I’ve been traveling, both for work and pleasure. The work part was two events in
This year, there were four critics attending (or three and a tenth, if you count me as only very partially a critic), myself, my wife Anne Midgette, from The New York Times, Tim Page from The Washington Post, and Willa Conrad, from The Star-Ledger of Newark. Terrific people, smart, musical, a pleasure to talk with and listen to. ArtsJournal’s own Doug McLennan moderated, and as usual did a sharp, savvy job. Note that this panel had nothing to do with the blog that preceded it. We spent one session talking about big issues in classical music, and the second trying to identify bits of music Doug played for us. Anne and I also picked a couple, but Doug’s were the most interesting—really killer choices, that stretched our knowledge and instincts. We were joined by David Zinman,
A good weekend—and the larger but much more quiet conference the week before covered some important ground, especially when it talked about changes in the way orchestras are going to choose new musicians. Merely playing well won’t be good enough; future orchestra members might have to be good colleagues, good chamber music players, good spokespeople to the community, and capable participants in management. How will music schools have to change to prepare their students for all that?
Plus much more, of course. I learned, among much else, that the Thornton School of Music at USC has some pathbreaking programs. Among much else, they team chamber ensembles with students studying the business side of music, with results in one case that included a CD release and a tour of
(Full disclosure. Originally I wrote that George Tsontakis identified the Foss concerto. But I’d remembered wrongly, and had to be reminded that it was someone from the audience.)