Tag Archives: PSO

The angels are weeping

There’s a new blog post by me on the Pittsburgh Symphony blogs, “Lacrimosa dies illa.” It’s about the wondrous performance of Mozart’s Requiem I heard Friday at the PSO.

I like to post photos with my blog posts, as you know, and I typically find lovely images at Flickr. For this PSO post I started out looking for a photo with the tag “requiem,” and eventually came upon a nice image of a memorial to Mozart.

But then I had the inspiration to search for “+weeping +angel,” and this produced many interesting images. I loved the photo I eventually chose most, although I was drawn to “Angel of Grief” with its sweeping wings. This is apparently a common pose for crying angels.

Fans of the latest incarnation of Doctor Who will appreciate many of these photos as well. Here’s the one you’re probably most interested in.

Encore! More of my conversation with John Adams

The three remaining segments of my interview with Pulitzer-prize winning composer John Adams are online at the Pittsburgh Symphony website.

Part 4: John describes the feeling of releasing a book in the current market, how he came to write the book Hallelujah Junction, and why he wrote a book like this.

Part 5: John talks about the creation and premiere of The Dharma at Big Sur, how he revises and improves certain works, and why not every piece is worth revising.

Part 6: John talks about Pittsburgh, Heinz Hall, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

How technology is changing classical music — part 3 of my conversation with the composer John Adams

The third part of my interview with John Adams, the PSO’s Conductor of the Year, is available on the PSO blogs.

In this segment, John discusses how new technology has affected the way music is made, music itself, and the business of classical music. Read part 3 here.

I’m posting this interview over several days, in anticipation of two special concerts that he will be conducting with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on January 16 and 17.

If you’d like to hear John Adams conduct the PSO in performing his works, I have a limited number of vouchers for free tickets. Please contact me for details.

Lamenting the lexicon of musical invective — part 2 of John Adams interview

The second part of my interview with John Adams, the PSO’s Conductor of the Year, is available on the PSO blogs. In this segment, John talks about blogging and history, not being recognized, and what it’s like to sit in the audience when his works are performed. Read part 2 here.

I’m posting this interview over several days, in anticipation of two special concerts that he will be conducting with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on January 16 and 17.

Interested in attending one of the concerts? I have a limited number of vouchers for free tickets. Please contact me and I’ll set you up.

Interview with John Adams, part 1

In November, I had the chance to interview John Adams, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor of the Year. John shared his thoughts on contemporary and classical music, audiences, writing his autobiography, Pittsburgh, the PSO and Heinz Hall, and more.

I’ll be posting this interview over several days over at the PSO blogs, in anticipation of two special concerts that John Adams will be conducting with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on January 16 and 17.

The first part of the interview is here.

Cynthia Closkey and John Adams

Pittsburgh Symphony Insider with John Adams — talk to one of America’s most admired and respected composers

Saturday morning, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will host a Talkshoe interview with John Adams, PSO Composer of the Year.

Listen to and participate in a FREE live podcast with PSO Composer
of the Year John Adams! Ask questions of this Pulitzer Prize-winning
composer and get insights into the concerts he will conduct of his own
works on January 16th & 17th at Heinz Hall, including Doctor Atomic Symphony, On the Transmigration of Souls and excerpts from Nixon in China.

Visit www.talkshoe.com
this Saturday, November 15th at 11:00 am. Simply click on the live
podcast posted by Pittsburgh Symphony Insider and then click “Join In”!

News in the “how I am a very lucky person” category: I’ll be interviewing Adams tomorrow morning for the PSO Blog. He published a memoir this fall, Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life, and I’ll be asking him about that as well as about life as a composer in the Internet Age.

PSO post: The Signature of a Stradavarius

I was deeply impressed by Joshua Bell’s performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony last weekend. But I was also sort of distracted by his violin — or rather, the reputation it carries.

Bell’s violin is a Stradivarius, and not just any Stradivarius but the 1713 Gibson ex Huberman Stradivarius, which has a storied history. He purchased it for a price in the neighborhood of $3.5 to 4 million dollars. In fact, he sold his previous violin, another Stradivarius called the “Tom Tyler,” to pull together the funds to buy the Gibson.

Are these instruments worth their cost? Mr. Bell obviously thinks so.

What makes them different? Many people have theories. A recent study examined the question. See my new post over at the PSO blogs for the details and results of the study.

As to how it sounds: The video above is Joshua Bell performing Bruch’s violin concerto #1, I Vorspiel, Allegro moderato. I believe he is playing the Gibson, but it might be the Tom Tyler.

To me, it’s the way Joshua Bell plays that makes the difference. To him, the instrument has immeasurable value — he plays no other violin than the Gibson.