Music + Culture

Music + Culture
9:01 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Symphonic Music, American Style: 3 Must-Hear Albums

BMOP Sound

Throughout the summer we're searching for the "Great American Symphony." It's not exactly a popularity contest. Instead, we're pondering American symphonic music from both the past and the present. Some composers like the young Kevin Puts and the veteran Martin Boykan, are labeling their pieces as symphonies. Others, like Michael Daugherty, can prefer more playful titles.

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Music + Culture
10:27 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Licia Albanese: An Opera Diva Hits 100

Soprano Licia Albanese sang the title role in Puccini's Madama Butterfly 72 times at the Metropolitan Opera.
The Metropolitan Opera Archives

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Music + Culture
2:02 am
Sat July 20, 2013

A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage

The Long Walk, Brian Castner's memoir of PTSD and a difficult homecoming, will soon be an opera.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 3:26 pm

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Music + Culture
11:49 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Carnegie Hall's Barnstorming Youth Movement

Cellist Angelique Montes, resident advisor Melissa Willams and clarinetist Tom Jeon arrive at Purchase College, State University of New York to begin their NYO-USA adventure.
Chris Lee courtesy of Carnegie Hall

This is the kind of opportunity most classical musicians can only dream about: to be invited to spend part of the summer with an orchestra touring the world — Washington, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London — with two of the biggest names in classical music, conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell.

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Music + Culture
8:52 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Tracing The Spirit Of The Early American Symphony

Amy Beach, with her 1896 "Gaelic" Symphony, was among America's early symphonic composers.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 9:21 am

Leonard Bernstein, in a New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert, once summarized the late 19th century as the "kindergarten period" of American music and proceeded to make fun of George Whitefield Chadwick, Boston's leading composer from that period. But in citing Chadwick's Melpomene Overture, Bernstein stacked the deck.

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Music + Culture
10:22 am
Sat July 13, 2013

From Carnegie Hall, A Youth Orchestra That's A National First

Conductor Valery Gergiev leads the National Youth Orchestra through its first rehearsal with the maestro, at Purchase College outside New York City.
Chris Lee

It's a hot summer afternoon and the recital hall at Purchase College is abuzz with excitement and nervous energy. One hundred and twenty teenagers, from 42 states, are about to embark on an extraordinary musical and personal journey.

Clive Gillinson, executive director of Carnegie Hall, steps up to the podium to greet them. "Welcome to all of you," he says. "It's wonderful to welcome you here to the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America!"

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Music + Culture
7:12 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Electric Guitars Amp Up New Classical Music

Some of the 200 guitarists who took part in Rhys Chatham's A Crimson Grail at Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival in August 2009.
YouTube

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Music + Culture
12:45 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Music Is The Mission, Not Money

The Benedict Music Tent in Aspen.
Alex Irvin courtesy of the Aspen Music Festival and School

One of the great summertime classical gathering spots in America is the Aspen Music Festival and School.

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Music + Culture
12:31 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

The Innovative Mosaic Of American Symphonies

Conductor JoAnn Falletta.
Cheryl Gorski courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 9:34 am

  • Hear JoAnn Falletta's Discussion With Robert Siegel

Our country's culture is a vast conglomeration of more than 200 years of influences from all over the world. We have taken what began as an extraordinary European tradition and expanded that legacy on American soil. We have added our essential egalitarianism, our love of experimentation, our inclusiveness and our boldness to the very form of the symphony. Americans have not been bound by one definition of the symphony, and composers have applied that formal name to pieces of varying length, structure and content.

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Music + Culture
10:53 am
Tue July 2, 2013

In Search Of The Great American Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have been consistent champions of American music of all shapes and sizes. Are there — or will there be — American symphonies that stand with those of Mozart and Beethoven, Mahler and Shostakovich?
Bill Swerbenski San Francisco Symphony

Critics and fans love a good debate over the great American novel or great American movie. But what about the great American symphony?

Is there one? If not, why? If so, which symphonies are good candidates for the title? (Check out our Spotify list for some contenders.) And in the land of the melting pot, what does it mean for a symphony to be "American" in the first place?

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