The composer we look at today was very specific in his desires, throwing out many compositions which has reduced the amount of works that we can attribute to him. However, those that do survive we can be assured that they are the best quality. Today, we look at French composer, Paul Dukas. Continue reading “On This Day… October 1”
I got tagged in a meme by Anna Hill, which I’m most grateful for, not only for the hopefully increased traffic to my website, but also because I’m currently sick in bed with a cold, and this allows me to distract myself with something. Basically, the idea is to share 6 things that people don’t necessarily know about me, and then to tag 6 other people for them to share as well. Continue reading “Tag, I’m it!”
Well, there’s nothing else that I could possibly write about for today. We’re going back to 1791, notable for being the last year of Mozart’s life. However, his death doesn’t come until December (and we will cover it then), but today it is the premiere of his last opera, The Magic Flute. Continue reading “On this day… 30 September”
One of the problems that I expected going into this is that some days it might be hard to find something or someone to write about. Today I could have looked at Shostakovich’s 14th symphony, which premiered today in 1969, but I wasn’t able to find the entire work available on Youtube. Instead, I decided to take a look at some of the Organ music of Vincent Lübeck. Continue reading “On This Day… 29 September”
Taking you back to 1918 today. Still in the grips of World War 1, slowly coming towards an end, Igor Stravinsky composes a work to be “read, played and danced” which looks at a common theme of the romantic age of the Faustian story, influenced by the events of the day. L’Historie du soldat or A Soldier’s Tale, premiered on this day in Lausanne on the 28th September, 1918. Continue reading “On This Day… 28th September”
Today we look at a lesser known Brittish composer, who was titled the “Father of modern British Music” and “the English Debussy.” Cyril Scott, born on September 27th, 1879 was a composer, writer and poet. Continue reading “On This Day… September 27”
I’ve decided to start up a new feature which will hopefully be informative, and fun. Basically, each day I look at a major classical event that happened on this day – be it a birth, death or premiere. Thanks to the wonderful place that is YouTube, where possible I’ll upload a video of a performance related to the topic. Added with a short biography or description of the event, it should be a fantastic way to get exposed to a large amount of music. Today, the stars seemed to align themselves, as today I can bring together two of the biggest names of American classical music. Continue reading “On this day… September 26”
Over the past couple of days, I’ve been dabbling in a bit of graphic design. I had to convert my work’s logo (which we’ve only ever had in a small JPEG format) to a vector format so that we can make a nice banner for our general meeting. What this involved was basically re-creating it in Photoshop and then converting it to vector format in Illustrator. Looking back at the process, I can relate parts to learning a piece of music. Continue reading “Lessons from Graphic Design”
Well, today marks the day that applications for the World Council of Churches Youth Internships close. I actually got mine in Friday night (if I remember correctly), but all the same, now starts the waiting game. I’m not actually sure when I’ll find out about it, and I’m in the odd situation of wanting to plan for next year, but not being able to. I can’t in good mind take on new students with the possibility of me only being able to teach them for a term, however if I get the internship I’ll need a little bit of money for travel expenses. Continue reading “New Directions”
You know, sometimes it’s incredible how people know exactly the right thing to say, seemingly without any prompting. Perhaps sometimes someone can be really good at reading people, but others it’s just incredible. For me, it’s happened with my teacher a couple of times. Once when I was thinking once again about my practice techniques, and what does he bring up in string class, but a lengthy “lecture” on practice. Just recently is the more incredible one though. After having been away for a week, I get to my lesson on Tuesday and he brings up the topic of focus and where I’m wanting to head in music, what I would like to be doing once I leave uni etc. The incredible thing is that I had just been thinking about that very same topic on the weekend. I hadn’t even talked to anyone about it, just thinking about it – yet he comes up with this one hour talk/discussion on it. I didn’t end up playing a note in that lesson – but I got so much out of it.
Orchestral playing is what I really love, and Peter suggested that towards the end of the year I might take a couple of mock auditions in which I could practice taking auditions – and play the repertoire that I would be expected to play for an audition. So I’m now learning the Tchaikovsky Violin concerto, as well as Mozart Concerto Number 4. Tomorrow in my lesson, I’ll suggest a couple of dates for the mock auditions, as well as bring him a list of excerpts that I would like to learn.
I seem to be rather excited about this prospect – like I’m actually making steps towards my goal. While I know that all the stuff that I have been doing previous to this have helped, this actually seems like physical steps towards the goal.
I did 3 hours practice straight today – a rarity in recent times. It did have something to do with not having anything on today, and wanting to get into the tchaikovsky, but also the fact that I was motivated to do it, made it seem like it went past really quickly. Let’s hope for more of the same!