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Classical music to thumb nose at British Parliament

 What do British people do when they get really angry about their elected officials spending hideous amounts of taxpayer money on things like life-size statues of Winston Churchill made out of Legos?  They write an opera, of course.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: MPs' expenses: Queen's composer to write comic opera
 
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Blue skies

On a recent Monday morning I walked into the studio of Rochester's classical music station cradling a stack of CDs in one arm and a sheaf of news reports in the other. The news was not good. The sky threatened rain. I slipped a CD into the player and started a Haydn symphony, a cheerful burst of minty freshness. I followed that with Vivaldi's chirpy Goldfinch Concerto, a flashy set of trills inspired by the song of the European goldfinch, (a mouse of a bird that's not even gold, by the way.)
 
The music was sunny. But as the minutes ticked by, my mood darkened. It DID start to rain. More depressing stories poured into the newsroom.
 
At one point I actually thought to myself, “What annoying person picked all of this chirrupy music for a dismal Monday morning?”
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When jazz used to be a four-letter word...

I got an email this week with the subject heading "jass" and this website linked in the body.  This email came from a reputable source, so I knew the link would be at least entertaining, and probably informative.

Classical music goes X-TREEM!

OK, so we all know how cool the MET Opera at the movies is.  And that Sabres game they played outside in the snow was super-sweet.  The San Francisco Opera jumped on these two ideas, and decided to simulcast opera performances in the Giants' baseball stadium.  This all got me thinking about other ways we could supersize classical music...
 
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Two sides of the opera coin

 Young people hate opera.  No, no--young people totally dig opera!  Whatever: young people should like opera because it's good for them.  You're all wrong: opera's just completely dead.
 
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Program changes on 91.5

With the retirement of Simon Pontin from the Sunshine Show and Salmagundy, we at Classical 91.5 are for the first time in over 30 years having to look at what program content to choose to enhance our classical music service and maintain, and hopefully grow, our audience for the future.  As hard as it has been for listeners - and staff - to say goodbye to a dear friend, this is a new era for Classical 91.5 and an opportunity to make our service even stronger for listeners of today - and tomorrow.
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A do-it-yourself diva--and she's normal to boot!

"I'd abolish all music competitions. People should be judged on their merits, not against other people. And I'd like to dispel the myth that high art is snobbish – it just needs a bit of effort on both sides."  With sentiment like that, this diva clearly has her feet firmly rooted on the ground.
 
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My forte is louder than yours!

"The day I enter a music competition is the day the New York Phil and Chicago Symphony duke it out in a steel cage Mahler death match."  What are the benfits of music competitions?
 
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Changes

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.
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