News

New England’s Prospect: Celebrating Ned Rorem @ 90 in Boston

An empty frame in the Dutch Room of the Gardner Museum

New York Festival of Song visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall with a program celebrating Ned Rorem’s 90th birthday. The frame—the tonality, the lyricism, the elegant hedonism—is obvious; but what’s contained within the frame, what is and isn’t there, is something considerably more elusive.

Lou Reed Got Married and He Didn’t Invite Me

Lou Reed Stencil Art

Like the stories of all great artists, most of the Lou Reed story is built on a mountain of crucial untruth—a wispy chunk of magical thinking, a campfire story of how “downtown” got that way. We like our myths, our legends, and we fight hard to keep them. Lou, as I called him, wandered into this stacked self-presentation so completely that I believe he had to believe it.

#Yeezus: Lessons in Contemporary Performance from the Stadium Set

Kanye: Yeezus Tour 2013

It was a massive interdisciplinary art, music, and sound event produced on a scale large enough to successfully fill an arena—something intense, interesting, challenging, interdisciplinary, and yet totally accessible. Perhaps we need to admit to ourselves that people like to be challenged, that people want to dive into wild and contemporary imagery and messages, but that our success in that mission may not come from our own backyard.

SoundSpace: Graphic Notation

Tom Echols performs Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise Photo by Steve Sachse

What happens when musicians are asked to play from a page of notation that is not standard? How do they approach it? Curator Steve Parker’s latest installment in his SoundSpace series at the Blanton Museum featured several hours of folks doing just that.

Gloriously Messy Lodging: Zappa’s 200 Motels

Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels in LA

Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels is a glorious mess. In some ways this makes it the perfect thing to put on to celebrate the 10th anniversary of LA’s Walt Disney Hall and its already turbulent history. As for the score itself, it is—how should I put this?—spectacularly over-orchestrated, bordering on near-cacophony with unsettling frequency. I mean this as a good thing.

Double Trio: line upon line and Konk Pack

The three-station setup for Kate Soper’s In the Reign of Harad IV

The irony of intimacy found in a giant old warehouse is not lost on me, but the cordoning off of spaces within these huge buildings makes for a very personal and connected chamber music experience.

From the Shed to the Stars: Reflections on the Boston University Tanglewood Institute

Nathan von Trotha practicing the cymbals outside at BUTI

Boston University is currently reviewing their financial stake in the program and its future—both as part of the larger university and as directly connected to Tanglewood itself. But cutting BUTI or relocating it from its current campus would be a sad erasure of a rich legacy that stretches back forty-five years and encompasses the early careers of many prominent musicians.

Ostrava 2013

Amelia Cuni

The Ostrava Days, an intense biennial in the Eastern end of the Czech Republic, has long been known for stretching into long nights across August. But this year seemed especially expansive: there were performances of Philip Glass’s four-hour Music in 12 Parts and Petr Kotik’s nearly six-hour Many Many Women before the official opening night.

Copland House Announces 2013 Residency Awards

winners of the 2013 Copland House Residency Awards

Copland House has announced the names of eight American composers from five states and Great Britain selected for all-expenses-paid residencies during the 2013-14 season at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in New York’s lower Hudson Valley.

New Music USA’s Project Grants Are Now Open

NMUSA Project Grants

Individual performers, composers, organizations, presenters, and other artists can all apply on behalf of their projects simply and at no cost. The new system boasts a streamlined process designed to allow music makers to showcase their work and ask for the support they need in a succinct and efficient manner. The first deadline is November 4.

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