Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pianist with Synesthesia Performs Bach in Living Color

Evan Shinners, the charismatic young pianist who was an audience favorite at WQXR's Beethoven Sonata Marathon in November, has released a video intended to illustrate his experiences with synesthesia.

The video features a hallucinogenic sequence of flashing colors as Shinners romps through a Bach fugue on a creaky upright piano. Synesthesia, the association of colors with particular sounds or harmonies, has been claimed by classical musicians from Liszt and Messiaen to the pianist Helene Grimaud.  Watch the Video

Conservatory Library's Supplementary Long-Playing Record Catalog!!

In case you've noticed the LP catalog is empty, it's now available online!!

The Supplementary LP Recording Catalog contains access to recordings cataloged prior to 1976 not otherwise included in OBIS.  Take a look!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Behind the Rash of Tuba Thefts

They've still got their trombones and their trumpets, their cornets and their clarinets.

But the high school marching bands of Southern California are tuba-less these days, and their music directors think they know why.

There's a banda bandit on the loose, they say. Someone, they believe, is breaking into high schools from the east side of Los Angeles to the shores of Manhattan Beach and stealing expensive tubas to supply a fast-growing black market for banda music.

Once little known north of Mexico, banda has become the fastest growing genre of Latino music in the United States over the past 20 years. It is particularly popular in Los Angeles, where musicians gather in places like Mariachi Plaza to offer their services to parties, weddings, quinceaneras and other events.  Read More

Musicians Protest Use of Canned Music

Musicians staged a rally in front of Lincoln Center Tuesday night to protest the Paul Taylor Dance Company's use of canned music to accompany its performances.

About 35 musicians from Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians handed out fliers and in one case, played the violin, as audiences arrived for the dance company's first show in a three-week run at the David H. Koch Theater.

In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Tino Gagliardi, the president of Local 802, said the union had approached the Paul Taylor Dance Company late last year to request that it begin using live musical accompaniment, arguing that recorded music has never previously had a significant place on Lincoln Center's stages. The company says it doesn't have the budget.  Read More

Monday, March 12, 2012

Japanese Researcher Creates Spider Silk Violin Strings

Shigeyoshi Osaki, a researcher at Japan’s Nara Medical University, has used thousands of strands of spider silk to create violin strings.

Osaki has studied spider silk for 35 years. And he heard something 10 years ago that narrowed his focus.

“I was impressed by the beautiful tone from the violin when I heard the music of the violin in the church,” Osaki said. “I have never forgotten that tone since.”

His love of music, combined with his expertise in spider silk, led to his use of dragline silk, which is the silk from which spiders hang, to create violin strings.  Read More

Fistfight Breaks out at Chicago Symphony Concert

It was an unusual backdrop for a fistfight: Maestro Riccardo Muti was nearly through the second movement of Brahms Symphony No. 2 at the normally staid Chicago Symphony Orchestra when two patrons went at it.

Concert-goers at Orchestra Hall were all the more stunned Thursday because the two men were fighting in one of the boxes where the well-to-do normally sit in decorous self-restraint.  Read more

Friday, March 2, 2012

How do you warm up for a performance? Abdrazakov Alternates between Angry Monarchs and Angry Birds

News Has a Kind of Mystery
 I need to sleep well. I hate to wake up early. If I have a performance at 7:00 or 8:00, I need to wake up by midday...

I shave, of course.

Better Red than Bread
No breakfast. I go to lunch immediately at 3:00. I prefer to eat meat.  Read more