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 NPR.org.

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 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/business/public-domain-works-can-be-copyrighted-anew-justices-rule.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss">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 thousandfoldecho.com.

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 www.Koussevitzky.org.

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 npr.org.

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 thestar.com.

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.