Nutritionists will tell you itâ€™s dangerous to shop for food when youâ€™re hungry and more likely to wander into Twinkieland. For me, the real peril lurks in Wegmansâ€™ book aisle, where on a recent Friday afternoon, I picked up The Doctor and the Diva, the debut novel by Adrienne McDonnell. â€śSome books just naturally enslave you,â€ť read the Washington Post blub on
You may see less arts coverage in the Democrat and Chronicle. The daily paperâ€™s classical music, jazz and dance reporter and critic, Anna Reguero, is leaving to pursue her doctorate in musicology. (You can hear our conversation about changes sheâ€™s seen in Rochester by clicking here.) She will not be replaced. In a city with a widespread affinity for music of all kinds, the decision by Rochesterâ€™s daily paper to not hire a new music writer is troubling but not surprising.
Letâ€™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 RPOâ€™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 â€śGIBBS AND MAINâ€ť 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 Societyâ€™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 â€śDark Hope,â€ť 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, â€śDeus Ex Machinaâ€ť 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 â€śBest Communities for Music Educationâ€ť 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.
Summer gives you the chance to enjoy music in unusual settings. Lakes. Woods. Corn fields. Festivals are popping up all over the region. Last week I had the privilege of seeing four operas at Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown and interviewing the incoming director, Francesca Zambello.
Since resigning my post as the organist and choirmaster for an Episcopal church, I’ve been singing for mere pleasure. But lately (maybe because I have more time for self-reflection) I’m noticing a couple of troubling things about my voice. After practices lasting more than two hours, I sound half an octave higher when I speak. That can’t be good. I must be tense.
The other issue is my ability to sustain a phrase. I run out of breath too quickly.
Iâ€™m solid with soul, swing, folk, funk, country, cajun, bop, bluegrass, reggae, r & b, dixieland, doo-wop and so on. But a while back I figured I could expand my tastes a bit more so I made an effort to try to appreciate classical music â€“ beyond Copland and Philip Glass (if he even counts). Opera seemed like an even bigger leap but Renee Fleming keeps tapping me on the shoulder. Maybe itâ€™s the idea that once you stop looking for something, you find it.