Monday, May 31, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Louise Farrenc (1804-1875)
Billy Mayerl (1902-1959)
Alfred Deller (1912-1979)
Akira Ifukube (1914-2006)
Shirley Verrett (1931)
Peter Yarrow (1938)
Bruce Adolphe (1955)
Marty Ehrlich (1955)


Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853)
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Benny Goodman (1909-1986)
George London (1920-1985)
Gustav Leonhardt (1928)
Pauline Oliveros (1932)
Zoltan Kocsis (1952)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Francesco Fanciulli (1853-1915)
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957)
Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)
Hellmuth Rilling (1933)
Michael Berkeley (1948)
Linda Esther Gray (1948)
Melissa Etheridge (1961)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Preview of Vancouver Symphony concert with young artists in Columbian

Today's Columbian newspaper has my preview of this weekend's Vancouver Symphony concert, which features the winners of its young artist competition (held in March).

Today's Birthdays

Thomas Arne (1710-1788)
T-Bone Walker (1910-1975)
Nicola Rescigno (1916-2008)
György Ligeti (1923-2006)
John Culshaw (1924-1980)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925)
Richard Van Allan (1935)
Maki Ishii (1936-2003)
Elena Souliotis (1943-2004)
Levon Chilingirian (1948)


Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936)
May Swenson (1913-1989)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Third Angle travelogue

Members of Third Angle New Music ensemble have been in China to perform at the Beijing Modern Music Festival and other events. You can read daily postings from Ron Blessinger, 3A's head honcho and lead violinist, about the ensemble's blog site.

David Stabler, in today's issue of The Oregonian, wrote about 3A and its trip to the Orient. The end of the article states that the City of Portland kicked in $5,000 to help make this trip a reality. Another $4,500 came from the Oregon Arts Commision, and the Governor's office tossed in $2,500. Plus $14,000 came from private donors. That makes me wonder what kind of funds might come to the Oregon Symphony to assist them on its trip to Carnegie Hall next May. The orchestra has already raised $175,000, but still has a ways to go.

Today's Birthdays

Jacques Halévy (1799-1862)
Joseph Joachim Raff (1822-1882)
Claude Champagne (1891-1965)
Ernst Wallfisch (1920-1979)
Thea Musgrave (1928)
Donald Keats (1929)
Elizabeth Harwood (1938-1990)
James Wood (1953)


Wild Bill Hickok (1837-1876)
Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)
Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961)
Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
John Cheever (1912-1982)
John Barth (1930)
Linda Pastan (1932)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Al Jolson (1886-1950)
Sir Eugene Goossens (1893-1962)
Vlado Perlemuter (1904-2002)
François‑Louis Deschamps (1919-2004)
Peggy Lee (1920-2002)
Joseph Horovitz (1926)
Teresa Stratas (1938)
William Bolcom (1938)
Howard Goodall (1958)
Armando Bayolo (1973)


Dorothea Lange (1895-1965)
Alan Hollinghurst (1954)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Thomas "Blind Tom" Bethune (1849 - 1908)
Miles Davis (1926-1991)
Beverly Sills (1929-2007)
Franco Bonisolli (1937-2003)


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)
Raymond Carver (1938-1988)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Notes on being a critic

Sometimes, like last Friday, there are too many good concerts to attend. With a choice of performances by 45th Parallel, Fear No Music, and Opera Theater Oregon's Hercules vs. Vampires, you can't go wrong. But I didn't make it to any of these shows, because I had some extra writing to do, and I'm trying to stop my habit of writing every evening until 1 or 2 in the morning (which is really getting old). So, the only concert that I attended over the weekend was the exceptional performance by the Oregon Symphony, and my review is in Oregon Music News.

Portland has so many fine musicians (including singers!) that it's hard to keep up with everyone. I plan to do as well as I can and that will include interviews for Oregon Music News.

Today's Birthdays

Paul Paray (1886-1979)
Dame Joan Hammond (1912-1986)
Hans‑Martin Linde (1930)
Maurice André (1933)
Bob Dylan (1941)
Konrad Boehmer (1941)
Fiona Kimm (1952)
Paul McCreesh (1960)


William Trevor (1928)
Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996)
Declan Kiberd (1951)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Andrea Luchesi (1741-1801)
Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
Artie Shaw (1910-2004)
Jean Françaix (1912-1997)
Alicia de Larrocha (1923)
Robert Moog (1934-2005)
Joel Feigin (1951)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Johann Schrammel (1850-1893)
Minna Keal (1909-1999)
Sun Ra (1914-1993)
George Tintner (1917-1999)
Humphrey Lyttleton (1921)
Claude Ballif (1924-2004)
John Browning (1933-2003)
Peter Nero (1934)


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
Peter Matthiessen (1927)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Articles for Oregon Arts Commission finally posted

Last year, I got a contract to write several articles for the Oregon Arts Commission and finished them last summer, but in the meantime the OAC decided to redo its entire website. Well, now the new OAC web site is up, and almost all of my writings for the OAC are finally posted. Here are the links:

Historic and Contemporary Ceremonial Regalia of Native Oregon on Tour

Profile of poet Crystal Williams

OAC fellowship recipient George Taylor talks about playwriting

Oregon! Oregon! 2009 celebrates our state's 150th birthday

Deaf student wins poetry recitation contest sponsored by the OAC

The Henna Project gives thoughts a visual presence in Smith Hall

Robin Goodrin Nordli takes Shakespeare on the road big time

Ellen Waterston -- that rare breed of writer

Today's Birthdays

Joseph Parry (1841-1903)
Thomas "Fats" Waller (1904-1943)
Gina Bachauer (1913-1976)
Heinz Holliger (1939)
Rosalind Plowright (1949)
Linda Bouchard (1957)


Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
Andrei Sakharov (1921-1989)
Robert Creeley (1926-2005)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Hephzibah Menuhin (1920-1981)
George Hurst (1926)
Karl Anton Rikenbacher (1940)
Joe Cocker (1944)
Sue Knussen (1949-2003)
Jane Parker-Smith (1950)
Emma Johnson (1966)


Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reviews so far...

I posted my review of the Portland Baroque concert that featured Gonzalo X. Ruiz in on Oregon Music News here.

My review of Seattle Opera's "Amelia" in on Oregon Music News here.

Review of the Oregon Symphony concert with Arnaldo Cohen is now posted here.

Today's Birthdays

Dame Nellie Melba (1859-1931)
Kerstin Thorborg (1896-1970)
Sandy Wilson (1924)
Pete Townshend (1945)
Stephen Varcoe (1949)


Nora Ephron (1941)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667)
Francesco Maria Piave (1810-1876)
Karl Goldmark (1830-1915)
Ezio Pinza (1892-1947)
Henri Sauguet (1901-1989)
Meredith Willson (1902-1984)
Sir Clifford Curzon (1907-1982)
Perry Como (1912-2001)
Boris Christoff (1914-1993)
Mikko Heiniö (1948)


Omar Khayyam (1048-1131)
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
Walter Gropius (1883-1969)
Margot Fonteyn (1919-1991)

Hercules vs. Vampires review up at The Gathering Note

I've reviewed Filmusik and Opera Theater Oregon productions a number of times for NW Reverb and at my blog MusicalOozings, so for their latest endeavor I posted an exclusive review at the Gathering Note, a great classical music blog based in Seattle. You can read it here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

More reviews to come

While Lorin covered the first of three Beethoven concerts, I went to Seattle on Saturday to attend Seattle Opera's "Amelia" (a outstanding production btw), I also went to Portland Baroque's exceptional concert on Friday evening, and attended the Oregon Symphony's incredible concert last night. I'll be at the Oregon Symphony concert tonight as well. I have been too busy in the meantime to get my reviews done for Oregon Music News, but I plan to have the PBO review done today, for sure.

Today's Birthdays

Erik Satie (1866-1925)
Sandor Vegh (1905-1997)
Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005)
Dennis Brain (1921-1957)
Taj Mahal (1942)
Paul Crossley (1944)
Brian Rayner Cook (1945)
Bill Bruford (1949)
Ivor Bolton (1958)


Alfonso Reyes (1889-1959)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Oregon Symphony, Arnaldo Cohen

I reviewed last night's concert of pianist Arnaldo Cohen playing the second Beethoven piano concerto with the Oregon Symphony, as well as Cohen with Jun Iwasaki and Quirine Viersen in the Beethoven 'Triple' concerto. The review appears here at Oregon Music News.

Today's Birthdays

Richard Tauber (1891-1948)
Ivan Vishnegradsy (1893-1979)
Jan Kiepura (1902-1966)
Woody Herman (1913-1987)
Liberace (1919-1987)
Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000)
Betty Carter (1930-1998)
Donald Martino (1931-2005)
Robert Fripp (1946)
Monica Huggett (1953)
Andrew Litton (1959)


Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866)
Louis "Studs" Terkel (1912-2008)
Adrienne Rich (1929)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Michael William Balfe (1808-1870)
Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
Arthur Berger (1912-2003)
John Lanchbery (1923-2003)
Ted Perry (1931-2003)
Brian Eno (1948)


L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)
Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931)
Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980)
Peter Shaffer (1926)
Jasper Johns (1930)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Notes on music critics

Last weekend I spent a few days in Dallas, Texas with about 30 other music critics. All of us are members of the Music Critics Association of North America, and we try to gather once a year to tune up our ears and compare notes. I find it very interesting to listen to orchestras, chamber ensembles, choirs, and opera companies that are not in Portland or do not come through Portland on tour. Through the MCANA's annual meetings I have heard the following:

- Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen (in Disney Hall) (2005)
- Los Angeles Opera Company with Kent Nagano conducting Falstaff (featuring Byrn Terffel) (2005)
- Canadian Opera in a complete Ring Cycle with Richard Bradshaw conducting in Toronto's new opera house (2006)
- Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra with conductor Emmanuel Villaume (2007)
- Spoleto Festival USA Opera's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with Emmanuel Villaume conducting (2007)
- Spoleto Festival USA chamber music (including St. Lawrence String Quartet) (2007)
- Colorado Symphony Orchestra with Jeffrey Kahane conducting (2008)
- Colorado Opera with Marin Alsop conducting Nixon in China (2008)
- Central City Opera with Damian Iorio conducting The Rape of Lucretia (2008)
- Mostly Mozart Festival Opera with John Adams conducting A Flowering Tree (2009)
- Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä conducting (2009)
- Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Robin Ticciati (MM Fest 2009)
- Dallas Symphony Orchestra with Jaap van Zweden conducting (2010)
- Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra with Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducting (2010)
- The Dallas Opera's production of Moby Dick (featuring Ben Heppner)(2010)

At the annual meetings, my colleagues and I get tours of halls (Disney Hall, Four Seasons Centre (Toronto), Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Meyerson Hall, Winspear Opera House, meet orchestra composers like John Adams, conductors like Jaap van Zweden and Graeme Jenkins, and administrators like Deborah Borda and Keith Cerny. This is really a terrific way to get a more in-depth and behind the scenes look at what it takes to create music. We usually get a number of recordings and sometimes books (eg., John Adams's Hallelujah Junction).

The MCANA also offers some opportunities (including travel, hotel, and meals) to cover festivals and competitions. I was selected to write about the Van Cliburn Competition last year. The critic's organization has also provided some excellent leads to written work for magazines, including a current opportunity to write a few things for the Grove Dictionary. The MCANA is also developing a new online magazine that will offer a lot of national exposure for its members.

All in all, MCANA is an organization that offers a lot to classical music writers. Next year, we are going to meet in June in San Francisco during San Francisco Opera's production of the Ring Cycle.

PS: For my reviews of this year's music in Dallas and Fort Worth, go to Oregon Music News.

Today's Birthdays

Otto Klemperer (1885-1973)
Sidney Bechet (1897-1959)
Lou Harrison (1917-2003)
Aloys Kontarsky (1931)
Peter Skellern (1947)
Maria de La Pau (1950)
Helen Field (1951)
David Byrne (1952)


Mary Morris (1947)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900)
Constantin Silverstri (1913-1969)
Gareth Morris (1920)
Jane Glover (1949)
Stevie Wonder (1950)
David Hill (1957)
Tasmin Little (1965)


Bruce Chatwin (1940–1989)
Kathleen Jamie (1962)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Giovanni Viotti (1755-1824)
Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Sir Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989)
Burt Bacharach (1928)
Anthony Newman (1941)
Dalmacio Gonzalez (1945)
Doris Soffel (1948)


Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)

Dvorak Cello Concerto Review up at OMN

My first piece for Oregon Music News posted today; it's a review of last weekend's Oregon Symphony concert featuring Quirine Viersen in the Dvorak Cello Concerto. You can read it by clicking the link.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Alma Gluck (1884-1938)
Irving Berlin (1888-1939)
William Grant Still (1895-1978)
Robert Johnson (1911-1938)
Ross Pople (1945)
Judith Weir (1954)
Cecile Licad (1961)


Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
Francisco "Paco" Umbral (1932-2007)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Profile of OTO's Erica Melton in the Star

I've published an article about Erica Melton, the music director of Opera Theater Oregon, in the May issue of The Hollywood Star newspaper. The profile tells of Erica's involvement in OTO's current production, Hercules vs. Vampires and about her background in music. BTW: Hercules vs. Vampires opens at the Hollywood Theatre on May 14th and will run on the May 18, 20, and 21st.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005)
Nigel Douglas (1929)
Billy Joel (1949)
Michel Beroff (1950)
Linda Finnie (1952)
Anne Sofie von Otter (1955)
Alison Hagley (1961)


James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937)
Charles Simic (1938)
Joy Harjo (1951)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Avast and a-hoy - Moby Dick at the Dallas Opera tonight

Tonight the music critics will hear Dallas Opera's production of Moby Dick, a new opera by Jake Heggie with the libretto by Gene Scheer. Ben Heppner is the one-legged Captain Ahab. Others in the cast are baritone Morgan Smith as Starbuck; tenor Stephen Costello as Greenhorn; bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu as Queequeg; soprano Talise Trevigne as Pip; tenor Matthew O'Neill as Flask and baritone Robert Orth as Stubb. The cast will be conducted by Patrick Summers and staged by Leonard Foglia. This new co-production will be designed by two-time Tony Award-nominee Robert Brill and award-winning Broadway veterans Jane Greenwood and Donald Holder. More later.

Today's Birthdays

Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869)
Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981)
Heather Harper (1930)
Carlo Cossutta (1932-2000)
Keith Jarrett (1945)
Felicity Lott (1947)


Edmund Wilson (1895-1972)
Gary Snyder (1930)
Thomas Pynchon (1937)
Roddy Doyle (1958)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Forth Worth Symphony is on tap this evening

This evening, the critics will hear the Forth Worth Symphony under its conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya. The program features Sarah Chang in Brahms Violin Concerto and Mussorgsky/Ravel's Pricutres at an Exhibition.

Yestday we got a tour DSO's hall (Meyerson Hall), including a view of the adjustable acoutical panels and draps on the top-most floor. This is an IM Pei-designed hall (they completed it in 1989 at a cost of $89 million), but the acoustic were done by Russell Johnson and the sound at the concert I heard last night was warm and had a slight reverb.

We have a meeting this morning at the new Winspear Opera House and then lunch at the Dallas Museum of Art with Jaap van Zweden as our special guest.

Today's Birthdays

Carl Heinrich Graun (1704-1759)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Edmond Appia (1894-1961)
Elisabeth Soderstrom (1927)
Philip Land (1950)
Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981)
Robert Spano (1961)


Robert Browning (1812-1889)
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1962)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Will get an ear on the Dallas Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, and Dallas Opera

I've just arrived in Dallas, Texas to participate in the annual meeting of of the Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA). Yes, it's time to compare notes and swap stories with my fellow scribblers in the field of classical music. We will hear the Dallas Symphony conducted by its MD Jaap van Zweden this evening. Here's the program:

- Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence
- Mozart: Concerto No. 10 for two pianos - ArthurJussen, Lucas Jussen
- Ravel: Mother Goose

I've heard and read a lot of good things about van Zweden and will meet him tomorrow, because he's the special guest at the MCANA lunch.

Over the next couple of days I'll also hear the Fort Worth Symphony and see the new Moby Dick opera that Dallas Opera has mounted.

Today's Birthdays

Jascha Horenstein (1898-1973)
Godfrey Ridout (1918-1984)
Murry Sidlin (1940)
Ghena Dimitrova (1941-2005)
Nathalie Stutzmann (1965)


Robert Peary (1856-1920)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Randall Jarrell (1914-1965)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

David Stabler switches desks - is new arts writer at the Oregonian

David Stabler, the Oregonian's classical music critic, has announced that he will becine one of the paper's arts writers. James McQuillen will take over the classical music criticism. We are going to miss Stabler's reviews and wish him the best in his new beat. McQuillen is a fine writer, and we are looking forward to his critiques.

Today's Birthdays

Hans Pfizner (1869-1947)
Maria Caniglia (1905-1979)
Kurt Böhme (1908-1989)
Charles Rosen (1927)
Mark Ermler (1932)
Tammy Wynette (1942-1998)
Bunita Marcus (1952)
Cédric Tiberghien (1975)


Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Nellie Bly (1864-1922)
James Beard (1903-1985)
Kaye Gibbons (1960)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

David Buck wins LA Phil audtition - Dudamel-land is in the future

Congratualtions are in order for Oregon Symphony's David Buck, who has just won the audition for the position of principal flutist with the LA Philharmonic. Buck has been a terrific principal flutist here for the last few years. Now he will be playing for Mr. Dudamel in the near future! Way to go! The news about this is on the Oregon Symphony's facebook page and in the Oregonian web site.

Today's Birthdays

Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731)
Mátyás Seiber (1905-1960)
Tatiana Nikolayeva (1924-1993)
Roberta Peters (1930)
Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (1931)
Marisa Robles (1937)
Enrique Batiz (1942)
Peter Ware (1951)


Horace Mann (1796-1859)
Frederick Church (1826-1900)
David Guterson (1956)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682)
Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901)
Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
Bing Crosby (1903-1977)
Sir William Glock (1908-2000)
Léopold Simoneau (1916-2006)
Pete Seeger (1919)
James Brown (1933-2006)
Jonathan Harvey (1939)


Niccol Machiavelli (1469-1527)
May Sarton (1912-1995)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Today's Birthdays

Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
Jean‑Baptiste Barrière (1707-1747)
Alan Rawstorned (1905-1971)
Jean‑Marie Auberson (1920-2004)
Arnold Black (1923-2000)
Philippe Herreweghe (1947)
Valery Gergiev (1953)
Elliot Goldenthal (1954)


Jerome K Jerome (1859-1927)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Broken window at Columbia Symphony concert

I forgot to mention (in my posting yesterday) that one of the window panes on the east side of the First United Methodist broke during the first movement of the Brahms 2nd Symphony at last night's Columbia Symphony concert. I talked to a fellow who was sweeping up the glass after the concert, and he said that he didn't find a rock anywhere. He guessed that the glass broke after someone (outside the building) put his/her elbow against the glass. I saw that @pdxclassical mentioned that glass incident.

Today's Birthdays

Sophia Dussek (1775-1831)
Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960)
Leo Sowerby (1895-1968)
Walter Susskind (1913-1980)
Gary Bertini (1927-2005)
Judy Collins (1939)


Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)
Joseph Heller (1923-1999)