Classical Music Buzz > SymphonyNow
SymphonyNow
Presented by the League of American Orchestras
98 Entries
Two striking visions of the future came my way last week. First was a presentation by Elizabeth Merritt, the keynote speaker at the League of American Orchestras National Conference in Saint Louis, themed “Imagining 2023.” The second came from Claire Chase in the form of her commencement address to students at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. Elizabeth is the mind-bending founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, an initiative of the American Alliance of Museums. Claire is the founding director of the International Contemporary Ensemble, a group ablaze with virtuosity and creativity. While covering very different [...]
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League President and CEO Jesse Rosen delivered the following remarks on Tuesday, June 18 at the Opening Session of the League of American Orchestras’ 2013 National Conference in St. Louis. Don’t you just love the Gateway Arch? What a stunning symbol of optimism and the pioneering spirit of America! It is indeed a gateway through which we create our future, and a shining upward surge toward new heights. Eero Saarinen, who designed this arch, also designed the wonderful Kleinhans Music Hall, home to the Buffalo Philharmonic. Finland has given us great architects as well as great musicians. Saint Louis also [...]
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Are innovation and experimentation becoming the norm for orchestras, rather than the exception? This is the provocative topic to be covered by Elizabeth Merritt during her keynote address launching this year’s League of American Orchestras National Conference in St. Louis on June 18. The session, “Imagining 2023,” is the first of two sessions featuring Merritt, founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, a think tank that generates ideas, proposals, reports, and dreams about what museums might be. In the Conference’s closing session on June 20, “Taking It Home,” Merritt will participate in an interactive panel discussion during [...]
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When faced with a project that appears a bit too ambitious, sometimes all it takes is a little extra push. That certainly seems to be the story behind the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s May 8 Spring for Music Festival program at Carnegie Hall, which pairs Russian composer Giya Kancheli’s “Morning Prayers” from Life Without Christmas with his elder countryman Reinhold Glière’s massive Symphony No. 3, “Ill’ya Muromets.” Naxos had previously tried to enlist the BPO to record Glière’s 110-minute-plus work, Music Director JoAnn Falletta recalls, “and we had been hesitant only because of the size and endurance of the piece.” But [...]
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In St. Petersburg, Russia, the long-awaited opening of the new Mariinsky Theatre this week has the city in a bit of a frenzy. The theater has been ten years in the making, and in addition to the giddy opening-week excitement there is a feeling of palpable relief that it’s finally finished. There are also quite natural and inevitable comparisons with the beautiful green original Mariinsky Theatre, just across the Kryukov canal, with all of that building’s  history and splendor. This modern, more ordinary-looking hall serves as a second, additional performance space for operas and ballets by the Mariinsky company, and [...]
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There’s nothing quite like the buzzing energy of a roomful of excited fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders, at least to judge from a recent visit to the University Heights Charter School in Newark, New Jersey. Last week, students at the school got to show off what they could do with their new violins—which they had had for all of three weeks, since starting a new music program. The 25 students in the pilot program, a partnership with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, receive free violin lessons three days a week after school, and participate in music activities such as attending performances [...]
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This year’s League of American Orchestras’ National Conference in St. Louis will feature the usual rich variety of learning, creative thinking, and networking with peers in the industry. But the Conference, which runs June 18-20, will be particularly memorable for one set of League members: volunteers. In addition to seminars, events, and meetings customized just for volunteers, this year the League will honor its national Volunteer Council for 50 years of outstanding service, helping orchestras across the country. The League’s Volunteer Council provides leadership skills and assistance to orchestra volunteers through ongoing education and communication, informing volunteers of important issues [...]
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When commissioning a new work from a living composer, one of the first tasks for an orchestra is finding the composer. But what if you are a soloist who wants to hire a composer to write a concerto for you to perform with orchestras? In that case, the critical step after selecting a composer is finding orchestras to play with. Cellist Inbal Segev accomplished something unusual when she successfully commissioned a cello concerto from Avner Dorman and found four orchestras willing to sign on to perform it this year. The concerto had its world premiere in February at Alaska’s Anchorage [...]
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If, as Shakespeare said, all the world’s a stage, then for one month this winter all of St. Petersburg was a Shakespeare stage, thanks to the Florida Orchestra. The orchestra had slated a number of Shakespeare-related works for its regular concert programming this season, but in a stroke of inspiration, it collaborated with a dizzying range of local arts organizations to forge a month-long, city-wide arts festival centered around the Bard of You-Know-Where. The play’s the thing, of course, with any playwright, but the Shakespeare Festival embraced orchestral music, film, visual art, dance, activities for kids, and yes, theater, all [...]
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In today’s economy, the age-old mantra of “practice, practice, practice” may not be enough to fully prepare musicians for a career, and in response emerging artists are taking advantage of an increasing number of entrepreneurship training opportunities at music conservatories. One closely watched program that got underway in September is supporting five innovative projects by Juilliard students and alumni during the 2012-13 season. The Juilliard School’s Jonathan Madrigano Entrepreneurship Grants provide up to $4,000 to current students and recent graduates to fund business projects, online platforms, products, films, interdisciplinary endeavors, performance projects, and educational initiatives. Among the projects receiving grants [...]
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