Blog Posts on Music

My other piano is a V-8 supercar

It's no secret that I am an automobile nerd.  While I drive a humble 11-year-old Subaru with 172,000 miles on it, I always envision myself maneuvering an eight-cylinder, two-seated, rear-engined supercar with something called "sodium-cooled exhaust valves" and carbon-fiber cupholders.  Unfortunately these types of cars are expensive, and I play trombone and work for public radio--both admirable pursuits, but neither going to cover the cost of even one of the two dual-overhead camshafts I so desire.  Now, if you play the piano, then it's a different story!  No, you'll still be a starving artist, but at least you can play one of these:
Audi's $140,000 Bosendorfer grand pianoAudi's $140,000 Bosendorfer grand piano

Backstage Pass Wins New York Festivals Bronze Medal

Congratulations to Julia Figueras, Dave Sluberski, Andrew Croucher and the Cello Divas, Backstage PassBackstage Passwho were awarded a Bronze World Medal for Backstage Pass in the category of Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program by the New York Festivals!

China likes us, they really like us!

The Erhu, from ChinaThe Erhu, from China
 In my hours of slaving over a hot computer every day, I came across two different views of how the Chinese are taking a liking to some of our art forms.  Apparently Western classical music is huge there, and so is...completely ripping off the styling of Western automobiles. 
ripped-off Rolls-Royceripped-off Rolls-Royce

Summer vacation for young musicians

 
Click on the attachment to hear Vivian, a fourth grader in Western New York, explain what she's learned in her first year of trombone lessons with her teacher, Mr. Burlison.

A Stranger Here

"Things get bigger when stripped down small, louder when whispered, and truths are illuminated by the tallest tales that a man can conjure."
 

Classical music to thumb nose at British Parliament

 What do British people do when they get really angry about their elected officials spending hideous amounts of taxpayer money on things like life-size statues of Winston Churchill made out of Legos?  They write an opera, of course.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: MPs' expenses: Queen's composer to write comic opera
 

Behold the final moments of the Rochester International Jazz Fest!

Every year, retired WXXI classical announcer Mordecai Lipshutz closes out the XRIJF with The Bob Sneider Trio. He usually sings a number at the end of a long jam session, around 2:00 a.m.  I missed him again this year. Thank goodness for reporter Anna Reguero and Youtube.

Blue skies

On a recent Monday morning I walked into the studio of Rochester's classical music station cradling a stack of CDs in one arm and a sheaf of news reports in the other. The news was not good. The sky threatened rain. I slipped a CD into the player and started a Haydn symphony, a cheerful burst of minty freshness. I followed that with Vivaldi's chirpy Goldfinch Concerto, a flashy set of trills inspired by the song of the European goldfinch, (a mouse of a bird that's not even gold, by the way.)
 
The music was sunny. But as the minutes ticked by, my mood darkened. It DID start to rain. More depressing stories poured into the newsroom.
 
At one point I actually thought to myself, “What annoying person picked all of this chirrupy music for a dismal Monday morning?”

When jazz used to be a four-letter word...

I got an email this week with the subject heading "jass" and this website linked in the body.  This email came from a reputable source, so I knew the link would be at least entertaining, and probably informative.

Festival Guy

If you go to a lot of free concerts in Rochester, you start seeing the same people. There's one guy who looks troubled, even when he dances. His moves are akin to Tai Chi, slow motion poses only occasionally synching up with the rhythm, but he is feelin’ it. The last time I saw him was at the Lilac Festival last year. Some ditz came running down the hill with a camera. She squatted right next to him and started clicking away. After each shot, she’d look back up at her friends and laugh. This went on for several minutes. Eventually I spoke up. “He’s not wildlife, you know.” She scowled at me and retreated and you could hear more laughter up the hill as they reviewed the photos. Tai Chi Guy seemed oblivious.