03. October 2013 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

… you count up all the people in the orchestra and you winnow out the deadwood. Start with your violins. Seriously, there’s actually a group called second violins? Unnecessary duplication.

Same for the violas; if they wanted to be taken seriously, they’d be violins.

Whoever bangs on the timpani can hock those whack-sticks and use his fists. Likewise, cymbals: two of them? Can’t see why one wouldn’t do.

As for a conductor, there are probably plenty of people who could wave their arms and get everyone excited. If you’re going to have a cheerleader, why not get someone from the Vikings squad?

Beethoven would be a lot more fun to watch with pompoms, and she’d face the audience, too.

Conductors just turn their back on us, like they’re too good or something.

Hey, you know what would be funny? If someone put a “KICK ME” sign on the conductor’s back just before he went out there. That’d be hilarious.

Of course, it’d be a joke. No one would kick a famous conductor.

Other than the time we just did, I mean.


03. October 2013 · Comments Off on Hah! · Categories: Read Online

… there is a deeper fault with Mr. Hewett’s outrage. It is revealed when he asks: “Why does a musician need to be ‘compensated’ for doing what he/she loves?” What a painfully ignorant question. It can be asked of anyone whose profession involves an activity that seems enjoyable. Athletes, actors, and designers come to mind. Should they all work for free?

Come to think of it, writers fall into the same camp. I presume Mr. Hewett doesn’t seek payment when submitting columns for publication — after all, he clearly likes to write.

Of course, the proper end to the letter would have been “even if he is not very good at it.” But that might reduce the chances for publication…


If you want to read Mr. Hewett’s article go here.

03. October 2013 · Comments Off on Vänskä to conduct weekend concerts as ‘thank you’ to community · Categories: Read Online

The question as to who will direct the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra at two concerts this weekend has been answered in a big way.

Osmo Vänskä, who resigned Monday, will be conducting the concerts Friday and Saturday.

I’m impressed.


03. October 2013 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

The New York City Opera announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday after a failed Kickstarter campaign, marking the end of the second-largest opera house in New York. Meanwhile, the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development has seen one of its largest incoming classes of students studying classical voice and opera studies.

There are currently around 60 graduate and undergraduate students studying opera in Steinhardt, with approximately 17 students who entered the program this year.

Brian Gill, a classical voice professor in Steinhardt, noted that more students in the incoming vocal performance class have chosen to pursue the classical track instead of the musical theater track, which he said he has not seen before.


03. October 2013 · Comments Off on Something Uplifting for a Change · Categories: Read Online

(Well, of course the Youth Symphony I just posted was uplifting … at least to me … but how about a major symphony orchestra now …

Although she was born in Indiana, Tatjana Chamis, the associate principal violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, spent much of her early years in Germany, learning English, French and German from her parents and peers. When, at age 10, her family moved to Utah, the young polyglot became mute, embarrassed by her accent when she spoke English.
And so music became her language.
“That completely became my voice,” Ms. Chamis said. “I can express anything with viola.”
Many PSO musicians point to a teacher, a school program or a concert that piqued their interest in music when they were children. And now, as budgets for music education are slashed across the country, the players are giving back.
They have established the PSO Musicians Care Fund, which is held by The Pittsburgh Foundation and will allow local schools and organizations to apply for funding for music education projects, such as instrument repairs, scholarships and related programming.
To raise money for the fund, roughly 65 to 70 PSO musicians — as many as can fit — will give a concert Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. Carnegie Mellon University graduate and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart will conduct.


If you are in the neighborhood I hope you’ll support this cause!

03. October 2013 · Comments Off on Youth Orchestra of San Antonio · Categories: Videos, Youth Symphony

… I like this. It works with the age group.

Now if those of us in my age group sang this … well … not quite the same, you know?

Read about it.

But wait! There’s more …

03. October 2013 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the moment that we lose perspective of the future. It is entirely possible that in three or four years we will be reading about the sale of the Vikings football team for a profit of $100 or $200 million as a result of the new stadium financed virtually entirely by the taxpayer and the fans. And, yes, there will be stories of how Zygi Wilf outfoxed and outmaneuvered those representing the interests of the public.

However, on the other side of town in a newly refurbished Orchestra Hall there will be no sounds of Brahms, Copeland, or Sibelius but rather the stillness of silence.

We will publicly wonder how we could pass a Legacy Amendment (by way of disclosure, Governor Wendell Anderson and I served as co-chairs) designed to properly fund the outdoors and the arts, pour hundreds of millions into a facility that ultimately moved Wilf from millionaire into billionaire status, and then stand by while our own world class symphony orchestra disintegrated.

We will understandably ask — where were our priorities? How could we go so overboard for one and yet be so detached from the other? Since when do the arts not play a major role in defining our quality of life and is it not that some quality of life that attracts business job growth? And then, will we wonder about our leadership?

Read here.

03. October 2013 · Comments Off on IDRS in NYC · Categories: IDRS

Yep … NYC. In August, no less.

Small bit of info so far.

03. October 2013 · Comments Off on It’s Not Just In The United States · Categories: News, Read Online

More than 100 orchestras across Germany went on a 24-hour strike on Monday. They are protesting the recent closure of a number of orchestras across Germany, most recently the shuttering of radio orchestras in the southwest. The Berlin Philharmonic was the first ensemble to strike, followed by orchestras in other major German cities including Hamburg, Munich, Leipzig and Dresden.


More than a thousand professional orchestral musicians from across Spain took part in a simultaneous concert on 23 September, in protest against arts budget cuts and a sharp rise in VAT on concert tickets.


03. October 2013 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I just want an Oboe and a good Reed back in my Life