Rochester’s first crazy busy concert week in March begins on a lamb-like day. Tomorrow, look for a cultural announcement from WXXI. On Wednesday, Eastman prof John Graham will pick up his electric viola to reprise Andrew's Colella's powerful Viola Sketches. More later. Tonight, the Rochester Oratorio Society sings at Roberts Wesleyan College in a concert unfortunately named “Choral Triptychs.” I’m singing in it. The music falls a little on the heavy Germanic side with music by Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Rheinberger as well as the flowing, inscrutable Lux Aeterna by contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen.
For quick reference, I've created this handy excitement level ratings chart for you. It's not in chronological order, and the opinions expressed do not in any way represent WXXI, its underwriters, or contributing supporters.
Poet E. E. Cummings goes to Harvard. Makes friends with guy from Rochester, New York. Cummings paints a whole bunch of paintings and gives them to friend.
Cummings dies. Friend dies. 70+ drawings and paintings wind up at local college in 1978. Nobody knows what to do with them. They sit around in a closet (about half a mile from my house) for about 30 years.
Check out this picture of North Korea taken by satellite at night. It says a lot about the country’s insular, repressive regime. This morning I got the chance to interview clarinetist Robert Dilutis of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He’s traveling as a sub with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Today: Periods of snow. High near 33. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. Excellent day for a nap.
Tonight: Occasional snow, heavy at times. Low around 18. Feed the birds.
Wednesday: Occasional snow, mainly before 9am. Bela Fleck's Blue Spruce at 6:15 a.m. Sunny Mozart at 7:05. Frosty the Snowman in the style of Mozart at 8:55 a.m. Really. Temperature falling to around 14 by 5pm. Wind chill values as low as -2. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
Stream it or tune into Classical 91.5 and see for yourself.
For decades, classical DJ Simon Pontin worked in a radio studio with no window. He complained about it. On the air. So the last time WXXI’s radio studios were renovated, he got his window. It looks out onto the parking lot of the Kodak world headquarters.
It’s my privilege to fill in for Simon this week. My alarm goes off at 4:00 a.m. I love feeling ahead of the world, cozy in the dark with very little traffic and the office all to myself.
Word on the street is that Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra clarinetist Robert DiLutis is in North Korea with the New York Philharmonic. He was tapped to sub for someone who couldn’t go.
On Tuesday, the orchestra will play in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. This is the first visit by an American cultural group to that country since President Bush lumped it into the “axis of evil.” According to the State Department, President Bush is encouraging the visit.
Skitty says, “I like High School Musical, High School Musical 2, and the song 'Ruby Blue' by Roisin Murphy."
Skitty would also like to squash the urban legend that the Cookie Monster (seen on WXXI-TV’s Sesame Street) will evolve into the Veggie Monster. Not true, though sources close to the puppet say Cookie is diversifying his diet to include the occasional broccoli spear. Skitty is not sure what to make of Lindsay Lohan posing as Marilyn Monroe in New York magazine. She’s wholly vegetarian, but not for kids.
Greenwood Books on East Avenue (near the RPO Box office) is slowly selling off about eight thousand books formerly owned by the late composer David Diamond. The books, mostly about music, are on a shelf near the entrance, facing the door. I’ve bought two so far, and the cool thing about them is that Diamond wrote in his books, reacting to what he was reading.
For example, in The State of Music, critic and composer Virgil Thomson writes about the lifestyles of musicians:
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