Brenda Tremblay's blog

AS YOU WISH, the top classical music stories in Rochester in 2010

Let’s recall the top classical music news stories in 2010 in Rochester, New York, with a nod to the Rob Reiner film, The Princess Bride.

NOT UNEMPLOYED IN GREENLAND     RPO Music Director Christopher Seaman announced his retirement at end of the 2010-2011 season.  Norwegian conductor Arild Remmeriet will step up as RPO’s new music director in 2011. Glimmerglass Opera announced that Francesca Zambello will be new executive director in 2011.

MUCH NICER THAN THE FIRE SWAMP   Eastman School of Music opened a new wing with dramatic atrium, recital hall, rehearsal spaces, and eye-popping hanging glass sculpture.

INCONCEIVABLE!   Rochester entrepreneur Tim Enright launched Virtuoso Television, or VTV, an internet service for musicians to record and store music lessons online for reference in future practice sessions.

HELLO, MY NAME IS “GIBBS AND MAIN”     Rochester chamber ensemble Quartsemble changed moniker.

NEVER GO AGAINST A STRING PLAYER WHEN DEATH IS ON THE LINE    RPO principal violist Melissa Matson stepped on needle, performed Harold in Italy with injured foot. RPO principal cellist Stefan Reuss fell and injured ribs and wrist, missing first few weeks of concert season.

A GREAT GIFT FOR RHYME    Baritone Jonathan Beyer earned Rochester Oratorio Society’s annual Classical Idol top prize with compelling performance of aria from "Nixon on China." Composer Cary Ratcliff gets oratorio "Ode to Common Things" published. Composer Amanda Jacobs won national award for "Mass for the Living."

HER APPEAL IS UNDENIABLE    Soprano Renee Fleming released “Dark Hope,” a collection of pop covers of songs by groups such as Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie and Leonard Cohen. Rochester chamber choir Madrigalia premiered new work by Libby Larsen; Larsen visits.

NO ONE WITHSTANDS THE MACHINE  Michael Daughtery piano concerto, “Deus Ex Machina” co-commissioned by the RPO, earned 2010 Grammy nomination.  The Eastman's Ying Quartet was also nominated for a Grammy.

ANYBODY WANT A PEANUT?   Several Western New York public schools named “Best Communities for Music Education” in the United States by the non-profit NAMM Foundation; Albion Central School District, Brighton, Leroy, Pittsford, Royalton-Hartland Central School District, Rush-Henrietta, Webster, West Irondequoit.

Congratulations and Happy New Year!

Sixth sense

One day in middle school, walking out of the lunchroom down a long, sunny hallway, I saw my father emerge from the band room where he taught instrumental music. He spotted me and pivoted, approaching with another music teacher alongside and holding a thick, green glass Coke bottle in his hand. It was half full.

Season of giving

The other day I said to my family, “Let’s all give homemade gifts this year.” This suggestion sank like a stone on a wave of despair, since my kids are still young enough to dream of Lego sets, gadgets, and games. But for my part, I’m determined to do it.

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Come to Italy with me!

A few years ago, my colleague Laura Garrison formed a club for WXXI listeners who are passionate about travel.  She and former morning host Simon Pontin led a trip to Austria in 2008. Last year, a small group went to Costa Rica with WRUR’s Scott Regan. When Laura asked me to co-host a trip to northern Italy in 2011, I was thrilled.

Three days in Boston

If you’re lucky to spend time in Boston when the weather’s nice, walk across the Arthur Fiedler Memorial Bridge and trace deeply-carved composers’ names on the band shell where the Boston Pops plays in the summer along the banks of the Charles River. Spend half the time getting lost in opulent Beacon Hill. Follow the Black Heritage Trail. It’s all good.
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Purcell's coded lament

In June, BBC’s Radio 3 polled listeners on their favorite aria.  If you’re into opera, you might guess Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” or "Un bel di” soared to the top of the list, or maybe “La donna e mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto.  But the winner surprised everyone; it was a three-century old song from a relatively obscure opera by Henry Purcell.  Officially, England’s most

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The light of day

The mine was dark, damp, and chilly.   When I came to the surface, I had dreams about it. Bad dreams.

 

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Why does this man have a collection of chickens?

RPO Music Director Christopher Seaman has returned to Rochester after summer travels to Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. The big question is, what's with the chickens? Find out this Thursday morning on Classical 91.5 . . .

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Remmereit Fever

When the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced Arild Remmereit would succeed Christopher Seaman as the RPO’s Music Director in 2011, nearly every media outlet in town sent a reporter or crew to cover the story.  I think that everyone, whether they listen to Jay-Z or Jewel or Janacek, recognizes the importance of the orchestra in any city.

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How not to get to Carnegie Hall

No one taught me how to practice. Just do it, they said, which is how I honed my amazing ability to daydream while moving my fingers. I can play a Bach sonata and keep a running commentary in my head: what’s for dinner? I must send flowers to Aunt Margie (ooops! skipped a note!) Are my favorite jeans in the dryer? Get cat food!

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