Blog Posts on Arts and Culture

Reality Television? Reality Opera!

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

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King-Size Crowds for the King of Instruments

When times get tough, the tough collaborate!  Such was the case for the three-day, three-concert Pipedreams Live! event presented by WXXI-FM Classical 91.5, the Eastman School of Music, the Rochester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and the Rochester Theater Organ Society, February 13-15, 2009. 

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Government and the arts

 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

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Pledge Drive quick thought

 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.

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Aztec One Step

rex fowlerrex 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...

"When popular duos go solo."

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What music is good music?

I like to abide by Duke Ellington's mantra that "There are two kinds of music: good music and bad music."  But what defines good music?  Let's consider some pieces of "new" music--are they good or not? 

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So? Where's the hype this time?!?

Mozart turned 250, and you couldn't turn around without banging your shins on another recording of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.  Mendelssohn turns 200 and...not so much.

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When music is work

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.

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Musical Inauguration Thoughts

 A big, big day in DC means some primo exposure for a select few musicians.  Most of it worked, and somemissed the mark.

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Musical memories

 I have an addiction: The Detroit Tigers.  But that's not what I'm writing about today, rather I shall write about another addiction I have: I peruse musician info pages on orchestra websites.  I mostly want to find out what else orchestra musicians do besides play in orchestra.  Sometimes I'm dissappointed ("I like to go to chamber music concerts" really?  That's all?).  Sometimes it's enlightening ("I compete in triathalons" way to go!).

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