Innovations in Concert Etiquette

Baldur Bronnimann recently shared a compelling blog about making some changes to conventional concert etiquette. He states that we, as listeners, often accept unspoken rules quietly and that these rules are ‘making the experience of classical concerts worse than it should be.’ Although I am supportive of many of these ideas, I don’t totally agree with that statement as I feel there is a lot of room for these conventions and there is still a consortium of musicians who value them.

There’s a lot more I could say on this topic, but I’m curious on how other’s feel about the blog itself as well as many of the suggested innovations. Have you ever been to a concert that utilized some of these behaviors? What did you like? What did you not like?

You can read the blog here:

10 things that we should change in classical music concerts

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– PJF

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Alex Ross: The Met’s “Klinghoffer” Problem

For a little while, it seemed as though the controversy over John Adams’s 1991 opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer”—a dramatization of the 1985 Achille Lauro hijacking, during which members of the Palestine Liberation Front murdered the Jewish-American businessman Leon Klinghoffer—was beginning to fade. When the opera was first seen in New York, at BAM, in 1991, it sparked outrage in onlookers who felt that it unduly favored the Palestinian point of view, not least because the score begins with a lamenting chorus of Palestinian exiles (“Israel laid all to waste”).

Read the rest at newyorker.com

 

Mark Phillips: Choosing a Graduate School in Music Composition

For those of you looking to continue studying composition at the graduate level, here’s an essay from the Society of Composers,  Inc. (SCI) on how to choose a good grad program.

One point worth noting—a vitally important one—especially for undergraduate students to consider: “there are very few jobs you can get with a master’s degree in composition that you could not get with a Bachelor’s degree.” This means that if you are thinking about a master’s degree, it should be for two reasons: 1) personal edification (i.e. to make you a better composer), or 2) as a stepping stone to a PhD or DMA.

There is a lot of good advice in this essay, but Phillips leaves some things out. Maybe current grad students can weigh in on pros and cons?

http://www.societyofcomposers.org/students/gradschool.html

Submitted by Ben Montgomery

Robert Beaser: The Reconstruction of Rome

Here is a link to a really cool article composer Robert Beaser wrote for the New York Times a few years ago. He talks about his time at the Rome Prize fellowship in both 1977 and 2011 and how the experience changed, and how that reflected on the changes in art music between now and then. Check it out!

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/27/the-reconstruction-of-rome/

Submitted by Joe Krycia

5 questions to Jonathan Berger

From I Care if You Listen:

Now in its seventh year, the 2013 Music & Brain Symposium begins on April 12 at Stanford University. The brainchild of Jonathan Berger, professor at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), the conference brings together a multi-disciplinary group of musicians, scientists, and academics for two days of performances and presentations. This year’s symposium focuses on the phenomenon of auditory hallucinations.

Submitted by Charlie Cooper

Read the whole interview here.