The New Yorker‘s distinguished music critic, Alex Ross, writes a column about criticism that echoes many we have penned here as we’ve watched commercial papers reduce again and again the coverage of the arts in their pages – and as their veteran writers fall by the wayside or accept “buy-outs” (and of course when these are offered they have no viable option to taking the cash and departing…). These columns we are talking about are not blogs – they are professionally done, edited, documented, fact-checked, often illustrated, sometimes even foot-noted…. Please remember to support the providers of serious reviews created near you with subscriptions or donations and other forms of encouragement. Here’s Alex’s latest: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-fate-of-the-critic-in-the-clickbait-age?mc_cid=c0b7e51e4e&mc_eid=c9681a22ac
It’s official: Proposed Trump budget would cut NEA, NEH, and CPB (PBS and NPR) (and never mind Meals on Wheels…).
Here are the first three paragraphs from the NY Times‘ report of 3/15:
“A deep fear came to pass for many artists, museums, and cultural organizations nationwide early Thursday morning when President Trump, in his first federal budget plan, proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“President Trump also proposed scrapping the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a key revenue source for PBS and National Public Radio stations, as well as the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
“It was the first time a president has called for ending the endowments. They were created in 1965 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation declaring that any “advanced civilization” must fully value the arts, the humanities, and cultural activity.”
For the whole story, click here https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/arts/nea-neh-endowments-trump.html?mc_cid=26340975a3&mc_eid=c9681a22ac&_r=0
The NYT put it this way: “San Francisco Symphony Replaces Canceled N.Carolina Concerts with Pride Benefit.”
Meanwhile, out in SanFran, the article on NC’s endless embarrassment looks like this. The meat of this matter is here:
“The concert is scheduled for April 4 in Davies Symphony Hall, just before Thomas and the orchestra leave for their tour of the East Coast. That tour had originally included two concert dates in Chapel Hill, N.C., but the Symphony canceled those appearances in December in response to the passage of HB2, the North Carolina law that overturned transgender protections.
“‘This special evening honors the essential contributions that LGBTQ composers have made in shaping the American musical sound,’ Thomas said in a statement.”
Among the many tributes to Paul Bryan as his 97th birthday draws near was the following, articulated during the Duke Wind Symphony’s February 23 celebratory concert in Baldwin Auditorium. We are indebted to Anthony M. Kelley for permission to reprint it here.
“Thanks to Paul Bryan, Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, John Yarbrough, friends, family, and the current/past Duke Wind Symphonians for this exciting opportunity to celebrate the birthday of one of my favorite people on the planet.
“I’ve enjoyed a regular weekly ritual of spending some hours in conversation and musical listening with P.B. over the past year, and quite frequently, he would inject a crucial observation. He’d say, essentially, that he owed much of his longevity partially to his impulse to “keep moving,” but even more importantly, he would remind himself regularly to fully engage in an act whose gratifying benefits we too often take for granted: “We have to remember to breathe,” he always implored me.
“Thinking about this more broadly, it’s dawned on me that PB has charged me and many others with that exact same, life-sustaining advice since we got our first glance at him on the conductor’s podium in Duke Wind Symphony. In that capacity, his advice has led us to aspire to more robust and longer-sustaining tones, which resulted in more virtuous musicality in a wind ensemble.
“But more and more, I also realize that the act of breathing is akin to the practice of human love, in that both depend on the inexorable pairing of forces — the inhale and the exhale; the regular chemical choreography of the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide; the unwavering, shared partnered investment in the sustaining existence of even itself.
“It’s therefore poignant to realize that my piece for Duke Wind Symphony, Caprice, would cease to even exist but for the human breath. Similarly, I am happy to report, the work’s life and energy are forever recharged not only by the new breaths and efforts of our talented young colleagues, but also by love itself.
‘While we are able to, may we all be fortunate enough to draw regularly upon PB’s sagacious, multi-coded, and persistent advice:
Classical Grammys? Lost in the overall shuffle but yes, there really were some. Here’s what’s said to be a complete list: http://www.classicalmpr.org/story/2017/02/12/2017-grammy-winners-in-classical-music?mc_cid=05493dbc42&mc_eid=c9681a22ac
“Vicious Circles” To Be Performed on January 28, 2017
Scott Lee‘s “Vicious Circles” was read in March 2016 by the North Carolina Symphony as part of a year-long engagement between the Duke University Department of Music and the NCS, including symposia, concerts, visiting composers and conductors, and courses devoted to the large ensemble and its repertoire. The program was made possible in part by a gift from alumna Penka Kouneva (Ph.D. 1997).
For additional information about the concert, click here.
In addition to winning Symphony In C‘s Young Composers’ Competition, Lee has been admitted as a Composition Fellow at the 2017 Aspen Music Festival. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in composition at Duke University, mentored by Scott Lindroth and Stephen Jaffe.
He is not the first Duke graduate student to win Symphony In C’s Young Composers’ Competition. Amy Scurria (Ph.D. 2015) won the 1997-98 competition with her work “Beyond All Walking.”
(Reprinted with permission of Duke’s Department of Music.)
RIP Nat Hentoff, long-time Village Voice jazz critic – and much, much more – who died Jan. 7 in New York. The obit – from the paper for which he wrote until 2009 – is here.
We’ve been talking about expanding CVNC‘s arts coverage to include articles in Spanish. With snow on the ground there may be no better time to try this so here are links to a series of extraordinary reviews by our Miami-based friend Sebastian Spreng.
Readers, PLEASE share your responses with us so we may gauge how we proceed from here.
With thanks in advance! Enjoy!
Alban Berg’s Wozzeck on DVD from Accentus: http://www.elnuevoherald.com/entretenimiento/musica/article124258064.htm
Jamie Barton in recital for Delos: https://miamiclasica.com/2016/12/09/jamie-barton-feliz-de-hallarse-sin-vagar/
And four recent live performances reviewed by the same critic:
Orchestral concerts in Florida: https://miamiclasica.com/2016/12/13/de-dos-en-dos-fort-lauderdale-miami-beach/
Florida Grand Opera’s Carmen: https://miamiclasica.com/2016/11/14/dos-espanolisimos-lideran-la-carmen-de-fgo/
Michelle Bradley in recital: https://miamiclasica.com/2016/11/06/un-rara-avis-llamado-michelle-bradley/
News of the death yesterday, Jan. 5, of R. Peyton Woodson, III, 93, reached us this morning. He was a mainstay of the arts and culture in the capital. Details to follow. Meanwhile our sympathies go out to his family, friends, and many admirers throughout our state.
The obit is here.