Why “Don’t Play for Free” Is Not Enough

Just say no to “pass the hat” gigs.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last two weeks because I felt that this was an unrealistic route to change. Here are some reasons why I think that the statement isn’t sufficient to address the problem of unpaid gigs.

What Lies Ahead For Teenage Composers?

Paris Lavidis playing during a Face the Music concert at the David Rubinstein Atrium.

I believe that this merry band of students has the power to change the music world as we know it, but I fear the “bump” when they leave this environment and explore college options. Will the post-secondary world continue to foster their leadership potential? How will these “over-educated” young composers approach the college experience?

The Dangers of Secondhand Music

SecondHandMusic

There’s a lot of blame to spread around for our music appreciation downgrade, but I think there’s a single phenomenon that’s working harder than all the others: the constant bombardment of music functioning as an aspect of an environment.

Sounds Heard: Adam Berenson—Lumen

Berenson--Lumen

The more you listen to Lumen, an extremely expansive two-CD set culled from twenty years of recordings of music by Philadelphia-area composer/pianist Adam Berenson, the less aware you are of whether the music was composed a priori or improvised on the spot.

Remembering Seymour Barab (1921-2014): Composer, Cellist, Friend

Seymour Barab playing the cello

I probably met Seymour in New York City sometime in the mid 1940s. Even then, Seymour made quite an impression as he walked into a room—a large, cheerful man swinging his cello at the end of his arm. As a musician, Seymour was remarkable to work with. Seymour could articulate and explain the structural intent of a given piece of music, and his playing was void of vanity.

School’s Not Out for Summer

Face the Music

What is the best option for a student who has received a solid and complete education, academically and musically, through their pre-college years? Is there anything that will really fit the bill, or will these young students stimulate a new approach to compositional study on the college/conservatory level?

Who is Creative Placemaking? New Music, Integrity, and Community

Who Is Creative Placemaking?

In the past four years, a new cash spigot has been cranked open for contemporary arts funding across the nation: Creative Placemaking. If current arts policy trends continue, then new music’s institutional vibrancy might depend on how it fits into this rubric, interfacing with communities on levels rarely considered in the past such as neighborhood pride, commercial impact, and livability.

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