classical

Music + Culture
12:07 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

At 100, Composer Margaret Bonds Remains A Great Exception

Margaret Bonds in 1956. Born in Chicago in 1913, Bonds became one of the first African-American female composers to gain recognition in the United States.
Carl Van Vechten Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 1:35 pm

Margaret Bonds, who died in 1972, is perhaps near the top of the very short list of African-American female composers. Thanks to her partnerships with Langston Hughes and soprano Leontyne Price and others, she's remembered in some circles as an important figure in American composition. But, mostly, she's been forgotten.

"It's amazing that people don't know who she was, although she was quite well known in her time," says Louise Toppin, an opera singer and a voice professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Music + Culture
12:25 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Marches Madness: John Philip Sousa's 'Washington Post'

Circa 1910: A program advertising John Philip Sousa and his band.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

It's Marches Madness! Throughout this month, we're posting some of our favorite marches — from the concert hall, opera stage and parade ground. Got one we should hear? Played any yourself? Let us know in the comments section.

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Music + Culture
11:08 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Remembering Van Cliburn, A Giant Among Pianists And A Cold War Idol

A youthful Van Cliburn, captured mid-concerto.
Courtesy of the Van Cliburn Foundation

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:37 am

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Music + Culture
6:33 am
Fri February 22, 2013

History As Symphony: The African-American Experience In Jazz Suites

Duke Ellington's compositions present a timeless contribution to American music's legacy.
Victor Drees//Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 2:47 pm

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s inspired several black artists to explore their African heritage and the black experience in America, from enslavement to life after emancipation and migration to cities in the north. In the musical world, pianist James P. Johnson composed Yamekraw: A Negro Rhapsody, a 12-minute portrait of a black community in Savannah, Ga. Yamekraw was orchestrated for a 1928 performance at Carnegie Hall by black composer William Grant Still, who would write his own Afro American Symphony in 1930.

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Music + Culture
12:03 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Robin Rilette Critiques Apple's Classical Top 10 List

Classical Music Director Robin Rilette at home in the Northwest Public Radio studio at Washington State University.

Republished from WSUNews 

When Forbes magazine writer Connie Guglielmo received iTunes' list on the top 10 "must-own classical music” recordings of all time, it brought out the skeptic in her. So, she turned to Robin Rilette, Northwest Public Radio's music director, to review the list and give her professional opinion.  

Continue reading...

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Music + Culture
10:15 am
Wed February 20, 2013

From Bow To Baton: Violinist Joshua Bell Conducts Beethoven

Violinist Joshua Bell conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields by doing what comes naturally to him. The celebrated soloist is also the London orchestra's music director.
Chris Chrisodoulou Sony Classical

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:16 pm

Violinist Joshua Bell has followed the lead of symphony orchestra conductors since he turned 7 and made his orchestra debut. But now he's the one waving the baton — or at least waving his violin bow. Bell recently took over the music directorship of the venerable Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

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Music + Culture
2:33 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Jonas Kaufmann On Wagner: 'It's Like A Drug Sometimes'

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann.
Petra Stadler courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 3:00 pm

This year is the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth. The man widely called the greatest living Wagnerian tenor is marking the occasion in style — and asking listeners who may have turned away from the German composer to give his music another chance.

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Music + Culture
4:23 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Can You Learn To Like Music You Hate?

Harmony — it's in the ear of the beholder, Australian researchers say.
iStock

You hear some music you hate. That's fair. We all do on occasion. But can you learn to love — or at least not loathe — that music? Can you intentionally transform the visceral response you have to certain pieces and styles, or does that happen at some more incalculable, subtle level?

Researchers at Australia's University of Melbourne say that the more dissonance (which they describe as "perceived roughness, harshness, unpleasantness, or difficulty in listening to the sound") that we hear in music, the less we enjoy said music. Seems obvious enough, right?

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Music + Culture
8:53 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Jailhouse Bach

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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Music + Culture
9:23 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Classical Grammys 2013: Same Old Winners, Bold New Music

Members of eighth blackbird performing at the pre-telecast Grammy Awards Sunday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Ah, the joys of Monday morning quarterbacking, classical style.

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