It's a beautiful, moving film about a very tender subject: artists who die young but leave us an extremely important part of themselves. How do you preserve this? How do you keep this beautiful "self" alive when it's a piece of art?
Before investigating the apparent disappearing audiences for classical music, we might attempt to assess the 20th century itself when it comes to classical music.
There is a double-standard in the music world when Liszt's E-flat piano concerto is played regularly but Wieniawski's D-minor violin concerto is not; where Bellini and Donizetti are heard year after year at the Metropolitan Opera but Sarasate's Ziguenerweisen is not heard next door at the New York Philharmonic for 40 years.
Andy Akiho's compositions have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the L.A. Philharmonic, Bang On a Can, American Composers Forum, and The Society for New Music.
In an age where fusion of musical genres are increasingly commonplace, and where "mash ups" are regular DJ fare, there are still too few collaborations that jump disciplines and genres.
The question that remains, and which I shall attempt to answer, is "What happened to classical music?"
Orchestras are running scared these days, with some going bankrupt, locked out, downsized or having their seasons shortened. Actually, you could say something similar of the entire classical music world. To counteract this, various scenarios are being attempted.
Why am I writing all this? Everyone has an Obama Care story and this is mine. I hope our legislature will soon grasp that the ranks of the self-employed are responsible, valuable members of society and should not be swept under the rug.
I want to offer a few general thoughts about music - what we call classical music and what it actually is - free of politics and free of esthetic evaluations--and the latter frequently acting as a mask for the former.
My friend and collaborator Seamus Heaney was buried two months ago. It seemed particularly cruel to me that we would lose a poetic giant in a time when the need for a return to language seems to be vital to the future of humanity.
I was recently in Chicago for a weekend, passing through from engagement to engagement. I love Chicago for its arts and culture, architecture and the compact and walkable downtown arts area.
On a warm summer weekend last August, something happened in Cincinnati that you would have to call a remarkable accomplishment; in complete defiance of anything you would ever realistically expect, thirty-five thousand people went to see the Symphony.
There's no denying the entertainment value of high-level classical music competitions. They come pre-loaded with a 24/7 soundtrack of the most 50 Shades of Grey, romantic music ever written. Sure, competitions are barbaric but so is the Super Bowl.
As a mere observer I am not privy to the inner workings of the NYC Opera or the Minnesota Orchestra. However, the bizarre logic of our congress allowing the NFL to not carry its weight while arts groups are gasping for air is insulting.
For the past six years I have directed a festival of 20/21st century music at the University of Arizona. Any festival worthy of the name has a vision or reason for being.
The opera begins and ends with Anna saying, "I want to blow you all... a kiss." As I bid farewell to City Opera, I too blow them a kiss for their brave attempt to bring opera to the people and to convert me to the opera Queen that I am.