Buzz

Southbound
5 Mar 2012
Inside the Classics

The orchestra’s off to Florida for the week, and before you get too envious, know that we’ll be spending the vast bulk of our non-performing time on buses, traveling between cities full of Minnesota snowbirds. (Okay, there might be a small chance of a few violists taking in a spring training game or two.)

Ordinarily, I keep up a steady stream of blog posts during our tours, but unless something truly momentous occurs while we’re down in the Sunshine State, that probably isn’t going to happen this time around, for the simple reason that I need to be spending pretty much every spare minute I have right now working on the first half of the Acadia premiere concerts. Judd, Sarah and I have already roughed out what we’ll be talking about, but there’s a lot of work left to do, especially since video will be a major component of those performances.

So I’ll be leaving you all behind for the week, is what I’m saying. Apologies. To tide you over, here are a few clickables well worth your time…

  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic and their wunderkind music director Gustavo Dudamel recently had a tour of their own, to Dudamel’s home country of Venezuela. The Dude is probably the biggest success story for Venezuela’s legendary (and publicly funded to the tune of $100 million per year) music education system, El Sistema, and critic Mark Swed saw some important lessons for America in the Venezuelan system.
  • In spite of the ongoing chorus of self-important doomsayers who insist that classical music and its institutions are withering on the vine, there’s actually quite an important renaissance in new music happening on both sides of the Atlantic these days. But what should the existing music industry do with that renaissance? Well, here’s a thought: “What’s needed is a total collaboration between the mainstream music industry and the classical world at every level, from label to artist to administrator to critic. The industry must find the confidence to put its weight and its wallet behind major projects and artists, while the classical world needs to abandon old attitudes and collaborate artistically, opening its doors to legions of new fans.”
  • Last week, in New York, Composer Institute alum (and New Amsterdam artist) Missy Mazzoli opened her new opera, Song From the Uproar, to rave reviews across the board. Why does this matter to you, here in Minnesota? Well, because of this: Missy is going to be back in the Cities the week of our Acadia premiere, performing as part of a Kate Nordstrum-produced showcase at Bryant Lake Bowl. Kate has kindly coordinated this show to fall the night before our ItC weekend begins, and myself and three other MN Orch musicians will be appearing at BLB as well, backing up violist Nadia Sirota on another of Judd’s chamber works. It’s a small venue, and a very impressive lineup of composers and performers, so you’ll want to get your tickets early!
  • Hmm, what else? Maybe a nice video clip to keep you warm while I’m down in Florida, sweating and swatting bugs? Can do: please enjoy the awesomeness that is St. Paul’s very own Parker Quartet

Have a good week, you guys. Talk atcha once I’m back in northern climes…

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