Calm before…..

I land in Seattle and have two messages on my voice mail from our principal trumpet. It seems that the third trumpet’s promise to find someone meant that he would ask the principal to find someone for him.  Actually, James is remarkably good humored about it (he would rather do the work than end up […]

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It starts to get interesting

Performing a Mahler symphony is like power lifting in ice skates. The musical demands are immense- it is heavy lifting for everyone- and yet the complicated logistics of extra players, off stage instruments, soloists and so on mean that you’re constantly putting out fires as you approach the concert. I’ve covered the piece twice before, at the Cincinnati […]

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Explore the Score- Mahler Symphony no. 2, mvt I

Mahler’s Second Symphony is in five movements and was completed in 1894, but the first of those was composed and published several years earlier in 1888 (at the same time as the First Symphony) as a tone poem called “Totenfeier” or “Funeral Rites.” It wasn’t until 1893, after he had finished the First Symphony, that […]

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Welcome

This is a site for listeners and audience members who like to keep track of my concert work. They can use these pages to follow me on my travel, get insights into how concerts happen, and get my thoughts on the concerts they’re coming to or just attended. I’ll also be using this space to introduce listeners […]

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Explore the Score: Mahler 2, Movement II- Relief, Repose and Reflection

After the highly-charged, dramatic and ultimately tragic arc of the first movement, it is natural that one would need some time to recover. After all, Mahler waited five years after completing Totenfeier before continuing on to the second movement. As it turns out, Mahler anticipated the audience’s exhaustion and specified that the conductor should wait […]

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My Mahler Story Begins

One of the interesting aspects of this particular project is that for most of the Pendleton, Oregon audience, Mahler is completely unknown music. It’s a rare privilege for a conductor to be able to introduce this music, now so widely loved and accepted, to a new audience. Already, I’ve experienced some of the most fascinating […]

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The Whole Problem

Analyzing the decline of classical music has become a full-time job for many (and a lucrative one for some). It’s almost assumed that any newspaper piece on classical music will have some reference to “declining audiences” or “aging listeners” or “financially struggling orchestras.”  The fact is that for much of the 90’s and 00’s, classical […]

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The Mahler Story Begins

One thread I will be exploring on this blog involves an upcoming performance of Gustav Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Oregon East Symphony and Chorale in Pendleton, Oregon. The OES, 200 miles from Portland, 260 miles from Seattle and 300 miles from Boise has long been nicknamed “The Most Remotely Situated Full Symphony Orchestra on […]

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Getting there is half the fun part 3

Left early today for Lancashire Chamber Orchestra concert via Hereford where our dog will be spending the night. The car is actually quite comical- Suzanne, Steve and I and Murphy (the dog) with all of Steve’s travelling gear (he’s been in Europe for a couple of weeks, now) and his guitar. Steve is smashed in […]

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Getting there is half the fun part 2

Steve and I go through his two pieces today. One is a world premiere by Gerald Garcia called Heart of the Rose, a concerto in three movements for strings and guitar. It’s a little pop for my usual tastes, but it makes up for it with a lot of fresh humor and very good virtuoso writing for the guitar. I’m […]

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Getting there is half the fun

Meeting Steve Thackuk at the train station this afternoon. Steve is a wonderful guitarist and twin brother of one of my best friends from my Cincinnati years, Brad Thackuk (who is a fine conductor). Steve will be soloing on this weekend’s Lancashire Chamber Orchestra Concert. I’m looking ahead at my calendar for the next few […]

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