09. January 2010 · Comments Off on More on Alex Prior · Categories: Composers, Conductors

Do you think Classical music is broadly accessible today? And if not what would you do to encourage more people to listen, watch, and get involved in it and understand it better?

I think it’s not classical music, but its image which drives people away, particularly young people. What people need to understand is that music should be taken as music, judged for whether it is good or bad, not whether it’s classical or pop or rock or jazz! I think people have just been bitten by stereo-types, and that is ALWAYS a mistake.

People often ask me what tracks I would suggest for people to listen to who have doubts about classical music, or who have not discovered it yet. I would suggest;

– Anything by Sibelius (but particularly the 5th, 6th and 7th Symphonies). His music is full of some of the most awesome melodies I’ve ever come across.

– Wagner – small doses are great for a new-comer to music. They are highly melodic, and contain such incredible energy!

– Thomas Tallis’s ‘Spem In Alium’, and ‘If Ye Love me’.

– Vaughn Williams’s “The Lark ascending”, “Norfolk Rhapsody” and the 3rd and 5th symphonies. That is as English as you get in music.

– Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring”, “Rodeo”, “The Tender Land” and more than anything his 3rd symphony.

– John Adams – my favourite living composer, and one of the greatest composers ever. I would Advise his ‘Harmonium’, ‘Harmonielehre’, ‘Grand Pianola Music’, ‘Nixon in China’, ‘The Chairman Dances’, ‘Hallelujah Junction’, ‘Short Ride in a Fast Machine’, and EVERYTHING else he’s written! I would also advise his amazing auto-biography “Hallelujah Junction” – a huge insight into American music and his compositional process, as well as full of romantic, beautiful and Rustic Americana scenes.

Read more via Music.co.uk : http://www.music.co.uk/xmas-09/christmas-interview-alexander-prior.html#ixzz0c9pNeAdL

09. January 2010 · Comments Off on Man, I’m feeling VERY old! · Categories: Composers, Conductors, News, Videos

Seattle Symphony is pleased to welcome 17-year-old conductor Alexander Prior to an unprecedented Chairman’s Fellow position, Assistant to the Guest Conductors.

And if you think maybe he doesn’t know what he’s doing, check out the video! (To add insult to injury, check out the young soloists too):

Here’s another video of the young conductor:

Oh, and yeah, he is a composer too. Prior’s website.

BUT … can he make an oboe reed? Huh? Huh?

Now I’m tired. I need a nap before tonight’s concert. I’m guessing a seventeen year old doesn’t need a nap. I do. I am not seventeen.