Another Musical Puzzle: The EU Challenge

A few weeks ago, Los Angeles blogger CK Dexter Haven came up with an intriguing musical game of choosing your “Top Nine” symphonies—you had to pick your favorite numbered symphonies, one through nine.  The challenge was made more intriguing by the fact that composers could only be used once and all slots had to be filled, giving the challenge a Sudoku-like quality. It was great fun, and many writers/bloggers took up the challenge (my selections are here).  Continue reading

The Liberation of Auschwitz: A Concert

Today is a special anniversary. On this date 70 years ago, Allied forces liberated Auschwitz, putting an end to the unbelievable atrocities that took place there.

In the years that have followed, Auschwitz has become short-hand reference to all the inhumanities of the Nazi regime. A universally-understood metaphor of horror.  More than 1.1 million people were killed there, in what became the Nazis’ largest death camp. Approximately 90 percent of those who died at Auschwitz were Jewish, although Roma, Poles, gay prisoners and those of other ethnicities were killed at the camp as well.  Continue reading

A Prof. Harold Hill Moment

Well, this is disappointing.

Drew McManus is a prominent arts writer, and for some time I’ve valued his insights. So I’ve been baffled by one of the topics that he’s been covering… in my view past the point of usefulness. This is the issue of pay disparity between full-time orchestra players, and substitute players.

This is an important issue that does need to be addressed, as it touches not just on issues of fairness and a whole slew of other topics. Moreover, it is an issue that has to be addressed delicately, as it is very easy to become defensive, to unwittingly denigrate one side or the other, or to not give sides full credit for the unique challenges of their positions.  Continue reading