It occurred to me then how rare it is for people to take the time to devote their full attention to classical music. All too often it has taken its place in society as background noise.
The String Quartet was initiated by Joseph Haydn. His pieces were written for, and performed by, the educated amateur, often an aristocrat and his friends and family. It was parlor music in the best sense of that phrase.
The topic driving the need for reinvention in classical music is audience demographics, specifically the drive to recruit millennial audiences into a concert-going culture very different from what they want in a music experience.
If you really open yourself up to it, Mozart's music is anything but that. It's timeless, it's full of emotion, and it has everything to do with how we as humans feel, even today. In a world where most music burns heavy and burns out quickly, the flame of Mozart's music still burns as warmly as it did when he first wrote it.
With the momentum created via her recital, Ellen is hopeful that her passion will inspire others to take part in spotlighting this music. She shared her thoughts for promoting a more inclusive version of history in music classrooms.
What I really have trouble getting my head around is how little our society and our country seems to value artists. Is it because we assume that anyone who would do anything for the love of it should believe that is compensation enough?
It's been a few years now since I began paying for Spotify's premium service, and to my enormous surprise I think I've been converted. Sure, I still buy some CDs and download albums that I think I'll want in my "permanent" collection. But most of my listening these days has been on Spotify. And, I've begun to understand why.
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.