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Laurie Niles

Violin Community News 2011, Op. 3

September 1, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Music certainly helps us move through difficult and emotional events. A number of news items this week relate to the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11, a week from Sunday:

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In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the New York Philharmonic and conductor Alan Gilbert will present "A Concert for New York," a free performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection,” at 7:30 Saturday, Sept. 10 at Avery Fischer Hall.

Alan Gilbert

The performance also will feature soprano Dorothea Röschmann, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, and the New York Choral Artists. The performance will be broadcast live on Classical WQXR 105.9 FM, and rebroadcast on Sunday, September 11 at 8:00 PM on WYNC 93.9 FM. It will also be telecast in the U.S. on PBS's Great Performances at 9:00 PM on September 11 (check local listings) and internationally as well.

Tickets for this special performance are first-come, first-serve, and will be distributed (one pair per person) beginning at 4:00 pm on the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center on Saturday, September 10, the day of the concert. There will be additional seating on the Plaza for the live projection of the concert. The Philharmonic is offering priority ticket access to the families of 9/11 victims, first responders and survivors; members of this community may request a pair of tickets in advance by e-mailing concertfornewyork@nyphil.org by September 1, 2011. Additional information is available at the New York Philharmonic website. A Concert for New York will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in October 2011 by ACCENTUS Music. The recording will be distributed in the U.S. by Naxos of America.

Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 will also open the Philharmonic’s 2011-12 season, with three subscription concerts on September 22, 24, and 27 with soloists Miah Persson, soprano; Lilli Paasikivi, mezzo-soprano; and the New York Choral Artists.

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This week the Kronos Quartet released a live recording of "The Sad Park," a string quartet written by composer Michael Gordon as a personal commemoration of Sept. 11, 2001. "I live in downtown Manhattan near Ground Zero, and I was two blocks away from the North Towers, outside of P.S. 234 with my wife and two children that morning when the first plane flew directly over our heads. It was a personal event for me, and I wanted to capture the intensity of my experience in some way; to leave it here on earth as a commemoration," Gordon wrote in 2007 for the New York Times's Opinionator blog. When Gordon learned that the the teacher of his son's pre-kindergarten class was taping the spontaneous chatter of her students in the wake of 9/11, he decided to use these recordings as the basis of a new work. Along with sound designer Luke DuBois, Gordon electronically distorted the voices to build musical sections accompanied by a string quartet. The live version of "The Sad Park" now available on iTunes was recorded by NPR member station WUFT FM in Gainesville, Florida. As part of their program, "Awakening: A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11" at BAM's 29th annual Next Wave Festival, The Kronos Quartet will perform excerpts from "The Sad Park" over four consecutive nights, September 21-24, 2011.

The Kronos recently drew some controversy over its album cover for Steve Reich's WTC 9/11. The cover depicts the burning towers against a smoky, acrid yellow sky, a plane poised to fly into them. Among other things, Reich's piece draws on the voices of first responders in those panicky hours after the attacks.

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The Curtis Institute of Music is doubling the size of its campus with the opening of a new building, Lenfest Hall, on Sept. 6.

Lenfest Hall
Photo by Tom Crane, courtesy Curtis Institute of Music

The 105,000 square-foot building includes a 3,200-square-foot rehearsal hall; residences for more than 80 students; dining facilities to serve Curtis students, faculty, and staff; 32 additional rooms for practicing, teaching, and chamber music rehearsal; video and audio recording studios, and recording capabilities in all teaching studios; and importantly, building-wide Wifi, so that people can read Violinist.com instead of practicing. ;)

The hall, designed by Philadelphia architects Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, is the first major expansion of the Curtis campus in more than 20 years. Curtis Institute, located at 1700 block of Locust Street in Philadelphia, trains 165 music students from 26 states and 19 countries, all on full-tuition scholarships.

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Bad news in Louisville, where the Louisville Orchestra was placed on the American Federation of Musicians (the musicians union) "unfair list" and concerts were canceled for September and October. Here are stories on those developments:

About the AFM "unfair list" designation

About the cancelled concerts

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