As a Friend Says, “So There, North Carolina!”

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.”

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Tributes Aplenty for Duke’s Paul Bryan

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:

     Remember to coexist with others as          
          naturally as the symbiotic components of  
          our lungs’ normal exercise; 

     Remember the power of positive 
           communication and dialogue among cooperative forces;

     Remember the power of love and its    
             symbiotic potentiality; 

      Or, as PB succinctly puts it:    
            ‘Remember to Breathe.'”

— Anthony M. Kelley, Feb. 23, 2017
0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Duke’s Scott Lee Wins Symphony In C’s 2016-17 Young Composers’ Competition

“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.)

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

¿Reviews in Spanish?

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:

Jamie Barton in recital for Delos:

And four recent live performances reviewed by the same critic:

Orchestral concerts in Florida:

Florida Grand Opera’s Carmen:

Michelle Bradley in recital:

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

RIP Peyton Woodson

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.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

RIP Margaret Clyburn, Pianist and Teacher

Margaret Clyburn, pianist and teacher, widow of James Clyburn, died Dec. 26. She was a mainstay of musical life in Raleigh.

The service will be held Monday, Jan. 2, at 2:00 p.m., at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh, NC. Visitation will follow the service.

We extend our sympathies to her family, friends, and many, many students.

The obit is here.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Short Days, Cold Nights, and Needy Arts Groups

As a general rule we don’t refer our readers to articles on the local arts scene by folks who write for what some view as the competition, but IndyWeek scores a hit this week with two columns, one on the erosion of affordable theatre space in the Triangle – on the closing of Common Ground Theatre and the shaky ground on which Sonorous Road stands – and the other on the possible loss of Raleigh’s Community Music School.

Available and affordable performing space – and not just for the theatre community – is, with adequate and predictable funding, essential to the survival of the arts we seek to serve. This is a point some of us have made repeatedly to arts councils and commissions hereabouts.

All arts non-profits always need more money than is available solely from these councils and commissions. And most performing arts organizations are not blessed with their own facilities (or with deals guaranteeing them their choice of space when they want it, often with subsidy); they never have enough access to available and affordable space. This has rarely been better articulated than in IndyWeek, in Byron Wood’s column, available here.

And don’t forget folks: we need to support ONLY the arts groups we want to preserve, so if one means something to YOU, your obligation is to GIVE TO IT.

The other worthwhile article in IndyWeek deals with the Community Music School and the possibility that it will fold if it doesn’t raise $100K a.s.a.p.

This is sad indeed for an outfit providing music lessons (and much, much more) to disadvantaged kids. Music specifically and the arts in general have long been the escape valves for kids seeking better lives. Look at all the great fiddlers who escaped from Russia to dazzle the world. And many are the fine professionals working today on national and international stages who got their starts with loaner instruments and fifty-cent lessons. Do we care? If we do, we need to reach out.

By the way, the articles that have appeared in commercial papers hereabouts have not bothered to tell readers HOW to give. Here is the school’s “donate” page: And here’s Sonorous Road’s:

And don’t forget CVNC, which is a 501c3 non-profit online arts journal,

Years ago the NY Times campaigned at year-end to “remember the neediest.” Charity starts at home. If Sonorous Road or the CMS or your performing or educational organization of choice or CVNC matter to you, make a contribution. Now.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes