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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Who am I? I was born on this date in 1876 in Berlin. I began studying conducting and obtained my first post while still a teenager. In my 20s, I became Gustav Mahler's assistant at the Court Opera in Vienna. My career flourished in Germany and Austria until I left for the U.S. in 1939. In America I conducted many major orchestras (including the CSO) and at the Metropolitan Opera. I held a post with the N.Y. Philharmonic and made many recordings of the core German repertoire for Columbia Records. Who am I? Answer >>

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      The Devil Gets a Second Act

      "L'histoire du soldat" (or "The Soldier's Tale") is a curiosity. It's theater. It's musical composition. It's a work rich in orchestral color, but has only six players. With a unique ensemble of actors, dancers and instruments, it's been a one-of-a-kind for nearly 100 years – until now. more...

      A British Import: the BBC Proms

      They gave the world Monty Python and the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Leave it to the British to organize something as inexplicable and wonderful as the BBC Proms, with a subculture of devoted attendants, some of whom line up hours before a concert for a £5.00, standing-room-only ticket more...

      Impromptu with Ken Burns

      As a director who's covered everything from the Civil War, to baseball, to prohibition, to the national parks, Ken Burns is famous for making epic films about human endeavors – not so much for making biographies, although personal accounts are a hallmark of his storytelling style. His latest series is a biography, weaving together the stories of three people named Roosevelt more...

      Filmmaker Ken Burns to Visit WFMT

      Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns comes to WFMT on Tuesday, September 9 for a live conversation with Kerry Frumkin. Mr. Burns will be on-hand to talk about his latest release, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, which premiers on WTTW on Sunday. more...

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      To teach children about music is to teach them about joy | Christina Patterson

      Despite a music boom in schools many children have never even seen a musical instrument

      It was the wooden blocks that got me worried. The orchestra had come on stage, looking like orchestras do. The conductor had joined them, in one of those Nehru jackets you only see at places like Wigmore Hall. And scattered around the stage, where you might expect a choir to be, were what looked like balsa-wood blocks.

      Moments later they trooped on: men and women who had been told to wear black, and saw it as a chance to express their personality. Some had gone the whole hog, in slinky dresses or long, loose ones with chiffon wings. The man I thought was Jesus, but who I later found out was the Evangelist, was in skinny black trousers and brown shoes. It was only when we were walking into the Royal Albert Hall that the friend who had invited me to this performance of the St Matthew Passion told me it was semi-staged.

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      Shouting the voice of hope at Jerusalem's Sacred Music festival

      Amid huge tension and polarisation, the third year of this ambitious festival attempted to offer a statement of unity for all Jerusalemites

      We will hear the muezzin in a few minutes, says the rabbi. They sing about love. Were sitting on a rooftop in Jerusalem overlooking the Judean hills as the sun sets. Next to the rabbi is a Muslim sheikh who explains the meaning of Allah u-Akbar: God is great ... There is no God but God. That monotheistic deity is just one of many beliefs shared by Jews, Muslims and Christians and why this city is holy for an estimated 4 billion people.

      A few moments later, muezzins start their calls to prayer in mosques on all sides. One in the hills, then another close by, until theres an extraordinary polyphony from dozens of loudspeakers. Its a magical sound, hovering like a haze over the hills, the car horns and hubbub of the city until at 7pm a bell starts chiming at the abbey on nearby Mount Zion.

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      Max at 80 review a homecoming among friends

      City Halls, Glasgow
      The finale to Peter Maxwell Daviess long birthday season featured three touching tributes from fellow Scottish composers

      Its been a long birthday season for Peter Maxwell Davies, from midsummer concerts in Orkney to a late-night Prom on the big day itself. This Glasgow finale felt like a homecoming among friends. There were solo, chamber and orchestral works performed by musicians who have known the composer for decades, and there were birthday presents: three surprise tributes by fellow Scottish composers. Sally Beamish, Alasdair Nicolson and James MacMillan each presented short pieces responding to aspects of Maxwell Daviess legacy. All three spoke fondly of Max as an inspiration and a generous source of encouragement.

      Beamishs Fanfares and Fancies on a Popular Air is a spry piano duet (played here by Michael Bawtree and Beamish herself) following in the long tradition of variations on a theme by the dedicatee in this case Maxwell Daviess indelibly touching Farewell to Stromness. Nicolsons solo guitar piece Magnus is based on a 13th-century hymn to Orkneys patron saint. Played by Sean Shibe, it was a misty, rugged, restless evocation of the islands. MacMillan, meanwhile, paid tribute to Maxwell Daviess work for children with a sweet, eerie Burns setting. The Rising Moon was performed by solemn young singers and bell ringers from Cumnocks Greenmill primary and a full-voiced quartet from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

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