Posted inBreaking

A Queen Elizabeth II Playlist

Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years. Sources inside the BBC report that the rolling television coverage of her life and times is planned to continue just as long. What follows is a monarchical playlist to help those inside and outside the UK make sense of this momentous event through music.  Benjamin Britten: “Gloriana” (1953)  […]

Posted inHistory

Caller of Spirits

When pianist Mark Austin began researching composer Peter Warlock, ahead of recording an album of his songs with the mezzo-soprano Anna Harvey, Austin focussed on the music and not the life. “I started to read a biography of Warlock and I got about halfway through,” he says. “This is unusual for me, as I’m normally […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Theater of Music Playlist

You walk on stage, and it’s terrifying: senior-recital-gone-wrong, late-to-a-masterclass-with-Big-Name-Soloist, career-ending-farce-with-your-parents-in-the-audience terrifying. As always, it’s inexplicably hot on the boards (or too cold, or the lights are too bright) and you’re sure the audience can see the sweat glisten on your frustrated, unhappy face. You’re flubbing notes left and right, barreling through an old favorite, lilting […]

Posted inHistory

Talking to Ghosts

About seven years ago, HBO almost made my dream television show. It was called “Virtuoso,” and was produced by Elton John and written and directed by Alan Ball. From all accounts—and I followed them closely—it was to be something of a soap opera about the founding of a conservatory obviously based on the real-life Vienna […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Mechanical Instruments Playlist

The musical instruments of the concert stage are products of thousands of years of experimentation in sound; the often taken-for-granted results of a long process of tinkering. Keyboard instruments are just one example: From early string instruments to the harpsichord, the pianoforte, and the modern concert grand, the piano has been a long-term, collaborative project. […]

Posted inReport

The Pitch of Living

“I’ve been interested in the 432 Hz conspiracy theories for a while,” began an email from my editor at VAN. “Would you like to spend some time using the 432 Player, a website that adjusts all your music to 432 Hz?” I consider myself a very online person, and yet, through a mixture of willful […]

Posted inEssay

Mad Scene

Sylvia Korman is a graduate student in English at CUNY in Manhattan. They curate one of the most striking corners of opera Twitter, the account People Mad at Opera (@operacomments). “I’m not actually a music person at all,” Korman tells me. “I have no non-dilettantish background in opera.” But their knowledge of opera is keen.  […]

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