Latest Blogger Updates

What's New in the Composers Forum

CD Reviews


Latest Podcasts at

340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Jerry Bowles
(212) 582-3791

Managing Editor:
David Salvage

Contributing Editors:

Galen H. Brown
Evan Johnson
Ian Moss
Lanier Sammons
Deborah Kravetz
Eric C. Reda
Christian Hertzog
(San Diego)
Jerry Zinser
(Los Angeles)

Web & Wiki Master:
Jeff Harrington

Latest Posts

Love and Cow Bells
Sorceress of the New Piano
Well, That Was Fun
Naxos Dreaming
Reich@70: Let the Celebrations Begin
The Bi-Coastal Jefferson Friedman
Violins Invade Indianapolis
John Cage (born Los Angeles, 5 September 1912; died New York, 12 August 1992).
The People United Will Never Be Divided
Attention Sequenza21 Shoppers


Record companies, artists and publicists are invited to submit CDs to be considered for review. Send to: Jerry Bowles, Editor, Sequenza 21, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Saturday, January 08, 2005
Another Shape (perhaps) of Things to Come

Ever wonder how pop musicians/composers are fairing with forays into being classical composers? Haven�t been keeping up with the recent "classical" efforts of Paul McCartney and Billy Joel? Well, in the Palm Beach Post, writer Greg Stepanich poses an interesting question about the future of classical music especially in the hands of pop composers who have (recently) crafted more expansive outings. He especially focuses on a recent effort of pop icon and artistic enigma Elvis Costello�s entitled IL Sogno.
In Search of Philistines

Kyle Gann, who has a terrific blog, over at ArtsJournal has an interesting dialogue about composers who arrived "after the end of music history" going on with Lawrence Dillon, one of S21's resident bloggers.
Contemporary Music Broadcasts

The Ridgewood (NJ) Concert Band has a web page with a schedule of upcoming broadcasts of contemporary music from around the world and links to the broadcast organizations like Radio France, BBC Radio 3, Concertzender, Sweden P2 and and Italy RAI 3 that will be carrying them over the internet. It's a terrific resource.

What's New in Sequenza21 Today?

Larry Bell tells us what he learned from Sgt. Pepper in the Composers Forum. Also, see the review of Bell's lushly modern music for violin called The Book of Moonlight. Updates throughout the day.
Opportunity Knocks

If you're a composer and are interested in participating in our Composers Forum blog, drop me a note. If you're a performer of modern music and you'd like to participate in a similar Performers Forum that we haven't started yet, send me a note. If you'd like to have us build and host an individual blog for you at Sequenza21 (for a modest fee, of course), send me a note.
Sir Simon in Berlin: Not a Bed of Roses

The Guardian today has an interview with Sir Simon Rattle in which he reveals that his relationship with the players of the Berlin Philharmonic is rather tempestuous.
"It can be turbulent," he said. "But never destructively so. Even when it's turbulent it's moving in a direction.

"The musicians are very articulate, they are very open, they are very curious. They always want to know why we are doing something. They don't just do it - they are not an obedient orchestra in that way, but they are a very creative orchestra.

"They are not that easy to deal with but it's a lot of fun. Big temperaments, big personalities. It's difficult."
In the spirit of full disclosure, we should note that Simon is married to our publisher Duane Grant's cousin and we like him a lot around here.
What's New Today

What is the job description of a composer? What do they do all day? Lawrence Dillon has some thoughts. And, who is one music critic many people believe is most worth reading? Larry Bell has a suggestion in the Composers Forum.
Cleveland Pictures Still Unfinished

Looks like the dog ate Oliver Knussen's homework again. The Cleveland Orchestra has postponed what was to have been the world premiere of Knussen's Cleveland Pictures, scheduled for today.

This the third time in a year that the piece--inspired by works of visual art at the Cleveland Museum of Art--has been postponed. It has been replaced on the program with Arthur Honegger's Symphony No. 3 ("Liturgique").

Copland Fund Awards Grants to Ensembles

The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. has awarded grants totaling $500,000 to performing ensembles across America through its 2004 Performing Ensembles Program. Seventy-nine organizations received awards in recognition of their commitment to contemporary American music. A complete list of grantees is attached.

The Fund received applications from more than 150 organizations requesting a total of over $1.6 million. From these, an independent five-person panel reviewed the applications, discussed their relative merits, and made award determinations in the areas of general operating and project support. Among the organizations supported are the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the American Composers Orchestra and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Click here for full list of grantees.

No Progress for St. Louis Symphony

Is it a "strike" or a "lockout?" The St. Louis Symphony asked its musicians to return to work under the terms of their old contract while negotiations continue. But due to unusual funding terms of the previous agreement, any "play-and-talk" scenario would have the musicians playing for less than the weekly pay rate they had been receiving. "We're still calling it a lockout," said the players' negotiating committee chairman Jan Gippo. Read more...
We Knew Conductors Were Overpaid But...

From PlaybillArts:
Chicago Symphony music director Daniel Barenboim, who canceled a series of performances last fall because of a bank injury, has withdrawn from four performances of Beethoven's Missa solemnis this month.
Taking the Pulse: Birtwistle's "Pulse Shadows" at Alice Tully

by David Salvage

Of all the concerts I attended last year, the one that lingers most in my mind is the U.S. premiere of Sir Harrison Birtwistle�s "Pulse Shadows" at Alice Tully Hall. This isn�t just because I liked the music. The concert itself was bracketed by events that got me to thinking about Big Issues, like Audience and Music Appreciation.

Worried the entire New York new music scene would show up, I arrived over an hour early to secure a student ticket. When it came time for the concert to begin, however, the hall was maybe a third full. Where was everybody? Now I know contemporary music doesn�t exactly draw in big crowds, but this was a major premiere by a major international composer! And the man himself was going to be there for Q&A after the concert! Certainly tonight this was the hot ticket for the two or three thousand people in New York serious about new music.

Not only was I wrong about that, but the crowd got even smaller. Forty people must have left within the first twenty minutes.

After a luminous performance by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Birtwistle took the stage with CMS�s Bruce Adolphe. The audience�s discontent soon became manifest. One indignant gentleman asked what exactly Birtwistle wanted the crowd to take away from the music, other than a desire to go home and "blow [their] brains out." Birtwistle tried to engage the man in a conversation about tragic themes in art and why we might want to see paintings like Picasso�s "Wernicke" or plays like "Hamlet." But he didn�t make the connection with his own work clear enough and his remarks devolved into evasive poetic bluster. Bruce Adolphe tried to say something about the "life affirming" qualities of beautiful art, but he seemed more anxious to change the subject than anything else.

Two thoughts occupied my mind as I left the concert.

First were feelings of guilt. During my first two years in New York, I scarcely attended a concert outside Manhattan School of Music. Now, as an avid concert-goer, I knew there were a number of people out there who liked new music who just for one reason or another didn�t go to concerts. In my case, this was probably simple laziness. But what message does this send to institutions like the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center? I regretted I hadn�t worked harder to attend concerts like this one two years ago, and I felt like asking all the folks I was sure I would run into why they hadn�t been there. If we�re such a small crowd, we have to work harder.

Secondly, I was disappointed with Birtwistle. Whether we like it or not, whether it "makes sense" or not, composers have to be articulate advocates for their music. Why? Because this is not a culture in which the mysterious is celebrated. The simple and clear presentation of emotions and ideas is prized. With a few clear words about his text setting and a little less recourse to his "artist�s intuition," Birtwistle could have made a difference in how this indignant gentleman (who had, after all, stayed the duration) received his music. Maybe this man wouldn�t have ended up "liking" the music, but at least Birtwistle would not have come across as aloof and arrogant, which, to me, he had.

After the concert, I had the opportunity to thank a CMS official for her organization�s willingness to perform pieces like "Pulse Shadows." I learned from her also that I�d have no trouble procuring a ticket if I wanted to come to the second performance on Sunday. I didn�t go, but I should have.

Walther to Leave SF Symphony to Join Tak�cs

Geraldine Walther, the San Francisco Symphony's principal violist and one of the orchestra's best-known members for nearly 30 years, will leave the symphony in August to join the Tak�cs Quartet. Although she is taking a year's leave of absence, Walther said she expects the career change to be a permanent one. Read more...

A Strike in St. Louis?

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will vote today on whether to go on strike. Contract negotiations between the management and musicians ofended in failure on Sunday evening after a seven-hour meeting. The players will vote on management's "best and final offer" and if they turn it down, they will go on strike effective immediately. Issues under discussion include benefits and work rules, but the biggest one is money: Management has asked the musicians to take a pay cut, and they want a raise. Read more...


12/19/2004 - 12/25/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/08/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/15/2005 01/16/2005 - 01/22/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/29/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/05/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/12/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/19/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/26/2005 02/27/2005 - 03/05/2005 03/06/2005 - 03/12/2005 03/13/2005 - 03/19/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/26/2005 03/27/2005 - 04/02/2005 04/03/2005 - 04/09/2005 04/10/2005 - 04/16/2005 04/17/2005 - 04/23/2005 04/24/2005 - 04/30/2005 05/01/2005 - 05/07/2005 05/08/2005 - 05/14/2005 05/15/2005 - 05/21/2005 05/22/2005 - 05/28/2005 05/29/2005 - 06/04/2005 06/05/2005 - 06/11/2005 06/12/2005 - 06/18/2005 06/19/2005 - 06/25/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/02/2005 07/03/2005 - 07/09/2005 07/10/2005 - 07/16/2005 07/17/2005 - 07/23/2005 07/24/2005 - 07/30/2005 07/31/2005 - 08/06/2005 08/07/2005 - 08/13/2005 08/14/2005 - 08/20/2005 08/21/2005 - 08/27/2005 08/28/2005 - 09/03/2005 09/04/2005 - 09/10/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/17/2005 09/18/2005 - 09/24/2005 09/25/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/02/2005 - 10/08/2005 10/09/2005 - 10/15/2005 10/16/2005 - 10/22/2005 10/23/2005 - 10/29/2005 10/30/2005 - 11/05/2005 11/06/2005 - 11/12/2005 11/13/2005 - 11/19/2005 11/20/2005 - 11/26/2005 11/27/2005 - 12/03/2005 12/04/2005 - 12/10/2005 12/11/2005 - 12/17/2005 12/18/2005 - 12/24/2005 12/25/2005 - 12/31/2005 01/01/2006 - 01/07/2006 01/08/2006 - 01/14/2006 01/15/2006 - 01/21/2006 01/22/2006 - 01/28/2006 01/29/2006 - 02/04/2006 02/05/2006 - 02/11/2006 02/12/2006 - 02/18/2006 02/19/2006 - 02/25/2006 02/26/2006 - 03/04/2006 03/05/2006 - 03/11/2006 03/12/2006 - 03/18/2006 03/19/2006 - 03/25/2006 03/26/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/02/2006 - 04/08/2006 04/09/2006 - 04/15/2006 04/16/2006 - 04/22/2006 04/23/2006 - 04/29/2006 04/30/2006 - 05/06/2006 05/07/2006 - 05/13/2006 05/14/2006 - 05/20/2006 05/21/2006 - 05/27/2006 05/28/2006 - 06/03/2006 06/04/2006 - 06/10/2006 06/11/2006 - 06/17/2006 06/18/2006 - 06/24/2006 06/25/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/02/2006 - 07/08/2006 07/09/2006 - 07/15/2006 07/16/2006 - 07/22/2006 07/23/2006 - 07/29/2006 07/30/2006 - 08/05/2006 08/06/2006 - 08/12/2006 08/13/2006 - 08/19/2006 08/20/2006 - 08/26/2006 08/27/2006 - 09/02/2006 09/03/2006 - 09/09/2006 09/10/2006 - 09/16/2006

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to this feed listing