As a former music major, classical music is emotionally overwhelming for me. So naturally my experience is spoiled when a performance is interrupted by a cell phone ringing or someone unwrapping candy.
From years of classical training in flute and playing in school bands and orchestras, my mind understands the technical aspects of the piece. Crescendo; diminuendo. Solo; tutti. Adagio; allegro. It deciphers which instruments are playing at any given time and anticipates what's to come.
The intensity and emotional impact of the crescendo might appear to be in the hands on the composer and musicians, but now new research shows that in certain concert halls, the right acoustic makes the crescendo sound much louder at the end and hence much more dramatic.
I don't often write about the arts, but an announcement this week is cause for real excitement -- not only because of the entertainment it will provide to the audiences lucky enough to see it, but because of the way it will transform those who perform.
What is essential is to allow yourself the opportunity of a really strong visceral experience and response to the musicians and the sheer sound of their music. You should ask the box office to recommend seats with the best acoustics and sight lines to allow just that.
In the mid-1980s, after a long dinner party at the Leonard Bernstein residence in Manhattan, I went to the back of the apartment where Bernstein had his studio to tell him I was leaving. He was sitting behind his desk looking at a score of his Chichester Psalms.
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.
I caught up with San Fermin's leader Ellis Ludwig-Leone as he was driving north from Los Angeles to San Francisco to talk first tours, the goofy heroics of Victorian romance novels and embracing a stylistic wildness.
Some musical pieces, some moments, are part of us forever. That is why we started the All-Star Orchestra, a made-for-television ensemble with some of the greatest classical orchestral musicians from 30 orchestras across the United States.
On August 25, the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland celebrates its 75th anniversary with a free, all-day music marathon replete with concerts, films and plenty of fanfare. Few cities offer more beautiful settings for listening to music.
Lyon is the city that I have called my second home for the past two years. Being music director with two orchestras requires a very good set of plans and an even better understanding of the airlines. It also means that I must balance my roles in both Detroit and France.