Question of the week

I’m in Seattle Airport on my way home from the 2007 Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop. It was quite a week- exhausting, exciting, entertaining and really inspiring for all of us on the faculty. I just hope the students got even half as much out of it as we did. I’ll share some more detailed […]

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RCICW Day 1

Day one of the RCICW is complete. This year Betsy, one of the cellists in the orchestra, kindly and generously organized a welcome party where players, teachers and conducting students could get a chance to meet and socialize. It’s always a challenge to make a workshop like this feel inclusive and not competitive, and getting […]

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Ring-in-a-day: digestion to the fore

10:30 PM. Gotterdammerung begins. We’re at the stage where we begin to look backward to the day’s highlights, such as…. Siegfried captures a guy in a bear suit Siegfried slays a wall with tentacles (Fafner) Alberich turns into a six-inch long stuffed toy frog Siegfried dons a chain-mail cocktail napkin for a hat Siegfried smashes […]

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Siegfried

And now onto Siegfried. Many consider the toughest nut to crack in the cycle, and it comes at the toughest point in the day, right after we’ve all gone out for Chinese food…. For episode three we’ve turned to the Met and James Levine. After the leather and lasers from Bayreuth, the naturalistic sets and […]

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Headgear

As we got to the end of Act II of Walkure, it occurred to me that the moments of unintentional hilarity were getting much harder to find. The despair of Wotan at the loss of his free will, the burden of Brunnhilde to ensure the death of the Walsung, Sieglinde’s shame and Siegmund being told […]

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Walkure starting Act II

Act I of Walkure is now done- brother and sister have fallen into each other’s arms in libidinous passion to the words “this sword that I now hold,” which is definitely in the top 20 best unintentional laugh lines in the Ring. All props to DB- the Bayreuth orchestra sounds absolutely first rate. It’s an […]

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Prologue complete

The curtain calls for Das Rheingold are finished, and the genius of our plan is apparent. While a live Ring would certainly  be cooler, a DVD Ring among friends is an epic idea. In a laid-back setting, all present feel free to heckle or cheer as appropriate. We can rewind for great visual moments, such […]

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Das Rheingold- Flying Frogs

The definite visual highlight of Das Rheingold is not the hydraulically-operated world tree, not the transformers-robots-in-disguise giants nor is it the Oakley sunglasses on Wotan. It’s the stuffed frog they throw in the air when Alberich changes shapes. In such a polished and expensive production, you’ve got to love the idea of throwing a two […]

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Wagner’s Ring-in-a-day begins

Das Rheingold begins…A gang of happily insane musicians today embark upon a quest to view all of Wagner’s Ring on DVD in one day. We’ve procured a projector and our hosts have been baking bread since 3 AM. We’ve got fruit, coffee, juice, junk food, veggies. Episode one is the Gran Teatre del Opera Liceu […]

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So you come up for air and…..

So, you come up for air and…… Alan Gilbert has been appointed Music Director of the New York Freaking Philharmonic. I’ve played for Alan and assisted him at the Cincinnati Symphony, and, most importantly, he seemed to dig my conducting at Aspen some years back (at least he took the time to tell me in […]

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And one summer, at band camp

My apologies to readers who have been patiently waiting for some new posts here. I’m in the midst of the Oregon East Symphony’s annual summer music camp, which has proved particularly all-consuming this year. The camp draws students from all over the Northwest, but the vast majority of students are local. We have two bands, […]

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Vartan Manoogian- violinist and pedagogue

UW VIOLINIST MANOOGIAN DIES AT 71  By Jacob Stockinger The Capital Times   Virtuoso violinist and longtime University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Vartan Manoogian died Thursday in Spain. He was 71.   Manoogian was also the director of the annual Madeleine Island Chamber Music Festival, held each summer in the Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin on […]

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