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the classical flipside

Quartsemble's new album, TangoQuartsemble's new album, Tango
Today a few Rochesterians will go hear string quartet Quartsemble perform in the Hochstein Performance Hall.

Next month, others will hear the same group -- in a bar.

WRUR’s Scott Regan tipped me off to the fact that Quartsemble has been playing a monthly gig at the Flipside Bar and Grill. (Next time they’ll play is December 16th. http://www.flipsidebarandgrill.com/)

A lot of classical musicians, impatient with the clunky cultural trappings of the traditional scene, are popping up in unexpected places.

Baltimore-based saxophonist Brian Sacawa writes about his experience playing bars,

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Reading + Writing + Family = Loads of Fun!

While trying to decide upon a focus for this week's blog, I browsed through my holidays and observances calendar for inspiration. Lucky for me, a few related themes quickly jumped out, so here I am writing about.....writing. And reading. And families. Being a bit of a bibliophile, I am quite excited to share some ideas, resources and thoughts on reading, writing and family. I read a lot, I write a lot and I have a LOT of family. This is as good as combining chocolate and peanut butter!

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After the Ball

I went to the ball and came home with both slippers firmly attached.

The ball was the annual Viennese Ball in Wilson Commons at the University of Rochester.

David Harman’s U of R Chamber Orchestra sounded glossy and polished playing Strauss classics such as the “Radetsky March,” “The Blue Danube,” and “Tales from the Vienna Woods.”

Harman even conducted a surprisingly elegant version of "The Chicken Dance." People flapped and clucked.

Upstairs, Irina Georgieva led the U of R Chamber Singers in a delicate, incisive rendition of Johannes Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes.

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the savage breast

Monday night. Off to Oratorio Society to practice singing Handel’s Messiah.

I’m not alone. Hundreds of local singers all over Western New York are preparing for what’s become a holiday ritual. Adding up the performances from my group, the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, The Publick Musick, and dozens of smaller choirs, you could probably hear Messiah live twice a week until Christmas. Beats shopping.

In a feeble effort to live a more mindful existence, I recently started taking notes during rehearsals.

My notes look like this:

“Altos flat.”
“All WL Sheep like NBC theme.”
“Poor Eric w/ broken arm!!”
“Gates have no heads.”
“Hallelujah. UGH.”

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Something Only You Can Do

This blog builds upon the previous message that highlighted the importance of making your mark in life. Now that you have made a decision to solve a problem in your community, the next logical step is to figure out where your passion lies and the specific problem you want to solve.

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Oh, Canada

You may be planning more summer trips to Niagara.

According to today’s Toronto Star, the National Arts Centre (NAC) and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) plan to establish a major new summer music festival. Presently, they’re calling it Project Niagara. The Shaw Festival folk are thrilled.

The performances would be held on a covered stage area with lots of seating on the lawn.

From May to September, this “Tanglewood North” would be a place to hear the NAC Orchestra conducted by Pinchas Zukerman and the TSO, led by Peter Oundjian.

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And the winners are . . .

Pac ManPac Man

. . . the kite, Raggedy Andy, and the Atari 2600 game system.

The Atari system beat out Hot Wheels, Yahtzee, and the Game of Life for recognition by the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.

Sincerely,
Mr. Potato Head

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Kaboom!

This morning I’m off to cover the induction ceremony of 2 new toys to the National Toy Hall of Fame.

This year's nominees are:

Atari Game System, Baby Doll, Big Wheel, Game of Life, Hot Wheels, Kite, My Little Pony, Pogo Stick, Raggedy Andy, Skateboard, Spirograph, and Yahtzee.

Only 2 of the 12 nominees will get to take their honored places in the hall.

Personally, I’m rooting for Yahtzee and Atari. I was the reigning family champ of the 1980’s classic Kaboom!

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First Snowflake

Today I saw my first snowflake of the season, and suddenly, almost spontaneously, this little original poem popped into my mind.

I saw a snowflake in the air...
Where it came down? I know not where.
Not on my nose. Not on my tongue.
The Joy of Winter has begun.

Ok...so I love winter. Ask me again in mid January when we're up to our kneecaps with the fluffy white stuff. Thank goodness for Classical 91.5 to keep me warm with great music all year round.

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From the Top tickets going fast!

From the Top tickets are going fast!

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