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  • On An Overgrown Path
    very difficult to monetise Internet traffic Disruptive technology surplus capacity and faltering demand are facts of life in classical music Yet the response of the London Symphony Orchestra to which Simon Rattle is moving from the Berlin Philharmonic is simply to press for increased capacity in the form of an expensive new concert hall just yards from a perfectly serviceable alternative opened in 1982 Classical music is far from dead and if it is smart it will not be playing to empty halls in the future But it must adapt its business to appeal to the new self curating heterogeneous audience and those changes must be far more fundamental than allowing applause between movements boosting Facebook likes and building yet more concert halls At the root of the problem is the inequality between classical music s superstars and the rest The top 1 not only enjoy eye watering incomes but they are afforded a status by a sycophantic media that belittles the huge number of fine musicians working in the many other ensembles away from major metropolitan centres The result is that grassroot professional music making has become no more than a training ground for tomorrow s superstars an invidious process that simply raises financial expectations throughout a fiscally challenged industry Celebrity classical music is a dinosaur that is feeding off the carcass of the moribund traditional audience The spotlight needs to be shifted both in finance and status to the rump of non celebrity professional and amateur musicians and ensembles who are better positioned to weather the coming financial storm Flattening the supply pyramid will also bring the diversity that classical music needs to meet the demands of the new heterogeneous audience Classical music may not be dead but in its present form it is a car crash looking for a place to happen New hands are needed on the wheel to prevent endless rounds of 20 cuts mounting operating deficits and closures of grassroots ensembles Header photo from Blog Vegas Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Wednesday February 10 2016 1 comment Links to this post Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels benjamin britten berlin philharmonic hildegard of bingen london symphony Maurice Béjart Ostad Elahi simon rattle Yehudi Menuhin Tuesday February 09 2016 Master musician who never performed in public Any musician whose playing prompted Yehudi Menuhin to declare Never had I heard anything like it I could hardly believe my ears and who was described by Maurice Béjart as The greatest musician I had ever encountered in my life deserves our attention And they are even more deserving of that attention when we realise that this remarkable musician never performed in public and never made a commercial recording It was Ostad Elahi who prompted these accolades He was born in western Kurdistan in 1895 and his father was a senior figure in the Ahl e Hagg Fervents of the Truth This mystical order is found among the Perians Kurds and Turkmen of Iraq and Iran but is also found as far afield as the Yemen The order is related to the Yazidis of Iraq who are currently in the news because of their persecution by ISIS and to the Alawis to which the beleagured Assad regime in Syria adheres The Ahl e Hagg is categorised as a heretical strand of Islam which shares with the Shiites a veneration for the Prophet Muhammad s cousin Alī bin Abī Ṭālib However despite this veneration for the Fourth Caliph the sect has dualist Manichean beliefs that align it with Zoroastrianism Gnosticism and the heretical Christian Cathars The related Yazidi religion is influenced by Zoroastrianism Hinduism Judaism Christianity as well as Islam Ostad Elahi was a child prodigy who was recognised as a master of the tanbur the Persian lute by the age of nine Until he was twenty one he practised the tanbur in his native village for long hours and his autodidacticism led him to expand the repertoire of the ancient instrument and develop a new playing technique When his father died he renounced his ascetic lifestyle and embarked on a career in the Persian judiciary under the reforming Reza Khan His career spanned almost three decades and he rose to the position of chief judge of the criminal court of appeal in Tehran the highest rank attainable in the judiciary In these roles he became celebrated for his resistance to the corruption in Persia s criminal justice system Throughout this high profile judicial career Ostad Elahi remained committed to spiritual and musical development and this led to his encounters with Yehudi Menuhin and Maurice Béjart during his time in Tehran His development took him to away from his spiritual and musical roots to develop a synthesis that was more relevant to the mid 20th century From Ahl e Hagg he moved on to advocate a syncretic approach to faith that reflected the perennialism of René Guénon but which retained its veneration for Alī bin Abī Ṭālib In the compilation of his teachings The Path of Perfection Ostad Elahi describes how Music is a divine creation Music was created to express and awaken spiritual emotions To achieve this awakening he advocates the Sufi practice of zekr or zikr the remembrance of God through music leading to ecstasy Although Ostad Elahi never gave a concert and made no commercial recordings numerous recordings were made by his disciples and for some of these the microphone was in the next room to avoid alerting the master to the presence of a tape recorder Many of these unofficial recordings have been released on the Chant du Monde label in acceptable sound despite their unusual provenance As an introduction The Sacred Lute The Art of Ostad Elahi a 2 CD overview compiled for the 2014 Metropolitan Museum New York exhibition celebrating

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  • On An Overgrown Path: Classical music has more than one glass ceiling
    years before the first black conductor took the podium at a Berlin Philharmonic concert My congratulations go to Mirga Gražinytė Tyla for smashing the glass ceiling at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra But the job is not finished until there is a black conductor at the Last Night of the Proms Montage shows Kwamé Ryan with Mirga Gražinytė Tyla Kwamé Ryan featured in a 2011 post about musicians of colour at the BBC Proms Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Thursday February 11 2016 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels antonia brico bbc proms berlin philharmonic city of birmingham symphony orchestra Kwame Ryan Mirga Gražinytė Tyla No comments Post a Comment Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 Classical music has more than one glass ceiling Classical music has a new audience but nobody noti Master musician who never performed in public Wanted an audience of innocent ears In search of the lost orgasm January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October 23 September 12 August 20 July 27 June 27

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2016/02/classical-music-has-more-than-one-glass.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: 'I don't believe in Negro symphony conductors'
    My profile of Rudolph Dunbar the first black conductor of both the London and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras is here and that of African American conductor Dean Dixon is here Sources include 1 Schiller Institute interview with Sylvia Olden Lee which provides my header quote 2 Online archived copies of Jet magazine which also provide my second quote 3 Composition in Black and White by Kathryn Talalay Photo credits 1 Marquette University Archives and was taken by Carl Van Vechten who appeared in a recent post 2 Vielles Annonces via Flickr 3 Courier Journal Jet magazine for March 14 1994 has a photo captioned Opera star Jessye Norman l joins l r The Orchestra of St Luke s conductor Everett Lee composer musicians Max Roach and opera singer Martina Arroyo at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Aaron Davis Hall in the City College of New York Campus But I have my doubts if it is Everett Lee and I can find no other references connecting him to The Orchestra of St Luke s Can anyone positively identify the person second left in that photo or shed any more light on it Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Report broken links missing images and errors to overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Version 1 2 27 07 2011 update added Posted by Pliable at Monday July 25 2011 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels arthur judson arvo part benjamin steinberg classical music columbia artists management david baker dean dixon everett lee h leslie adams leonard bernstein new york philharmonic racism 7 comments Philip Amos said Pliable may I say that your presentation of this vitally important issue Naxos have done well by John Mclaughlin Williams but I m not as sanguine as he re how much things have changed as also previous posts on the subject is superb Great clarity I am at once moved and infuriated by it Judson is once again being Judson a topic we ve touch on before But then it does not surprise me to find Stokowski campaigning to get Lee a major post nor that he was so much recognized in Europe as a conductor of the first water A few days ago I listened twice to Clara Haskil playing the Beethoven G major concerto with Dean Dixon conducting the RIAS Symphony I had not heard it before and I revere Haskil but I found myself on first hearing rather riveted by the magnificent accompaniment Barbirolli class I had to play it again with my ears firmly tuned to Haskil in case I had missed anything and could then put the two together on further hearings Anyway these anecdotes aside I m not sure I can help in this endeavour but I m going to give the post another close read to see if anything strikes me 8 19 pm Pliable said Clara Haskil Plays Mozart Beethoven and Schumann with Dean Dixon and Ferenc Fricsay http www amazon co uk Clara Haskil Mozart Beethoven Schumann dp B001R0GE0M ref sr 1 1 s music ie UTF8 qid 1311624758 sr 1 1 9 15 pm Pliable said Comment received Hello I came across your recent blog entry about the Arvo Pärdi Sünnipäevaorkestri Estonian for Arvo Pärt s Birthday Orchestra concert conducted by Everett Lee I just wanted to confirm to you that the CD of this concert exists and that I actually own a copy of it not the original It was a concert to celebrate Pärt s 65th birthday in his birth town of Paide on the Southern coast of Estonia on Sept 17 2000 The actual birthday was on September 11th It isn t identified specifically but I think this is an amateur student orchestra assembled for the event All of the orchestra player s names are identified and none of them are otherwise known to me I can send you mp3 versions of the tracks using the www yousendit com download website if you are interested along with scans of the cover The programme includes 1 Arvo Pärt Fratres for strings and percussion 9 47 2 Benjamin Britten Pizzicato from Simple Symphony 3 04 3 Arvo Pärt Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten 8 49 4 Arvo Pärt Summa for strings 4 13 Rolf Martinsson Impression 1980 5 Cantabile con espressione 10 09 6 Allegramente con brio 2 07 7 Andante 6 15 Joseph Haydn Symphony No 86 in D major 8 Adagio 8 14 9 Capriccio Largo 6 09 10 Menuetto Allegretto 5 38 11 Finale Allegro con spirito 6 18 This is a CD R that was made in very small supply perhaps only a few hundred copies issued privately and there is no label identified We were lucky enough to find it in a music shop in Tallinn Estonia in the summer of 2001 and it was the final remaining copy there we asked for more Doug Maskew from the BBC was with me at the time and that is how the disc was added to Doug s comprehensive Pärt Discography and also to David Pinkerton s Pärt Discography which we both contribute to There is about a 1 2 page biography of Everett Lee in the notes but it is in Estonian I could translate that for you though if you are interested In the credits Everett Lee is identified as being from Sweden although the biography does give his American background Best regards Alan Teder Toronto Canada 6 48 am Pliable said Reader responses to this post have allowed me to establish contact with Everett Lee s family I can confirm he is living in retirement in Sweden and I am working towards producing an update version of the article that fills in the missing biographical information This is a

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  • On An Overgrown Path: Why do we still not believe in Negro symphony conductors?
    right talent and vision are indeed the key requisites to be taken seriously and nurtured But for some reason or another there are those that hold the power of position that looks at a black man or woman who can conduct a symphony orchestra and wonders why are they in a field that is Euro centered and not devoting themselves to their musical roots The BBC Proms provide a convenient measure of inclusivity but it is unfair to demonise just one concert series because the same picture will be found at other prestigious concert series around the world Quite rightly there has been much criticism of the underrepresentation of women in classical music but much less about the even more acute underrepresentation of musicians of colour Very good work has been done in improving the representation of women one of the results is that the iconic Last Night of the Proms has been conducted twice by Marin Alsop in recent years and commendably one of these concerts featured a commission by the Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga But I have a dream that one day we will see a black conductor wielding the baton for Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory at the Proms So let s make 2016 and the years that follow the decade when musicians of colour take their rightful place on the podium My thanks go to Kevin Scott and John McLaughlin Williams whose tireless advocacy of musicians of colour inspired this post and to my Guyanese wife Sorojini who encouraged me to follow the path of Rudolph Dunbar Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Thursday December 31 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels arthur judson bbc proms Bobby McFerrin Eleanor Alberga everett lee Kevin Scott marin alsop Norman Perryman John McLaughlin Williams Philippa Schuyler rudolph dunbar wayne marshall 2 comments Pliable said Excellent profile of Rudolph Dunbar from the West Indian https guyaneseonline files wordpress com 2015 03 rudolph dunbar pdf 8 02 am renee said Until the issue is forced we will remain outside the arena But fear of angering them leaves us vulnerable and lefy out Make your talent visible at every turn may not win your position but is always worth the effort Renee Baker 2 39 pm Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 Why do we still not believe in Negro symphony cond That s the state of the record business Classical music and the catastrophe of abundance Reddit before going to bed Roll up Roll up for the magical mystery tour Mawlid at Abbey Road A synthesiser orchestra of Wagnerian scale Why you should never believe music industry

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  • On An Overgrown Path: BBC Proms 2006 lacks the eternal feminine
    Facebook Share to Pinterest 2 comments Pliable said To keep the record completely straight I note that Prom 20 lists A cappella choral works by Thea Musgrave although the work s is not listed and Thea Musgrave doesn t merit an entry in the Proms 2006 composer listing on the BBC website 3 34 pm Daniel said Is Vanessa Lann pioneering a new keyboard technique of her own devising using simply her head and one hand If this is the case I d like to hear her performance of Beethoven s Hammerklavier 9 04 am Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October 23 September 12 August 20 July 27 June 27 May 7 April 32 March 27 February 24 January 30 2011 299 December 22 November 21 October 42 September 12 August 24 July 38 June 29 May 5 April 34 March 9 February 33 January 30 2010 281 December 37 November 20 October 36 September 7 August 37 July 27 May 17 April 33 March 12 February 26 January 29 2009 367 December 22 November 23 October 33 September 7 August 35 July 30 May 42 April 39 March 41 February

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  • On An Overgrown Path: Berlin Philharmonic's first woman conductor
    included the child prodigy pianist and composer Philippa Schuyler for a short time in 1939 Brico resigned as Schuyler s teacher before the child s notoriously ruthless mother could fire her Perceptively in view of later events the teacher wrote the following about her pupil Too many highly gifted childrem disaappear into oblivion because they play too many concerts during the formative years European tours continued for Antonia Brico both as a pianist and a conductor and she was invited by none other than Jean Sibelius to conduct the Helsinki Symphony Orchestra The photo below shows her conducting the San Francisco Bay Region Symphony Orchestra in 1938 Image credit NARA SPB In 1942 Antonia Brico moved to Denver Colorado Again she founded her own ensembles a Bach Society and the Women s String Ensemble She also conducted the Denver Businessmen s Orchestra In 1948 this unfortunately titled ensemble was renamed the Brico Symphony Orchestra In the same year she was appointed conductor of the Denver Community Symphony later the Denver Symphony Orchestra and continued to guest conduct orchestras around the world including the Japan Women s Symphony She also became a respected teacher in Denver Her students there included the folksinger Judy Collins In 1974 Judy Collins made a documentary film with Jill Godmilow about the life of her teacher titled Antonia A Portrait of a Woman This film created considerable interest In 1975 Brico was scheduled to conduct a single concert at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York But this sold out so quickly that a second concert was hastily arranged and CBS recorded the concerts for release on LP She made her last New York appearance in 1977 conducting the Brooklyn Philharmonia Antonia Brico died in 1989 in Denver Colorado Antonia Brico s Mozart LP is still available on a Sony CD Another classical connection with Judy Collins is Joshua Rifkin He wrote orchestral arrangements for three of her Collins albums In My Life Wildflower and Whales and Nightingales It was Rifkin s 1972 recording of the B minor Mass that pioneered the one voice per part approach to Bach In My Life includes a setting of Francesco Landini s Ecco la Primavera that uses sackbuts viols and a harmonium Her 1967 version of Joni Mitchell s Both Sides Now on Wildflower was a major chart hit for Judy Collins On it Joshua Rifkind conducts his own arrangement and plays harpshichord Now read about the Berlin Philharmonic s first black conductor Sources Trust Your Heart by Judy Collins Houghton Mifflin ISBN 0395412854 New York Times August 5 1989 Sony BMG Time March 5 1935 Time Feb 4 1935 Music Web International Elinor Remick Warren Composition In Black and White by Kathryn Talalay Oxford University Press ISBN 0195113934 New Deal Network DBH cultural event newsletter June 26 2007 Wikipedia entry Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request

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  • On An Overgrown Path: Berlin Philharmonic's first Black conductor
    established as a leading performer and authority on the clarinet his conducting career was in the ascendant as concert life restarted and he was seen as a role model for West Indians But the promise wasn t fulfilled Dunbar is documented as being the first black conductor of a symphony orchestra in Poland 1959 and Russia 1964 both concerts were in Soviet bloc countries at the peak of the Cold War He promoted concerts for the Jamaican Hurricane Relief Fund in 1951 and toured British Guiana in the 1950s conducting the country s Militia Band Philharmonic Orchestra and a youth choir Rudolph Dunbar died in London in June 1988 Were Dunbar s conducting talents simply eclipsed by de Nazified conductors returning to the podium after the war or were there other reasons why the promise wasn t fulfilled Exactly what happened remains a mystery but there are some tantalising clues Dunbar s brief obituary in the Musical Times says He gradually withdrew from public life and devoted himself to fighting racism and trying to increase black involvement in Western art music But there seems to be more to it than a gradual withdrawal from public life It is known that Dunbar conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra One of the leading authorities on music in Guyana is Dr Vibert C Cambridge at Ohio University and in an article for the Stabroek News in Guyana in August 2004 Dr Cambridge quotes from an interview Rudolph Dunbar gave six months before his death in 1988 Dunbar spoke about the particular vindictiveness of a producer director of music at the BBC who derailed his musical career in Europe Dunbar described that director of music as despicable and vile and the BBC as stubborn as mules and ruthless as rattlesnakes Today Rudolph Dunbar left is remembered as a one of a pioneering group of West Indians who fought racism in the UK The musician who was the first Black conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and who wrote a standard reference work on the clarinet does not warrant a single mention in the current or earlier editions of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians or other major music reference books Why remains a mystery 2011 important Rudolph Dunbar updates here here and here Sources Rudolph Dunbar by Dr Vibert C Cambridge Stabroek News August 22 2004 W Rudolph Dunbar Pioneering Orchestra Conductor The Black Perspective in Music Vol 9 No 2 Autumn 1981 pp 193 225 Rudolph Dunbar The Musical Times Vol 129 No 1749 Nov 1988 p 619 Debut in the Bowl Time Sept 02 1946 Rhythm in Berlin Time Sept 10 1945 The Pantheon of West Indian Heroes Framed Black Britain July 8 2006 Settling Scores German Music Denazification and the Americans 1945 1953 by David Monod NewMusicBox Oct 24 2006 Listeners to the BBC Radio 4 programme on Rudolph Dunbar broadcast on August 7 2007 should read Echoes of Rudolph Dunbar on the BBC c Bob Shingleton 2007 Now read about Multicultural

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  • On An Overgrown Path: How many black conductors at the BBC Proms?
    might have been on the podium at the Proms if his wife later ex wife but still close friend Marilyn Horne were performing A shame one has to think in such a way but still I could find no mention of him conducting there and hardly any mention at all His Wikipedia entry is a stub with no notes or external references and otherwise I noted in passing one recording accompanying the Gershwin Concerto in F and mentions as Horne s husband 11 30 am Pliable said Philip thanks for pointing that out Henry Lewis did actually get a mention recently but it was buried in the Everett Lee post Henry Lewis became the first black conductor of a metropolitan orchestra one with an annual budget of 100 000 or more when he was named to the New Jersey State Symphony Orchestra In fact I did check his name against the Proms database for this post without a result but really should have included him in the text apologies Henry Lewis obituary here http www nytimes com 1996 01 29 nyregion henry lewis conductor who broke racial barriers of us orchestrasis dead at 63 html 11 53 am R J said Henry Lewis s recording of Meyerbeer s Le Prophète with his wife Marilyn Horne in the cast also Renata Scotto James McCracken and Jules Bastin so it was quite a starry line up appeared in 1977 and is still available on CD I ve not heard it Previous comments on this website have referred to another notable black conductor Dean Dixon A fair amount of hitherto unsuspected and commendable recorded material is emerging from Australian broadcasting archives these days so we might yet find that Dixon s 1964 67 tenure with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will be commemorated on a deserving CD reissue or two 12 14 pm Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October 23 September 12 August 20 July 27 June 27 May 7 April 32 March 27 February 24 January 30 2011 299 December 22 November 21 October 42 September 12 August 24 July 38 Symphonic musicians against specialisation Bach the specialists would never allow that How many black conductors at the BBC Proms Orchestras unable to play a Mozart symphony Specialisation is damaging classical music From Carmen Jones to Arvo Part and beyond Is classical music too

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