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    My previous post was about the recent musical protest at the St. Louis Symphony performance of the Brahms Requiem. I’ve been thinking about other ways that protest and music intersect a lot since I first heard about that incident – this post will address two very different examples. There was another concert that same week which got some attention – a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall which included the …

                  Reading about two recent concerts got me thinking again about the “sanctity” of the concert hall and the role of the audience. In one, the performance was “interrupted” by a musical protest by members of the audience, while in the other, the applause after a premiere was mixed with boos, something the review found noteworthy. Today’s post is about the first one – I’ll look …

                          Recently, a radio station in Calgary announced plans to broadcast what they called “twice the music,” which meant edited, significantly shorter versions of pop songs (around 2 minutes), enabling them to play more tunes per hour. You can listen to the NPR story about this here. As many were quick to point out, this isn’t twice the music, it’s …

          The other night, I stopped at my local UDF, a chain of convenience stores and gas stations. As I walked out, I heard a Beethoven violin sonata coming from the speakers hanging by the front door. They play classical music to keep people from loitering outside, because, really, who could stand to listen to that? I’ve run into this in other places (you may have, …

  The other day, an American got thrown out of a concert in Britain for crowdsurfing – surely not the first time that’s happened. Here’s the catch – it was at a performance of Handel’s Messiah, and the offender was a Stanford University expert in “non-equilibrium molecular reaction dynamics.” Weren’t expecting that, were you? The concert was at the Bristol Old Vic, on a series designed to be “accessible and …

  Recently, Sir Mix-a-Lot appeared with the Seattle Symphony to perform his signature song “Baby Got Back,” with orchestration by Gabriel Prokofiev (composer and grandson of the famous Russian). Video of the performance has gone viral on Youtube, with over 2 million views in less than a week. The concert was a special occasion, for two reasons. It was part of the Symphony’s Sonic Evolution series, premiering new works inspired …

    “Quit thinking like a classical musician and start thinking like a rock musician.” So says Ivan Trevino, one of the cellists in the band Break of Reality. In a blog post on the website of The Strad magazine, Trevino shares his thoughts on how classical musicians can learn from the rock world. His best observations are about the over-thinking we classical players do, and how it can hurt …

From the New York Times review of the Budapest Festival Orchestra concert on Monday: “(The orchestra) was almost halfway into its performance of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 (Op. 72) on Monday evening when Gaspar Szente, one of its percussionists, ambled through the string section to the front of the stage. Sitting down on the stool that had been placed there for the next concerto’s solo cellist, he calmly reached …

Yesterday, I played on a concert of opera favorites with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the excellent soprano Sarah Coburn. The program included the famous Rossini overture to “The Barber of Seville,” which frankly is hard for me to get through without giggling – I can only think of Bugs Bunny torturing Elmer Fudd – “Ehhhhhhhh – next!” Besides being the soundtrack for perhaps the greatest cartoon of all time, …