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Vintage Broadcast


30 July 1949, from otrcat.com, a vintage broadcast (edit) of a Chicago Summer Theater of the Air. This program Music In The Air features the music of Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and others. Performers are Virginia Parker, Bruce Foote and Barnard Isso. This unique radio show was created during the rising popularity of operas and dramas in the 1940s with an attempt to add high culture to American entertainment. The operas were sensitively translated into English and were supplemented by strong story dramas. The combination was quite successful and the show covered a variety of operas such as Madame Butterfly, The Vagabond King, The Merry Widow and many others. The show was 60 minutes long as the creators prided themselves in utilizing the complete music and intended plot for each opera...OTRCAT.COM

Episodic Log -

F N CROUCH birth Bicentennial


31 JULY 1808 Birth of English-American composer Frederick Nichols CROUCH. d-1896.Frederick Nichols Crouch was an English composer and cellist. Crouch was born in Marylebone in London. He emigrated to the United States in 1849 and settled in Richmond, Virginia. During the Civil War, Crouch took up arms and played the trumpet for the Confederacy. Crouch was noted as a fine cellist, having played in the King's Theatre as well as St. Paul's Cathedral in London, before coming to the United States, but the majority of his compositions were not successful. During his years in the United States, Crouch composed two operas and unsuccessfully tried various musical undertakings (conducting, singing and teaching). Well traveled after the Civil War, Crouch eventually settled in Baltimore, Maryland. Emma Elizabeth Crouch (1835–1886), the second daughter of his first marriage, became known in Second Empire France as the courtesan Cora Pearl. (---from Wikipedia, which indicates the 30th as birthdate.)
WEB - IMAGES - SHOP Frederick Nichols CROUCH

conductor CARMEN DRAGON birth anniversary


CARMEN DRAGON conductor, arranger –received an Oscar for best score (w/Morris Stoloff) for “Cover Girl” (1944) – musical director for films “Lovely To Look At” and “The Kid From Brooklyn” -rec. w/Hollywood Bowl Symphony for Capitol. Conducted radio orchestra for many Hollywood based network shows in the 1940's. Carmen Dragon was born on July 28, 1914 and died March 28, 1984. Dragon was born in Antioch, California. He was very active in pops music conducting and composed scores for several films, including At Gunpoint (1955), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Night into Tomorrow (1951), and Kiss Tomorrow Good-bye (1950). He conducted the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, and they performed on the "Standard Oil Hour," broadcast on NBC for elementary schools in the late 1940s through the 1950s. The show was sponsored by Standard Oil Company of California, but other than the name there were no commercials. The program featured a high quality introduction to classical music for young people growing up in the 1940s and early 1950s. Dragon made a series of popular light classical albums for Capitol Records during the 1950s with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Some of these recordings have been reissued by EMI on CD. Carmen Dragon is the father of harpist Carmen Dragon and Daryl Dragon of the 1970s pop music duo The Captain & Tennille.

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Norman Dello Joio...death at 95

Norman Dello Joio
Norman Dello Joio, a composer who achieved wide popularity in the mid-20th century with a proliferation of essentially tonal, lyrical works, died on Thursday [24 JUL 2008] at his home in East Hampton, N.Y. He was 95.
NYTimes - WEB - IMAGES - SHOP Norman Dello Joio

Philippe Entremont


In the 1950s, when the French pianist Philippe Entremont emerged on the international scene, he was hailed as a distinctive artist who combined Old World French refinement and youthful virtuosity. His recordings of concertos by Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saëns and Ravel were big sellers.
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Inon Barnatan

Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan, still in his twenties, has already proved himself an exceptional musician with a flourishing international reputation through his orchestral, recital and chamber music performances worldwide.Inon BarnatanTrained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Inon now resides in New York City. He is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as a member of Chamber Music Society Two.
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Leon Fleisher at 80


Leon Fleisher will celebrate his 80th birthday this week doing two of his favorite things - playing the piano and conducting. Joining him onstage for an all-Mozart program will be the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which shares with Fleisher a long, strong history.
MORE | ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Leon Fleisher

Elliot Carter


For more than a half century, the money sat largely untouched, accruing in a bank account managed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This summer, the BSO has tapped into the now $2.4 million Horblitt Fund. The cause: composer Elliott Carter, who turns 100 this year. Carter's work has been championed by BSO music director James Levine for years. Now, drawing as much as $400,000 from the fund, the BSO is pushing to spread word of Carter beyond the close-knit symphony world.
MORE | ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Elliot Carter

Lang Lang


[photo, Lang Lang, left with your editor]
LISTEN LINK: All Things Considered, July 16, 2008 - Chinese pianist Lang Lang, at age 26, is one of the most visible, in-demand classical musicians in the world today. His concerts usually sell out (he recently played to an audience of 63,000 in New York's Central Park) and he's sold more than a million copies of his CDs and videos.
ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Lang Lang | Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story (Hardcover)

Levine recovering


James Levine had a kidney removed in surgery this week, causing the conductor to miss the remainder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood season.
MORE NEWS
The 65-year-old music director of both the BSO and the Metropolitan Opera will need six weeks of recovery time, the BSO said in a statement Tuesday. He is expected to be back on the podium for the start of the Met and BSO seasons in September. NEWS LINKS

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Dutch tenor John van Kesteren dies at 87


Sir John van Kesteren, a Dutch operatic tenor who sang in some of the finest opera houses and concert halls in the world during a career that spanned more than five decades, died Friday. He was 87. Kesteren, who made his operatic debut in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, in 1947, was known as an outstanding Bach and Mozart interpreter, performing as the Evangelist in Bach's Passion in over 400 performances in cities all over the world. At British composer Benjamin Britten's suggestion, Kesteren sang at the first German performance of Britten's War Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic. MORE
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Former Music Festival director Thomas Nee dies

Thomas Nee, who was the conductor of the New Hampshire Music Festival for more than 30 years, died July 7, after a brief illness, at the age of 87. MORE

conductor jokes


Site Seeing link

Johan Franco birth centennial

12 JULY 1908 Birth of Dutch composer Johan Henri Gustave FRANCO in Zaandam, Netherlands. The son of architect, S. Franco, and artist, Margaretha Gosschalk, who was also a singer and pianist, Johan began improvising on the piano at age four. He composed his first piece, Fantasy about Princess Erea, when he was ten and a half. He attended the Amsterdam Conservatory from 1929-1934 and studied with Dutch composer Willem Pijper for five years. During this same time period he studied law at the University of Amsterdam and then architecture and furniture design at the Kunstniverheid Institute. His First Symphony premiered in Rotterdam in 1934.
MORE | ON THE WEB | SHOP Johan Henri Gustave FRANCO

Henryk Wieniawski


10 JULY 1835 - Birth of Henryk Wieniawski, Polish composer.
Henryk Wieniawski (July 10, 1835 Lublin, Congress Poland, Russian Empire - March 31, 1880 Moscow) was born into a Polish-Jewish family, whose father, Tobiasz Pietruszka, converted to Catholicism. His talent for playing the violin was recognized early on, and in 1843 he entered the Paris Conservatoire. After graduation, Wieniawski toured extensively, giving many recitals on which he was often accompanied by his brother Józef on piano. In 1847 Henryk Wieniawski published his first opus, a Grand Caprice Fantastique, the start of a modest but important catalog of 24 opus numbers.
WikiBio | ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Henryk Wieniawski

Kahane stepping out of Colorado



Jeffrey Kahane, who recently completed his third season as music director of the Colorado Symphony, announced today that he is stepping down at the end of the 2009-10 season, following a two-year extension of his contract. MORE | ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Jeffrey Kahane

James Levine to have surgery this week


James Levine will have a kidney removed in surgery this week, causing the conductor to miss the remainder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood season.

The 65-year-old music director of both the BSO and the Metropolitan Opera will need six weeks of recovery time, the BSO said in a statement Tuesday. He is expected to be back on the podium for the start of the Met and BSO seasons in September. NEWS LINKS

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Gabriella Gatti, birth centennial


5 JULY 1908 Birth of Italian soprano Gabriella GATTI in Rome. Debut as Anna in Nabucco (Verdi) 1933. Teacher was Bice Soldini. Sang in FP of Descrito Tentanto (Casella). was an Italian operatic soprano, primarily based in Italy and associated with the Italian repertory. (From Wikipedia): Born Gabriella Pesci in Rome, where she studied voice and piano. She made her stage debut in 1934, at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma in Monteverdi 's Orfeo. Thereafter she quickly appeared in all the major opera houses throughout Italy, most often in Rome and Florence, but also sang at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, from 1938 to 1947. Her voice was lyrical in character, graceful in timbre and expression, and she stood as an example of the refined, classical style at a time when the opposite manner prevailed among Italian sopranos. She was admired in roles such as; Countess Almaviva, Semiramide, Mathilde, Desdemona, etc. She sang Marie at the Italian premiere of Wozzeck in Rome, in 1942.
She can be heard in a few recordings , notably in Le nozze di Figaro, opposite Sesto Bruscantini, Alda Noni, Italo Tajo, and as Fenena in Nabucco. Died, October 22, 2003.
ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Gabriella Gatti

Joan Sutherland injured...


DAME Joan Sutherland has broken both legs at her home in Switzerland. The Sydney-born opera great is in a Swiss hospital after breaking her legs in a fall in her garden. The 81-year-old has had to cancel planned appearances in Australia and is likely to spend up to eight weeks in hospital. NEWS SOURCES | IMAGES | SHOP Joan Sutherland

Secrets of Stradivarius Explained

Scientists may finally have discovered the secret of Stradivarius violins.

In a study published yesterday in Public Library of Science ONE, Dutch researchers ran five of the peerless instruments, made in the early 18th century by Italian craftsman Antonio Stradivari and synonymous with harmonic perfection, through a CT scanner. MORE | ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Antonio Stradivari

BOOKS...


One of the best classical bio books is THE LIVES OF THE GREAT COMPOSERS by the late New York Times music critic Harold C. Schonberg. The New York Times writes:
A smooth, closely woven sequence of brief biographies . . . set in a surrounding continuum of depth and breadth which reflects the author's solid musical culture, his erudition, his command of socio-historic background, and his long experience in every kind and degree of performance is exceptional.
Available here:
Harold Schonberg's Lives of the Great Composers

Peter Anders tenor


1 JULY 1908 Birth of German tenor Peter ANDERS in Essen. d-Hamburg, 10 SEP 1954 from injuries in an auto crash. Peter Anders sang a wide range of roles in the German, Italian, and French repertories, he began singing lyric roles and later undertook heroic roles with equal success. Anders studied at the Berlin Music Academy with Ernst Grenzebach, and later privately with Lula Mysz-Gmeiner, whose daughter Susanne he married. In 1931, he appeared in Berlin in La belle Hélène, and made his operatic debut the following year in Heidelberg, as Jacquino in Fidelio.
Wiki Bio | ON THE WEB | IMAGES |
SHOP Peter Anders