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

Jerry Bowles
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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, June 25, 2005
In Walked Bud

Everette Minchew flags (and flagellates) a couple of articles in today's New York Times. Rant on, amigo, and--by the way--that little ABC thing with the checkmark on top of the post box is a spellchecker...Good discussion of titles going on over in the Composers Forum...The Wiki is coming along nicely. Kyle Gann has contributed an awful lot of excellent content and Jeff Harrington and David Toub have been beavering away on getting the stuff to look nice. We're hoping that it will be more interactive than just a standard Wiki encyclopedia--more like a busy new music community. To that end, we just added a Listening Room where you can post links to your pieces. Get on over there.
Freaky Friday

Alan Theisen is looking for music for next year's Integrales Music Festival and he's giving first dibs to Sequenza21 composers. Y'all come on down, hear...Lawrence Dillon thinks ratings are overrated...Rodney Lister has just read the entire Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music and boy are his eyes tired.

The Wiki is coming along nicely. I've decided that rather than try to reinvent the wheel, we should just do external links to Wikipedia for those really, really famous folks who already have extensive listings over there. It's easy to navigate back and forth and the format is basically the same. (Why do Philip Glass when they have 20 pages about him already.) If somebody here has something new to say about Phil and want to have it on this server, give it a subject title like, say, Philip Glass's Film Music. On the content side, let's focus on people and topics you can't find at Wikipedia. If you have old articles, dissertation, speeches, papers that you want to give a permanent home, pass them along.
Lumina String Quartet at Europe/Asia 2005 Festival of Modern Music in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia � Part 2

So, where were we? I was telling you about the Lumina String Quartet�s recent visit to Kazan capital of the Republic of Tatarstan in central Russia to take part in the Europe/Asia 2005 Festival of Modern Music. To read Part 1 of this piece, please go to the June 5 edition of Sequenza 21.

After arriving via Aeroflot (which features shiny new Boeing jets that they�ll someday learn all the passenger information and entertainment functions of) I honestly had not expected the long, long hours of daylight. Red Square is an amazing sight under any circumstances, but I must say that the slow, gentle evening spent in and around it will stay with me for a long time. The sight of the walls and towers of the Kremlin silhouetted against the 10 PM, still luminous sky was remarkable, and the newly refinished St. Basil so artfully lighted in the late, late twilight was unforgettable.

Then there was the train ride. With delays, it was about a 14-hour ride from the magnificent Kazan station in Moscow to Kazan. Russian train rides are always a treat, and this was no exception. Temperatures were in the low 90s when we arrived in Moscow and stayed high all throughout our night�s travel, which, when combined with the unopenable windows, a lack of circulating air and the other three cabin mates (not members of our entourage) great fondness for beer and other alcoholic beverages, made this a steamy trip at best. Cabin assignments are always a big question, as they are seemingly arbitrary and frequently co-ed. No ladies here, but three �interesting� gentlemen who, given their large collection of scars and wounds, may have been involved in who knows what enterprises. That aside, however, we really did spend an interesting rest of the trip trying to communicate and I believe did reach each other on some deeper sort of common humanity

When you arrive in Kazan, the first thing you see is their magnificent Kremlin, sitting on a hill above the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka rivers. With its whitewashed walls, sky blue domes of the orthodox cathedral, minarets of the Kul Shariff mosque and red brick of the legendary Suembiki Tower, it is quite a dramatic, welcoming sight. Good images of it and the city here. More images will be posted next week.

The next day, May 25 was the first concert of the Europe/Asia 2005 Festival of Modern Music we attended. Given at the lovely, but steamy (temperatures still in the 90s, but at least the windows were open) Institute of Civil Service, this was a concert of young composers that was highlighted by Lithuanian composer Algidras Martinaitis� colorful Stealing of Europe for chamber orchestra and Russian Viktor Yekimovsky�s off-center and enjoyable Eternal Return. The latter featured the solo bass clarinet being heard offstage, wandering on, then off, then on again, playing a whimsical, intermittent figuration that sounded like a musical question with no answer. Good stuff.

Another highlight was the moment during one of the other pieces when a car horn from outside came in at exactly the same note as the performer onstage, which brought a very quick smile and thumbs up from one of the members of another visiting ensemble, the Belgian Rapid Deployment Consort More about them later.

Music from Finnish composers Yukka Tiensuu, Hannu Pohjannoro and Yukka Koskinen, as well as several fine Tatar and Russian composers, was also presented to the warm (in more ways than one) and appreciative audience.

More about the Europe/Asia 2005 Festival of Modern Music and The Lumina String Quartet�s part in it in Part 3. Photos will be posted in future installments as well.
AMC's Lastest CAPs

The American Music Center (AMC) has announced grant awards totaling $25,560 to 25 composers through the current round of the Composer Assistance Program (CAP). The awardees are American composers ranging in age from 23 to 83, residing in nine states.

AMC awards about $85,000 annually to composers to assist in the production of performance materials for premiere performances. Among the organizations premiering or featuring public readings of CAP-supported works this round are the Da Capo Chamber Players, the California EAR Unit, the American Composers Orchestra, the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre National de Lorraine. Scoot on over to the complete list of awardees and performers.
Pre-Summer Doldrums

Quiet day here at the ranch. We're still working on getting the roof up on the new Sequenza21 New Music Wiki. Come on over and pitch in. We'd appreciate any suggestions for categories of stuff that ought to be included...We're headed into the summer doldrums. Anybody playing or attending festivals? Want to blog about it here...Watched Persona again the other night for the first time in years. Bibi Andersson's recounting of her beach adventure is still the most erotic scene ever put on film, n'est pas?
Tweaks and Geeks

Tom Myron responds to Carmen Helena T�llez's inaugural post with a composer's view of the composer/conductor dynamic...Lawrence Dillon explains the how and why of a post-premiere revision he made to his Sonata: Motion and you can listen while you read...Don't forget to Wiki.
Wiki, Wiki

That's right, gang. Thanks to composer, fellow blogger and computer whiz Jeff Harrington, who kindly put the page up for us today, we now have a Sequenza21 New Music Wiki. If you know what that is, rush over and start filling in the pages. (Read the intro page first.) If you don't, rush over and read the Users Manual which appears to written in Sanskrit. This could be fun.
The Hits Keep Coming

What do conductors want? We now have some answers as the brilliant new music conductor Carmen Helena T�llez joins the S21 community. Don't miss her opening post...And, there's more. Jenece Gerber is working as a teaching assistant in Music Composition at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina this summer and she's going to be checking in frequently with reports from her Summer at Brevard!...and Alan Theisen reveals his secret ambition--to write a piece that blends Radiohead's album "OK Computer" with Carter's Symphonia.
�Best and Brightest� at Thalia

Folks out there have been racking their brains for ways to freshen up the traditional format of classical concerts. Some take Bach into bars, others use fancy lighting and video art. Still others like to chat with the audience. Joel Kramer and Daniel Beliavsky�s series "Best and Brightest" certainly falls into this latter category, but in ways I haven�t experienced before. Here�s what they did at Symphony Space�s Thalia Theater last night.

Kramer, a businessman who is the creator and producer of "Best and Brightest," opened the concert by explaining how the series got its start and introducing some of the musicians who have been involved with it along the way. As he was announcing the first act, he was interrupted by "Professor Ulysses Kidgi." Kidgi (Beliavsky donning an enormous beard and overcoat) took the stage, took credit for "Best and Brightest," then took off for "an emergency conference in Zurich."


First up was the Cowings family � a husband and wife who sang old Tin Pan Alley standards, their chick-with-a-guitar daughter, Emily, and their tap-dancing son, Alexander. Once they were finished, they all took places at the edges of the stage, and Kramer moderated a question-and-answer session wherein they discussed their musical mentors and their sometimes difficult lives as musicians.

Beliavsky was then summoned, and he played a set of four piano pieces by Lukas Foss, which he interspersed with engaging commentary on the man and his music. After Beliavsky�s set, the musicians, guided by Kramer once again, took part in a conversation about the relationship between jazz and classical music.

Next up was jazz trombonist Michael Dease. After playing around with a two-part Baroque invention he wrote based on "Cherokee," he played some old standards with the help of the excellent jazz trio � John di Martino, piano; Lee Hudson, bass; Bruce Cox, drums � that chipped in throughout the evening.

Then cabaret-singer Ingrid Saxon treated the audience to some Petula Clark, the audience was invited to ask the musicians questions, and the entire ensemble combined for a rendition of "How High the Moon." A complimentary wine reception at Vintage New York ended the evening.


"Best and Brightest" aims to establish a salon-like atmosphere, but, with all the genre-hopping, last night�s program felt more like a show than a concert. But the social, playful environment established by Kramer, Beliavsky, and their cast of genial musicians worked wonderfully, and the evening � if a bit long � moved comfortably from music-making to conversation and back again. Beliavsky in particular has an excellent stage personality and sense of humor and could easily do radio if he wanted to. One left the Thalia with the sense of having gotten to know some interesting folks while having heard some good music at the same time. Bravos all around.
We Work for Art and Glory

Alan Theisen joins our little band of merry bloggers today and--it turns out--he's just mad about Elliott Carter which makes one of us...Elodie Lauten ponders one of those big questions that has made S21 the place to be for Heidegger groupies--how do you define success as a composer? There's other new stuff, too. Poke around until you find it.

Last minute reminders: Pianist Daniel Beliavsky is music director and co-producer of the "Best of the Brightest" concert series which has a program set for tonight at Symphony Space's Thalia Theater at 7:30 PM (located at 95th Street and Broadway in Manhattan). "An Intimate Evening of Great Jazz and Classical Music" will feature
vocal and instrumental performances by jazz performers Marion, Emily, and Alexander Cowings, Kim Kalesti, and Michael Dease of repertoire from Duke Ellington to Tony Bennett, and Beliavsky of selected piano works by Lukas Foss. Discounts for student IDs and Sequenza21 readers and free wine at the end if you behave yourself.

And Corey Dargel has a concert tonight with Eve Beglarian and flutist Margaret Lancaster beginning at 6:30 pm (sharp)at OPIA Lounge, 130 East 57th Street at Lexington Ave. Billed as "an evening of idiosyncratic art songs and electro-cabaret numbers," the program features selections from Beglarian's forthcoming CD "FlamingOs of the New World," Dargel's "Born and Raised" (a Lancaster commission), and some new versions of old favorites. Probably "Moon River" will be in there somewhere.
Mr. Postman

Here's some David Diamond-related dish Paul Moor sent around today on the Discussions on Classical Music List (CLASSICA@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU):

Over quite a period of time in the late 1940s, my Greenwich Village neighbor David Diamond (who at that point earned his living playing fiddle in Broadway musicals' orchestra pits - e.g., "Finian's Rainbow") and I read through virtually the entire extant sonata repertoire for voilin & piano - at his suggestion, as a therapeutic antidote to his dreary but necessary activities six nights a week. I lived on West 10th Street (as did L. Bernstein, but he had a 5th-floor walk-up over in the chic block between 5th & 6th Avenues, with Felicia Montealegre about equidistant between us at 69 Washington Place and Judy Holiday & David Oppenheim on Waverly Place just off Sheridan Square), and David lived about three blocks away from me on Hudson Street, over a big garage where music from his apartment at all hours disturbed nobody.

Ohhh, I could tell you stories....

I immediately recall one Xmas dinner (he loved to cook, and he cooked damned well) where I made a mind-boggling discovery about one of the most powerfully influential members of that day's New York Music Critics Circle. David had composed his own big four-movement first Violin Sonata for Joseph Szigeti (who eventually unveiled it in Carnegie Hall), and David, who didn't feel comfortable with the piano keyboard, had enlisted me to aid & abet him in writing the piano part, so over time we whipped our performance up to the point where he decided we should officially unveil it for a dozen or so friends after a sumptuous turkey dinner.

I needed a page-turner, and the critic mentioned above - whom met for the first time that day - happened to sit nearest me, so I automatically enlisted his assistance, having no inkling of the trap I'd just dropped him into. I reached the bottom of the first right-hand page, and my nominal page-turner ... did nothing. I frantically yanked the page over myself, and he mumbled some feeble excuse or other.

The same thing happened at the bottom of the next right-hand page - and the next, and the next, and the next....

He finally stopped inventing those ever feebler excuses, for it quickly became clear to me that this almost uniquely powerful critic, with almost unrivalled power to make and/or break the careers of important musicians, could not read music - and clear also to him that I myself now knew that.

I could also tell you the almost incredible story of how that gentleman had landed that highly-paying plum job, but that would probably identify him - and even posthumously I think I'd prefer not to do that....


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