Polyphonic Member Login

Lost your username or password?

Not a member yet?
Sign Up for Free!

Register How to Create a Profile

Category: History

The Ever-present Past

0 Tony Woodcock

No matter how far removed we might be in time and technological distance from, say, Homer or Thucydides, Shakespeare, Holbein, or Beethoven, they speak to us of a human condition we recognize.

Read More →

Serenade For Sixty Strings – A Tribute to Lawrence Leighton Smith

0

In 1989, during his tenure as music director of the Louisville Orchestra, Lawrence Leighton Smith wrote an essay stating his personal view concerning the link between the number of players and quality of sound in orchestras. Smith’s “Serenade for Sixty Strings,” published in the March/April 1989 issue of Symphony, the magazine of the American Symphony

Read More →

Corelli and the Elevator

0 Gerald Elias

Go for it. What would you say has been the most important invention over the past five hundred years or so?  The automobile? Nuclear power?  The microchip?  Sliced bread? My vote…(drum roll)…the elevator!  You scoff, but think about it.  Before the elevator, cities could only expand as far as their geographical limits, hoist themselves four

Read More →

About that New Republic article

0 Robert Levine

It’s not surprising that a recent article by Philip Kennicott in the New Republic by the title of “America’s Orchestras are in Crisis” got some favorable play in the musician community. The writer, who is Art and Architecture critic for the Washington Post, focused very heavily on what he believed was the League of American

Read More →

A Dance of Contradictions Celebrated by Bernstein

0 Jeffrey Johnson

Jeffrey Johnson is Professor of Music and Director of the Music Program at the University of Bridgeport, and the author of several books. He also serves as the classical music critic for the Hartford Courant and the Stamford Advocate. He recently sent Polyphonic this thoughtful post. – Ann Drinan, Senior Editor Instances of extended 5/4

Read More →

ICSOM: The First Fifty Years

0 Stephen Danyew

ICSOM (the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, which represents over 4,000 musicians from 51 major symphony orchestras throughout the United States) recently released a documentary titled “ICSOM: The First Fifty Years.” Filmed during the 50th anniversary conference in Chicago, the 38-minute film contains numerous interviews on the founding of ICSOM, telling the fascinating

Read More →

Improving the Orchestra’s Revenue Position: Practical Tactics and General Strategies

0

My Editor’s Choice for this go-round is from 1997—sixteen years ago. Here’s a little background just to put it in context. Our website, Polyphonic.org is part of the Orchestra Musician Forum, that was created in 2004 when Paul R. Judy made a gift of the financial and intellectual assets of the Symphony Orchestra Institute to

Read More →

Orchestras and the union movement

1 Robert Levine

Milwaukee is not quite equidistant from Madison and Detroit, but it does sit precisely on the line between them that a crow (or a Boeing) would fly. So it’s fitting that events in Detroit and Madison resonate so loudly with this member of the Milwaukee Symphony – an orchestra in the Rust Belt that’s had

Read More →

A substitute orchestra in Detroit?

0 Robert Levine

In a front-page article in the Detroit News, Michael H. Hodges is pessimistic about the future of the DSO: …outsiders warn that suspending the season involves a leap into the unknown, one that not only threatens the orchestra’s current hold on audiences and donors, but could put the 2011-2012 season and the orchestra’s entire future

Read More →

Are we figments of Mahler's imagination?

0 Robert Levine

Norman thinks that Mahler invented the American symphony orchestra. He makes a good case: Mahler split the Carnegie season into four subscription blocs, each with a thematic base, something no conductor had tried before. As well as a Regular Series, he put in a Beethoven cycle “for the education of lovers of classical music, for

Read More →