There are a lot of changes here at the station these days. Most notably, Simon Pontin signed off for the last time last week after more than 30 years on the air. The outpouring of good wishes - and pledges - from the community was a good reminder of the importance of music in our lives. The act of sharing it is powerful, and we can attach a lot of emotion to the people who do the sharing.
The modest, nineteenth century, two-story house has Art Deco touches and a small basement, which the singer remodeled for enjoying music and hanging out with friends. Conductor Arturo Toscanini said she had “a voice such as one hears only once in a 100 years.”
In 1939, after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to let her sing at Washington D.C.'s Constitution Hall, Anderson performed for 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial.
We in Rochester are so blessed to have lots of resources right here in our area to enjoy great classical music. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra & Youth Orchestra, the Eastman School of Music and all of its ensembles, the Hochstein School, Madrigalia, Rochester Oratorio Society -- those that we all think of immediately are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other great regional orchestras, choirs, operas, church and school music...too many to name individually.
And now, as if this is not enough, satellite technology
One of the finalists for this year's Pulitzer Prize in Music was a piece introduced last March down the Thruway. “7 Etudes for Solo Piano,” by Don Byron was premiered last March in Hallwall’s Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo.
But Byron didn't win. Steve Reich did. Steve Reich
Steve Reich's Double Sextet is "a major work that displays an ability to channel an initial burst of energy into a large-scale musical event, built with masterful control and consistently intriguing to the ear." That's according to the Pulitzer Prize committee, which awarded Reich the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Double Sextet.
"The piece can be played in two ways," Reich told NPR Monday. "Either with 12 musicians or with six playing against a recording of themselves."
After hearing about the award, Reich said, "While they certainly gave it to composers, like, eventually, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, John Adams ... there were a lot of very important people that they passed over who were not university types, and I'm not a university type. There's a bend in the road that happened, and that undoubtedly was part of my being selected."