Nathan Kahn of the AFM’s Symphony Services Division has been telling me about the wonderful music wellness program designed by Grand Rapids violinist Diane McElfish Helle, and I plan to find out more and write an article about their work. Today I noticed that Paul Austin, former ROPA Vice President and Grand Rapids hornist, had[…]Read More
NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon had an interesting piece this past weekend about the Baltimore Symphony’s Academy Week, which was held June 21 to 27th. Amateur musicians spend a week rehearsing with BSO players, and attending sectionals and private lessons. The week culminates in a public performance of the participants and BSO musicians[…]Read More
On March 1, a group of more than 30 California Lithuanians gathered at the Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall for an evening of Mozart, Stravinsky and Beethoven. They unfurled a Lithuanian flag on the steps in honor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s recently-appointed Assistant Conductor, Lithuanian Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. The 29-year-old conductor has impressed Los Angeles audiences and music critics since her debut concert in August 2014 at the Hollywood Bowl and continues to do so.
Alexandra Kudukis interviewed the new Maestra for Draugas News, an English-language Lithuanian newspaper.
Reprinted by permission of Draugas News.Read More
Claiming to be the oldest continuously performing orchestra in America, the Handel and Haydn Society celebrates 200 years this year. The Society gave the American premiere performances of Verdi’s Requiem in 1878 and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in 1879. The Society was created at the conclusion of the War of 1812, giving a performance of[…]Read More
The Yale School of Music held its fifth Symposium on Music in the Schools on June 5 & 6, 2015 in New Haven to explore the role of music partnerships. Associate Dean Michael Yaffe invited Polyphonic to attend the opening day session on June 6th, to which New Haven public music school teachers were also invited. 39 partnership programs from across the country also participated, 25 (64%) of which involved a partnership with a symphony orchestra or opera company. The charge of the symposium was to consider ” Why” — to ensure that we have a strong case for the value of music education.Read More
Recently I attended a presentation by Mitchell Korn, who conducted an in-depth analysis of my orchestra’s educational programs. He had many critically interesting ideas to convey to us musicians, and kept coming back to “professional development.” I think, for most of my colleagues, this conjurs up a vision of a truly boring session with some consultant[…]Read More
Michael Stugrin, writing in the spring 2015 issue of Symphony magazine (page 42), presents an interesting overview of a new trend among orchestras − performing with amateurs. Most orchestras have been doing “side by side” performances with their local youth orchestra for decades (I played such a concert with the Boston Symphony at Symphony Hall way back[…]Read More
Congress passed a law three years ago to address the problems musicians have encountered flying with their instruments, but the regulations, which will cause the airlines to implement the law, were only published in January, 2015. And then the airlines had 60 days to get things in order to implement the new regulations. Thanks to the efforts[…]Read More
James Stewart, author of Den of Thieves and many other prize-winning investigative works, has turned his talent to exploring the recent contract negotiations at the Metropolitan Opera. In the March 25, 2015 issue of the New Yorker magazine, Stewart presents an amazingly detailed analysis of these negotiations and what led up to them. As one[…]Read More
Alex Ross, the music critic of The New Yorker, always has interesting things to say about classical music. In a recent essay written for Symphony magazine, Mr. Ross writes about the role of politics in classical music by posing the question: Do musicians and composers have an obligation to speak out on political matters? He[…]Read More