Thursday, March 15, 2012

Noteworthy institution Southern Music Co. is closing down Read more:

Southern Music Co., a source of printed sheet music for millions of students around the world for the past 75 years, has hit its last note.

The San Antonio retail and wholesale music distributor plans to close its doors Feb. 25, another casualty of the digital age that has claimed thousands of bookstores and record shops across the nation.

Leon Theremin: The man and the music machine

"Leon Theremin had come to the Bolshevik leader's attention after inventing a revolutionary electronic musical instrument that was played without being touched.

Theremin was nervous before meeting Lenin, but later said the demonstration of his invention, which became known as the Theremin, had gone well."

For the full story, please see

Earworms: Why That Song Gets Stuck In Your Head

"Chances are, you've fallen victim to earworms — pesky songs or melodies that get stuck in your head and just won't get out.

Research suggests that there may be psychological reasons why some songs are more likely to stick, including memory triggers, emotional states and even stress. Some researchers hope to better understand why this happens and figure out what, if anything, music memory can teach psychologists about how to treat patients dealing with memory loss."

For the full story, please see

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Extended Hours for Finals Week!

The Music Library will be open extra just for you during finals week! Here are our hours:

Saturday, March 10: Noon-7pm
Sunday, March 11: 1pm-9pm
Monday, March 12: 8am-9pm
Tuesday, March 13: 8am-9pm

Special thanks to the School of Music for the support to make extended hours possible!

Want to Write an Opera? Check this out!

For the full story, see Musical America.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bringing K-Pop to the West

"Patricia Augustin, 19, of Indonesia says she scours the Internet every day for the latest updates on Korean pop music. Paula Lema Aguirre, a high school student from Peru, says she is happiest when she sings Korean songs, especially “It Hurts,” the group 2NE1’s single about teenage love."

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

Accompanists: the unsung heroes of music

"Pity the poor accompanist, condemned to sit in the shadow of the great voices and the even greater egos of today's singers. Being the pianist who plays for them can feel like the most thankless job in music. The singers couldn't do it without them, but it's the braying sopranos and the yodelling tenors who get all the glory, as well as most of the cash and applause – despite the fact that all they've done is sing a few tunes, usually in a foreign language, while the pianists slog their guts out playing fiendishly difficult accompaniments by Schubert, Schumann or Britten."

For the full story, please see the Guardian.

Venerated High Priest and Humble Servant of Music Education

"AS he slowly walked through the adoring and bubbling crowd of young people, the frail elderly man brushed a cheek, clasped an arm, bestowed a smile. He lingered affectionately with members of a choir composed of disabled youngsters."

For the full story, please see

Teaching Postdoc Fellowship


The Postdoctoral Fellow will perform research on teaching and learning to inform the development of graduate student support programs in the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin and will assist in disseminating knowledge about effective college teaching practices to graduate student instructors.

Essential Functions:

  • Research element will involve the design, implementation, and management of graduate student support programs of various types (both cohort-and workshop-based) at UT and may involve cross-institutional research on graduate student support programs and outcomes.
  • Teaching element will involve providing information and advice to graduate students in one-on-one consultations, workshops, and a semester-length seminar. This will facilitate their development as university-level instructors.
  • Supervise graduate student assistants with conducting research, teaching, writing, and prioritizing work responsibilities. May travel to other universities to conduct research and disseminate best-practices in college level teaching and learning.
  • Collaborate with CTL staff to develop content for online sites that present evidence-based college-teaching practices and information about careers in higher education.
  • Collaborate with the Graduate School and departmental graduate advisors across campus to support graduate students in their teaching endeavors and support graduate programs.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Earned Ph.D.
  • Teaching experience at the university level
  • Experience and/or strong interest in conducting research on graduate student development
  • A record of conference presentations and publications or strong potential for publication
  • Experience supervising research assistants and interpersonal skills that promote team building
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Proficiency in computer applications (e.g., Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint) and statistical software (e.g., SPSS).

Please send (1) a letter of interest, (2) current vita, (3) and contact information for at least three references to Joanna Gilmore at:

Date available: Immediately
Position duration: Funding expected to continue
Monthly salary: $4166 negotiable depending on qualifications.
Hours per week: 40.00
Hiring department: Center for Teaching and Learning

Joanna Gilmore, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Graduate Student Instructor Program
Center for Teaching and Learning
The University of Texas at Austin

Lightning Talk Invitation

The UW Libraries Research Commons, in partnership with the Graduate School, is in the process of planning for a Research Commons Lightning Talks event that will be held Tuesday, April 10th 4-5:30pm on the ground floor of the Allen Library South.

This event will feature 10 short presentations (5 minutes each) given by graduate students doing research on topics related to the theme "Sustainability". This will be a fun, informal event that will allow grad students to share their research across disciplines, make connections and build presentation skills. This event will be open to all UW students, faculty and staff.

Are you a graduate student doing Sustainability-related research? Submit a short proposal here: We're looking for grad students working in a range of disciplines: environmental sciences, political science, business, education, history, urban planning, humanities, technology, etc.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Composers file complaint with EU

For the full story, please see

Opportunities for Graduate Students

@ The Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington

Graduate students are integral to the culture of crossdisciplinary inquiry and innovation fostered at the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

The Center offers a rich variety of opportunities for intellectual community, professional development, and financial support that advance crossdisciplinary understanding, collaboration, and research. Center activities connect graduate students across departments with peers, faculty, staff, regional communities, and cultural organizations.

Graduate students participate in all aspects of our four-fold mission:
  • to further crossdisciplinary research and inquiry
  • to pilot crossdisciplinary research and curriculum
  • to promote public scholarship and university-community engagement
  • to develop scholarly initiatives at the leading edge of change
Graduate student involvement takes many forms, including:
  • coursework and microseminars with visiting speakers
  • student-led Graduate Interest Groups (GIGS) and research clusters
  • selective workshops, institutes, and fellowships

To learn more about the Simpson Center programs, events, fellowships and grants, and to sign up for a weekly digest of announcements, visit

Graduate Education at the Leading Edge of Change
Over the last decade, the Simpson Center has gained national recognition for its work advancing public scholarship, digital humanities, and crossdisciplinary collaboration. Graduate students are at the forefront of shaping these formative areas.

Public Scholarship
The Certificate in Public Scholarship enables graduate students to integrate their intellectual, professional, and political commitments through engagement with diverse publics. Its project- and portfolio-based curriculum emphasizes collaboration with an expanding network of peers, faculty, and community partners.

HUM 595 Public Culture/Engaged Scholarship courses and microseminars explore relations among cultural research, public practice, and diverse forms of community engagement.
Public Scholarship/Community Engagement grants support projects that promote dialogue, exchange, and collaboration between UW scholars and community partners in educational, cultural, governmental, non-profit, and grassroots organizations.

Digital Humanities
With the support of a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Simpson Center is endowing a Digital Humanities Commons dedicated to innovative forms of collaborative and multimodal digital scholarship. Its annual summer fellowship program for faculty and dissertators begins 2013 and will be supported by regular micro-seminars and lectures.

Short courses, seminars, and workshops, on topics such as digital pedagogies and cultural research and digital collections, convene critical conversations about practices of scholarly multimedia production, authorship, and project design and offer an intensive opportunity to foster communities of digital practice at the UW.

HASTAC Scholars Program: Graduate students are selected annually to represent the Simpson Center and the University of Washington by participating in the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC).

Crossdisciplinary Collaboration
Crossdisciplinary Research Clusters and Graduate Interest Groups allow graduate students to develop projects together with other students, faculty, visiting scholars, and community practitioners.

Interdisciplinary Dissertation Prospectus Workshops, framed around thematic inquiries, offer training in interdisciplinary methodology.

Society of Scholars Research Fellowships provide advanced dissertators with research time and intellectual community. Applications accepted each fall.

Find additional opportunities on our website:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Apply for the Undergraduate Library Research Award!

The Research Award recognizes undergraduate students for excellent research and scholarship that demonstrates creative use of scholarly materials.

Students may submit any research project they've completed between Spring 2011 and Spring 2012. In addition, they are asked to submit a short reflective essay about the research process.

  • *Deadline*: Monday, May 14, 2012
  • Winners receive $1,000
  • Categories: Senior Thesis/Honors Thesis, Senior Non-Thesis, and Non-Senior
  • Any media (project format) accepted

Application information, previous winners, and selection criteria are available at:

The award jury is comprised of librarians and faculty evaluators, crossing disciplines and the three UW campuses.

Questions? Email:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Digital project on American Bandstand now online

Digital project on American Bandstand now online, featuring video clips, 100+ images and preview of forthcoming book "The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock 'n' Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia" (University of California Press, American Crossroads series, Feb 2012).

Counter to host Dick Clark's claims that he integrated American Bandstand, this project reveals how the first national television program directed at teens discriminated against black youth during its early years and how black teens and civil rights advocates protested this discrimination. The project also brings to light the civil rights activism of black deejays like Georgie Woods and Mitch Thomas, whose locally televised teen dance show debuted fifteen years before "Soul Train" and influenced the dance styles on "American Bandstand."

View "The Nicest Kids in Town" digital project at:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Do Jazz Musicians Really Earn $23,300 Per Year?

"Last year, we reported on the Future of Music Coalition's initiative to determine how musicians make money — especially jazz musicians. While not all of the data has been released, the FMC presented a few interesting early findings in a recent blog post."

For the full story, please see

Justin Bieber was found on YouTube, why not a conductor?

"YouTube has been called into service by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra as it sets out to find a new conductor."

For the full story, please see

In Korea, more women than men in orchestras

For the full story, please see

First ever musicians' dystonia conference Mar. 9

Find out more at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Extended Hours for Finals Week

Dear SoM students,

Thank you very much for participating in the survey on extended hours during the exam period. There was overwhelming support for the Saturday and Sunday slots listed below. (NB: We did not poll the Monday and Tuesday slots). Below are the extended hours from March 10 (Saturday) to March 13 (Tuesday); the extended hours will be posted on the Libraries web sites as well:

Saturday 3/10 -- noon to 7 pm
Sunday 3/11 -- 1 to 9 pm
Monday 3/12 - 8 am to 9 pm
Tuesday 3/13 - 8 am to 9 pm

Good luck with your exams and final papers (if you need help in your research, contact Verletta Kern or

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Canadian Music Centre BC Region announces a Call for Proposals

The Canadian Music Centre, BC Region announces a Call for Proposals to participate in a national festival celebrating the centennial of Canadian composer Barbara Pentland (1912-2000), composer, teacher, university professor and musical nationalist.

Barbara Pentland, a Vancouverite, was a dedicated supporter of the CMC and special friend of the CMC BC Regional office. Upon her death a bequest to CMC was made to support Canadian composers, her own music and the ongoing work of CMC. The Canadian Music Centre is proud to celebrate and recognize throughout 2012 this outstanding Canadian composer and her music contribution during this her 100th anniversary year.

Pentlandʼs musical life spanned most of the 20th century and included piano performance, post-secondary education, and teaching in Europe, the United States, and her native Canada. From Winnipeg to Montreal, Darmstadt to Munich to Vancouver, Pentland acquired a musical voice of her own. Her public statements on music, culture, and politics were important and influential in the pivotal 1960s and 1970s.
The festival celebrates Canadaʼs record of musical performance and creation, and
Pentlandʼs contribution and legacy. Throughout 2012, the festival will facilitate performances, broadcasts, and new music.

In addition to potentially releasing recordings of Pentlandʼs works on CMC'S own CENTREDISCS LABEL, the festival calls for proposals for events in these two categories:
A. Chamber/Instrumental/Choral Events
B. Education and Outreach

A single proposal may apply to both A and B, but this is not necessary. The festival will consider subsidies of up to $5,000 for a single proposal, expecting that applicants may seek supplementary or matching funds to increase the total amount available for a festival project. Non-financial participation by educational and cultural institutions would be considered a “matching” contribution.

A. Chamber/Instrumental/Choral Events
Canadian chamber groups, instrumentalists, choral groups, and vocal artists are invited to submit proposals to create and produce works combining music by Pentland with choral/vocal and/or chamber music of the period 1930 to the present day, mainly, but not exclusively, by Canadian composers.
A proposal may include new or existing commissioned works.

B. Education and Outreach
The Festival invites Canadian universities, music schools, composers and teachers to submit proposals for (i) lectures, (ii) exhibitions, (iii) multi-media and social media events, and (iv) public-school events.

Proposals must include a background description, project timeline and complete budget, as well as support materials that should include two example recordings of the applicant’s work for category A, or work in other media for those proposing in category B.

Deadline for proposals: March 31, 2012
Announcement of results: April 10, 2012

The subsidies made available to successful applications, through this call, are being awarded from the Barbara Pentland Fund, a generous bequest made to the Canadian Music Centre BC Region by Barbara Pentland, in order to support the promotion of performing, recording, and publishing Pentland’s works and promotion of other Canadian contemporary music.

About Dr. Barbara Pentland
Born in Winnipeg, Dr. Barbara Pentland studied composition in Paris, at the Juilliard Graduate School in New York, and at the Berkshire Music Centre. She became an instructor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto during the Second World War and would go on to receive honourary doctorates from Simon Fraser University and the University of Manitoba and be named a member of the Order of Canada. To learn more about Barbara Pentland and her music, please visit

About the Canadian Music Centre
The Canadian Music Centre holds Canada's largest collection of Canadian concert music. The CMC exists to promote the works of its Associate Composers in Canada and around the world. The Centre makes available on loan over 22,000 scores and works of Canadian contemporary composers through its lending library. The CMC sells more than 1300 CD titles featuring music of its Associate Composers and other Canadian independent recording producers. The Centre also offers an on-demand publishing service, music repertoire consultations, and is easily accessible through five regional centres across Canada, as well as through its website at

Music for Vermont Youth: Domoto’s New Challenge

News on a UW SOM alum!
"Meeting the educational needs of talented young instrumentalists in a rural, sparsely populated state with few musical resources in the schools is a challenge. And it’s a matter of paramount concern to Jeffrey Domoto, now one year into his job as music director of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association. The VYOA, based in the Burlington area of northern Vermont—the largest population center in a state that ranks 49th in the U.S., with about 620,000 residents—serves approximately 500 students up through high-school age, who are enrolled in three full symphonic ensembles ranked by experience and technical level (Vermont Youth Orchestra, Vermont Youth Philharmonia, and Vermont Youth Sinfonia) plus two groups for younger string players, a chamber wind ensemble, and two youth choruses."

For the full story, please see

Monday, February 13, 2012

‘Tuba Raids’ Plague Schools in California

"When thieves broke into the high school music room here this week, they cut through the bolts on all the storage lockers and ripped two doors off their frames. But they didn’t touch the computer or the projector or even the trumpets."

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

Pa. symphony seeks soloist via YouTube contest

"Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra officials insist it's not "American Idol" meets Mozart.
But its new video contest on YouTube does have at least one similarity: voting by the public. Videos submitted by instrumental soloists will be up for anyone to watch. The top four vote-getters will get a chance to audition for musical director and conductor Manfred Honeck. The winner — if Honeck picks one at all — gets $10,000 and a paid trip to perform with the orchestra at Heinz Hall this fall."

For the full story, please see The AP.

Airline Instrument Policy Set by Congress

For the full story, please see

The Perceived Delicacy of the Female Conductor

"Many factors influence the way classical music fans respond to a recording. The expressiveness of the composer. The virtuosity of the musicians. And, it seems, the sex of the conductor."

For the full story, please see

At The 54th Grammys, A Short But Eclectic Classical List

For the full list of classical winners, see

Friday, February 10, 2012

Finals Week Hours Music Library Hours Survey

We are responding to requests to extend the Music Library hours on selected days during the exam period. We are happy to let you know that the School of Music has agreed to fund these extended hours. We will open 3 more hours on Monday 3/12 and Tuesday 3/13; the hours will be 8 am to 9 pm on those days.

We need your help to determine the hours for the weekend (Saturday 3/10 and Sunday 3/11) before the exam week, so we have a short survey (2 questions) to see which time blocks are the best for you.
Please go to for the survey.

The survey will be available until Monday, February 20. We will announce the extended hours after we get the results.

Thank you for your help!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Register NOW for 2012 the Women Who Rock UnConference and Film Festival!

Please register for the Women Who Rock UnConference and Film Festival March 2-3, 2012.

Bring your:
  • Instruments
  • Paintbrushes
  • Beats
  • Ideas
  • Tshirt for screen printing
  • Recording tools
  • Knitting
  • Art Supplies
  • Jarana
  • Dancing Shoes

For more information on the UnConference, please see

Purcell and a pint - welcome to a new kind of classical concert

"The 'rules' of concert-going today - sit still, keep quiet, concentrate, only applaud at the end of a piece - often make us feel uncomfortable, and produce a less than authentic experience. And, of course, the other way most of us tend to listen to music - on headphones, sealed into our private own world - would be similarly incomprehensible to composers, musicians and audiences of previous centuries."

For the full story, please see The Guardian.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Are You Really A Musician?

"We've come a long way from banging a couple of rocks together to make music. Apple's version of Garageband for the iPad, for example, includes "smart" instruments that play all the keyboard, bass, guitar and drum parts for you with the push of a button.

It's pretty cool. But if you use something like this to make music, does it really count? If you don't know how to play an instrument such as the piano or guitar or whatever, and you can't read or write music, but you have an app or synth that does the work for you, can you really call yourself a musician?"

For the full story, please see

Seeking Proposals for "MUSIC OF THE SEA" Symposium

Mystic Seaport's 33rd Annual Symposium
Sponsored by Mystic Seaport Museum, the University of Connecticut at Avery Point,
and The United States Coast Guard Academy
June 8 & 9, 2012

We are seeking proposals for papers in History, Literature, Folklore, Ethnomusicology, or other appropriate disciplines that address any aspect of music or verse of the sea or inland waters from the Age of Sail through the present day. The two-day symposium is part of a three-day event whose focus celebrates the lives and work of sailors through musical performance.

The Friday, June 8, session will be held on the maritime campus of the University of Connecticut at Avery Point in Groton, CT, and the Saturday session, June 9, at Mystic Seaport, in Mystic, CT.

Topics of interest have included: shipboard work songs, songs of maritime or other occupational trades, songs of rivers and lakes, seafaring cultures and cultural change, ethnicity and ethnic influences, cultural exchanges, ballad and broadside traditions, technology, regional interests, the use of sea music in literature, and popular culture.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE is March 1, 2012. Audiovisually illustrated presentations welcome.

Graduate students are encouraged to submit a proposal.
Proposals should be 1-2 pages and should include a thesis, an explanation, and a list of sources.
PLEASE SUBMIT PROPOSALS and a brief curriculum vita or resume to Dr. Glenn S. Gordinier via e-mail at or via standard mail at:
Dr. Glenn S. Gordinier—Attn: Symposium Munson Institute—Mystic Seaport
75 Greenmanville Ave.
Mystic, CT 06355-0990

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Finally: U.S. Post Office To Issue Miles Davis Stamp

"It’s about time. Here is a link and snippet of text below from the news item via Linn’s Stamp News announced that stamps honoring Davis and French singer Edith Piaf would be issued in 2012 as part of a joint issue with French postal service, La Poste."

For the full story, please see

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Philip Glass At 75: Listening With Heart, Not Intellect

"Composer Philip Glass changed the landscape of American music. As a founder of minimalism, Glass came up with a new way to make music and, with it, brought a new audience to the concert halls. Tuesday is Glass' 75th birthday, and the music world is celebrating in a big way with performances and festivals around the globe — including the premiere of Glass' latest work at Carnegie Hall."

For the full story, please see

To learn more about Glass or listen to his recordings, check the UW Music Library library catalog.

Folklorist’s Global Jukebox Goes Digital

"The folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax was a prodigious collector of traditional music from all over the world and a tireless missionary for that cause. Long before the Internet existed, he envisioned a “global jukebox” to disseminate and analyze the material he had gathered during decades of fieldwork."

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

Friday, January 27, 2012

Undergraduate Research Symposium; application dealine Feb 24th

The 15th Annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, which will take place from 12:00, noon, to 5:30 pm, on Friday, May 18, 2012, in Mary Gates Hall, on the Seattle Campus.

The Symposium offers a wonderful forum for students to gain experience presenting their work and to engage in scholarly discussion with peers and faculty. In spring 2011, over 900 undergraduates presented at this event and we expect this year's celebration of undergraduate scholarship, creativity and faculty mentoring to be bigger than ever.

Detailed information and an electronic application form for your students may be found on the Undergraduate Research Program website at:

Students must apply to present their work; applications are due Friday, February 24, 2012. All disciplines, including performing arts, are welcome.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sea-Tac To Be Gateway to "City of Music"

"Seattle-Tacoma International Airport launches an initiative Saturday, Jan. 28 branding Seattle as a "city of music."

The program features audio broadcasts, video segments, a web-based music player on the airport's free WiFi system and phone apps."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Violinist saved children before dying in Concordia cruise ship disaster

"A Hungarian violinist who helped crying children into their lifejackets aboard the Costa Concordia is the first identified victim of the cruise ship disaster.

Sandor Feher, 38, disappeared after he went back to his cabin to get his prized violin, pianist Jozsef Balog has told authorities.

His body was found inside the wreck and identified by his mother who traveled to Italy, according to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry."

For the full story, please see The Star.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Etta James, Powerful Voice Behind ‘At Last,’ Dies at 73

" Etta James, whose powerful, versatile and emotionally direct voice could enliven the raunchiest blues as well as the subtlest love songs, most indelibly in her signature hit, “At Last,” died Friday morning in Riverside, Calif. She was 73."
For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unthinkable? Lost music refound

" The rediscovery of a previously unknown 1853 Albumblatt for Piano in A minor by Brahms is welcome on many counts."

Public Domain Works Can Be Copyrighted Anew, Supreme Court Rules

"The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a federal law that restored copyright protection to works that had entered the public domain.

By a 6-to-2 vote, the justices rejected arguments based on the First Amendment and the Constitution’s copyright clause, saying that the public domain was not “a category of constitutional significance” and that copyright protections might be expanded even if they did not create incentives for new works to be created."

For the full story, please see">The New York Times

Gustav Leonhardt obituary

"Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Gustav Leonhardt, who has died aged 83, was a pioneer and pillar of the early music movement. As a harpsichordist, organist, scholar, conductor and teacher, he was a major figure, exercising very considerable influence on his contemporaries and juniors, and in particular making the Netherlands a focal centre for the performance of Baroque music, gathering round himself artists such as the recorder virtuoso Frans Brüggen, the viola da gamba player and cellist Anner Bylsma, the cellist and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Kuijken brothers – Barthold, Sigiswald and Wieland – all now pre-eminent in their fields."
For the full story, please see The Guardian.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

With Enough Bandwidth, Many Join the Band

"When Dr. John McClure, a pathologist in Edina, Minn., was pondering his wish list several years ago, he added something a little out of the ordinary: learn to play the bagpipes. But his goal seemed like a long shot after a friend who had been teaching him moved away."

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

!@#&^%$!!!!!! (Cellphone halts Mahler’s Ninth mid-movement)

"For those who say that the concert hall needs to loosen up, who want tweet-seats and more technology, be careful what you wish for.

Until today I’ve never been to a concert where a cellphone stopped the orchestra in the middle of a piece, but now I can check that awful milestone off the list. I’ll try to record it as accurately as I can, with my still-jangling nerves."

For the full story, please see

Koussevitzky Foundations Announces Commission Winners

The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Inc. have awarded commissions for new musical works to eight composers. Jointly granting the commissions are the foundations and the performing organizations that will present the newly composed works.

Award winners and the groups co-sponsoring their commissions are John Aylward and the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society; Anthony Cheung and the Talea Ensemble; Jason Eckardt and the NOVA Chamber Music Series; Agustín Fernández and the Momenta Quartet; Jennifer Higdon and the Cypress String Quartet; Laura Kaminsky and the St. Petersburg (Russia) Chamber Philharmonic; Harold Meltzer and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra; and Benoît Mernier and the Pro Arte Quartet.

John Aylward is commissioned to write a work for chamber ensemble for the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society. Alyward’s work as a composer has been recognized through numerous awards, including the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright grant, and First Prize from the International Society for Contemporary Music. As a performer, author and researcher, he established the Etchings Festival, held in Auvillar, France, and has written about the music of Elliott Carter. Alyward is on the faculty of music composition and theory at Clark University in Massachusetts.

The Talea Ensemble of New York joins the foundations in commissioning composer and pianist Anthony Cheung, who is co-founder and artistic director of the group. A native of San Francisco, Cheung was educated at Harvard and Columbia universities and is currently a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. His works have been programmed internationally by numerous ensembles and at contemporary music festivals across Europe. Cheung was awarded First Prize and Public Prize at the 6th International Dutilleux Competition, and he has received honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

This marks Jason Eckardt’s second Koussevitzky commission. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Eckardt received a doctorate in composition as a Presidential Fellow at Columbia University. He serves on the faculties of Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Active as a promoter of new music, he is co-founder and executive director of Ensemble 21, a contemporary performance group in New York. Eckardt will write a new chamber music work featuring a piano solo with strings for the NOVA Chamber Music Series of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Agustín Fernández was a child performer playing the charango at folk clubs in his native Bolivia before undertaking formal music studies. He then trained in Japan prior to settling in the United Kingdom. Fernández was composer-in-residence at Queen’s University, Belfast, and served on the faculties of the Dartington College of Arts and, since 1995, Newcastle University, where he is chairman of the music composition department. His works have been commissioned for the Royal Opera House’s Garden Venture and the London International Opera Festival. Fernández will write a new work for the New York-based Momenta Quartet.

Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award that same year, composer Jennifer Higdon has been commissioned by a broad list of ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Tokyo String Quartet and the United States Marine Band. Her works are widely performed each year, with her orchestral work blue cathedral having been programmed by more than 250 orchestras since its premiere in 2000. Higdon’s new Koussevitzky commission will be written for the Cypress String Quartet.

Laura Kaminsky is artistic director of Symphony Space in New York City and is professor of music at Purchase College, State University of New York. A graduate of Oberlin and the City College of New York, she has received commissions, fellowships and awards as both a composer and presenter. She co-founded Musicians’ Accord in 1980 – an ensemble devoted to the promotion of new music – was on the board of the American Music Center, and currently serves as a director of Chamber Music America. Her new work is written for the St. Petersburg (Russia) Chamber Philharmonic.

Harold Meltzer is a director of Sequitur Ensemble in New York, a new music group he also co-founded. Educated at Amherst College, King’s College, Cambridge, and Yale universities, as well as Columbia Law School, Meltzer’s work as a composer has been recognized by numerous commissions and other honors, including a recent commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. He was named a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Meltzer teaches composition at Vassar College. His Koussevitzky commission will be written for the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra.

The Pro Arte Quartet joins with the Koussevitzky foundations in commissioning Belgian composer Benoît Mernier to write a new string quartet. Winner of composition prizes from UNESCO and the Royal Academy of Belgium, among others, Mernier’s first opera was commissioned by the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels). His compositions have been featured at leading arts festivals in Europe. Mernier, who is a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium, is also active as a concert organist and teacher of performance and improvisation; he serves as organist at Notre Dame au Sablon in Brussels.

Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924 to 1949, was a champion of contemporary music. Throughout his distinguished career, he played a vital role in the creation of new works by commissioning composers such as Béla Bartók, Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky. He established the Koussevitzky foundations to continue his lifelong commitment to composers and new music. Applications for commissions are accepted annually. For more information, visit

Monday, January 9, 2012

Show respect for national anthem in Indiana -- or maybe face fine

"Roseanne Barr might want to steer clear of Indiana -- if a state lawmaker succeeds in passing legislation to require performance standards for the singing of the national anthem.

A bill by Indiana Sen. Vaneta Becker would impose a $25 fine on anyone who fails to follow the standards while performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at events sponsored by public schools and universities."

For the full story, please see the LA Times.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For The Next Great Star ... Of Opera

"American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer."

For the full story, please see

PayPal asked Canadian buyer to destroy violin

"It’s such a sad story you might expect to hear the strains of a violin — if there were one left.

PayPal has confirmed that a Canadian client shattered a violin (valued by its owner at $2,500) because it was company policy: they believed the instrument was a counterfeit."

For the full story, please see

Frank Gehry to Try His Hand at Mozart

"Having designed the auditorium for the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the architect Frank Gehry is now turning his attention to the stage itself, creating a set for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s production of 'Don Giovanni.'"

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