He Heard Music From Another Place And Time
A pianist who’s worked with opera singers, rock bands and jazz musicians was shocked when he heard the music of Armenian folk songs. Joel A. Martin was shocked because he’d never heard this music before and he immediately fell in love with it. So much so that he arranged some of the tunes that were written down by Komitas Vartapet nearly 90 years ago. The album is called Jazzical Komitas.
Someone Has A Flute Fixation
Attention all Flute players: Claire Chase has a message for you. She’s nine years into the project she started called Density 2036. She’s seeking to expand the flute repertoire like Edgard Varèse did with Density 21.5 in 1936.
A First For KMFA: A Composer In Residence
KMFA, Austin’s classical music radio station, would like you to meet its first ever Draylen Mason Composer in Residence. He is Quinn Mason of Dallas. He already has a long resume at the age of 25. KMFA introduced him to the public last week in the Draylen Mason Studio with a performance of a few of his compositions by Invoke. Listen to the unusual story of how he got to where he is now and where he’s going.
DuBois Credo: Two Versions Set To Music
The Grammy winning choral group, Conspirare, is celebrating Black History Month with two concerts focusing on the words of African-American activist W.E.B. DuBois. He wrote his Credo in 1904. Composer Margaret Bonds put it to music. In another program, Conspirare will sing composer Benedict Sheehan’s new movement, honoring DuBois’ words, to his Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
Something Unique For Your Valentine’s Day Celebration
With Valentine’s Day approaching, perhaps you are stumped for ideas on how to celebrate the day with your loved one. Austin Camerata, Ventana Ballet and Fever have collaborated on a program for lovers everywhere. Candlelight: A Valentine’s Day Special has dancers moving to classical music and other tunes.
Is Tuba Conducting Part Of Your MBA Curriculum?
There is at least one university in the US teaching its business students empathy via the arts. MBA students at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh are offered a chance to take courses outside of the traditional MBA curriculum, like music, art and poetry. Program Managers Matthew Stewart and Michelle Stoner say students learn the difference between being a manager and a leader.
Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason on their pandemic MUSE
There is still some music to mine from the pandemic. The brother and sister team of cellist Sheku and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason of England, recorded a new album because they could no longer tour. It’s called Muse and includes at least one work that isn’t played very often.
What’s Coming In 2022
Perhaps we’re entering the new year full of questions about what’s next but are holding on to that “can-do” attitude. There are several events on the calendar for 2022 and some that have been canceled, in part because of the uncertainty of 2022. Here are some of them:
Afghanistan National Institute of Music, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Studio and Music Library, Golden Hornet, Coltman Competition, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Texas Performing Arts, Draylen Mason Day
Remembering Mass 50 Years Later
The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC is celebrating its 50th anniversary. With it comes memories of MASS, the Leonard Bernstein production that opened the Kennedy Center in 1971. There are at least two prominent members of the classical music community in Austin, Texas who saw the original production. Ann Hume Wilson, President and General Manager of Austin’s classical music radio station KMFA and Austin Symphony conductor Peter Bay. Both have very fond memories of the event and one of them tells some stories out of school!!
February 19, 2021
The Catalyst Quartet, a Grammy Award-winning group founded by the Sphinx Organization 11 years ago, is on a mission. They’ve just released the first of four volumes of music written by Black composers. On Volume one of Uncovered, they focus on the music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. They’re also getting heavy assists from pianist Stewart Goodyear and clarinetist Anthony McGill, the first African-American to be named the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic. The members say this is not a reaction to the events of 2020 because they’ve been working on performing this work for almost 3 years.
Dreams Of A New Day
January 31, 2021
Sometimes closing our eyes and listening, rather than looking at a screen can be the better choice. In this particular Black History Month, Baritone Will Liverman releases an album of songs by Black composers. Dreams Of A New Day features the works of some contemporary composers of color along with the work of an older generation.