Postcard from Pittsburgh: Contemporary Chamber Music Thrives in the Steel City

A view of the Pittsburgh skyline at night

Pittsburgh has more going on in new music, and the arts in general, than you would expect for its size (around 300,000 people in the city, and 2.4 million in the metro area). This is due in part to a high density of universities with good music programs, but new music events aren’t confined to the academic year. When summer comes and many cities offer little in the way of classical music besides orchestral pops, Pittsburgh has more modern sounds than you can shake a 4th of July sparkler at.

Right Place, Right Time

A cropped still from the IBM commercial for Think Forum - Cloud

Even if it’s a composition that explores elements I find interesting outside of the commercial medium, I sometimes forget it happened. This constant push to be more and more productive makes your attachment to what you’ve written minimal.

Musings on the Media

tv cameras

Composers and performers today look to the media (whatever they think that might be) as a conduit between their art and the general public. As digital media and social networks continue to evolve, both the proximity and the fixed boundaries between creators and the media have been affected.

Who Counts as an Expert?

Tidal

This is an era that rewards simple explanations, yet telling the often-complex stories of how non-superstar musicians make work while making a living is more important than ever.

What Have YOU Been Up To?

The studio for Found Objects showing a chair at a desk with a computer, keyboards, speakers, and a large screen

While my friends and colleagues were pursuing projects in concert, dance, opera, and other artistic mediums, I was meeting music producers for new commercial opportunities.

Samuel Adler: Knowing What You’re Doing

Samuel Adler in front of a map of the United States

At 87, Samuel Adler remains steadfast in his determination to preserve and build upon the Western classical tradition–as the composer of six symphonies, five operas, a dozen concertos, tons of sonatas, and ten string quartets (eight of which he still acknowledges), as well as a teacher for 63 years and the author of definitive tomes on orchestration, choral conducting, and sight singing.

Jazz Remixes

Jazz Remix

Jazz is all about repurposing pop and folk material for new expressive ends, and the greats were remix artists before the term existed.

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