Quote of the week

From my sister, the conductor Cynthia Woods, explaining to a board member why it might be better in this instance to start a concert with an overture by Brahms or Wagner than one by Mozart….   Mozart is the string bikini of composers- if you can pull it off, great, but I’m just not sure our orchestra […]

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Janaceking on the East Coast

I’m spending my week in Philadelphia and New York to prepare and perform a very special piece of music I’ve been wanting to learn for many years, Janacek’s 2nd String Quartet. My colleagues in this endeavor are violinists David Ehrlich and Yonah Zur, and violist David Yang. Also on the program are two short string […]

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KCYO 08- Gale of Life

In spite of the significant technical challenges for all the players in Philip Sawyers Gale of Life Overture, rehearsals moved along at a quick pace. The main reason for our smooth progress was the immense care Philip had obviously taken in making his writing as idiomatic and his notation as clear as possible. Most Vftp […]

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Sibelius 5 at KCYO

The Sibelius symphonies are full of difficulties for the conductor, instrumentalists and even the audience. Though the whole of his Fifth Symphony is shorter than the Finale of Mahler 2, it’s just as difficult a work to put together, and in some ways more so. For the conductor in particular, I think the Sibeliuses are, […]

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Boulez at The Guardian

There’s a great feature over at the Guardian by Tom Service on Pierre Boulez’s annual conducting masterclasses at the Lucerne Festival. It includes a nice video interview with some brief footage of his work at the institute. I’ve been told in the past by some of our students (sometimes in appreciation, but other times in […]

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KCYO ’08- encountering the new

The second KCYO rehearsal of our 2008 course presented a formidable set of challenges, primarily because of the diversity of those challenges. Each work has not only its own stylistic language, but its own sound world, from the quintissential French perfumed nightscapes of Debussy, to the lush, very German Wagner. After a rather grim tasting dinner, […]

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