Benjamin PiekutPhoto by Megan Wolf When I initially spoke with friends and colleagues about the notion of a new “common practice,” I became aware that the concept is not nearly as widely-recognized as I had initially thought. Is it a set of performance techniques? Is it neo-romantic symphonic music? Or could it be defined as […]
Jed Distler multitaskingPhoto by Randy Nordschow The great lyricist Johnny Mercer liked to tell the story of how his wife Ginger struck up a conversation with a stranger. Asked what her husband did, Ginger replied that he wrote songs. The stranger replied, “Yes, but what does he do for a living?” Many composers, in fact, […]
No one can doubt that music has a big role to play in the world of political protest. The controversial musicians we read about in the papers, though, are mostly from the pop and folk genres. It’s not only that those musicians are more visible, though that’s certainly true as well. Classical music and jazz seem to have a more long-term, measured, even sublimated approach to political protest, slower to react and more deeply embedded in the structure of the music itself.
Photo By Chris Harris The music of another time often reveals the most intimate language of the people then, the images and emotions that they truly considered to be real and valued. To experience their interior world, the sound of the music is one of the quickest triggers to evoke sensations, deep proto-memories that seem […]
David Adler and a few CDsPhoto by Dr. Jennifer M. Good I’m in a Manhattan hair salon, waiting for my turn under the scissors. A DJ on WBLS-FM comments breathlessly on the signing of Patti LaBelle to Def Jam Records. “That’s huge, for both of them!” she exclaims. Why? Because LaBelle remains one of the […]
As American orchestras perform an increasing number of premieres each season, it is all the more difficult to obtain that elusive second performance. A major roadblock toward that goal is the frequent inability of composers—and their publishers and agents—to secure recordings of concert performances for use in promoting new works.