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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

Friday, August 05, 2005
It�s Friday!

Some pretty interesting stuff today. Ivan Hewett writes in the Telegraph about a problem I�ve noticed for a while: classical music doesn�t work so well on iPods. Also , read about Lalo Schifrin�s new work �Letters from Argentina� � after which the article will self destruct in five seconds.

Been meaning to mention this for awhile but the best place on the web to find out what's happening on all the music blogs is Jeff Harrington's New Music Reblog. Jeff is the major domo of our Wiki which, by the way, is open 24 hours for your dining and dancing pleasure.

Back here at special operations, three cheers for Alan Theisen who thinks we�re becoming Bergeronized � be sure to read that Vonnegut story he links to; just below, Pliable gives us the story behind the story on a particularly well-connected young Venezuelan conductor; and Everette Minchew heard a great ring-tone the other day. Sch�ne Wochenende!
No such thing as an unknown Venezuelan conductor

24 year old Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel gets his big break tonight (5th August) at the BBC Proms when he takes over at short notice from an indisposed Neemi Jarvi. And the media are making a big deal about this conductor who is supposed to be unknown outside his native country where he conducts youth orchestras.

It is great to see young talent getting a break. But no such thing as an unknown Venezuelan conductor takes an alternative look at the story, and shows that Dudamel has friends in high places, and is well connected to the power-brokers that shape classical music today.
Thursday Poco Piu Mosso

It�s Thursday, it�s hot, and there�s some cool stuff going on. Ole Karlheinz Stockhausen�s slated to play his first concert in the U.K. since 2001: the program will include a section from "Licht." Michael Gordon and Richard Foreman are collaborating on an opera entitled "What to Wear?". It�s premiere�s been postponed due to Foreman�s health problems. And John Musto has been appointed the Caramoor Center�s composer-in-residence for 2005-2006.

Back here at the driving range, read composer Anthony Cheung�s dispatch from Tanglewood just below � the vicarious living is sweet!; Galen Brown has a very thoughtful post in the Composers Forum about the mainstream media�s relationship with classical music; and Anthony Cornicello is teaching the twentieth century out of order.
Anthony Cheung at Tanglewood

N.B. Anthony Cheung is one of the six Composition Fellows this summer at Tanglewood. He's currently in the D.M.A. program at Columbia, and his bio is disgustingly accomplished. I'd hate his guts, except for two things: he's a great guy and his music is fantastic; he deserves every accolade that comes his way. He sends us this report from the TMC, and he says we'll be hearing from him again. Let's hope so. -- D.S.

It's August in the Berkshires, and contemporary music is in the air, at least here in Lenox, MA. From August 4 to 8, friends of new music will descend on the Tanglewood Music Center's (TMC) annual Festival of Contemporary Music. This year, the festival is being directed by John
Harbison, and will feature works by Boulez, Dallapiccola, Carter, Birtwistle, Benjamin, Harbison, Babbitt, Ran, Brouwer, Thomas, Cohen, Schuller, Skrowaczewski, Tower, Perle, Maw, Wyner, Mackey, and others. A concert by the Tanglewood Music Center orchestra on August 8 will
also feature freshly-penned works by Lee Hyla (a new commission), Julian Philips, and Steven Stucky (this year's Pulitzer-winning Second Concerto for Orchestra).

Contemporary Music has always occupied a special place at Tanglewood, where new works are often featured alongside standard favorites. The Boston Symphony Orchestra tends to serve up standard fare, though it has repeated a few adventurous selections from last season, most
notably in a take-no-prisoners program of new works by Harbison (Darkbloom Overture) and Wuorinen (Fourth Piano Concerto), paired with some classic Var�se (Am�riques) and Gershwin (An American in Paris). The fellows of the TMC orchestra have been busy as well, garnering rave reviews for an all-Wagner concert with new BSO music director James Levine, and offering a moving reading of Dutilleux's recent masterpiece, The Shadows of Time. As is evidenced by his controversial BSO programs during the year, Levine is committed to the cause of challenging programming, and has made it known that he plans to make contemporary music an even greater part of Tanglewood in future years. This year, a commissioning project celebrating the 65th anniversary of the TMC has resulted in short new concert-openers by William Bolcom, Derek Bermel, Ramon Zupko, Montserrat Torras, Simon Bainbridge, and Lukas Foss. Among many wonderful chamber music performances in Seiji Ozawa hall, a particularly powerful Ligeti horn trio stands out in my memory. Remember the name Todd Sheldrick; he's the superhuman horn player in the Ligeti who makes anything look easy, and who is writing a book on extended techniques for the horn.

The six composition fellows have benefited from the interaction with six faculty composers (Steve Mackey, Bright Sheng, George Benjamin, Augusta Read Thomas, John Harbison, and Michael Gandolfi) as well as occasional guests. We are enjoying each other's company immensely and are learning a great deal from one another. In the first week, we bonded over a project that had us writing for vocal ensemble (SATB soloists) and clarinet quintet, comprised of fellows of the vocal program and the New Fromm Players. The workshop, directed by Steve Mackey and Lucy Shelton, provided us the rare opportunity to try out new ideas with enthusiastic performers every day. None of us were used to writing under such time constraints, but the payback was enormous, and we produced enough music for a concert at the end of June. Another project had us working with Bright Sheng on producing opera scenarios. Although no music was written, we were forced to think about issues of staging, narrative, and practicality. We have also been very fortunate to come into contact with at least a few fellows who are deeply devoted to furthering the cause of new music.

Come out to the Berkshires this week for your new music fix - it's only a few hours from both Boston and New York. The festival opens tonight with a slew of audience-friendly works by Boulez, Dallapiccola, Carter, and Birtwistle. For a complete schedule of events, visit
Wednesday Andante

Dragged up the lines this morning and found a few interesting things. The new NewMusicBox is available, and they�re featuring a conversation with a different American composer every day this month. George Crumb is gearing up for a premiere in Salzburg: the piece is called "The Winds of Destiny: Songs of Strife, Love, Mystery and Exultation" and was inspired by a collection of Appalachian folk songs given to him by his daughter. And Ned Rorem�s a bit down in the dumps these days.

Back here in the real world, Jeffrey Biegel�s back with a post about how satisfying it is to arrange Josh Groban; Larry Dillon muses on how dated-sounding music can sometimes "undate" itself; Stephanie Lubkowski�s grappling with an old nemesis � ear training; David Thomas faces five weeks of unemployment with equanimity; and just below, Jerry � yes, THE Jerry � drops in with a dispatch from the L.A. Times about Golijov�s "Ainadamar" rewrite.
Golijov's Miracle in Santa Fe

Mark Swed, writing in the Los Angeles Times, says Osvaldo Golijov's ill-fated first opera has made a miraculous recovery:
Death, like all those tourists packing every corner of Santa Fe in its high season, happily takes a holiday under the blazing sun of this glorious desert.

Death has pervaded the stage of Santa Fe Opera, where Osvaldo Golijov's "Ainadamar," a sad opera about the fascist murder of the poet and playwright Federico Garc�a Lorca during the Spanish Civil War, has just gotten sadder. And more violent. And more rhapsodic. And more relevant. In it, death is now encapsulated. In that encapsulation comes the promise of rebirth. And in the rebirth, a failed opera, reconceived and rewritten, was reborn here as well Saturday night.
Tuesday Poco Meno Mosso

Alright well it�s taken me a while to check my lines this morning, and it seems there�s little but bottom feeders to report. Still, this is all worth glancing through.

A "Peace Symphony" commissioned by the Defense Ministry of Iran has been released on CD. The composer: Majid Entezami. You, too, can conduct the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra if . . . the price is right. Yale University Press's publishing a new book called "Composers in the Movies." (Impromptu, anyone?) Ever heard of Vasif Adigozalov? He's big in Azerbaijan. Here's an interview with recent Grawemeyer winner Unsuk Chin. Finally, do you know what "chicks with sticks" are? You probably don't -- even if you think you do. Click here.

Back here at the loony bin, the last installment of Jeff James's Tartarstani epic is just below; Elodie Lauten previews Carnegie Hall's 2005-2006 season; and it's just tragic what's happening in the Composers Forum, isn't it?
Lumina String Quartet at Europe/Asia 2005 Festival of Modern Music in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia � Part 6

Well, we've finally reached the last section of our trip diary. We've added more images to our trip photo page.

If there�s one thing they have in abundance in Kazan and its environs, it�s marvelous performance halls. The Gala final concert of May 29 took us to perhaps the grandest of them all, the Saideshev State Large Concert Hall of the Republic of Tatarstan. A big name for a big space, complete with a big organ to decorate the back wall impressively.

The Gala began at 5 PM, a time which would be thoroughly impractical on a Wednesday in New York, but which brought a full house this Wednesday in Kazan.

First up was a piece by Svetlana Zarakhova (as differentiated from my dear friend Svetlana Zakharova, the great piano teacher in Ukraine) for piano, choir, flute, bass and percussion. This strong, interestingly rhythmic Tatar piece was highlighted by the marvelous sound of the Hiyal chamber chorus. The work is almost anthemic, with gorgeous, rich harmonies in the final pages.

Then, the last festival performance of The Lumina Quartet. They presented another of Paul Chihara�s terrific Ellington arrangements, this time, �I�m Beginning to See the Light� for clarinet and string quartet, with the redoubtable Philip Bashor on clarinet and a substitute violist, Kamille Monasypov, the group�s regular violist Boris Deviatov having already returned to New York.

Their final selection, an encore performance, was �Falls to with an Appetite� � a serenade for clarinet and string quartet, by the already discussed Gene Pritsker. As I had said in Part 4 of this magnum opus, Pritsker has a great ear for string sonorities and makes the most of this instrumental combination. There is some truly exceptional music here that the quartet and Philip Bashor really make the most of. I had also previously mentioned that Kazan writer and composer Oleg Lubivetz had supplied a review of the piece. He writes,
"Gene Pritsker's Serenade for Clarinet and String Quartet, performed at the Festival "Europe-Asia 2005" by the Lumina String Quartet and clarinetist Philip Bashor is a serious composition where the expressive idiomatic clarinet line is a part of an alive, flowing stream of sound. This line is clearly distinguished on the canvas of the composition. Also impressive is a successful realization of form, which is not necessarily the case with some other composers, who while announcing a certain structure give us in fact something entirely different.�

�Pritsker's music has one immediately distinctive feature, particularly for a European ear: its musical language is peculiarly American. First of all the energy, density of texture, rhythmic variety and drive, constant tonal - harmonic and enharmonic exchanges, sometimes with great frequencies. Excluded are conventional ways of developing, instead, it is an unending flow of changes of melodic and polyphonic elements.�

�Pritsker's fantasy is unending and all these various elements are logical and convincing. Even when the elements seem unrelated, still one almost immediately can see strong connection.�

�Gene Pritsker managed to create a well-proportioned dynamic composition that strongly represents the American school.�
It should be mentioned that meeting Oleg Lubivetz brings two strong impressions � 1. surprise that such a physically imposing man could have such a quiet, gentle voice and 2. amazement at his very strong resemblance to Sean Connery. He does not, however, drive an Aston Martin or make much of a fuss about how his martinis are stirred.

Next on the bill was our, by now, good friends from the Belgian Rapid Deployment Consort who presented individual clarinet and violin solos with tape � grooves on Tagore melodies.

Then, Kazan�s own Tatar Brass Quintet with raucous and very enjoyable variations on Tatar melodies, followed by a short but fun four-hands piano piece by an Italian composer, performed by 2 Russian pianists to great effect.

By this time, we had really begun to look forward to Arkady Shilkloper�s performances, and this final one of the festival did not disappoint. He presented a wonderful arrangement of the immortal Jaco Pastorius� Theresa for French horn and strings as well as another alpenhorn groove which also became a lovely piece for horn and strings. The Saideshev State Large Concert Hall has fabulous reverb, just right for this instrument, and he really demonstrated this with the final piece for French horn and strings, with a nice swing from the orchestra and an ambience not unlike a theme from a good detective film noir. Shilkloper is a remarkable and constantly amazing player. We are hoping to get him to New York sometime soon, so if you see any listings for him in concert, as they say, run, don�t walk�

More good things in the second half of the show, highlighted by music of our good friend and host Rashid Kalimoullin. I would urge you to hear some sound samples of his music and perhaps purchase some of his CDs here. Two of his works were presented, one for piano, horn (Shilkloper) and composer as percussionist and page-turner, and the other, Sounds of the Forest, for chamber orchestra. The latter was an especially appropriate way to send this marvelous and wonderfully wide-ranging concert.

Of course, this being Russia, the only real way to end the Festival was with a big, big party. This one, back at the Composer�s Union, featured too much to eat and drink, members of Ziggurat and other groups in a huge, loud, frequently wild improvisation session and the priceless sight of a writer who was attending the Festival dancing dangerously backwards around the room after having gotten a bit too deep into the vodka. All this and music, too.

Tranquility was restored on our long, almost elegiac train ride back to Moscow. No �interesting� cabin mates this time, just a beautiful trip through the vastness of the Russian steppes in the long, midsummer twilight. A festival, people, city and time and to remember.
Monday Con Moto

Lordy it�s busy here at S21. So busy that the news from the rest of the world will just have to wait. Let�s have a look at what�s new here at the Most Trusted Name in New Music Blogging.

Two � count �em, two � new Composer Blogs. First we introduce Stephanie Lubkowski, a young composer based in Boston who specializes in electronic music. She inaugurates her page with a post about being a composer and working two jobs. I think she�ll find a lot of sympathy here. Welcome, too, to Arnold Rosner � a friend of Elodie�s and a professor at Kingsborough Community College. (Yeah CUNY!) He bows in with an ambitious post asking �Is there any hope left for this culture?� Of course, folks who think this culture is hopeless need look no further than S21 for proof otherwise, but we won�t quibble.

As if that weren�t enough, new posts are in from Larry Dillon, Anthony Cornicello, and Everette Minchew. Larry, in one of the best essays I�ve ever read on S21, raises a glass to those composers who (gasp!) compromise; Anthony�s burrowing his way through Messiaen�s multi-volume �Treatise on Rhythm, Color, and Ornithology;� and Everette channels Lutoslawski and Noel Coward for input concerning muzak. (If you were involved in the recent "elitism" thread at the Forum, you'll want to check it out.)

And, man oh man, the Composers Forum is boiling away: David Toub wants to know what the $%^* American music is anyway. And read Pliable�s ruminations below about what happens when music is like water: he also has some great links. And check back in later when you�ve had a chance to catch your breath.


Who will be the winners and losers as music becomes available on tap, just like water? What impact will gobalisation of the music supply chain have on new music commissions and programming. What role did Naxos play in Marin Alsop's Baltimore appointment? What happens when technology driven music distribution breaks through geographic boundaries? What percentage of the 1.4 million BBC Beethoven MP3 files were downloaded in the US? Will the range of music on offer expand, or contract, as technology removes distribution barriers? How big is the BBC's new music commissioning budget, and has it been misused in the past? Was tonal composer Robert Simpson frozen out in the 1970's in the Pierre Boulez and William Glock regime at the BBC?

These are just some of the intriguing questions raised in Music-like-water which discusses a fascinating paper published on New Music Box, the web magazine of the American Music Center. Read this thought provoking discussion piece, and listen to extracts from Robert Simpson's symphonies. Then share your views on how you think music-like-water will affect us all.


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