Looking for mavericks

wieden lobby blog

This was the first in what turned out to be a long series of posts, in which I and many readers highlighted people, groups, and institutions making new departures in classical music, doing things in new ways. This wasn't even close to a complete list, but it was an exhilarating start, especially because this information simply isn't available. Classical music has been changing at an almost explosive pace, and yet most of the changes happen just below the radar, maybe talked about in the media here and there, but never catalogued, so there's … [Read more...]

Gerald Klickstein: Music education and entrepreneurship


“To be a musician in the service of music is not a job; it is a way of life.”    –Isaac Stern, violinist (The Musician’s Way, p. 299) The music education community is swirling with talk about how best to prepare university-level students for modern-day careers. And for good reasons. The music business is undergoing economic and technological upheaval, and many musicians and colleges are struggling to adapt. Actually, some musicians appear to be thriving – those with entrepreneurial mindsets. Entrepreneurial Musicians Entrepreneurial … [Read more...]

Four keys to the future

Japan Photos

Here, as promised, are the key things we need to do, if we're going to give classical music a future. When I wrote this, I was thinking of people who present classical performances. But I think it applies to all of us — for instance, to people who write about classical music, for whom the last point might be rejiggered as "write vividly." But enough introduction. Here's my manifesto: We’re in a new era. To adapt to it, and build a new audience, here are four things you should do: Understand and respect the culture outside classical … [Read more...]

Erica Sipes: Words before Winterreise


[From Greg: A followup to Erica's guest post yesterday, about the performance of Winterreise she did in a small town. Here she tells us what she said before the performance, to introduce the piece to an audience that doesn't know classical music. This may be the best introductions to a classical piece I've ever seen, including all that I've made. An inspiration, in my view, for us all.] Ed and I are so glad that you have joined us here today.  I’ve had the opportunity to perform this incredible set of songs before but I was struck today, as my … [Read more...]

CD covers I like

siegfried blog

While we're still talking about CD covers, I thought I'd add a few likes of my own. Starting with this one, which I've loved ever since the recording came out on LP in 1962: Of course it's Siegfried, from the Georg Solti Ring.  And there couldn't be a more iconic image from the opera, showing the moment  (at the end of the first scene of the third act) when Siegfried heads up the mountain toward Brünnhilde and the magic fire. If I remember correctly, it's a photo of Wolfgang Windfgassen, who sings Siegfried on the recording, in a live … [Read more...]

Lara Downes: Here at the Exiles’ Cafe

lara photo blog

[Lara Downes was the first of our guest bloggers here, and she began with a post about classical CD covers she likes.  And about how she came up with the cover for her own latest album. Her list -- along with mine, and others that I hope will come later — can serve as a resource for people looking for inspiration and encouragement.] Well, I've been enjoying the lively debate about Greg's comments on the cover art [on the right] for Exiles' Cafe. It's so interesting to see the wide range of personal responses to any image - I think we all … [Read more...]

Nathan Shirley: Videos — untapped potential

1- mY8

I've spent some time compiling a list of videos I think especially stand out from the very bland standard classical music videos (no easy task to find these!). Most bigger budget classical music videos are basically just documentations of performances. So they end up looking fine, but certainly nothing special which might better serve the music. They are typically filmed the same way a golf tournament or baseball game would be filmed — everything very well-lit (overly lit, with little or no shadow). Several different camera operators film … [Read more...]