Thursday, November 19, 2015

Brian Alegant Honored as a Professor of the Year -- Excellence in Teaching and Service

Brian Alegant is named U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and he is the first music professor to have earned this award.  As a professor at the Oberlin College Conservatory, Mr. Alegant has explored the notion of "scuba diving" in his teaching, focusing on covering less material in greater depth. And he says he never teaches the same class in quite the same way. Instead of lectures, quizzes, and examinations, Mr. Alegant’s curriculum for budding musicians uses self-designed projects and self-assessment, drawing from every genre to help "students to engage with the music they love as deeply and rigorously as possible," he says. "I am motivated by a desire to share the transformative power of music — my awe of it."  More

Monday, November 9, 2015

Jim and Susan Neumann’s Bee Hive Records

Mosaic Records has recently released The Complete Bee Hive Sessions (#261) as a twelve-disc, limited edition box set, making this material available on CD for the first time ever.

Bee Hive Records was founded by Jim and Susan Neumann, donors of the James R. and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection in the Conservatory Library’s special collections.
The label was active from 1977 to 1985, releasing seventeen LPs that featured an impressive roster of established jazz talent.  All seventeen LPs have been individually cataloged and digitized by Oberlin and are available to stream for Oberlin students and staff.

The Mosaic box set features the majority of the material from the original LPs along with a variety of previously-unreleased content.  Oberlin’s copy is number 0149 of an edition limited to 5,000 albums.

Friday, October 30, 2015

New York Philharmonic May Be Headed to the East Side


The New York Philharmonic may move into the Hunter College auditorium during the planned two-year renovation of David Geffen Hall in 2019. Both sides say it's a strong possibility, although Hunter's 2,000-seat facility, located at East 68th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues, would first need some $25 million worth of renovations.

The orchestra still needs to raise an additional $400 million for the renovation of its home base. And since the first $100 million came from David Geffen, for whom the hall is now named, future naming opportunities for other large gifts would seem severely limited.

Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab has confirmed "serious conversations" about the move; Philharmonic President Matthew VanBesien concurs.

Lucerne Fest to Feature Women of the Stick

The focus of the 2016 Lucerne Festival (August 12--September 11) will be women conductors and artists; organizers have chosen the title "PrimaDonna" as the theme. Conductors, who hardly fit that description, will include Marin Alsop, who will bring her São Paulo Symphony Orchestra; Barbara Hannigan, conducting the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Emmanuelle Haïm, who will stand on the podium before the not-so-women-friendly Vienna Philharmonic; and Susanna Mälkki leading the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in a new work for percussion and orchestra by festival composer-in-residence Olga Neuwirth. 

Coppock Retiring from St. Paul; Limbacher Exiting Cleveland Orchestra


Bruce Coppock, president and managing director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, has announced that he will retire in January after 11 very productive years in the job. His position will be divided between John Limbacher, current chief development officer of the Cleveland Orchestra, and SPCO principal second violin Kyu-Young Kim, also senior director of artistic planning. Limbacher will tend to the administrative end of the St. Paul operation and Kim the artistic.

Limbacher is the fourth key player to exit Cleveland in recent months.

Coppock, 64, led the orchestra from 1999 to 2008; he was forced to resign when diagnosed with bile duct cancer. He managed to survive the usually fatal disease and returned to the orchestra in 2013. He and Limbacher have been working together since 1995, when Coppock was head of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The best news is, he is retiring in good health.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mozart's 'I Want My Music Back' Letter Fetches $217,000 in Auction

A letter written by Mozart to a close friend asking for the return three music scores A letter written by Mozart to a close friend asking for the return three music scores (RR Auction)
A letter by Mozart seeking to reclaim some scores from a friend fetched $217,000 at an auction in Boston on Thursday.  more

7 tips for performing from memory

Memory-playing is your next step towards advancement in music. It will open up many new and bigger opportunities to you as well as a higher standing and recognition.
Reginald Foort, The Strad, March 1928
First take a precise mental photograph of the bar as it looks in case your idea of the sound should not be trustworthy; secondly, when you have considered each detail of the passage, trust your fingers. When the student is about to perform in public for the first time without notes, let him leave his music in the dressing-room, because he is liable to feel, suddenly, that he cannot get on without it.
L.H.W., The Strad, February 1910
With the right concept and skills, any musician can successfully learn music by heart. Secure memorisation rests on a foundation of deep learning. more