Dearth of Women Composers Sparks Social Media Campaigns

Clara Schumann worked when women composers were rarely heard. Pictured with Robert Schumann.

Music by women composers accounts for just 1.3% of pieces performed by American orchestras during the 2016-17 concert season, according to a recent repertoire survey conducted by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Among living composers performed, women do somewhat better, accounting for 10.3% of all pieces. The survey examined the seasons of 85 orchestras, from small regional ensembles to the majors, and found that, as a whole, that there’s long way to go before gender balance is achieved in concert programming. Continue reading “Dearth of Women Composers Sparks Social Media Campaigns”

Philip Glass on Piano Music, Memories and Motorcycles

Philip Glass (photo: Flickr/letterchen)

On a blustery afternoon in early December, Philip Glass climbed the massive staircase that leads up to the Juilliard School lobby, and barely winded, sat down for a long conversation about this music, life and career. Our talk, which formed the basis of a cover story for the February issue of BBC Music Magazine, veered from topic to topic, and one was struck by his candor on matters like the business side of his career. Continue reading “Philip Glass on Piano Music, Memories and Motorcycles”

The Crown Uses Classical Music to Dramatize Monarchy

Still from "The Crown" (Netflix)

This post refers to the first season of ‘The Crown.’ Here is a look at classical music in Season Two.

In the Netflix original series “The Crown,” music plays a significant role in heightening the drama and majesty of the British throne. A glance at the show’s IMDB page reveals that this is no shoestring operation: The music staff numbers some 20 editors, producers, engineers and composers, with much of the soundtrack supplied by British film composer Rupert Gregson-Williams. The cinematic title theme, by Hollywood veteran Hans Zimmer, broadly alludes to the ceremonial music of Henry Purcell. Continue reading “The Crown Uses Classical Music to Dramatize Monarchy”

New Opera at the Met Fizzles, Houston Finalizes a Premiere

Still from 'It's a Wonderful Life' by Frank Capra

Questions about the Metropolitan Opera’s involvement with new opera have emerged this week after the company called off a long-planned new work by the composer Osvaldo Golijov, due to “conflicting schedules.” Meanwhile, a company 1,600 miles south of New York City has been rather quietly preparing a major new opera for its premiere this Friday. Continue reading “New Opera at the Met Fizzles, Houston Finalizes a Premiere”