tagged w/ Classical
Composer David Cope has a knack for describing music in the least romantic terms possible. Whenever Mozart heard something, Cope says, "He was able to digest it and store it in his database. He could recombine it with other things so that the output would be hardly recognizable."
There's a reason Cope talks about composing this way: He is the inventor of the world's most musically creative computer program, whose latest album came out a few weeks ago. Cope has been writing software to help him compose music for 30 years, and he long ago reached the point where most people can't tell the difference between real Bach and the Bach-like compositions his computer can produce. Audiences have been moved to tears by melodies created by algorithms. And yet, it's not exactly that Cope has created a computer than can write music like a human. The way he sees it, it's that humans compose like computers.Composer David Cope has a knack for describing music in the least romantic terms... more
William Foster Apthorp, a music critic in Boston a century ago, memorably said of the ending of music’s most famous Fifth Symphony that “Beethoven seems absolutely unable to make up his mind to stop, and keeps hammering away ... in sheer mad jubilation.”
Completing his 25th season as music director of the Pasadena Symphony with an unusually bittersweet Beethoven Fifth at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Saturday night, Jorge Mester hammered away with consummate professionalism, with taste and determination but not quite jubilation, mad or otherwise. Mester had absolutely made up his mind to stop. At a rehearsal two nights earlier, he announced to the orchestra that he would no longer continue as music director. Saturday was his last concert.William Foster Apthorp, a music critic in Boston a century ago, memorably said of the... more
Meet a young man who's managed to make classical music cool in Los Angeles: Gustavo Dudamel. The 29-year-old maestro, also known as "the Dude" and "Gustavo the Great," even has his own iPhone app since taking over as music director at the L.A. Philharmonic.
Dudamel may be from Venezuela, but he fits right in to the Hollywood Hills where he now lives.
The thing about Dudamel is that — in addition to his musical talent — he's brought a stage presence that's magic.
"He's got a big mop of hair, which is his trademark," says Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times music critic. "He moves amazingly well, like a dancer. He's very physical and very expressive."
Leading a rehearsal at Disney Hall, Dudamel wears faded jeans and a striped polo shirt. He spends much of the time perched on a stool in front of the piano, alternately urging, coaxing and making his musicians laugh. One moment he throws back his black curls. Another moment, he puts his fingers to his lips as if to say, "shush."Meet a young man who's managed to make classical music cool in Los Angeles:... more
Classical music will meet up with cutting-edge forensic technology for three out-of-the-ordinary concerts by Orchestra Nova on May 7, 8 and 10. But what does classical music and modern forensic science have in common?
One word: Beethoven.
The struggle to determine Ludwig van Beethoven's real cause of death has been a pursuit of many since his passing in 1827 at age 56. Modern forensic discoveries may provide the answer - as well as a fun marketing hook for an orchestra playing his music.
Orchestra Nova's Artistic Director and Maestro Jung-Ho Pak, described as a man who conducts like a rock musician, will shake things up in an unexpected way by taking listeners on a journey of creativity with "CSI: Beethoven - Inside Ludwig's Head."
During the concert, Pak will attempt to "view" the inner workings of Beethoven's mind by taking apart Beethoven's "Leonore" overtures.
"Beethoven wrote and scrapped 'Leonore' three times. We look at each - examining passages to come to a conclusion," Pak said. "The audience can view it as a crime scene. Each scrap is evidence taking a musicological forensic tour. Our investigation of each piece explains his obsessive search for perfection."
Adding to the twist of CSI-meets-classical-genius, Jennifer Shen, a San Diego Police Department criminalist, will be on hand to connect Beethoven to present forensic efforts.Classical music will meet up with cutting-edge forensic technology for three... more
On May 10, the curly-haired maestro of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will embark on his first ever U.S. tour as music director of the "L.A. Phil," introducing the conductor who is known as a rock star of the classical music world and his new orchestra to audiences in eight major U.S. cities.
Several months after taking over at the helm of one of the world's top orchestras, the 29 year-old Dudamel is settling into his role, moving beyond the hype that accompanied his appointment and focusing on his work.
Whenever he can, he spreads a message to fans that seems unusual in this city of Hollywood stars and media moguls.
It's not about me, he says.
"The attention is amazing and I love that. It's true when you have the attention of people, things go well."
But, he is quick to add, "It's not about Gustavo Dudamel. It's not even about the L.A. Philharmonic. It's about the community."On May 10, the curly-haired maestro of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will embark on his... more
This week, the Philadelphia Orchestra begins a tour of Korea, Japan and China. For the orchestra, it may be a welcome vacation from problems at home. Sagging attendance and ballooning deficits have raised the possibility of bankruptcy.
Philadelphia's was the first American orchestra to perform in Communist China, back in 1973, and it's still considered one of the top ensembles in the country. But lately, the Philadelphia Orchestra is having a tough time filling seats. At some recent concerts, the hall has been just two-thirds full.
"You can't believe things are going well when, as a musician, you walk out onto stage and you see a hall that's that empty," says Peter Dobrin, a classical-music critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The orchestra wants to include more educational concerts, performances in the suburbs and possibly a greater emphasis on lighter, more popular fare.This week, the Philadelphia Orchestra begins a tour of Korea, Japan and China. For the... more
There was romance among the rutabagas this afternoon in the Whole Foods grocery store, passion among the persimmons.
Five singers from the Washington Opera's young artists program took to the aisles of the Harbor East market at 1001 Fleet St., disguised in the black aprons and black caps normally worn by employees of the market.
A few minutes after 1 p.m., an announcement came over the store loudspeaker announcing that tickets to this weekend's Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert were being given away in the produce section.
As about a dozen onlookers assembled, tenor Jesus Hernandez hefted a ripe avocado in his palm and stared wistfully at soprano Jennifer Waters as she bent over the oranges. Suddenly, Hernandez put down the fruit, threw his cap in the air and burst forth into the familiar strains of "Libiamo," the celebrated homage to drinking and love in Giuseppi Verdi's "La Traviata."
As the onlookers cheered and applauded, the two began to waltz, while singers Emily Albrink, Aleksey Bogdanov and Cynthia Hanna joined in the chorus. Perhaps half a dozen shoppers filmed the performance on their cell phones.
The stunt, which was modeled on a similar artistic prank pulled Nov. 13, 2009 in a market in Valencia, Spain, is aimed at promoting the singers' weekend appearances with the Symphony.There was romance among the rutabagas this afternoon in the Whole Foods grocery store,... more
Original music on piano by David Vigil (Morningstar), artist / musician of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. 'Beatinthepocket' on You Tube.Original music on piano by David Vigil (Morningstar), artist / musician of Santa Fe,... more
Check out this weeks artist spotlight with music from a gifted contemporary pop artist, Lindsay Aline from San Francisco, CA. She is so talented, her voice will absolutely amaze you.
Radio show, Episode 54: http://bit.ly/LAline
Featured Interview http://bit.ly/bsiQEGEditCheck out this weeks artist spotlight with music from a gifted contemporary pop... more
3 years ago
Original music on piano by David Vigil (Morningstar) artist / musician of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. 'Beatinthepocket' on You Tube.Original music on piano by David Vigil (Morningstar) artist / musician of Santa Fe,... more
Like Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro," the marriage of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies made opera funny to regular folks via singing rabbits, pigs and skunks.
Bugs Bunny fans who remember "What’s Opera, Doc?" listened to its soundtrack of 19th century classical composer Robert Wagner’s operas, particularly "Der Ring des Nibelungen" and "Tannh’user." Now, audiences can hear the cartoon’s soundtrack performed live by The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, while the cartoon is projected on a giant hovering screen in "Bugs Bunny On Broadway," Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20 and 21, at Powell Hall.
"It’s one of the great ones with Elmer Fudd and lots of Wagner," said the Symphony’s publication manager, Eddie Silva.
"What’s Opera, Doc?" is one of several cartoons included in the "Bugs Bunny On Broadway" concert.
Since its creation in 1990, Warner Bros. Studios’ "Bugs Bunny On Broadway" has become one of the most popular and enduring symphony orchestra concert productions in musical history.
"There are Bugs Bunny fans in the orchestra, and some of the musicians got their first taste of classical music through Bugs Bunny," Silva pointed out. "One of the amazing things about it, whether it’s Chaplin or Looney Tunes classics, you get so mesmerized by the images that you think you’re in a movie theater, the orchestra is so in tune with cartoon movement. It’s seamless."Like Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro," the marriage of Looney Tunes... more
You'd be forgiven for mistaking wild Up, a newly formed Los Angeles chamber orchestra, for an indie rock band.
For one thing, the ensemble has chosen to hold its first concert in Echo Park -- ground zero for experimental rock in L.A. In addition, the group said it encourages its audience to walk around and drink beer and wine during the performance, which will include music ranging from Bach to Radiohead.
Headed by Christopher Rountree (pictured), wild Up is a 24-member collective comprised of young musicians from around L.A. (Members range in age from 19 to 29.) The ensemble features string, woodwind and other instrumentalists you would expect from a chamber group, except that the group's presentation favors intimacy over the formality of classical concerts.
Friday's inaugural performance, which takes place at 8 p.m. at Jensen's Recreation Center Studio in Echo Park, will grant audiences close physical proximity to performers.
"Your typical classical concert has this strange thing called a stage," said Rountree in a recent interview. "The musicians are placed on a pedestal and the conductor is even higher on his own pedestal. That's not what we want to do."
He said the group chose the space at Jensen's Recreation Center after seeing a performance there by the experimental Brooklyn rock band Dirty Projectors.
Rountree, who will serve as conductor, said that audiences will have the choice of traditional seating or lounge seating. (Some of the seating faces away from the performers. Audiences will also be allowed to drink and socialize during the performance.
Friday's concert will survey music from 300 years of Western culture, including Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, John Adams' Chamber Symphony, Stravinsky's "Dumbarton Oaks" and an arrangement of Radiohead songs.You'd be forgiven for mistaking wild Up, a newly formed Los Angeles chamber... more
A recording of the San Francisco Symphony featuring local youth choirs won three Grammy awards, including Best Classical Album, on Sunday.
The symphony's performance of "Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10" also took home the awards for best choral performance and best engineered classical music album.
The San Francisco Girls Chorus and Berkeley-based Pacific Boychoir were both featured in the recording, along with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.
The concert was recorded in November 2008, according to the Pacific Boychoir's Web site.
San Francisco Symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas conducted the performance. The album was engineered by Peter Laenger and produced by Andreas Neubronner.
This year's 52nd annual Grammy Awards were presented by The Recording Academy in Los Angeles.
The San Francisco Symphony also won the Grammys' top classical music award in 2004 for a recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 3, according to the Pacific Boychoir.A recording of the San Francisco Symphony featuring local youth choirs won three... more
A school that blasts classical music at rowdy pupils has cut unruliness by two-thirds.
Headteacher Brian Walker plays Puccini at top volume in his two-hour detentions.
The number of regular troublemakers at the 1,320-pupil West Park School in Spondon, Derby, is now down to 20 - from up to 60 four years ago. And last year the school achieved its best GCSE results.
Mr Walker, 59, said: "I hear groans as the music starts but I always ensure the volume is high. It's both educational and a deterrent."
One pupil, Kieran, said: "An hour of Mr Walker's music is a real killer."A school that blasts classical music at rowdy pupils has cut unruliness by two-thirds.... more
If Venus were a melody, it would not be a lyrical flute line followed by violin and cello solos. Gustav Holst got it wrong when he composed his famous suite, The Planets.
With the help of filmmaker Duncan Copp and state-of-the-art space images, the Houston Symphony has created The Planets — An HD Odyssey. The production is a musical and visual performance piece that features a high-definition movie of Venus, Mars, Jupiter and the other movements of Holst's suite.
The new movie debuts Thursday in Jones Hall in a live Houston Symphony concert of the work. Performances continue next weekend before the orchestra takes its new production to Florida and New York City's Carnegie Hall.
When Holst wrote the piece in 1914, he was not describing the planets musically, but the gods of their names. Mars he called “the Bringer of War” and Venus, “the Bringer of Peace,” for example.
The new movie offers a visual correction to Holst's astrological ideas of space.
The idea came about after a performance of Holst in 2003 that was accompanied by old planet images, Graf said. Some astronauts on stage for the show were less than impressed with the visual part of the performance, Graf said.
The symphony hired Copp to help.
The filmmaker, whose doctoral work examined the volcanic and geologic processes of Venus, pieced together the state-of-the-art images into a high-definition movie coordinated with Holst's music.
The digital images come from NASA spacecraft. They are mostly in the public domain, Copp said, though most have never been seen by the public.
In Copp's movie, the graphics of Saturn are molded to give the viewer the sense of tilting of the planet's rings with the movement of the spacecraft.
“It is like a dance of celestial spheres,” he said. “It is really beautiful to watch.”If Venus were a melody, it would not be a lyrical flute line followed by violin and... more
A generation ago, you couldn't escape cycles of symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky on concert programmes, everywhere from the South Bank in London to Carnegie Hall in New York; now it's Mahler's nine-and-a-bit symphonies (a tenth was unfinished at his death) that orchestras most want to play, that conductors most want to conduct, and that audiences most want to hear.
This year marks the first of two consecutive Mahler anniversary years (it is 150 years since Mahler's birth in Kalist, now in the Czech Republic; next year will be a century after his premature death, aged just 50), an excuse for the classical music world to indulge in Mahler-mania with a super-glut of memorials all over the world.
Mahler's own prediction about his music – that its time would come after his death – has come true.A generation ago, you couldn't escape cycles of symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms... more
Indian classical music and spirituality have the power to prevent students’ suicides, spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in Pune.
He was reacting to the recent suicides, mostly among students, in Maharashtra in his interaction with media persons ahead of themusic event organised in the city.
“Indian classical music has great potential. It can heal hearts and minds. We need to develop a taste for it among the youth. It should be taken to youngsters because it connects you with your higher self,” the spiritual leader said, adding that Indian classical music and spirituality could reduce depression and divert the youth from
suicidal thoughts.Indian classical music and spirituality have the power to prevent students’... more
A teenage classical music star from Maidenhead has caused a storm after taking up a high-profile conductor's post in America.
Alex Prior hit national headlines on both sides of the Atlantic this week after the Seattle Symphony Orchestra created the position of 'assistant to the guest conductors' for him.
The 17-year-old, who wanted to be a conductor from the age of four, appeared on Channel 4 last year as he scoured the globe for young musical talent.
The son of well-known Maidenhead businessman Peter Prior, he has already conducted major orchestras in Europe and Russia.A teenage classical music star from Maidenhead has caused a storm after taking up a... more
Haven't even got half way through January, and the classical music world is looking rather shaky.
The tremors started as 2009 was winding down. We're still dealing with the fallout from a study by the NEA, backed with further analysis by the League of American Orchestras, that emerged over the past couple of months, revealing that audiences for the symphony, opera and the like are aging and dwindling more than previously thought -- and not being replenished. So much for the commonly held belief that folks who reach upper middle or lower senior age are apt to gravitate to the fine arts.
There was even bad news last month about listenership for classical music stations taking a 10 percent plunge when a new, supposedly more accurate, ratings system was introduced.
Now, in the early days of 2010, we've got orchestras in two cities, Cleveland and Seattle, experiencing intense troubles over negotiations. The Clevelanders are threatening to go on strike because musicians are unhappy over salary reduction proposals from management. (The $152,000 average compensation for players last year is not winning them a lot of sympathy in the blogosphere.)
Things aren't exactly rosy in other places. The New York Philharmonic just reported
a deficit of more than $4 million last season, and anticipates another $4 this season; the Baltimore Symphony will, when the official audit is completed, reveal a substantial deficit from last season.
And, as if things weren't depressing enough, the fat lady can't even get on stage, let alone signal that the opera ain't over. Daniela Dessi, a respected soprano who falls comfortably between anorexic and obese, walked out of a "La Traviata" production at the Rome Opera after director Franco Zeffirelli criticized her weight.
And I certainly don't like the sight of orchestras having labor strife. With the country still weighed down by the recession, and with players in so many orchestra having given back money and benefits to help keep their organizations afloat, this sure seems, well, risky to be insisting on salary retention. This may be the toughest economic time for the arts ever, and it should be a time when all sides find common ground, pull together and just get on with it, for the sake of the greater good. If audiences are now getting older and smaller at a faster rate than before, how ironic if orchestras were to drive people away with picket lines now.Haven't even got half way through January, and the classical music world is... more
Gustav Mahler, not long after completing the Symphony No. 2, said, "The term 'symphony' means creating a world with all the technical means available." The Resurrection Symphony is an all-embracing work, the first of the Austrian composer's symphonies to make use of voices and words as well as the orchestra, and the piece that set him decisively on the path toward the grandly scaled, high individualist and confessional style of symphony that was to become his legacy. It was also the composition that brought Mahler his first fame, and its premiere in Berlin on the night of Dec. 13, 1895 (staged with the help of Richard Strauss), marked the real beginning of Mahler's career as a composer.
Symphony No. 2 is the work with which Mahler answered the metaphysical challenge of Beethoven's Ninth. There are a lot of similarities along the way — the turbulent beginning, the vast exploration of musical territory in the middle of the work and the triumphant conclusion. In the final movement, all 38 and a half minutes of it, the ramparts are being climbed and the noise and confusion of battle surround you. Using off-stage instruments to explode the musical space was one of Mahler's favorite devices, and trumpets sound from different sides of the stage in this movement. He engulfs the listener in something beyond the reaches of the concert hall.Gustav Mahler, not long after completing the Symphony No. 2, said, "The term... more