Classical 91.5

Arts

General arts & cultural NEWS

Dr. Jefferson Svengsouk wearing a hat and holding a Native American flute
rochesterfringe.com

“My understanding of healing has expanded so much from beyond just the technical to the whole person.” – Dr. Jefferson Svengsouk 

Jefferson Svengsouk is a doctor at the University of Rochester Medical School, where his specialties include emergency medicine and palliative medical care. 

He works his love of music into his practice in a way that is able to relieve pain and anxiety and help patients find peace. He has also found it to be helpful for families of patients, and even fellow hospital staff benefit from the music reducing their stress. 

Let’s call it a growth opportunity.  In 1971, only 1.4 percent of the orchestras registered in The Musicians Guide were led by women. Ten years later, that number was slightly higher; 4.3 percent of orchestras in the annual American Orchestra League Directory published by Symphony Magazine had women directors.  By 1988, the number was 56 out of 845.  That's still less than seven percent.   Today, that number is only marginally improved.

On this Primary Day, let's think about the influence of politicians on music.  This summer, President Obama made news when he released his personal playlist.  That’s no surprise.  American Presidents and their families have always influenced who and what we listen to.  George Washington loved to dance, especially the minuet.  Abe Lincoln said he couldn't live without music.  Teddy Roosevelt embraced jazz.  

RBJ

There's a big, empty space in the heart of downtown Rochester.  How to fill it?   Among a thousand opinions are four concrete new proposals, officially submitted to the City of Rochester as of  last Friday.   One of them is for a new performing arts center.  The Rochester Broadway Theater League's plan calls for a 3,000 seat  performing arts center at the site.  Read more here.

Derek Gripper was a musician with a problem. He'd been playing classical music since he was 6 years old — violin, then piano and finally guitar. He was poised for an international career as a classical guitarist. But he remembers going to the homeland of one of his favorite composers, Johann Sebastian Bach.

"It felt kind of strange," he says. "It felt strange to be in Germany playing Bach to them."

First Listen: Jóhann Jóhannsson, 'Orphée'

Sep 8, 2016

One of the most enduring stories at the intersection of music and love is the Orpheus myth. The ancient Greek paragon of all-encompassing musical talent and fatalistic passion has inspired artists of all stripes in all eras.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.


As a 16-year-old, Pretty Yende was sitting with her parents in their rural South African home watching TV when a British Airways ad came on. As the sweet music swelled and voices intertwined, Yende was mesmerized. The only problem: She had no idea what to call the beautiful music she'd just heard.

Ooops.  The Wells Fargo financial company of Music Man fame misfired  with a print brochure suggesting smart young people should avoid careers in the arts.  Artists, actors, and musicians of all stripes fired back with snark and outrage.  Wells Fargo apologized.  Read more here.

photo: Eastman School

"At the University of Rochester, the Eastman School of Music has proposed a new master of arts in music leadership.   If approved, the new degree would be offered next summer and count as a concentration for those who go on to earn an MBA from Simon."

When Yuja Wang appeared with the RPO in the spring, she dazzled audiences with her vivid interpretations of two Bartok piano concertos and her unconventional concert attire.   At least one Classical 91.5 listener found the sight of her bare legs too distracting. 

Pages