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Category: Conducting

Dominant and Tonic: Rethinking the Role of the Music Director

0 Robert Levine

The recent death of Lorin Maazel caused me to remember an article I wrote for Harmony in 2001 about the role of the Music Director, in part because his selection as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic was discussed in the article. Maazel was, with Bernstein, one of the very first Americans to be

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Virtual Wagner done right

0 Robert Levine

(Received in my Oggle email inbox; I can’t vouch for its veracity.) The Long (Conn.) Wagner Festival announces its campaign on PrickStarter to fund an exciting new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, and we need your help! This innovative production will be done with a virtual conductor (MaestroData – patent pending) and fully animated CGI

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Newsflash: conductor doesn’t like unions

3 Robert Levine

In this week’s edition of The New Yorker (paywalled, unfortunately) is a fascinating piece by Alex Ross on Iván Fischer, the Hungarian conductor and founder of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. While the piece focuses largely on his unhappiness with the current rightward lurch of Hungarian politics, Ross also reports on Fischer’s views on the orchestra

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A Very Touching Moment

0 Robert Levine

Norman Lebrecht posted about an incident between the concertmaster of the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra and Daniel Barenboim during the recently concluded performance of Wagner’s Ring Cyle at this year’s Proms. It had a happy ending, though –  Barenboim addressed the audience after the final performance, thanking them, the orchestra, and the chorus, and ending by

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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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Sir Colin Davis Remembered

0 Gerald Elias

Due to the tumult of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, the world all but overlooked the passing of Sir Colin Davis, one of the great conductors of the 20thcentury, who died at age 85 one day before that terrible event took place.  To list his resumé as the music director and guest conductor of

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Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and Musical DNA

0 Gerald Elias

Roland Tapley, Alfred Krips, Harry Dickson, George Zazofsky, Clarence Knudsen, Laszlo Nagy, Eugene Lehner, George Humphrey, Misha Nieland, Henry Portnoi, John Barwicki, James Pappoutsakis, Pasquale Cardillo, Bernard Zighera, Charlie Smith.  What do these 15 men have in common?  They were all musicians in the Boston Symphony who, with some 80 of their colleagues, performed the

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Getting to Know Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin

0 Ann Drinan

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the new Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra who lives in Montreal, has been garnering lots of positive press, especially after his triumphant debut with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall on October 23 performing Verdi’s Requiem. He held the silence at the conclusion of the work for many, many seconds – so many that

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Beyond Prestige

1 Peter Sachon

In the American system, the arts are funded mostly through indirect subsidies.  Our government’s tax policies toward charitable giving elicit billions of dollars in contributions annually.  The beauty of this system is that it not only allows the citizens to determine which not-for-profits benefit a civil society, but also it does not require the government

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When’s it OK to ask musicians to work for free?

0 Robert Levine

For sure it’s not when the person asking has raised $1.2 million for her new album but doesn’t want to pay back-up musicians on the road. Fortunately for all concerned, she (very grudgingly) changed her mind after considerable public outcry. Many AFM locals had a prohibition in their bylaws about members working for free, at

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“Mr. Kreizsky, meet Mr. Woodsky”

0 Tony Woodcock

Yakov Kreitzberg, the Russian-born, American-trained conductor was Music Director and Artistic Director of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and outgoing Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Chamber … Continue reading

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