Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general.  Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Ways to Connect

https://lamaestra-paris.com/2020/09/18/meet-the-3-finalists/?lang=en

Much has been reported recently about the limited representation and inequity in the world of classical music.  From musicians of color being represented in orchestras and the repertoire they perform, to women conductors on the podium, equity and inclusion is now becoming part of the discussion in the classical music industry.

https://medium.com/

On January 26, 2021, The Sound Health Network was launched to explore how music can provide insights into brain functioning, reduce social isolation, promote community solidarity, and influence health, something so many people needed after nearly a year of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and renowned soprano and Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large Renée Fleming have launched a new partnership, designed to explore the connections between music, health, and wellness.

http://emmasuttonwilliams.com/

Julliard-trained violinist and writer Emma Sutton-Williams has written an article for Rolling Stone magazine titled, "Julliard Must Modernize, or It Will Disappear," arguing that in order to keep classical music alive for the future, music conservatories need to be more innovative in their education to connect and draw parallels to popular culture.   Read her view and a response to her article by local music educator and entrepreneur Ashley Danyew.

https://glimmerglass.org/

The Glimmerglass Festival, the summer opera and musical theater festival in Cooperstown, New York, has announced plans for a re-imagined live season of 90-minute performances, July 15 through August 17, 2021. Read more.

https://www.youtube.com/

The late Paul Burgett recorded this reflection during the Obama years in the white house.  It is a reflection on the importance of celebrating the contributions of African Americans, during Black History Month and all year long.  His comments are as relevant today as they were when he recorded this video. 

It’s difficult for composer Jaap Nico Hamburger to explain most of what goes into writing his music: it happens quickly, he doesn’t sketch or work things out on the piano, and he writes directly into a full score in about as much time as it takes to perform the piece. 

He is frequently inspired by ideas he finds when reading, and then he often starts with a visual, architectural image of the music before writing down what is already a fully conceived piece of music. 

https://www.alamhof.org/

Jason Max Ferdinand, Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL), takes a new approach to choral directing.  In 2019 he took his ensemble, the Aeolians of Oakwood University, to the American Choral Directors Association's national conference where the singers blew away the audience by challenging racial biases in the choral world with their outstanding performances of traditional Western classical songs and Black music. 

https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/black-composers-who-made-classical-music-history/

One of WXXI's (recent) Community Advisory Board Members and lover of classical music, shared Alex Ross' September 14, 2020 New Yorker article with me, titled Black Scholars Confront White Supremacy in Classical Music. It is long; it is deep; it gives perspective; it challenges; it enlightens; it is thought-provoking, and so much more.  As we face the challenges of race, diversity, equity and inclusion, I will not make a personal statement about this article - I will simply challenge you to read it and think about it. 

https://www.facebook.com/

Since the pandemic shuttered all live music performances, musicians have been struggling to figure out how to bring music back to the people, and how to keep up the learning and performing.  The creativity has been outstanding as so many have learned to use technology both to learn and share their art.

Life as a Black Classical Pianist

Aug 12, 2020
Provided

Editor’s note:  Canadian pianist Luke Welch says he feels like a unicorn in the world of classical music.  Luke was born and grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. He played his first public performance at age seven.  He’s passionate, talented, and sometimes bewildered by how he’s been treated.  I hope his account of his experiences will move you as much as it moves me.  ~ Brenda Tremblay

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