Expanding the blog

new community blog

In posts a couple of weeks ago, I talked about the community around this blog, and about new directions I wanted to move in, and wanted the blog to go in. Here are some ideas, some things I'd love to see. First, I'd like other voices on the blog — guest bloggers, including a few who'd be regular guests. I've got one guest gearing up for his first post, a young composer in Britain. Anyone else? I'm open to all kinds of people, all kinds of ideas, as diverse (geographically, musically, and otherwise) a group as possible. Contact … [Read more...]

“Provocative lecture”

CU logo blog

That's what I'm billed as giving next Wednesday, at the College of Music at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I'll be the guest of their Entrepreneurship Center for Music, and my talk -- called "The Classical Music Crisis: How You Can Help" — is billed as their Spring Keynote. And it's open to the public: (free) 5 PM, January 30, in room C-199 in the Imig Music Building (the main music building) on the CU campus. All my readers are welcome, along with anyone else. Come up and say hello afterward! Below you'l find a campus map, showing … [Read more...]

More mavericks from readers

from readers blog

Continuing the growing list of mavericks, people in classical music who do things in new ways. Go here for the first post in December's mavericks series, scroll to the end for the complete list.  Readers named more than 50 maverick people or groups. And here come some more. Start with Etienne Albin Abelin, a Swiss violinist, composer, and conductor with an active career both in the classical mainstream, and in indie classical work. Here he is as a member of Orchestra Mozart Bologna, a group Claudio Abbado conducts. And here's a MySpace page … [Read more...]

Classical music in an age of pop

juilliard blog

That's my spring semester Juilliard course, launched last week. The link takes  you to the week by week class schedule and assignments. For a quick overview of the course, go here. And note that I'm happy to teach a version of this course online. Which means that you yourself can take it. Four  90-minute sessions, $300. (Can't do it in three sessions, as I do with my branding workshops, and did last semester with my Juilliard course on how to speak and write about music. There's too much to cover.) Read the rest of the post for more … [Read more...]

How not to fail

bailey elgar

How I ended my last post, about a terrible CD cover from Telarc, on a recording of Zuill Bailey playing the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony: To erase the big fail here, Telarc, Bailey, and the Indianapolis Symphony should take one of my branding workshops. Seriously! I don't say that just to toot my horn, but because the kind of exercise we do in these workshops would really have helped. I'll explain that in my next post. So now it's the next post, and here's what I mean. In my branding workshops, we try to connect how we … [Read more...]


bailey elgar

Even while classical music changes — see my last post — it keeps showing why it needs to change. Case in point: the cover of a CD that came in the mail: Ugly! And completely unconvincing, if we're supposed to believe this recording is anything we'd want to hear. The conductor looks like he's a stiff 14 year-old. The cellist looks blah. The, um, artistic device of putting the orchestra in black and white while the conductor and soloist are in color doesn't work, because the conductor and soloist don't stand out enough. (And what are the … [Read more...]

The speed of change

future blog

One thing my mavericks posts showed was how much change there is in classical music, how many people and groups are doing new things. And we barely scratched the surface. (The link takes you to the first of these posts. At the end of it, you'll find links to all the others.) As I said, I'll be adding to the mavericks list. But right now, here's something related — a post about new things that have popped up in my inbox or web browsing in the past month or so, things that also show how things are changing. Whether the people and groups … [Read more...]

Classical music wish list

npr music blog

That's what you'll find on Tom Huizinga's NPR blog today -- things many of us hope will happen in classical music during 2013. I'm there, along with Marin Alsop, Jennifer Higdon, Kevin Puts, and some others, including Tom himself, of course, and his fellow NPR blogger Anastasia Tsioulcas. Alsop's wishes are as lively as she is. Her first one: For all of us in classical music to stop being afraid of having fun ... and showing it! Love that! Here's a summary of my wishes: classical music institutions should make finding a new audience … [Read more...]

Community squared

renewal blog

As I've been saying in my last post, and the one before, I've realized that my blog — all my work — involves a community. And that I want to move in new directions. So here's yet another way to move. I'd talked about taking my work to an institution (which perhaps I'd run), but if I keep it here, I've realized that I'd love some help. There are many reasons for that. First -- and simplest — is my workload. Just keeping the blog going (not to mention my newsletters, and other things I do) requires lots of administrative time. Formatting … [Read more...]

New directions

new directions blog

A followup to yesterday's "Renewal." I realized, as I said in "Renewal," that my blog — and all my work — involve a community, a community that nourishes me, and that I seem to nourish, a community of people involved with (or even just thinking about) change in classical music. But I also realized that it's time for something new. And I thought of two new paths to follow. I could take my work to an institution, maybe a music school or university, maybe a music school that's looking for a director, and would want me to take the … [Read more...]


renewal blog

A belated happy new year to everyone! As I come back to my normal life after an intensely happy holiday. We have lots to do here. We need to continue the mavericks posts from last month. And of course I want to assess the condition of classical music, as I do every year. Starting, maybe, by citing some ways that — while the mavericks show great change, great success — our normal ways of doing things are failing. But I've realized a few things while I've been away. First, that I've accomplished a lot here, along with all of you who read … [Read more...]