Category: Music

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NoteStreams (Most Recent First)

Music of Springsteen - Program Notes

Celebrate the Fourth with this high-energy tribute to “The Boss,” America’s most iconic singer-songwriter. Pacific Symphony welcomes Matt Ryan & The American Dream to center stage, seasoned musicians famous for recreating Bruce Springsteen’s marathon, party-like shows. You’ll be on your feet cheering for such hits as “Born in the USA,” “My Hometown” and “Hungry Heart.” And no July 4th evening is complete without the Symphony's traditional salute to the U.S. Armed Forces and patriotic favorites, before closing with a brilliant fireworks finale.
To learn more about Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony fetches record £4.5 mln at Sotheby’s

The complete score of Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony was sold in London for £4.5 million on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, a record for a musical manuscript, Sotheby's auction house said, according to AFP. The handwritten 232-page score includes the composer's deletions, alterations and annotations, many of them done in a vivid blue crayon.
PanArmenian.Net
CC BY 3.0

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Resurrection! Program Notes

In Mahler’s Second Symphony, the composer ponders the question of life, death and transcendence and in so doing pens some of his most sublime music. Meditating on these questions required Mahler to compose the largest symphony ever known at that time—with massive instrumental and vocal forces, daring harmonic structure, and expansive length—all to astonishing effect. As the composer once said, "The term 'symphony' means creating a world with all the technical means available." This great masterpiece will be performed in celebration of John Alexander’s remarkable 45-year tenure as artistic director of Pacific Chorale.
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included.
Continue on with A Tribute To John Alexander.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.

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A Tribute to John Alexander

During his long and distinguished career, Alexander has conducted hundreds of performances of choirs and orchestras in 27 countries, receiving an abundance of praise.
Under his tutelage, Pacific Chorale—with its anchor of 24 professional vocalists (the John Alexander Singers) and power core of 150 singers—has become one of America’s great choirs.
BY JAYCE KEANE

Category: Music

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A 1901 Pamphlet on Verdi (Part 3 - Final)

This is Part 3 of this small pamphlet by Elbert Hubbard from 1901. In this final installment, Verdi meets finds success and finally a true love to last a lifetime.
To begin with Part 1, please click here.
Images added by NoteStream.
Public Domain Review and Internet Archive

Category: Music

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Mozart & Don Quixote

The internationally celebrated pianist Orli Shaham, a “first-rate Mozartean” according to the Chicago Tribune, takes center stage in Mozart’s sunny Concerto No. 17, with the famous third movement theme inspired by the composer’s melodic pet starling. Ravel’s “Morning Song of the Jester,” incorporating Spanish musical themes, opens the program. Closing the evening is Strauss’ tone poem inspired by the Cervantes novel, with the solo cello—Pacific Symphony’s own Timothy Landauer—starring as the “ingenious gentleman,” Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at the soloists, Music Director Carl St.Clair and the musicians of Pacific Symphony!
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included.
To learn more about tonight's artists, please click here
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

Category: Music

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Mozart & Don Quixote: Artists

The internationally celebrated pianist Orli Shaham, a “first-rate Mozartean” according to the Chicago Tribune, takes center stage in Mozart’s sunny Concerto No. 17, with the famous third movement theme inspired by the composer’s melodic pet starling. Ravel’s “Morning Song of the Jester,” incorporating Spanish musical themes, opens the program. Closing the evening is Strauss’ tone poem inspired by the Cervantes novel, with the solo cello—Pacific Symphony’s own Timothy Landauer—starring as the “ingenious gentleman,” Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at the soloists, Music Director Carl St.Clair and the musicians of Pacific Symphony!
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

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The Haydn Effect - Meet The Artists

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to “Papa Haydn,” who has been called the father of the string quartet because he was instrumental in the development of chamber music. For most of his career Haydn was not only considered the most celebrated composer in Europe, but he also guided and mentored two star pupils: Mozart and Beethoven!

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The Haydn Effect

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to “Papa Haydn,” who has been called the father of the string quartet because he was instrumental in the development of chamber music. For most of his career Haydn was not only considered the most celebrated composer in Europe, but he also guided and mentored two star pupils: Mozart and Beethoven!
To learn more about tonight's Artists, please click here.

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Organ Recital: Monte Maxwell

Organist Monte Maxwell has played for diplomats and national leaders from around the world, and now he performs for you! Hear this outstanding virtuoso on a wide-ranging program. This matinee recital includes the best of organ music—from Wagner to Bach, Widor to Bizet, Vierne to Yon and far beyond as Maxwell showcases the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ’s stunning palette of sounds, often adding his own twist to classic arrangements.

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Magic of Chopin: Program Notes

Two of Canada’s brightest classical music stars perform a program that celebrates the spirit of France. Mozart composed his Symphony No. 31 specifically to please and impress Parisian audiences. Chopin called “The City of Lights” home for most of his adult life, and Debussy and Ravel are two of France’s greatest composers. BBC Music Magazine commented on Louis Lortie’s gifts as an interpreter of Chopin: “Lortie is a model Chopinist: eloquent but never sentimental, elegant, harmonically luminous, structurally immaculate—and surprising.”
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included.
To continue on with tonight's Guest Artists, please click here
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Pacific Symphony Musicians: In Full Bloom

Meet the bass players for the Pacific Symphony- Doug Basye and Andy Bumatay as they explore the Historic Kellogg House in Santa Ana.

Category: Music

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Magic of Chopin: Guest Artists

Two of Canada’s brightest classical music stars perform a program that celebrates the spirit of France. Mozart composed his Symphony No. 31 specifically to please and impress Parisian audiences. Chopin called “The City of Lights” home for most of his adult life, and Debussy and Ravel are two of France’s greatest composers. BBC Music Magazine commented on Louis Lortie’s gifts as an interpreter of Chopin: “Lortie is a model Chopinist: eloquent but never sentimental, elegant, harmonically luminous, structurally immaculate—and surprising.”
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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A 1901 Pamphlet on Verdi (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of this small pamphlet by Elbert Hubbard from 1901. In this installment, Verdi meets with early rejection, but also finds love!
To begin with Part 1, please click here.
Follow the author to be notified when the next installment is published. Images added by NoteStream.
Public Domain Review and
Internet Archive

Category: Music

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Ellis Island: Program Notes

Peter Boyer's Grammy-nominated “Ellis Island: The Dream of America” is a stirring work that celebrates the historic American immigrant experience with actors and projected images. The New Yorker’s critic Alex Ross described John Adams’ music as “present-tense American romanticism.” In celebration of the composer's 70th birthday, Pacific Symphony performs “The Dharma at Big Sur,” with Tracy Silverman, “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin” (BBC Radio).
Be part of history! Join the audience on April 7-8 for the recording of the first-ever PBS “Great Performances” broadcast from Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
This is the first in a series of NoteStreams on tonight's performance. You'll be automatically linked to the next.
To learn more about tonight's Guest Artists, please click here.

To learn more about PBS “Great Performances” please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Ellis Island: Guest Artists

Peter Boyer's Grammy-nominated “Ellis Island: The Dream of America” is a stirring work that celebrates the historic American immigrant experience with actors and projected images. The New Yorker’s critic Alex Ross described John Adams’ music as “present-tense American romanticism.” In celebration of the composer's 70th birthday, Pacific Symphony performs “The Dharma at Big Sur,” with Tracy Silverman, “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin” (BBC Radio).
Be part of history! Join the audience on April 7-8 for the recording of the first-ever PBS “Great Performances” broadcast from Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
This is the second in a series of NoteStreams on tonight's performance. You'll be automatically linked to the next.
To learn more about PBS “Great Performances” please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto: Program Notes

Pianist Zhang Zuo makes her Pacific Symphony debut performing Beethoven’s mighty Third Piano Concerto. The Los Angeles Times described the gifted young pianist (affectionately nicknamed “Zee Zee”) as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry.” The concert opens with the captivating “Folk Songs for Orchestra” by Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo. Elgar’s intriguing “Enigma Variations” closes the program.
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included.
To learn more about tonight's Guest Artists please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at the musicians!!
Zhang Zho hosts a multi-generational piano masterclass on March 22 in the intimate Samueli Theater. Tickets are just $10. Information and Tickets.

Category: Music

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Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto: Guest Artists

Pianist Zhang Zuo makes her Pacific Symphony debut performing Beethoven’s mighty Third Piano Concerto. The Los Angeles Times described the gifted young pianist (affectionately nicknamed “Zee Zee”) as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry.” The concert opens with the captivating “Folk Songs for Orchestra” by Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo. Elgar’s intriguing “Enigma Variations” closes the program.
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at the musicians!!
Zhang Zho hosts a multi-generational piano masterclass on March 22 in the intimate Samueli Theater. Tickets are just $10. Information and Tickets.

Category: Music

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Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) Program Notes

Contemporary films, from Total Recall to Blade Runner, and Stars Wars to I, Robot all show the powerful influence of Fritz Lang’s sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis.
Experience this cinematic tour de force on the big screen in the concert hall while organ virtuoso Peter Richard Conte performs the unforgettable soundtrack live.
The Complete Metropolis - Official Trailer [HD] is included!
To learn more about the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ, please click here.

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A 1901 Pamphlet on Verdi (Part 1)

This was a small pamphlet written by Elbert Hubbard in 1901 (from the series “Little journeys to the homes of great musicians”) on the life of the Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi. It begins with a fictionalized account of his childhood meeting with his early patron Signior Barezzi and his eldest daughter Margherita, with whom Verdi ended up falling in love.
This is Part 1 in series. Follow the author to be notified when the next installment is published. Images added by NoteStream.
Public Domain Review and
Internet Archive

Category: Music

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The Beach Boys: Program Notes

In the pantheon of pop, few groups have enjoyed the success of The Beach Boys. Their close vocal harmonies and “Good Vibrations” conjure timeless memories of surf, sun and endless summers. Known for such irresistible chart-topping hits as “Surfin’,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “Kokomo,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “California Girls,” these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have performed more concerts than any major rock band in history.
To learn more about Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor, please click here.

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Viva Villa-Lobos!

Brazil’s greatest composer, Villa-Lobos mined the rich exotic sound world of his native country’s folk music. Argentina’s Ginastera followed suit and also inspired a young Piazzolla, who played the tango accordion (bandoneón) to follow his muse as the father of “new tango.” Come early for tango dancing in the lobby!
This is the first of two NoteStreams for the performance. You'll be automatically linked at the end.
To learn more about tonight's Artists, please click here

Category: Music

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Viva Villa-Lobos! Artists for February 26

Brazil’s greatest composer, Villa-Lobos mined the rich exotic sound world of his native country’s folk music. Argentina’s Ginastera followed suit and also inspired a young Piazzolla, who played the tango accordion (bandoneón) to follow his muse as the father of “new tango.” Come early for tango dancing in the lobby!

Category: Music

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Aida: Program Notes

Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in Egypt, it was commissioned by and first performed in Cairo on 24 December 1871; Giovanni Bottesini conducted after Verdi himself withdrew. Even today, the work holds a cherished place in the operatic canon, and is performed every year around the globe.
This is the first in a series of NoteStreams on tonights performance. You'll be automatically linked to the following at the end. The Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman is in included.
To learn more about tonight's Guest Artists, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.

Category: Music

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Aida: Guest Artists

Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in Egypt, it was commissioned by and first performed in Cairo on 24 December 1871; Giovanni Bottesini conducted after Verdi himself withdrew. Even today, the work holds a cherished place in the operatic canon, and is performed every year around the globe.
This is the first in a series of NoteStreams on tonights performance. You'll be automatically linked to the following at the end. The Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman is in included.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.

Category: Music

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Musical Family Fingerprints and Marginalia

The Benda family was full of musicians and composers, and in 1968, the year the F-major Viola Concerto was published by Schott, the prevailing wisdom was that this Viola Concerto was by Georg Benda.
Musical Assumptions
CC BY-ND 3.0 US

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Music and a Mystery to Celebrate Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Rooster begins on Saturday, January 28th. To celebrate, here are samples of four recordings of Chinese music recorded in 1902 and 1903.
We hope that someone reading this article might be able to tell us more about these songs.
Library of Congress Blogs

Category: Music

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Scottish Fantasy Program Notes: Feb 2 - 4

Max Bruch’s fantasy on Scottish folk melodies for violin and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony were actually inspired by a walking tour of the ruins of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Palace.
Enjoy Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn’s “charming Scotch overture that carries you over the hills and far away,” - as once described by George Bernard Shaw.
David Danzmayr, former assistant conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, makes his Pacific Symphony debut conducting a program that presents these three different musical perspectives evoking the wild romantic landscapes of Scotland.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included!
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for Feb 2 - 4. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about tonight's Guest Performers, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Scottish Fantasy - Guest Performers

Max Bruch’s fantasy on Scottish folk melodies for violin and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony were actually inspired by a walking tour of the ruins of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Palace.
Enjoy Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn’s “charming Scotch overture that carries you over the hills and far away,” - as once described by George Bernard Shaw.
David Danzmayr, former assistant conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, makes his Pacific Symphony debut conducting a program that presents these three different musical perspectives evoking the wild romantic landscapes of Scotland.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included!
To begin with Part 1 of tonight's Program, please click here
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for Feb 2 - 4. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Best Buddies, or just Goethe Friends?

Brahms and Tchaikovsky shared a birthday. Though they may not have liked each other much, was there anything else they may have had in common?
Library of Congress Blogs

Category: Music

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Chinese New Year Concert: January 28, 2017

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Pacific Symphony and usher in the Year of the Rooster with music and dance. The program includes the popular Spring Festival Overture by Li Huanzhi, the traditional "Jasmine Flower" and the delightful Butterfly Lovers Concerto with George Gao on erhu. The evening culminates in the inspirational "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, when Pacific Chorale is joined by the American Feel Young Chorus.
讓太平洋交響樂團與您一快兒慶祝農曆新年,迎接雞年的來臨!在大年初一的晚上我們邀請您觀賞這場別出心裁的晚會,從李煥之的《春節序曲》,傳統又耳熟能詳的《茉莉花》,到由二胡演奏家高韶青所詮釋的《粱祝》等等,及終場在膾炙人口的貝多芬《第九交響曲第四樂章》《快樂頌》的大和唱歌聲中畫下句點。這是場西方與東方音樂、舞蹈、歌曲、和樂器的結合。
Program includes:
LI HUANZHI: Spring Festival Overture
BACH: Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3
VARIOUS: New Year's Medley
HUA WU: Deep Into the Night
HE ZHANHAO & CHEN GANG: Butterfly Lovers Concerto
HANS ZIMMER & JOHN POWELL: Music from Kung Fu Panda 2
CLAUDE DEBUSSY: Clair de Lune
TRADITIONAL: Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower)
BEETHOVEN: Finale from Symphony No. 9, "Choral"
This is the first in a series of NoteStreams on this performance. You'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To learn more about tonight's Guest Artists, please click here.
To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Chinese New Year Concert: Guest Artists

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Pacific Symphony and usher in the Year of the Rooster with music and dance. The program includes the popular Spring Festival Overture by Li Huanzhi, the traditional "Jasmine Flower" and the delightful Butterfly Lovers Concerto with George Gao on erhu. The evening culminates in the inspirational "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, when Pacific Chorale is joined by the American Feel Young Chorus.
讓太平洋交響樂團與您一快兒慶祝農曆新年,迎接雞年的來臨!在大年初一的晚上我們邀請您觀賞這場別出心裁的晚會,從李煥之的《春節序曲》,傳統又耳熟能詳的《茉莉花》,到由二胡演奏家高韶青所詮釋的《粱祝》等等,及終場在膾炙人口的貝多芬《第九交響曲第四樂章》《快樂頌》的大和唱歌聲中畫下句點。這是場西方與東方音樂、舞蹈、歌曲、和樂器的結合。
Program includes:
LI HUANZHI: Spring Festival Overture
BACH: Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3
VARIOUS: New Year's Medley
HUA WU: Deep Into the Night
HE ZHANHAO & CHEN GANG: Butterfly Lovers Concerto
HANS ZIMMER & JOHN POWELL: Music from Kung Fu Panda 2
CLAUDE DEBUSSY: Clair de Lune
TRADITIONAL: Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower)
BEETHOVEN: Finale from Symphony No. 9, "Choral"
This is the second in a series of NoteStreams on this performance. You'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Hansel and Gretel: Opera for Kids!

This fairytale adventure tells the story of two hungry children lost in an enchanted forest, an inviting gingerbread house and a wicked witch. This kid-friendly production features spoken narration, as well as the most charming and catchy tunes from the original opera, sung by talented opera singers, including students from Chapman University, who are joined by The All-American Boys Chorus.
Join in the fun at the interactive Musical Carnival, where kids can test drive a musical instrument, meet the performers, and enjoy musical arts and crafts activities themed to the morning's concert. Activities begins at 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. concertgoers and 12:15 p.m. for 11:30 a.m. concertgoers.
This is the first NoteStream on today's performance - you'll be automatically linked to Hansel and Gretel: The Performers at the end.
To meet today's Guest Performers, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Roger Kalia, please click here.

Category: Music

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Hansel and Gretel: Meet The Performers!

This fairytale adventure tells the story of two hungry children lost in an enchanted forest, an inviting gingerbread house and a wicked witch. This kid-friendly production features spoken narration, as well as the most charming and catchy tunes from the original opera, sung by talented opera singers, including students from Chapman University, who are joined by The All-American Boys Chorus.
To learn more about Music Director Roger Kalia, please click here.

Category: Music

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Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto: Jan 12-14 Program Notes

One of Tchaikovsky’s best known works and among the most famous in all of classical music, the First Piano Concerto is a deeply expressive and romantic tour de force. Gold Medal winner of the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition, Haochen Zhang performs this great masterwork.
Prokofiev’s Fifth is one of the great orchestral works of the 20th century. Written during the dark days of World War II, Prokofiev intended his Fifth to be "a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit."
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at pianist Haochen Zhang, Music Director Carl St.Clair and the musicians of Pacific Symphony!
This is the first NoteStream about tonight's concert: you'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To learn more about tonight's guest artist, Haochen Zhang, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto: Guest Pianist

One of Tchaikovsky’s best known works and among the most famous in all of classical music, the First Piano Concerto is a deeply expressive and romantic tour de force. Gold Medal winner of the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition, Haochen Zhang performs this great masterwork.
Prokofiev’s Fifth is one of the great orchestral works of the 20th century. Written during the dark days of World War II, Prokofiev intended his Fifth to be "a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit."
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at pianist Haochen Zhang, Music Director Carl St.Clair and the musicians of Pacific Symphony!
This is the second NoteStream about tonight's concert: you'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Handel's Glorious Messiah

A beloved holiday tradition, Handel’s celebrated oratorio—with its blazing trumpets, thundering timpani and spectacular “Hallelujah!” chorus—provides a moment to experience reflection, renewal and joy during the busy season.
This is the first in a series of NoteStreams on tonight's concert. You'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To meet tonight's Guest Artists, please click here.
To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

Category: Music

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Handel's Glorious Messiah - Guest Artists

A beloved holiday tradition, Handel’s celebrated oratorio—with its blazing trumpets, thundering timpani and spectacular “Hallelujah!” chorus—provides a moment to experience reflection, renewal and joy during the busy season.
This is the second in a series of NoteStreams on tonight's concert. You'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

Category: Music

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Strauss' Vienna: Program Notes Dec. 1 - 3

Prepare to be swept away in this stunning tribute to the Viennese waltz! Vienna was the glittering cultural jewel in the crown of Europe in the 1800s - Brahms spent his entire life there. Performing his First Piano Concerto will be the stellar Jeremy Denk, winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious MacArthur ‘Genius” Fellowship. Tonights concert also showcases music by Richard Strauss and Johann Strauss.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Grieg's Piano Concerto - Program Notes

Zubin Mehta said of Spain’s pre-eminent pianist, “I have only heard this sound from Rubinstein,” while Sir Simon Rattle commented: “There is something special with Joaquín Achúcarro. Very few musicians can extract this kind of sound from the piano.” This not-to-be-missed debut is part of a program that includes Grieg’s ever popular Peer Gynt, musical fairy-tale ballet music by Stravinsky and a magical, mystical concerto from Finland that includes taped bird songs interacting with the orchestra.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included!
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for Nov. 17 - 19. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To meet tonight's Artists, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Grieg's Piano Concerto: Meet The Artists

Zubin Mehta said of Spain’s pre-eminent pianist, “I have only heard this sound from Rubinstein,” while Sir Simon Rattle commented: “There is something special with Joaquín Achúcarro. Very few musicians can extract this kind of sound from the piano.” This not-to-be-missed debut is part of a program that includes Grieg’s ever popular Peer Gynt, musical fairy-tale ballet music by Stravinsky and a magical, mystical concerto from Finland that includes taped bird songs interacting with the orchestra.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included!
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for Nov. 17 - 19. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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PSSS Fall Concert: Forever Young!

Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings rings in its 26th season with works celebrating the artistic achievement and virtuosic energy of youth! In this concert, these talented young musicians perform prolific works by talented young composers who changed the world of music in their short lives. Enjoy an evening of youthful music masterfully performed by the youth of Santiago Strings! The concert opens with the Prelude Chamber Strings conducted by Helen Weed.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for the PSSS Fall Concert: Forever Young!. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To meet Music Directors Irene Kroesen and Helen Weed, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

Category: Music

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Forever Young! Meet the Music Directors

Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings rings in its 26th season with works celebrating the artistic achievement and virtuosic energy of youth! In this concert, these talented young musicians perform prolific works by talented young composers who changed the world of music in their short lives. Enjoy an evening of youthful music masterfully performed by the youth of Santiago Strings! The concert opens with the Prelude Chamber Strings conducted by Helen Weed.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for the PSSS Fall Concert: Forever Young!. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

Category: Music

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Music of Now and Before: Program Notes

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble kicks off its milestone 10th anniversary season with works of old and new! Celebrate with PSYWE during Ron Nelson's “Lauds” and bask in the sound of David Maslanka's “Requiem,” both works rooted in antiquity. Look to the future in Mason Bates “Chicago, 2012” from "Alternative Energy," a collaborative work for onstage electroacoustics. The brilliant musicians of PSYWE backed by the mighty William J. Gillespie concert organ are sure to engage and inspire. This performance features a special guest conductor, Pacific Symphony's Music Director Carl St.Clair!
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for Music of Now and Before. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about today's Artists, please click here. 

To meet PSYWE Music Director Gregory Whitmore, please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Music of Now and Before: Meet The Artists

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble kicks off its milestone 10th anniversary season with works of old and new! Celebrate with PSYWE during Ron Nelson's “Lauds” and bask in the sound of David Maslanka's “Requiem,” both works rooted in antiquity. Look to the future in Mason Bates “Chicago, 2012” from "Alternative Energy," a collaborative work for onstage electroacoustics. The brilliant musicians of PSYWE backed by the mighty William J. Gillespie concert organ are sure to engage and inspire. This performance features a special guest conductor, Pacific Symphony's Music Director Carl St.Clair!
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for Music of Now and Before. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To meet PSYWE Music Director Gregory Whitmore, please click here.>>
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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PSYE Music Director: Gregory X. Whitmore

Gregory Xavier Whitmore is music director of Pacific Symphony Your Wind Ensemble. Learn more about this incredibly talented and inspirational musician!
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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PSYO Fall Concert: Program Notes

Recently returned from its summer performance tour of China, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra inaugurates its 2016-17 season with charismatic works performed by Southern California’s finest young orchestral musicians. Glinka’s thrilling Overture to “Ruslan and Ludmilla” ushers in an exciting evening that includes George Gershwin’s soulful “Porgy and Bess.” Feel the might of this brilliant orchestra electrified by the sound of the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ during Saint-Saëns’ powerful “Organ Symphony.”
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for the PSYO Fall Concert. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To meet PSYO Music Director Roger Kalia, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

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Roger Kalia - Music Director PSYO

Hailed as a conductor who leads with “vigor” and “commitment” by the Charlotte Observer and for bringing a “fresh view to classical music” by The Republic, Roger Kalia is currently the assistant conductor of Pacific Symphony as well as music director of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra.
But there's a lot more to him than that...just try and keep up with him!

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No, Bob Dylan Isn’t the First Lyricist to Win the Nobel

Rabindranath Tagore, a wildly talented Indian poet, painter and musician, took the Nobel prize in 1913.
The Conversation
(CC BY-ND 4.0)

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From First Impression to Finish

As we get closer to the birthday of Debussy, I recall my first experience of Impressionism. The piece I was to learn was not by Debussy, not by Ravel, but by a composer that you may not know.
Library of Congress

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The Festival That Changed American Music

Nearly 50 years ago marks the beginning of the Monterey International Pop Festival, one of the first rock festivals in the United States.
Library of Congress

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Furry Friends of Music: Gershwin “Walking the Dog”

Ever have one of those dogs that just seemed to have it's own idea of where it should be? You're not alone - Gershwin himself had one of those: Meet Tony.
Library Of Congress Blogs

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Tchaikovsky’s Fourth: Program Notes 10/20 - 22

Tchaikovsky himself described his Fourth as "a reflection of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony." This definitive romantic Russian music, from thundering brass to dramatic finish, will carry you away and evoke powerful emotions.
This powerful work completes a program featuring an innovative world premiere by Pacific Symphony's Composer in Residence, Narong Prangcharoen, and Mozart’s most beloved violin concerto, as performed by award-winning French violinist Arnaud Sussmann, whose violin playing has been described as “reminiscent of Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler.”
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for Oct 20-22. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To meet tonight's Artists, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Tchaikovsky's Fourth: Tonight's Artists 10/20 - 22

Tchaikovsky himself described his Fourth as "a reflection of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony." This definitive romantic Russian music, from thundering brass to dramatic finish, will carry you away and evoke powerful emotions.
This powerful work completes a program featuring an innovative world premiere by Pacific Symphony's Composer in Residence, Narong Prangcharoen, and Mozart’s most beloved violin concerto, as performed by award-winning French violinist Arnaud Sussmann, whose violin playing has been described as “reminiscent of Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler.”
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for Oct 20-22. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Brahms & the Romantics: Program Notes Oct. 2nd

The towering genius of Brahms influenced many of his contemporaries, including his devoted friend Dvorák, who he also mentored.
The program opens with a Brahms-inspired work commissioned and recorded by Orli Shaham, by the young Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for October 2nd, 2016. You'll be automatically linked the next at the end.
Meet the Guest Artists here
.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Brahms & the Romantics: Guest Artists

The towering genius of Brahms influenced many of his contemporaries, including his devoted friend Dvorák, who he also mentored.
The program opens with a Brahms-inspired work commissioned and recorded by Orli Shaham, by the young Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for October 2nd, 2016. You'll be automatically linked the next at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Kern Plays Rachmaninoff: Program Notes 9/22 - 9/24

Olga Kern performs Rachmaninoff’s demonically delicious variations based on a virtuosic violin piece by Paganini. She is an electrifying Van Cliburn competition-winning pianist with a special gift that captures and captivates audiences the world over. Per The Washington Post: “Call it star quality—music loves Kern the way the camera liked Garbo.”
Tonight's program also includes the Carnival Overture, by Antonin Dvořák, a world premiere of Conrad Tao's I Got A Wiggle That I Just Can't Shake, and the hauntingly beautiful Pines of Rome - Respighi’s vivid love-letter to “The Eternal City.”
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for Sept 2 2- 24. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Meet the Guest Artist and Guest Composer here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Olga Kern and Conrad Tao: Program Notes: 9/22-24

Olga Kern performs Rachmaninoff’s demonically delicious variations based on a virtuosic violin piece by Paganini. She is an electrifying Van Cliburn competition-winning pianist with a special gift that captures and captivates audiences the world over. Per The Washington Post: “Call it star quality—music loves Kern the way the camera liked Garbo.”
Tonight's program also includes the Carnival Overture, by Antonin Dvořák, a world premiere of Conrad Tao's I Got A Wiggle That I Just Can't Shake, and the hauntingly beautiful Pines of Rome - Respighi’s vivid love-letter to “The Eternal City.”
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for Sept 2 2- 24. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To begin with Part 1, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Furry Friends of Music

National Dog Day is August 26 - and that's a perfect time for a new blog series: Furry Friends of Music! Let's look at the important role furry friends have played in the lives of some music greats like John Phillips Sousa, Leonard Bernstein and more!
Library of Congress Blogs

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Renée Fleming - Program Notes

Tonight's performance features one of the greatest operatic sopranos of all time, the legendary Renée Fleming. She makes an exclusive Orange County appearance in this exceptional concert with the Pacific Symphony. Tonight's program offers selections from Richard Strauss’s hauntingly beautiful Four Last Songs, as well as beloved popular favorites from the Broadway stage and the wonderful world of opera.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for tonight's concert. You'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To learn more about tonight's Guest Artist Renée Fleming, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

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Renée Fleming - Guest Artist Program Notes

Tonight's performance features one of the greatest operatic sopranos of all time, the legendary Renée Fleming. She makes an exclusive Orange County appearance in this exceptional concert with the Pacific Symphony. Tonight's program offers selections from Richard Strauss’s hauntingly beautiful Four Last Songs, as well as beloved popular favorites from the Broadway stage and the wonderful world of opera.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for tonight's concert. You'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

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Tchaikovsky Spectacular Program Notes

This is our final concert at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. Carl St.Clair will take us on a trip down memory lane, reminiscing on nearly three decades of concerts “in the meadows.” The program feature Tchaikovsky's hit parade with excerpts from the perennially popular ballets “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker,” and two beloved concertos. The curtain will fall on this chapter of Pacific Symphony history to the traditional sounds of the electrifying “1812 Overture”!
This NoteStream includes the complete Program Notes for the concert, and an introduction to tonight's Guest Artists.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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How Music Became Core to James Bond

Someone wagered £15,000 on the identity of the singer to perform the theme song for the James Bond film Spectre. How on earth did music become so entwined with the timeless debonaire spy?

Category: Music

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The Spy Who Loved Me: The Music of James Bond

We want escapist entertainment with outlandish plots, big explosions and beautiful women. We want a man of action who could seduce the women, kill the bad guys and vanquish our fears. We want James Bond.
And since the films are hyperbolically intense from beginning to end, the songs, too, must be bold. A great Bond song must confront us with strong emotion, yet also tempt us with an ironic twist—like the twist of lemon in Bond’s martini.
It also helps to have a great vocalist with a signature voice to serve it up.
This NoteStream includes the complete Program Notes for the concert, and an introduction to tonight's Guest Artists.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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How One Man Changed The Landscape Of Film Music

It isn’t just quantity: John Williams’s film work has been incomparably influential in terms of quality.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark: Program Notes

PARAMOUNT PICTURES Presents
A LUCASFILM LTD Production A STEVEN SPIELBERG Film
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Starring HARRISON FORD
KAREN ALLEN • PAUL FREEMAN • RONALD LACEY JOHN RHYS-DAVIES • DENHOLM ELLIOTT
From John Williams:
In creating the character Indiana Jones, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg introduced an enduring and much-loved figure into the pantheon of fictional movie heroes. Raiders of the Lost Ark was illuminated by the superb comedy-action performance of Harrison Ford and enlivened by the spirited direction of Steven Spielberg. Speaking for myself, I must say that the experience of composing the music for this film, and for the subsequent installments in the series, was a very happy one, and offered me a wild and truly joyous ride. I’m especially delighted that the magnificent Pacific Symphony has agreed to perform the music this evening in a live presentation of the movie. I know I speak for everyone connected with the making of Raiders in saying that we are greatly honored by this event… and I hope that tonight’s audience will experience some measure of the joy and fun we did when making the film nearly 35 years ago.
CONSTANTINE KITSOPOULOS • CONDUCTOR
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Beethoven's Ninth Program Notes

Tonight's program - with a full orchestra, thrilling chorus and stirring vocal quartet — is the crown jewel of our final Summer Festival season in the meadows. Beethoven's “Ode to Joy” shares the composer’s dreams for a better world and shines a hope of united brotherhood. Seeing is believing, and this masterpiece must be heard live to be fully experienced.
Pacific Symphony turns turquoise to raise awareness for the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE Walk and the fight against lung cancer and for lung health. Join us before the concert for an interactive festival including education areas, fun games, musical instruments, prizes and more!
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for Beethoven's Ninth. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about tonight's Guest Artists, please click here
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
Aaron Copland (1900-1990) Fanfare for the Common Man
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) Adagio for Strings
John Williams (b. 1932) Liberty Fanfare
Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
Pacific Chorale
I N T E R M I S S I O N
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, Choral
Allegro ma non troppo; un poco maestoso Molto vivace
Adagio molto e cantabile
Presto - Allegro assai - Allegro assai vivace
Tonight's performance is dedicated to the memory of James Emmi (June 1916 – May 2016).
CARL ST.CLAIR • CONDUCTOR
MARY WILSON • SOPRANO | MILENA KITIĆ • MEZZO SOPRANO
JOHN BELLEMER • TENOR | KEVIN DEAS • BASS
PACIFIC CHORALE — JOHN ALEXANDER • ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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Beethoven's Ninth: About The Artists

Tonight's program - with a full orchestra, thrilling chorus and stirring vocal quartet — is the crown jewel of our final Summer Festival season in the meadows. Beethoven's “Ode to Joy” shares the composer’s dreams for a better world and shines a hope of united brotherhood. Seeing is believing, and this masterpiece must be heard live to be fully experienced.
Pacific Symphony turns turquoise to raise awareness for the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE Walk and the fight against lung cancer and for lung health. Join us before the concert for an interactive festival including education areas, fun games, musical instruments, prizes and more!
Aaron Copland (1900-1990) Fanfare for the Common Man
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) Adagio for Strings
John Williams (b. 1932) Liberty Fanfare
Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
Pacific Chorale
I N T E R M I S S I O N
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, Choral
Allegro ma non troppo; un poco maestoso Molto vivace
Adagio molto e cantabile
Presto - Allegro assai - Allegro assai vivace
Tonight's performance is dedicated to the memory of James Emmi (June 1916 – May 2016).
CARL ST.CLAIR • CONDUCTOR
MARY WILSON • SOPRANO | MILENA KITIĆ • MEZZO SOPRANO
JOHN BELLEMER • TENOR | KEVIN DEAS • BASS
PACIFIC CHORALE — JOHN ALEXANDER • ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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Score Writing: Humor and Wit

A tour of music publishing, and transforming music manuscripts into publications for students and the performer.

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July 4th Spectacular - The Music of Michael Jackson

Tonight's concert dazzles with the best-known hits of the legendary “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. We'll travel from his early beginning with The Jackson 5 all the way through to his final film, “This Is It!” Enjoy music from “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Blood on the Dance Floor” and many more. Celebrate the legacy and genius of Michael Jackson as the seven-piece rock group Windborne, along with lead singer James Delisco, join the Pacific Symphony. We'll open with some patriotic favorites and closes with a brilliant fireworks finale!
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for the July 4th Spectacular. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Meet the Guest Artist James Delisco here.
To learn more about Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor, please click here
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
RICHARD KAUFMAN • CONDUCTOR JAMES DELISCO • VOCALIST
March from The Great Waldo Pepper
Henry Mancini
National Emblem March
Edwin Bagley
The Star-Spangled Banner
Francis Scott Key
American Salute
Morton Gould
A George M. Cohan Overture
George M. Cohan / Arr. R. Wendel
Ohio Riverboat
Henry Mancini
Century of Flight
Brian Shyer
Victory at Sea
Richard Rodgers
Rock Around the Clock
Max Freedman / Arr. R. Wendel
I N T E R M I S S I O N
The Music of Michael Jackson
Armed Forces Salute
Various
America the Beautiful
Samuel Ward / Arr. G. Prechel
Washington Post March Semper Fidelis
Stars and Stripes Forever
John Philip Sousa

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July 4th Spectacular - James Delisco

July 4th Spectacular— The Music of Michael Jackson
Tonight's concert dazzles with the best-known hits of the legendary “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. We'll travel from his early beginning with The Jackson 5 all the way through to his final film, “This Is It!” Enjoy music from “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Blood on the Dance Floor” and many more. Celebrate the legacy and genius of Michael Jackson as the seven-piece rock group Windborne, along with lead singer James Delisco, join the Pacific Symphony. We'll open with some patriotic favorites and closes with a brilliant fireworks finale!
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for the July 4th Spectacular. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor, please click here
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Principal Pops Conductor: Richard Kaufman

Richard Kaufman has devoted much of his musical life to conducting and supervising music for film and television productions, as well as performing film and classical music in concert halls and on recordings. The 2015-16 concert season marked Kaufman’s 25th season as principal pops conductor of Pacific Symphony.
But there's a lot more to him!

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Good Vibrations: The Role of Music in Einstein’s Thinking

Einstein was the product of a well-rounded education that, importantly, very much included the arts and humanities.

Category: Music

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A Piece of Music Found, A Lost Opera Complete

The quest to reconstruct a lost piece of music from the 1920s took Kluge Fellow Elia Corazza to Venice, New Haven, and finally, to the Library of Congress.

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‘Skin Orgasms’ From Listening to Music?

Listening to emotionally moving music is the most common trigger of frisson, but some feel it while looking at beautiful artwork, watching a particularly moving scene in a movie or having physical contact with another person.

Category: Science

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Could Early Music Training Help Babies Learn Language?

Music training early in life (before the age of seven) can have a wide range of benefits beyond musical ability.

Category: Music

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André Watts Plays Beethoven, June 2 - 4 Program Notes

Tonight's program features superstar André Watts, who remains one of the most celebrated and adored pianists, over 50 years after Leonard Bernstein introduced him to the world.
In his talented hands, Beethoven’s revolutionary piano concerto No. 4 becomes a fitting farewell to the season. After intermission, Berlioz’s evocative Symphonie Fantastique, inspired by his infatuation with a British ingénue, will conclude tonights program.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for June 2 - 4. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Meet the Guest Artist André Watts here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
Concerto No. 4 in G Major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 58
Allegro moderato
Andante con moto
Rondo: Vivace
Pianist André Watts
Intermission
Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14
Rêveries, Passions
Un bal (A Ball)
Scène aux champs (Scene in the Country)
Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold)
Songe d’une nuit du sabbat (Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath)

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Guest Pianist André Watts Plays Beethoven

Tonight's program features superstar André Watts, who remains one of the most celebrated and adored pianists, over 50 years after Leonard Bernstein introduced him to the world.
In his talented hands, Beethoven’s revolutionary piano concerto No. 4 becomes a fitting farewell to the season. After intermission, Berlioz’s evocative Symphonie Fantastique, inspired by his infatuation with a British ingénue, will conclude tonights program.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for June 2 - 4. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
Concerto No. 4 in G Major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 58
Allegro moderato
Andante con moto
Rondo: Vivace
Pianist André Watts
Intermission
Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14
Rêveries, Passions
Un bal (A Ball)
Scène aux champs (Scene in the Country)
Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold)
Songe d’une nuit du sabbat (Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath)

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Plazacast: Inside & Out Community Festival

This is a guide to all the activities scheduled for the June 4th Plazacast Community Festival!
To read the complete Program Notes for tonight's concert, please click here.

Category: Music

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Never Mind the Nazis: Richard Strauss is More Valuable Than Ever

Richard Straus lived through two world wars. He was no political hero, though perhaps his choices were more complex than they first seem.
Strauss made a “deal” with Schirach,the Nazi governor of Vienna. It had the composer further Viennese musical life in return for protection for his Jewish daughter-in-law and grandsons. This was not entirely unreasonable, given the circumstances.

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Vivaldi's The Four Seasons: Program Notes May 19-21

First on the program, The Four Seasons! Vivaldi’s beloved masterpiece paints tantalizing pictures of the changing seasons.
Next, enjoy a full-day excursion to the Bavarian Alps, brought to vivid life through Richard Strauss’ splendid musical descriptions. Each section is introduced by breathtaking images from filmmaker Gregory MacGillivray’s “National Parks Adventure”, also marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. You'll also see image magnification (IMAG) of the musicians on the big screen.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for May 19 - 21. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Meet the Guest Artist Phillippe Quint here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
To Learn more about our Cover and why The Pacific Symphony Musicians are On Top of The World, click here
The Four Seasons, Op. 8
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
La primavera (Spring), RV 269
L’estate (Summer), RV 315
L’autunno (Autumn), RV 293
L’inverno (Winter), RV 297
Philippe Quint
I N T E R M I S S I O N
An Alpine Symphony, TrV 233, Op. 64
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Nacht (Night)
Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise)
Der Anstieg (The Ascent)
Eintritt in den Wald (Entering the Forest)
Wanderung neben dem Bache (Wandering near the Stream)
Am Wasserfall (At the Waterfall) Erscheinung (Apparition)
Auf blumige Wiesen (On Blooming Meadows)
Auf der Alm (On the Alpine Pasture)
Durch Dickicht und Gestrüpp auf Irrwegen (Going Astray in Thicket and Underbrush)
Auf dem Gletscher (On the Glacier)
Gefahrvolle Augenblicke (Dangerous Moments)
Auf dem Gipfel (At the Summit)
Vision (View)
Nebel steigen auf (Fog Arises)
Die Sonne verdüstert sich allmählich (The Sun Gradually Darkens)
Elegie (Elegy)
Stille vor dem Sturm (Calm Before the Storm) Gewitter und Sturm (Thunder and Storm) Sonnenuntergang (Sunset)
Ausklang (Vanishing Sound) Nacht (Night)
Special thanks to Gregory MacGillivray for allowing use of his photos of the National Parks on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service.
Image magnification and video editing provided by Jeffery Sells, Center Stage Multimedia.

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Vivaldi's The Four Seasons: Guest Violinist Philippe Quint

First on the program, The Four Seasons. Vivaldi’s beloved masterpiece paints tantalizing pictures of the changing seasons.
Next, enjoy a full-day excursion to the Bavarian Alps, brought to vivid life through Richard Strauss’ splendid musical descriptions. Each section is introduced by breathtaking images from filmmaker Gregory MacGillivray’s “National Parks Adventure”, also marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. You'll also see image magnification (IMAG) of the musicians on the big screen.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for May 19 - 21. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
To Learn more about our Cover and why the Musicians of the Pacific Symphony are On Top of the Word, click here
The Four Seasons, Op. 8
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
La primavera (Spring), RV 269
L’estate (Summer), RV 315
L’autunno (Autumn), RV 293
L’inverno (Winter), RV 297
Philippe Quint
I N T E R M I S S I O N
An Alpine Symphony, TrV 233, Op. 64
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Nacht (Night)
Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise)
Der Anstieg (The Ascent)
Eintritt in den Wald (Entering the Forest)
Wanderung neben dem Bache (Wandering near the Stream)
Am Wasserfall (At the Waterfall) Erscheinung (Apparition)
Auf blumige Wiesen (On Blooming Meadows)
Auf der Alm (On the Alpine Pasture)
Durch Dickicht und Gestrüpp auf Irrwegen (Going Astray in Thicket and Underbrush)
Auf dem Gletscher (On the Glacier)
Gefahrvolle Augenblicke (Dangerous Moments)
Auf dem Gipfel (At the Summit)
Vision (View)
Nebel steigen auf (Fog Arises)
Die Sonne verdüstert sich allmählich (The Sun Gradually Darkens)
Elegie (Elegy)
Stille vor dem Sturm (Calm Before the Storm) Gewitter und Sturm (Thunder and Storm) Sonnenuntergang (Sunset)
Ausklang (Vanishing Sound) Nacht (Night)
Special thanks to Gregory MacGillivray for allowing use of his photos of the National Parks on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service.
Image magnification and video editing provided by Jeffery Sells, Center Stage Multimedia.

Category: Music

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On Top Of The World: Pacific Symphony Musicians

One lovely spring day, three ethereal creatures made heavenly music high above Orange County.
Surrounded by staggering views, the glittering trio of Pacific Symphony musicians—Cindy Ellis, Mindy Ball and Alice Wrate—gathered at Orange Hill restaurant to pose for this program book’s cover.

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Our Musical Love Affair With The Cosmos

Roughly 100 years ago, Holst was halfway through composing what would become his most famous work, the seven movement work The Planets. Pluto wasn’t discovered until 1930, four years before the composer’s death, and Holst chose not to write a movement for Pluto. For other reasons, Earth was left out as well.

Category: Music

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Midori & The Planets: Program Notes April 28-30

Debussy’s serene piano piece, orchestrated by the legendary Leopold Stokowski. Then, Korngold’s achingly beautiful Violin Concerto (reimagined from his Oscar-winning film scores), performed by former child prodigy Midori, now a mesmerizing virtuoso. Finally, Holst’s dramatic interpretation of the cosmos. Music inspired by the galaxy itself — grand and exciting!
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Clair de Lune
Arr. Leopold Stokowski
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) Concerto in D Major for Violin and
Orchestra, Op. 35
Moderato nobile
Romance: Andante
Finale: Allegro assai vivace
Midori
Gustav Holst (1874-1934) The Planets
Mars, the Bringer of War
Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Uranus, the Magician
Neptune, the Mystic
Women of Pacific Chorale
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for April 28 - 30. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To Learn more about our Guest Conductor Bramwell Tovey, click here
Meet the Guest Artist Midori here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Midori & The Planets Guest Conductor: Bramwell Tovey

Debussy’s serene piano piece, orchestrated by the legendary Leopold Stokowski. Then, Korngold’s achingly beautiful Violin Concerto (reimagined from his Oscar-winning film scores), performed by former child prodigy Midori, now a mesmerizing virtuoso. Finally, Holst’s dramatic interpretation of the cosmos. Music inspired by the galaxy itself — grand and exciting!
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Clair de Lune
Arr. Leopold Stokowski
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) Concerto in D Major for Violin and
Orchestra, Op. 35
Moderato nobile
Romance: Andante
Finale: Allegro assai vivace
Midori
Gustav Holst (1874-1934) The Planets
Mars, the Bringer of War
Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Uranus, the Magician
Neptune, the Mystic
Women of Pacific Chorale
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for April 28 - 30. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Meet the Guest Artist Midori here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Midori & The Planets: Meet Midori - April 28-30

Debussy’s serene piano piece, orchestrated by the legendary Leopold Stokowski. Then, Korngold’s achingly beautiful Violin Concerto (reimagined from his Oscar-winning film scores), performed by former child prodigy Midori, now a mesmerizing virtuoso. Finally, Holst’s dramatic interpretation of the cosmos. Music inspired by the galaxy itself — grand and exciting!
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Clair de Lune
Arr. Leopold Stokowski
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) Concerto in D Major for Violin and
Orchestra, Op. 35
Moderato nobile
Romance: Andante
Finale: Allegro assai vivace
Midori
Gustav Holst (1874-1934) The Planets
Mars, the Bringer of War
Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Uranus, the Magician
Neptune, the Mystic
Women of Pacific Chorale
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 3 of the Program Notes for April 28 - 30.
To Learn more about our Guest Conductor, click here
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Heartstrings

Pacific Symphony joins The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders to celebrate this month-long effort to highlight the growing need for awareness of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
As part of the Symphony’s Heartstrings Music and Wellness initiative, which aims to make classical music accessible to those who may not be able to attend traditional venues, the two organizations are working together to provide positive musical experiences for families affected by autism.

Category: Music

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Paul Brady, Carrie Grover, Bob Dylan, and 'Arthur McBride'

A few years ago, I wrote an article in Folklife Center News about popular recordings inspired by AFC collection items. One of the ones I chose was Paul Brady’s version of an Irish ballad he called “Arthur McBride and the Sergeant” (see thelyrics at this link). In the article I revealed that Brady had based his version on the singing of Mrs. Carrie Grover, of Gorham, Maine, and that AFC has the only known recording of Mrs. Grover singing the song. Given recent developments, I think it’s time to expand my research and comments on “Arthur McBride,” [1] and to present Mrs. Grover’s recording to our readers.

Category: Biography

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When I Fell For Ravel

Falling in love with Ravel: this is a story of how it all began with an awkward moment at a piano concert that somehow lead to a complete obsession with the classics. Ravel’s compositions go way beyond the piano; he also composed violin and vocal music, operas, ballet, and chamber music.

Category: Music

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Rhapsody in Blue: Program Notes, April 7 - 9

The jazz connection: Gershwin married classical music to the most unique of American art forms, while Ives’ Second Symphony alludes to popular American folk tunes including “Camptown Races,” “Turkey in the Straw” and “America the Beautiful.” Between them, Ravel’s beautiful piano concerto, also heavily influenced by jazz.
Charles Ives (1874-1954) Symphony No. 2
Andante moderato
Allegro
Adagio cantabile
Lento maestoso
Allegro molto vivace
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Concerto in G Major for Piano and Orchestra
Allegramente
Adagio assai
Presto
Simone Dinnerstein, Piano
George Gershwin (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue
Simone Dinnerstein, Piano
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for April 7 - 9. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Meet the Guest Artists here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
To Learn more about our Cover and The Musicians, click here

Category: Music

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Rhapsody in Blue: Meet The Guest Artists, April 7 - 9

The jazz connection: Gershwin married classical music to the most unique of American art forms, while Ives’ Second Symphony alludes to popular American folk tunes including “Camptown Races,” “Turkey in the Straw” and “America the Beautiful.” Between them, Ravel’s beautiful piano concerto, also heavily influenced by jazz.
Charles Ives (1874-1954) Symphony No. 2
Andante moderato
Allegro
Adagio cantabile
Lento maestoso
Allegro molto vivace
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Concerto in G Major for Piano and Orchestra
Allegramente
Adagio assai
Presto
Simone Dinnerstein, Piano
George Gershwin (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue
Simone Dinnerstein, Piano
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for April 7 - 9. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
About The Musicians, click here

Category: Music

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Pacific Symphony Musicians: Integral To The Cultural Landscape

Pacific Symphony musicians recognize the value of being out in and a part of the Orange County community. Whether they are performing or hanging out, they enjoy the beauty and diversity of Orange County.
Here you'll meet Paul Zibits, horn player, Jeanne Skrocki, the Symphony’s assistant concertmaster, and Paul Zibits, who plays double-bass.
This is Part 3 of the Program Notes for April 7 - 9.
Meet the Artists here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Tchaikovsky’s Fifth: Program Notes Mar 10 - 12

Featuring sumptuous tone and melodic mastery, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony culminates in a triumphant final movement. It is led by Manuel López-Gómez, one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Venezuela’s nternationally renowned “El Sistema” music program. Before that, the irresistible rhythms of Spain!
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman included.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for March 10 - 12. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Meet the Artists here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Tchaikovsky’s Fifth: About The Artists, Mar 10 - 12

Featuring sumptuous tone and melodic mastery, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony culminates in a triumphant final movement. It is led by Manuel López-Gómez, one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Venezuela’s internationally renowned “El Sistema” music program. Before that, the irresistible rhythms of Spain!
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for March 10-12.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Category: Music

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Turandot - Program Notes - Feb. 18, 20, 23, 2016

Puccini’s spectacular masterpiece about a bloodthirsty princess whose icy, vengeful heart softens as she comes to know true love. The lyrical and sweeping score is filled with treasures including its signature aria “Nessun Dorma,” which has been used in many Hollywood scores and as the theme for BBC’s World Cup television coverage.
This concert is part of Pacific Symphony's "Opera Initiative", now in its fifth season.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for February 18 - 23. You’ll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Meet the Artists here To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here. Learn about the 2016 Lantern Festival here.
Alan Chapman introduces the music of Puccini's epic fairy tale, the opera "Turandot," in this Podcast.
Program Note Annotator
Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor-in-chief for The Santa Fe Opera.

Category: Music

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Turandot - Meet the Artists! Feb. 18, 20, 23, 2016

Puccini’s spectacular masterpiece about a bloodthirsty princess whose icy, vengeful heart softens as she comes to know true love. The lyrical and sweeping score is filled with treasures including its signature aria “Nessun Dorma,” which has been used in many Hollywood scores and as the theme for BBC’s World Cup television coverage.
This concert is part of Pacific Symphony's "Opera Initiative", now in its fifth season.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for February 18 - 23. You’ll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here
Learn about the 2016 Lantern Festival here.
Alan Chapman introduces the music of Puccini's epic fairy tale, the opera "Turandot," in this Podcast.
Program Note Annotator
Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor-in-chief for The Santa Fe Opera.

Category: Music

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2016 Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival, which can be traced back 2,000 years, takes place 15 days after the Lunar New Year—on the night of the first full moon in the Chinese calendar—and marks the return of spring, representing the reunion of family. The act of lighting and appreciating lanterns is a way for people to let go of the burdens of their old selves and express their best wishes for themselves and their families for the future.
Alan Chapman introduces the music of Puccini's epic fairy tale, the opera "Turandot," in this Podcast.

Category: Music

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Organ Splendor Program Notes, Feb. 4-6

Two of the world’s finest organists deliver music filled with sublime beauty, luminous textures and sacred spirit. From the glory of “Pilgrim’s Hymn” — performed at funerals for Presidents Ford and Reagan — to the poetry of “Lux Aeterna,” enjoy the splendor of the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ.
Join us for a Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m. on the Orchestra level.
This concert is part of Pacific Symphony’s American Composer Festival 2016, highlighting works for the organ. Learn more about the Gillespie Concert Organ here, and Meet the Artists here. To Learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for February 4 - 6. You’ll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here
Program Note Annotator
Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor-in-chief for The Santa Fe Opera.

Category: Music

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William J. Gillespie Concert Organ

Rising dramatically behind the performance platform, the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ is a visual focal point of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The organ was made possible by a generous gift of William J. Gillespie.

Category: Music

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Pacific Chorale

Founded in 1968, Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming, and influential education programs. Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Under the inspired guidance of Artistic Director John Alexander, Pacific Chorale has infused an Old World art form with California’s hallmark innovation and cultural independence.

Category: Music

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Organ Splendor: About The Artists, Feb 4-6

Learn more about the composer Wayne Oquin, Organists Paul Jacobs and Christoph Bull, and the Artistic Director of the Pacific Chorale, John Alexander. For complete Program Notes for this concert, please click here.

Category: Music

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Exploring Instruments: Instrument Makers

Instrument makers have ranged from the individual who occasionally makes instruments through to the mass production of factories. The most highly prized instruments have generally come from small businesses, typically with a proprietor (who would give his name to the firm), a small number of skilled employees and one or two apprentices.
MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums, which came together for a European Commission funded project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The aim of the consortium is now to become the single access point for information on public collections of musical instruments for the entire world.

Category: Music

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A New Braille Music Title, Very Old Twisted Roots

In 1863, the Imperial Institute for the Young Blind in Paris published a “Collection of Organ Pieces” —“for the special use of students at the Institute.” These pieces were all composed by professors of music at the Institute, all of whom had been students there also. They are Gabriel Gauthier, Marius Gueit, Victor Paul, and Julien Héry.

Category: Music

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The Story Behind David Bowie’s Iconic Eyes

“At the centre of it all, your eyes, your eyes …”
Many aspects of the life and incredible achievements of David Bowie will be considered in the weeks and months ahead following the news of his death. Yet the cryptic lyric above from the lead single on David Bowie’s new album is a reminder that the unusual appearance of his eyes was a key part of the singer’s star persona.

Category: Music

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Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne”

As the Old Year turns to the New Year, thousands of people around the world will sing along to “Auld Lang Syne,” a Scottish song that has come to be firmly associated with New Year’s celebrations. The song has a fascinating history, and we’re lucky at the Library of Congress to have several unique items relating to this global favorite, including what just may be Burns’s original, and very unusual, words to the song.

Category: Music

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Lukenbach, Texas

In 1977 in the midst of the glory days of bands like Supertramp, Kansas, Eagles, Rush, Lynard Skynard, Fleetwood Mac, and Santana and Pink Floyd, a catchy song started being played everywhere that served as a countrified counterpoint. Waylon Jennings rendition of Luckenbach, Texas was that song. Out of that experience, I have maintained a curiosity about the namesake of the song, and decided to go have a look. Soundtrack included...!

Category: Travel

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What Musical Taste Says About Your Personality

We’re exposed to music for nearly 20% of our waking lives. But much of our musical experience seems to be a mystery. Why does some music bring us to tears while other pieces make us dance? Why is it that the music that we like can make others agitated? And why do some people seem to have a natural ability to play music while others have difficulty carrying a tune? Science is beginning to show that these individual differences are not just random but are, in part, due to people’s personalities.

Category: Music

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Spring Festival Overture By Li Huanzhi

The Spring Festival Overture is a work of celebration, new beginnings and the propitiation of good luck. In fact, “spring festival” is the English translation for the Chinese term signifying the blowout more familiar to us as “Chinese New Year,” with its colorful parades and spectacular dragons snaking through the streets of Asian-American communities.
This is Part 1 of the Program Notes for November 12-14. You’ll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here
Program Note Annotator
Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor-in-chief for The Santa Fe Opera.

Category: Music

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Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor by Max Bruch

Max Bruch’s gift for the ardently voiced melody and his feeling for the violin have made him perhaps the least familiar name among composers of the most cherished standard-rep concertos. But among audiences and players alike, his Violin Concerto No. 1 is one of the most successful works in the violin repertory. Why then did Bruch, who wrote more than 200 well- crafted pieces in the German Romantic style, snarl irritably at the success of this one?
You'll also meet the Guest Artist, Dan Zhu
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for November 12-14. To begin with Part 1, click here
To Learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here
Program Note Annotator
Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor-in-chief for The Santa Fe Opera.

Category: Music

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Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, “From the New World”

Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, “From the New World” by Antonin Dvořák
Contemporary newspaper accounts of the premiere, which took place before Christmas of 1893 at Carnegie Hall, evoke a scene of clamorous tribute that was repeated again and again. “There was no getting out of it,” Dvořák said in describing the ovation to his publisher, “and I had to show myself willy-nilly.” Yet despite its inescapable nickname, this was not an “American” symphony, but rather a symphony “from the New World.”
This is Part 3 of the Program Notes for November 12-14. For Part 1, click here
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here
Program Note Annotator
Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor-in-chief for The Santa Fe Opera.

Category: Music

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Meet The Guest Conductor: En Shao

Maestro Shao is currently chief conductor of the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the China National Symphony Orchestra and music director and principal conductor of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra.
This is Part 4 of the Program Notes for November 12-14. For Part 1, click here
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here
Program Note Annotator
Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor-in-chief for The Santa Fe Opera.

Category: Music

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Meet The Music Director: Carl St.Clair

In 2015-16, Music Director Carl St.Clair celebrates his 26th season with Pacific Symphony.
He is one of the longest tenured conductors of the major American orchestras. St.Clair’s lengthy history solidifies the strong relationship he has forged with the musicians and the community. His continuing role also lends stability to the organization and continuity to his vision for the Symphony’s future. Few orchestras can claim such rapid artistic development as Pacific Symphony—the largest orchestra formed in the United States in the last 50 years—due in large part to St.Clair’s leadership.

Category: Music

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The Fate of Metalheads

Adults often worry about adolescents who identify with fringe-style cultures, whether it’s emo, hip-hop or juggalos. But every generation has its own set of musical cliques that draw millions of teenage fans. In the 1980s, heavy metal – a style of music characterized by blistering guitar solos and soaring vocals – was, by some measures, the most popular musical genre.

Category: Music

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Erich Leinsdorf Meets Janis Joplin

The following post has been written by Kevin McBrien, one of 36 college students participating in the Library of Congress 2015 Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program.

Category: Music

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Lady Day on Swing Street: Part II

Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and the jazz scene in New York City: clubs of a bygone era.

Category: Music

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Lady Day on Swing Street: Part I

Tracing the history of Billie Holiday and NYC nightlife through the Harlem Renaissance to Café Society.

Category: Music

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The Ghost Writer of the “Seaman’s Ghost”

As part of the Junior Fellows program, I have had the opportunity to catalog and research different sheet music collections. I encountered quite an interesting item while working on the Early American Sheet Music collection: a manuscript of a song “The Shipwrecked Seaman’s Ghost” from “The Pirates” (an opera), credited to English composer Stephen Storace.

Category: Music

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Captain Fantastic

“. . . Captain Fantastic raised and regimented hardly a hero / just someone his mother might know.” - Bernie Taupin
1975 was my first year of college, like most teens music was my world. The ideals of our small midwestern town of Cuba, Illinois was being reshaped by a record, at least it was for me.
For those who don't remember, this was the year the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was released; music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin.

Category: Music

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Musical Training Can Accelerate Brain Development and Help with Literacy Skills

The notion that musical training can have positive effects on cognitive functions other than music has long been a source of interest. Research first emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Standardized assessments of IQ and musical ability suggested the two were correlated – and it was thought that participation in musical training could improve IQ. Recently, research has shifted focus from effects on musical training on global intelligence and instead focuses on benefits to specific skills and tasks in individuals.

Category: Music

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Out of the Depths: Claudio Monteverdi

Born May 15, 1567, Claudio Monteverdi most likely had no idea how far his idea of putting words to music and staging would go to the rich, extravagant productions seen in opera today. Maybe his marriage to a court singer in 1599, Claudia de Cattaneis, encouraged him to tackle a Greek myth of finding love only to give in to temptation and lose it for eternity.

Category: Music

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Braille Music Scores Provide Lifeline to Blind Musicians

The music collections at NLS represent the world’s largest source of material for visually impaired musicians and music lovers – more than 30,000 braille transcriptions of musical scores and instructional texts; large-print scores, librettos, reference works and biographies; instructional recordings in music theory, appreciation and performance; and talking books and magazines. Each year, the Music Section fills between 2,500 and 3,000 requests from a wide range of people who suffer from blindness or low vision – professional players seeking scores to perform, blind students or teachers in need of instructional material, or aficionados who just want a good book about a favorite musician. Very few sources exist around the world for braille musical scores and instructional texts, says John Hanson, head of the Music Section.

Category: Music

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How BB King’s Radio Days Shaped His Music & Career

BB King is remembered as one of the most important artists in the history of blues, with a long career that spanned seven decades and included classic hits such as Three O’Clock Blues (1951), The Thrill is Gone (1969) and 1989’s When Love Comes to Town (recorded with U2). Widely considered one of the most influential guitarists of the 20th century, he became, in his later years, a celebrated icon of blues authenticity. Had it not been for his early days in radio, however, things might have turned out differently for a young Riley King.

Category: Music

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Meet The Carillonneur Of The Capitol

Capitol Hill, with its rich history and iconic buildings, allows for an eclectic mix of professions. Jim Saenger, the Capitol’s Carillonneur, has perhaps one of the most unique and least visible jobs on the Hill. His contractual agreement with the Architect of the Capitol, directed by the 1963 Senate Concurrent Resolution 25, states that he must annually play the Taft Carillon on July Fourth at 2 p.m. His recent interview with Erin Nelson, writer/editor for the Architect of the Capitol, provided a glimpse into his life as the Capitol’s Carillonneur and an education on the carillon itself.

Category: Music

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What To Know Before Watching Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

The new documentary Montage of Heck takes a fresh look at the life and career of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, who, while only in the pop limelight for a shade over two years, remains one of the most iconic figures in rock-music history. In an effort to correct some of the myths that surround Cobain, director Brett Morgen opens a window onto Kurt’s private world, providing at times intimate glimpses of the rock star’s personal life. But to better understand Kurt Cobain and his songs, it’s important to realize that there are at least three Kurts to consider.

Category: Music

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Discover 3 Revolutions of American Pop

In modern societies, cultural change seems ceaseless. The flux of fashion is especially obvious for popular music. While much has been written about the origin and evolution of pop, most claims about its history are anecdotal rather than scientific in nature. To rectify this, we investigate the US Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Using music information retrieval and text-mining tools, we analyze the musical properties of approximately 17,000 recordings that appeared in the charts and demonstrate quantitative trends in their harmonic and timbral properties.

Category: Music

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U2’s Continuing Quest for Authenticity

On the surface, it may seem as though U2 is suddenly seeking a return to the simpler times of its early years, both in their sound and their performances. But for those who have followed the band’s career closely, talk of returning to “roots” of some kind when a new record is released is nothing new for U2. If anything, it reveals the well-worn strategy of a band that seeks to remain relevant even as it ages – a pattern of alternating between radical experimentation and mining the myth of authenticity.

Category: Music

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Brain & Music: Evidence for Musical Dyslexia

Music education in the western world often emphasizes musical literacy, the ability to read musical notation fluently. But this is not always an easy task – even for professional musicians. Which raises the question: Is there such a thing as musical dyslexia? Dyslexia is a learning disability that occurs when the brain is unable to process written words, even when the person has had proper training in reading. Researchers debate the underlying causes and treatments, but the predominant theory is that people with dyslexia have a problem with phonological processing – the ability to see a symbol (a letter or a phoneme) and relate it to speech sounds. Dyslexia is difficult to diagnose, but it is thought to occur in up to 10% of the population.

Category: Music

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Piano Tuning & A Piano Tuner

Someone once said that you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish. While we do not dispute the wisdom of that remark, we also have a further interest in and resources for piano tuning. The topic, the practice, the history, etc., of piano tuning has a solid place in circles like ours.
There is a Frenchman that we need to know: Claude Montal (1800-1865). 2015 is the 150th anniversary of his death, which is being celebrated both here and abroad. Why? In short, because Montal wrote the first comprehensive text on tuning and repairing the piano.

Category: Music

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Braille Music for the 21st Century

Over the past 10 years, technology has grown in unimaginable ways. We can download nearly anything at the click of a mouse, we can instantaneously talk to our friends overseas through our computers, and we can carry around a whole world’s wealth of knowledge in a device the size of a deck of cards. Fortunately, this exponential growth of technology has also impacted braille production. Today, blind individuals can access braille in electronic format: a file that can be read on a refreshable braille display, something like a braille laptop, or be sent to an embosser for printing.

Category: Music

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The Songs of America: ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’

It is a long cultural journey from President Teddy Roosevelt to pop singer Anne Murray to art house film director Peter Greenaway. But this is just one of the paths you can take using the new web presentation, The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America, as a starting point.

Category: History

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Rolling Stones' 1st US Hit Revealed Eclectic Style

In the first weeks of 1964, the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” raced up the US charts, giving the Liverpool band its first American hit single and helping to launch the British invasion. At around the same time, the Rolling Stones were enjoying a number-three hit in the UK with “Not Fade Away,” as well as a number-one British EP. The Stones tried – but couldn’t immediately replicate – the Beatles' stateside success, lagging behind by more than a year. The decisive breakthrough for Mick, Keith and company came with the release of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in June of 1965. The song rocketed to the top of the US charts, partly fueled by claims that the lyrics referred to sexual frustration.

Category: Music

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Blind Musical Ensembles

Recently, I came across an article about an Egyptian orchestra made up solely of blind women musicians. The group has been active since the 1960s, branching out from the Al Nour Wal Amal Association – Al Nour Wal Amal, meaning “Light and Hope.” Stories about the group have been picked up by The New Yorker and National Public Radio (NPR). The Al Nour Wal Amal organization, and consequently its orchestra, stands apart in its mission, which is to protect the human rights of the women it embraces. However, the concept of completely blind and visually impaired performance groups are more common than one may think.

Category: Music

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All that Jazz

Jazz’s greatest drummer once earned D’s in music in school, once wrote an essay entitled “I Hate Jazz” and once even launched a venture to break into the soft-drink market. The Library of Congress announced the acquisition of the papers of Max Roach, the groundbreaking drummer who helped birth bebop, the adventurous musician who never stopped innovating, the educator who inspired new generations and the civil-rights activist who insisted on freedom now.

Category: Music

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Music, Language, and the Brain

Have you ever thought about everything that goes into playing music or speaking two languages? Musicians for example need to listen to themselves and others as they play, use this sensory information to call up learned actions, decide what is important and what isn’t for this specific moment, continuously integrate these decisions into their playing, and sync up with the players around them. Likewise, someone who is bilingual must decide based on context which language to use, and since both languages will be fairly automatic, suppress one while recalling and speaking the other, all while continuously modifying their behavior based on their interactions with another listener/speaker.

Category: Science

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Baseball at the Opera House

Speaking at his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976, Cleveland pitcher Bob Lemon (1920-2000) told of being introduced to the game (and his future team) when only a few weeks old. But Lemon was born before television and even before the first baseball game on radio so his mother took him to ‘watch’ the World Series at the Redlands (California) Opera House. Fans had already been watching live baseball games remotely at opera houses for more than 35 years. How on earth did that work?!

Inside Adams Library of Congress

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Meet Strange Talk

Meet the band

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Franz Liszt: Forgotten Manuscripts

Prompted by the occasion of what would have been Franz Liszt’s 203rd birthday, David Plylar bring to your attention three “forgotten” manuscripts held at the Library of Congress. The work is a nostalgic reminiscence of the earlier Romance, and offers a beautiful, personal reflection on times past. It is highly recommended that pianists who only know the Chopin waltzes should check out this wonderful set of works, in addition to the last three Mephisto Waltzes.

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Brahms and Tchaikovsky: Linking The Past

Brahms and Tchaikovsky shared a birthday. While the composers may not have cared much for one another, at this great historical remove we can appreciate the music of both men without worrying about offending the other camp.
It did not take too long to realize that a direct link was not likely; however, while the Library of Congress’ Brahms collection is sizeable, we do not have as many documents in Tchaikovsky’s hand. Other paths could have been taken, but this at least introduces a few lesser-known items from the Library’s collection.

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The Magic of Music: Tension and Release

Just as certain colors can generate definite physical and psychological changes in a person, so can tones and combinations of tones. Depending on the nature and quality of these tones and how they correlate with the substance present in a given individual, the influence brought into the subconscious mind, may be purifying or contaminating, creative or destructive. And so a certain artistry in handling music and sound of all kinds may be developed, not for the purpose of manipulating moods and human behavior but as a natural complement to the increasing artistry with which we handle everything that appears in our worlds.

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Exploring Instruments: Celebrity Instruments

With very few exceptions, musical instruments never bear the mark of their owner, even if well-known. From the nineteenth century, however, with the appearance of the cult of the virtuoso artist, a fetishistic value was given to any objects these individuals had owned, thus materialising the artist’s aura. This trend was developed and amplified in the popular music of the twentieth century and the instruments of rock bands, for example, are now sought as iconic objects. The few celebrity instruments we know provide us with significant examples of the sonority and the opportunities they could offer in their time.

MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums, which came together for a European Commission funded project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The aim of the consortium is now to become the single access point for information on public collections of musical instruments for the entire world.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Exploring Instruments: Instrument Design

Throughout their history musical instruments have combined their role of sound-producing tools with symbolic and decorative functions, both social and religious. Precious materials, elaborate shapes and decorations have been used in all cultures at different times to confer special nobility on to individual instruments, to make them attractive to collectors or travellers, or sometimes to demonstrate the outstanding skills of the maker while not necessarily serving any specific musical purpose.

MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums, which came together for a European Commission funded project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The aim of the consortium is now to become the single access point for information on public collections of musical instruments for the entire world.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Exploring Instruments: Creatures

Musical instruments in the shape of creatures have been produced for many centuries. Fish, snakes, birds, mythical beasts and, of course, human beings are all reflected in the various forms and give musical instruments a lively, sometimes mysterious or even frightening expression. There are many reasons for these unusual designs, not just aesthetic preferences or trend!

MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums, which came together for a European Commission funded project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The aim of the consortium is now to become the single access point for information on public collections of musical instruments for the entire world.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Exploring Instruments: Experimental Instruments

The art of the instrument maker has always relied on a subtle alliance between respect for tradition and the need for experimentation. Whether related to ergonomics, accuracy of inntonation, dynamics or variety of timbre, research has shaped musical instruments over time, adapting them to the evolution of taste, the imagination of composers and changes in playing style.

MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums, which came together for a European Commission funded project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The aim of the consortium is now to become the single access point for information on public collections of musical instruments for the entire world.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Category: Music

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Exploring Instruments: Rites & Cultures

All over the world musical instruments are an essential part of cultural life; as well as making music, they serve specific purposes related to non musical contexts. In many religious rituals, for instance, musical instruments are indispensable. Made from solid material they enable man to touch the immaterial. This section will give a few examples to illustrate the important role that musical instruments play in religious and agricultural ceremonies, in the rites of the human lifecycle.

MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums, which came together for a European Commission funded project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The aim of the consortium is now to become the single access point for information on public collections of musical instruments for the entire world.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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La bohème, Puccini and Synopsis

First love….nothing is more all-consuming, turbulent, passionate and heartbreaking.
In this NoteStream, we'll learn more about Puccini and the origins of La bohème, examine the Libretto and its source, and learn more about the structure of the music. The English Synopsis is also included.
Join us as we traverse the lives of a band of Bohemian friends and a love affair between a young poet and his mistress whose love is so intense it is unbearable to be apart, yet impossible to be together. La bohème will mirror your own memories of young love and just starting out in life…the struggles, the joy and the good friends who got you through.

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Tosca - The Music and Synopsis

Political intrigue, jealousy, passion, love, and heartbreaking cruelty are all brought to brilliant and tragic life in Puccini's eternal classic.
In this NoteStream, we'll explore the fundamental structure and musical motives employed to great effect. Puccini was a composer who had an incredible gift for scene setting, or 'painting a picture' in order to achieve the perfect sonic environment for the dramatic situations provided by his librettists. Learn more about his tone-painting, the use of a form of Leitmotif, and the melodic shape of this beloved opera. The full Synopsis is also included.
For further exploration of the Libretto, the sites of the opera and the Battle of Marengo, please see Tosca: Historical Foundation.

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Tosca - Historical Foundation

Political intrigue, jealousy, passion, love, and heartbreaking cruelty are all brought to brilliant and tragic life in Puccini's eternal classic Tosca. In this NoteStream, we'll explore the historical significance of the sites used in each scene, and compare the original staging for Victorien Sardou's La Tosca, the play written as a star vehicle for the great actress Sarah Bernhardt. The Battle of Marengo, the historical event that drives much of the drama onstage, will also be illuminated.

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Joshua Bell Live - Sep 25-27

Pacific Symphony launches Music Director Carl St.Clair’s landmark 25th-anniversary “season of giants” with classical music superstar, violinist Joshua Bell, plus two orchestral showpieces, a West Coast premiere and festivities fit for the grand occasion. Get an inside look at what to expect!

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Chopin Concerto No. 1: Context and Composition

The Paris of Frédéric Chopin outshone Paris between the wars as a crucible of creative enterprise. Creating, enjoying and judging art were what Paris was about. This was the city of Franz Liszt, who invented modern musical superstardom, and of Hector Berlioz and Gioacchino Rossini, who retired as a celebrity composer to become a celebrity gourmand.
In Chopin’s case we have both the glitter and the unique aesthetic qualities of the composer who wrote for the piano as no one else ever would. No other great classical composer is identified so closely with a single instrument; every work that Chopin composed features the piano, and the concertos are his largest-scale works that engage the orchestra to accompany it.

Included are listening notes and sound clips.

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Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Over one hundred years ago, on the 2nd of May, 1908, the United States Copyright Office received two copies of a new song titled Take Me Out to the Ball Game, submitted by composer Albert von Tilzer and lyricist Jack Norworth. This musical work, affectionately referred to over the century as the "other" national anthem, baseball's national anthem, has become the grand-slam of all baseball songs. It has been ranked in survey polls as one of the top ten songs of the twentieth century and is second only to "Happy Birthday" and "The Star Spangled Banner" as the most easily recognized songs in America.
Learn more about the inside history of this favorite!

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Cathedrals of Sound

The Symphony once again builds “Cathedrals of Sound” Oct. 23-25. Along with the return of the Norbertine Fathers and Jacobs, the concert features Ottorino Respighi’s Church Windows (1926), all as contextual setting for a performance of Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. Joining Pacific Symphony for the Requiem will be the Pacific Chorale, under the direction of John Alexander.
“This program is close to All Souls Day,” says St.Clair, “and I’m thinking about that. The Requiem is a piece I really love, and the Chorale loves it as well. They recently performed it in the church where Duruflé was organist, so it’s a work close to them and to me, and it’s a wonderful way of celebrating our 25 years together.”
The Requiem is written with a significant part for organ, to be handled by Symphony favorite Paul Jacobs, navigating his way through the score on the massive and imposing William J. Gillespie Concert Organ.
“It’s important that we feature the organ this season,” says St.Clair. “William Gillespie, whose name is on the organ, has meant so much to us and this is a way of honoring him and featuring Paul who inaugurated the organ a few years back.
“The Duruflé is a little overshadowed by other large-scale sacred works—Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and C Major Mass, Brahms’ Requiem, the Verdi Requiem, all the various requiems we hear—but what I enjoy about Duruflé is that instead of having this fast and overwhelmingly powerful “Dies Irae,” the center of the Requiem is the “Pie Jesu,” the most intimate moment instead of the loudest and most powerful. It has power but a different kind of power. It ends where I like to think is paradise, so it’s going to be a very special moment for me. And my wife’s birthday is on the Thursday of that week, which is nice. She’ll know where I am.”

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