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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Pianist Leon Fleisher is 86 years old today, born in 1928 in San Francisco where he began studying piano at the age of 4. Despite losing a portion of his career to focal dystonia, Mr. Fleisher has had one of the longest careers of any instrumentalists. More than 50 years ago he made a series of recordings for Columbia including all the piano concertos of Beethoven and Brahms. With what orchestra and conductor did Mr. Fleisher make those recordings? Answer >>

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      Chicago’s Joan Harris to Receive National Medal of Arts

      On Monday, July 28th, the President and First Lady will recognize Joan Harris for her tireless support of the arts. It was announced on Tuesday that she would be a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. The visage of Joan Harris is a familiar one around the lobbies of the Civic Opera House and Symphony more...

      From Soviet Refugee to iTunes Favorite

      When Yevgeny Kutik was a boy, his mother declared, "Enough." She packed up her family and left the Soviet Union. There wasn't any one reason. It was a series of reasons: Yevgeny was bullied in Kindergarten; she was laid off because her employers exceeded their "quota of Jews"; her older son had picked up racial slurs at school more...

      Zukerman Chamber Players Recorded Live at Ravinia

      Monday at 8:00 pm South African-born cellist Amanda Forsyth grew up in Canada. Together with her husband, Pinchas Zukerman, Forsyth co-founded the Zukerman Chamber Players. They played the popular Archduke Trio and the Dumky Trio at Ravinia’s Martin Theatre in June. That recital airs on Monday evening at 8:00 pm on WFMT. Beethoven and Dvořák more... more...

      Lyric’s New Opera (Just a Peek)

      Getting beyond “The book was better” - Last week, when Lyric Opera presented a sneak peek at the opera based on Ann Patchett’s bestselling novel "Bel Canto," general director Anthony Freud quickly closed the door on comparisons to the book. Addressing a gathering of patrons and members of the media, Mr. Freud shared some of more...

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      Good news for music education... but the fight must go on.

      Tuesday brought a Double Victory for the Incorporated Society of Musicians' Protect Music Education Campaign. But challenges remain.

      Tuesday brought genuine, actual, bona fide, what-I-call Good News, thanks to months of pressure from the Incorporated Society of Musicians Protect Music Education campaign, which was supported by over 5,000 individuals and 134 music education and industry institutions. The government confirmed extra funding for the Music Education Hubs, to the tune of £18m, which means that the Hubs will receive £75m in 2015-16. And perhaps even more significantly, in a statement from David Laws, the Minister of State for Schools also released on Tuesday - the government U-turned on its previous advice to Local Authorities that they shouldnt continue to fund Music Services. Snuck in at the end of the statement is the following: Local authorities will continue to have total discretion about whether to spend any of the ESG [Education Services Grant] they receive on providing music services. Within the convolutions of Department-of-Education speak, that may not sound like much of a ringing endorsement, but its a return to the status quo, at least, in which the money for the Hubs is ring-fenced for music education, and Local Authorities still have the power and privilege of funding music in their area.

      So, with all the twists and turns of these facts, figures, and jargon, it all means that more children will have access to music education, to instrumental tuition, and singing, and that the Hubs can plan their next year with confidence. Yet problems remain: those discretionary grants from Local Authorities have been slashed in recent years, and are still at threat, and the overall grant for Music Education is not back to the historic high that it reached a few years ago. The ISMs wider campaign goes on, to secure commitments about what happens after 2016, and meaningful pledges from all the major parties about what happens in the next parliament. Along with the still patchy success of the Hub-project, theres still a lot of work to be done even if theres also reason to celebrate just a little too

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      Prom 6: Der Rosenkavalier review scaled back but still a treat

      Royal Albert Hall, London
      The Proms' first complete Rosenkavalier featured vivid orchestral colours and memorable performances from the principal singers

      In May, reviews of Glyndebourne's new production of Der Rosenkavalier triggered a media storm about sexism. But the reviews also discerned a musical coolness in the production. Now, two months later, in this semi-staged rendering for Glyndebourne's annual Prom visit, many of those reservations can be set aside.

      That may be because Richard Jones's iconoclastic production had to be severely scaled back for the Albert Hall. But the principal reason is musical. Robin Ticciati conducted with a sure feel for the ebb and flow of Strauss's score, and with the London Philharmonic rearranged in front of the staging, orchestral colours were vividly pointed. The offstage band at the start of act three, often muddily distant in the theatre, has rarely sounded so interesting.

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      David Brown obituary

      Leading authority on Russian music with a long-running interest in the enigmatic character of Tchaikovsky

      The musicologist David Brown, who has died aged 84 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was a leading authority on Russian music whose four-volume study of the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was acclaimed as the definitive work on the subject.

      He also produced other books on Tchaikovsky and on the composers Modest Mussorgsky and Mikhail Glinka, was editor of the New Grove Russian Masters series of composer biographies, and served on the editorial committee of Musica Britannica, the national collection of British music.

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      new releases

      Brahms Beloved II

      Telarc TEL-34659-02 (2 CDs)

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      Schumann: Piano Music

      Naïve V-5364

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      Per Monsieur Pisendel 2

      Avie AV-2308

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      Music for Heart and Breath

      Deutsche Grammophon B0021058-02

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      Robert Kyr: Choral Music

      Harmonia Mundi HMU-807577

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