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The Maestro Will See You Now

The Conductor’s Horrific Honorific By · Photography NYPL (Public Domain) · Date 3/22/2018 “The situation is rather complicated because Maestro himself is not yet in Wrocław…” read the email. The wheels had just come off an interview we’d already spent 10 Polskibus hours (equivalent to around 100 earth-hours) traveling to. “Maestro,” first name Krzysztof, last […]

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Patchwork History

Is Nationalism Really Rampant in Early Music? By Andreas Staier · Date 04/20/2017 Andreas Staier was born in 1955 in Göttingen, Germany. He was the harpsichordist for Musica Antiqua Köln for three years and has performed as a Hammerklavier and harpsichord soloist with all the major early music ensembles. In this article, he responds to […]

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Surveying the Orchestra

Why is the Repertoire So Narrow? By · Date 04/20/2017 Das 10. Kölner Fest für Alte Musik begibt sich unter dem Motto Early Music: Reload auf die Suche nach ungewöhnlichen Konzertformaten und öffnet sich neuen Impulsen. Dazu verwandelt sich das vom zamus veranstaltete Festival in ein Labor des Komponierens, Experimentierens, Improvisierens und Diskutierens über alle […]

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Breaking Binaries

Composition Competitions and Transgender Identity By · Illustrations Alex Ketzer · Date 04/06/2017 Classical music has a gender problem. The numbers are consistent and dismal: as various orchestras have announced their 2017–18 seasons, numerous outlets have tallied how many male and female composers are represented, and so far none seem to be doing better than […]

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Maestro Monopolies

Why Do Orchestras Share Conductors? By · Illustrations VAN Team · Date 03/09/2016 “Worthy gentleman, and my loving countrymen,” wrote the English lutist and composer John Dowland in the introduction to his 1612 song cycle “A Pilgrims Solace,” “I have been long obscured from your sight, because I received a Kingly entertainment in a foreign […]

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The Prodigy Complex

On Children in Classical Music By · Cover Image MARGARET DICKSEE · Date 10/05/2016 A journalist, Janet Malcolm once wrote, preys “on people’s vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.” Great profiles always seem to contain an element of backstabbing. That’s why it’s wrong to write one of a child. […]

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Tacet Acceptance

Structural Inequality in Classical Music By · Date 07/28/2016 In 2012, I embarked on a study of the classical music profession in the UK and Germany. I was interested in learning what it is like to work as a musician, the ups and downs of the profession, and how musicians deal with the often precarious […]

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Redundant Space

The Artist as Set Designer By · Title Image © Catherine Ashmore · Date 07/14/2016 On June 19, I saw the English National Opera’s production of “Tristan und Isolde.” Besides the cast, the house advertised its collaboration with the British-Indian artist Anish Kappoor, who doubled as the production’s set designer. Employing a famous artist as […]

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Orientalism 2.0

Classical Music and Colonialism By · Cover-Photography THE SNAKE CHARMER; JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME, CIRCA 1879 · Date 03/31/2016 I have met Daniel Barenboim twice. The first time was during his first visit to Beijing in 2008; we had a brief chat after a press conference. At that time I was impressed by his promoting peace in […]