Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general.  Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Ways to Connect

It's like hugging a goat...”

 

  That's one of the things that really caught my attention when talking over the phone to Shahin Monshipour, of International Culture and Arts Network (ICAN) about the upcoming celebration of Nowruz, Persian New Year, at St. John Fisher this weekend.

 

She was talking about the Ney-anban, the Persian bagpipe. The “bag” part of this instrument is often made from a goat and a sheep, so when you playing it, you are in a sense, hugging a goat.

 It happened one day in 9th Grade Choir at East High School.

It was the spring of 1965 and our music teacher Mr. W. had just introduced us to some new music that we would perform later that year.

Mr. W. instructed us to watch him very closely as he demonstrated the fine technique of breathing just before he started to sing the first note. He opened his mouth and let out a big gasp. Mr. W. caught his dentures from falling out!

Dream Season

Mar 2, 2018
Suzi Gorman

After my recent conversation on Connections with Evan Dawson talking to Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Music Director Ward Stare and CEO Curtis Long about the RPO’s 2018-2019 season, I started thinking, "What if I were in charge?  What would be my dream season for the RPO?"

“When out walking, I have a habit of going along with my head down, deep in thought (imaginary conversations or worries, or problems) and suddenly “coming to”, and looking around at the landscape and sky, I realize what unspeakable beauty I am missing.

A fine morning – an undefined feeling of change is not exactly a “Vorfrühling” hint, but of something not quite winter.”

Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 1, 1939

via theviolinchannel.com

"...having to work from a manuscript or reading an unknown score, analyzing and “hearing” it in your head before you pick up your instrument helps enormously in learning how to create an interpretation based solely on your own intuition, musical knowledge and the information in front of you. Curiosity, reading and listening to as much music as possible also leads to new ideas and provides endless sources of inspiration."

Getty images

I love figure skating!  With the Winter Olympics on, here's your very basic guide to Western classical music AND some breathtaking spins, too.

Singing to Power

Jan 31, 2018
Leonardo da Vinci

“Don’t be born a woman if you want to have your own way.”  - Nannina de’ Medici

For some 15th century wealthy women, performing was a political duty.

Bernard Herrmann: The Man Who Wrote So Much

Jan 25, 2018

He captured love, loss, and all the things that go bump in the night. But who is the man behind the music of America’s favorite classic films?

Glenn McClure

We’re following the adventures of composer Glenn McClure, who journeyed to Antarctica in late 2016. During an epic journey funded by the National Science Foundation, the SUNY Geneseo and Eastman professor lived in a tent on an ice shelf and worked with scientists to collect data. He is now using that data as inspiration for new music.

Take a listen:

The composer writes:

Marsha Rivers

A memory:

I'm walking out of the school cafeteria - fifth or sixth grade - sunlight streams through the windows, the air heavy is with the smell of goulash and green beans from that day's lunch. My dad (who was the junior high band director) and the elementary music school teacher, Mr. Grammatico, stop me in the hall. My dad is holding an empty glass coke bottle.

“What’s this note?” my dad asks me.  He blows across the top of the coke bottle and produced a low hoot.

“A-flat,” I say automatically.

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