Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HC Robbins Landon

"HC Robbins Landon, the musicologist, who died on November 20 aged 83, can be said to have done for classical music what Kenneth Clark did for art; and his reputation, based on his achievement in unearthing much of what has become the staple Haydn repertoire, was only slightly tarnished when, in 1993, he became the victim of a musical hoax."

For the full article, please see theTelegraph.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Do You Think? We Want to Know!

Dear School of Music Faculty and Graduate Students,

The Libraries would like to invite you to participate in shaping the future of the Research Commons.

The Research Commons Committee is working to establish a Research Commons space on the ground floor of Allen South. This space will provide a "community of scholars" for graduate students, teaching assistants, faculty and undergraduates doing research. The new Commons is envisioned as a technology-rich space for collaboration for all the disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary studies. Support for group research, meetings, seminars, presentations and the creation of media productions will be provided in the space. We believe that the Commons will evolve over time, with active input on its development from all stakeholders.

The focus group for faculty members will be held on December 2 in the OUGL conference room (room 129) from 12:30 pm to 1:20 pm.

The focus group for graduate students will be held on December 3 in the OUGL conference room (room 129) from 12:30 pm to 1:20 pm.

Lunch will be provided for both sessions. Questions we will be discussing are attached. If you are interested in participating or have questions about this project please RSVP by 5pm, Tuesday, December 1 to:

Verletta Kern
Music Research Services Librarian

Friday, November 20, 2009

Great composer, shame he couldn't play

"He is one of the world's most eminent composers, who cemented his reputation at the vanguard of the English Romantic movement with compositions such as the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance marches.

But Edward Elgar was also a terrible trombone player, it has now transpired, even though he wrote the most beautiful melodies for the instrument in his compositions."

For the full story, please see the Independent.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Noisy parties no problem for musical brains

"If you struggle to follow the conversation at noisy parties, music lessons might help. Nina Kraus and colleagues at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, have previously shown that playing an instrument seems to enhance our ability to pick up emotional cues in conversation.

Now her team has found differences in brain activity that they say make musicians better at picking out speech from background noise."

For the full story, please see the New Scientist.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recounting the history of opera -- one tweet at a time

"The San Diego Opera wants to find out and has launched a Twitter project in which it will tweet about everything from Monteverdi to Mozart to Philip Glass on a daily basis. With more than 400 years to cover -- and at a rate of two tweets per day -- the project could take years to finish."

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ten Questions For A Critic: The State Of Classical Music

"I asked Anne Midgette, the classical music critic of the Washington Post, to join me for a glance back at the last ten years, to remember the bumps in the road, a few milestone events and the trends that emerged out of a flurry of changes. Here are 10 questions on the state of classical music in the past decade (listen right here and read more after the jump). Let us know what you think, and what we missed..."

For the full story please see

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hollywood Swoons Over That Hair, That Baton

"They drew the line at the bobble-head doll. But the Los Angeles Philharmonic shop offers plenty of mugs and T-shirts splashed with the arms-outstretched image of its new maestro, Gustavo Dudamel. In fact, his face has been plastered across town on buses, billboards and banners marching down Sunset Strip. Children mob him for autographs. (He signs them all.) Fireworks spelled out his name at a megaconcert to introduce him to the city."

For the full story please see the New York Times.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Musical America announces 2010 awards

"Musical America, the country’s leading source of information on all things related to classical music, whether in its printed directory or online at, has announced its awards for 2010.

They’re a distinguished group. Conductor Riccardo Muti, who has led most of the world’s great orchestras at one time or another and been music director for a few of the most distinguished, is 2010’s Musician of the Year.” His fellows are composer Louis Andriessen, violinist Joshua Bell, mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, and “collaborative pianist” Warren Jones; it’s hard to argue with any of the choices."

For the full story, please see the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Four letters of Franz Liszt to Espérance von Schwartz

The Netherlands Music Institute is the proud owner of a small but interesting Liszt collection, containing music manuscripts, correspondence and other items. In order to make some of this easily accessible to Liszt scholars and Liszt enthusiasts, the NMI has launched a new web presentation:

Four letters of Franz Liszt to Espérance von Schwartz.

This contains four letters by Liszt to Baroness von Schwartz, an interesting personality who has received very little attention in the Liszt literature. Under the pen name Elpis Melena she had some fame as a writer, philanthropist, and as a political activist.

In this presentation the letters are reproduced as high resolution images, in transcription and translation, and accompanied by extensive commentary by musicologist Lodewijk Muns, NMI archivist and researcher.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Classical music has its day

"President Obama Wednesday thanked artists for sharing their passion. He was speaking, of course, about classical music, before the evening concert in the East Room that concluded the White House's day of classical music. "Of course," because passion appears to be classical music's distinguishing trait these days: It was certainly what all four performers -- guitar player Sharon Isbin, pianist Awadagin Pratt, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and violinist Joshua Bell -- were straining to bring out."

For the full story, please see the Washington Post.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cornish adds early-music program to school of music

"Cornish College of the Arts' school of music is expanding its program to 'encompass a new emphasis on early music and period instrument performance practices of European Renaissance and Baroque music.'"

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beethoven and Mendelssohn’s Scribbles for the Ages Enhance Juilliard Trove

"The Juilliard School has finished the construction of a secure archival storage space for its collection of valuable music manuscripts, and you have to hope that the designers left a little extra room in the shoulders and hips. For at a concert-lecture event celebrating its completion — and with it, the completion of the school’s three-year, $200 million renovation and expansion — at Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday evening, Juilliard is to announce the acquisition of two additional manuscripts, and there appear to be more to come."

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

Monday, November 2, 2009

Composers in Cyberspace

"It's a bit different nowadays. A 'composer-in-residence' for an orchestra will have to sign a proper contract, obliging him/her to produce a big piece or two per year, while juggling lots of other commitments to supplement the far-from-munificent fee. It also involves chatting to the audience, who will probably have a lingering fascination for 'genius' and want to see what a real live composer actually looks like."

For the full story, please see the Telegraph.