Buzz

Weekend Detritus
24 Jun 2011
Inside the Classics

I didn’t actually intend to take most of this week off from blogging, but it does seem to have happened (the orchestra is off this week, and I’ve been taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up on seemingly endless home and garden work, not to mention practicing Judd’s string quartet, Four on the Floor, which three friends and I will be performing in a couple of weeks,) and here we are at Friday morning. Not only that, after days and days of gray, drizzly weather, it is glorious in Minneapolis today, and there’s just no way I’m gonna work up a head of steam over some silly music industry controversy. So instead, I’ll send you into the weekend with some random awesomeness that’s come to my attention over the past couple of weeks…

  • Why didn’t anyone think of starting an online repository for Awkward Classical Music Photos years ago? (It’s really only a matter of time until they discover this one…)
  • Whether or not you’re a fan of his music (and if you’re not, I honestly don’t know what to do with you,) Nico Muhly has been providing an extensive behind-the-scenes diary of the days leading up to the world premiere of his new opera, Two Boys, at London’s English National Opera. The composer’s role in these situations is extremely complicated (when is it okay to interrupt the conductor? do you get a say on tempos and stylistic matters?) and Nico is very open about all the chaos. One line from an entry he wrote last Sunday sums it all up: “All of this is to say: making an opera is really hard and I’m really happy to be here and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.”
  • The nice folks across the pond at the UK’s popular Classic FM radio service spent last evening playing Minnesota Orchestra recordings as part of their Great Orchestras of the World project. It was awfully nice of them to include us, and they’ll also be republishing one of my recent posts on their own blog sometime soon.
  • Speaking of radio, I’ve been thinking for some time that the quality and variety of the programming over at Classical MPR has been steadily climbing, to the point that KSJN is now a station I listen to very regularly . (This is saying something – I live my whole life around classical music, so it takes a lot to get me to want to listen to more of it in my off hours.) I’m not sure what prompted the change in direction, but if I had to guess, I’d say that the ascendance of Daniel Gilliam and Brian Newhouse to the top of the MPR org chart probably has a lot to do with it. Just how far has MPR been willing to branch out its formerly ultra-conservative playlist? Well, Zoe Keating is the headliner on this afternoon’s Performance Today
  • Hey, remember these guys?

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for you. Everybody out – go enjoy the sunshine, and don’t forget to get your tickets for your first opportunity to hear MN Orch musicians tackle us some Greenstein next month…

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