intellectual radiance that quite sets him apart. In short, the five sonatas heard contained a veritable galaxy of refinements–indeed, the sort of refinements that seem slowly to be creeping out of contemporary piano playing. We urge you to attend.”

    More information: http://www.Daniel-Abrams.com/Opera-For-Piano

    http://www.Daniel-Abrams.com

    Concert information: Mannes College of Music, 150 West 85 St (bet. Columbus & Amsterdam)

    Wednesday, October 15 8 pm No charge: seating begins at 7:30 pm

  6. Janet Braccio says

    Dear Greg,

    He’s not Arvo Pärt or John Tavener, and his music is even more gorgeous that you can imagine! He is American composter Richard Toensing, and his new CD is Kontakion on the Nativity of Christ, performed by Cappella Romana, and produced by Grammy winner Steve Barnett (Chanticleer producer). I can guarantee that you’ll not hear anything more beautiful during the Advent and Christmas season.

    “Indebted to Slavic traditions, Toensing’s virtuosic Kontakion (choral concerto) for unaccompanied double choir and multiple soloists uses the dramatic words of St. Romanos the Melodist (6th c.) to recount the mystery of Jesus’ birth. Toensing’s more intimate New Orthodox Carols for the Nativity of Christ alternate between exuberant celebration and joyful contemplation as they bridge the gap between Byzantine and American hymnody.”

    To hear a few samples, please go to http://www.cappellaromana.org/index.php?page=christmasCD

    I’d be delighted to know your thoughts about featuring this CD on one of your blogs during December. If you’d send me your mailing address, I’ll mail a copy of this CD to you tomorrow. (Maybe you’ll share it with your wife.)

    I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks for all that you do for classical music!

    Sincerely,

    Janet Braccio

    Bella Voce Communications

    303-499-9031

  7. Stew Schroeder says

    Thank you so much for your honest and truthful assessments of both the opening night at the Met and the La Gioconda. I only wish that the people that ran these companies realized that the mediocrity they are displaying on the stage is only destroying this once beautiful and glamorous art form.

    In fact, my wife and I were at the opening night of La Gioconda as well as left after Act III because it was such as disappointment. We were amazed that we were at the opera but yet the ballet in Act III stopped the show.

  8. Brian C. Armbrust says

    Mr. Sandow:

    I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your wife for coming to FSU this past week! What a pleasure it as to hear the two of you speak on the arts and the future of classical music.

    I always enjoy reading your blog and I enjoyed talking about opera with you even if it was only for a short time! (I was the guy in Anne Hodges class with the shaved head that wants to become an opera artist manager.)

    I hope you enjoyed your time here in Tallahassee and I hope to run into you someday at one of the concerts you described featuring indie rock music!!

  9. Marlon Feld says

    Hi Greg,

    Here’s the end of Anthony Tommasini’s review of Yundi Li’s solo Carnegie recital:

    “He certainly connects with audiences. After a prolonged ovation for the Mussorgsky, like an eager kid, he cupped his hands to his mouth to shout out his encore: ‘Chinese folk song.’”

    (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/13/arts/music/13yund.html?ref=music)

    I suppose that by current classical concert standards, that would count as “connecting with the audience”…not to knock Li, just to note how minimal the expectations have become.

  10. Dana Saltzman says

    Dear Greg,

    Sony BMG Masterworks, the combined labels of Sony Classical, BMG Classics and RCA Red Seal own the richest and deepest classical catalog including artist such as Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell and Murray Perahia as well as historic artists such as Leonard Bernstein, Jascha Heifetz and Arthur Rubinstein. We are currently updating our online marketing database to ensure that you are receiving our newest album releases. If you would like to be kept up to date on our upcoming releases, events, and promotions please provide us with the information below for your online marketing and promotions contact.

    This includes:

    • Your name

    • Company (if you are a freelance journalist, please include all the affiliations that you write for)

    • Address

    • Phone Number

    • Email

    • Visitors per month (if known)

    • URL

    • Main focus

    Thank you .

    For further information please contact:

    Dana Saltzman

    CMG Online Marketing Manager

    550 Madison Avenue

    16th Floor

    NY, NY 10022

    P: 212.833.7538

    F: 212.8336061

  11. says

    Dear Greg,

    Did you know hundreds of thousands of citizens in Estonia singing ‘illegal’ songs helped bring down the Soviet Union in 1991? It’s amazing but true. A new, critically acclaimed feature documentary, “The Singing Revolution,” celebrates this non-violent defiance and reveals how music can change the lives of individuals and nations.

    I’m contacting you on behalf of the producers of the film, as we are reaching out to organizations whose members have a special interest in music. We are partnering with such organizations to help spread this incredible story of hope.

    On “The Singing Revolution’s” website you can watch the film’s trailer and learn more about this amazing true story: http://www.singingrevolution.com

    The film received exceptional reviews (see one from The New York Times http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/movies/14revo.html) and had a successful theatrical release across the U.S. and Canada; however, many still have not heard of The Singing Revolution. Our grassroots awareness strategy depends on the support of organizations like yours to help spread the word.

    Please contact me so I can tell you more about our affiliate program.

    Kind Regards,

    Nikki Nime

    Outreach Coordinator

  12. Caitlin Patton says

    Dear Greg,

    I just read your “how to promote a concert” post, and love your ideas! I am very interested in working with you to implement something like what you suggest, for a concert next fall, in Baltimore. It’s slightly different in that I am not interested so much in promoting an ensemble, but rather in promoting the music of a particular composer. The program will be music of composer Phanos Dymiotis, who was killed in a car accident in March 2007. If you are curious about him, feel free to Google him or ask me for more info. I want to leverage this concert to create as much interest in his music as possible, and I think many of the ideas you suggested in your post could be very interesting in this context.

    If this interests you, please email me at caitlin.patton (at) gmail.com, and I’ll tell you more about it. Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from you!

    Best wishes,

    Caitlin Patton

  13. says

    Hi Greg: I’m a long time reader of the blog and admirer of your work, and in particular your diagnoses of classical music’s current state. I’m writing a story for a major alternative weekly paper about our symphony’s programming strategy and would like to include your perspective in a quote or two. Please email me in the next week if possible if you’re interested, or even if you aren’t, so I can find another source. I appreciate your help.

    thanks,

    brett

  14. Donna says

    Hi, Greg. I was one of your students in your Juilliard class called “Classical Music in an Age of Pop” a few years ago. I just came across your blog and I am enjoying it immensely as you bring up many relevant and important points about the future of classical music. Would you mind contacting me at donnakwong@gmail.com?

    Thanks!

    Donna

  15. Leanne says

    Hi Greg,

    I took your class at Eastman last year. In the midst of doing research for a history paper, I discovered that there are often numerous (20+) song settings of popular 19th century poems (I’m a violist, so this is news to me). I just had the idea that it could be interesting to have a concert where all the settings of, say, Eichendorff’s Mondnacht are performed. There will be some great ones, so mediocre ones, and maybe even some crappy ones. Seems like a great way to get the audience to listen actively and critically. They will quickly become familiar with the poem, and be listening for how different composers deal with it.

    Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there.

    All the best,

    Leanne

  16. says

    Hi – Just lately venturing down into the comments sections, so not sure what might have been covered in the past on the issue of engaging the audience. Two points:

    1) – Here’s a link to someone saying that modern music doesn’t have what it takes to engage the audience (probably a very dead horse in your discussions). Here’s a snip I think you’d agree with:

    ” music, well composed and properly orchestrated, still has its old power intact, if dormant. Nearly everyone on the planet can hum the “Star Wars” theme, after all.”

    http://lileks.com/screed/?p=72

    2) – I know there have been surveys of audiences dealing with wealth and education. Seems to me you also could use info along the lines of the “frames of mind” type. In the audience, how many are “theory minded” and process the music as professional performers/critics – how many are verbal types spinning reveries along with the music, how many are athletic/physical/dancer types vicariously enjoying the music making.

    There are surely numerous ways individuals in the audience connect with the music, and knowing more about that would seem helpful.

    Enjoy your blog, thanks for the effort of keeping it up.

    Thanks, Lyle. Glad you like the blog.

    Good point, about how people in the audience react. I don’t think this has been much studied, at least in the terms you propose. There’s a lot of demographic information we have, and also general comments, about people finding the music inspiring. We know that, contrary to popular belief, very few people go to classical concerts to see and be seen. The audience really loves the music.

    But what do they love about it? How many can follow sonata form? How many love to watch the performers, think that’s a crucial part of their enjoyment? How many wish they felt free to move in their seats? How many would like to clap after each movement? (Or even during the music, if they knew that this was common in past centuries, and felt they’d be allowed to do it.)

    I’d love to know these things, and wish someone would study them.

  17. says

    Thanks for the reply. Always amazes me when heavy hitters take the time to reply to unknown lurkers.

    Just on the off chance you haven’t seen it, Pliable over at Overgrown Path did a recent post on “audience”.

    “The way forward is imaginative and intelligent programming that will turn existing audiences into virtuoso listeners, who then create a virtuous circle as marketing ambassadors spreading the word that classical music is alive, kicking and happening.”

    http://www.overgrownpath.com/2008/11/what-we-need-are-virtuoso-audiences.html

    Another way of putting the point I’m trying to make is that as a music therapist I always make an assessment of the client before moving forward. If somehow you better knew how the audience was processing things, I think you could better engage them. The new brain studies Levitin writes about may be helpful on this over time. Will send along anything I come across that might be helpful.

    One more thing before signing off – besides the content, really appreciate the civil tone of your blog, especially in response to less than civil comments. Feeding incivility is never really helpful, and I wish more bloggers realized that.

  18. says

    Greg

    Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful writings over 2008.

    I cannot think of anyone who is thinking and writing so thoroughly about the music industry and its problems.

    There are solutions but they are not – as some suggest here – to make listening to classical music somehow compulsory. Music has to earn the attention it wants though not – as some also suggest – simply by giving the public what it wants. It needs, it seems to me, to make its experience moving and exciting and make that experience accessible to modern audiences.

    Best wishes to you and A for 2009.

    K

  19. sonia sudak says

    Please note that Daniel Abrams’ “Musical Portraits from Wagner’s ‘Ring’” will be broadcast on “Performance Today” in Jan. 2009 (awaiting exact date). Sonia Sudak

    Daniel Abrams (photo: Joy Moore)

    If Only the Muse Loved Me as I Love Music

    By FRANK BEHRENS

    ART TIMES December 2008

    I recall, as I suppose can many, the days when all recorded music was on 78 rpm discs and most of my favorite tunes were either hard to find or too expensive to purchase. So most of us sang our favorite songs or hummed our favorite opera arias or melodic themes from concertos and symphonies. How pleasant.

    Except for one brick wall: I could not sing and even my humming was in the skeleton key—it fit every piece of music I essayed (and assailed). I began to envy musicians, who could simply sit down at the keyboard and dash off anything from a Bach triple fugue to “Take the A train” with no apparent effort.

    I did not even dream of the ideal situation that existed for some people like Daniel Abrams. I had never heard of Mr. Abrams until recently, when a resident of Woodstock, NY and reader of Art Times Journal sent me an e-mail that pointed me towards the gentleman. When I responded, she sent me what amounted to a press kit about this pianist.

    A New York Times review of a concert he gave in April 1957 calls him “an uncommonly good technician and it goes on to praise his playing of Brahms’ “Handel” Variations as being “not that of technical slickness but of musical expressiveness.” Having been awarded a two-year Fulbright Grant, he studied in London and gave concerts in at least five other European countries, garnering praise as he went along. As he gained more concert experience, he went on to more praise from critics in Canada and the United States.

    Abrams’ association with the Woodstock region alone should earn him an essay in this Journal; but that is not really my purpose. My point is that I now have another kind of person whom I can envy!

    When the pianoforte was improved to what we are now used to, composers like Franz Liszt made the great melodies from opera accessible to the public by creating transcriptions of many arias for the keyboard. Naturally, he first played them himself at concerts and was admired for “making the piano sing,” as he put it. The melodies were certainly true to what their original composers set onto paper, but more than just a little of Liszt’s genius found its way into the transcribed versions. Now someone like Abrams can carry that concept one step further. In an age when some of the most obscure operas can be found on at least one recording, he has followed his love for certain works to the point where he writes his own arrangements (not quite the same thing as transcriptions) so that his feelings about the piece as well as the original melodic flow can be transmitted to the audience.

    My correspondent kindly sent me a CD, now out of print, that Abrams made in 2000. It is called “Fantasie Variations on Tales of Love” and holds three selections: “Fantasie Variations on Richard Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’,” “Chaconne on Dido’s Lament from Henry Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’,” and “Fantasia on Carl Maria von Weber’s ‘Der Freischutz’.”

    Now there are many symphonic versions of music from “Tristan,” but they usually follow the score note for note, assigning the vocal lines to certain instruments, and do little to interpret Wagner’s music. Listening to Abrams’ 19-minute rendition of his favorite sections from the long score, I can see where he is coming from. This is music he loves, and he wants to let his listeners know how and why he loves it.

    His choosing “Freischutz” is taking something of a chance, because few operagoers have ever seen a production of that groundbreaking work, and recordings of that opera have never sold in the millions. But there is another point. Hearing Abrams’ 14-minute approach to the work has made me want to hear the original again and possibly appreciate it more than I have in the past.

    I read in the material sent to me that Abrams is working on a 40-minute piano treatment of the music from Wagner’s Ring operas. In the past, I have heard too many mostly faithful readings of Wagner’s non-vocal sections like “Siegfried’s Funeral March” and “Magic Fire Music.” What I now crave is an interpretation of this music, already so familiar to me in symphonic and operatic form, by someone like Abrams who can make me see it from another point of view.

    So until the day my singing in the shower can inspire people to hear with fresh ears “Mefistofele” or “Sir John in Love,” I have to leave it to people like Daniel Abrams to do it in their own inspired and inspiring way.

    Note: For Mr. Abrams’ own feelings about his music, please see his website at http://www.daniel-abrams.com

    Art Times HomePage

    ——————————————————————————–

    .

  20. says

    Hi-I thought you may be interested in this Greg.

    We will performing a new multi-sectional, through-composed work entitled, The Machine. The piece is divided into seven overlapping sections, and is highly influenced by the work of Morton Feldman, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Bela Bartok.

    The Dream of the Ants

    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    8pm

    Issue Project Room

    The (OA) Can Factory

    232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor

    Brooklyn, NY 11215

    The Dream of the Ants

    Terrence McManus-classical guitar

    Ellery Eskelin-saxophone

    Gerry Hemingway-drums

  21. says

    here is a nice link that confuses everything.The computer game that mashes the classics

    http://cruiseelroy.net/2009/01/mother-3-musical-allusions/

    Love it! To me, this is a perfect example of the diverse musical culture we enjoy these days. And it also shows how delighted people are with music, and how seriously they take it, even while they’re having fun with it.

    Or, to put it differently — this is an antidote to all the silliness we get in the classical music world, when people moan that the culture devalues music, and that no one has any kind of attention span.

  22. Dana Saltzman says

    Dear Colleague,

    I am currently updating the online marketing database for Sony Masterworks, to ensure that you are receiving our newest Classical album releases. If you would like to be kept up to date on our upcoming releases, events, and promotions please provide me with information for your online marketing and promotions contact.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Your name

    Company (if you are a freelance journalist, please include all the affiliations that you write for)

    Email

    URL

    Phone Number

    Address

    Genres you cover

    Visitors per month (if known)

    All the best,

    Dana Saltzman

    Sony Masterworks

    Manager, Digital Marketing

    550 Madison Ave, #1671

    New York, NY 10022

    p:(212) 833 – 7538

    f:(212) 833-6061

  23. Madeleine Roberts says

    Hi Greg,

    This is Madeleine Roberts with Universal Music Group, and I wanted to send you a quick e-mail to introduce myself.

    I recently discovered your blog, and think that one of our newly released artists is right up your alley. Her name is Diane di Stasio and her music includes a unique mixture of pop, rock, classical and world. She would definitely be someone your blog fans would be interested in.

    You can check out Diane’s music, videos and artist information at:

    http://www.shadowlandmusic.com/dianemedia

    If you have a moment, listen to “Nights in White Satin” on the site’s media player. It is the first available single from her upcoming album, “Vox Eterna.”

    If you’d like to share Diane and her music with your readers, they can see photos and listen to sneak previews of music from the album on her MySpace page at:

    http://www.myspace.com/dianedistasio

    I’d love to hear your thoughts once you’ve had a chance to listen to some of Diane’s tracks.

    Regards,

    Madeleine

  24. Nicolas Smirnoff says

    Dear Greg,

    I would like to know if it’s possible to have your personal e-mail or other contact.

    I work for Brunswick Arts Group, a press agency that works for clients as the British Museum,the Venice Biennale and many others.

    We are considering of including bloggers on press trips and openings/launches and we would like to keep in touch with you.

    Thank you very much,

    Regards

    Nicolas Smirnoff

    Nicolas Smirnoff

    Executive

    BRUNSWICK GROUP LLP

    16 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

    London WC2A 3ED

    Telephone +44 207 936 1290

    Direct line +44 20 7936 1275

    Fax +44 20 7936 1299

    nsmirnoff@brunswickgroup.com

    http://www.brunswickgroup.com

  25. Nicolas Smirnoff says

    Dear Greg,,

    I would like to know if it’s possible to have your personal e-mail or other contact.

    I work for Brunswick Arts Group, a press agency that works for clients as the British Museum,the Venice Biennale and many others.

    We are considering of including bloggers on press trips and openings/launches and we would like to keep in touch with you.

    Thank you very much,

    Regards

    Nicolas Smirnoff

    Nicolas Smirnoff

    Executive

    BRUNSWICK GROUP LLP

    16 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

    London WC2A 3ED

    Telephone +44 207 936 1290

    Direct line +44 20 7936 1275

    Fax +44 20 7936 1299

    nsmirnoff@brunswickgroup.com

    http://www.brunswickgroup.com

  26. José Miguel Serrano says

    Dear Mr. Sandow. I´m finishing my conducting studies in Bogotá, Colombia, and I´m currently working in my graduate final work. I´m staring to read your book in progress about the future of classical music, and I´m sure I will find many interesting things in it that could support my own work.

    Could I send you an email with some inquiries?

    Thanks a lot

    José Miguel

  27. Leslie says

    Hi there,

    I just came across your blog and was very impressed! I am writing to you from Distinguished Concerts International New York. We have four concerts coming up in March, which will be performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. They include Todd Randall Miller and Marion Russell Dickson (March 14th ), The Music of Eric Whitacre (March 15th), the Grammy Award Winning Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorales at the newly-renovated Alice Tully Hall (March 16th), and The Music of Handel and John Rutter (March 29th). You can find more information about these concerts at http://www.dciny.org/2009concerts.

    We wanted to offer you two complimentary tickets to each performance. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to e-mail or call! (212) 707-8566 x303. Also feel free to browse our website, http://www.DCINY.org

    It sounds like you have been extremely busy over the past year! I hope you are finding time for some much deserved rest.

    Cheers,

    Leslie

  28. Aubrie says

    Hi Greg,

    Wonderful blog. A pleasure to read. I’d like to extend an invitation to classical guitarist Peter Fletcher’s performance at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on March 27th. Please contact me at pf. guitarist “at” gmail.com if you are interested, and I can provide you with more information!

    All best,

    Aubrie J.

  29. says

    Hello Greg, it was a pleasure meeting you (briefly, it’s true) outside of Le Poisson Rouge last night.

    I’ve been following your blog for sometime, and it’s lovely having a face for the insightful, witty commentary.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on the MATA/Knights Orchestra show, and hope to meet you again sometime!

    All best,

    Emily Motherwell

  30. Mc Clintic says

    Dear Greg,

    I just wanted to let you know about this website which broadcasts live exclusive concerts : http://theVsessions.com

    It is a totally new way of watching live music. World class musicians are taking part in this one-of-a-kind project that mixes up repertoires and therefore audiences.

    The very first sessions present Philippe Herreweghe, Christian Fennesz and Bl!ndman.

    I hope you will enjoy it.

    All the best,

    McClintic

  31. Jerome Weeks says

    I’ve sent this info to Doug already (I’m book/daddy on artsjournal), but thought you might find it interesting, too. The Dallas Symphony’s concertmaster Emanuel Borok has an Amati violin, and the DSO commissioned a new concerto from Alexander Raskatov to honor the violin’s 400th birthday. (It debuts tonight.) We ran a radio-and-online feature story on him, it and the premiere, along with a video of Borok playing and discussing the Amati in detai.

  32. says

    Just a thought on your latest twitter about the lack of personal interaction in concert. Not only Liszt took questions but also our own Percy Grainger who would sit on the edge of the stage and tell the audience about the music and his approach.Percy was also the most restless performer that ever lived.I was told that he was performing the Grieg Piano Concerto in Sydney in 1949 when, during the orchestral tutti, he jumped off the stage ran to the back of the hall, touched the door and ran back in time to play the next section!!!

  33. ROGER JEFF CUNNINGHAM says

    ENCOMPASS NEW OPERA THEATRE

    PRESENTS

    THE WORLD PREMIERE OF

    I TRE COMPAGNI (The Three Companions)

    Music and Libretto by LOUIS GIOIA

    Featuring Shannon DeVine, Noah Stewart & Ulla Westlund

    FRIDAY, JUNE 19 @ 8:00 PM & SATURDAY, JUNE 20 @ 8:00 PM

    GERALD W. LYNCH THEATRE

    John Jay College, 899 Tenth Avenue

    TICKETS: SMARTTIX 212 868-4444

    FOR INFORMATION:

    212 594-7501

    ROGER CUNNINGHAM

    encompassopera@gmail.com

    Encompass New Opera Theatre announced that I TRE COMPAGNI (The Three Companions) a two-act opera written and composed by Louis Gioia; featuring Shannon DeVine, Noah Stewart and Ulla Westlund will open on Friday, June 19th at 8:00 PM and Saturday, June 20 at 8:00 PM at the GERALD W. LYNCH THEATRE at John Jay College, 899 Tenth Avenue (between 58th & 59th St.). Tickets are $65 for Orchestra Seats, $45 for Balcony Seats. There will be $25 Rush Tickets available at 15 minutes.

    I TRE COMPAGNI, sung in Italian with English Supertitles, is based on The Pardoner’s Tale from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Composer Louis Gioia states the condition of the world today reflects much of the same feeling of his setting of the Pardoner’s Tale in late 15th Century in Granada, Spain. Cultures are recovering from a religious war, yet greed remains the root of all evil and will ultimately destroy not only the best of friends but nations as well.

    Nancy Rhodes, founder of Encompass, will direct, Glen Cortese will conduct the 35 piece orchestra, assisted by Mara Waldman. Choreography by Justin Sherwood; Sets are by Damon Pelletier, Costumes by A. Christina Giannini and Lighting by Izzy Einsidler.

    Singing the lead roles of The Three Companions will be Tenor Noel Stewart, Baritone Shannon DeVine, and Soprano Ulla Westlund. A 20 member singing ensemble, including 3 children round out the cast.

    ENCOMPASS NEW OPERA THEATRE is dedicated to the creation, development and production of contemporary opera and new music theatre. Encompass has revived American operas by such composers as Virgil Thomson and Marc Blitzstein and developed new operas with such contemporary composers as Bill Banfield, Ricky Ian Gordon and Philip Hagemann.

    NANCY RHODES, Artistic Director, founded Encompass New Opera Theatre in 1975 with a production of the Virgil Thomson/Gertrude Stein opera The Mother of Us All which Bonnie Marranca in the Soho Weekly News awarded the Best Production of the Season and Emory Lewis cited as “one of the highlights of the past decade.” Since then Rhodes has directed over 55 fully staged productions of American operas and nurtured over 150 new works.

    Louis Gioia’s first opera, UN RACCONTO FIORENTO was premiered by Encompass in the fall of 2000 at Alice Tully Hall. Opera News called the production “…a glorious, impassioned performance of a composition of great beauty and sincere interest.”

    ~~ 30 ~~

    FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CAST PHOTOS, BIOS OF THE COMPANY, DIRECTOR, COMPOSER AND SINGERS, PLEASE CONTACT:

    ROGER JEFF CUNNINGHAM

    212 594-7501

    encompassopera@gmail.com

  34. says

    your blog is full of good ideas. i have decided to implement them. please visit http://www.mesoseattle.org to see 1 such idea implemented.

    i’m writing to you about the Video Game Music post you made in 2004:

    http://www.artsjournal.com/sandow/2004/05/videogame_music.html

    how can a community orchestra get a hold of the score and parts? who do we contact? are they expensive?

    I believe that in order for this art form to survive, we must start to make orchestra more audience friendly and the music more accessible.

  35. says

    Hi,

    I have a couple of questions about your blog:

    1) Is it OK with you if I spread some link love and link to your blog? I think my visitors would like your blog.

    2) I noticed on your blog that you link to other blogs, do you think its possible for you to link to my blog myairshoes.com?

    Please let me know what you think. Thanks for your time.

    BM

  36. says

    Hi,

    My name is Steve Koscica and I own and operate a web site dedicated to the upright bass. While we do sell cellos and cello strings (and cases), our specialty and dedication to the upright bass is unrivaled. We’re one of the biggest bass dealers in the world! Personally, I have been a professional orchestral bassist for more than 25 years.

    We offer everything from smaller fractional upright (student) basses, plus basses in every possible price range, all the way up and past the $100k range. We sell our bass strings at the lowest prices in the world as well as just about every possible accessory. On our website, there are tons of informative articles about choosing the right kind of bass strings (can be confusing for a lot of people) and there are other informative articles about the different types and makes of basses.

    This summer we’re starting a new monthly newsletter and our subscribers will then be eligible to receive free giveaways. We’re not talking ‘cheapy’ little string winders or little packages of bass rosin, but really substantial gifts like bows, bow cases, string sets (the average set of bass strings are about $160) and we’ll even be giving away full sized, upright basses!! We need to make some noise here and what better way to do it than give away a bass!!! We’ve never heard of anyone else doing this, but we really want people to know more about us and well, giving away a bass (I think) should surely get some attention.

    Would you please link us on your blog/web site? I know your bass player readers would really appreciate learning about us and using our web site as a good information resource. We would sincerely appreciate being linked with the 2 keywords, “upright bass”. Which in turn goes to the url site: http://www.stringemporium.com/basscafe.htm.

    Again, I hope that you can find some room to put this simple text link on your site. As are linking partner we would also love to offer any specials on items that you (personally) would like to order. Basses, or anything else that we carry, including cellos, cello cases, violin cases etc…

    Thanks again. If you need any assistance or need more information, please email or call.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Koscica

    800-600-2689

  37. Rick Goodfellow says

    Greg, Are you familiar with a marketing gambet up here in Anchorage, Alaska which has a remarkable effect. It’s called “The KLEF Opera Tolerators” and it is aimed at people who have never attended an opera or haven;t for quite some time. If you’re interested contact the general manager of Anchorage Opera Mr. Torrie Allen for more details.

  38. says

    Hi,

    I would like to invite you to the 7th annual NYC Musical Saw Festival, please:

    The art form of making music with a carpenter’s handsaw has been around for 300 years, but has become almost forgotten since the 1930′s. The festival’s founder/director Natalia ‘Saw Lady’ Paruz set up to make sure this unique art form does not disappear.

    For the past 7 years Astoria (Queens) became a pilgrimage spot for musical saw players from all over the world. In past years musical saw players from China, Japan, India, Germany, Canada and all over the USA participated.

    The festival, which is supported by the Queens Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the NY State Council on the Arts, includes a concert, an art exhibit and a workshop – all centered around the musical saw, of course.

    This year there will be 4 compositions premiered at the festival:

    Composer Eyal Bat – a piece for 2 musical saws & piano and a piece for handbell choir and musical saw.

    Composer Scott R. Munson – a piece for string quartet and musical saw, and a piece for soprano singer, musical saw and string quartet.

    The festival will also feature an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Musical Saw Ensemble’. The current record, set in Poland last year, is 27 musical saw players.

    Will we set a new record in NYC on July 18th?

    When: Saturday, July 18th, 2pm

    Where: Trinity Church, 31-18 37 Street (37th street at 31st Ave), Astoria (Queens)

    More info: http://www.MusicalSawFestival.org

    Thank you very much,

    all the best,

    Michelle

  39. Isaac Segal says

    Just got around to reading your “Beyond Media” column. And it reminded me of a suggestion I made to the Pennsylvania Ballet (I’m with an ad agency and we were working on their account).

    Even though traditional media is losing effectiveness, the fact is that it was never particularly well suited for things like classical music and ballet. Why? Because arts audiences are too dispersed, and don’t lend themselves to segmentation and targeting as neatly as most consumer products. (What consumer behavior identifies someone as a Mahler freak?) Whatever media you choose, you end up with a lot of dollars wasted on people who couldn’t care less. Dollars that orchestras and dance companies don’t have a lot of in the first place.

    So I thought: If we can’t identify where our likely audience is, why not make it possible for them to identify themselves via online communication–sharing thoughts about music, dance, and other arts? Not only would this provide a database of likely attendees, it could also build a community of devotees who could be encouraged to introduce friends and neighbors to music and dance experiences. (Imagine a classical flashmob.)

    For a number of reasons–lack of money and a conservatism inherent in many arts organizations—the idea went nowhere. But I still think the most powerful marketing tool these organizations possess is the passion of people who love music and dance, and their desire to introduce others to the experience. (No one knows better than you which of your friends and neighbors would be most receptive to hearing an orchestra or seeing a ballet for the first time. And no one would be better equipped to make them feel comfortable at the performance.)

    Is this a “magic bullet” solution to the problem of dwindling audiences? No. But it could be a start.

  40. Phillip Farris says

    Dear Mr. Sandow,

    I appreciate your honesty in analyzing the data concerning today’s classical music audience. but reading your last post brings up a couple of questions. I have not read through the NEA studies in detail, so please accept my apology for not doing my homework and finding the answers to my questions on my own.

    Firstly, are there statistics regarding the percentage of the whole population that attend so-called classical performances? If the percentage has changed over time, then there are other questions that might need to be asked.

    And secondly, are there more, fewer or more-or-less the same number of classical music presenting organizations ( or more precisely, classical music performances) compared to the total population. I want to believe that there are more classical music performances than there were 50 years ago, but I have no evidence of this. It just “seems” that every modestly sized community includes some hardy, eternally optimistic folks eager to build that “Your Town USA Philharmonic”.

    Speaking from the perspective of a professional musician and educator, I do believe that classical music should be readily available to all, but there’s this disturbing little voice in my head that keeps asking two questions: is classical music really for everyone? and is the general performance level of classical music doing classical music any good? The “is classical music really for everyone” sounds terribly elitist. I know that. And I also know that exposure and education can and often will change perceptions and responses. But historically folk music (for lack of a better term) has always been the primary musical avenue for most people. It gets confused with the professionalization of folk music (I include all the popular musical genres in this catch-all term, i.e. R&R, R&B, the blues, etc.) because it seems that there is more folk music around. I don’t think there is. These musicians are just getting paid to play, instead of playing for the campfire, back porch, etc. But the most popular musical genre is and always has been… well… popular music. And isn’t that okay?

    Please don’t fire bomb my house for suggesting such a heretical idea!

    And if every burb and burg has it’s own community orchestra, a concept that I whole heartedly endorse, do those performances actually help the cause, as it were? I have heard many performances of Beethoven symphonies or Verdi operas that have left me listless and even bored (and I know and love this music!) . On this point i am emphatically not elitist; I have heard any number of amazingly poor performances in NYC. Bad music making is not just found in the rural communities. You can pay for that anywhere. But my real point is… do we have too many professional arts organizations? Have we, as a society, substituted quantity for quality? And does that affect how classical music is received?

    Sorry for the rambling. I would appreciate any thoughts regarding my first two questions.

    Thank you,

    Phil Farris

    Artist-in-Residence

    University of Dayton

    farrismm1@earthlink.net

  41. says

    Hi greg,

    I just came across your blog. I do communications for the premier world music presenter in Canada; Small World Music. I’d love to send you press releases about relevant (classical concerts) we do.

    As part of our Festival this year we’re presenting Zakir Hussain w/ Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer.

    thanks,

    Eric

  42. says

    Hello,

    I’m happy to announce you the launch of Classissima (in January), a collaborative website dedicated to classical music and opera (in English, French, Spanish, Italian and, coming soon, in German). Its point of view ? Internet must serve diversity of classical music and opera (we are not an classical music actor … but a french management consultant company !).

    Take a moment to visit Classissima. You will discover that Classissima’s vocation is to integrate contents, for classic music lovers, giving them access to many resources (news, forums, blogs, websites, videos,…).

    We have chosen “Opera Chic” for its quality and regular activity. It is presented in the news section (blogs part) : http://www.classissima.com/eng/news/look/03Blogs/

    I hope that you’ll like Classissima. If you think Classissima is a good initiative, feel free to add a simple link from your blog to Classissima. It could help us to gain in visibility … on the huge anglo-saxon web ;-).

    Thank you in advance.

    Best regards,

    Laurent Houmeau

    NB : do not hesitate to give me your feedback on Classissima.

  43. says

    Hi Greg -

    From the Top is having a CD release party at Le Poisson Rouge on September 8 to showcase 2 new cds on the Telarc label: the debut album by From the Top alum Caroline Goulding, and From the Top at the Pops. Would love to see you there and talk to you more about what we’re doing at From the Top. Feel free to send me an email to get added to our guest list:

    http://www.lepoissonrouge.com/events/view/480

    Regards, Erin MacCurtain

  44. says

    I was told about your blog by Peter Gregson, and we have been following it with interest since then. We are putting on an event and Peter suggested that it might appeal to you.

    The 2009 Wigmore Hall / Kohn Foundation International Song Competition seeks out the great singers of tomorrow. Young, gifted singers and accompanists will perform for a top rostra of judges at one of the most prestigious classical music venues in the world.

    This competition stands out from the rest as it deals specifically with song, and not with opera excerpts.

    For the first time in over 100 years of concerts at Wigmore Hall you can follow the action as it unfolds – live – online.

    Live blog coverage from the 5th September through the whole event

    http://www.plushmusic.tv/blog & http://www.twitter.com/plushmusic

    Live streaming of the final from 1755 on 10th September http://www.plushmusic.tv/wigmorehall

    Do you agree with the jury? Who would you like to see in the final? Join in the discussion with the Plushmusic community, comment on our blog or via Twitter.

    Our roaming correspondents will be tweeting and snapping behind the scenes, as well as interviewing the singers, accompanists, judging panel and audience members for the latest insight.

    Get involved in the first 360 degree classical competition ever! Use our tweets to base stories on, our interviews to fill out your posts and our embeddable video to start discussions.

    See the press release for more details – http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/69382/WHISC_Press_Release.pdf

    Thank you and we hope you enjoy the event.

    Simon Ings

    Editor

    Plushmusic

  45. says

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    September 11, 2009

    Contact: George Berry

    (212) 586 1846, ext. 33

    gaberry68@hotmail.com

    WORLD PREMIERE OF MULTI-GRAMMY-NOMINATED COMPOSER DAVID CHESKY’S CONTROVERSIAL OPERA,

    The Pig, The Farmer, and The Artist: An Operatic Satire About Sex, Music, and Art

    Opens Friday, October 2 at NYC’s Gene Frankel Theatre

    All Performances to Begin at 8:00 p.m.

    New York, NY—The Pig, The Farmer, and The Artist: An Operatic Satire About Sex, Music, and Art, with music/book/lyrics by multi-Grammy-nominated composer David Chesky, will receive its world premiere performance at the Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond Street, in NYC’s East Village – the setting for the opera), Friday, October 2, 8:00 p.m. Directed by A. Scott Parry of New York City Opera and conducted by Anthony Aibel, the production will continue October 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, and 17, also at 8:00 p.m.

    For more information, please visit David’s Website, http://www.davidchesky.com. The performances feature adult content and no one under 18 years of age will be admitted.

    Tickets can be purchased at http://www.theatermania.com.

    About the Repertoire

    This opera is a biting satire on our contemporary world. It attacks our present-day spiritual malaise tangentially, making use of ‘the pig’ allegorically, and, in doing so, mocks and pokes cruel fun at the inverted values of our materialistic society. In the tradition of Gulliver’s Travels, the composer has attempted to break through and bring to the edge our world’s impoverished state and lay bare society’s frantic but ultimately empty pursuits at meaning.

    Synopsis

    To avoid being slaughtered by a lunatic farmer, Shirley the cow (a former hooker from Amsterdam), and her transvestite husband, Harvey, escape to New York’s East Village, where they soon become all the rage of the highbrow art scene. Back on the farm, the Pig gets wind of their fame and follows to seek his artistic fortunes as well. Will the elitist critics accept the Pig’s trendy conceptual art? Will the psychotic homesteader arrive in time to reclaim his prized hog? Will swine become the new black? This outrageous Fellini-esque satire superimposes the world of contemporary music onto the modern art scene, scorchingly skewering them both.

    About David Chesky, music/books/lyrics

    Miami-born David Chesky, a three-time Grammy nominee, is currently composer-in-residence for the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. David’s works span both jazz and classical genres, and have earned him the distinction of being the only jazz composer ever to be nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Also a pianist, David performs with the Grammy-nominated group The Body Acoustic, an ensemble that performs a mixture of Latin jazz and 12-tone contemporary classical works. In addition to working with major classical orchestras, David has performed at the world-famous jazz club The Village Vanguard, as well as the Newport, JVC, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Besides being a musician and composer, David is also known worldwide as one of the leaders in the advancement of technological research on high resolution recording techniques. .

    About A. Scott Parry, director

    A. Scott Parry has garnered critical praise for his work in both opera and musical theater throughout the country. He is currently a stage director on staff at New York City Opera, but has continuing associations with many other opera companies across the U.S., including, among others, those of Santa Fe, Dallas, Boston, and Des Moines. He has served on the School of Music faculty at Indiana University in Bloomington, and headed the Musical Theatre Faculty at Mesa Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. Directing highlights have included Il barbiere di Siviglia for Opera Pacific, La cenerentola for Florida Grand Opera, and La traviata for Chautauqua Opera. As a librettist, Scott created an English language adaptation of Beaumarchais’ La mère coupable, which is currently being set to music, and, as a composer, he recently presented the New York premiere of his theatre song cycle based on the poems of Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

    About Anthony Aibel, conductor

    Anthony Aibel is known for excelling in many diverse areas of the arts. He is active as a conductor, composer, violinist, violist, pianist, actor, writer, and editor. Mr. Aibel first conducted David Chesky’s music when he was the conductor for the 2006 Grammy-nominated recording Area 31. In 2009, he guest conducted the Los Angeles Youth Orchesta and founded The Piano Orchestra, a group he works with as conductor, composer, and pianist. He is currently in his seventh year as a writer and editor for New York Concert Review, and his article on composer Percy Grainger was published in The New York Times. In 2000, Mr. Aibel was the conductor for the 10,000th concert of the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. Mr. Aibel is the co-founder and, from 2001 through 2006, was the conductor of The Mentoring Orchestra, a group that combined members of the New York Philharmonic with talented young musicians. Mr. Aibel is the only Juilliard graduate to have had three majors in music: conducting, composition, and viola. He made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 21, and his opera conducting debut at age 24 with Carmen at the Aspen Music Festival.

  46. says

    Hello Greg,

    I’m a recently retired violinist from the Pittsburgh Symphony. We have talked and corresponded a few times. Congratulations for your ongoing work about the future of classical music — a topic of intense interest to me. My personal feeling is that the barriers between classical music and the rest of the musical world, which have started to come down, will perhaps completely crumble and a new paradigm will emerge. Some composers who are breaking down the barriers, each in his own way, are Mark O’Connor, Stephen Sondheim, and John Williams. Perhaps some day an overpowering figure will emerge, a genius of the stature of a Beethoven, who will completely redefine the role of music in the 21st Century.

    Hi, Roy. I agree. One composer, maybe to the left (so to speak) of Sondheim et al, who’s defining new territory would be Steve Reich. Certainly his music speaks to a younger audience. If I had to name one composer who might serve as the Beethoven of today, I might pick him.

  47. says

    Hello Greg,

    I’m a recently retired violinist from the Pittsburgh Symphony. We have talked and corresponded a few times. Congratulations for your ongoing work about the future of classical music — a topic of intense interest to me. My personal feeling is that the barriers between classical music and the rest of the musical world, which have started to come down, will perhaps completely crumble and a new paradigm will emerge. Some composers who are breaking down the barriers, each in his own way, are Mark O’Connor, Stephen Sondheim, and John Williams. Perhaps some day an overpowering figure will emerge, a genius of the stature of a Beethoven, who will completely redefine the role of music in the 21st Century.

  48. says

    Do you have a policy of not publishing certain comments? I’ve had several that I’ve posted never end up on the site. My most recent tried to introduce the subject Canon Rock after the mention of the involvement of those who write Fan Fiction as compared to how young people engage with classical music, and I included a link to my own blogging on the subject of Pachelbel’s Canon.

    I have noticed no comments with external links, in fact. Do you have a policy of rejecting posts with external links? I spend a lot of time writing my comments on your site, editing carefully, and I’d appreciate knowing why you’re rejecting them.

    Or maybe there’s a glitch somewhere and these comments are never getting through to you?

    David W. Fenton

    http://dfenton.com/NoComment/

  49. Trevor O'Donnell says

    RE: Technology or Culture?

    Hey, Greg,

    I thought you might find this interesting as it relates so directly to today’s post. I do some pro bono work for the Pasadena Master Chorale (mostly because they let me sing) and we’ve come up with an interesting communications formula. The convergence of technology and culture is the heart and soul of our marketing mission:

    THE PASADENA MASTER CHORALE

    A SOCIAL NETWORK APPROACH TO AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

    While established groups wrestle with slow economies, ageing audiences and 20th century traditions, PMC is launching its first season with a healthy dose of optimism, a lack of institutional baggage and some 21st century ideas about our relationship to the world around us.

    Below are three fundamental principals that govern how we build our community of friends and what we do for them when they come to our events.

    PMC IS THE CENTER OF A DYNAMIC SOCIAL NETWORK

    Using social networking as both a model and a practical tool, PMC thrives at the center of a social sphere that includes the people who make up the Chorale, Chorale members’ friends and families, donors & supporters, avid choral music fans, music educators & students, Pasadena area music lovers, local media, and the many friends we have yet to bring into the fold.

    PMC SPEAKS WITH MANY VOICES

    Unlike traditional arts organizations that speak with one, authoritative, executive voice, PMC speaks to its universe of friends with many voices. Each member is a fully empowered ambassador to his or her network, and the person who connects those networks back to the broader Chorale community. In both singing and community building, our many voices become one.

    PMC AND ITS AUDIENCE ARE ONE

    For PMC every concert is an opportunity to unite our network of friends in real time and in one space around the sacred act of making and enjoying music. But rather than being a meeting of separate entities, the concert is where choir and audience also become one, which is the very soul of the artistic experience.

    In practical terms, these principals mean that, rather than marketing concerts and selling tickets, we endeavor periodically to assemble our tribe. And when the tribe assembles, we take meaningful steps to remove traditional barriers that separate the audience from the art.

    Thus, PMC’s primary audience development objective is to reach attendance and revenue goals within a member centered, community-building context.

    # # #

  50. Helen Cronin says

    Dear Mr. Sandow-

    As an enthusiatic reader of your blog and a young fan of classical music interested in pertuating the popularity of the art form by starting a blog of my own, I figured you would be a good person to ask for advice. I obviously do not have that much experience writing about music, but I have attended a good number of concerts and read about classical music to the degree that I feel I can make intelligent comments that will lead to further discussion. My format is to discuss music I have seen in New York and use the example of what I have seen to make larger points about classical music. Any advice you have on the best way to do this or the general experience of being a blogger about music would be wonderful. Thanks so much!

    Helen Cronin

  51. says

    Hello Greg,

    great Blog, here are some news from Europe. I’m principal second violin in the Orchestra Mozart Bologna and member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, both conducted by Claudio Abbado and especially in Bologna there are long and passionate discussions about the future of classical music. Great violist Danusha Waskiewicz loved performing the Benjamin Yusupov Viola/Rock/Tango concerto a few weeks ago; the new concert master of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Lorenza Borrani is leading a new orchestra without conductor under the name Spira Mirabilis – check this link for a performance of theirs on an Italian town square, Beethoven 2 by memory… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYBYq5-4IC4

    They study one piece at a time and perform only this, with introduction/examples before the performance.

    Here’s a project of my own, Matteis Project – Baroque ReImagined, it was featured at Lucerne Festival 07 and now we have performances in a Basel jazz club coming up, live streaming at http://www.birdseye.ch on Nov. 24 and 25 at 20:30h Europe time.

    Intro Clip on this long-term project: http://www.vimeo.com/6273131

    All best, looking forward to your book,

    Etienne

    Thanks SO much for the links! I hadn’t seen them when I responded to your last comment.

    And I’m sorry if you didn’t see this comment here immediately. It got flagged automatically as spam, because it had so many links. An annoyance, but there’s nothing I can do about it. Except approve the flagged comments the moment I see them.

  52. Phillip says

    hi Greg, sorry my last comment on today’s post went up 3 times cause I kept getting a internal-server-error message…pls delete the extra ones. sorry for the error. best, Phillip

    Not your problem, Philip. Sorry you had to suffer through it. I’ve been getting these messages all morning long, for a blog post as well as for comments. Very annoying.

  53. Scott Colebank says

    Hi Greg – we corresponded long ago about Rach 3 recordings (I’m the guy that has over 160 of them). Anyway, do you find it odd that the NY Phil. is playing an all-Beethoven concert on the exact evening of the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Rach 3 (November 28, 2009?

  54. John O'Connor says

    Hi, Mr. Sandow. I’m sure you don’t remember me, but you visited Florida State university last year and spoke to my Arts Administration class. I’m working on a research project right now involving American orchestras and performing “new” music. I’m still struggling with an operational definition of this term, but I’m looking for a time frame to judge by (5 years or newer, 10 years or newer, et.) The only real justification I have right now is for 5 years or newer from the American Composers Orchestra and their qualifications for their “New Music Readings.” This number seems awfully ambitious for all but the largest orchestra institutions. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what could be considered to be “new” music in the orchestra world that could possibly be performed by even the smaller orchestras (budgets 5-8 defined by the League).

    Thanks,

    John O’Connor

  55. says

    Hi Greg,

    Great blog, I wonder if you would consider posting something to help a youth orchestra in a contest for a $10,000 grant. We are trying to get the word out as much as possible to the musical community.

    Here’s the link to the contest: http://apps.facebook.com/brightfuture/causes/4624

    We were the only musical organization selected as a finalist out of 5,000 entries.

    Thanks,

    Andy

  56. says

    Hi Greg,

    We love your blog over here at Kirshbaum Demler & Associates. Would you mind shooting me an email?

    Best,

    Ashley

    Public Relations Assistant

    Kirshbaum Demler & Assoc.

  57. says

    Re: Classical Music Performance web site.

    Greg, not sure if this is the way to communicate with you but when you get a minute, could you please check out our site, http://www.classicalconnect.com?

    The idea is to provide an alternative venue to talented musicians and composers (we have quite a number of contemporary composers on the site), and try to promote them. Musicians upload their performances to our site, so all music is legitimate. While helping musicians, we at the same time give music lovers free access to a large selection of music performed by talented artists (more than 2,000 pieces at the moment and growing).

    If you find the site interesting, could you mention it in your blog? We’d be happy to mention your blog on our site. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Best regards,

    Sergey Zaks

    Classical Connect

  58. says

    Dear Mr. Sandow,

    I am a youngish professional conductor and orchestral musician, and I have founded a company, Symphonic Voyages, for the purposes of putting on a themed Caribbean cruise vacation for classical music lovers in January of 2011, featuring onboard performances by a full symphony orchestra with guest artists Cho-Liang Lin, Susan Lorette Dunn, and Larry Rachleff. I’m thrilled to have such distinguished musicians taking part in our debut sailing, but I suspect that the mere existence of a concert series on a ship would not be terribly interesting to you, and if that were all I planned to offer I wouldn’t bother writing.

    Themed cruises of this sort in other musical genres have enjoyed tremendous success, primarily owing to the unique opportunity for social interaction between performers and audience members, which as you often note is something conspicuously absent from traditional classical music performance settings. With SV, I want to break down walls of anonymity and hyper-formality, and lay the foundation for a community of musickers. I’d be very grateful for your suggestions regarding A) what sorts of activities I might plan (in addition to the concerts) to heighten our passengers’ sense of participation and community, and B) how I might proceed in terms of getting the word out about this experience to those who are habitually turned off by traditional classical music marketing.

    Best wishes,

    Eric Stassen

  59. Dan Walter says

    Mr. Sandow

    I have been following your writing on this blog and watching some of your interviews on Polyphonic.org for a little while now. I have enjoyed reading your insights on the world of classical music and appreciate your efforts at informing an interested public.

    I would like to tell you a little about myself in regards to my interest in classical music and music in general so you know where I come from in regards to the questions and statements I make below. I am in my mid 30′s and am what would be considered middle class. I live in the suburbs of Detroit, have a decent but ordinary job. I guess my interest in music is probably higher than the average Americans. I have been in rock bands (many years ago) and have friends that still are in rock bands. I play the guitar and have started taking piano lessons after a 20+ year break. I attend concerts of popular artists a few times a year (I live within 30 minutes of every major concert venue in the Detroit metro area, and am within walking distance of a nice outdoor venue that hosts many concerts each summer.) My interest in classical music and jazz probably came about 10 years ago and I can’t say I really remember why, but since then I have been devouring as much of it as I can. Learning about composers that I had heard of and discovering composers that I hadn’t has been a great joy. I have a CD collection that has grown greatly and most of it is classical and jazz. I am fortunate enough to live in an area that has a fantastic public radio station that plays all classical all day and all jazz at night. The hosts are personable, have fun, and explain the music they play. The station has a wonderful website that is very educational and interesting (www.wrcjfm.org). In short, I like music and feel that I have a pretty good understanding of it, although not as much as I would like. On to my questions/statements.

    1. After reading a lot of your work as well as others that cover some of the ground you do I would like to know what you think the ultimate goal of classical and jazz music should be in relation to popular music, or society in general. Neither classical or jazz are going to have anything close to the kind of album sales and downloads that popular music does. So what is the benchmark? What numbers would be considered healthy? Is this even a good way of judging the health of classical/jazz music? As has been stated many times the whole music industry has seen a big drop in total sales and this has been the case long before the world financial problems came about.

    2. I have read many times that classical music needs to be a little more like popular music. It should have more fan/musician interaction, clap between movements or even during movements, be less formal, use more technology, play modern/new music, ect… I was wondering if you or anyone else has asked the actual concert goers if this is what they would like, and if so and they have responded positively what is holding them back from doing these things? I have a suspicion that most if not all orchestras are terrified of making changes in the hopes of bringing in more and younger people that it won’t work and in the process will drive away the small remaining audience that they currently have. If this is the case it’s a terrible way of doing business because they will always be to afraid to make any changes at all.

    3. What detrimental role if any do the unions have in a orchestras ability to make changes that need to be made, or too try new things to see if they work? What I mean by this is the orchestras musicians are a union, what exactly would be the process for management to implement changes in say dress code, fan/musician interaction, programming, number and type of performances, promotions, advertising, and any of the other proposed ideas to expand the popularity of a particular orchestra and classical music in general? How involved is the union and have any of them contributed ideas that may require some sacrifice of the status quo and or the union itself?

    4. Do orchestras have to be as big as they are? When exactly did the orchestra require over 100 members for it to be a top/destination orchestra? Is is possible for orchestras (especially in financially down times) to only have 50-60 members and still be a top/destination orchestra? Aren’t much of the financial problems haunting most orchestras the costs of the musicians? Not so much the pay but the benefits/retirement. Basically, would downsizing all the orchestras improve the financial problems and still maintain the high quality? Can the audience still get the same enjoyment from a smaller orchestra as from a larger one?

    5. What role do think social engineering has played in the decline of classical music? Let’s take busing for example. Back in the early 70′s the government mandated school busing to try and integrate public schools. At that time there was already a move by people (white’s) to the suburbs and the busing (for many reasons) turbo charged that movement. This seems to have had a terrible effect on many levels. One, it created long travel times for most kids to and from school. This cut into after school activities (music) as well as practice times at home. Two, it eliminated a lot of local school pride. Children lived a block away from a school but didn’t attend that school, they attended one 30 minutes away that they nor their parents would ever have any vested interest in because it was in someone else’s neighborhood. Three, a lot of the people who left the cities for the suburbs where people with money. Money that supported already established music programs. Once the money left the music programs started dying off and where never replaced in the kinds of previous numbers either in the city schools or the new suburb schools. Four, now that a lot of the people who attended classical concerts, as well as other art programs that were and still are in the inner city are now much farther away it seems that the combination off distance, cost, and fear have kept them away and brought about a new generation that hasn’t experienced classical music and other arts the way previous generations have.

    6. Has it been considered that perhaps classical music and the current orchestra setting is as good as it’s going to get in today’s society. Maybe there isn’t a way of making it more popular. Maybe all the ideas that have been proposed by many people may only have a very minor positive effect at best or no effect at all. Perhaps the average citizen should be asked if they would be ok with eliminating all public funding of the arts and let the arts figure out how to survive solely in the private market. That would mean many city orchestras would fold and many museums would also go under. I think with that knowledge anybody would be hard pressed to find someone who thought privatizing the arts at a cost of losing most of it would be a good idea. Almost everyone likes the idea that their city has a orchestra and museums and art galleries even if they have to publicly support them (taxes) So the question is why don’t they use them more? I discussed some of the reasons above. But a good selling point for art education is that it creates a greater ticket base and therefor helps the economy. Just think of all the little kids in grade school getting music/art education. If just a third of them grew up to appreciate their music/art education and represented that by going to concerts and museums and encouraging their children to take an interest in it the job growth in the arts community which I believe numbers in the millions today would grow quite a bit. The question is how, who, and to whom should this be discussed. Political winds have always looked for the easy way, and art funding is easy to cut because the fewest people will notice it.

    7. Why is silence at a golf tournament (and tennis) alright, but classical music audiences are being questioned/mocked for wanting silence during a performance. We all would be rightly upset at someone talking during a movie, why not during a concert? If people want to dance around and scream and holler, clap their hands and make noise isn’t that what popular music is for? Does every music performance have to have the same atmosphere? Is the assumption that because people don’t/can’t clap between movements really what has contributed to the attendance decline?

    Well this has gotten long winded and I don’t want to bore you so if you got this far thanks for reading. Thanks for the blog it’s enjoyable.

    Dan Walter

  60. Andrew Cho says

    Hi Greg,

    I’m Andrew Cho, a journalism student at Northwestern. Currently, I am writing a trend story on the rise of music school students coinciding with dwindling music sales and less jobs. While researching for my article, I came upon your website and have seen many posts that would be very useful for my article. Would it be all right if I can quote your website for my article? I will be sure to cite your website as a source.

    Thank you,

    Andrew Cho

    P.S. I love the website, and will be sure to send it along to my roommate, who is currently planning on transferring from a psychology major to a piano major.

  61. says

    I just wanted to share an article that I found in my Twitter today that might be of interest to you. http://bit.ly/cdZgnm

    It’s about reinventing concerts and they get input from people in various parts of the classical music industry. Part of it, to me, is promising while some of it just seems very sad. For instance, I was perturbed when I read John Gilhooly’s statement. This, from a music director even!

    “Audiences want to experience high-quality traditional events in a world that is already dominated by experimentation and celebrity.”

    Amazing. I’ve been checking out shows in SF at bars and cafes, organized by young musicians, and they’re always packed with young people. I go to Herbst Theater to see a rather good ensemble playing new music and it’s students and ancient people and everyone seems a bit uncomfortable.

    Anyway, take it for what it’s worth.

    Thanks for the link. Glad the Brits invited Alex Ross to speak. He has a good point of view for them.

    And yes, that remark you quoted is unfortunate. The question always is who wants the traditional concerts. Older people, younger people? And how many are in each camp? And — as seems natural — some want traditional concerts and some don’t, how many are kept away because they don’t like the traditional concerts?

    Very silly, by the way, to ask a few of your friends what they think, and then base a strategy on that! There’s a little thing called a “selection effect.”

    I have a friend who’s a classical music marketer, and is in her early 40s. She doesn’t believe for a moment that it’s lack of time and babysitting that keeps her friends — people her age — from going to classical concerts. As she points out, they go to other things. Glhooly might discover that the people he talks to also do other things, and find the child minders they need. And that classical concerts — even if they say they don’t mind the format — turn out to have a low priority for them. Which might not be true if the format changed.

  62. Bruce Haines says

    Hello Mr. Sandow,

    I recently discovered your web site while researching a presentation I am to give to a local group on the topic “Is Classical Music Dead?” So much of what you share online has been a great help to me in this effort and I thank you for the information and the insight. I would appreciate your thoughts on two questions:

    1) How much of the decline of audience interest in classical music falls on forces and choices outside the concert hall and beyond the scope of a “supply side” change? Much is written of what orchestras need to do to reach out to audiences and re-energize the experience of attending a symphony. Yet, the 2008 NEA study reports that virtually all art forms declined in attendance, not just classical music. Do you believe there are sociological trends (and if so, what are they) at work that draw people to interactions away from the traditional community venues provided by the arts? Is this cultural turn from the arts cyclical or potentially irreversible?

    2)I have wondered about my paper’s topic to ask myself why the question doesn’t read, “Is Jazz Music Dead?” or “Is Bluegrass Music Dead?” What do you believe it is about ourselves that we have come to see such a strong connection of our human value to this music genre over others? Is it the societal position and prestige that comes with a true or feigned appreciation for classical music, or, as it has been stated, is it a deeper intellectual and spiritual tie over the years to the mastery of craft and interpretation in the compositions and performances?

    Thank you for any time and consideration on these questions. I wish you the best in your continued work on behalf of classical music.

    Bruce Haines

    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  63. jim bernstein says

    Dear Mr. Sandow:

    Interesting book outline and blog. You appear to be a thoughtful and interesting man! I am an amateur cellist. I am in DC. Would love to grab you for an hour or lunch to discuss a new chamber collective for which I am Board Chair. Foir historical purposes you might check out Artie Bernstein ( my uncle whose cello I learned on) and Martin Bernstein (my father and CHairman of Music Dept at NYU for 25 years).

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  64. says

    My colleage, John Boyden, and I were very interested to read your item, “Needing rebirth”.

    The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra was re-founded in 1992 by John for the very reasons you talk about in your article and for quite a number of others.

    Please listen to a recording we made at a concert in February of Mahler’s Adagietto from his Fifth Symphony. It’s on YouTube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrG1UGx2Yfw

    Our website is at http://www.nqho.com where other sound-clips may also be found.

    Best wishes,

    Richard Redmile

  65. Sara Harenchar says

    Dear Greg,

    I thought your readers would be interested in an upcoming concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. On April 8th, rising opera star Liam Bonner and Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic will perform a New York premiere of Jacob Druckman’s “Demos” (1992).

    The program of contemporary and Post-Romantic masterworks will also feature Mahler’s “Lieder eines Farhrende Gesellen” and will close with Stravinsky’s vibrant and fanciful “Petrouchka.”
 Maestro Ronald Zollman will lead Bonner and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, the flagship ensemble of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Music, in concert.

    Opera News heralded Bonner, a Carnegie Mellon School of Music alumnus, for his “rich, versatile voice” and “beautiful instrument.” The Washington Times said the rising baritone possesses a “deft comic touch backed by a hefty, well-supported instrument that would make for a wonderful Figaro.”
 


    Bonner recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Morales in “Carmen” and will join the company for its production of “Hamlet.” He will make his role and company debut as Dottore Malatesta in “Don Pasquale” with Opera New Jersey.

    In the 2008-09 season, Bonner made his European operatic debut as Guglielmo in “Così fan tutte” at English National Opera, returned to Houston Grand Opera for Claudio in “Béatrice et Bénédict” and Demetrius in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and appeared in a gala concert with L’Opéra de Québec.

    Feel free to contact me at sharench@andrew.cmu.edu. You can also visit http://www.music.cmu.edu.

    Sincerely,

    Sara M. Harenchar

    Carnegie Mellon University

    College of Fine Arts

    Media Relations

    sharench@andrew.cmu.edu

    Additional Information:

    The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic is comprised of student musicians from across the United States and 19 foreign countries. Philharmonic performances have been received enthusiastically by audiences and critics at such prestigious institutions as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall and Severance Hall in Cleveland. Its recordings appear on the Mode Records, New World Records, New Albion and Carnegie Mellon record labels. The orchestra has alumni in the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony, among many others.


  66. says

    Another “Solution”

    Hi Greg,

    I posted a comment on your blog a few days ago, but wanted to follow up. I am a music student at Northwestern, and I can vouch for the ills of audience participation of classical music on campus. It is nearly impossible to attract non-music majors to School of Music performances at NU, despite an active and vibrant campus life. For whatever reason, we cannot break out of the “ghetto” of our own performing arts buildings.

    One of the solutions, in effect as of last year, is Northwestern’s now-annual Music Marathon. Music Marathon is a 26-hour benefit concert featuring student performers and raising money for The People’s Music School, a non-profit in Chicago which provides free lessons for underprivileged youth. Last year we were able to raise over $17,000 for the school, enough to provide over a thousand music lessons.

    Because of the unusual length of the concert, as well as involvement from classical, jazz, rock, and a capella groups all around campus (as well as music faculty and local Chicago professionals), Music Marathon attracted a diverse audience last year. By marketing this is not just a classical event, but a Marathon and fundraiser, we drew on multiple strata of the NU demographic. This year we hope to do the same. We opened up registration to all Northwestern students, and have attracted everyone from string quartets to random guys with guitars.

    Students sign up for a 15 minute performance slot and pledge to raise $100. However, we also open up donations to anyone who wishes to be involved. You can donate via Paypal on our website, http://www.musicmarathonconcert.org

    I would encourage you to post this on your blog, since I think it is a great cause as well as one of the many “solutions” I have worked on (I am a classical saxophonist, musicologist, and president of the NU School of Music student government) for classical music audience involvement. You can read more about this on my blog here

    http://seatedovation.blogspot.com/2010/03/music-marathon.html

    It’s an entirely student produced, grassroots event–the exact kind of focus classical music needs. And for the alt-classical viewpoint, I am again leading an ensemble in a midnight performance of In C (last year we did it at 2:30AM, with a huge crowd in the audience).

    Thanks so much!

    Best,

    Billy Robin

  67. Julia Vanderham says

    Hi Greg -

    I’d love to send you a press release for an upcoming production of the opera Flight that’s being performed at UCLA. Is there an email address that I can send that to as an attachment?

    Thanks so much,

    Julia Vanderham

  68. says

    One more i want to say is, people will give their comment if they are understand what they read. In my opinion, people who read without understand seems won’t give their comment and just type ‘nice post’ or ‘great job’nfl jerseys**

  69. Scott Pender says

    Greg–just wondering if any of your work at U of Maryland is open to non-students? I’m a DC-based composer, and I’d love to hear you in conversation, etc. Please let me know.

    Thanks, Scott

  70. says

    Hi Greg,

    I would like to send you some info on an uexperimental opera album/comic book that my new music ensemble is releasing in June. Please email me so I can send some samples. Cheers.

    -Paul

  71. says

    Hi Greg,

    I’d like to tell you more about an

    innovative music competition happening in New Haven, CT, in mid June. Please send me

    your email address so I can forward you detailed information about the event.

    Thank you,

    Rona

  72. says

    Love your idea about getting rid of press releases. I’ve been writing and sending them for 25 years and I don’t think they are particularly relevant in 2010, with the digital assets that we have available as PR people these days. Even tho’ I now send them primarily via HTML email services, I doubt that we’re making the most of the technology available.

    It goes against everything that we as PR people know to send a pitch letter first – which is essentially what you are recommending – and then allow our media contacts to take the initiative to follow up on what interests them, but I agree that it’s time we changed our tactics.

    I’ll be interested to follow along on this thread and see if any of my fellow publicists come up with a solution such as you suggest.

  73. says

    Hi again, Greg.

    I wrote to you a couple of months ago, saying I wanted to submit some samples of the “New and Improved!” style of press releases. You said you’d like to see them, but of course, I needed to get three of them together before I wrote back. So, here they are! Sorry this will be long, but I don’t know how to link files or anything here. I don’t think any of them have been printed verbatim by my local paper, though the longer piece I wrote for an in-town magazine stands a good chance of being used as-is, since I wrote it specifically for them.

    Thanks for giving me things to think about, as always. – Donna


    These are terrific, Donna! Thanks so much for taking the trouble to send them. They’re the proverbial breath of fresh air. Do you have any sense that people are responding to this terrific approach? (I’ve put my comment in the middle of what Donna wrote, instead of at the end, to encourage everyone to read it all.)

    1) It’s Okay for YOU, Since YOU Don’t Sit in Front of the Drums

    What do the Blue Danube, Colonel Bogey, and The Sound of Music all have in common? The simple answer is this – they’re all on the program for the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra’s Free Summer Concert in the Park.

    This year’s concert is on Friday, July 9th at 7 pm in 3rd Street Park (between Washington and Lincoln). The stage is covered, which is great, but it’s a bit smaller than the stage in Bryan Park.

    The best part about this concert (aside from it being FREE and open to absolutely everyone) is that most folks bring a picnic basket and a blanket, then just sprawl out on the lawn listening to the orchestra do their thing. Kids run around and dance, they play tag, people bring their dogs…Basically, anything goes. There is absolutely nothing stuffy or formal about it.

    Our website http://www.bloomingtonsymphony.com has more information about the BSO’s Summer Concert in the Park, if you’re interested.

    2) 20th Century Marketing Needs to Catch Up with 21st Century Orchestra

    So, here’s the problem – say you’re a community orchestra that’s been around for over 40 years. You’ve done good things; plenty of concerts under your belt, a long list of spectacular soloists (ever heard of Joshua Bell?), committed players, an awesome music director…the list goes on.

    What you don’t have is an easy, consistent way of publicizing who you are and why people should come to your concerts.

    What to do?

    Step One: you hold a contest to design a new logo for your orchestra. That gets the community involved by encouraging all sorts of talented people to submit designs that will help you re-brand your organization. Sure, the prize money isn’t going to make anyone rich ($200 first place), but hopefully it gives people something to get excited about.

    For more information about the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, check out our soon-to-be-overhauled website (that’s Step Two, by the way) – http://www.bloomingtonsymphony.com

    For more information about the contest,call Donna Lafferty, Director of Marketing and Development, at 812-327-5056 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              812-327-5056      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              812-327-5056      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

    In the best of all worlds, we’ll have tons of potential new logos to choose from, and my phone won’t stop ringing for a couple of weeks.

    3) It All Started With a Sprained Ankle

    When asked why she’s played in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra for nearly 20 years, principal horn player Harriet Fierman quipped “Because I sprained my ankle.”

    While she’d always been involved in sports as a child, a badly-timed sprain prevented her from joining a team when she reached junior high. A teacher suggested taking up an instrument, saying she could play in the marching band, even with a cast on her leg.

    Borrowing the only available spare instrument from her band director, Harriet began a lifelong love affair with the French horn. Harriet majored in Music Education at Indiana University, and went on to teach music in public schools for the next 7 years.

    “Whenever we moved, the first thing I’d do would be to find a place to play,” Harriet said. From Massachusetts to Tennessee, Harriet always found herself immersed in the local community music scene.

    And when her husband’s career brought them back to Bloomington in 1991, Harriet discovered the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. “At my very first BSO rehearsal, I saw Paul Hartin sitting there with his tuba. Paul and I were in the same freshman class at IU.”

    To Harriet, it felt like coming home. She was also impressed by the Orchestra’s high standards.

    “It blew my mind how incredibly good the BSO was. I’m talking about a community orchestra, and believe me, I’ve played in LOTS of community orchestras, but the level of playing here – the dedication to playing great music – I’ve never seen anything like it.”

    Harriet has also been impressed with the quality of the music directors the orchestra attracts. “They’re so inspiring! I always feel like we’re being challenged to play the best we possibly can.”

    Harriet will be in her usual spot in the horn section when the BSO begins its 2010-2011 season on October 2nd with “That’s SO Last Century,” a concert featuring works by 20th Century American composers George Gershwin, Randall Thompson, Samuel Barber and Morton Gould.

    Other highlights of the season include “A German, A Russian and a Finn…” on November 20th, featuring music of Beethoven, Prokofiev and Sibelius. The world premiere of IU alum Clint Needham’s “Peau Rouge Indiana” will be part of “Back Home Again in Indiana” on February 26th and 27th, and members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will make guest appearances with the BSO in “Violapalooza!” on April 30th.

    The orchestra’s website – http://www.bloomingtonsymphony.com – has more information about the concert series, as well as general information about the BSO itself.

    “Like most of the people in the BSO, music is not my vocation. It’s my avocation. But it’s also what keeps me sane, and makes me feel like I’m part of the community,” Harriet said. “Bloomington has given me so much. I feel like I can pay it back, a little at a time, by playing great music with my friends in this amazing community orchestra.”

  74. says

    Hi Greg,

    Today, one of the world’s top orchestras – the LA Philharmonic – announced a unique opportunity for classical music enthusiasts. The best part? Your readers don’t have to purchase an airline ticket to participate.

    To make world-class orchestral performances accessible to all, the LA Phil is embarking on an innovative program called LA Phil LIVE. By teaming with NCM Fathom, a division of National Cinemedia, the LA Phil will simulcast live in high-definition three programs led by the dynamic conductor Gustavo Dudamel from iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to movie theatres nationwide. Through this program, your readers will experience the dramatic sights and sounds of the one-and-only Gustavo accompanied by the LA Phil orchestra. Each broadcast will also include an insider’s look at the LA Phil including never-seen-before footage including exclusive interviews with Gustavo, world-renowned guest soloists, and the orchestra’s musicians. The LA Phil LIVE experience will be shared in local movie theaters through multiple HD cameras and in thrilling 5.1 surround sound.

    Why should your readers care? First and foremost, LA Phil LIVE gives classic music lovers a new and exciting way to experience an orchestral performance live. And, by sharing these performances on a national level, the LA Phil is achieving its goal of rejuvenating interest and building support for classical music.

    Here’s a quick look at the inaugural 2011 in-theatre series:

    January 9, 2011: Dudamel Conducts Beethoven

    March 13, 2011: Dudamel Conducts Tchaikovsky

    June 5, 2011: Dudamel Conducts Brahms

    I will follow up to gauge your interest in blogging about this special program. In the meantime, please visit http://www.LAPhil.com/LAPhilLIVE to access more information and see the tools we have to enhance a blog post such as the event trailer, a ticketing widget, web copy, banners and more.

    Best,

    Gillian

    Gillian Grefé

    Pure – on behalf of LA Phil

    2360 Lawrence Street

    Denver, CO 80205

    303-625-1069

    Blog: http://purethinking.typepad.com

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/gilbanzo

  75. Tony Z says

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JDFDwTZr14&NR=1

    This is a commercial that the B(altimore)SO produced and ran. Look at how the guy is having crazy fun conducting his stereo. But then the ad invites the viewer: come to our concerts – look how much fun this guy is having. But at the concerts, would he be able to jump up, wave his arms, dance etc? No. He would have to sit very still in a dark auditorium. While the ad is cute and clever, it ultimately misses the mark.

    I thought you’d appreciate this.

  76. says

    Greg, I’ve been telling everyone at my school about your writings about making classical music relevant (especially your recent posts about the U of MD!) Thanks for sharing all the great ideas!

  77. Joan says

    Hi Greg,

    After reading your comments about adding the score to a concert I found this graphic treatment of Beethoven’s 7th 2nd movement. I loved it, especially when I put it on full screen, and judging by the comments by non-musicians it really opened up a few eyes. Almost as though we are such a visual age that we can’t hear those lines any longer, but we can see them. Maybe someone should design an iPhone app that one could open in a concert and that translated the music into that sort of graphic? Or, maybe just showed the score so you could watch it on your phone if you wanted to, and it wouldn’t bother anyone else?

    Thanks for the referral to Rene Jacobs. Nothing but an open hearted conductor will do for me as a orchestral player. Otherwise I literally suffocate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uOxOgm5jQ4&feature=player_embedded

  78. says

    Dear Mr. Sandow,

    I am pleased to share with you news about an upcoming free concert that I believe will be of interest to your readers, entitled, Mari Kimura: “String Theater.”

    Hosted by the Vilcek Foundation, this one-night-only performance will feature virtuoso violinist and composer Mari Kimura, at the Bohemian National Hall in New York City.

    Ms. Kimura will perform a selection of classical and contemporary works, and premiere a number of her own compositions, including a duet for violin and cello, on which she will be accompanied by Grammy Award-nominated cellist Dave Eggar.

    Wearing custom-fit sensor gloves, the duo will implement a new technology that tracks bowing motions, thus giving musical expression to the two bows as they interact. Ms. Kimura will also debut a new variation of Subharmonics, her revolutionary bowing technique, which allows a violinist to play one full octave below the open G without changing the instrument’s tuning.

    Please find below additional details about this event:

    Date: Friday, May 20, 2011

    Venue: Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd St (between 1st and 2nd Avenues), New York, NY 10021

    Time: 8pm – 9pm, with reception to follow

    Admission: Free

    Doors open at 7:30pm

    RSVP is required. RSVP to: RSVP@vilcek.org, (646) 395-8270, or http://www.vilcek.org.

    Thank you so much and I hope that you will feature this unique performance in one of your upcoming posts. Also, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions that you may have about this event.

    Best regards,

    Anne Schruth

    The Vilcek Foundation

  79. says

    On July 28th, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta join the extraordinary talents of soprano Renée Fleming and tenor Joseph Calleja to honor the legacy of the great American tenor Richard Tucker. Although the concert takes place in Jerusalem, we are pleased to be able to extend you an invitation through Fathom Events, who will be presenting a live* broadcast in theatres across the country. Fathom is giving away a pair of tickets per participating theatre, which means over 1,000 tickets will be given away to this event! To enter to win, just write the name and location of the participating theater where you plan to attend the live broadcast, along with the phrase “Free ‘Live from Jerusalem’ Tix”, on the Fathom Events Facebook wall (here: http://on.fb.me/FreeFathomTix *You must click “I am Attending” in the upper right to access the event wall). One winner per theater will be randomly selected from the qualifying entries to receive a pair of tickets.

    To find the closest participating theater in your area, visit the ticket order page: http://bit.ly/LiveFromJerusalem (no purchase necessary), and enter your zipcode in the “buy tickets” field. You will be directed to a list of the closest theaters. Simply copy+paste the theater name and address into your entry.

    *Broadcast will be delayed to play at 7pm in all time zones around the United States.

    ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be chosen as well to receive:

    A bottle of La Voce by Renée Fleming, an exclusive fragrance specially designed in honor of Fleming by Coty, the world’s largest fragrance company. Inspired by the artistry of the singer, La Voce by Renée Fleming is a sophisticated floriental fragrance as subtle and refined as the singer’s voice. At $200 a bottle (and a priceless signed CD, and 2 tix to the, this is quite a prize!

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