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Inside the Crisis at the Cleveland Institute of Music

On September 13, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra met at Kulas Hall for its first rehearsal of the academic year. But the orchestra didn’t play. Instead, a group of student musicians, dressed in blue, sat silently without their instruments. Many seats were empty. The dozen or so string players who brought their instruments warmed […]

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Relaxing in the Pressure Cooker

On YouTube, there’s a video of a 1973 concert with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Bernard Haitink performing Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with soloist Artur Rubinstein. It’s an extraordinary concert to hear, between the young Haitink, the 86-year-old Rubinstein, and the orchestra’s signature sound (consistently described as “homogeneous and transparent at the same time”). The […]

Posted inBreaking

Predatory Environments

Robert Beaser has been fired from his position on the Juilliard School’s composition faculty after an investigation by the law firm Potter & Murdock found Beaser had “interfered with individuals’ academic work,” engaged in “an unreported relationship” in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and “repeatedly misrepresented facts about his actions.” The school announced this […]

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I don’t know what’s more unforgivable: that conductor and long-serving Bard president Leon Botstein accepted money from Jeffrey Epstein, or that he put me in the position of agreeing with American conservative outrage-monger Dinesh D’Souza. “He is ideologically unpredictable, even eccentric,” D’Souza was quoted as saying of Botstein in a 1992 New York Times profile […]

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Tainted History

In the spring of 2001, Suzanne Farrin auditioned for the Juilliard School’s prestigious composition program. The night after her audition, she says that Christopher Rouse, a faculty member at the time, tried to kiss her. “I sort of twirled out of his arms and ran away,” Farrin said.  Farrin wanted to join Rouse’s doctoral studio […]

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Reserve and Release

Jeremy Denk may not have as high a profile as other classical pianists, but he has a deep range of accomplishments both inside and outside of music. Last year, Nonesuch released his latest recording: Mozart Piano Concertos with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (he plays No. 20 and 25, and the Rondo in A minor, […]

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The Perpetual Investigation

Six months ago, we reported on years of sexual harassment allegations at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music against composition professor Dan Welcher. The allegations spanned a period of almost 20 years. They ranged from sexual comments to non-consensual touching, from intimate questions about students’ sexual lives to an unwanted kiss […]

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Music’s Perpetually Open Secret

Brandon Scott Rumsey was accepted into the prestigious Masters’ program in composition at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music in 2012. For a first-generation college student who took their first music courses at community college, it was a thrill. “It felt like I had hit the lottery—being someone who didn’t have […]

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School Sucks

Burns, Tennessee In my house, the week before Thanksgiving was always exam week. 2005 was no exception: I had been lined up to take four different grade 8 examinations for the Associated Boards for the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) in organ, harp, voice, and piano. Following my fourth and last encounter with the examiner, […]

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Teaching at Sapir College

Ever since I started my new teaching job as a music lecturer at Sapir College in the south of Israel, I’d had the itch to drive at the end of the day and watch the sunset—a beautiful desert sunset, with its giant red orb glowing in a light that is particular to the Negev district. […]

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