After a long hiatus, I'm back, writing about music and arts in Rochester, New York.
The big excitement in my life is the prospect of seeing Christopher Seaman conduct Haydn's Creation this weekend.
It's an oratorio telling the biblical story of the creation of the world, the animals, and Adam and Eve, who promptly fall in love and avoid the snakes. Splendid! Someone who heard the first performance in 1798 wrote in a letter to the editor of a Vienna newspaper,
"Already three days have passed since that happy evening, and it still sounds in my ears and heart, and my breast is constricted by many emotions even thinking of it."
Coinidentally, the big Rochester garden show opened last weekend with a Garden of Eden theme. I missed it, but eyewitnesses reported fewer blooms than usual and lots of snakes.
Christopher Seaman will conduct the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and soprano Barbara Shirvis, tenor Michael Colvin, and baritone Stephen Powell. WXXI-FM will broadcast/stream the concert on Classical 91.5, 90.3 and wxxi.org on Wednesday, June 10th at 8:00 p.m.
How do we approach an orchestra with a sordid history and some questionable tactics when it comes to hiring women and minorities? This March, New Yorkers will face that exact question when the Vienna Philharmonic comes to Carnegie Hall.
We've all seen reality television, but now the Metropolitan Opera presents The Audition the ultimate in reality programming. This behind-the-scenes documentary film by Susan Froemke follows several young up-and-coming opera stars for the week leading up to the finals of the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions, competing for a cash prize and the chance to sing on the Met Opera stage. You can see a preview of the film by clicking on the link abov
This Spring, there will be Congressional meetings and hearings about how the arts and music benefit the economy and education. What do you think Congress can do to bolster the arts? Or conversely, should they do anything?
By the time our current Membership Campaign is over, I will have worked for three and a half pledge drives at WXXI. Every time we finish a pledge drive, I find myself thinking the same thought: doing this should be mandatory for any college student trying to make a living in the arts.
rex fowlerOne Saturday morning Rex Fowler came in early to WRUR on the day of an Aztec Two Step show. They were playing at 8 pm. The previous year he and Neal Shulman, the other half of the duo, came in. Great to hear them together doing some new songs and older ones I remember from college.
This time Rex was exposed as a solo artist. It felt like a secret we weren't supposed to talk about in public...
Aaron Copland's book "What to Listen for in Music" invites music fans of all types to consider listening to music on multiple levels and multiple planes. Last weekend at a concert, I caught myself listening on just one level, and it got me thinking how others listen.