by Daniel Hathaway
Today’s New York Times features pianist Spencer Myer and baritone Mario Diaz-Moresco as one of a pair of teams who are recasting a Beethoven song cycle into a “one-on-one telephonic encounter.” Read the article here.
And as food for thought, here are three articles that consider various aspects of the current state of classical music and raise questions about the future:
Writing in Oregon Artswatch, Brett Campbell asks, “in the new reality shaped by declining support for big performing institutions, likely new restrictions on big crowds, and a long overdue need for greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the arts, how should Portland and Oregon support the arts?”
In his article, “High Culture Brought Low,” in the June 22 issue of New York Magazine, Justin Davidson writes, “The pandemic silenced our symphony halls and grand opera houses. But will the (eventual) restart bring with it a reckoning?”
And on June 21 in The Guardian, Fiona Maddox considered the future of the Arts: “Where are we now? The classical world has been transfigured. It’s still recognisable, but only invention and generosity – of money, imagination, attitude – will save it.”
FEATURED ON THE WEB TODAY:
Two of New York’s chamber orchestras are prominent in today’s lineup: The Orchestra of St. Luke’s in “Bach at Home” with cellist Pieter Wispelwey, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in a conversation with composer Courtney Bryan, a 2004 Oberlin grad who is writing a new jazz suite for Branford Marsalis and the ensemble based on Carmen — but with a surprise ending.
Lunchtime with The Cleveland Orchestra features Bartók and Strauss, and the MET Opera’s nightly HD broadcast revisits a 2008 performance of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic. Details here.
On this date in 1887, American teacher and conductor John Finley Williamson was born in Canton. He died in Toledo in 1964 after an illustrious career that included the founding of the Westminster Choir School in Dayton. After a move to Princeton, NJ, the institution, renamed Westminster Choir College, became part of Ryder University. After merges and changes in ownership, its future is uncertain.
Williamson’s Westminster Choir performed frequently with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and made world tours. Listen to a performance of Mozart’s Laudate Dominum by the 1957 World Tour Choir.
And on this date in 1924, English folk music and dance collector Cecil Sharp died in London. Initially heralded for his work in preserving folk traditions (Ralph Vaughan Williams, a collector himself, used many of Sharp’s discoveries in his own compositions), he later worked in the United States, collecting Appalachian folk music, for which he was criticized for cultural appropriation. Watch a documentary of his life here.