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Franz Liszt was a Freemason!

From James Huneker's 1911 book about Franz Liszt:On the 31st of July last one of the greatest artists and men departed at Bayreuth for the eternal east, who had proved himself a worthy member of our brotherhood by his deeds through his whole eventful life. Show More Summary

Ursula Oppens – Thinking of the next note

11 hours agoMusic / Classical : Sequenza21

Upon entering Ursula Oppens’ modestly furnished, yet comfortable Upper West Side apartment with a view of the pedigreed patina of the historistic cupola belonging to Columbia University’s campus building, one is immediately taken by the vibrant aura that surrounds the eminent musician. The personable pianist speaks softly, yet animatedly, in a welcoming way; her reputation […]

An Afro-American pioneer at the Met turns 80

16 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

George Shirley’s lists of firsts is near-inexhaustible. He was the first African-American to be appointed to a high school teaching post in music in Detroit, the first African-American member of the United States Army Chorus in Washington, D.C., and the first African-American tenor and second African-American male to sing leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, […]

Rita or Deux Hommes et une Femme

17 hours agoMusic / Classical : Planet Hugill

Donizetti Rita or Deux Hommes et une Femme: Karneus, Banks, Maltman, Halle Orchestra, Elder: Opera Rara Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Mar 20 2014 Star rating: 4.5 Sparkling performance of a rare Donzetti late comedy, just don't read the...Show More Summary

Into 2015 with world premieres

18 hours agoMusic / Classical : Planet Hugill

Scottish Chamber Orchestra © Marco Borggreve The Scottish Chamber Orchestra has announced plans for 2014/15. This will be the sixth term for Robin Ticciati as Principal Conductor (and he has committed until at least 2018). The orchestra is presenting two world premieres during the season plus a Scottish premiere and two UK premieres. Show More Summary

Hilda Paredes

The Mexican-English composer has a website here. She is well served by a 2005 Mode disc, which features superb performances by the Arditti Quartet, Ian Pace, Ensemble Modern, and Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart. In 2012 she appeared in Miller Theatre's enduringly...

Encounters with Britten

Over at ArtsJournal, Terry Teachout has a posting up about his first encounter with Britten's music, which happened to have been the great Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. I am reasonably certain my own first Britten was the Variations...Show More Summary

Compare & Contrast 25

I have deep respect for Finn Pollard, of Where's Runnicles, and for Mark Berry, of Boulezian. They're both thoughtful, passionate, and intelligent reviewers whose comments illuminate whatever performance they're discussing. So it's with...Show More Summary

Joan Manen's "Garbo"

I just discovered the music of Joan Manen and thought I'd share this delightful tidbit:and this one for guitar:

Warsaw 1947: An American architect’s photos

Henry N. Cobb was part of a group of architects called in to explore the war-wasted city. Watch his riveting images. Read more here.

You sang it wrong at the Seder

These are some of the earliest known notations. h/t Joel Cohen. All together now: Chad gad-ya…   Read more here.

Danny Boy indeed

David Schofield & Daniel Parkinson on the RNCM Concert Hall stage picture credit Tom Gradwell Students from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (RNCM) are releasing a charity single in aid of the college's £3 million campaign to transform the 40-year-old concert all into a state of the art venue. Show More Summary

Stabat Mater dolorosa - Music for Passiontide

Stabat Mater dolorosa - Music for Passiontide: Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Graham Ross: Hamonia Mundi Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Apr 15 2014 Star rating: 5.0 Sequence of plainchant and polyphony for Passiontide spanning theShow More Summary

Chapelle du Roi - Tenebrae

Alistair Dixon and Chapelle du Roi are back at St. John's Smith Square on 16 April for their annual Holy Week concert, Tenebrae. The original Tenebrae service was held at sunset with the candles extinguished one by one, and the service...Show More Summary


This year's Pulitzer Prize for Music has gone, most deservedly, to John Luther Adams, for Become Ocean. Here is my review of the premiere. I also deeply admired the Other Adams's Gospel According to the Other May, cited as a...

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie, NY Times

I know, I know: after warning you of reduced posting, here I go again.But seriously: if you haven't read the fabulous Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie, which ran in yesterday's NY Times Magazine, do yourself a huge favor and run right over there. It is a great story: music, obsessive collectors, mystery, friendship, and John McPhee-level journalism.

Pulitzer to Adams

To John Luther Adams, that is, for Become Ocean. You can hear Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony perform it in the upcoming Spring for Music Festival, should you happen to be in NYC next month, on an environmentally-themed program...Show More Summary

Nobody Knows How to Read a 990

If you're interested in nonprofit organization finances, you owe it to yourself to become familiar with IRS Form 990. This is an annual tax filing required of nonprofits by the United States Internal Revenue Service, aka the Taxman.Show More Summary

Expect Reduced Posting...

...for a while. I am putting major effort into jujitsu and my dojo, after getting encouragement from both expected and unexpected quarters the other week at the annual convention of the American Judo & Jujitsu Federation. The hope is...Show More Summary

Here's what happened Saturday!

Michael and I walked Rachel down the aisle.Rachel and Seth got married.After Rachel's first dances with Seth and Michael, she sang with us. Ben played banjo, Michael played (Seth's) guitar, and I played (Rachel's) violin.Everyone had a great time. Then we all flew away from Los Angeles, including Rachel and Seth. It was a wonderful wedding. It was a wonderful weekend.

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