AJ Logo Get ArtsJournal in your inbox
for FREE every morning!
August 31, 2004

Flimm Appointed Salzburg Head Jürgen Flimm has been appointed as new artistic director of the Salzburg Festival. "Flimm, who is head of the festival's theater section and an internationally known opera and theater director, will succeed the composer Peter Ruzicka, who earlier this year said he did not want a second five-year term." International Herald Tribune 09/01/04

Is James MacMillian Spreading Himself Too Thin? James MacMillan is one of Scotland's most successful composers. But in recent years, besides his busy composing schedule, he has developed a whole other career conducting. This leads some critics to wondering if "all this conducting - he’s also lined up with orchestras in Japan and Europe - is diluting his compositional output, or if it might even be a way for him to deliberately lighten the compositional load." There is some evidence... The Scotsman 09/01/04

Leeds' Grand Gets A Makeover The Grand Theatre in Leeds is getting a £31.5 million makeover. "By mid 2006, Opera North, whose new production of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice opens at the Edinburgh Festival tomorrow, will have the home it deserves in the city which sees more opera performances than any other outside London." The Guardian (UK) 08/31/04

August 30, 2004

Did Mozart Have Tourette's? A new British documentary suggests that Mozart may have suffered from Tourette's Syndrome. "Tourette's is a constant battle between chaos and control, having a compulsion and trying to control it, and that translates into music. Mozart let his music run off in chaotic directions but then always brought it back under control." BBC 08/30/04

Listeners Question KING Radio Direction Seattle's KING-FM radio has been one of America's few commercial classical music radio success stories. but in the past year the station has said goodbye to some long time hosts and some listeners are wondering what's going on with their station... Seattle Times 08/30/04

Birth Of An Opera In Detroit a new opera is taking shape. Composed by Richard Danielpour with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, "Margaret Garner" is undergoing workshops where it is being refined... Detroit Free Press 08/30/04

The Wrong Way Opera Company For a year, a young opera entrepreneur has been trying to set up a small company in Winston-Salem, hoping it would become the nation's "premier African-American opera-training company." But a series of missed commitments, broken promises and misunderstandings suggest the fledgling enterprise might never get off the ground... Winston-Salem Journal 08/29/04

The Shostakovich Question For 25 years Solomon Volkov's purported memoir of Shostakovich has been debated by critics. Some are tired of the debate, and look for the book to convey greater truths. But this isn't right, writes Alex Ross: "It isn’t enough for the memoirs of a major artist to have an ambience of authenticity. A book that subjected Picasso or Joyce to such manipulations would never have made it to publication. For some reason, though, music is treated as a childish realm in which fables serve as well as facts." The New Yorker 08/30/04

August 29, 2004

In Search Of Classical Radio (There's Plenty Of it) Looking for classical music on the radio? Traditional broadcast radio isn't likely to do it. But the web has become a goldmine for music fans looking for variety... Philadelphia Inquirer 08/29/04

Pondering The CD's Mortality Andrew Druckenbrod is dismayed to learn that his precious CDs may be self-destructing. "Indeed, what does it say that a music box metal disc made 150 years ago or a paper piano roll from the turn of the previous century may outlive a digital product of today? It makes me want to pack a 19th-century survival kit: Dangnabit, where are my lard candles, salt pork and wool undergarments?" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 08/29/04

Controversy Mars World Air Guitar Championships The World Air Guitar Championships end in controversy in Finland this weekend, and two winners are declared after votes are miscounted. "This shouldn't happen in the world championship level. I am devastated. We can't do anything else but to apologize for the mistake and congratulate both winners. At least you can't say that this year's contest didn't offer tons of excitement and drama." Toronto Star 08/29/04

Chicago Symphony Contract Talks Go To Wire The Chicago Symphony is running out of time in its contract negotiations with musicians. "With only two weeks remaining until the present labor agreement between the musicians and management of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is due to expire, both sides are bracing themselves for what is expected to be the most contentious cliffhanger in the orchestra's 113-year history." Chicago Tribune 08/29/04

The Violin Scandals Two high-profile scandals in high-end violin appraisals and dealing reveal a shadowy world in which little is as it seems. "Authentication is slippery, essential and a near-contact sport among dealers, who regard one another like Yankees and Red Sox and certify the authenticity of their products themselves. And as both of the current dramas demonstrate, pricing tends to the notional, with no instrument quite like any other. Brokers and consultants flourish in the interstices." The New York Times 08/29/04

Klezmer's German Inroads Klezmer has become a phenomenon in Germany. "National interest in this genre, broadly defined as Eastern European Jewish folk music, has surged, with experts counting more than 100 klezmer bands across the country. Record sales are strong, and festivals and workshops have multiplied. One label director called Germany the strongest klezmer market in the world. But with few exceptions, the klezmer scene in Germany is a non-Jewish phenomenon, a renaissance of Jewish culture without Jews, prompting a wide range of reactions here and abroad, from bewilderment and cautious approval to cynicism and reproach." The New York Times 08/29/04

Old Record Shops Disappearing Second-hand record stores - the kind die-hard vinyl collectors love - are disappearing, as more and more customers turn to the internet to find rare recordings. "The switch has taken its toll on some specialist retailers and record dealers, prompting them to turn their attentions to sites such as eBay in search of profits without the overheads. And as the appetite for downloads hits new album sales, some observers are predicting the death knell for the bigger bricks-and-mortar multiple record stores, too." BBC 08/27/04

New Orleans Phil Looks For New Music Director Now that Klauspeter Seibel has left the job as music director of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans, the search is on for a replacement. This season is being given over to possible candidates for the job... The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) 08/29/04

August 27, 2004

An American Conductor in Britain (A Bumpy Road) In general American conductors have not done well with British orchestras. But why? "In Britain, one problem has been the resistance, by management and musicians alike, to the American model of the music director, which in turn is a watered-down holdover from the dictatorial maestros of yore. According to many London critics, British orchestras are adept sight readers and can rip off a plausible performance at the first rehearsal. But they apparently balk, by and large, at the hard work, directed from the podium, that would allow them to reach the exalted level of several American orchestras — or, indeed, of such self-governing Continental bands." The New York Times 08/27/04

Florida Classical Radio Station Cuts Music Programming South Florida is losing some classical music radio programming. "Radio station WKAT-1360 AM, which has helped fill the void left by WTMI's demise since 2002, has to scale back its programming because of dips in advertising revenue. The station has, on average, 100,000 listeners, and the 35-and-older demographic prefers listening to news in the mornings and music in afternoons and evenings." Miami Herald 08/27/04

Trying To Surpass Stradivari Some 250 years after they were made, Stradivari instruments are still unsurpassed. "Perhaps his genius really is inimitable. But the violins Stradivari made are not perfect; they can be moody; they have off-days. Modern violin-makers benefit from the knowledge brought by history and science. It may need another genius, but surely one day someone will produce instruments that not only match Stradivari's, they supersede them." The Guardian (UK) 08/27/04

August 26, 2004

The Air Guitar World Championship Forget the Olympics. This week in Finland, "experts" from all over the world will be converging on Finland for the Air Guitar International Championships. "What air guitar is all about is to surrender to the music without having an actual instrument. Anyone can taste rock stardom by playing the air guitar. No equipment is needed, and there is no requirement for any specific place or special skills. In air guitar playing, all people are equal regardless of race, gender, age, social status or sexual orientation." BBC 08/26/04

August 25, 2004

London Symphony Cancels American Tour The London Symphony Orchestra has canceled its fall American tour. Consisting of 15 stops in the United States and Canada, the "Music of Hollywood" tour apparently was canceled due to sluggish ticket sales. Indianapolis Star 08/25/04

Gigging The UK Live music is thriving in the UK. In all, an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged across England and Wales last year in pubs, clubs, restaurants, etc. The study was conducted in advance of a new law that will require venues to get licenses for presenting live music. The Guardian (UK) 08/25/04

Birtwistle: We're In A State Of Crisis Harrison Birtwistle is turning 70. George Loomis asks him if it isn't a good thing that "composers are now free to do their own thing without the pressure of writing in a certain style? 'Actually, it shows we're in a state of crisis,' he says, arguing that if you look historically at the subject of creativity, something always appears for people to rally around, as they did with cubism and serialism. 'Right now we need something to come how do they say it in baseball? out of left field'.” Financial Times 08/25/04

Colleges Find Download Alternatives Telling college students no to download music isn't a winning strategy. So universities have been looking for alternatives to illegal downloads. "Over the past year, schools have started using legal music download services, tried various technologies to block peer-to-peer traffic and beefed up education efforts and this work has helped address the problem." Wired 08/25/04

Florida's New Orchestra The Florida Philharmonic is no more, but South Florida has a new orchestr - the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia. "The 29-member chamber orchestra will be made up almost entirely of former Florida Philharmonic Orchestra members. The ensemble is slated to present five concerts in the 2005-06 season." The Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale) 08/25/04

August 24, 2004

UK Music Sales On The Rise So much for the internet killing music sales. This summer in the UK, the music business has seen a nice upturn. It includes "improved album sales, a sudden upturn in legal music downloads and an increase in singles sales for the first time in five years." The Guardian (UK) 08/24/04

Taking Opera To The Trains "The BBC is planning to mount a live broadcast of a new opera work aimed at a young audience. It will be set inside a mainline station and performed as commuters are making their way home from work. The event will require an hour's suspension of station announcements." The Guardian (UK) 08/24/04

Atlanta Opera Slashes Season Dennis Hanthorn is Atlanta Opera's new general director. But even before he officially begins, he's had to make some difficult decisions. "With an almost 50 percent drop in subscriptions to date, Hanthorn eliminated a quarter of the opera's performances for the coming year to avoid going deeper into debt. Four productions are still on the 2004-05 calendar: "Carmen," "Don Giovanni," "La Bohème" and "Fidelio." But the total number of performances will be trimmed from 16 to 12." Atlanta Journal-Constitution 08/18/04

Of Literacy And Music The "serious" classical music world seems to be finally acknowledging more popular influences. "In an era of unprecedented domination by market forces it was only a matter of time before the most prestigious musical institutions will take the favorable verdict of the commercial marketplace not as a cause for suspicion, but as an indication of legitimacy. That many composers were disappointed should not be understood as a wholesale rejection of populist sympathies on their part." NewMusicBox 08/04

Where Opera Lovers Meet Flash Mobs BBC Three is betting that last year's flash-mob trend is still alive, at least in the ranks of opera lovers, whom it plans to lure to a performance this fall. "Flashmob - The Opera will see opera singers and 65 musicians joined by an impromptu crowd of people who will be alerted to the event by text message." BBC 08/24/04

August 23, 2004

A Roll Call Of Orchestral Mediocrity Which are the UK's worst orchestras? wonders Norman Lebrecht. "Competition has never been so fierce. Beyond London lies a marshland of orchestral mediocrity. With the gleaming exceptions of Manchester's Halle where Mark Elder has wrought wonders, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra which has adjusted under Sakari Oramo to post-Rattle quietude, the rest of the civic and regional bands are in varying states of disrepair, the legacy of a generation of industrial failure." La Scena Musicale 08/23/04

A Portal Into A Moment In Jazz History Taken on an August morning in Harlem in 1958, the image known as "the greatest photograph in the history of jazz" is the sole focus of Harlem.org. Visitors to the site are invited to learn in detail about the photo and the jazz musicians who populate it: Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus and 54 others. The Christian Science Monitor 08/19/04

Bonn Opera House Fire The Bonn Opera House has been damaged by a fire. "The blaze started in the roof, where welding works were being carried out, authorities have said. There were no reported casualties but the fire and smoke plus water from firefighters also caused considerable damage to the stage and wings." BBC 08/23/04

August 22, 2004

A Detente Orchestra That Can't Play At Home Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a youth ensemble comprised of equal numbers of jews and arabs. "This orchestra cannot perform in Jerusalem, for fear of disruption, or worse, from one set of extremists or another. This orchestra has never performed in any of the countries from which its members are drawn. Last year there was a single, heavily guarded, performance in Rabat in Morocco - the only one to date in an Arab city. Security for these youngsters, as they make their way to and from their homes, is such a problem that on occasion the Spanish government has even provided diplomatic passports. And - most chillingly of all - the concert programme contains no names." Financial Times 08/20/04

Welsh Opera Director Quits "In a move that has shocked the opera world, the music director of the Welsh National Opera has resigned with immediate effect. At 26, the Ossetian conductor Tugan Sokhiev was the youngest musical director of a major national company anywhere in the world, except for Mikko Franck, the 25-year-old at the helm of Finnish National Opera." The Guardian (UK) 08/21/04

Trane's Modern Classic (40 Years Later) John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is 40 years old. "Revered wherever jazz is spoken, recorded (at least in part) by no less than Wynton Marsalis and Carlos Santana with John McLaughlin, praised by critics, dissected by scholars, rehearsed by young tenor saxophonists who dream of greatness, the indelible recording long since has earned a sacred place in American culture. So much, in fact, that musicians often hesitate when asked to perform this music publicly, for fear of presuming to step into the shadow of a jazz deity who addressed life and afterlife, man and God, in an oft-shattering recording." Chicago Tribune 08/22/04

The Chicago Symphony's Difficult Contract The Chicago Symphony and its musicians have taken a little time off from their contract talks. "Contract negotiations between CSO musicians and management are rarely easy, and they typically go down to the wire, but these talks could be among the toughest in recent memory. Like many American orchestras, the CSO has been running deficits and watching the size of its audiences stagnate if not shrink. CSO management is pushing to save money; CSO musicians are pushing to avoid losing too much ground." Chicago Sun-Times 08/22/04

How Does New Music Relate To "Classical" Music? "One wonders how much discussions of new music have to do with the classical music world today: a collection of fundamentally conservative institutions in which predominantly old music is presented and received in reverential, churchly silence and new music, for better or worse, is too often something to sit through. Many critics deplore this situation and are deeply invested in encouraging contemporary performances from classical institutions. In essence, we're demanding of classical music that it be a living art. But focusing as we do on the larger institutions, we're not necessarily keeping abreast of the latest trends in composition ourselves." The New York Times 08/22/04

Spreading Understanding What's next in classical music? Kyle MacMillan suspects the "next big thing is going to come in how classical music - in some cases, all music - is perceived and understood. Already causing a huge transformation is our unprecedented ability to log on to Amazon.com and buy recordings of music from virtually anywhere in the world and any period of the past 1,000 years. This widespread availability of recordings and the accompanying reach of the Internet are helping spread classical music well beyond its usual Western confines." Denver Post 08/22/04

August 19, 2004

New: Top Of The (Download) Charts It won't be long before music charts that only count CD sales will be obsolete. Napster has announced it is starting a top downloads chart to rank music popularity. "The Napster Online Music Chart will count down the top 20 tunes based on sales as well as songs that have been streamed (listened to online but not bought for permanent download) in a show that goes out Sundays at 7pm." BBC 08/19/04

John Adams' Nuclear Opera Composer John Adams is at work on a new opera - "Doctor Atomic" - about scientist Robert Oppenheimer and the race to create the first atomic bomb. "I really thought I would never write a grand opera again: it's so much damn hard work. But it just seemed, as in Nixon and Klinghoffer, such a potent theme with an incredible story that I could really sink my teeth into." The Independent (UK) 08/18/04

All Beethoven Sonatas (Performance And Scores) On One Disk? The story is told that the CD was designed to have the capacity to hold Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Here's something light years beyond: "all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas plus scores compressed into a single CD-ROM selling for $29.98, newly released by Newport Classic. Watch your DVD player or computer swallow it up, and you're good for 10 hours of music. Buying the recordings on compact disc (on which they're also available) and the scores as hard copies would cost around $150." Philadelphia Inquirer 08/19/04

SF Symphony Chorus Leader Stepping Aside "Vance George, whose sensitive but painstaking leadership has forged the San Francisco Symphony Chorus into one of the nation's leading ensembles, will step down as chorus director at the end of the 2005-06 season." San Francisco Chronicle 08/19/04

Online MIA: Classical Downloads Why is there so little classical music available on commercial download services? "This is a missed opportunity and it shows the difficulty the downloading revolution has in coping with classical music's enormous back catalogue and the stream of new releases." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 08/19/04

August 18, 2004

High Sax (130 Times) Salvatore Sciarrino is premiering a piece for 130 saxophones in Edinburgh. Sciarrino, 57, is "Italy's most prominent contemporary composer, a man obsessed with the limits of sound, with creating pieces in a mysterious region where music, silence, and noise meet. He's written works that transform instrumental ensembles into gigantic aviaries by making flutes and violins sound like nightingales and swans, and piano pieces that are so quiet they would be drowned out by the merest foot-shuffle in the audience. It sounds like a world of avant-garde extremism, but there's a sensuality to Sciarrino's music that makes it uniquely seductive." The Guardian (UK) 08/19/04

Edinburgh Jazz - Europe's Best? "A record-breaking 25,000 tickets were bought for performances by top musicians, firmly cementing the event’s reputation as one of Europe’s leading jazz music festivals. The increase in ticket sales marked a rise of almost 2,000 over those snapped up in 2003. This translated to a record-breaking turnover of a half a million pounds for the event, now Britain’s largest and most prestigious jazz festival." The Scotsman 08/17/04

Brendel Gives Last Broadcast Concert Pianist Alfred Brendel has given his last live-broadcast performance. It was at a Proms concert in London. The 73-year-old pianist played Beethoven's Emperor Concerto - which he first played at the 1973 Proms. BBC 08/18/04

Begone Doom-Meisters! Gavin Borchert is tired of the deafening roar of doom and gloom about the state of classical music. "The audience is graying. Soon they'll be dead, taking classical music with them unless they're replaced, runs the conventional wisdom. But is this anything new? Why the panic? Was there some distant golden age when America's concert halls were filled with teenagers? Isn't classical music--or any art--something one grows into? Art rewards an attention span--it's a game for adults. But the classical establishment would rather buckle under to our society's market-driven credo: If white males aged 15 to 29 don't want it, nobody gets it." Seattle Weekly 08/18/04

Phone Tone With new ads on MTV promoting their cell-phone ring tones in advance of their new album's release, the band Green Day is a veritable case study of the blurring between music and marketing. Ring tones are huge business in the UK - a new major source of revenue for the music industry. And now US bands are following: rap stars 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg have recently signed ring tone deals. Consumers seem to want the tones, and U.S. record companies, looking to boost sales, are eager to oblige. The New York Times 08/18/04

August 17, 2004

The Trumpet King Hakan Hardenberger is consdered by many to be the world's foremost trumpet player. He's on a mission - to stimulate more composers to write for the instrument. "Hardenberger's eagerness to encourage composers to celebrate the trumpet was born of frustration at the paucity of things written for it, but then, he says, 'I started to see it as an advantage. Although I am not a composer, I had to be creative - to look for something new'." The Telegraph (UK) 08/17/04

Spano's View Of The Present What does it take to direct a festival of contemporary music? A composer? How about conductor? Robert Spano, who is directing this summer's Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. "Mr. Spano has been an inspired choice. He assembled an eclectic program - eight concerts in five days - that touched on everything from the most abstruse essays in rhythmic and harmonic complication to works rooted in rock and jazz, and with classics like Elliott Carter's String Quartet No. 1 (1951) and Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Gesang der Jünglinge" (1956) nestled against freshly minted scores." The New York Times 08/18/04

Whitewash? The History Of Rock 'n Roll On Beer Cans When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first musicians in 1986, six of the 10 honorees were black. Now Miller Brewing is marking the "50th Anniversary of Rock ’n’ Roll" with eight beer cans featuring Rolling Stone cover shots of great rock ’n’ roll artists, all of them white. Philadelphia Inquirer 08/17/04

August 16, 2004

Newport Jazz Turns 50 "The symbolic battle, all those years ago, was to make the world outside its own cabal take jazz seriously. This could more easily happen, it was decided, in a wealthy place that forced a certain kind of attention from social elites and the media. 'We have no particular love for Newport. Yet in one sense of the word we have brought democracy to Newport, which was the last place in the world where it could have been expected to be found in America'." The New York Times 08/17/04

Cleveland Orchestra In Europe The Cleveland Orchestra departs on a European tour - it's the only American band in Europe this August. "It's a costly tour, but an important one. Despite the orchestra's accumulated deficit of $7.4 million, the tour is unaffected. The trip's $2.3 million tab is being picked up by the European presenters ($1.2 million) and sponsorships, including gifts from Jan and Daniel Lewis and the Frances Elizabeth Wilkinson International Touring Fund. The tour is especially significant for its prevalence of firsts." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 08/15/04

North Of Music "Iceland may have more musicians per capita than any country in the world. This nation of two hundred and ninety thousand people—roughly the same population as Cincinnati—has ninety music schools, about four hundred choirs, four hundred orchestras and marching bands, and some vast, unknown number of rock bands, jazz combos, and d.j.s. Before Björk ascended to world fame, in the early nineties, it never occurred to many outsiders that such a small country could have such an active music scene." The New Yorker 08/15/04

NJ Symphony To Investigate Instrument Purchase After much controversy, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has decided to "formally review its $17 million purchase of rare violins and other stringed instruments from philanthropist Herbert Axelrod last year, following revelations that some of the instruments are probably not authentic." Newark Star-Ledger 08/15/04

Scottish National Orchestra Gets New Director The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has a new music director - Stéphane Denève, a "complete unknown to British audiences.
Announcing the appointment, the orchestra's chief executive, Simon Crookall, described the relationship between the players and the 32-year-old Frenchman as 'love at first sight'."
The Guardian (UK) 08/17/04

Pipe Dreams - Why Are Concert Hall Organs So Seldom Used? Dallas' Meyerson Hall has a terrific organ. But after some initial concerts after the instrument was first installed, it's had little use. "Organ fans here and beyond are frustrated that it's used so little. Similar stories are cropping up in other cities with glitzy new concert-hall organs; $2 million instruments are becoming expensive décor accessories." Dallas Morning News 08/13/04

Orchestras Thrive In Colorado The Colorado Symphony and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic both end their seasons with small surpluses. "The success enjoyed in the Springs is particularly impressive, considering that the orchestra started with no assets. It emerged out of the collapse last year, under the weight of a $1 million debt, of the Colorado Springs Symphony." Rocky Mountain News 08/15/04

Does It Help To Know A Composer? Does knowing the composer make for a more authentic performance if you're a performer? The answer is probably not, writes David Patrick Stearns. Association with a composer is no guarantee of anything, and when you see how unreliably composers themselves often have been with their own work... Philadelphia Inquirer 08/15/04

August 15, 2004

Sex Sells (Even Classical Music) How about a little sex appeal when marketing classical musicians? "It's useless to be shocked by such tactics, and the shock, by today's standards, is pretty mild. You'd page right past these photographs in a fashion magazine ad without even pausing. Sex appeal has been propelling stars for a century -- and, for that matter, classical stars for longer than that." Boston Globe 08/15/04

Rock The Vote (With Music) Pop music (and musicians) are getting more politically active this year than they have in years. "Less than 34 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 bothered to vote in the last presidential election, but if activity in the world of music is any indication, those numbers could increase dramatically this year." Chicago Tribune 08/15/04

NY Phil Looks To A New Tour Model The New York Philharmonic has canceled some recent tours. Philharmonic officials are determined to "fix" the tour business model so it works. "Like so much else in the orchestral world, tour financing began to sour in mid-2002, with the recession and fears of terrorism. That was about the same time that several midlevel North American orchestras began to threaten bankruptcy." The New York Times 08/15/04

The Musical Bounty Of Berlin "Certainly, when it comes to classical music, few cities are so abundantly and audaciously full of life. As an inheritance from its decades of division into East and West, unified Berlin boasts a gloriously impractical number of musical institutions: eight orchestras and three opera companies. Municipal finances are in a shambles, and institutional squabbling abounds, but if you tuned out all the background noise this summer, you could find a thrilling array of options: fiendishly good orchestral concerts, willfully scandalous opera productions, open-air concerts on a beautifully restored square, contemporary chamber music and even music piped underwater into a swimming pool." The New York Times 08/15/04

Enjoying The Diversity Of Today's Music Andrew Druckenbrod sums up a recent online blog on ArtsJournal about the stylistic future of music: "The critics essentially responded the same way: that there really isn't a dominating musical language -- such as tonality, serialism or polyphony -- anymore. We are even beyond a postmodern reaction to modernism. Today, anything goes. That's a good thing, since it allows composers to be unfettered in their creativity and critics to pick based on quality, not camps." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 08/15/04

August 13, 2004

The Houston Symphony's $880,000 Deficit (Much Smaller Than Predicted) The Houston Symphony finished its 2003-04 season with an $880,000 deficit, much smaller than predicted. "A strike by musicians in March 2003, the first in the organization's 90-year history helped the orchestra end the 2002-03 season with a $3.6 million deficit. But the strike settlement allowed the symphony's board to implement a five-year plan to get balanced budgets on a regular basis and pay off its accumulated deficit by 2008." Houston Chronicle 08/13/04

August 12, 2004

Testifying For Shostakovich Interest in Shostakovich is increasing, and a flury of activity put him under examination. "Scholarship on Shostakovich is still in its infancy. There's still a lot that we don't know. The good news is that things in Russia have changed back. Now Russian scholars are going into the archives." The New York Times 08/13/04

Is iTunes Killing Jazz? Okay - maybe that's an overstatement. But "the digital music era should offer listeners more information about jazz, not less. The stakes are high. If jazz fragments into millions of digital files, future generations could be left with a maddening cultural jigsaw puzzle. This music could quickly become one of the mysterious art forms that is translated to the public by a small group of experts." harlem.org 08/12/04

Love And Death (Threats) At The Opera Opera can be a dangerous business. To prove it, Albrecht Puhlmann has a collection of death threats, all sent to him during his time at the helm of the Hanover State Opera... Financial Times 08/12/04

Examining The DNA Of Opera-Booing "Booing at the end of opera performances has long been common in Germany, but was virtually unheard of in Britain until the late 1980s. But for the past 10 years, during which ENO has traced a shaky artistic path, audiences have reverted to docility. Which prompts the question of whether audiences conform to national stereotypes - and what makes continental Europeans apparently more discerning, and certainly more partisan, than their counterparts in the English-speaking world." Financial Times 08/12/04

Philly Orchestra Musicians Enlist Muti's Help Musicians of the Philadelphia orchestra, currently negotiating a new contract, have asked conductor Riccasrdo Muti to come and conduct them in a benefit concert to help bridge the gap between what the orchestra is offering in a new contract, and what the musicians want. "Muti, the orchestra's fifth music director, has returned to lead his former musicians only once since stepping down - and has never appeared at the Kimmel Center." Philadelphia Inquirer 08/12/04

August 11, 2004

Orchestra Beats Turmoil With Better-Than Expected Financial Year Ontario's Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has suffered under controversy since dismissing its music director Martin Fischer-Dieskau earlier this year. But the fuss hasn't damaged the orchestra financially. "The symphony had set itself a target of $1.28 million for the fiscal year that ended July 31. It has managed to raise $1.43 million." CBC 08/10/04

Carnegie Hall's Fresh Blood Carnegie Hall is one of the world's great concert halls. So everyone is wondering what London Symphony Orchestra manager Clive Gillinson - a "London orchestral musician, raised on grit and gruel, bring to this lavish, long-running party? Personal qualities apart – and Gillinson has been head-hunted, to my knowledge, by at least six of the top US musical institutions – he will add a dimension of difference, a whiff ofrenewal, which is exactly what is needed." La Scena Musicale 08/10/04

August 10, 2004

Could Classical Music Get A Little Less White? (We're Pessimistic) Divesity is an issue in classical music, where musicians in orchestras (and the soloists who play with them) are overwhelmingly white (not to mention audiences, too, but that's another story...) "It's a question of exposure and it is a deficit that is passed on from generation to generation. Seeing droves of black people in opera houses and concert halls is the exception, and that means the seeds have been planted for the next 20 years. I am afraid I have no optimism for the future." The Guardian (UK) 08/11/04

Columbus Negotiations Go Public The Columbus Symphony Orchestra has joined the growing roster of orchestras for whom contract negotiations have become a public affair this summer. "Sunday's [Columbus Dispatch] carried a half-page ad from the musicians asking the public to step in and make their voices heard... Last week, sky banners touted a new grassroots website. Now [the] new ad is asking people to write the symphony board and express their frustrations." Talks between musicians and management at the CSO broke off earlier this summer. Ohio News Network 08/10/04

Calgary Phil Back in Black "The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, which was forced into bankruptcy protection two years ago, said yesterday it has eked out its best operating surplus in a decade... The orchestra suspended operations in October, 2002, when it filed for court protection from its creditors and embarked on a $1.5-million fundraising venture to stay afloat. The orchestra streamlined operations, hired a new management team, cut musicians' pay by 20 per cent and sought out new sponsors, donations and ticket buyers." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 08/10/04

Cleveland Turns Summers Over to Welser-Möst The Cleveland Orchestra has announced that music director Franz Welser-Möst will take over the job of planning the orchestra's summer music festival once current summer director Jahja Ling's contract expires in 2006. The orchestra will save about $60,000 with the move, but that appears not to have been a factor in the decision. Welser-Möst, like many of his predecessors, wanted to have more of an active role in planning the summer, and while he will not increase his summer presence on the podium, the programming will likely change noticably under his directorship. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 08/10/04

August 9, 2004

This Implies That There Are Good Bagpipers? A national "piping expert" in Scotland is accusing the Edinburgh Festival of forcing attendees to endure substandard bagpiping buskers in the name of tradition. "[Roddy McLeod] said most of the performers who lined the capital's streets during August were 'shockingly bad' players. Many could not tune their instruments properly and did scant justice to their musical potential, he added." Festival organizers agree that their pipers are not exactly ready for a Saturday night at the Sydney Opera House, but insist that they are merely upholding centuries of Scottish tradition. The Herald (UK) 08/09/04

August 8, 2004

Scottish Opera Chorus Wins (Partial) Reprieve The plan to fire the entire 34-member chorus of Scottish Opera has been revised after the chorus members' union struck a deal with the company under which twenty singers will be able to keep their positions for at least nine months. The cost-cutting plan imposed on the company by the Scottish Executive has faced fierce opposition from all sides, but the new labor agreement represents the first direct backpedaling by those in charge. The Scotsman (UK) 08/07/04

Norman Lebrecht's Guide To Incompetence "Here is how to build a concert hall in London. First, locate a site and allocate a reasonable amount of time – between one decade and three, on average – to secure the necessary consents and cash from the appropriate authorities, elected and self-appointed. Then go ahead and build, knowing that the outcome will have been disabled from the start by all the pen-pushers and do-gooders who had their say before a sod was turned. When the finished hall turns out to be a camel designed by committee, acoustically opaque and incurably malodorous, dedicate the next decade or three to getting consents and cash for its improvement which, you may be sure, will be impaired by the selfsame meddlers who undermined it in the first place, or by their descendants." La Scena Musicale 08/04/04

Preserving Pavarotti's (Pretend) Perfection Any opera buff can tell you the legendary story of the night that Pavarotti was booed off the stage at La Scala after he cracked a high note. But a new DVD release of that very performance of Verdi's "Don Carlo" is mysteriously missing the infamous mishap. The record company EMI has, in fact, patched the offending moment with a better take. Why? Simply because they can - after all, "live performances can [now] be edited as easily as studio work." Washington Post 08/08/04

Another Orchestra Negotiating Through The Press Hot on the heels of the Philadelphia Orchestra management's nearly unprecedented decision to speak publicly about the usually secret world of labor negotiations, the Cleveland Orchestra's leadership has held a meeting with reporters to outline the financial position they are taking in negotiations with their own musicians. Cleveland's ticket sales have dropped in recent years, and deficits have become the rule rather than the exception. Still, while the negotiations might be contentious, no one seems to be anticipating a strike, which has been expressed as a very real possibility by both sides in Philadelphia. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 08/08/04

Why National Anthems Suck Why are so many national anthems so horrendous from a musical standpoint. More importantly, why do so many sound the same (stilted and overly formal) and so few reflect the cultural heritage of the country they celebrate? "Even the recent anthems of the post-colonial nations are mostly pompous dirges. Ironically, a 19th-century European flavour was seen as having the correct seriousness for a new country. Like other symbols of state, such as uniforms and titles, the main idea seemed to be to boost the mystique and authority of the state. Creativity and enjoyment took a back seat." The Telegraph (UK) 08/07/04

Crossing Over (For Better Or Worse) Look at the classical music charts these days, and you aren't likely to find Bach. Crossover rules now. "It's easy to see all this as merely a matter of marketing or cynical exploitation. But there seems to be something deeper involved, a breaking down of barriers that has classical musicians moving into what used to be pop territory and pop musicians nibbling around the edges of the classical pie. The world of music is changing, and the result may be something the Three Bs would hardly recognize." Dallas Morning News 08/08/04

Tracking The Festival Controversies The great Salzburg and Bayreuth Festivals have been noticed in recent years as much for their off-stage controversies as they have been for their musical offerings. Isn't it time for a little stability? Chicago Sun-Times 08/08/04

An "A" In Turntabling "Until recently, aspiring DJ's had to rely on a combination of osmosis and experimentation: you'd take mental notes at nightclubs, then you'd retreat to your room and keep practicing until you got the hang of it. Now, more and more people are learning how to DJ in classrooms. The turntable may be the most important musical instrument of the current era — it's certainly the most ubiquitous — so it's only fitting that turntable conservatories are starting to emerge." The New York Times 08/08/04

An Idea Of Variety Justin Davidson comes away from ArtsJournal's online conversation between music critics on ideas and music impressed with the diversity of the landscape. "Over a discussion that meandered through Brahms and Wagner, early medieval polyphony, Sonic Youth, Bjork, Mozart and the evils of 12-tone Modernism, a picture has emerged of a musical world in which each composer - each piece, even - must create its own context from scratch. There are no rules, no lingua franca, no constraints within which an artist might find freedom. The scaffolding of prevailing ideas has fallen away." Newsday 08/08/04

August 6, 2004

Carnegie Hall Plucks A New Leader From London The managing director of the London Symphony Orchestra has been appointed as the next chief executive of New York's Carnegie Hall. Clive Gillinson "has run the LSO for 20 years. Before that, he played as a cellist with the orchestra for 14 years." He will not start his new job until July 2005, which will allow him to preside over the LSO's centenery next season. The Guardian (UK) 08/06/04

  • A Sound Artistic Choice Carnegie Hall's decision to hire Clive Gillinson as its next executive director is a clear sign that the venue wanted a leader whose focus would be on the artistic side of the operation. Not that Gillinson doesn't have fundraising ability (he does), but he has been most celebrated for his collaborations with conductors and soloists, and his willingness to work with difficult personalities to develop engaging and original programming ideas. Still, Carnegie had to be impressed with Mr. Gillinson's budget-balancing skills as well: when he took over the London Symphony, the orchestra was nearly bankrupt. Today, it is the UK's most financially stable ensemble. The New York Times 08/06/04

Opera As Compelling Theater? What A Concept! Natalie Dessay isn't your average opera star. Ask her about the challenges of the profession and she won't speak of the difficulties of melisma, or the necessity of being fluent in multiple languages. Rather, Dessay believes that an opera singer's primary job is to communicate the emotions of a character to the audience: in other words, to act. It's a quality that is sorely lacking in most opera singers, and grossly undervalued by directors. "Dessay even says with diva-worthy bravado that she refuses to return to the Metropolitan Opera unless it agrees to mount a new production for her - a desire born not of vanity but her unrelenting desire to deliver compelling theater." Denver Post 08/06/04

Beware The Concert Fool It doesn't matter whether you're a fan of classical music, pop, rock, hip-hop, or whatever. If you attend live performances, you are in ever greater danger of having your evening out ruined by... The Concert Fool. "There is no escaping the Concert Fool. He (and every once in a while, she) is the chronic carbuncle on the rear of rock. The Concert Fool is either unglued by music, or drunk, or unaware of the invisible line that separates civilization from anarchy. Or aware of the line but past caring about it." Tallahassee (FL) Democrat 08/06/04

Cambridge School Gets An Unexpected Windfall A doctor from East Essex, England, has donated a box containing 88 works by prominent composers including Richard Strauss and Arnold Schoenberg to Caius College in Cambridge. The contents of the box, which sat undiscovered until Dr. Philip Marriott inherited it recently, could be worth millions of dollars. The college is expected to sell the manuscripts to raise money. BBC 08/06/04

August 5, 2004

Getting Classical Back On The Cultural Radar Screen John van Rhein writes that a unifying idea in classical music just isn't as important as a unifying commitment to bring the form back to prominence: "Rather than worry about Big Ideas and where they're coming from, let's create the societal conditions that allow many schools of composition to flourish and composers to do their best work... Being reasonably conversant with classical music, its traditions and history used to be considered one of the marks of an educated person. No longer... No wonder our symphony orchestras are going in for spoon-feeding [audiences.] Daniel Barenboim said it best: 'Music has lost a large part of its place in society.' Full stop." Critical Conversation (AJBlogs) 08/05/04

Because What Angry Drivers Really Want Is A Soundtrack London has never been able to alleviate the terrible traffic bottleneck at Vauxhall Cross on the Thames embankment. But a choir group believes that music might be the next best thing to free-flowing traffic. All day today, groups of eight singers will be serenading frustrated drivers trapped at the intersection with an 18th-century work supposedly once performed on the spot. "The performance is being recorded, complete with squealing brakes, horns and swearing motorists, and will be played tonight in the tranquillity of Tate Britain." The Guardian (UK) 08/06/04

Judd Done Before He Starts in Kuala Lumpur Conductor James Judd's contract as the new music director of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra has been terminated a year before he was to officially take up the position. Neither side is saying what caused the split. Judd, who is currently music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, also led the now-defunct Florida Philharmonic before resigning during that orchestra's much-publicized battle between musicians and management. Andante 08/02/04

August 4, 2004

Questioning The Premise A reader responds to ArtsJournal's newest blog by questioning the very foundation of the critical conversation. "While it is interesting to see what name critics apply to certain groups of individual composers, many of those composers eschew the categories anyway, preferring to simply do their own work and get on with it." Alex Ross, for one, is stung a bit by the critique, but says such reminders may be for the best: "I feel as though casual posts are being scrutinized as if carved in marble. I guess, though, it's always good for critics to get smacked around a little. Profound, mysterious irony: some of us don't take criticism very well." Critical Conversation (AJBlogs) 08/04/04

Seville Music Festival Postponed Indefinitely "Ambitious plans for an open-air production of Bizet's 'Carmen' in Seville, Spain, and for a music festival of which it was to be the centerpiece, were postponed indefinitely Wednesday. Organizers said they were unable to find a top-level conductor to replace Lorin Maazel, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, who earlier this week withdrew from the project on medical grounds." The New York Times 08/05/04

Did Mostly Mozart Just Need New Leadership? If there was ever any doubt that a conductor can revitalize a struggling ensemble, Louis Langrée is putting it to rest with his debut this summer at the helm of New York's Mostly Mozart festival. In retrospect, says Anthony Tommassini, the fault for the festival's notorious struggles in recent years must be laid at the feet of Langrée's predecessor, Gerard Schwarz. "It's sad to have to say this so definitively, but Mr. Schwarz, though a tenacious defender of the basic concept of the festival over his 17-year-tenure as director, was just wrong for the job. He lacked a compelling artistic vision and was too limited as a conductor." The New York Times 08/05/04

The Instant Concert (Thanks To Technology) In London, "organizing using the Web, cell phones and instant messaging, upstart guitar bands are staging secret, spontaneous concerts at unconventional venues in the latest online music craze, dubbed 'guerrilla gigging'." Wired 08/04/04

Not Lost Beatles Songs After All Last month brought reports that a man had "bought an old suitcase at an Australian flea market for $36 (U.S.) and found it filled with memorabilia and hours of unreleased Beatles songs. Speculation is rampant that the suitcase contains the secret stash of late Beatles associate Mal Evans, which has been missing for years. Except, of course, it's not true. The stuff in the suitcase dated from 1995, 20 years after his death." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 08/04/04

August 3, 2004

Of Critics And New Discoveries What role do critics play in the musical infrastructure? Justin Davidson: "Few critics discover new talents. We do not, by and large, conduct the equivalent of artists' studio visits. Mostly we rely on presenters and performers to sift through the mountains of novelty and put their own reputations at the service of an unknown composer's. Often those people do a very good job. By the time a composer's work is being performed at Carnegie Hall or at Disney Hall, that person has likely put in some time in lofts and basements." Critical Conversation (AJBlogs) 08/03/04

New eBay Music Download Service Hits Some Snags eBay opens a new music download store, but the first songs listed for sale weren't owned by those posting them. Hmnnn. "Count eBay as a definite 'maybe' in the rush to digital music sales, placing the auction giant alongside Net retail powerhouse Amazon.com as one of the slowest in the race to forge new digital download businesses." CNet 08/03/04

The Tenor And I Tim Page writes that a new autobiography, due out shortly, will be "one of the most talked-about musical books of the fall season; it will certainly be one of the nastiest. Herbert Breslin, who has served as publicity agent or manager to a cast of clients that includes all four of the aforementioned artists, as well as Marilyn Horne, Itzhak Perlman, Leonard Slatkin and the late Georg Solti, has written his autobiography, in collaboration with New York Times music critic Anne Midgette." Washington Post 08/03/04

August 2, 2004

Cracking Down On Dentist Music (oooooh!) Dentists in Canada are required to pay license fees if they play music from their iPods through their offices (and Big Music is enforcing it). When dentists heard about it, they wondered, "Is this for real? Some were bemused, some were, I guess you could say, upset. We were just caught off guard.' Those offices that pipe music through speakers are now paying about $100 to $200 per year, depending on the square footage of the office. Dentists do not need to pay a fee if they play AM or FM radio in separate rooms for individual use." Wired 08/02/04

Radio Shy - Brendel Quits Live Broadcasts (Almost) Pianist Alfred Brendel is allowing his Proms concert this summer to be broadcast. "This will be the last time that a Brendel performance will be heard in a simultaneous relay. 'I stopped live broadcasting two years ago but it was not trumpeted out. Microphones make me nervous. I have had microphones on stage at the Festival Hall for many years during my recitals, but the concerts were recorded, not broadcast live. There are quite a few of my colleagues who never do these things, even younger ones, so it's a matter of feeling that I have now reached a certain age and I can do without the radio'." The Telegraph (UK) 08/03/04

Will Big Music Kill Music? Come On...! "Some people are able to draw neat arguments around the consolidation of the music industry and its threat to music. I wish I could. I understand it in a practical sense. But then I succumb to the music and let it colour the whole argument, and I wonder if there isn't another picture some might be missing. I see the music industry as one thing, and then I see Trenchtown rude boys, or Monterey hippies, or late-eighties ravers -- pick your movement. These were people so committed to their music, they couldn't have cared less what the industry happened to be dictating at the moment. Going against dictates was the whole idea." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 08/02/04

Grammophones Go The Celeb Route In an attempt to "sex up" the classical Grammophone Awards, a celebrity endorsement ad campaign will be mounted - translation: celeb endorsement ads for classical albums. "The celebrities, who have not been named, are being drawn from theatre, TV, film and the arts. All are said to be "passionate" about classical music. They are expected to appear in TV slots on BBC Four, as well as on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 3, in advance of the prize being presented on 1 October." BBC 08/02/04

August 1, 2004

Did Axelrod Sell NJ Symphony Fakes? Five of the 30 rare violins sold by Herbert Axelrod last year to the New Jersey Symphony might not be what he purported them to be, suggests an investigation. "They are old instruments, certainly, dating at least to the 19th century. But, the experts say, it is likely they were crafted by someone other than the famed violin-makers to whom they are attributed. In short, the experts say, they are probably fakes, worth a fraction of their appraised value." New Jersey Star-Ledger 08/01/04

  • Previously: FBI Investigating Axelrod's NJSO Deal "The FBI is investigating the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's high-profile purchase last year of Stradivarius violins and other rare instruments from Herbert Axelrod, the philanthropist who fled to Cuba in April after his indictment on federal tax fraud charges... At issue in the NJSO deal is whether Axelrod inflated the value of the stringed instruments... to make himself eligible for a large tax write-off. Axelrod, 76, claimed the strings were worth $50 million, a figure that has since been roundly questioned by violin dealers and appraisers. Axelrod ultimately agreed to sell the collection to the New Jersey orchestra for $18 million." Newark Star-Ledger 05/13/04

Musicians Union Exec Charged With Embezzlement "A former executive of the American Federation of Musicians has been charged with embezzling at least $400,000 from the union and spending some of it on clothes, jewelry, a trip to Cuba and a bottle of expensive champagne for Fidel Castro." Newsday 07/29/04

Liverpool's Setback As Philharmonic Music Director Contract Not Renewed Liverpool is scrambling to deal with two cultural setbacks as the city gears up for its gig as European Capital of Culture in 2008. The Liverpool Philhramonic recently decided against renewing music director Gerard Schwarz's contract. It "follows hard on the heels of the city's decision against going ahead with Will Alsop's controversial 'fourth grace' on the Pier Head. The Philharmonic now faces a race against time to find a new music director who can be in place to take over the baton in the 2006-07 season." The Guardian (UK) 07/31/04

Washington Opera's Tough Season The Washington National Opera finished its season with a $2 million surplus. But it was a tough season for patrons. The company spent the first half of the season in temporaryt quarters at Constitution Hall While the Opera House at the Kennedy Center was undergoign renovation. "Opera patrons, who paid up to $285 a seat, said parking was murder, the bathrooms were remote, and some sections of the hall were a sweat box. The longer the opera stayed in Constitution Hall, the more operagoers stayed home." Washington Post 08/01/04

Dressing Up The Concert Companion With several orchestras seemingly ready to sign on to use the Concert Companion handheld device, interest seems to be building. "The newer devices have more features: They show video from the stage with up-close images of the conductor's and musicians' faces, and they contain program notes like those traditionally included in the concert playbill." Kansas City Star 08/01/04

Phil Orch Prez Admits Misleading Statements As the Philadelphia Orchestra's contract negotiations spiral into an embarassingly public spat between managers and musicians, the orchestra's embattled president, Joseph Kluger, has been forced to admit that some of the statements the management made on a website intended to turn public sentiment against the musicians were inaccurate. Kluger and board chairman Richard Smoot had claimed that rental costs on office space for the orchestra were unanticipated and impossible to predict; they had also claimed that the orchestra's second harpist performs only three concerts per year. In fact, the rental costs were always known, and the harpist in question plays "16 of 30 subscription weeks, 19 single concerts, and has played or will play nine of 28 summer concerts." Philadelphia Inquirer 08/01/04

Who Needs Cocktail Parties When You Can Stage An Opera? "In Britain, these days, opera in the garden is all the rage. If you own a country house with grounds, you turn everything upside down in July and August to stage a home-grown Götterdämmerung (or for the fainter-hearted, Barber of Seville). And patrons, ideally in evening dress, picnic grandly on your lawns during intermissions... The phenomenon feeds on fantasy... the proprietors imagine they've traveled back in time, as 18th-century princelings with private courts and orchestras at their disposal, while they reinvent the Arcadian dream. Not that they readily admit it." The New York Times 08/01/04

The Musicians' Conductor It's well-documented that the conductors best loved by musicians are not always the ones who get the best results from their orchestras. So when the Toronto Symphony hired former Tokyo Quartet violinist Peter Oundjian to be their next music director, William Littler needed convincing of the wisdom of the decision. But after following Oundjian around North America for a week and talking with members of various orchestras, the critic admits that there may be something to the idea of a musician leading musicians. "There is an unfailing politeness in the way he addresses the players and a consistently high energy level in his conducting." Toronto Star 07/31/04

Following The Nose From an operatic standpoint, Shostakovich's The Nose is a bit of an odd duck, "an absurdist portrayal of a man whose nose departs from his face, runs around town disguised as a bureaucrat, and makes hash of prerevolution Russia's strict class distinctions." Musically, the work is a brutal exercise in control, featuring among other things a ten-part chorale and a double canon. ("Imagine Noel Coward patter songs played at warp speed and thrown into a blender.") But after decades of relative obscurity, The Nose is starting to see some more performances, and the Kirov Opera has adopted it as something of a cause. Philadelphia Inquirer 07/31/04

But Pros Play An Awful Lot of Crappy Music, Too Chicago's Steans Institute for Young Artists may not be as famous a professional training ground as Tanglewood, but it has been nurturing young musicians in a semi-professional setting for 15 years. But while the program has come far from its humble origins as a chamber music seminar, Andrew Patner says that the organizers may need to reconsider some of their programming decisions, if they're truly aiming to educate their participants, rather than simply to bore their audience. Chicago Sun-Times 07/31/04

Home | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©
2002 ArtsJournal. All Rights Reserved