Want to keep your mind healthy and sharp throughout your life? Pick up an instrument. A new study found that musicians might have brains that function better than their peers well into old age. Bet you wish you stuck with those piano lessons after all.

Researchers tested the mental abilities of senior citizens and discovered that musicians performed better at a number of tests. In particular, musicians excelled at visual memory tasks. While musicians had similar verbal capabilities to non-musicians, the musicians’ ability to memorize new words was markedly better, too. Perhaps most importantly, the musicians’ IQ scores were higher overall than those who spent their lives listening to music rather than performing it.

Yep. We’re smarter than your average bare … um … I mean … bear.


20. July 2011 · Comments Off on Baroque Oboe: Piatti · Categories: It'sBaroque—Don'tFixIt!™

Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
Concherto 03.04.11
Solo oboe – Paolo Grazzi
Pratum Integrum orchestra

20. July 2011 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

actually heard a double reed quartet on the classical station today! It almost made me miss the oboe d’amore…almost.

20. July 2011 · Comments Off on Crossing Over · Categories: Read Online

Yet another pop artist moving into the “classical” world …

Karen O, the vocalist for the New York rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is swapping her microphone for classical music instruments.

The singer-songwriter is collaborating with the playwright Adam Rapp on what is being dubbed as a “psycho-opera”.
It will debut in New York in October.

The opera has yet to have a title but has been described as “an assault on the tragic joys of youth”.

It is being produced by the Studio, which is a new initiative launched by arts and technology group the Creators Project.

O, who also wrote the music for the cult Spike Jonze film Where the Wild Things Are, joins a growing band of popstars who are making the crossover into classical music and the world of stage.

Blur’s Damon Albarn recently wrote an opera based on the Elizabethan polymath Dr John Dee, while U2 wrote the music for the Spider-man musical, which is currently rocking Broadway.


20. July 2011 · Comments Off on WorldReeds™: Nadaswaram · Categories: WorldReeds™ · Tags: ,

This is a South Indian instrument. The YouTube info says it is “not unlike a clarinet” but, considering the sound, it seems closer to an oboe.

J. F. Fasch: Trio Sonata in F
The New Dutch Academy; Anna Starr and Amy Power, Baroque Oboes; Yukiko Murakami, Bassoon; Haru Kitamika, Harpsichord

Norwalk Symphony or American Idol? You Help Pick the Conductor
In the final round of three interviews for conductor of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, the board of directors and selection committee will let them conduct the symphony Monday and judge their presence before a crowd, who will fill out forms to give their

It will be a bit like the “American Idol” TV program at Norwalk Concert Hall on Monday night as the audience hears and then votes on each of three candidates for conductor and gives its opinions in forms that will be handed in to symphony officials by the end of the night.

The results will be tallied and will be a part of the decision on which one to hire, said Emil Albanese, president of the board of governors.


(Yes, there really is a missing word in the top paragraph. At least when I did the cut & paste.)

I understand wanting community involvement, and of course there’s nothing wrong with letting them think they have a say, just to get them to feel even more connection to their community’s orchestra, but really … do you think a general audience should have a voice in choosing a conductor?

Me? I think I should get to sit in on interviews for the auto mechanics who work on my car. Um. Right. And maybe doctors, too. Heck, I drive a car. And I go to the doctor. I think I know who would be best for the jobs!

Okay, okay, I’ll stop being snarky. There are tons of good and bad conductors out there and I’m sure a lot of people can tell the good from the bad. Most of the time.

20. July 2011 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Not too late to start my almost-patented “Get them to learn the oboe and go on scholarship” program