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      6 Unforgettable Composer Friendships

      Today is International Friendship Day! Click to read more about some of the most famous friendships among composers in music history. Whether bosom buddies like Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, or something more complicated like Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, there’s no doubt that these composers enjoyed genuine friendships that would influence their personal and professional lives. more...

      Music for a Blue Moon

      Tonight, July 31, is the second full moon of the month, or what we call a blue moon. Of course, a blue moon doesn’t really appear blue; rather, it’s their rarity that makes them special. According to numbers crunched by Western Michigan University, blue moons happen about 8 months out of 228, meaning there’s a 3.5% more... more...

      Tap Dancing Steps into the Future

      The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) is currently presenting its 25th festival celebrating American tap and contemporary percussive arts, Rhythm World. I sat down with Lane Alexander, CHRP’s artistic director and co-founder, as well as several Rhythm World instructors and guest artists, to learn more about this unique festival, which honors tap’s past while helping it step into the future. more...

      Composer-Pianist Plays “Super” Music on Nintendo Themed Piano

      It’s a truth universally acknowledged by music students around the world that at any given moment in any conservatory, there’s at least one person in the practice rooms playing Bach, Beethoven, and the songs from Nintendo’s classic game Super Mario Bros. The video game, released in 1985, has some pretty memorable music: six songs composed by Koji more... more...

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      The week in radio: Night Shift; Radio 1’s Ibiza Prom

      Sarah Montague highlighted the dangers of our growing 24-hour culture, while Radio 1’s Ibiza Prom was uplifting and emotional

      The Night Shift (Radio 4) | iPlayer

      Radio 1’s Ibiza Prom (Radio 1) | iPlayer

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      Grieg/Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos CD review – youthful fire lifts old favourites

      Kholodenko/Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Harth-Bedoya
      (Harmonia Mundi)

      Does the world need another recording of the Grieg piano concerto? Possibly not, but this pairing with the Saint-Saëns second concerto in G minor, Op 22 makes an attractive package from the young Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko, who plays with intelligent virtuosity and youthful fire. The first movement of the Saint-Saëns jumps off the page, while his deliciously delicate handling of the central allegro scherzando is irresistible. The Norwegian Radio Orchestra players manage to find some originality in their interpretation of the Grieg and conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya keeps things rewardingly broad and expansive.

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      Musicians launch campaign to save the bassoon as shortage threatens orchestra

      Initiative hopes to encourage young players to take up reed instrument and pave way for promoting other ‘endangered species’

      It is widely understood that lions, pandas and polar bears are all in serious jeopardy … The fact that bassoons now share this endangered status may come as more of a surprise, but this summer the reed instrument has become a strong candidate for international protection, according to fans of the sound of the symphony orchestra.

      A campaign called Save the Bassoon now aims to remind the public of the importance of this engaging member of the woodwind section and to encourage young musicians to take it up. Using the “endangered species” model employed by the World Wide Fund for Nature, campaigners are highlighting the scarcity of bassoonists and paving the way for the promotion of some other orchestral instruments that are under threat, such as the oboe, French horn, viola, trombone and double bass.

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      new releases

      Music of Gaspard Fritz

      Musiques Suisses MGBCD-6283

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      Eschenbach: Romantic Piano Music

      Deutsche Grammophon 479 4624 (6 CDs)

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      Vadym Kholodenko: Concertos

      Harmonia Mundi HMU-907629

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      I have set my hert so hy

      Avie AV-2286

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      Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow

      Deutsche Grammophon 479 5059

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