April 2014



Bling Bling

Aug 25, 2009

A contemporary phrase about flamboyant jewelry? An overused hip-hop reference?  Further proof that language is in a constant state of flux?  Yes, to all of the above, and also the title of composer Michael Daugherty’s most recent piece entitled Bling Bling for Full Orchestra and Break Dancers.  You can catch a short video excerpt of this work at

Beethoven Tweets

Jul 23, 2009

Ah, technology!  It seems that the National Symphony Orchestra’s conductor, Emil de Cou, has prepared real-time program notes to Beethoven’s Sixth that will be beamed via Twitter to people sitting on the lawn of Wolf Trap on July 30. According to an NSO press release, “The messages will begin during intermission and provide facts about Beethoven’s life and work. Once the concert begins, the tweets will be sent at specific points in the score, becoming streaming program notes that mark musical signposts depicting Beethoven’s symphonic tribute to a day in the country.”

Jack of All Trades

Jul 6, 2009

Latest news is that Michael Jackson may have had some classical compositions in process.  

Not the only pop star turned composer, Paul McCartney quickly comes to my mind as another whos strictly classical creations including Liverpool Oratorio, and Ecce Cir Meum have been introduced to audiences. 

I'm always looking for something new, but not sure if songwriters writing pop songs - turned orchestral is all that.  



Chicago Classical Music’s Most Creative People

May 27, 2009

Fast Company is one of my favorite magazines.  This month’s cover article is about their list of the 100 most creative people in business.  As you can imagine, the list is full of people from Apple, Facebook, Pixar, and other well-known tech companies. 
It got me thinking about who a list of the most creative people in classical music might include.  I really admire Debra Borda of the LA Philharmonic for hiring Gustavo Dudamel and blogged about it in February of 2008, and I’ve always been a fan of Daniel Bernard Roumain.  Recently, Michael Tilson Thomas’ work with the YouTube Symphony has gotten a lot of buzz. 

Women on the Podium

May 11, 2009

The Los Angeles Times recently published a great article by Chloe Veitman about female conductors.  This seems especially relevant to me because the Chicago Sinfonietta has recently begun search to find a successor to our Founder and Music Director, Paul Freeman.  While I won’t go into any details about our search process, we have definitely become aware of some extremely talented female candidates, two of whom – Mei-Ann Chen and Alondra de la Parra - will be guest conducting our orchestra next season.