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."
On Monday night, demonstrators protested the Metropolitan Opera for performing John Adams' "The Death of Klinghoffer." Three weeks ago a very different kind of demonstration was held in Powell Symphony Hall.
You may have heard this story before: classical music is in decline, music education is so important, but why should you care? Failing orchestras create severe economic, social, and cultural repercussions for our nation as a whole. This is very much your problem.
I understand that this is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Here is my story.
(Frank S hanging out back stage with the band Delta Spirit, and with my pals Jesse and Dan Russell.) I was tired, so fucking tired! The night b...
One of the surprising performances at the Crossroads Festival (part of the Colours of Ostrava Festival) in Czech Republic, was from the ensemble called the Clarinet Factory. Made up of heavily classically credentialed players, they made music that was seductive to the ear.
Something amazing happened in Tucson over the last weekend, when the Tucson Symphony Orchestra played an all-American program of music by Bernstein, Gershwin, and Copland to open its new season.
The music world continues to go quite gaga with youth. Many major orchestras are now under the control and directorship of the new generation. The hope seems to be that these relative youngsters will bring a vitality to the classical music scene that hasn't been present in the recent past.