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Rochester mezzo-soprano Jessica Ann Best spoke with WXXI's Helene Biandudi-Hofer on Need To Know about Understanding Music's Ability to Connect and Engage.  Meet Best, hear about how her career developed, her studies with Pat Alexander (mother of Renee Fleming), and how she crosses genres, from opera to jazz to musical theater.  Best says, it's about the colors of the voice and using the right tools for the right genre.

What is the future of classical music in America?

The Eastman School of Music is hosting three guest scholars this weekend who will help answer that question. They join us in studio for a preview of their presentations about teaching classical music in the digital age and the challenges future music leaders will face. Our guests:

  • Robert Winter, distinguished professor of music at UCLA
  • Robert Freeman, pianist, author, former director of the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory, and former dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Jim Doser, director of the Institute for Music Leadership at the Eastman School of Music

https://iml.esm.rochester.edu/events/the-future-of-classical-music-in-america/

This week a group of highly respected scholars and visionaries in the arts are gathering at the Eastman School of Music to present three FREE public lectures and panels for the Rochester community about the future of Classical Music.  Topics to be discussed include: Critical Challenges Facing Musical Leaders of Tomorrow (Thursday 9/20, 4:00-5:30, Hatch Recital Hall, ESM); Teaching in a Truly Digital Age (Friday 9/21, 2:30-3:30, Hatch Recital Hall, ESM); and The Future of Classical Music in America  (Saturday 9/22,

These KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival shows are like chasing lightning bugs across a hillside. For most of the shows, you get one, two, maybe three looks at them. And that’s it. They’re gone.

The Eastman School of Music has announced the hiring of Dr. Armand Hall, who will serve as Director of ROC Music, an innovative arts-outreach program that engages children and their families in the experience of making and appreciating classical music, and offers tuition-free classical music instruction and instrument lessons to students in grades 1-12 who reside in the city of Rochester, NY.

The New York Philharmonic announced Sunday that it has taken action against two prominent musicians over unspecified "misconduct": the orchestra's principal oboist, Liang Wang, and its associate principal trumpeter, Matthew Muckey.

The orchestra said the decision came after a five-month internal investigation, led by a former federal judge. Both musicians dispute the Philharmonic's findings, and while the musicians' union reviews the orchestra's decision, the two have been placed on unpaid leave.

Two days into the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, and already we have a bold statement on these times. Words, and music, coming back to us from 150 years ago.

The Rochester Chamber Orchestra recently filed its papers to dissolve the organization.

Ray Grosswirth, who is President & Treasurer for the orchestra, says this is something officials with the group had been contemplating for a couple of years, hoping their financial situation would improve.

But he says the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, which has been around for 54 years, has been facing some of the same challenges that other performing arts organizations have had to deal with.

"We had to face the reality of an aging donor base, aging audience, diminishing funds and it just came to a point where we realized it was time to end the organization, we hated to do that, but we didn’t see any way out of this.”

https://fromthetop.org/

From the Top, the nationwide program that showcases young classical musicians, recently announced that long-time host Christopher O'Riley is leaving the show.  O'Riley will be heard throughout the remainder of this season with some co-hosts and guest hosts making special appearances. O'Riley recorded his last program on June 5, 2018 and the 2018-2019 season will be the first without O'Riley.

Daniel Dorsa for The New York Times

Things are going amazingly well for 37 year-old American composer Missy Mazzoli.

She was recently appointed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s composer in residence, and she has an eagerly anticipated new opera set to premiere later this month.  

In this profile by Zachary Woolfe of the New York Times, she describes growing up in rural Pennsylvania.

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