Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Opera, dynamic music could aid rehabilitation, says Italian study

"Researchers analyzing how listening to classical music affected the study's participants found that songs that alternate between fast and slow sections — like opera — induced dynamic and somewhat predictable change in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the volunteers."

For the full story, please see CBC News.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Star Idolized and Haunted, Michael Jackson Dies at 50

"Michael Jackson, whose quintessentially American tale of celebrity and excess took him from musical boy wonder to global pop superstar to sad figure haunted by lawsuits, paparazzi and failed plastic surgery, was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon at U.C.L.A. Medical Center after arriving in a coma, a city official said. Mr. Jackson was 50, having spent 40 of those years in the public eye he loved."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

You may also check out Michael Jackson recordings at the UW Libraries.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Flutes Offer Clues to Stone-Age Music

"At least 35,000 years ago, in the depths of the last ice age, the sound of music filled a cave in what is now southwestern Germany, the same place and time early Homo sapiens were also carving the oldest known examples of figurative art in the world."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Philharmonic Puts Its History by the Numbers Online

"Sports and classical music fall neatly into comparisons. They are hierarchical endeavors that require immense amounts of training, skill, expertise and common purpose. They are competitive, have stars and supporting casts and, now more than ever, hold an attraction for lovers of numbers."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Round and Round the Music Soars in Wright’s Spiraling Masterpiece

"Frank Lloyd Wright might never have anticipated this. But the rotunda of his late masterpiece the Guggenheim Museum — which opened in 1959, six months after his death — is an ideal place to perform one of the most mesmerizing and eclectic musical works ever written: “Orbits” for 80 trombones, soprano and organ by the Montreal-born American composer Henry Brant."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sonny Rollins, Maria Schneider win at jazz awards

"Jazz legend Sonny Rollins and big-band leader Maria Schneider each were triple winners at the Jazz Awards, but it was 90-year-old pianist Hank Jones who struck the most sentimental chord."

For the full story, please see KansasCity.com.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Operas and Concerts Fit for a Prince (Especially a Sun King)

"During the nine days of the Boston Early Music Festival, which ended on Sunday afternoon, you could spend all day every day, from 9 a.m. to midnight, bingeing on the sounds of antique instruments and the music composed for them. The sheer number of performances offered in the festival and the associated Fringe Concerts let listeners build their schedules around their own passions, or ignore what they knew and seek out the unfamiliar."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Study Finds Instruction in Art Lags in 8th Grade

"Music and art instruction in American eighth-grade classrooms has remained flat over the last decade, according to a new survey by the Department of Education, and one official involved in the survey called student achievement in those subjects 'mediocre.'"

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Musicologist's Companion to American Idol

"A conductor friend of mine recently busted out the following conversation starter over lunch: In a hundred years, American Idol may be the most significant locus of study in the field of performance practice. Predictably, this gem set off a lively debate; naturally, the fact that I've never seen American Idol didn't stop me from pontificating at length on the prospects of performance practice as an area of inquiry and the prominence of said television show therein."

For the full story, please see New Music Box.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First Lady Returns to Music Series

"Now that First Lady Michelle Obama has returned to the United States, she plans to kick off a new music series next week, according to the White House."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seattle Opera turns to 19-year-old to vlog and tweet its 'Ring' cycle

"Now, Culture Monster would never provoke a coastal conflict by declaring a "Ring" war between the Northwest and the Southland, but it seems that Seattle is seeking to make its venerable 'Ring' sparkle for younger generations with its reality-style video project 'Confessions of a First-Time Opera Goer,' which will chronicle 19-year-old Cassidy Quinn Brettler's first experience attending the 'Ring.'"

For the full story, please see the Los Angeles Times.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Was the Jury Thinking?

"In the murky, labyrinthine world of music competitions, efforts at transparency can leave listeners disconcerted and even flummoxed. Such is the conclusion sparked by the results, announced June 7, of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas."

For the full story, please see the Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Van Cliburn 2009: Performers from China, Japan share top prize at piano competition

"The two youngest contestants in the final round of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 20-year-old Nobuyuki Tsujii and 19-year-old Haochen Zhang, both took first prizes in the Sunday evening awards ceremony at Bass Performance Hall. Each received a $20,000 cash prize, three years of concert management and a contract for a compact-disc recording."

For the full story, please see Dallas News.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ending a 60-Year Gig at the N.Y. Philharmonic

"Mr. Drucker, 80, will soon enter something bigger than folklore. Legend maybe? History? He is retiring from the Philharmonic after 60 years, the longest tenure of any player in the orchestra’s existence. His departure foreshadows another changing of the guard: the music director, Lorin Maazel, also ends his tenure this season."

For the full story, please see the New York Times. To listen Mr. Drucker's recordings, please see the Library Catalog.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ikea's In-store Opera Shows Drama of Home Assembly

"The assembly of flat-pack furniture is a common enough flash point for domestic dramas, but Ikea has taken the concept further by inviting an opera company to stage a full dramatic production at one of its London stores."

For the full story, please see Advertising Age.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Play it again, Boris Johnson. Give us a kerbside singsong

"WE can all be Elton John now. In an experiment backed by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, and by the national lottery, 31 pianos are to be plonked around the capital to encourage people to gather for a singsong with strangers."

For the full story, please see the Times Online.

Photo by H4NUM4N.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Opera to Sniff at: A Score Offers Uncommon Scents

"Wagner strove to create a theatrical form in which all the arts — poetry, music, visual imagery, drama, spectacle — would combine in a Gesamtkunstwerk, a unified work engaging every dimension of human perception."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Monday, June 1, 2009

In Haydn commemorative year it's — mostly Mozart

"Joseph Haydn died 200 years ago Sunday, and Austria has been officially marking the occasion with hundreds of concerts, exhibitions and other events dedicated to the music and memory of one of the country's greatest sons."

For the full story, please see Yahoo News.