Showing posts from December, 2012

Alisa Weilerstein Continues to Get More and More Amazing

Alisa Weilerstein joined Pacific Symphony for Dvorak's Cello Concerto and stunned the audience
I love going to see a wide variety of classical concerts particularly when I get to see artists like Alisa in a variety of settings, playing a variety of pieces and watch their growth as an artist. It was my pleasure to see Alisa Weilerstein several years ago performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Vail Valley Music Festival (2009) where she played Schelomo, Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. She has matured as a cellist over the past few years and she was pretty amazing back then. Where in Vail she inhabited the voice (and face) of Solomon, last night her performance pulled out both the demanding intensity Dvorak lavishly spreads throughout the first movement, while diving into the depth of despair in the second. The third movement frolics a bit, swerves toward the chaotic and then plummets into the pathos even deeper than before. It was an emotional roller-coaster and Ms Weiler…

Dave Brubeck: Thanks for encouraging me to be a composer

Dave Brubeck dies at 91
A jazz legend died today, at Norwalk Hospital, near his home in Wilton, Connecticut. His famous "Take Five" is one of the great jazz pieces, and ushered in a whole world of different time signatures and irregular rhythms bringing jazz into the main stream. Although early on fellow jazz musicians felt Dave's piano playing didn't swing, he taught the world a new meaning to swing relying on shifting meter and intricate rhythmic play.
Back in the mid 70's I was just coming into my own as a musicians (albeit still in 8th grade). I was first chair trombone in a school jazz band and fell in love with making music. It was this year I first heard "Take Five" and it's been my favorite piece of music every since. If you listen to my music today, you'll heard elements of those initial irregular rhythms that seem to somehow feel regular pervasive throughout.
While I have studied Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Debussy, Shostakovich, Copland a…

The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors are delighted to announce the winners in 13 categories of the 2012 British Composer Awards

Instrumental Solo or Duo Christian Mason Learning Self- Modulation

Chamber Thomas Adés The Four Quarters

Vocal Colin Matthews No Man’s Land

Choral Gabriel Jackson Airplane Cantata

Wind Band or Brass Band Simon Dobson A Symphony of Colours

Orchestral Sir Harrison Birtwistle Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Stage Works Jocelyn Pook DESH

Liturgical Francis Grier Missa Brevis

Sonic Art Ray Lee The Ethometric Museum

Contemporary Jazz Composition Christine Tobin Sailing to Byzantium

Community or Educational Paul Rissmann The Chimpanzees of Project Happytown

Making Music Award Emily Howard Mesmerism for Piano and Chamber Orchestra

International Award Thomas Larcher Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra

The Awards were presented at a ceremony at Goldsmiths' Hall, on Monday 3rd December 2012 which opened with a performance of Gareth Moorcraft’s Rondo? – winner of the third Student Competition at the British Composer Awards – performed by members of Endymion.