Monday, October 31, 2011

Between Palau And Panama: Palestine Seated In UNESCO

"Unesco on Monday became the first United Nations organisation to admit Palestine as a full member state, prompting the US to immediately announce it was cutting a planned $60m budget payment to the cultural agency.

In defiance of fierce diplomatic pressure from the US and Israel, 107 members of the UN body for education, science and culture backed the Palestinian request."

Financial Times

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Photo credit: Copyright controlled.

Scary And Uncertain Times: Conservative Classical WETA-FM To Broadcast Piano Music Of Liszt, Scriabin, And Berg At 9 PM

Franz Liszt
La lugubre gondola
Richard Wagner
Piano Sonata in A-flat Major
Franz Liszt
Nuages gris
Alban Berg
Piano Sonata, Op.1
Franz Liszt
Unstern! Sinistre, disastro
Alexander Scriabin
Piano Sonata #9 in F Major, "Black Mass"
Franz Liszt
Piano Sonata in B Minor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano)

Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Neither Summer Soldier, Sunshine Patriot, Nor Limousine Liberal

Photo credit: (c) Copyright control 2011.

Economic Mobility and the American Dream

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cold Weekend To Do Liszt

LECTURE-RECITAL: "Gray Clouds: Late Chamber Music of Franz Liszt"

wirh Sabrina Tabby, Scott Moore, violin / Dávid Tóth, viola / Anna Bikales, harp
Zsólt Balogh, piano

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. FREE

Tamás Zétényi presents a program developed in a year-long residency as Visiting
Hungarian Fellow at Bard College, through research in the Library of Congress’s Liszt collections.

Harmonically visionary transcriptions and chamber works – elegies, prayers and
meditations – that stretch the boundaries of tonality and foreshadow music written a century later.

LISZT: transcriptions of Angelus!, R.W. - Venezia for piano trio; and Am Grabe Richard Wagners for string quartet; and, for cello and piano, Unstern: sinister, disastro; Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth (Elegie); Nuages gris; Schaflos, Frage und Antwort; Wagner/Liszt, La lugubre gondola I and II; and O du, mein holder Abendstern.

Image credit: Wikipedia.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Great Performances

State Of The Nation's Dreaming

“embracing the logic of the global common good”

Photo credit: (c) Nathaniel Brooks for the New York Times 2011. Copyright controlled.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Independent Lens: Two-thirds of Independents Say The Distribution Of U.S. Wealth Should Be More Equitable

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You've Read And Heard The Theory; Now Hear The Music -- Fred Lerdahl String Quartet #3 World Premiere At The Phillips Collection

Daedalus Quartet
April 22, 2012 at 4 pm
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Fred Lerdahl (b.1943)

First String Quartet

Second String Quartet

Third String Quartet (World Premiere)

"The Third Quartet, a Pulitzer Prize finalist written for the Daedalus Quartet, has its world premiere at the Phillips, rounding out a cycle of three works written over the course of more than thirty years intended both as individual pieces and as a unified set to be performed together.

"The Daedalus Quartet has won plaudits for its adventurous exploration of contemporary music, most notably the compositions of Elliott Carter, George Perle, György Kurtág, and György Ligeti. Among the works the ensemble has premiered are David Horne’s Flight from the Labyrinth, commissioned for the quartet by the Caramoor Festival; Fred Lerdahl’s Third String Quartet, commissioned by Chamber Music America; and Lawrence Dillion’s String Quartet No. 4, commissioned by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts. Daedalus will premiere a new quartet from Joan Tower, commissioned for it by Chamber Music Monterey Bay, in April 2012."

Image credit: Matter + Spirit: The Sculpture of Stephen De StaeblerJanuary 14, 2012 - April 22, 2012 © 2011 Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Smithsonian and New-York Historical Society Race to Preserve Occupy Wall Street's Art and Artifacts

[Click on image for enlargement.]


Photo credit: (c) Stephen Lam and Reuters 2011. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.



Topics in late 18th c. to early 20th c. music

Contemporary music

Analysis of 20th c. music

Topics in medieval and renaissance music

Baroque music performance practice

Early 19th c. musical romanticism

More 'Life Is Elsewhere': Bela Bartok, Western Art Music, Eastern European (Magyar) Folk Music, And Ethnomusicology

... "A chance encounter with the folk music of his country – having overheard a Transylvanian-born maid singing a folk song while working in an adjacent room – awoke within Bartók a profound desire to explore the indigenous music of his own culture. (His efforts differed markedly from those of Liszt, whose concept of Hungarian music – i.e., as exemplified in his Hungarian Rhapsodies and other “nationalistic” works – was erroneously based on that of the Romani, or gypsies, and only rarely on actual Magyar folk music.) The exhaustive research undertaken by Bartók in this area had a profound affect on the compositions that he began to produce, which fused the precepts of Western art music with the indigenous music of Eastern Europe, resulting in an original and vital means of musical expression. Had Bartók not proceeded to produce one of the most significant bodies of musical compositions of the twentieth century, he would nevertheless still be remembered as one of history’s greatest ethnomusicologists, and one whose depth of scholarship remains a revered example even today." ...

All-Bartok evening of music at the Library of Congress October 25, 2011 [Program in .pdf file]

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Grab The Great Recession By The Horn And Give It A Spin ..." (Back To The Future Edition)

In 2011, Cambridge (U.K.) - educated baroque violinist and classical conductor Andrew Manze (right) received the prestigious Rolf Schock Prize for Music, in Stockholm. Previous winners include Lidholm, Ligeti, Kagel, Saariaho, Panula, Gidon Kremer, Anne Sofie von Otter, and the Kronos String Quartet. The Rolf Schock Prizes were established and endowed by bequest of philosopher and artist Rolf Schock.

Photo credit: (c) The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011. Copyright controlled.

cumulative loss of GDP from the Great Recession of 2007-16 will amount to $5,900 billion, of which about $2,200 billion is to come in the next 5 years

Gavyn Davies in the Financial Times Great Recession may cost US economy $5,900 billion

Photo credit: (c) Audubon Canyon Ranch 2011. Copyright controlled.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Live From Farragut Square!

Washington National Opera:
A View From the Bridge

October 22, 2011, 1:00 pm

Classical WETA-FM: NPR World Of Opera And American Life


John Del Carlo (Alfieri), Kirk Eichelberger (Louie), Greg Warren (Mike), Kim Josephson (Eddie), Christine Brandes (Catherine), Catherine Malfitano (Beatrice), Robert Baker (Tony), Gregory Turay (Rodolfo), Richard Bernstein (Marco), Harvey D. Fort (1st Immigration Officer), Tim Augustin (2nd Immigration Officer)

Photo credit: (c) Washington National Opera of the Kennedy Center 2011. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Friended Too Late

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fed Matters: Because A Great Nation And Its Artists And Scientists Deserve An Honest, Intelligent, And Functioning Financial System

... "The [Government Accountability Office] made four recommendations to the Fed. It urged the Reserve Banks to broaden the pool of candidates it considers as directors, including those who are not senior executives of private organisations; to clearly document the role and responsibilities of their directors; to have a clear process for granting waivers to ethics and eligibility policies for directors; and to make public governance documents such as bank bylaws.

In a letter responding to the GAO, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Fed, said that all four recommendations had merit and that the central bank would work to implement them."

Financial Times


A New Look: Samuel F. B. Morse's Gallery of the Louvre
Through July 8, 2012
West Building, Main Floor

Known today primarily for his role in the development of the electromagnetic telegraph, Samuel F. B. Morse began his career as a painter. One of his most important works is on loan from the Terra Foundation for American Art — the newly conserved Gallery of the Louvre (1831–1833).

Image credit: Copyright © 2011 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Washington's National Symphony Orchestra To Give New Classical Orchestral Music Autumn Try-Outs (But, Alas, No Shostakovich Opus 135)

... "In an interview about the piece before its performance by the Chicago Symphony last year, [British composer Anna] Clyne pointed out that she originally found the challenge of approaching her first work for a large-scale orchestra to be "overwhelming." In frustration, she began pounding away at a cluster of notes on the piano but then made the liberating discovery that this could serve as the kernel for the entire piece....

A number of Clyne's works incorporate taped soundscapes and elements from electronica-her chamber piece 1987, for example, hauntingly mixes live players with the recorded crunching of feet on the sea shingle-but << rewind << relies on the fully acoustic resources of the orchestra, with a brief optional part for tape and playback system in which a "pre-recorded rewind of the work" is controlled by one of the percussionists at the very end; the score provides for an entirely acoustic "alternate ending" as well. At the same time, Clyne incorporated some chance sounds she encountered while working on the piece in her student days in New York City. The fading siren of a passing ambulance, for instance, became translated into falling pitches on the horns. The result, in the present context, is a fresh reworking of the age-old pattern of a rousing curtain-raiser for an orchestral concert."

(c) Thomas May 2011 for the National Symphony Orchestra. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.



The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries
September 18–January 8, 2012
East Building, National Gallery of Art, East Building, Upper Level

'One of the finest sets of Gothic tapestries in existence will be on view for the first time in the United States. Depicting the conquest of two Moroccan cities by the King of Portugal, Afonso V, in 1471, the four recently restored monumental masterpieces teem with vivid and colorful images of knights, ships, and military paraphernalia set against a backdrop of maritime and urban landscapes.'



The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy
August 20, 2011 - December 31, 2011
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Legion of Honor

37 Mourners in 3D

Image credit: Detail from the Pastrana Tapestries Copyright © 2011 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Visionary Artists And Scientists Are The ...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Making Classical Music Work: What's Past Is Prologue - Opus 135 Premiere In San Francisco

James M. Keller on Opus 135 (D. Shostakovich)

Joshua Kosman on the San Francisco Symphony's first ever performance of Opus 135 (1969)

Enrico Chapela, Brahms, Shostakovich, José Juan Tablada, and Li Bai with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra on October 27, 2011 in Zellerbach Hall.

Image credit: Li Bai chanting a poem, painting by Liang K'ai (13th century CE).

Music Matters: Berkeley's Matías Tarnopolsky On Marrying Treasures Of Civilization With The Highest Calibre New Classical Music

"When Matías Tarnopolsky took the reins of Cal Performances two years ago, one of the projects that was high on his to-do list was to establish an annual residency in Berkeley for some of the world's leading orchestras as part of the regular schedule.

He didn't waste any time doing it, either. In February, as part of Tarnopolsky's first planned season, the Vienna Philharmonic set up shop on the UC campus, not only giving orchestral concerts but also playing chamber programs, giving master classes and meeting with undergraduate members of the UC Symphony.

This weekend brings a follow-up, as Valery Gergiev leads the Mariinsky Orchestra through a three-concert cycle of the six Tchaikovsky symphonies. Tarnopolsky took the opportunity to talk about recent presentations and his plans for the future.

Q: Bringing in the big-name orchestras - including the Vienna Phil, which hadn't been in the Bay Area in more than 20 years - has been one of your signature projects. How do you foresee these residencies figuring in Cal Performances' coming seasons?

A: Our programming is always in a constant state of evolution, and there are many pieces of the mosaic that need to be put into place. But I think the Vienna residency showed how powerful it can be to have an orchestra here in concentrated doses.

Those concerts and master classes were transformative for people who were in the audience and the students who got to take part. And I really do want to keep those going. The Vienna Philharmonic will certainly be back, and next year - this hasn't been announced publicly yet, but here I go - we're going to bring the Philharmonia Orchestra with Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Q: What kind of ancillary activities will accompany the Mariinsky residency?

A: There will be coaching sessions with young students, and a public interview with Gergiev about Tchaikovsky....

Q: What state are things in for next season?

A: We're putting the finishing touches on that right now. One of the things you're going to see in future seasons is more thematic moments, where we focus on a particular subject and look at it in different ways. I also want to expand our new music programming - that will take another couple of seasons - and broaden our collaborations with leading artists and ensembles around the world."

Joshua Kosman in the San Francisco Chronicle October 13, 2011

Header credits: New covered courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (c) and Susan Biddle and the Washington Post.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Human Capital Update: 250 Million Unemployed People Around The World -- Mainly Young People -- Demand Recognition Of Their Human Capital

Photo credit: (c) Associated Press 2011. Copyright controlled.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

"If I had never dropped in on that calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts"

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

As The World Turns And Sleep-Walks, Fourth Young Tibetan Monk Immolates Himself In The Past Nine Months


Fourth Tibetan Monk Self-Immolates in Anti-China Protest

Nebula credit and copyright: (c) Brad Moore 2011.