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Experiencing the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel


Dudamel. He’s a name which virtually every classical musician is pretty familiar with these days. But only a couple of years ago, Dudamel was not so much of a household name. And if you don’t know who he is, Gustavo Dudamel is the young, exciting conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In this article, Brittney Stanton, who is a flautist and graduate student at Arizona State University, chronicles her experience at a concert given by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel conducting, as part of their nationwide tour of 2010. Also contributing to this article is Timothy McAllister, saxophonist, who was performing with the orchestra in this concert and additional concerts as part of their tour. We know that the orchestra received all kinds of different reviews on their tour throughout the country. Some critics loved the orchestra and some didn’t. But I think what we can agree upon is that Dudamel really brings an excitement and energy to classical music that really bodes well for the future.

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To Mother

0 Drew Forde

Drew Forde is a driven young man. He is a violist from Georgia and he is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in music at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia; and in this article Drew talks about the profound influence of his mother on his early musical training, and also talks about how he hopes to contribute to the future of classical music. He’s got some very exciting ideas and a great overall perspective, I think. So, I think you’ll really enjoy this article.

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An Interview with Gerald Elias, Violinist and Author

0 Gerald Elias

I met Jerry Elias when we were both graduate students at Yale, he at the School of Music studying with Joseph Silverstein and I in the International Relations program. I played regularly in the Yale Philharmonia and got to know many of Silverstein’s students. Jerry went on to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and then moved to Utah to become Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony.

I was stopped short one day at Barnes & Noble when a “staff pick” display featured a mystery novel, Devil’s Trill, written by Gerald Elias. Sure enough, it was the same Jerry. I’ve read and enjoyed all three of his novels, and arranged to interview him in the fall as he embarked on his book tour for his third novel, Death and the Maiden. (His second novel, Danse Macabre, was selected as the 2010 Utah Book of the Year in fiction by the Utah Humanities Council and one of the top five mysteries of 2010 by Library Journal.)

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Alarm Will Sound—More of a Band Than an Orchestra


Alarm Will Sound is an ensemble of twenty members that presents innovative performances and recordings of today’s music, ranging from Aphex Twin to Edgard Varese. The group is making an impact on the contemporary music scene. Perhaps I’m just sensitized to it, because it was formed at the music school where I teach, but I often see them featured or mentioned in the New York Times. Their story is an interesting one and chronicles one ensemble’s journey to “success.” I decided to tell it in my recent book, Lessons From a Street-Wise Professor: What You Won’t Learn at Most Music Schools. Here is an excerpt from that book.

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An Indexed Financial Model for Symphony Orchestras

1 Michael Drapkin

By now those of us who are interested in symphony orchestras and their business models are quite familiar with the inherent problems of putting 90+ musicians onstage day after day and providing them with a paycheck. We can articulate the problems but we have difficulty offering solutions. Michael Drapkin has had a varied career that includes orchestral clarinetist, educator, and entrepreneur. In the article that follows he offers his thoughts, and just maybe his solution or some version of it could help. Read it and let us know what you think.

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Social and Economic Issues in 2011 and Their Impact on Music and the Arts

0 Bill Cahn

[This essay was originally written in 2004. It’s observations are essentially unchanged in 2011.] In the 20th century world of specialization, artists found their position in society as the purveyors of new possibilities through open and free thought - from Picasso and Stravinsky to Jackson Pollock and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Having broken away from the intellectual

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Stage Acoustics for Symphony Orchestras – Just Black Magic? Part II

Figure 6

This article is the second of two that have come from Jens Jørgen Dammerud’s PhD dissertation on Stage Acoustics —a subject not often addressed in acoustics books, but nonetheless quite important to performing musicians.

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Three Pet Peeves in the Orchestral World

0 Alecia Lawyer

Alecia Lawyer is the Founder, Executive Director, and Principal Oboist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) in Houston, TX. On Monday September 19th, Alecia will present a live webinar on the topic of “Collaborative Commissioning and Performance.” You can read more about the webinar and sign up for FREE here. In the article below, Alecia displays the passion and innovation that she brings to her organization, ROCO, and the orchestra field at large. Sign up for her webinar and you can hear more of her ideas, and even ask her questions live!

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Stage Acoustics for Symphony Orchestras – Just Black Magic? Part I


Most musicians have at least some interest in acoustics. After all making sound is our business. Some of us have even taken an acoustics course in school. I remember taking such a course. We learned about overtones, wave forms, decibels and the like. We also learned about concert hall and room acoustics. But what I have no recollection of ever learning is the acoustics on stage—what musicians hear as we perform. Pretty important and interesting stuff, since what we hear on stage is not what the audience hears. This important and overlooked subject was the subject of Jens Jørgen Dammerud’s PhD dissertation and Polyphonic.org is proud to present some of the findings of his study here in two installments.

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My Ideal Orchestra – Barrage


In this Article, violinist Jason Hurwitz opens with the phrase - “I get paid to live my dream.”That dream is his position as a performer with Barrage, what he calls an “in-your-face alternative violin show.”Jason talks about his training as a classical violinist, and how he yearned to explore other types of music with his violin in hand. He describes his path prior to joining Barrage, and what it took to join the ranks of such a renowned and fast-paced group. Jason’s story is an excellent reminder that there are endless paths and possibilities for musicians – you just have to keep your dream in mind and work hard to make it happen.

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Orchestras at a Crossroads

0 Jesse Rosen

Remarks by Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras, at the “Red Alert” plenary session at the 66th National Conference, Minneapolis, June 8, 2019.

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Baltimore Symphony Performs “OrchKids Nation”

0 Ann Drinan

On Thursday, March 31 and Sunday, April 3, 2019 the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presented a subscription concert at Meyerhoff Hall featuring a new work for their OrchKids students, an intensive in- and after-school program at two elementary schools in the troubled West Baltimore neighborhood. The kids, all 120 of them, wore their OrchKids T-shirts and played instruments, banged on buckets in the Bucket Band, or sang in the choir. But most importantly, they played with the BSO musicians in a piece written especially for them by NJ-based composer David Rimelis. I’m sure for many of the young performers, it was the experience of their young lives.

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