Blog Posts on Arts and Culture

The girl next door meets the piano on the street

Western New York native Stephanie Finney is studying in London. She had a funny thing happen. In her own words . . . (post by Steph Finney) Okay!  Here's the story. So yesterday, I went for my haircut, which was on Portobello Road.
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Grassroots!

It’s that time again. The Grassroots Festival starts Thursday in Trumansburg. I blogged about it last year, before and after, and can’t sum up my appreciation any better now. I was in Ithaca last week and as I drove back home past the festival site on Saturday it was exciting to see workers setting up the Infield Stage and the Dance Tent.

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A lovely shade of Bronze in the summertime

The email was delivered a few weeks back:  Backstage Pass was a finalist in the Radio division for New York Festivals.  We just didn't know what we won.  We waited.  The word came on Friday, and it was Bronze!
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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
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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!
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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
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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.
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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."
 
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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
 
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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.