Anson Wun

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Classical music: BBC Music Magazine asks 10 concert pianists to name 10 unknown piano concertos that deserve more attention and performances.

By Jacob Stockinger<p><b>Maybe you were lucky enough to attend the gala showcase concert two weeks ago where winners (below) of the annual Concerto</b> …

Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession by Ian Bostridge, review: 'insightful and gracefully written'

Winter Journey is the most famous romantic song cycle ever written, but it’s also deeply odd. In the first of the 24 songs, we learn that the singer has endured some terrible disaster. There are hints that it’s an unhappy love affair, but why does that mean he has to leave his home? “A stranger I …

such as how often music by female composers is performed – that might not have otherwise been noticed. To explore those trends, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra gathered data on the 2014-15 seasons that have been programmed by 21 major American orchestras. The orchestras were selected based on size and operating budget. We created a database with most concerts and pieces — excluding pops or family concerts — that these orchestras will play during the coming season. For those pieces performed, the data tracks the number of performances a given piece will receive, the composer, a piece’s composition date, soloists, the composer’s nationality, gender and whether the composer is living. During the next few weeks, we will publish a series of stories and analysis revealing the trends we’ve spotted, including the most performed pieces of music and what the gender gap in female composers means. For now, here are some of the initial findings from the data we analyzed: Collectively, the 21 orchestras will perform more than 1,000 different pieces in part or full by 286 different composers a total of almost 4,600 times. 9.5% of all pieces performed are written since the year 2000. The average date of composition of a piece performed during the year is 1886. A little more than 11% of the works performed are from composers who are still living. Female composers account for only 1.8% of the works performed. When only looking at works from living composers, they account for 14.8% German composers account for more than 23% of the total pieces performed, followed by Russians (19%) and Austrians (14% — in large part due to Mozart). American composers made up less than 11% of the pieces performed. When looking at only works by living composers, however, they account for more than 54% More from Orchestra Season by the Numbers series: Top Repertoire Living Composers Female Composers Explore the data Methodology The orchestras included are the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony and Utah Symphony – Utah Opera. The programs and repertoire included are from the 2014-2015 season as listed on each orchestra website and literature prior to the start of the season. Calculations for the initial findings and infographic are weighed by the number of times a piece of music will be performed in concert. Gala concerts, touring, chambers series, pops and family concerts are included but are in a separate category from the main classical programs. The infographic and initial findings calculations excludes these concerts. While technically touring, the Cleveland Orchestra’s concerts in Miami are included in the main classical programs as its performances in Miami are an annual part of its season. To be included in any of the categories, concerts must use musicians from the listed orchestra. Additionally, pops and family concerts listings are not extensive, as full program repertoire is often not included online for these concerts. Composer nationalities are based on information from the New Grove Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians as accessed through Oxford Music Online. When no entry exists for a living composer, nationality information comes from the best available biographical information usually from the composer’s website. Composition date is based on the best available scholarship of the year in which a piece was completed. Later revisions are not included in the composition date unless a concert program specifically denotes a different version of the original piece. For example, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite was completed in 1910, but the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform the 1919 version and the St. Louis Symphony will perform the 1945 version for ballet and orchestra, which is included in the composition date for those entries. In most cases, composition date information comes from the International Music Score Library Project / Petrucci Music Library.

<b>By Ricky O’Bannon</b><i><br>robannon@bsomusic.org</i><p>Classical music is not easily quantified.<p>And not without good reason. A beautiful violin sonata or exhilarating …

Music of Vivaldi Boosts Mental Vitality

August 2nd, 2013<p><b>Have a challenging mental task ahead of you? Try using Spring from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as background music.</b> <br>The Mozart …

Playing for time: Can music stave off dementia?

At 101, Frank Iacono still plays the violin. The concertmaster for the Providence Civic Orchestra of Senior Citizens in Rhode Island, he particularly enjoys playing polkas and jigs.<p>"It keeps my mind active, and it gives me a lot of pleasure," Iacono said.<p>The orchestra's executive director and …

An A-Z of the piano: Alfred Brendel's notes from the concert hall

A for art and artists<p>There are those who believe that delving into the biography of artists ensures a deeper perception of their art. I am not one of them. The notion that a work of art has to mirror the person of the artist, that man and work are an equation, that the integrity of the person …

Classical singers judged by actions not voice

20 August 2013, 10:22<p>Never mind the quality of the singer's voice, audiences judge performances on what they see rather than what they hear, …

Classical music doesn't improve brain function, study claims

19 August 2013, 10:40<p>The Mozart Effect could be completely non-existent, according to a new neuro-scientific study in America.<p>In a new study by …

Piano fingers: How players strike keys depends on how muscles are used for keystrokes that occur before and after

Researchers have long been aware of a phenomenon in speech called coarticulation, in which certain sounds are produced differently depending on the …

How Do People Listen?

In interviews, classical musicians are often asked how they would like their performances to be "experienced." It is an interesting question that elicits varied and sometimes fascinating responses, but it also raises a couple of other fundamental questions. Is there a "best" way for music to be …

The Cello Suites, Bach III (Gastinel, Queyras, Lipkind)

Over a few months in 2008 (republished now) I’ve looked at recordings of Bach’s Cello Suites including Mischa Maisky on DVD in February and the …

The Cello Suites, Bach II (Fournier, Isserlis, Harnoncourt et al.)

Bach’s Cello Suites have been popping up left and right, recently – re-issues and new recordings alike. As with every piece of music that is so …

Sex still sells classical music but attitudes are changing

It is a truth universally acknowledged that marketing people use good-looking photos of good-looking (or artificially improved) people to sell, you …

What does Apple's new iTunes Radio mean for the future of digital music?

The digital music world continues to evolve towards a streamed, "access" model, over the traditional "ownership" approach.<p>Whether the music industry …

Is pirate music ever justified?

After Krystian Zimerman's recent outburst at an audience member for filming on their phone, Rupert Christiansen wonders if it will ever be possible to eliminate pirate recording.<p>Krystian Zimerman, one of today’s very greatest pianists and a man of exceptional intelligence and integrity, stormed off …

Filmmaking

Britten, Shostakovich: Violin Concertos, James Ehnes, review

These outstanding performances by James Ehnes cannot be recommended highly enough, says Geoffrey Norris.<p><b>Onyx 4113, £14.99</b><p>Performances and discs of Benjamin Britten’s <b>music</b> are proudly keeping his name to the fore in a year when Verdi’s and Wagner’s bicentenaries threatened to overshadow the …

BRAHMS - Works for Solo Piano Vol. 2 Chandos CHAN10757 [JQ] : Classical Music Reviews - June 2013 MusicWeb-International