Blogs

513 Posts
Nickname Symphonies by Joseph Haydn
Over the last couple of days, I have conducted a little musical experiment. I noticed that 35 out of 106 Symphonies by Joseph Haydn carry a nickname of sorts. There is a “Bear,” a “Queen,” a “Philosopher,” a “Surprise,” a
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Opera Doctors – The 18th Century
A 2006 article in the British medical journal BMJ looked at 200 years of opera and how they treated doctors. This prompted us to take up the question ourselves. Doctors – good guys or bad guys? Well, it depends…. Characters
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On Conductors—When Musicians Are Asked for Their Opinions
How many conductors does it take to change a lightbulb? Nobody knows. Nobody is watching. Gustav Holst: The Planets Op. 32 Mars, the Bringer of War (E. Ormandy) It’s an unprecedented time for symphony orchestras. There are numerous and prestigious
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The Timeless Topicality of Opera
How classical operas can relate to our current life We were looking at a list of opera titles the other day and started noting (with a certain snarkiness) that many of the title could be applicable to today’s news. Just
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Hilarity Onstage!
Audience members may be surprised to hear that we classical musicians are not staid, dour, formal, and stiff. Yes, we are serious about our art, and achieving excellence takes diligence, hard work, sacrifice and years of practice. But we cannot
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Music for Sleeping:
12 Pieces You Should Know
A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine invited me to play some lullabies for her baby shower. She collected lullabies from different parts of the world and transcribed them for guitar, piano, and violin. I am very much
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The Baschet Brothers and Their Instruments
You want to travel with your guitar, but your luggage just won’t let you. How do you manage? The French inventor François Baschet ran into that problem when he wanted to travel after WWII. His guitar proving too big to
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The Greatest Composers of Film Music
From Bernard Herrmann to Jerry Goldsmith
While the war years provided much opportunity for stirring patriotic films, the industry underwent a number of significant changes immediately following. With money in short supply, the lush symphonic scores of the Golden Age gradually declined, and composers started to
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