Tag Archive for: Podcast

Classical Music and Women, By The Numbers

At least six U.S. orchestras are performing the music of Florence Price this Women’s History Month.  Other women composers are getting the spotlight too. 

That’s nice says Liane Curtis, the President of Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy, but it’s not really enough.  The organization has released its Repertoire Report which analyzes the programming of the top 21 U.S. Symphony Orchestras.

The World’s First Mariachi Opera

The Austin Opera is about to do something they’ve never done before. 

They are presenting the world’s first Mariachi Opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. It will also be the first time they are staging an opera sung in Spanish with help from the new Butler Fund for Spanish Programming.  Some of the cast is from Ópera de Bellas Artes, the national opera company of Mexico.

Back To Work.  Did You Bring Your Ear Gear With You?  

Going back to work this week might seem like somewhat of a letdown after all the fun and frivolity of the holiday season. 

There is a way to make it all better. 

Listen to music at the office. 

A recent study found that workers are happier and more productive when listening to instrumental music while on the job.

However, other researchers have somewhat opposing ideas about listening to music at the office. 

Find out what kind of music puts you in the mood to tackle that big project. And find out if any of this applies to you if you work from home.   

New Album:  African American Voices II With Conductor Kellen Gray.

Prepare to hear the sounds of three very different African-American composers from different eras of classical music in the 20th century.  On the album African-American Voices II, curated and conducted by Kellen Gray, there’s Margaret Bonds and the music of Ulysses Kay and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson

Kellen Gray is coming stateside next month (January) to work in Minnesota and in Washington, DC. 

Here are the links to the opportunities I mentioned.

Winston-Salem Symphony and UNCSA to Launch Fellowship for String Players

The National Academy Orchestra of Canada is looking for members.

For our African listeners, Spotify has a SSA Early Career Program.

The National Association of Negro Musicians is calling for proposals for its 2024 convention.

Are You Composing While Black?  On Classical Music In Color

Two composers and musicians, George Lewis and Harald Kisiedu have gathered some of today’s composers and musicologists in a book of essays called Composing While Black.  There are nine essays in the book that talk about their experiences composing, performing and being in a world that isn’t always welcoming to Black musicians, classical or otherwise. 

George Lewis and Harald Kisiedu

Regarding the items mentioned in the podcast:



The Pressure Of Being The First One. The Dreams of a Nigerian Violinist and Florence Price. 

Rosalyn Aninyei  is doing her best to create and maintain a world class orchestra in her home country of Nigeria.  Florence Price is getting the festival treatment at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.  Blake-Anthony Johnson talks about his path to become the first African American to be the CEO of a world-renowned orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta.

There’s a new album of music by Florence Price and William Dawson via the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Here’s a link to the Margaret Bonds Symposium at Queens University in  Charlotte, North Carolina.

Grammy Award Winning Choral Ensemble, Conspirare,  Begins Its 30th Season

Even the Artistic Director and Founder of Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson, finds it hard to believe that the choral ensemble is 30 years old. He’s developed a fall season that’s kind of eclectic with a nod to the past and an eye on the future. One choral group is being invited back for the holiday program. It’s Isaac Cates & Ordained who will, says Johnson, bridge the past with the future.

The National Opera House Is Coming Together.

There’s good news about the progress of the once dilapidated National Opera House in Pittsburgh.

Executive Director Jonnet Solomon says they are still in need of financial help and volunteer personnel.

And We Honor Andre Watts

We honor the life and career of Pianist Andre Watts with good friend and colleague Norman Krieger.

There’s a new debut album from Sphinx Virtuosi called Songs for Our Times

Bass player Joseph Conyers is making history again with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Conductor Jonathon Heyward has picked up another job.

The Hastings International Piano Competition in England is looking for applicants.  So is the Sphinx Competition.  There’s also a competition for UK only groups called the Music and Drama Education awards. 

Carnegie Hall Kids

With summer almost over and school starting soon, there’s one more fun item that your children might appreciate. Teachers can take advantage of it too.  It’s Carnegie Hall Kids.  This voluminous website offers games, quizzes, musical maps and more for children to play with. 

Carnegie Hall Education Director Sarah Johnson says if the kids get a bit of musical education, while playing, that’s okay too.

Let Your Heart Be Broken

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring my summer reading list on Staccato.  The first one is about composer Tina Davidson, whose complicated life can be heard in her music.  Her biological Mother adopted her in Sweden back in the 1950’s but never told her.  There are other surprising revelations as well in Davidson’s book Let Your Heart Be Broken.  You can listen to her playlist from the book here