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The Cleveland Orchestra – Around Towns


Violist Felix Ungar is working on his doctorate at Eastman, but did his undergraduate and graduate study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In this article he explores The Cleveland Orchestra’s response to economic hard times at home: touring, residencies, and new concert programs in Cleveland, such as the Center for Future Audiences and Fridays@7.

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Compose for Youth Orchestras!

0 Stephen Danyew

In this article, composer Dan Visconti presents a compelling case for writing for youth orchestras. Particularly relevant to younger composers, Dan’s article contains many insightful points that force music creators to seriously consider the many opportunities that youth orchestras may offer. In an age of innovation and self-promotion, it seems crucial for younger writers to use creative thinking to identify opportunities which may be outside of the popular and well-worn path. Dan’s article is simply a must read for young composers. Thanks to NewMusicBox.org for letting us share this with you.

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Would You Buy a “Made in China” Violin?


When Laura Brownell needed to find a violin quickly, she visited the Remenyi House of Music in Toronto and became enamored of a beautiful violin that, surprisingly, turned out to be made in China.

Laura presents an interesting discussion of the quality of current Chinese-made violins, and the threat Chinese makers pose to traditional European violin workshops. She interviewed Michael Remenyi, the owner of the Remenyi House of Music, to find out his concerns about these instruments and the factors that cause him to offer them in his shop.

Finally, Laura discusses the role that Chinese-made string instruments will play in the lives of professionals musicians.

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My Musical Journey

0 Susie Yang

In the following Article, cellist Susie Yang discusses her career path as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra musician. Having attended both the Julliard School and New England Conservatory, and having served as a fellow with the New World Symphony, Susie provides great insight into the world of young orchestral musicians operating at the highest levels. Susie talks about her childhood dreams, her inspirations, and her experiences in various musical settings. For any young musician looking to join the ranks of a professional symphony orchestra, Susie’s story is a valuable resource. Since writing this article, we are happy to report that Susie has been appointed Associate Principle Cellist in the Kansas City Symphony! Congrats Susie!

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Rookie Music Director - Journey for Finding Answers

0 Shizuo Kuwahara
rookie music director 2

In the following article, conductor Shizuo Zuwahara, also known as “Z,” chronicles the months leading up to and following his appointment as Music Director of Symphony Orchestra Augusta (formerly the Augusta Symphony Orchestra). Z talks about the existing conditions he faced when entering an organization that was desperately in need of change. From the moment he was appointed music director, Z used great vision and mindfulness of the community to work with existing orchestra leadership and develop a new mission for the orchestra’s future. He helped the organization revisit the overall image of the orchestra and work cooperatively on deciding how they wanted to be perceived by the community. In this article, Z presents a great example of leadership off the podium, which will inevitably lead to greater artistic experiences for the musicians and the community of Augusta.

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Tips for Students – Section Etiquette

0 Aimee Morris

Musicians can sometimes fall into the traps of a casual working etiquette, undoubtedly influenced by our notorious “laid back” nature and lifestyle. In the following article, Aimee Morris discusses the importance of professionalism in the context of the orchestral section player.How you act, dress, talk, handle yourself, and of course perform all contribute to your overall success and viability in an orchestral setting.Take a moment to consider Aimee’s points of professionalism, and think about a few areas where you could perhaps enhance your orchestral etiquette.

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League of American Orchestras Conference 2010

0 Ann Drinan

The 2011 League of American Orchestra’s conference is fast approaching, and I’d like to get the word out that any musician in a member orchestra can attend the conference for free. This year’s conference is in Minnesota from June 6 - 9; here’s a link to information about the conference.

League Conference 2011

In preparation for the upcoming conference, it seems appropriate to publish all the blog posts I wrote from the 2010 conference here as an article, so symphony musicians can get a sense of what sorts of sessions are available to musicians, and what they might learn and experience through attending and networking.

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In Memoriam 2010


Polyphonic’s tribute to those people important to our field who died in 2010. Please send additions or corrections to Robert Levine (robertlevine at pobox dot com).

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What Were They Thinking?


The dust has finally settled around the Harris Theater dispute. Music students are now comfortably established in their routines for the new academic year and may be looking for guidance as they pursue opportunities to perform. Laura Brownell takes a walk down memory lane and uses her experiences as a student performer to shed light on a long-standing issue: Can the interface among music schools, training orchestras, and professional musicians be effectively managed? This article explains that the problem will probably never go away but it can be effectively managed by following some basic guidelines.

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Commissioning New Piano Works Through a Consortium of Orchestras: An Interview with Jeffrey Biegel

0 Jeffrey Biegel

I’ve performed with Jeffrey Biegel many times over the years, and was chatting with him backstage when he played the Lowell Liebermann 3rd Piano Concerto with us a few years ago. We got to talking about his concept of putting together consortiums of orchestras to commission new works for piano and orchestra. I found it a fascinating concept.

Jeffrey was in town again recently, playing Beethoven’s 5th concerto, so I invited him to lunch to find out about his latest consortium project with Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

If any orchestras out there would like to join the consortium to support Ellen Zwilich in writing Shadows for piano and orchestra, and participate in the year of the premiere, contact Jeffrey Biegel at sharpnat@aol.com. You can also visit his website at www.jeffreybiegel.com.

April 13: Orchestra of the Swan in England has signed on for the European premiere.

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Royalties Are a Good Thing—Part 1: Copyright, Print Rights and Mechanicals


In recent comments that have come to Polyphonic, several of you have suggested an article discussing royalties. Our editorial staff aims to please, so here is the first installment.

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Webcasting: A technology that can reach audiences beyond the performance hall


Albert Einstein once said “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” Well fortunately, people like Sam Bottoni, the author of the following article, are thinking about the future and what it means to classical music organizations. Sam’s article focuses on the intersection between current technology and the concert hall, and how organizations can utilize cutting-edge methods of delivering content to their audience. As orchestras work to engage younger people in the concert-going experience, Sam’s informative points regarding the potential of technology are important for us to consider.Thinking about the future and how we reach and interact with our many potential audiences will be crucial to the success of our beloved music.

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