Saturday, April 16, 2016

Pierre Boulez, and His Legacy

A few months ago, we lost a great composer from this world.
Pierre Boulez is the person who pushed modernism’s boundaries and made great contributions to modern/contemporary music in various ways and in some realms.
His enthusiasms and hopes for music influenced not only many young composers and musicians but also audiences, and people who are in other fields such as science. 
Pierre was asked by Georges Pompidou to found an institution for research in music in IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique, or Institute for Research and Coordination Acoustic / Music in English) that has programmes in contemporary classical music.
He always attracted and motivated young musicians with his black-and-white statement; “This is wrong, and this is right.” Pierre never stopped seeking something new and kept thinking about ‘the future of classical music.’

One of arts organization Pierre founded is Ensemble InterContemporain.
It’s a Paris-based, world-renowned ensemble of 31 full time musicians dedicated to performing and promoting contemporary music from the 20th and 21st centuries since 1972. They give a large number of performances in France and abroad, and appear especially at international festivals. Through Pierre’s thoughts about music, the organization gives artists to have many opportunities, and have teaching and other outreach activities.
Now, under the lead of Matthias Pintscher, the artistic director, they share passion for new music, explore new music realms, and support and nourish young musicians, composers and conductors. The ensemble has premiered more than 500 works over the past 35 years.

The Ensemble InterContemporain is one of the biggest and the most powerful, experimental organizations in the world that promote and support ‘the future of classical music’ for sure.

Related article and websites:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How Classical Music Can Help Kids.

This was an interesting read about a producers who are for incorporating classical music in children's routine from very young age. I completely agree because learning music from the very young age definitely contributes into one's development process. I think it's a great step and people actually realize which type music is worth introducing to children. By this I am not trying to diminish pop culture by any way, I just mean that everything builds up from basis but whatever builds on it sometimes stays (and also starts to be called classics) and sometimes does not. That's why it's important to know to base first.
The other thing is to find a way for it to be more accessible from child's perception because if the music and activity involving music are not inviting and interesting for children, I am not sure how it will affect their focus.
Article itself.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The perfect combination of classical and modern

Last Friday i went to see the BU's opera performances.A visual and auditory feast, a combination of classical and modern elements.

The most interesting thing of the performance is the combination of classical opera and modern elements. The stage set and costume collocation, the use of the color and lights are very modern.
Mozart's classic opera generate a new feeling after the director's innovation . It not only satisfy the person who had loved opera and classical music, but also attracted some music enthusiasts. The whole process for about three hours, but people they did not feel boring.

The combination of classical and modern music innovation, It is worth to promoting.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Figaro Gets a Divorce

While looking in Washington Post for some interesting reads about what's new in Classical Music World, I couldn't really understand why I had to scroll down from so many huge Kesha, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber articles to find a one paragraph (!) review of a Marathon Evening of Prokofiev Piano Concertos- which in my opinion is pretty intense but I won't be surprised if a lot more people will find it easier to relate to Kanye's Life of Pablo than to Prokofiev.
The similar thing happened when I was looking at NY Times during breakfast couple days ago and found a small paragraph on classical music after three pages of Taylor Swift. Right below the crosswords- there was a classical concert review, which again leads me to the point that of course news paper will write what sells. I am sure that Taylor Swift news sell better than string quartet performance in Brooklyn and it's probably because a significant part of general audience can relate themselves to her songs better that to a particular classical music composition.
Later in Telegraph however I found this interesting read about a modern opera composed by Elena Langer which is a sequel to The Marriage of Figaro. This brought me to the thought that in Classical Music- we always look back, always. We look back to Baroque Period for the most mastered counterpoint, we look back to Classical Period for a best sense of order, form and structure, we look back to Romantic Period for character pieces, to Impressionist for colors, to the music of XX century for new vision and ideas. Exactly the same way the composers of the past have been looking even deeper into past to write their reflections and answers to the music that has been written before. So many masterpieces have been taken out from or been influenced by Bach or Beethoven and you can actually hear the connection that makes you wonder what exactly did Brahms or Busoni were looking for in Bach. Such curiosity makes me want to go back to Bach- to listen and to look for connections. It's all mutually connected; composers, pieces, periods.
What makes the contemporary music stand out, which is also a fascinating thing about contemporary music is that it stopped sounding like anything before. It's all new, new music, new ideas, new approach and I as a musician I think this is wonderful, but as a casual listener I know that from time to time I would crave to hear something more safe- a slightly modified version of something that already has been sitting in my mind, something I could personally connect to. People are all so crazy about connecting dots and bringing things back from the past. That's why we have all those sequels and covers and remakes in music, theater, movie industries that will not only never fall out of fashion but will even become more popular when re-written or re-filmed with a fresh view of a modern world.
I really liked the idea behind writing a continuation of The Marriage of Figaro which I hope will elicit some curiosity from listeners and they will want to go and check out the original opera. Also I think it won't hurt if something similar takes place in modern composition practice. Article

Some ideas of classical music after an concert

Last thursday I attended a classical music concert on Thursday. It was a faculty artist recital worked of Schumann, Schubert and Mahler. The singger is Karyl Ryczek and the pianist is Wayman Chin. It was a wonderful and amazing concert. Fully showed the beauty and attractive of classical music. on that day we all had a free opportunity to enjoy classical music, but mostly of audience were  longy's students and some music teachers. There always have a lot of classical music concerts in school, the audiences mostly are the people who learning music of adult undergraduate or graduate students, and the old man.

I was wondering if we can build a relationship of cooperation, to the primary and middle school students and senior high school students, to provide more opportunity to let them to contact with classical music. Help to cultivate their interest in classical music. At the same time also can organize students into the elementary、middle schools and high schools, set up the concert.

Also can have volunteers to teach music or extracurricular coaching, then performing together. I think it will be helpful for spread of classical music in the younger generation.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Is classical music really on the decline?

Many people said classical music is on the decline, the situation of record sales is bad, dozen of orchestras closed their doors. The problem that classical music faces is obvious, the institutions of classical music are very expensive. On the other hand, listeners prefer new online services, so they seldom buy CDs. We should cherish classical music, they are essence of life and humanity, we need to build audiences for it, give young people more education about it, set more nonprofit enterprise to help classical music.

Monday, February 8, 2016

YOLA at the Super Bowl halftime: hit or miss?

Most of us saw or heard from friends about the performance of Gustavo Dudamel and YOLA at the Super Bowl halftime show. I encountered this article that represents not so positive opinion about the performance, it's value and it's reasons. The note of skepticism takes over from the very first sentence: "How disappointing was it that Gustavo Dudamel and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles were relegated to accompanying Coldplay and singing along with Chris Martin, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars? It was disappointing. " And then he keeps going with the fact that kids weren't introduced, the purpose of Gustavo on the stage wasn't explained and that YOLA should've been given a chance to have their own performance of classical music piece.
I think the idea behind the outreach programs such as El Sistema is to give children a opportunity to experience music, playing an instrument, working in an orchestra and let the music change their life. The children of YOLA had been greeted, cheered for and treated as super stars which I can imagine had been an amazing experience for a lifetime. So is it really wrong that they were accompanying a pop song or that Beethoven was put aside for this only time? Enthusiastic musician plays music for music and is open for experiments, just as Gustavo and YOLA had an outstanding and successful performance in collaboration with the representatives of pop culture. Nobody expresses judgmental opinions when Boston Pops plays Twelve Days of Christmas for fun, so what's wrong with YOLA playing for Coldplay?
Would it be great if YOLA was given it's own performance and bought some classical music to the sport fans?- Of course and let's hope that now it's more likely for them to get this offer. Is there a possibility that this super bowl could have passed without YOLA at all and still remain popular?- Absolutely, so as classical musicians let's appreciate the attention and chance that was given to those kids. Personally I am proud of those kids, happy for the opportunity that was provided for them and I think they did an amazing job at the halftime show.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The future market of classical music

Classical music has thrived for centuries as a living art, always changing and growing. But the classical music business has suffered the recorded music downturn while clearly music consumption and performance continue to evolve. In fact many say it is now facing its biggest challenges of all time, and risks becoming obsolete, such as many orchestras are facing financial trouble, and there’s worry that younger generations are connecting less and less with composers like Brahms and Debussy. So what’s in store for its future?
"Asia Pacific is the future for classical music. The sheer number of people who study it and the good", says John Harding, who has spent accumulative two dozen years in the Asia-Pacific region. Also there are someone saying classical music needs to address a calcification in it's culture and training apparatus. It relies on an academic culture that is old, very white, and generally very dismissive of change.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Music in Shakespeare's world

   The Boston Symphony Orchestra started the ambitious mini-festival focused on music inspired by William Shakespeare last Thursday night- through February 13th. It's dedicated to celebrating Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death, and this program's focus is the great comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream." 
   The first concert of this series begins with Weber’s classic Overture to “Oberon,” continues with Hans Werner Henze’s Eighth Symphony, and the last one is Mendelssohn’s much-loved Overture and Incidental Music for the same play, in a new stage adaptation directed by Bill Barclay. You will enjoy music, singers with the costumes and the staging on the stage. Only one night left.
The last chance to watch it is on Tuesday 2nd.

 Touch the mystery.

Striking Light, Striking Dark

This was an article about the new album "Striking Light, Striking Dark: Striking Words to a Zen Drum. They discuss the collaboration of the music and poetry and go into the history of the instruments. It also includes details about the inspirations involved in the album's process, and the effect that it has had on its audience. The music is very mystical and transcending, and the texts are very clear, emphasizing the importance of the poetry. Some of the pieces did not seem to have a set form, but just sort of followed the words about nature and surroundings, etc.
There are someone saying classical music needs to address a calcification in it's culture and training apparatus. It relies on an academic culture that is old, very white, and generally very dismissive of change.
I think all above the opinions are reasonable for the future of the classical music, only if we insist on the great major and attract more people to classical music to stimulate the people’s enthusiasm, and we should be confident to the great future of classical music.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Different feeling via same music

The English folk singer Nick Drake.

CreditEstate of Keith Morris/Redferns, via Getty Images

  When we hear some music of works,  you can feel sad or happy to express the composer's works. Music often not passed out pleasure, often  pass out your inner most authentic self. When I saw this article's first paragraph, The man in the picture is that the English folk singer. This picture give me the feeling that in addition to photographers, only one person sitting there very melancholy; vision tends to affect you hearing, listening to his work if you do not know the composer in the case of any background and did not see this picture, I believe there will be a different judge. 
  This article be honest, for me there is profound hard for me, but I think I understand the author wanted to say the problem that the audience often go through their own subjective sense of judgment, in fact  for the work I think this is good, because everyone do not feel the same even it's a same thing. 

 The idea and feeling is not the same, he can reflect the impact of the audience to have a lot of different way.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Reasons to be excited about the future of classical music

As Art''s changing and growing some musicians and funs from different country give us some opinions about why they're excited about the future of classical music.

Julie Amacher who is a program director for Classical MPR and Classical 24 said the reason to be very excited for the future of classical living art form is there have more and more new and varied audiences become accept and have passion to classical music. Now a lot of works of art spread through different media, even through movie and game.The spread of new and varied form and way can let more people come into contact with the classical music, especially the Teenager. Schools can through many ways to let students come into contact with the classical music. Students crossing the differences of language to share the universal language of classical music. Even if there is no chance or condition to reach the scene of the concert,they still pay attention to classical music Through tweets, Facebook posts, e-mails, and phone calls.This is especially important to the development of classical music in the future.

Galapagos in C

Interview with Michael Harrison

This was a really great read about Michael Harrison's new piece Galapagos in C. The piece combined music with architecture and artwork as it was performed right in the midst of the art museum at Rhode Island School of Design. The author of the article asked Harrison five questions dealing with the process of the collaboration, his background as an architecture teacher, the main elements of the piece, the combination of the architecture with the music and the direction he believes music will going towards after this collaboration. I was really interested to see how similar he believes music and architecture really are, and his idea of musicians and non-musicians being able to come together to create music.  He stated that there was a "tangible excitement in the air," which I feel probably came from how new and different this was for everyone involved. I think it will become important for "classical" music to continue to integrate with new elements to keep it fresh for the audience and involve more people in the music making.
There is also a video on the link which I would definitely recommend watching!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Celebrity Series of Boston features pianist Denis Kozhukhin

Pianist Denis Kozhukhin gave an outstanding Masterclass at Longy School of Music, Pickman hall to three piano students. The Masterclass was open to public and to students of Longy and other conservatories. The concert that took place later that day was organized by Celebrity Series. Those who did not get a chance to go to the concert should definitely check out it's review here

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I have never mourned anyone I have not actually "met"- until now. I realize how many beautiful memories I attach to Bowie - the man that "has" the world. There is no wonder that numerous activities are going to be held to honor this inspiring figure. As a Bowie's fan, I was inspired by the event, which is going to be hold on Jan. 29 by MIT music and theater arts department. 

"This is a way for the musical community of Boston to channel our grief and express our gratitude to bowie in a positive way," Ziporyn said in a statement. "The generosity of these top-notch musicians has been incredible, putting their time and talent toward this project on extremely short notice. It took less than a day to put an entire orchestra together, and that's a real testament, both to Bowie's impact and to the spirit of our community." 

This is a section to the news 'MIT honors Bowie with Glass symphonies' by Steve Smith. As a musician, I am so glad that this kind of meaningful activity could happen around the area where I live. There has a such powerful strength to made these talent musicians being together for doing one thing, and it is not only about cherish the memories of David Bowie but also about the musicians are using exactly the same way as Bowie, to contributed its own talents, feelings, and love to this world by using music. 

While principally a great pop icon, Bowie has never been just that. He had created a plenty of central and vital elements both in music and fashion for later musicians and artists to learn and enjoy with. Now, after he past, as the beneficiaries of the treasures he lefts, the musicians putting music in the context of the wider world - how we love, how we feel love, how we give the feedbacks of others' love. They excites us and inspired us, just as David Bowie did. 

For more information about the concert, please check here

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My first article

Blah, Blah, Blah, this is my first article!Great link

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Levine, "Highbrow / Lowbrow" Study Questions

1.      Our current hierarchical system of cultural categories (highbrow, midbrow, lowbrow) seems fixed and immutable. What cultural work is done by a historian who maintains these categories?
2.     What error might ensue?

Chapter 2
1.      What was the status of opera in Walt Whitman’s New York?
2.     What does the prevalence of parodies and arrangements suggest about a popular familiarity with opera?
3.     How had the perception of opera changed by the end of the 19th century?
4.    What was the relative status of bands and orchestras in the middle of the 19th century?
5.     When Jenny Lind, and other eminent European soloists, toured mid-century America, whom did they appeal to? How did Adelina Patti’s experience differ?
6.    How were typical mid-century orchestra programs constructed?  How did sacralization affect this paradigm?
7.     How did Theodore Thomas manage to draw crowds for his New York concerts? How did his philosophy change when he went to Chicago?
8.    Since the founding in the 19th century of our country’s major orchestras, what has remained their abiding fiscal reality? Who now employs the Chicago Symphony’s funding model? How has that funding model changed, if at all, over the last century?
9.    What are some of John Sullivan Dwight’s basic beliefs concerning the sacralization of art?
10.  Through art’s sacralization in the course of the late 19th century, what were some of the changes wrought in the public’s perception of music? musicians? the concert experience?
11.    After a hundred years’ time, which of these perceptions have remained in place?

 Chapter 3
1.      Faced with industrialization and increasing cultural diversity, how did America’s cultural elites respond at the end of the 19th century?
2.     How might one characterize 19th-century audiences? To what extent did arbiters of culture attempt to modify audiences’ behavior, and succeed?
3.     What unintended consequences did more docile audiences create?
4.    To what ends did 19th-century champions of culture maintain and disseminate pure culture?
5.     How did the Columbian Exposition’s Midway Plaisance and White City symbolize a growing gulf in American culture?
6.    How was American culture perceived to compare with European examples?
7.     What racial and cultural dimensions did the ideology of culture assume?
8.    How did Matthew Arnold contribute to our understanding of Culture?
9.    How did our invented notions of culture conflict with reality?
10.  As cultural categories codified, how were new forms of expressive culture characterized? With what results?

1.      What reactions have been provoked by the growth of cultural pluralism in the late 20th century?
2.     What is the logical fallacy of the cultural categories that we embrace?