Young musicians are fortunate to have many role models from previous generations. One potent example of an admirable music entrepreneur during the twentieth century is a man named Irving Gifford Fine (1914-1962).
While formality is definitely the order of the day, showing up in a tuxedo or a ball gown isn't worth the inconvenience of traveling with a set of clothes you're not going to be wearing repeatedly.
The surviving family members of Randy California, the late guitarist of the band "Spirit," are suing Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement claiming that "Stairway to Heaven" is based on Spirit's song "Taurus."
When you think of a full orchestra backing up a contemporary musical act, you probably imagine an established artists like Lady Gaga, Bono or maybe Beyonce´ at the Grammys.
I was occasionally in the presence of the wonderful photographer Irving Penn in the 80's. I will never forget a simple statement he made then, "I keep getting better the older I get because I do learn more as I go along."
Mina Zikri is doing something else that promising new artists sometimes manage to do. He's quietly gathering around him a group of other artists, like-minded people inspired by what he imagines, and dedicated to making what he imagines real.
Reaching new audiences requires reaching outside of oneself, and beyond the conventional way of doing things. So at Fifth House Ensemble, we're always looking to collaborate with people who bring their own, unique talents to the table.
Whether in his definitive biography of Ives, his meditation on Brahms or in this most recent offering, Swafford gets to the core of the man and deep inside the music.
Judging anything that has to do with John Cage is a slippery proposition. Cage didn't care much for notions of objective quality and battled against any idea of masterworks or canon. His music is difficult and not always a pleasure to experience. Cage's focus was on process. It was always more important than the end result.
It is indeed true that there is less demand for classical music than there was in recent decades, that it is harder to balance our budgets and that numerous orchestras (and other arts institutions) are likely to disappear in the coming decades. This does not mean that every institution is doomed nor that classical music will not be available in the future.
There is a pedagogic nature to the writing, as the pieces teach you what they are about as they go along, and they are written in spiral form, whereby each successive phrase, and quartet, is an elaboration or development on the previous.
On World AIDS Day in 2012, the New York City-based "artists' peace corps" Sing for Hope marked the twentieth anniversary of the classical music world's first organized response to the AIDS crisis.
Fear, panic, invention, procrastination, conversation, more conversation with the director, more conversation with the DP (because I want to know what the color palette is), reading an enormous amount of books, more procrastination, more fear, and more deadlines until somebody yanks the score away from me.
Music and political vision joined forces in a most fertile dialogue. May this spirit of dialogue sow its seeds far beyond Morocco and inspire a world in vital need of it.
The power of harmonic sound provides an ever-present soundtrack to our lives. Through the greatest of joys and even the times of challenge, music - through song and sound - has the capability to unite us, define us, and undoubtedly, move us. There is no group that personifies this more at the moment than The Piano Guys.
In that Christmas season trip to Berlin, Bernstein would famously conduct two performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with an international orchestra and chorus assembled from the four countries that once shared the city -- the U.S., Russia, England and France. And he would change one word, so that the "Ode to Joy" became the "Ode to Freedom."