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Tags: Beethoven

Composer’s Corner with Jake Runestad

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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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O sweet mystery of life

0 Robert Levine

…or one of them at least – is what conductors actually do. I thought it was all about the hair; Justin Davidson thinks it’s more than that: “Knowing the score”—the expression implies mastery, but it doesn’t suggest the sustained and solitary study that’s required to achieve it. There are a few miles of roadway that

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Louisville: a local view

0 Robert Levine

This was sent as a letter to the Louisville Courier-Journal but not published. Unfortunate, as it is a very thorough look at the situation from an experienced local observer: One really doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry in response to Chuck Maisch’s column about the Louisville Orchestra that appeared in the Courier-Journal on

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League Conference: New American Music Innovation Panel

0 Ann Drinan

Panel members: Patrick Castillo, Director of Artistic Planning, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Delta David Gier, Music Director, South Dakota Symphony; Paul Gunther, Principal Librarian, Minnesota Orchestra; and Aaron Kernis, composer. Aaron Kernis spoke first – he is the founder and leader of the Composers Institute in Minneapolis. A bit of history: he was part of

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Guest Bloggers: Colin Thurmond and Rich Chwastiak

0 Tony Woodcock

AcousticaElectronica AcousticaElectronica. Quite a mouthful to say, but then again – quite an idea. The concept of the show was simple. Blend the virtuosity found in the classical concert hall with the energy of the late-night dance club.   The show … Continue reading

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When the Audition Has No Winner

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“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can choose a player for our orchestra from these candidates.” Has anyone you know heard words similar to those recently? I wouldn’t be surprised if you said “yes” because it’s been happening across the country with increasing frequency for several years now. A couple weeks

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Duende

0 Tony Woodcock

I have always made it a policy not to miss an opportunity to hear great artists at the end of their careers. Interestingly, it was a young pianist years ago who crystallized for me the preciousness of artistry enriched by … Continue reading

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When Die Walküre meets Den Schneesturm

0 Robert Levine

…the blizzard wins. Here in Milwaukee we’re having the first day of rehearsals canceled for snow that I can remember. We had a run-out to Green Bay canceled due to snow a number of years ago, but given that traffic was moving at 25 mph on the freeway and Green Bay was 100 miles away,

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The kid stays on the podium

1 Robert Levine

There’s something about conducting this kid really gets, although he really should have turned the last page of the score before he thought the piece was over: Wouldn’t it be nice if more kids this age thought Beethoven was this much fun? And why don’t they, anyway? I wonder what would happen if kids treated

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A Tale of Two Audiences

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A Tale of Two Audiences Let’s talk about programming, shall we? Any music director of an American orchestra, when programming a season, is striving to create balance. What does the orchestra need to play in order to grow artistically? What does the audience want to hear? What do they need to hear in order to

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El Sistema Conference: YOLA

0 Ann Drinan

The conference was hosted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to showcase their YOLA project: Youth Orchestra LA. On Friday we were bused to the Expo Center, which most of us assumed was some sort of civic center. Instead, it turned out to be a huge Parks and Recreation campus in South Central LA (now referred

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On Indispensability

0 Robert Levine

“The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men,” Charles de Gaulle once famously remarked. A rather public discussion of whether music directors can be indispensable is happening over the physical health of James Levine and its impact on the institutional health of the Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony. At some point the

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Resistance is apparently futile

0 Robert Levine

This article on composer/programmer David Cope and the compositional software he’s created is absolutely amazing: It was here, half a dozen years ago, that Cope put Emmy to sleep. She was just a software program, a jumble of code he’d originally dubbed Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI, hence “Emmy”). Still — though Cope struggles not

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