Sunday, May 31, 2009

Drumroll, Please ... In Memorium, Franz Joseph Haydn (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809), A Grandfather Of Us All In The Western Classical Music World

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Renaissance Research "Conservatory Project" Open-Web Pop Quiz: In What Major Opera Did American Singer Carole Farley Debut At The MET Opera At Age 19?

Classical musician Carole Farley, with pianist John Constable, performs for FREE tomorrow night at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., first-come, first-served, limited supply:

Debussy: Le balcon

Ravel: Chansons madecasses (originally commissioned by the Library of Congress)

Poulenc: La voix humaine (opera in one act, staged)


Photo credit: Copyright controlled via the Embassy of France website.


[Hint: Rhymes with Boo-hoo.]

Beyond Sans Souci: Let Us Now Praise Oakland's American Paramount & Parkway Theaters In Classical WETA-FM CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Hometown

The Paramount Theatre of the Arts and Parkway Theaters in Oakland, California; homes to American classical music (unlike Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM, in the Nation's Capital) and American movies.

[Click on images for enlargements.]


"The curtain may rise again on Oakland's beloved Parkway Theater, the kitschy movie palace that provided couches, beer, pizza and B-movies to an eclectic swath of East Bay cinephiles.

A Midwestern group of investors has submitted an offer to the landlords to take over the 1926 theater, which closed in March after the previous proprietors ran into financial problems due to the recession.

"I'm feeling great about this," said longtime Parkway fan Peter Prato, organizer of a group of about 7,000 called I Love the Parkway, formed after the theater closed as an effort to resurrect the Lake Merritt landmark. "So far, this seems to be exactly what we're looking for."

The investors are part of an umbrella group of Midwestern movie theater chains called Motion Picture Heritage, based in Indiana and dedicated to preserving independent community movie houses. The Parkway would be its first venue on the West Coast.

"The hopes and aspirations of Americana are not found in multiplexes," said Motion Picture Heritage manager Bill Dever." ...

Carolyn Jones “Midwestern bid to take over Oakland's Parkway” San Francisco Chronicle May 28, 2008

UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Sans Souci


Photo credits: (c) Philip Greenspun 2009 and (c) Kim Komenich and the San Francisco Chronicle 2009. Copyright controlled.

Echoing Expansionist Nazi Policy Toward “Sub-Human” East, Mentally-Unstable Jewish Right-Wing Rabbis Call For Annexation Of Palestinian West Bank

... "But even the limited step of removing outposts faces stiff opposition from the Israeli right. Settler news site Arutz Sheva reported Thursday that leading rabbis linked to the settlement movement had issued a call to soldiers to disobey orders to demolish the outposts.

''The holy Torah (scripture) prohibits taking part in any act of uprooting Jews from any part of our sacred land,'' the site quoted the rabbis' statement as saying." ...

Associated Press "Israel Rebuffs US Call for Total Settlement Freeze" New York Times May 28, 2009



Header credit: One of hundreds of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Future State of Palestine. (c) Reuters 2009. Copyright controlled.

Rejecting Israel’s 'Lebensraum' Policy, President Obama And Secretary Clinton Reiterate American Call For Cessation Of Illegal Israeli Land Annexation

[Click on maps for enlargements.]

"The Obama administration reiterated emphatically on Wednesday that it viewed a complete freeze of construction in settlements on the West Bank as a critical step toward a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians.

Speaking of President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “He wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not ‘natural growth’ exceptions.” Talking to reporters after a meeting with the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, she said: “That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly." ...

Many religious Jewish nationalists say it is their right to settle in the biblical heartland of the West Bank, which they call Judea and Samaria."

Mark Landler and Isabel Kershner "Israeli Settlement Growth Must Stop, Clinton Says" New York Times May 28, 2009


In the past, Israel's Likud Party has called for the annexation of the West Bank.

The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross refer to the West Bank as illegally occupied by Israel.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton support a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis.


Map credits: Via Wikipedia Commons. 1947 United Nations map based upon information from the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

psssst ... Want Some New Contemporary Music With Your Turandot And Rachmaninoff?

Remember, composer Philippe Manoury (France) and violist Christophe Desjardins (France) will be at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. tomorrow night attempting to further modernize the new music scene in the Nation's Capital:

- Gerard Grisey: Prologue (1976) 15’ for solo viola and electronic

- Sébastien Béranger: Le triangle de Pascal (2003) 10’ for solo viola

- Philippe Manoury: Partita I (2007) 45’ for solo viola and live
electronic effects


Also, remember that following up on the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts's Contemporary Classical Music Week, earlier in May, Morelia (in the State of Michoacan, Mexico) will be hosting its Fifth Annual Morelia Contemporary Music Festival from June 1-6. Morelia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Photo credit: © 2007 - 2009 All rights reserved.

Unsatisfied With Lawful Statehood, Israeli Government Tries To Hoodwink Obama Into Support For Their Illegal Occupation Of Lawful Palestinian Lands

[Click on maps for enlargements.]

"Almost 300,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem, among a Palestinian population of some 2.5 million. Much of the world considers the 120 or so settlements a violation of international law.

Mr. Netanyahu says that his government will not build any new settlements and will take down a number of outposts erected in recent years by settlers without proper government authorization. But he insists that his government will allow building within existing settlements to accommodate what he termed “natural growth,” essentially continuing the policy of the last few Israeli governments. ...

The Obama administration is seeking a settlement freeze in the hope of improving the environment for peace-making, encouraging gestures toward normalizing ties with Israel from Arab governments, and buttressing a coalition of countries opposed to Iran developing nuclear weapons.

But there is a consensus within the Israeli government that the ever-growing settler population must be accommodated. ...

Many religious Jewish nationalists say it is their right to settle in the biblical heartland of the West Bank, which they call Judea and Samaria."

Isabel Kershner "Israel and U.S. in Talks on Settlements" New York Times May 27, 2009



Israel's Likud Party has in the past called for the annexation of the West Bank.

The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross refer to the West Bank as illegally occupied by Israel.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton support a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis.


Map credits: Via Wikipedia. 1947 United Nations Partition Map based upon information from the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

Still Fighting And Maiming After All These Years? What's An Artist To Do?

"[On June 2, 2009] Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence James M. Keller traces the relationship between composers and war over the centuries. This multimedia event features archival footage of Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic's 1959 tour to the Soviet Union.

Mr. Keller will be joined by Jonathan Rosenberg of Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center - a specialist in the history of American cultural exchange - to explore how composers and musical organizations through history have supported, protested, or otherwise responded to climates of war and international conflict. There will be a special focus on the cultural, political, literary, and musical perspectives of Britten's War Requiem, which the [New York] Philharmonic will perform on June 11-13, 2009, led by Music Director Lorin Maazel."


Header photo credit: Kuroi ame author Masuji Ibuse. Copyright 1998-2009 S9 All rights reserved

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If Archipenko Is From Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine, and Rothko Is From Daugavpils, Latvia; Then Soutine And Chagall Are From Smilavichy And Liozno, Belarus

Memo to the Phillips Collection Regarding Your Wall Labeling:

If Alexander Archipenko Is From Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine, and Marc Rothko Is From Daugavpils, Latvia; then Chaim Soutine And Marc Chagall are from, respectively, Smilavichy And Liozno (Vitebsk), Belarus, and not Smilavichy and Liozno (Vitebsk), the Russia Empire. [Latvia is currently a member of the European Union; while Ukraine, Belarus, and the Russian Federation are Future Members of the European Union.]

Vitebsk, Belarus According To The First General Census of the Russian Empire of 1897

Language or group of languages Language or group of languages Males Females Both sexes ***

TOTAL 33413 32458 65 871
Russian Great Russian 10433 8591 19 024
Ukrainian 61 28 89
Belarusian 4212 3825 8 037
Total 14 706 12 444 27 150
Polish 1654 1649 3 303
Other Slavic languages Czech
Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian
Lithuanian-Latvian dialects Lithuanian 81 16 97
Latvian 573 198 771
Romance languages Moldavian and Romanian
Spanish and Portuguese
German 430 540 970
Other Germanic languages Swedish
Norwegian and Danish
Other Indo-European dialects Greek
Gipsy 5 6 11
Jewish 15898 17557 33 455
Kartvelian dialects Georgian
Dialects of Caucasian hill-peoples Kabardian
Kasi-Kumuk and other Lezgian dialects
Lezgian with no breakdown
Finnish dialects Finnish 3 7 10
Estonian 11 9 20
Turkish-Tatar dialects Tatar 11 6 17
Turkic dialects with no breakdown
Mongolian-Buryat dialects Kalmyck
Dialects of the other Nothern nations Samoyed
Yenisei Ostyak
Languages of civilized peoples of the Far East Chinese
Other languages and dialects Arabic
Aisor (Syro-Chaldean)
Other languages
Persons not specified mother tongue
Remainder (****) 41 26 67

Source: Demoscope Weekly. Electronic version of bulletin Naselenie i obschestvo (Population and Society) Institute of Demography at the Belarusian State University Higher School of Economics. 13-31 May 2009


Header photo credits:

Amedeo Modigliani Portrait of Chaim Soutine Private Collection, Paris. Via Wikipedia Commons.

Belarusian pianist Andrey Ponochevny performs next Sunday at 4 PM. in the Music Room of the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Mr Ponochevy won first prize in the William Kapell International Piano Competition, Maryland, in 1998. Copyright © 2006. artists international management, inc. All Rights Reserved.

'Conservatory Project' Quiz: What Was First Movie To Nominated For Academy Awards For Both Best Picture & Best Foreign Film And Who Was The Composer?

While everyone thinks, I will continue to enjoy the afterglow of two superb String Quartet performances in the Nation's Capital this past weekend -- the Moscow String Quartet, at the Freer Gallery, performing Sofia Gubaidulina's Trio (1988) and String Quartet #4 (1994) and London's The Smith Quartet, at the Phillips Collection, performing quartets by Michael Nyman, Conlon Nancarrow, Philip Glass, and Donnacha Dennehy.

And I can now strongly recommend The Smith Quartet recording Ghost Stories, which features fascinating and strong string quartets with electronics -- as does the Sofia Gubaidulina String Quartet #4. The Smith String Quartet has also recently released major recordings of string quartets by Steve Reich and Philip Glass. (I paid for my The Smith String Quartet copy of 'Ghost Stories' and for my ticket to the Moscow String Quartet; although my wife arranged for my complimentary admission to the Phillips Collection and its concert on Sunday.)

I rounded out my holiday weekend by listening to the Nash Ensemble of London perform chamber music of Harrison Birtwistle and a delayed live broadcast on Classical WETA-FM of the Triple Helix piano trio performing John Harbison's recent cello and piano duo Abu Ghraib and the Shostakovich String Trio #2.

(N. also insisted that I join her in watching the near heart-breaking PBS Memorial Day concert and severly-wounded war veteran documentary from the Capitol Grounds on Sunday night. When Tom Hanks or one of his colleagues announced that it was the 20th Anniversary of the Department of Defense-produced National Symphony Orchestra holiday special, I recalled that it was almost 30 years since the 'culture wars' of the 1980s were launched, in part, by a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, on a National Holiday, of Leonard Bernstein's Songfest, featuring members of his family as the soloists or reciters. This year's Memorial Day concert was followed in our home theater by a screening of the first cassette of Schindler's List, which N. had never seen. The second, shorter cassette followed last night. We are still debating whether Steven Spielberg's 'second unit' filmed entirely in Croatia, in early 1993, or from Castle Hill, in Lviv, Ukraine, as well.]


Header photo credit: (c) Eugeniy Ogranovich 2009. Via the Moscow String Quartet website. Copyright controlled. With thanks.


Μίκης Θεοδωράκης)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Renaissances Are Nurtured Amidst Ignorance And Chaos ... Four Months Until The World Premiere, In Ireland, Of Valentyn Silvestrov's Five Sacred Songs

“If you were to ask me to name a contemporary composer, the first name that I would voice is the name Silvestrov. Valentyn is unconditionally the most interesting contemporary composer, even if the majority are given to understand this much later…”

-- Arvo Pärt


Louth Contemporary Music Society, with funding from the Arts Council [of Ireland], has obtained the first Irish commission from the Ukrainian composer Valentyn Silvestrov described by Alfred Schnittke as “the greatest composer of our generation” a sentiment seconded by Arvo Pärt in the New Yorker some years ago: “Silvestrov is one of the greatest composers of our time.”

The LCMS commissioned Valentin Silvestrov to write Five Sacred Songs for choir. The world premiere performance will be held in Ireland in St. Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda, on 24 September 2009."

Photo credits (and partial layout credit): Copyright © 2007 Louth Contemporary Music Society, Drogheda, Ireland.


Saint Andrew's Church of Kyiv, Ukraine, Europe.


On an Overgrown Path

"My Next Frontier Is Classical Music" -- American Composer Philip Glass [May 2009]

"Elliott Carter is writing beautiful music today" -- Philip Glass (May 2009)

"Well now that I'm 100 I know what I'm doing and it's suddenly gotten a lot easier" -- Elliott Carter (ca. 2009, paraphase)


"I have always had a particular affection for the horn. It has a
fantastically large range, a wide variety of playing styles and
techniques, and is particularly vivid and evocative. Horns are
by turns capable of tenderness, lyricism, savagery — and can
be bucolic or celebratory. Thanks to the valve system invented
in the 19th century, they are capable of playing in the equal
temperament of recent Western music.

Yet horns can also revert to the natural horn playing technique
using overtones in just intonation, as in the shrill massed
choirs of cors de chasse (“horns of the hunt”), and the many traditions across Eastern Europe of natural alphorn calls. Johannes Brahms preferred natural horns, and much contemporary music has made play of the distonation of these untempered pitches (a rough quarter-tone scale can be obtained with them).

My approach in Imagin’d Corners has been diff erent, in
that I do not use the microtones in order to sound “out-of-tune,”
but to offer a consistent and beautiful system of harmony and
resonances in their own right. This piece is composed in both
this system and a “double” of it, in normal equal tuning. Th e
orchestra is mostly — but not entirely — confined to the second
system, whilst the horns use both equal and just systems.

The harmonic language is based upon combining overtone
series with fundamentals either a whole tone or a minor
third apart. Any dissonances are built up by superimposing
consonant intervals from more than one overtone series at the
same time." ...

(c) Julian Anderson 2002 via the Cleveland Orchestra website.


Photo credits:

Ross Dickinson, Valley Farms, 1934, oil on canvas, 39 7/8 x 50 1/8 in. (101.4 x 127.3cm.), (c) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor.

'Seated Figure with Yellow Flame', porcelain, stoneware and clay sculpture by Stephen De Staebler, 1985, (c) Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Two (Five) Faces Of Contemporary Classical Music In The Nation's Capital This Coming Week

London's The Smith Quartet performs contemporary classical music for string quartet by Philip Glass on May 24th at 4 PM. Admission is free if you buy entry to The Phillips Collection, Du Pont Circle. Sunday is the last day of the superb Giorgio Morandi Exhibition. (Quiz: How many famous Italian works of contemporary cinema reference Giorgio Morandi?)

Philip Glass: 'There will be people who are horrified by these ideas' Philip Glass in conversation with Nico Muhly in today's Guardian.


Christophe Desjardins (viola) &
Christophe Lebreton (electronics)

In the presence of composer Philippe Manoury

at La Maison Française

A reception to meet the artists will follow the concert.


- Gerard Grisey: Prologue (1976) 15’ for solo viola and electronic effects
- Sébastien Béranger: Le triangle de Pascal (2003) 10’ for solo viola
- Philippe Manoury: Partita I (2007) 45’ for solo viola and live electronic effects

(Commission: Grame/Ministry of Culture; Musical realization: Christophe Lebreton, Grame & Serge Lemouton, Ircam, Paris, France, Present European Union)


Photo credits: (c) The Smith String Quartet website; Morandi © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome; Christophe Desjardins photo © P. Gontier

Giorgio Morandi (Italian, 1890–1964)
Still Life (Natura morta), 1943
Oil on canvas; 11 7/8 x 17 3/4 in. (30 x 45 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon 2006.128.29

Life Is Elsewhere Edition: "If You Let It Happen, You'll Be Surprised How Beautiful, Deep, And Lyrical Even Challenging Contemporary Music Can Be"

"This year - 15 July, to be precise - is Harrison Birtwistle's 75th birthday. It seemed a good idea - well, absolutely vital - for us at the Bath international music festival to mark the occasion with some kind of celebration. But what started out as one concert quickly became several performances of different shapes and sizes, not all of them conventional. We have a theatre group retelling classic myths for children, an installation of electronic music in the ghostly workshops of the Museum of Bath at Work, an open-air marching band, big percussion pieces and intimate chamber works. All this climaxes in a big, ritualistic extravaganza of choral and brass music at Bath Abbey, with 70 performers." ...

Joanna McGregor "Quavers at the speed of light" The Guardian May 22, 2009


Contemporary classical music which you won't find programmed on Classical WETA-FM or written about or reviewed in the Washington Post (although you can hear it at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts or the Library of Congress).

Birtwistle on Birtwistle (an early 'shocked' site excellent for children and youth).


Photo credit: (c) Copyright controlled via the Bath Festival website.

On The Need For A Quiet Room Of One's Own, Moths, And Small Life Regrets

"Years ago, when I lived in a fairly small house in Twickenham with three small boys, I needed a quiet place to work. An architect friend designed an octagonal shed which was built from marine ply and had a glass roof. It was remarkably large inside - Tardis-like - and when I moved to a Scottish island, I built a version of it, this time using concrete and bricks. When I lived in France, too, I had the same thing built.

Here in Dorset I wanted to build another ..."

"Composers' rooms: Harrison Birtwistle" Guardian May 9, 2009


With thanks to On an Overgrown Path.


Photo credit: (c) Eamonn McCabe 2009. Via the Guardian. Copyright controlled.


Last night I met Sofia Gubaidulina after her local concert, and I -- being language challenged -- wished that N. could have taken off from her job last night to help translate for me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Directly Refutes Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Moribund Classical WETA-FM By Choosing Intelligent Music Conductor & Programmer

"At first there were 249 candidates. Then six finalists. Now one has been chosen.

Christopher Zimmerman, whose well-thought-out program of Haydn, Sylvie Bodorová and Shostakovich earned him a standing ovation at his Fairfax Symphony Orchestra audition concert earlier this month , was named the FSO's music director for the next three years by the orchestra's Board of Directors last night." ...

Mark J. Estren "Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Names New Music Director" Washington Post May 21, 2009

Image credit: (c) Christopher Zimmerman 2009. All rights reserved.


Sharon Percy Rockefeller's near moribund Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in the Nation's Capital.

Only one excerpt of American classical music (ca. 3 minutes) today.

5:18 pm
Marin Marais
The Bells of St. Genevieve
Munich Pro Arte Orchestra | Kurt Redel (conductor)

5:26 pm
George Chadwick

Peter Kairoff (piano)

5:33 pm
Jacques Offenbach
Ballet of the Snowflakes

Pieces (5) for Piano by George W. Chadwick
Performer: Peter Kairoff (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1905; USA

Who will replace Sharon Percy Rockefeller and her out of touch team of reactionary classical programmers?


Sounds Of The Spirit

Moscow String Quartet

Freer Gallery of Art

Thursday, May 21, 7:30 PM

Special guest: Sofia Gubaidulina

Born in the Tatar Republic of the former Soviet Union, Sofia Gubaidulina has earned commissions from the world’s leading ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. The Moscow String Quartet, which was featured at a special seventieth birthday event held for Gubaidulina in London, performs her String Trio and String Quartet no. 4 (with Light Show).


Washington National Cathedral

Sunday, May 31, 2009. 5:15 PM

The feast of Pentecost and its liturgical hymns have inspired composers of organ music for centuries. Come hear this fiery music in a program which features Maurice Duruflé’s setting of Veni Creator Spiritus, complete with Gregorian chant sung by the men of the Cathedral Choir.


Jack Reilly

Light of the Soul
Oratorio based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali [1974]

For Mixed Choir, Vocal Soloists, narrator, and 10 piece chamber ensemble.

Date TBA


I. The Problem of Union

II. The Steps to Union

III. Union Achieved and Its Results

IV. Beginning

Image credits: Wikipedia Commons and Rutgers University. With thanks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Education Is At The Top Of The U.S. Corporate Wish List For Africa … Education Is Also At The Top Of Renaissance Research’s Wish List For Africa

• “Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent after Asia, covering 20% of the world’s total land area, and home to 14% of the world’s human population, yet Africa remains the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent

• Africa has not received its “fair share” of global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows

• Since the early 1980s, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to Africa averaging only 2.2% of the global total, while Asia received no less than 17.3% of the total

• Corporate America is interested and watching Africa closely; they see pockets of great potential

• US Technology companies are most attracted to investing in Africa

• Overall, the business case for investing in Africa is less compelling than for its competitors

• To make itself more attractive for US investment, Africa should:

o Invest in education , health and infrastructure

o Ensure the rule of law and a business-friendly climate for all investing companies

o Show it is serious about attracting foreign investment

o Market itself as aggressively as other regions of the world

o Demonstrate opportunity cost of not investing

• [Corporate America] is more interested in Africa than before, because the African market appears increasingly attractive, but Africa has tough competition and high hurdles for US investment. Education is at the top of the US corporate wish list for Africa; “educate your people so that we can employ them”

• The African countries that hold most interest are South Africa and some countries in the North, like Egypt; there are also some pockets of interest in West Africa, most notably Ghana, Nigeria and to some extent Angola; while some in the South (Botswana and Mozambique) and East (Uganda and Kenya), are also being watched.”

Source: The Conversation Behind Closed Doors – Inside the Boardroom: How Corporate America Really Views Africa May 20, 2009. [Report prepared for the new Africa Business Initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.]


The World Bank's African Development Indicators 2007


Header credits: (c) William Kentridge 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Photo of South African slum dweller from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Photo of John Maxwell Coetzee in Poland (c) Mariusz Kubik 2006. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved. Via Wikipedia Commons. With thanks.


William Kentridge was included in the 2009 Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.


Nobel Prize Laureate J. M. Coetzee's Life & Times of Michael K

2003 Laureate for Literature J.M. Coetzee's Nobel Lecture

Nobel Prize Laureate Nadine Gordimer's July's People and The Pickup

1991 Laureate for Literature Nadine Gordimer's Nobel Lecture

"Arthur Vincent Lourie, Composer, Dies At 74" (October 12, 1966)

Aide memoire:

Try to spend a Night in the Library of Congress and research Arthur Vincent Lourie and __ Graham’s opera ‘The Blackmoor of Peter the Great’ and Nicolas Nabokov and Stephen Spender’s ‘Rasputin’s End’.


With thanks to On an Overgrown Path.


Header credit:

English: Pushkin's Farewell to the sea, 1877. Picture painted by I. K. Aivazovsky jointly with I. E. Repin. Oil on canvas. The All-Russian Museum of A. S. Pushkin, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation, Future European Union.

Русский: Прощание Пушкина с морем, 1877. Картина исполнена И. К. Айвазовским совместно с И. Е. Репиным. Холст, масло. Всероссийский музей А. С. Пушкина, Санкт-Петербург.

Via Wikipedia Commons. With thanks.

In Memorium, Composer And Music Dramatist Nicholas Maw

Photo credit: (c) Nicholette Hallett via Boosey and Hawkes website. Copyright controlled.


Almost thirty years ago, Mr Maw's song-cycle La Vita Nuova, based upon Renaissance poems, was premiered in London with Phyllis Bryn-Julson, soprano, and the Nash Ensemble under conductor Mark Elder. Many of Mr Maw's works were performed in Washington, D.C. -- where he resided much of each year in nearby Takoma Park -- over the past 25 years.


"I'm becoming more and more concerned with what music has lost, with the things a composer can't do any more. I want to be able to do them again... There was a break in the natural tradition around 1914, for obvious social and political reasons... It seems that I am trying to regain that tradition." — Nicholas Maw


"What I want to do is sing the great song of our existence on this planet," he told The Washington Post in 1992. "It's a ludicrous ambition, but it's one of the few that are worth trying."


'All I can say is that I came to the book through the film and was instantly struck by its potential to be something more. With music. Not everyone agreed. When I first suggested the idea to Covent Garden they turned it down: it took years to change their minds. But for me it has everything. It's intimate, it's grand. It's the history of how the world suffered in the 20th Century, put in personal terms. And the intensity of William Styron's characters, of what he's given Sophie to experience and suffer - if this isn't the business of opera, what is?'

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Millennium Of Art And Music And The Mind

Belbello da Pavia (artist)
Italian, active c. 1430 - c. 1473
The Annunciation to the Virgin, 1450/1460
tempera and gold leaf on vellum

Alfred Jensen (painter)
American, born Guatemala, 1903 - 1981
Twelve Events in a Dual Universe, 1978
oil on canvas
overall installed (twelve panels): 274.3 x 731.5 cm (108 x 288 in.) Overall (each of six panels): 152.4 x 121.9 cm (60 x 48 in.) overall (each of six panels): 121.9 x 121.9 cm (48 x 48 in.)

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Image credits: Copyright © 2009 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.


East Bldg, Ground Gal 106B (Pod 1)

Monday, May 18, 2009

“We Talked About Restarting Serious Negotiations … To Achieve A Two-State Solution” -- Barack Obama, In Serious Talks Today With Benjamin Netanyahu

[Click on images for enlargement.]

Map credits: Wikipedia. UN (1947) map based upon information supplied by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

This Week's Opportunity To Revisit With Sofia Gubaidulina's Chamber Works For Strings And With Ms. Gubaidulina Herself In Person (Lightshow Promised)

Thursday, May 21, 2009, 7:30 PM

Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Free tickets required

Special guest: Sofia Gubaidulina

'Born in the Tatar Republic of the former Soviet Union, Sofia Gubaidulina has earned commissions from the world’s leading ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic [but why not the National Symphony Orchestra?]. The Moscow String Quartet, which was featured at a special seventieth birthday event held for Gubaidulina in London, performs her String Trio and String Quartet no. 4, Glinka’s Quartet in F Major, and Borodin’s Quartet no. 2. Presented in conjunction with "The Tsars and the East".'


Photo credit: (c) Freer and Sackler Galleries 2009. Copyright controlled.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Renaissance Research “Conservatory Project” Pop Quiz: Who Are Isabel Merton and Anzor Islikhanov And What Do They Have To Do With Contemporary Music?

"Isabel Merton is a renowned concert pianist whose performances are marked by a sublime intensity. Away on a European tour, Isabel meets Anzor Islikhanov, a Chechen political exile, driven by a bitter sense of injustice and a powerful desire to avenge his people. They are drawn to each other both by their differences, and their seemingly parallel passions"

Extra Credit: What is the inscription on Dumbarton Oak's new Humanities Research Library, in Washington, D.C., which was designed by Robert Venturi?


Photo credit: (c) Dumbaron Oaks for the Trustees of Harvard University 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.


Harrison Birtwistle and David Harsent. The Corridor - Scena for soprano, tenor, and ensemble. World premiere 6/12/2009 Britten Studio, Aldeburgh, United Kingdom.

"loss and fealty are not what they seem" (David Harsent)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Song Without Words (But Nickles Still Accepted)


Photo credit: (c) Associated Press 2009. Copyright controlled.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Music From The Passing Of The Old ... 'A Place Between' From Drogheda, Ireland, Present-Day European Union, The World

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Hi Pan

Our Knaifel concert was fab. Reviews and photos can be found at our website. We have also released the new cd.

All the best


Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) celebrates some of the most world’s most popular contemporary composers in its first-ever CD. The new disc is titled A Place Between, and features world première recordings of works by John Tavener, Arvo Pärt, Valentin Silvestrov, Alexander Knaifel as well as pieces by Henryk Górecki and John Cage.

All of these composers have, in various ways, been deeply influenced by profound spiritual, religious or cultural encounters. The CD, which is released on the Society’s Louth Sounds record label on 1 May 2009, comes in a beautiful limited edition release.

The new release features a number of world renowned performers including the soprano Patricia Rozario, the Callino Quartet, pianist Michael McHale, violinist Ioana Petcu-Colan, flautist Vourneen Ryan and percussionist Stephen Kelly. The recordings were made in the acoustically superb historic setting of St. Peter’s Church of Ireland in Drogheda, and the mixing, mastering and editing were carried out in the state-of-the-art Rainbow Studios in Oslo. A Place Between will be available for purchase both as a CD and online at the iTunes Store and CD Baby from 1 May 2009.

The CD intersperses, to wonderful effect, beautiful works for string quartet (Silvestrov's meditative “Ikon”, Tavener's deeply moving “Ikon of Joy/Sorrow," Pärt's reflective “Da Pacem Domine”) with two solo piano works (Pärt's uplifting “Hymn to a Great City," Cage’s melodic and expressive “In a Landscape”). Górecki's memorial for Michael Vyner "Good Night" and Knaifel’s mystical “O Heavenly King” both feature the haunting voice of soprano Patricia Rozario. Silvestrov's 25.X.1893 lullaby is a melancholic and lyrical piece for violin and piano.

Header credit: (c) Louth Contemporary Music Society May 1, 2009. Copyright controlled.

In Which The President Of Washington’s Conservative AEI Wants Pan Cogito To Know That He Attended The Baltimore Symphony Performing Bruckner Sym #3

Asokan pillar at Vaishali, Bihar, India

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Pan begins to feel old ...


Dear Pan Cogito,

AEI has launched its new website at The site offers many new features, including multimedia offerings such as podcasts, full-length videos, and video highlights, as well as RSS feeds for AEI work by scholar, subject, or product. ... In addition, our new blog, The Enterprise Blog, made its debut this week, and in its first day of operation, it received favorable attention and links from such high-traffic sites as, National Review Online, EuroIntelligence, andCrossing Wall Street. Visit or subscribe to our RSS feed. You can become a fan of AEI on Facebook and watch our videos on YouTube. You can even follow the Institute (and our new president, Arthur Brooks) on Twitter.

AEI’s president Arthur C. Brooks introduces the new Watch the video at




Header photo credit: Rajeev Kumar July 21, 2007 via Wikipedia. With many thanks.

Some Music Matters ... The Remains Of A Long Contemporary Musical Weekend Despite The Mind Being Preoccupied With Rain, Gardens, And Much Else

KNUSSEN - Songs Without Voices
BENJAMIN - Piano Figures
CARTER - Mosaic
MATTHEWS - The Island
MAW - Ghost Dances

ANDERSON - Imagin'd Corners
KNUSSEN - Violin Concerto, Op. 30
THOMAS - Helios Choros I
SCHULLER - Of Reminiscences and Reflections

SHEPHERD - Metamorphoses
THOMAS - Carillon Sky
KNUSSEN - Requiem - Songs for Sue
TURNAGE - Dark Crossing
ANDERSON - Alhambra Fantasy

Photo credit: Music (and Humanities) Room of Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. © 2009, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, Trustees for Harvard University, all rights reserved.

Missing From The Kabul Museum, Afghanistan

Bilingual (Greek and Aramaic) inscriptions by Emperor Ashoka at Kandahar (Shar-i-kuna) (3rd century BCE).

Once preserved at The Kabul Museum, Afghanistan, but today missing.

The Kandahar Edicts are the most western-most of Ashoka's Edicts to have been found and they are the only ones to use Greek.

Greek (transliteration, read left to right)

δέκα ἐτῶν πληρη[....]ων βασι[λ]εὺς
Πιοδασσης εὐσέβεια[ν ἔδ]ε[ι]ξεν τοῖς ἀν-
θρώποις, καὶ ἀπὸ τούτου εὐσεβεστέρους
τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐποίησεν καὶ πάντα
εὐθηνεῖ κατὰ πᾶσαν γῆν• καὶ ἀπέχεται
βασιλεὺς τῶν ἐμψύχων καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ δὲ
εἲ τινες ἀκρατεῖς πέπαυνται τῆς ἀκρα-
σίας κατὰ δύναμιν, καὶ ἐνήκοοι πατρὶ
καὶ μητρὶ καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων παρὰ
τὰ πρότερον καὶ τοῦ λοιποῦ λῶιον
καὶ ἄμεινον κατὰ πάντα ταῦτα
ποιοῦντες διάξουσιν.

Aramaic (read right to left)

שנן 10 פתיתו עביד זי מראן פרידארש מלכא קשיטא מהקשט
מן אדין זעיר מרעא לכלהם אנשן וכלהם אדושיא הובד
ובכל ארקא ראם שתי ואף זי זנה כמאכלא למראן מלכא זעיר
קטלן זנה למחזה כלהם אנשן אתהחסינן אזי נוניא אחדן
אלך אנשן פתיזבת כנם זי פרבסת הוין אלך אתהחסינן מן
פרבסתי והופתיסתי לאמוהי ולאבוהי ולמזישתיא אנסן
איך אסרהי חלקותא ולא איתי דינא לכלהם אנשיא חסין
זנה הותיר לכלהם אנשן ואוסף יהותר.

English (translation)

Ten years (of reign) having been completed, King
Piodasses (Ashoka) made known (the doctrine of)
Piety (εὐσέβεια, Eusebeia) to men; and from this moment he has made
men more pious, and everything thrives throughout
the whole world. And the king abstains from (killing)
living beings, and other men and those who (are)
huntsmen and fishermen of the king have desisted
from hunting. And if some (were) intemperate, they
have ceased from their intemperance as was in their
power; and obedient to their father and mother and to
the elders, in opposition to the past also in the future,
by so acting on every occasion, they will live better
and more happily." (Trans. by G.P. Carratelli)

Photo and text source: Wikipedia.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The 'American Ring' ... (Also No Recessionary Let-up In Sight For Unfashionable American Classical Artists)

Image credit: (c) Tom Toles via Washington Post 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

New York City's New Mimesis Ensemble Begins To Celebrate A Whole Lot Of Wonderful New Music!

Today's Mimesis Ensemble sampling ...

Thursday May 7, 2009 6:00PM
Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW
Washington D.C.

Free and Open to the Public


Jubilation (1991)
Pozzi Escot

Lamentation and Satire (2008)
Mohammed Fairouz
Guest Artist:
Borromeo Quartet

Symphonic Aphorisms (2007)
Mohammed Fairouz
Guest Artist:
John Page, conductor

String Quartet No. 1: Metamorphosis and Fugue on Egyptian Folklore (1951)
Halim El-Dabh
Guest Artist:
Borromeo Quartet

Clytemnestra Suite (2008)
Halim El-Dabh


Al-Azhar Park, Cairo, Egypt

"Located in the heart of old historic Cairo and commanding stunning panoramic views of the world's most intriguing city, Al-Azhar Park offers every visitor a glimpse into the captivating past. Lush green landscaped gardens are an enjoyable sojourn away from city's major tourist attractions. Embracing valuable history, the park is home to the newly discovered Ayyubid wall, constructed by Salah El Din more than 800 years ago."

Photo credit: (c) e (exp) 2/ design 2009.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

London's Nash Ensemble Celebrates A Whole Lot Of Wonderful New Classical Music!

Premières given by The Nash Ensemble
since 1964
* indicates a Nash commission

Michael Alcorn Wind Quintet WP Oct 90
Julian Anderson Poetry Nearing Silence WP* Mar 97
Julian Anderson Towards Poetry 1st CP* Mar 99
Simon Bainbridge Four Primo Levi Settings WP July 96
Simon Bainbridge Voicing WP* Jun 82
Rupert Bawden Donkey Dances WP* Mar 96
Rupert Bawden Ultima Scena WP* Aug 89
Rupert Bawden Wanderjahr WP* Jul 90
Sally Beamish Between Earth and Sea WP* Mar 97
Sally Beamish Madragali WP* Feb 95
David Bedford The ones who walked away from Omelas WP* Jan 77
Richard Rodney Bennett Book of Hours WP* Sep 91
Richard Rodney Bennett Commedia III WP* Feb 73
Richard Rodney Bennett Five Sonnets of Louise Labe LP* May 86
Richard Rodney Bennett Oboe Quartet LP Mar 76
Richard Rodney Bennett Sonata after Syrinx LP* May 86
Michael Berkeley Chamber Symphony WP Aug 80
Michael Berkeley Gethsemane WP May 03
Michael Berkeley Winter Fragments WP* Mar 96
Harrison Birtwistle Cantus Iambeus WP Mar 05
Harrison Birtwistle Clarinet Quintet LP Jul 82
Harrison Birtwistle Nine Settings of Celan WP* Mar 00
Harrison Birtwistle Passing Measures WP* Mar 05
Harrison Birtwistle The Woman and the Hare WP* Mar 99
Robin Black In Paradisum WP Oct 69
Denys Bouliane Comme un silence entr’ouvert UKP Oct 87
Martin Bresnick Opera della Musica Povera EUP* Apr 94
Martin Bresnick Piano Trio UKP Jul 89
Benjamin Britten Britten’s Blues arr. Runswick LP Mar 93
Benjamin Britten Introduction and Allegro WP Nov 86
Benjamin Britten The Sword in the Stone Suite LP Mar 93
Christopher Brown Chamber Dances WP* Apr 82
Christopher Brown Divertimento LP* Nov 70
Christopher Brown The Snows of Winter WP* Nov 71
John Buller Of Three Shakespeare Sonnets WP* Jun 85
John Buller The Cave WP Nov 70
Geoffrey Burgon Chamber Dances WP Apr 82
Howard Burrell Variants LP Oct 69
Elliott Carter Gra UKP Apr 94
Elliott Carter Mosaic WP* Mar 05
Elliott Carter Oboe Quartet UKP Mar 03
Elliott Carter Syringa LP Apr 80
John Casken Infanta Marina WP* Mar 94
Richard Causton Notturno WP* Apr 98
Richard Causton Rituals of Hunting and Blooding WP* Mar 00
John Cheshire Piece WP Oct 69
Jonathan Cole Scrawling Out WP* Mar 06
David Collins Clarinet Quintet WP Oct 87
Justin Connolly Sestina WP* May 72
Justin Connolly Triad V WP Feb 71
John Cooney Undertow WP* Feb 97
Gordon Crosse Oboe Quintet WP Dec 88
Gordon Crosse The World Within WP* Apr 77
Gordon Crosse Three Inventions WP* Jan 66
Gordon Crosse Wildboy WP* Feb 78
George Crumb Idyll for the Misbegotten UKP Jun 88
Martin Dalby Octet WP* Jun 81
Martin Dalby Man Walking WP* Jun 81
Martin Dalby Whisper Music WP* May 71
Claude Debussy La Boîte a joujoux arr. Merion Bowen WP* Feb 99
Claude Debussy Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé arr. Colin Matthews WP* Mar 99
Edison Denisov Dedicace WP* Feb 92
David Dennis Sextet WP Oct 69
Peter Dickinson Larkins Jazz WP Feb 90
Zsolt Durko Impromptus in F WP* Jun 84
Zsolt Durko Three English Verses WP* Sep 91
Henri Dutilleux Dyptique 'Les Citations' LP Sep 92
Petr Eben Piano Quintet WP* Feb 92
David Ellis Sequentia WP* May 66
David Ellis Wind Quintet WP* May 67
Alvin Etler Suite UKP Jan 65
Silvio Ferraz The Children who stopped time WP Aug 94
Michael Finnissy Goro WP May 79
Michael Finnissy Sir Tristran WP* Feb 78
Michael Finnissy The Cry of Zephaniah WP Dec 92
Elena Firsova Before the Thunderstorm WP* Mar 95
Elena Firsova Earthly Life WP* Nov 86
Elena Firsova Forest Walks WP* Jun 88
Elena Firsova Music for 12 UKP* Jun 90
Elena Firsova Odyssey UKP* Feb 92
Elena Firsova Piano Sonata UKP Jun 89
Sebastian Forbes Concertante LP* Oct 69
Sebastian Forbes Partita WP* Feb 76
Sebastian Forbes Serenade WP* Nov 70
Sebastian Forbes Serenade for 8 WP* Sep 79
Lukas Foss Cave of the wind EUP Aug 76
Erika Fox Eight Songs from Cavafy WP Nov 70
Jean Francaix Quintet No 2 UKP Jul 93
Roberto Gerhard Songs from Schahrazada arr. Bowen WP* Mar 94
Alexander Goehr ... around Stravinsky WP* Mar 02
Alexander Goehr Five Objects Darkly Op 62 EUP Mar 98
Larry Goves i wear you on my sleeve WP* Feb 03
Francis Grier The Cry of Mary WP Dec 92
Sofia Gubaidulina Homage a T.S.Eliot UKP Jun 88
Sofia Gubaidulina Zwei Lieder UKP Jun 90
John Harbison Variations UKP Apr 94
Simon Harris Concerto da Camera WP* Jan 66
Simon Harris Musica Mennipea WP* May 66
Jonty Harrison Farben WP Jul 87
Jonathan Harvey Lotuses WP* Sep 92
Jonathan Harvey Scena UKP May 95
Jonathan Harvey Tendril WP* Jun 87
Christopher Headington Horn Trio WP Feb 94
Hans Werner Henze Adagio Adagio UKP Sep 94
Hans Werner Henze Drei Lieder uber den Schnee UKP Sep 94
Hans Werner Henze Five Neapolitan Songs UKP Mar 01
Hans Werner Henze Quintetto EUP Sep 94
Hans Werner Henze Songs and Dances from the Operetta 'La Cubana' UKP Sep 94
Robin Holloway Concertino No 5 WP* Sep 91
Robin Holloway Divertimento No 3 1st PP Jun 82
Robin Holloway Serenade in C WP* Mar 79
Robin Holloway Serenade in E flat WP* Jun 85
Robin Holloway Spring Music WP* Oct 03
Gustav Holst Wind Quintet WP Sep 82
Simon Holt ...era madrugada WP* May 84
Simon Holt 4 Quarters LP* rev Mar 07
Simon Holt A Song of Crocuses & Lightning WP rev Mar 02
Simon Holt all fall down WP* Feb 94
Simon Holt Canciones WP* Jun 86
Simon Holt Capriccio Spettrale UKP Jun 89
Simon Holt Shadow Realm WP Sep 82
Simon Holt the other side of silence WP* Jul 04
Simon Holt Sparrow Night WP* Mar 90
John Hopkins Cantilever WP Jul 82
David Horne Life's Splinters WP* Mar 07
David Horne Splintered Instruments WP* Feb 05
Wilfred Josephs Adam and Eve WP* Feb 68
John Joubert The Secret Muse WP Dec 93
Paul Kellett Pascal’s Triangle WP* Sep 92
Gordon Kerry Blue Latitudes WP* Jan 00
Oliver Knussen Cantata WP Sep 79
George Koumentakis Concertino WP Nov 02
Gyorgy Kurtag Herdecker Eurythmie EUP Mar 94
Nicola LeFanu Deva WP Mar 79
Malcolm Lipkin Clifford’s Tower WP* Jul 80
Malcolm Lipkin Wind Quintet WP Jul 86
Vasily Lobanov Flute Sonata UKP Jun 88
James MacMillan Horn Quintet WP* Jul 07
James MacMillan Raising Sparks WP* Oct 97
Edward Maguire String Trio WP Jun 86
Colin Matthews 23 Frames for 4 Players WP* Feb 95
Colin Matthews A voice to wake... WP* Mar 05
Colin Matthews Hidden Variables LP* Jun 89
Colin Matthews Night’s Mask LP* Jul 90
Colin Matthews Piano Quartet WP* Feb 90
Colin Matthews The Great Journey WP* Jun 88
Colin Matthews The Island WP Mar 08
David Matthews Arr. of Delius 2 Pieces for small orchestra WP* Jul 93
David Matthews Clarinet Quartet WP* Jun 84
David Matthews Happy Returns WP* Nov 96
David Matthews Marina LP* Jun 89
David Matthews String Trio No.1 WP* Dec 89
David Matthews Terrible Beauty WP* Mar 07
David Matthews The Sleeping Lord WP* May 92
David Matthews Winter Passions WP Jul 99
Nicholas Maw Flute Quartet WP* May 81
Nicholas Maw Ghost Dances EP* Jun 88
Nicholas Maw La Vita Nuova WP* Sep 79
Nicholas Maw Roman Canticle WP* Nov 89
Peter Maxwell Davies Mishkenot WP May 88
Peter Maxwell Davies Seven Skies of Winter WP* Jun 04
David McBride Clarinet Quintet WP Jan 77
John McCabe Time Remembered WP Oct 73
Dominic Muldowney Piano Trio WP* May 82
Detlev Müller-Siemens Pavane WP* Jun 86
Detlev Müller-Siemens Sextet WP* Mar 94
Tristan Murail Vues aeriennes WP* Dec 88
Peter-Paul Nash Leaving Without Trace WP Mar 98
Peter Paul Nash Sextet WP* Oct 87
Alasdair Nicolson The Stamping Ground WP* Jun 06
Anders Nordentoft Hymne WP* Mar 96
Per Norgard Scintillation WP* Mar 94
Michael Nyman Introduction & Allegro Concertato WP* Jan 65
Nigel Osborne Fantasia WP* May 83
Nigel Osborne Mythologies WP* Jun 80
Nigel Osborne Zone WP* Oct 89
Jim Parker La Comédie Humaine WP* Dec 90
Paul Patterson At the Still Point of the Turning World WP* Feb 80
Paul Patterson Wind Quintet WP* Aug 67
Anthony Payne Empty Landscape - Heart’s Ease WP* Mar 95
Anthony Payne A Sea Change WP* Jun 88
Anthony Payne The Stones and Lonely Places Sing WP* Sep 79
Anthony Payne The World’s Winter WP* Jul 76
Paul Pellay Concertante WP* Sep 91
Patrick Piggott Candles WP May 88
Francis Poulenc Chamber Opera 'Le Gendarme Incompris' UKP Jun 87
Howard Riley String Trio WP Jun 76
David Rowland Franciscan Rounds WP May 77
David Rowland The Revolving Sphere WP Nov 70
Poul Ruders The Bells WP* Mar 94
Daryl Runswick Zany WP* Dec 75
Jan Sandström Wahlberg Variations WP* Mar 96
Satie arr. Muldowney Sports et Divertissements WP* Mar 81
Robert Saxton A Yardstick to the Stars WP* Feb 95
Alfred Schnittke Dialog LP Mar 94
Alfred Schnittke Piano Quartet UKP Jun 89
Roger Sessions Concertino for Chamber Orchestra UKP Nov 76
Roger Smalley Melody Study II WP* May 70
Dmitri Smirnov Eight Line Poems WP* Sep 92
Dmitri Smirnov Moonlight Story WP* Jun 89
Dmitri Smirnov The Seasons UKP* Jun 88
Naresh Sohal Experiment 2 WP Nov 70
Tim Souster Le Souvenir de Maurice Ravel WP* Jun 84
Tim Souster Sonata WP Aug 80
Giles Swayne A Song for Hadi WP May 83
Toru Takemitsu Quatrain UKP Jun 83
John Tavener Akhmatova Settings WP* Mar 95
John Tavener Lamentation Last Prayer and Exaltation LP Jan 79
John Tavener Requiem for Father Malachy WP* Jun 73
John Tavener Settings of Six Russian Folksongs WP* Jan 79
John Tavener The Gentle Spirit WP* Jun 77
Michael Tippett Suite from The Ice Break arr. Bowen LP Mar 99
Michael Tippett Suite: The Tempest arr. Bowen WP* Dec 94
Mark-Anthony Turnage An Invention on 'Solitude' WP* Apr 98
Mark-Anthony Turnage At Close of Day WP May 93
Mark-Anthony Turnage Bleak Moments WP* Mar 06
Mark-Anthony Turnage Beating about the Bush WP* Jun 87
Mark-Anthony Turnage Cantilena WP* Mar 02
Mark-Anthony Turnage Cortège for Chris WP* Apr 98
Mark-Anthony Turnage Entranced LP Jun 83
Mark-Anthony Turnage Eulogy WP* Jul 03
Mark-Anthony Turnage Her Anxiety WP* Sep 92
Mark-Anthony Turnage Returning WP* Jul 07
Mark-Anthony Turnage Slide Stride WP* Jan 03
Mark-Anthony Turnage Three Farewells WP* Jul 90
Mark-Anthony Turnage Two Baudelaire Songs WP* Oct 04
Mark-Anthony Turnage Vocalise WP* Jul 90
Huw Watkins Sonata for cello and 8 instruments WP* Mar 99
Huw Watkins Gig WP* Feb 05
Michael Blake Watkins The Magic Shadow-Show WP Jul 80
Michael Blake Watkins Spirit of the Universe WP Oct 78
Judith Weir Airs from another planet WP* Oct 86
Malcolm Williamson Pas de Quatre UKP* Oct 68
Malcolm Williamson Piano Trio WP Jul 76
Hugh Wood Horn Trio WP Nov 89

News Missed Earlier ... At Walt Disney Hall, Pianist Zimerman Reacts To U.S. Before Performing Szymanowski's "Variations on a Polish Folk Theme"

"According to the [Los Angeles] Times, Zimerman was about to begin his final piece, Karol Szymanowski's "Variations on a Polish Folk Theme," when he turned to the audience and in a quiet but angry tone accused the United States of wanting to dominate the world.

"Get your hands off of my country," the Times quoted him" ...

John Rogers "Piano great Zimerman says he won't return to US" Washington Post Monday, April 27, 2009; 7:17 PM


Photo credit: (c) National Gallery of Art 2009. Copyright controlled.

Jaromír Funke (artist)
Czech, 1896 - 1945
Spiral (Spirala), 1924
gelatin silver print
overall: 23.3 x 28.4 cm (9 3/16 x 11 3/16 in.)
Patrons' Permanent Fund

Toward A Program Note To Oliver Knussen's "Requiem -- Songs For Sue"

"Knussen’s “Requiem – Songs for Sue” [2006], [is] composed in memory of his wife, Sue. Using words by Emily Dickinson (opening with the heart-stopping line, “Is it true, dear Sue?”) amalgamated by the composer, Machado’s “Cuanado murió su amada” (When his beloved died) and W. H. Auden’s “Time will say nothing but I told you so”, Knussen’s song-cycle inspired by Alexander Goehr’s choice of a Rilke poem in Sue’s memory –“Biss du noch da?” (Are you still there?), which now forms the last song."

-- Nick Breckenfield in


'Sue Knussen, a US-born producer and director of music programmes for BBC television and for the UK's Channel 4 – for which she made Leaving Home a series of seven one-hour programmes, an introduction to 20th Century music, presented by Simon Rattle, winning the 1996 BAFTA award for Best Arts Series. She ran the Los Angeles Philharmonic's education department, in the late 1990s.'


Richard Serra's proposed sculpture of rusted steel plates in front of the Legion of Honor Museum set off public protest. The project fell through. San Francisco Chronicle file photo, 1994, by Liz Hafalia via (c) Copyright controlled.

Renaissance Research "Conservatory Project" Assignment: Can You Define Classical Chamber Music Today?

"A beautifull E. altensteinii or Eastern Cape cycad is reasonably common in cultivation but wild populations are threatened."


“An integral part of British musical life for more than 40 years, The Nash Ensemble of London boasts an eclectic repertoire, from the classics to the contemporary to lesser-known gems for harp and wind instruments. British composer and conductor Oliver Knussen, the curator of the Kennedy Center's Contemporary Music Week, has selected the Nash's program, to be led by acclaimed British conductor Lionel Friend and featuring the talents of soprano Valdine Anderson. Three of the works are Nash commissions: Elliott Carter's Mosaic is written for harp and seven other instruments… Colin Matthews's The Island is set to text by Rainer Maria Rilke… and Nicholas Maw's Ghost Dances, subtitled "An Imaginary Ballet for Five Players," rhythmically and melodically distorts 10 dances. Also on the program: George Benjamin's Piano Figures is a challenging series of 10 pieces about children, Harrison Birtwistle's Crowd is a recent work for solo harp, while Knussen's own Songs Without Voices is an octet, and one of the composer's most popular chamber works.”


“Classical chamber music and world music playing styles merge in this collaboration between two cultural treasures of West Africa and the acclaimed virtuoso quartet of percussionists. Traditional music of the Dagara People and original works for the Ghanian gyil. Traditional music of Guinea in the style of Ballet Djoliba Chamber works for percussion by Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, and Robert Levin.”

BERNARD WOMA, Master of the Ghanaian Xylophone
M’BEMBE BANGOURA, Master Drummer from Guinea


Sources: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Library of Congress.


Photo credit: Copyright © 2000 - 2009 Bertie Davel and With thanks.

Pan Cogito Wishes His Mind Were A Springtime Garden

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Russian Imperial Gardens Lecture
Wednesday, May 6, 2:30 pm

Natalia Nosova of St. Petersburg State University will speak about the finest examples of Russian decorative gardens from the 18th and 19th centuries. St. Petersburg's royal gardens, created around Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, Pavlovsk, and Gatchina, are comparable to the beauty of Versailles and San Souchi in Germany.

This lecture is presented in partnership with the Embassy of the Russian Federation. The Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens 202.686.5807


Garden and Landscape Studies
The Interlacing of Words and Things in Gardens and Landscapes: Beyond Nature and Culture

Spring Symposium, May 8-9 2009
Organized by Beatrix Farrand Distinguished Fellow Stephen Bann

"Over recent decades, debates about environmentalism, global warming and its consequences for life have triggered a questioning of the opposition between nature and culture. This has become particularly obvious in discussions among landscape
architects and anthropologists. Yet there is little in common between these two areas of debate. Landscape architects tend to be concerned with ways of devising new roles for humans in the transformation of a natural world shared to a great extent
with non-humans, thus endorsing the embeddedness of nature and culture, but perhaps falling short in the criticism of these dualistic concepts. Anthropologists have been largely concerned with describing and understanding the perspectives
of non-Western peoples without seeking to impose the implicit dualities of nature/culture, emotion/reason, practice/ideology, mundane/ritual, sacred/profane, cosmos/society.

In this symposium, we attempt to bring these two areas of debate closer by proposing new modes for the description and understanding of gardens, whether in the context of history or in the present – as they have been, or are, experienced by
those who make and use them across many different areas of the world. Gardens are the result of a selection of plants, objects and animals for intentional purposes. This has led in turn to the transformation of those plants, objects and animals; that is to say, they have been appropriated for human communication, and
become representations in poetry, imagery, religion, and myth. The same process has taken place with features of the wider landscape. So, if we provisionally bracket off the categories relating to nature and culture in the western world, we find
that the challenge of interpreting descriptions of gardens and landscapes impels us to rediscover the specific categories involved in constituting them as representations. The papers in this symposium cover in equal measure western and non-western traditions, and range from individual case studies to analyses of long-term historical developments. The aim is to show how garden and landscape studies illuminate the many different modalities of transforming the world in which we live and act."

For additional information: Dumbarton Oaks 202-339-6460.

(c) Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University 2009.


Header credit: Nikitsky Botanical Garden. Crimean Autonomous Republic, Ukraine, Future European Union. Via Wikipedia Commons.