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Category: Composition

Music Commissions: How Much Do They Cost?

0 Stephen Danyew

Ever wondered how much a 30 minute symphony might cost to commission from a composer? Or how about that 5 minute string quartet piece? Commissioning fees of course vary widely based on the size of the piece and the notoriety of the composer.  It is quite difficult to come up with price ranges for music

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When Jean Sibelius Almost Taught at the Eastman School

0 Stephen Danyew

File this one under the category of “fascinating music school history.” According to Vincent Lenti’s 2004 book, “For the Enrichment of Community Life: George Eastman and the Founding of the Eastman School of Music,” the famed Finnish composer Jean Sibelius very nearly became a faculty member of the Eastman School to teach music theory and

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Third Coast Percussion’s “Currents”: Branding in Support of an Artistic Mission

0 Third Coast Percussion

As a touring percussion quartet, devoting an entire concert to new works for our group sometimes seems like a luxury. The logistical pressures of unfamiliar venue layouts, small stage sizes, and traveling with instruments, combined with the musical demands of presenters and unfamiliar audiences, means that we often stick with what we know while we

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PRJ Grant Recipient Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble Reflects on May 2015 Concert

0 Kayleigh Butcher

Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble’s Season Closer Concert for the 2014-15 season: Spatial Palettes took place on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 8:30pm at Constellation Chicago. We commissioned 3 new pieces with the generous support of The Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research. One from Monte Weber, another from Levy Lorenzo, and another from Eliza

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Just wrong

1 Robert Levine

The New York Youth Symphony is concerned about exposing its members to music that was sung by Nazis: Jonas Tarm had won the kind of opportunity most young composers can only dream of: the New York Youth Symphony had commissioned a piece from him and planned to play it this Sunday at Carnegie Hall. But

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The Third Estate

1 Peter Sachon

If one wishes to contribute to the conversation about how to expand the audience base for American orchestras, then one must talk about what those orchestras are presenting — and right now that’s a taboo subject. The fact is that the discussion about WHAT exactly orchestras are presenting has never taken place. The arbitrary distinction

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League Announces 2013-2014 ASCAP Awards

0 Ann Drinan

League of American Orchestras Announces 2013-14 ASCAP Awards For Adventurous Programming The League of American Orchestras’ annual conference is taking place in Seattle this week. The League has announced the winners of this year’s ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. Their press release also includes some interesting statistics about past winners. 27 Orchestras Honored 27 American

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A Look at Forte Notation Software, Plus a Free Giveaway!

5 Stephen Danyew

We are giving away one free download for Forte Premium, the top level product from Forte (retail price: $229)!  One winner will be chosen at random. Enter your name in the drawing up to three times – see details at the end of this post. Giveaway ends May 26, 2014. *UPDATE*: Congratulations to Jen Elle

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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

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Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring at 100

1 Ann Drinan

2013 is the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and 2013 will see more than 270 performances of this iconic work of the early 20th century. Donald Rosenberg, long-time music critic and reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has written a fascinating article about the Rite in this month’s Symphony magazine.

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Breaking Up with Beethoven

0 Peter Sachon

Go out to hear an orchestra concert tonight and chances are the orchestra will be playing Beethoven.  The most recent Orchestra Repertoire Report, from ’09 – ’10, details that 137 orchestras in America performed Beethoven’s music 457 times that season.  His ninth, seventh, and fifth symphonies were ranked first, second and third respectively among the

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Big Tent Thinking

3 Peter Sachon

History is filled with people who have tried to define art.  They have all been wrong, and there is no reason to suspect we are any better at it than they were. Changes to what experts call “Art” happen all the time.  There was a time when people questioned whether photography constituted fine art.  Some

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Composer’s Corner with Jake Runestad


It is a pleasure to be a guest blogger on Polyphonic.org and I am excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at my latest project: Dreams of the Fallen, an exciting new work for orchestra, chorus, and solo piano commissioned by a consortium of orchestras, private sector donors, and acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Biegel – a champion of

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