Tuesday, September 27, 2011

'Dr Sun Yat-Sen' (by Huang Ruo '00) Cancelled

from MusicalAmerica.com
It looks like “Dr. Sun Yat-Sen” the opera will not get its premiere at the Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts after all. Scheduled to bow on Sept. 30, the new work by Huang Ruo was suddenly pulled last week from the schedule for what are rumored to be “political reasons.” So the opera will get its first outing instead by Opera Hong Kong, its primary producer, on Oct. 13.

The official reason for the last-minute cancellation is logistical problems, but few observers believe that. Karsten Witt Management in Berlin, which represents the composer, tells the South China Morning Post that the production was indeed "cancelled ... due to political reasons." Update, 9/26 11 p.m. The New York Times reports speaking with an unnamed source in that office today who said "a government official had gone to rehearsals and decided that the music was inappropriate."

Sun was the first president of the Republic of China. The opera's premiere was planned to coincide with the centenary of the Republic.

Sit-in as Royal Conservatoire of Scotland sets fees

Students have staged a sit-in after the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) set its tuition fees for students from outside Scotland at up to £36,000.

The board of governors agreed that annual undergraduate fees be set at £9,000 for non-Scottish students.
Students from the rest of the UK will pay a comparable amount to those at similar institutes in England.

Fees match charges in England for three and four-year undergraduate degree courses in music and dance.  Read more.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall Equinox! A Song That Says Fall: Richard Strauss' 'September'

from NPR:  Autumn is in the air — you can just sense it. It's a feeling beyond just the evening chill, or noticing the calendar date (the autumnal equinox for the Northern Hemisphere officially takes place on Friday at 5:05 a.m.). No, something more enigmatic gets triggered and tells us, "It's fall now."

Music can have those mysterious triggers, too. Some pieces, such as the "Autumn" concerto from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, wear their fall titles proudly. But others, like late Brahms piano pieces, songs by Bon Iver and Elliott Smith, or the fifth symphony by Vaughan Williams, say fall — at least to me — but in less obvious ways. It's not easy to put your finger on why it is.  Read More and Watch Jessye Norman Sing "September" by Richard Strauss!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New title in Periodicals

Orgues Nouvelles has been added to the shelves in Periodicals.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rethinking Sheet Music, With A Few Bells And Whistles

The acoustic piano hasn't changed much lately, but you can't say the same for sheet music. These days, piano scores are a click away — not just on your laptop, but via fancy new apps like Etude 2.0, which Steinway & Sons officially launches today for the iPad. It's essentially a souped-up sheet-music store, with a couple of slick interactive functions, at least one of which is designed to help you learn to play.

I downloaded the free Etude app and immediately found plenty of fast, free sheet-music downloads. Not a pianist, I opted for something super-simple, the Pachelbel "Canon," then shuffled off to our Yamaha grand to see if Etude could help me learn to play it.  Read More.

Monday, September 12, 2011

NEW in Con Ref -- Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide

Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide (new in the Conservatory Reference Collection)
 is an annotated bibliography to books, recordings, videos, and websites in the field of ethnomusicology. The book is divided into two parts. Part One is organized by resource type in categories of greatest concern to students and scholars. It includes handbooks and guides; encyclopedias and dictionaries; indexes and bibliographies; journals; media sources; and archives. It also offers annotated entries on the basic literature of ethnomusicological history and research. Part Two provides a list of current publications in the field that are widely used by ethnomusicologists. Multiply indexed, this book serves as an excellent tool for librarians, researchers, and scholars in sorting through the massive amount of new material that has appeared in the field over the last decades.

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 In Children's Voices: Michael Gordon's 'The Sad Park'

Michael Gordon never planned to write a piece of music based on the events of Sept. 11.

"I wouldn't have known how to approach this subject," he says. "I wouldn't have dared approach this subject. It's huge and I don't think I could have done it justice."

But Gordon, one of the co-founders of the new music collective Bang on a Can, eventually did write a 9/11 piece, The Sad Park. He found inspiration amid an unlikely group of commentators — the 3- and 4-year-olds who attended a Lower Manhattan preschool with his son after 9/11.  Read more & Listen to the piece here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in World

On September 6, 2011, we announced that we are making journal content in JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.  This “Early Journal Content” includes discourse and scholarship in the arts and humanities, economics and politics, and in mathematics and other sciences.  It includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals. This represents 6% of the content on JSTOR.  Read More

One solution for paralyzing stage fright

Zoe Keating: A Symphony Unto Herself by Martina Castro

 Keating started playing the cello classically when she was 8 — but when she reached her teens, something weird started happening during her performances.

"Suddenly I'm like, 'How am I doing this? This seems really difficult. How am I doing this?' And then, soon enough, [I] wouldn't be able to play the cello," Keating says, laughing.

These performance hiccups developed into paralyzing stage fright, which led Keating to give up pursing a classical career. However, she continued to play through college, and eventually discovered a way to do it without fear.

"I started improvising," she says. "And I found that when I improvised, I wasn't nervous."  Read more