Buddy Miles- RIP

I was saddened to learn of the death of drummer, singer and songwriter Buddy Miles at the age of only 60. Buddy Miles was a very, very good singer, and a songwriter who has contributed so true classics to the blues and funk standards, particularly “Them Changes,” which every blues rock band worth their salt […]

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Bloch’s original language

This week, having Sibelius 2 and Schelomo on my desk at the same time has been a fascinating contrast. Although his music sounds like no one else’s, Sibelius’ technique is a logical outgrowth of the method of working with motivic cells perfected by Beethoven and Brahms. It takes to an extreme the ideal of everything […]

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Transcending the self

To my surprise and delight, my post on repetition in rehearsal has attracted a number of really interesting comments, including three fascinating ones from choral conductors. First was this one from regular Vftp commenter John on his outstanding blog, then this one from Seattle based Richard Sparks and most recently this one from Chris Rowbury, […]

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As I was just saying

Many years ago, when I was beginning to get very serious about conducting, I used to take every possible opportunity to talk to other conductors about the intricacies of the craft. One established maestro who was very generous with his time was Oakland East Bay Symphony conductor Michael Morgan, who I cornered at a festival […]

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Grammy madness

I can scarcely imagine a more irrelevant institution than the Grammys. I suppose the classical version of the awards, which seems to exist solely in a parallel universe entirely free of television cameras is quite useful and harmless as these things go- at least it helps sell a few CDs, but the mainstream bit of […]

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Quote of the day

From my friend Michael Steinberg, eminent musicologist, after his first night out with the Oregon East Symphony (if you know Michael’s inimitable way of speaking, it is even funnier)… “This orchestra drinks like…. a German orchestra…..” I’m not really sure what that means, but it sounds good. Michael later suggested we write a grant for […]

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Quote of the day….

The question was a hanging curveball to my colleague, a cello soloist and professor….  “So what are you planning to do with your sabbatical?”    “I am going to conquer the world, one retirement home concert at a time.”

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