Fathers and Sons: Musical Dynasties

Sons frequently follow in their father’s footsteps. Sons of Maestros often end up waving batons like the Tortelier family. I was always a fan of Paul Tortelier the French cellist, conductor and composer. He played the solo part in Richard [...] more >>

by Janet Horvath | July 19th, 2014
Beethoven the Tramp

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 31, Op. 110 “Allegro molto” We have long known that Ludwig van Beethoven was a man of high eccentricity. Stories about his temper became legendary, and detail sudden rages, uncontrolled emotional states, suicidal tendencies, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 11th, 2014
Going down for 15 Years: Henry Cowell

Henry Cowell: Pulse The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation State Prison in San Quentin has numerously featured in fiction, literature, motion pictures, concerts, music videos and more recently, video games. It is the oldest prison in the state of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 23rd, 2014
Lyrical Sax Alexander Glazunov: Concerto for Alto Saxophone

The saxophone was a relative latecomer to the family of woodwind instruments. Developed in Paris by Adolphe Sax in the 1840’s, the instrument features a single reed mouthpiece like the clarinet, a conical brass body like the ophicleide—the bass member [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 14th, 2014
Composers in the Slammer! Ethyl Smyth

We all remember that Johann Sebastian Bach was jailed for overstaying his holiday, and that Beethoven, mistaken for a homeless vagrant, spent a couple of days in the slammer as well. Michael Tippet was arrested for conscientiously objecting to WW2, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 12th, 2014
Pomp and Circumstance

It’s graduation season and we start to hear music for ceremonies. At my high school graduation, the concert band played a bit of Wagner: ‘Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral’ from Lohengrin. It was wonderful music, but when you’d repeated it [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 8th, 2014
Modern Done Right

When you look at the output of composer and conductor Carl Davis, you get a wonderful overview of the many ways that a classical orchestra can take on the pop repertoire. There are orchestral renderings of the music from the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 5th, 2014
Music for Obscure Instruments

We think of instruments as being so well-established (look at any orchestra), that we don’t think about the instruments that were there and are now gone, or have been replaced with something else, or just changed into something else.

by Maureen Buja | June 2nd, 2014