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Keyword: classicalmusic

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  • Pianist Ivan Moravec has died

    07/27/2015 12:14:19 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 3 replies
    Gramophone ^ | July 27, 2015 | James Jolly
    Born November 9, 1930; died July 27, 2015 Born in Prague, Ivan Moravec enjoyed a loyal following among piano buffs thanks to his recordings and relatively rare concert appearances.
  • Chicago Sinfonietta founder Paul Freeman (1936-2015)

    07/22/2015 8:56:45 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 3 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | July 22, 2015 | Hedy Weiss
    Maestro Paul Freeman who, for 24 years was the Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta – a post he held since his founding of the orchestra in 1987 – died Tuesday night, July 21. He was 79 and, according to a statement issued by the orchestra, he had been fighting a number of physical challenges over the last few years.
  • Gunther Schuller Dies at 89; Composer Synthesized Classical and Jazz

    06/22/2015 8:33:44 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 17 replies
    The New York Times ^ | June 21, 2015 | Allan Kozinn
    Gunther Schuller, a composer, conductor, author and teacher who coined the term Third Stream to describe music that drew on the forms and resources of both classical and jazz, and who was its most important composer, died on Sunday in Boston. He was 89.
  • Six Curious Facts About Tchaikovsky (175th birthday today)

    05/07/2015 9:48:39 AM PDT · by Borges · 19 replies
    CMUSE ^ | 5/7/2015
    With a body of work of 169 compositions, whose genres include symponies, concertos, operas, ballet, chamber music and even a choral setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy, Tchaikovsky composed some of the most popular theatrical music within the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer to acquire a solid reputation and career abroad, to the point that he appeared at the inaugural concert of Carnegie Hall in New York in 1891. Tchaikovsky studied at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he received a western-oriented teaching that set him apart from the nationalist Russian composers known as “The Five,” with...
  • KUSC Classical Top 100 Countdown

    04/30/2015 3:00:47 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 81 replies
    KUSC FM91.5 Los Angeles ^ | April 22-29, 2015
    What’s your favorite piece of classical music? KUSC asked you to pick your favorites, and during the last week in April, we counted them down. Now, we present to you The KUSC Classical Top 100 - as chosen by you! ...
  • Vladimir Horowitz plays Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3 (live 1978) Avery Fisher Hall

    03/30/2015 4:09:27 PM PDT · by RoosterRedux · 8 replies
  • The Magic in Schubert’s Songs

    03/23/2015 4:53:40 PM PDT · by mojito · 26 replies
    New York Review of Books ^ | April 2, 2015 | Ian Bostridge
    “Truly,” Beethoven remarked in 1827, “in Schubert there dwells a divine spark.” Franz Schubert himself worshiped the older composer and was a torchbearer at his funeral. In the following year, he asked for one of Beethoven’s string quartets to be played at his own sickbed, days, if not hours, before he died at the age of thirty-one. Many of Schubert’s works contain homages to Beethoven: the Fate theme of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is the animating motif of Schubert’s terrifying song “Der Zwerg” (The Dwarf). His “Auf dem Strom” (On the River, for voice, piano, and horn) takes up the theme...
  • KUSC Top 100 Countdown (classical music)

    03/24/2015 12:06:45 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 36 replies
    Introducing the KUSC Top 100 Countdown, Southern California’s biggest classical music survey. What’s your favorite piece of classical music ever written? It’s time to vote. Choose from our list of favorites, or write in a title of your choice. You have a total of three votes. Voting ends April 8th at midnight. Then, we’ll tally the votes and start counting down the Top 100 beginning April 22nd.
  • Classical Music Will Disappear

    03/18/2015 11:10:35 AM PDT · by CharlesOConnell · 101 replies
    Arts Journal ^ | 4/3/06 | Greg Sandow
    Will classical music disappear?
  • Classical music and cats-still a good thing

    03/16/2015 4:34:56 AM PDT · by Perdogg · 9 replies
    examiner ^ | March 13, 2015
    Classical music with its soothing melodic tones and harmonies is now more readily accepted in pet care as being a positive for the animals who get to listen but is it really? The answer may be “yes”, “no” and “it depends on what kind.” In addition to being able to observe a positive impact, it makes sense that the right sort of classical music needs to be played from the animal perspective to be effective. Soothing music may have a universal component for all species. Factors such as lower pitch and regular tempo are typically associated with more pleasant music...
  • Happy birthday, Felix Mendelssohn - born February 3, 1809

    02/03/2015 12:27:12 PM PST · by EveningStar · 16 replies
    Multiple links in body of thread | February 3, 2015
    Felix Mendelssohn, one of history's greatest composers, was born on this day 206 years ago. Octet for Strings Hebrides (or Fingal's Cave) Overture Violin Concerto Symphony No. 3 (Scottish)
  • Aldo Ciccolini, An Italian Pianist With A French Soul, Dies At Age 89

    02/02/2015 6:46:36 PM PST · by EveningStar · 29 replies
    NPR ^ | February 2, 2015 | Anastasia Tsioulcas
    Pianist Aldo Ciccolini was born in Naples, Italy, but he had a French soul. A passionate champion of French composers, he recorded more than 50 albums, mostly of French repertoire, and along the way championed many underrepresented French composers, especially Erik Satie. Ciccolini died overnight Saturday at age 89, shortly after returning home to Asnières-sur-Seine in the Parisian suburbs from several weeks in the hospital for undisclosed treatments.
  • The Pleasures of Richard Strauss

    02/02/2015 9:26:01 AM PST · by Borges · 15 replies
    NY Books ^ | 1/31/2015 | Tim Page
    By the time Richard Strauss died in 1949, many musicians and critics considered him an embarrassing fossil. Born in 1864 while Berlioz and Rossini still lived—and a dozen years before Johannes Brahms had written any of his own symphonies—Strauss composed steadily for some sixty-five years and passed away a few months after the premieres of Elliott Carter’s Cello Sonata and John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano. But the path he took long overshadowed a clear assessment of his enormous accomplishments as a composer of opera and orchestral music.
  • After five years of Gustavo Dudamel, what's next?

    10/24/2014 2:11:30 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 10 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | October 24, 2014 | Mark Swed
    When a bushy-haired 28-year-old with a magnetic podium presence became music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic five years ago, Gustavo Dudamel galvanized the classical music world and beyond. At the Venezuelan conductor's insistence, the gates of the Hollywood Bowl were thrown open to the community, with free tickets for all. After a proud-papa warm-up with youngsters in Youth Orchestra Los Angeles — a group inspired and founded by Dudamel — he led the L.A. Phil, Master Choral and stellar vocal soloists in an exuberant performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The Dude, as he was affectionately called, spread the joy...
  • Michael Brown protesters interrupt St. Louis Symphony Orchestra concert

    10/05/2014 8:02:46 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 37 replies
    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ^ | October 5, 2014 | Steve Giegerich
    Michael Brown protesters interrupted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's concert on Saturday night, causing a brief delay in the performance at Powell Symphony Hall. The orchestra and chorus were preparing to perform Johannes Brahms' Requiem just after intermission when two audience members in the middle aisle on the main floor began singing an old civil rights tune, "Which Side are You on?" They soon were joined, in harmony, by other protesters, who stood at seats in various locations on the main floor and in the balcony. The protesters then unfurled three hand-painted banners and hung them from the Dress Circle...
  • Peter Sculthorpe: Prolific Australian composer dies aged 85

    08/08/2014 10:16:19 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 4 replies
    Internationally renowned Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, whose work was shaped by his love of the Australian landscape, has died aged 85. The Launceston-born composer passed away at Wolper Jewish Hospital in Sydney after a long illness. Sculthorpe's best-known achievement was his capacity to bring to Australians a sense of their land and history in the music of one of their own. His many remarkable compositions were strongly influenced by Asian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, and centred around his deep love for Australia and its landscape.
  • Why Criminals Are Afraid of Classical Music

    07/31/2014 3:30:17 PM PDT · by Enza Ferreri · 19 replies
    Enza Ferreri Blog ^ | 31 July 2014 | Enza Ferreri
    Published on American ThinkerBy Enza Ferreri Apparently, many young people, especially those with an antisocial disposition, dislike classical music so much that Bach, Beethoven and Mozart can even be played to discourage young hooligans from intimidating, harassing and robbing store customers. This experiment has been tried and has succeeded over many years in several locations. The earliest occurrence I could find goes back to the mid 1980s, when Canadian outlets of the 7-Eleven convenience store franchise began to play easy listening and classical music to drive away teenagers who were loitering outside their stores. Following the success of this...
  • Why Criminals Are Afraid of Classical Music

    07/30/2014 8:10:43 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 71 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 07/30/2014 | Enza Ferreri
    Many young people, especially the anti-social, dislike classical music so much that it can be played to discourage them from intimidating, harassing and robbing.This experiment has been successful over many years in countless locations. The earliest occurrence was in the mid-1980s, when Canadian outlets of 7-Eleven played easy listening and classical music to disperse teenagers loitering outside. After that, companies from McDonald's to Co-op, transport authorities, housing estates and shopping malls around the world have employed this method. In the UK, the first to do so was the Tyne-and-Wear Metro system in 1997, following Montreal’s underground system in Canada. Other...
  • Lorin Maazel, 1930-2014

    07/13/2014 11:30:51 AM PDT · by ConorMacNessa · 15 replies
    Th Wasington Post ^ | July 13 at 1:18 PM | Anne Midgette
    I am stricken to hear of the death today of Lorin Maazel at his home, Castleton Farms, Virginia, in the middle of the festival that he and his wife Dietlinde Turban-Maazel founded there, and that now continues without him. He was 84 years old and had been suffering from what Nancy Gustafson, Castleton’s executive director, described as an unexplained illness following a kind of collapse from fatigue after spending much of the spring jetting back and forth between Asia, Europe and North America for various high-profile conducting gigs. The official cause of death was “complications following pneumonia.” He had appeared...
  • Julius Rudel, Longtime City Opera Impresario, Dies at 93

    06/26/2014 8:45:58 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 6 replies
    The New York Times ^ | June 26, 2014 | Robert D. McFadden
    Julius Rudel, the Austrian-born conductor who raised the New York City Opera to a venturous golden age with highbrow music for the masses and a repertory that, like him, bridged the Old and New Worlds, died on Thursday at his home in New York. He was 93. His death, announced by his son, Anthony, came eight months after his beloved and financially struggling City Opera filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors.
  • Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos - obituary (conductor)

    06/12/2014 9:20:03 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 12 replies
    The Daily Telegraph ^ | June 11, 2014
    Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who has died aged 80, was a conductor who delivered memorable interpretations of the works of his Spanish compatriots while championing the Germanic canon on the Iberian P eninsula. His work took him to orchestras around the world, but he was best known for his associations with the Philharmonia in London and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the United States.
  • A century and a half of Richard Strauss (Strauss born 150 years ago tomorrow)

    06/10/2014 3:05:01 PM PDT · by Borges · 23 replies
    The Monthly ^ | June 2014 | Andrew Ford
    The composers Richard Strauss and Dmitri Shostakovich had little in common musically, but each worked under one of the most brutal dictatorships of the mid 20th century. Many who regard Shostakovich as a tragic hero, for continuing to create his music while remaining in the Soviet Union, are far less generous to Strauss, who lived in Nazi Germany. When Hitler came to power, Strauss (1864–1949) was in his 70th year and universally regarded as a great composer. He outlived the Nazis by four years. Shostakovich (1906–75) was 11 years old at the time of the Russian Revolution, so he spent...
  • Sad news: An English lion has died (bass-baritone opera singer John Shirley-Quirk)

    04/08/2014 9:14:15 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 3 replies
    ArtsJournal – Slipped Disc ^ | April 8, 2014 | Norman Lebrecht
    We have been notified of the death last night, in Bath, of the glorious bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk. John was 83 and still teaching at Peabody in Baltimore and at Bath Spa University in England. A colleague there writes: 'He was very generous to students and they appreciated his wry sense of humour, to say nothing of his vast and remarkable performing experience.' ... English baritone John Shirley-Quirk enjoyed singing and playing the violin as a child, but his true vocal talent did not become apparent until he was already studying chemistry and physics at the University of Liverpool. After several...
  • Mozart Bond

    03/18/2014 11:26:07 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 8 replies
    YouTube ^ | April 19, 2007 | iBand IguJoo
    Mozart Bond
  • Reviews of Los Angeles Opera's current production of Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd

    02/25/2014 11:24:21 AM PST · by EveningStar · 6 replies
    Multiple links in body of thread | February 23-24, 2014 | Various
    Review: A shipshape 'Billy Budd' caps Britten 100/LA Mark Swed Los Angeles Times February 24, 2014 ‘Billy Budd’s’ return to L.A. is musically powerful, but it is not about sex Jim Farber Los Angeles Daily News February 24, 2014 (subscription required) 'Billy Budd' sails at L.A. Opera Timothy Mangan Orange County Register February 23, 2014 Wikipedia article on the operaComplete video of 1966 BBC televison performance
  • Gerd Albrecht has died (German conductor)

    02/04/2014 8:59:24 AM PST · by EveningStar · 3 replies
    Limelight ^ | February 4, 2014 | William Jeffery
    German conductor Gerd Albrecht has passed away at the age 78. A sometime controversial figure in the orchestral world, he was a great champion of neglected corners of the repertoire and leaves a rich discography spread across several labels.
  • Claudio Abbado, a Conductor With Global Reach, Dies at 80

    01/20/2014 9:23:38 AM PST · by EveningStar · 12 replies
    The New York Times ^ | January 20, 2014 | Allan Kozinn
    Claudio Abbado, a conductor whose refined interpretations of a large symphonic and operatic repertory won him the directorships of several of the world’s most revered musical institutions — including La Scala, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna State Opera and the Berlin Philharmonic — died on Monday at his home in Bologna, Italy. He was 80.
  • Bruckner Eighth Symphony - listen online tonight

    01/18/2014 10:56:26 AM PST · by EveningStar · 1 replies
    KUSC Los Angeles ^ | January 18, 2014
    Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Bruckner's Symphony No. 8.
  • Benjamin Britten centenary: Memories of a music genius

    11/22/2013 8:18:49 AM PST · by Borges · 3 replies
    BBC News ^ | 11/21/2013
    Benjamin Britten was born 100 years ago on 22 November and as events take place around the world to celebrate the work of one of Britain's greatest composers, two people who knew both the man and the musical genius share their recollections. "I was never frightened of Ben but I had great respect for him. He was a very easy person to get on with but you were careful about what you said about works he either liked or disliked, or his own works. You chose your words carefully!" In a rare interview with BBC Radio 3's Tom Service, 87-year-old...
  • Sir John Tavener: Composer dies at 69

    11/12/2013 10:17:46 AM PST · by EveningStar · 8 replies
    BBC News ^ | November 12, 2013
    Sir John Tavener, one of the leading British composers of the 20th and 21st Centuries, has died at the age of 69. Sir John was known for music that drew on his deep spirituality. In 1992, The Protecting Veil topped the classical charts for several months and in 1997 his Song For Athene was played at the funeral of Princess Diana.
  • Composer Ned Rorem at 90: Still playing

    10/22/2013 11:55:15 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 5 replies
    The Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | October 22, 2013 | David Patrick Stearns
    Composer Ned Rorem has always seemed to exist in his own well-furnished sphere, writing music regardless of current fashion, saying exactly what he thinks (right as he's thinking it), and striking stances that are effortlessly provocative and contrary. He may even give you an argument about his 90th birthday Wednesday. "Other people turn 90," said the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rorem, who will be celebrated at a tribute concert Wednesday at the Curtis Institute, where he was on the faculty until recent years. Though he's not sure whether he'll attend, "I still think of myself as the youngest person at the party."
  • Concerto for Piano and YouTube

    10/11/2013 1:49:55 PM PDT · by Borges · 12 replies
    NYT ^ | 10/11/2013 | VIVIEN SCHWEITZER
    Visitors browsing through the YouTube channel of the pianist Valentina Lisitsa can watch her in hundreds of videos. There are live webcams of her practicing at her home in North Carolina, long blonde hair tossing and brow furrowed in concentration as she reads through new works. There she is in a red gown playing Schumann’s “Traumerei” at a concert in Seoul, and recording Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 at the Abbey Road Studios in London. Ms. Lisitsa, 43, resurrected a completely stalled career through YouTube.
  • Pope's Playlist: Pontiff Reveals Classical Favorites

    09/20/2013 7:42:41 AM PDT · by Borges · 7 replies
    WQXR ^ | 9/19/13 | Brian Wise
    Pope Francis, long reputed to be an opera lover, has opened up about his tastes in classical music, which turn out to be remarkably voracious and specific. His comments were part of a wide-ranging interview given to 16 Jesuit journals worldwide in which he also spoke about a host of social issues and about making the church more welcoming. The Pope tells America magazine: "Among musicians I love Mozart, of course. The ‘Et incarnatus est’ from his Mass in C minor is matchless; it lifts you to God! I love Mozart performed by Clara Haskil. Mozart fulfills me. But I...
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Outer Space) demands C-span STOP playing classical music during votes.

    09/20/2013 8:40:23 AM PDT · by ken5050 · 90 replies
    one man's opinion...
    Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee held an impromptu press conference outside the House chamber, while the House was voting to defund Obamacare; to demand that C-span stop playing classical music during televised House votes. "This has got to stop," Jackson-Lee said. "Nobody listens to that s**t any more. This is designed to discourage the youth, and minorities, from tuning in and paying attention to their government."
  • Yet Beauty Remains: The Story of Romanian Composer-Conductor Adina Spire

    07/30/2013 7:42:29 AM PDT · by BigEdLB · 2 replies
    The Imaginative Conservative ^ | 7/30/13 | Stephen M. Klugewicz
    It was Christmas Day 1989, Adina Spire’s twelfth birthday, and she and her family were celebrating both occasions in their apartment in Arad, Romania. Suddenly, five soldiers burst through the door. Adina’s younger sister was quickly hidden in a kitchen cabinet, but it was too late for the rest of the family. In front of Adina’s eyes, the soldiers gunned down her mother and father. They next seized Adina, raped her, and beat her senseless. It was days later that she awoke from a coma to find herself in the nearby Bezdin monastery, where Orthodox Christian nuns cared for orphaned...
  • How a rousing Russian tune took over our July 4th

    07/05/2013 10:49:35 AM PDT · by Borges · 54 replies
    Pittsburgh Post Gazette ^ | 7/4/2003 | Andrew Druckenbrod
    Cookouts, fireworks and the "1812 Overture." On the Fourth of July, we hold these truths to be self-evidently American, right? Don't light the cannon fuses just yet. The "1812 Overture" may be an American tradition, with its patriotic strains and thunderous battery. But while orchestras across the land, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tonight at Point State Park, will perform it with clanging bells and cannon fire, the music could hardly be any more distant from the Stars and Stripes. That's because the overture, written by famed composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, depicts Napoleon's retreat from Russia in 1812, not America's...
  • A Concert for Scotland

    06/01/2013 2:29:24 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 8 replies
    Multiple links in body of thread | June 1, 2013
    A Concert for Scotland The Hebrides (or Fingal's Cave) Overture by Felix Mendelssohn - ListenScottish Fantasy by Max Bruch - Listen The Land of the Mountain and the Flood by Hamish MacCunn - ListenSymphony No. 3 (the Scottish) by Felix Mendelssohn - Listen
  • Rite that caused riots: celebrating 100 years of The Rite of Spring

    05/29/2013 6:20:53 AM PDT · by Borges · 59 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 5/27/2013 | Kim Willsher
    Stravinsky's work caused a scandal in 1913 but has since been recognized as one of the 20th century's most important pieces. The audience, packed into the newly-opened Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to the point of standing room only, had neither seen nor heard anything like it. As the first few bars of the orchestral work The Rite of Spring – Le Sacre du Printemps – by the young, little-known Russian composer Igor Stravinsky sounded, there was a disturbance in the audience. It was, according to some of those present – who included Marcel Proust, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Maurice Ravel and...
  • Clash of the Titans: An Exploration of Verdi & Wagner

    05/24/2013 6:50:41 AM PDT · by Borges · 28 replies
    WQXR ^ | 5/22/2013
    Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner wrote some of the most famous music of all time. They became icons of their nations during turbulent eras: Verdi for Italy and Wagner for Germany. Their music still moves us, and their operas still play to packed houses around the world. But, in many ways, the two composers were fundamentally opposites, and on the occasion of their Bicentennial year, WQXR presents a one-hour program exploring these crucial differences. We learn how these two men of music, both born in the same year, but flowering in completely different directions, ultimately empowered both the greatest and...
  • If you must listen to Wagner, do it in private

    05/22/2013 10:41:35 AM PDT · by Borges · 30 replies
    The National Post ^ | 5/22/2013 | Barbara Kay
    Today, May 22, is the 200th birthday of famed composer Richard Wagner — so his native Germany is awash in concerts, lectures and recordings to celebrate the Jubiläumsjahr (Jubilee Year). But predictably, the additional attention has stirred up an intensified version of the never-stale debate over Wagner’s authentic legacy: aesthetic prince to be honoured, or moral leper to be shunned? Germany was once considered the pinnacle of aesthetic and philosophical sophistication, and at that pinnacle sat Richard Wagner. But after the war, Wagner (who is universally acknowledged to have been a racist and anti-Semite) retained more fame as Hitler’s muse...
  • Henri Dutilleux, French composer, dies aged 97

    05/22/2013 9:41:24 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 7 replies
    BBC News ^ | May 22, 2013
    Henri Dutilleux, one of France's leading modern composers, has died in Paris aged 97, his family has confirmed. Born in Angers in 1916, he was a prolific composer of predominantly instrumental works, including symphonies and orchestral pieces.
  • Harold Shapero, Dead at 93 (American composer)

    05/19/2013 7:59:32 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 6 replies
    Sequenza21/ ^ | May 18, 2013 | Jerry Bowles
    Harold Shapero, an American composer, pianist and longtime Professor of Music at Brandeis University, passed peacefully in his sleep on Friday, May 17, 2013 at the age of 93, following complications with pneumonia. Born in Lynn, Massachusetts on April 29, 1920, Shapero maintained a bold presence on the music scene in greater-Boston for the last 73 years. His friend Aaron Copland identified him with the American “Stravinsky school” of neo-classical composers that included lifelong friends and colleagues Arthur Berger, Leonard Bernstein and Irving Fine.
  • János Starker has died (cellist)

    04/28/2013 9:25:18 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 5 replies
    Limelight ^ | April 28, 2013 | Clive Paget
    Legendary cellist and teacher renowned for his focused playing and aristocratic style passes at the age of 88. Born in Budapest in 1924, János Starker was given a cello at the age of five and soon proved to be a child prodigy making his first appearances at the age of seven. He trained under Adolf Schiffer at the Franz Liszt Academy where his teachers included Leo Weiner, Kodály, Bartók and Dohnányi. By the age of 12 he had five pupils of his own.
  • Why Does Classical Music Make You Smarter? (The songs are hidden in higher mathematics)

    04/24/2013 10:51:36 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 70 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | 04/24/2013 | David Goldman
    Thirty-six million Chinese kids now study classical piano, not counting string and woodwind players. Chinese parents pay for music lessons not because they expect their offspring to earn a living at the keyboard, but because they believe it will make them smarter at their studies. Are they right? And if so, why?The intertwined histories of music and mathematics offer a clue. The same faculty of the mind we evoke playfully in music, we put to work analytically in higher mathematics. By higher mathematics, I mean calculus and beyond. Only a tenth of American high school students study calculus, and...
  • Sir Colin Davis dies aged 85 (orchestra conductor)

    04/14/2013 4:46:01 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 20 replies
    The Guardian ^ | April 14, 2013 | Conal Urquhart
    The president of the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis, has died. Davis, who first conducted the LSO in 1959, died on Sunday after a short illness at the age of 85.
  • A Bridge for Two Bicentenary Rivals

    03/31/2013 12:58:30 PM PDT · by Borges · 14 replies
    Wagner and Verdi are destined to be linked forever, however awkwardly, since they were both born in 1813: Wagner in Leipzig, Germany, on May 22; Verdi in little Roncole, Italy, in the Duchy of Parma, on Oct. 9 or 10. (The records are not clear.) They never met and had little good to say about each other. Wagner tended to be circumspect on the subject of Verdi. But in an 1899 interview with a German newspaper Verdi, then 86, called Wagner “one of the greatest geniuses” who left treasures of “immortal worth.” Verdi added that as an Italian, he could...
  • Wolfgang Sawallisch, 1923-2013 (conductor)

    02/24/2013 10:21:07 AM PST · by EveningStar · 7 replies
    The Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | February 24, 2013 | Peter Dobrin
    Wolfgang Sawallisch has died, Der Spiegel reports. The Philadelphia Orchestra's music director from 1993-2003 was 89. Sawallisch died Friday, according to the Bavarian State Opera, which Sawallisch led for 20 years. He had been stricken in recent years by a number of diseases and conditions.
  • Conductor, Juilliard emeritus James DePreist dies

    02/08/2013 6:00:43 PM PST · by EveningStar · 8 replies
    AP via Yahoo ^ | February 8, 2013 | Steven Dubois
    James DePreist, one of the first African-American conductors and a National Medal of Arts winner, died Friday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., his manager Jason Bagdade said. DePreist, who was 76, had been in and out of the hospital since a massive heart attack last March that was followed by open-heart surgery, his wife, Ginette DePreist, told The Oregonian newspaper.
  • Verdi or Wagner?

    01/08/2013 8:19:15 AM PST · by Borges · 57 replies
    Daily Telegraph ^ | 1/7/13 | Ivan Hewett
    It’s apt that Wagner and Verdi were born in the same year. They are romantic opera’s two great antipodes, united in stature, but divided in almost everything else. They embody two completely different outlooks on life and art, which are rooted in the cultures of their respective nations. That’s why every German city has a Wagnerstrasse, and every Italian one a Corso Giuseppe Verdi. Though their supporters often did battle, the composers warily avoided each other. Verdi had a grudging respect for Wagner, but he warned younger Italian composers against following the Wagnerian path. Wagner wouldn't even grant Verdi that...
  • Galina Vishnevskaya, Soprano and Dissident, Dies at 86

    12/11/2012 6:56:33 PM PST · by EveningStar · 5 replies
    The New York Times ^ | December 11, 2012 | Jonathan Kandell
    Galina Vishnevskaya, an electrifying soprano who endured repression and exile as one of the postwar Soviet Union’s most prominent political dissidents, died on Monday in Moscow. She was 86.