Meeting NY Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert

Music
As part of the NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Classical Music & Opera, our group of 23 met yesterday with the New York Philharmonic’s talented new conductor Alan Gilbert. Joining Gilbert in the meeting was his composer-in-residence, the Finn, Magnus Lindberg. Also on the panel was Gilbert’s artistic administrator, John Magnum, formerly of the L.A. ...

Le Poisson Rouge = no red herring 1

Music
I arrived in New York last night to attend the classical music arts journalism institute run by the National Endowment for the Arts at Columbia University. The ten-day program, which includes classical music performances, talks, discussion, lectures and writing workshops, kicks off this evening with performance of Kronos Quartet. The program includes works by Clint ...

Upcoming: NEA classical music institute in NYC

Music
arts·meme is proud to announce her participation in the National Endowment for the Arts’s seventh Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera, October 9 – 19 at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The Institute is one of three NEA-funded programs that endeavors to reenforce the role that informed writing/criticism plays in a flourishing arts ...

Hendrix died forty years ago … 2

Music
… on Sept 18 1970. He was 27 years old. “I’m going to sacrifice something right here that I really love.” Watching this mesmerizing video from 1967 in which Jimi does just about everything possible with his guitar (the mentionables include playing blind and playing behind his back), it sets my standard for performance art. ...

First lady of nation recognizes first lady of dance

Dance · Film · Music
The freewheeling creativity that flourished in 20th century America spawned three indigenous art forms: film, jazz, and modern dance. The first two on this list (in descending order of magnitude), have functioned relatively adeptly in the market economy. Why? Because entrepreneurs recorded them on celluloid and disc, then packaged, promoted and distributed movies and records. Poor ...

Kyle Abraham makes it or breaks it

Dance · Music
“I got really frustrated when a good song got ‘broken,'” says the soft-spoken young choreographer, Kyle Abraham, chatting over breakfast at Jacob’s Pillow this past weekend. “I’d call the station many times to vote in support [of cutting-edge music the audience didn’t like.]” During my three-day visit to the historic summer dance venue, I enjoyed ...

Love among the geniuses

Film · Music
Read this story on The Huffington Post. Two recent biopics portray the torrid love lives of great artists — one of our favorite subjects. First, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009), a chicly decorated French film about a purported love affair between the stern couturière and the equally rigorous modernist composer — all while Mme ...

John Waters celebrates Johnny Mathis

Film · Language & ideas · Music
Sixties singer Johnny Mathis‘s name has popped up in surprising ways recently. DJ Josh Kun spun the velvet-voiced crooner’s version of “Kol Nidre” at “Get Down, Moses,” Kun’s Jewish/African-American “listening party.” Then, John Waters, the witty, loquacious, and dapper film director, cited Mathis as one of his key “role models.” It happened at an ALOUD ...

Skirball’s “Get down, Moses” listening party

Language & ideas · Music
The “listening party” — a groovy event in which cultural anthropologist Josh Kun spins discs to illustrate the complex historic relationship between African-American and Jewish popular music — had serious naming issues. Kun launched it as “Black Sabbath.” It got changed to “Go Down, Moses.” Then, some genius in the Skirball Center p.r. department tweaked ...

The satin sound of Johnny Mercer

Language & ideas · Music
While I was recovering from knee surgery, my buddy S.V. brought me recuperation DVDs — among them “The Dream’s On Me,” documentarian Bruce Ricker’s film homage to lyricist/composer Johnny Mercer. [The documentary, executive-produced by Clint Eastwood, airs from time to time on TCM.] Mercer, a tireless music maker of the highest order (by the way, ...