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General arts & cultural NEWS

Laura Strickling and family are okay.  But she says just thinking about the potential impact of Hurricane Jose turns her stomach.   The First Prize winner in Rochester's 2015 Classical Idol Competition, Strickling lives in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, with her husband, a lawyer, and one year-old daughter.  She has asked her story be shared in order to keep a spotlight on the suffering in her community. 

Early Saturday morning, September 9th, she described her current situation on social media:

"Day 2, After #HurricaneIrma

Pulitzer-prize winning composer George Walker has written ten sonatas, two string quartets, and challenging concertos for piano, violin, cello, and trombone.   Last year he finished a new sinfonia.   What makes Walker’s latest creation so rare is that when he finished it, he was 94 years old.  Read Frank Oteri's profile here.

The Fischoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the country   – more than 100 music groups of 3 to 6 players enter each year. This year, gold prize winners at this prestigious competition were from the Eastman School of Music – The Fuego Quartet.  

The intrepid pianist Marc-André Hamelin has a reputation for embracing the toughest, strangest music. His new recording of For Bunita Marcus by Morton Feldman is a fine example. For nearly 75 minutes the music never rises above a whisper and the damper pedal is always pressed down, allowing single notes to ring out into vast, silent spaces.

Vegetables aren't just for eating...

Sep 4, 2017
The New York Times

Oboists may complain about making their own reeds, but imagine having to make your entire instrument every time you perform! That's exactly what the musicians of the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra have to do. 

Read more about this unique approach to music: Cue the Carrots! Strike Up the Squash!

Earlier this summer, NPR Music put out a list that they called “an intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation” - The 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women. 

  Anne Midgette wrote in the Washington Post, "NPR’s recent list of the 150 greatest albums by women was inspiring — but where were the composers? In the wake of much discussion about the chronic underrepresentation of female composers on American concert programs, I came up with my own best-of list.”

This should be a big year for Amy Beach.  September 5th is the composer's 150th birth anniversary.  But aside from a few commemorative dates and this major event in Rochester, NY, not much else appears to be happening to mark her achievements.

“My work has always been judged from the beginning by work as such, not according to sex,” she insisted. “The question has rarely ever been raised.”

Image from video posted by Joni Villemez-Comeaux

Volunteer gospel singers are cheering hurricane refugees in shelters in and around Houston.

"I'm a Christian so we have a duty and assignment to love people everyday no matter what their color, their background or race, and what they're driven," said singer Marquist Taylor, vice president of Others Outreach Missions.

Listen and watch here.

The lobby of a Silicon Valley tech company is not where you would expect to hear a soprano belting out a Puccini aria, but that was exactly what happened at the first performance of Arias in the Office.

With "Ch'il Bel Sogno," soprano Katharine Gunnink kicked off the new pop-up series at Adobe's San Jose headquarters at the beginning of August. The initiative by Opera San José aims to introduce people to the very concept of opera as something that can be fun and enjoyable.

http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2017/lessons-about-new-york-churchs-historic-pipe-organ-part-of-music-camp.cfm

Jared Lamenzo, organist at the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in Manhattan, plays the parish's 1868 Henry Erben Pipe Organ for these young organ enthusiasts. 

This summer eleven children took part in the first every summer music camp "Pipes, Pedals and Peals" where they learned about the history of the organ, had lessons in playing the violin and handbell chimes, and got to build a miniature replica of the Erben organ from a special kit, helping them understand the functioning of the organ.

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