Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 7:15 pm
Conductor, pianist and peace advocate Daniel Barenboim first recorded all five of Beethoven's piano concertos in 1967. Barenboim, a brash and fantastically smart 24-year-old, was paired with an elder statesman, conductor Otto Klemperer. There was real magic in that collaboration, yielding recordings that still set a benchmark.
The late Stephane Grappelli is perhaps the best-known jazz violinist in history. His collaborations with guitarist Django Reinhardt have influenced countless musicians. A comparison to Grappelli is one of the highest honors a young, rising violinist can receive.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:27 pm
In the aftermath of Marvin Hamlisch's death, Michael Feinstein is taking the reins at the Pasadena Pops in California as the group's lead conductor. Here's the twist: Feinstein has never conducted before. "He's a musician's musician, and that's what our orchestra responds to and respects," says Paul Jan Zdunek, the CEO of the Pasadena Symphony Association.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:54 pm
Earlier this month the pioneering contemporary music label New Albion shut its doors after 25 indispensible years. Although in retrospect it seems obvious — the label hasn't offered a new release since 2008 — the announcement from Foster Reed, the label's founder and creative visionary, was still shocking. All of New Albion's remaining physical stock is being shipped off to its artists, while some (though apparently, only a few) of its releases are available through a digital storefront.
In the western suburbs of Paris 150 years ago today, a boy was born to an unassuming couple, proprietors of a china shop who had no great taste for music. But that little boy felt otherwise, and grew up to write music of bold color, timbre and harmonic daring.
Claude Debussy ignored the old rules about how to write music and in the process created a brave new world of sonic possibilities.