Robert Starer, Composer and Teacher, Dies at 77

Robert StarerPhoto courtesy of Sigma Alpha Iota Robert Starer, a respected composer of operas, ballets and many orchestral and instrumental works, and the author of two books on rhythm that are widely used by music students, died of heart failure on April 22 in Kingston, N.Y. He was 77. In a 1994 review of Starer’s […]

Can American-born musicians learn to play your music? Jin Hi Kim

Jin Hi KimPhoto by Camilla Van Zuylen Korean-born komongo virtuoso and composerBased in Connecticut Compared to the Western music tradition, Korean music is not precisely written for every nuance of notes. The music is not absolutely fixed. Its notation is also designed for this concept: notes are given, but more important is the creation of […]

Billy Higgins, Influential Jazz Drummer, Dies at 64

Billy HigginsPhoto by Dimitri Ianni Billy Higgins, one of the best-loved and most-recorded drummers in postwar jazz, died on May 3, 2001, at Daniel Freeman Hospital in Inglewood, Calif. He had been in failing health and was awaiting his second liver transplant. He was 64 and lived in Los Angeles. “Billy Higgins was the drummer […]

Can American-born musicians learn to play your music? 1

Ali Akbar KhanPhoto courtesy The Ali Akbar School of Music In the history of America, people never had a chance to learn or hear Indian music, so this has been a completely new thing for them. I was the first man to introduce Indian classical ragas to America in 1955. Slowly, slowly people have had […]

1st American Composers Invitational at Cliburn Competition

Van Cliburn Foundation Original works by four American composers – C. Curtis-Smith, Lowell Liebermann, James Mobberley, and Judith Lang Zaimont – have been chosen by the competitors for possible performance during the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Each of the 12 contestants chosen for the semifinal round will be required to play one of […]

Can American-born musicians learn to play your music? Obo Addy

Obo AddyPhoto courtesy Susan Addy Ghanaian-born master drummer, teacher and composerBased in Portland OR Ghanaian music takes a long time to learn. Americans can learn to play this music, but only if they have a very good teacher and if they are willing to take the time to do it. There are some people who […]

View from the West: Recent Trends and Events

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki That the West is a haven for musical iconoclasts and has a dynamic new music community is made manifest when one takes a close look at some of the activities of musicians as well as the organizations which support, present and otherwise champion contemporary work. The San Francisco Bay Area […]

Terry Riley: Obsessed and Passionate About All Music

Terry RileyDrawing by Melissa Richard Terry Riley in conversation with Frank J. Oteri@ the Wortham Theater Center, Houston, TX February 16, 2001 Transcribed by Julia Lu Earliest Musical Experiences Studying Composition and Discovering Jazz The Birth of Minimalism and In C Studying Indian Music Solo Keyboard Improvisations Just Intonation String Quartets & Other Chamber Music […]