The Latest Posts From Our Authors

  • Why Are Conductors Exempt From Wearing Masks Onstage?
    If you’ve been watching any of the early efforts from orchestras experimenting with socially distanced concerts, you’ve probably noticed that on-stage musicians are wearing masks, even wind players when they aren’t actively playing....
  • The Various Paths Of COVID Era Bargaining
    As shutdowns continue, orchestras with regularly scheduled collective bargaining agreement (CBA) renewals are finding themselves thrust into bargaining during less than ideal conditions. Add those with need reopen existing CBAs into the mix and we...

  • Merit Can Be More Easily Inherited Than Earned
    There was an article on San Francisco Classical Voice website on September 1 about racism in classical music titled “The Last Water Fountain: The Struggle Against Systemic Racism in Classical Music.” The last water fountain phrase was coi...
  • Cirque Got Back In The Air In China
    Many have probably heard about the Broadway productions in South Korea which only experienced a brief shutdown thanks to the swift and fairly comprehensive measures the government and productions put in place to combat Covid-19. Come to find out, the...

  • Orchestra Etiquette in a Covid Era
    As many orchestras begin returning to the stage, here are a few etiquette guidelines to think about: Do not complain on social media about wearing a mask Everyone knows they are difficult to breathe in, cause acne, hard to perform in, and uncomfortab...
  • Reach Out, Listen In
    When Arts Capacity first started the interactive recital idea several years ago for prison concerts, it was to foster a more engaging and inclusive way of offering a musical performance. Going into the prisons, we knew that this recital environment w...

  • The Firing of Garrett McQueen
    I want to start this blog by recounting a story, and one that admittedly doesn’t portray me in the greatest possible light.  In the winter of 2018, I was made aware of a national hosting opportunity at APM/PRI’s Classical 24.  It wasn&#...
  • A Few Thoughts on Beethoven@250
    Just a quick ramble here… My social media feeds have been inundated with Beethoven over the past several months, which is understandable given that the Big Man’s 250th birthday is coming up this December.  I’m seeing ads for concer...

  • Pandemic Quotes
    People say weird stuff during a pandemic. You read them here first. Or probably not. Great! It’s probably just a few weeks off from the orchestra. No way they will cancel next season.  I thought PPP was a virus. Wait, we don’t get paid? For how ...
  • A Pandemic Survey
    Like many musicians now, I’m incredibly busy with important issues like waking up, etc. So about a week ago I asked some friends (musicians or not) how they were spending their quarantine time, or what their current projects/goals were. Apologi...

  • Incredibly Useful Exercises for Double Bass – an overview
    The way that Dennis Whittaker approaches  the bass resonates so strongly with me.  Maybe it’s our shared background and similar pedagogical influences.  Regardless, there’s something in the way he lays things out that makes...
  • Minor Arpeggios – getting started
    We’re continuing our beginner bass series here with an introduction to minor arpeggios. Last week, we dug into the potentially thorny topic of chromatic scales and a few methods I’ve used to get students started with these. We’ve also recently ...

  • Please Don’t Ignore Me! Rethinking How We Design For Attention
    In an age where arts organizations are learning how to re-engage patrons with remote activity, it never hurts to reexamine what we take for granted. To that end, there’s a fantastic article by Victor Yocco at SmashingMagazine.com that provides ...
  • Yes, People Will Pay For Digital Content
    There is a lot of talk about whether patrons will pay for digital content. I’ve always been (even pre-pandemic) in the camp that people will pay for great content. There is data coming out which shows definitively that people are indeed willing...

  • Ristretto!
    I got back on Sunday evening from four beautiful days in Provence - with the Ristretto Summer Academy, as a spectator only I should add! And here they all are above, after the Saturday night concert, the result of seven...
  • Provence
    I am sitting in the shade where the temperature is 34 - in the delightful Hotel Notre-Dame de Lumières. I am here for just four days to join Errol and Susie Girdlestone at the Ristretto Summer Academy. This place is...


Retired Blogs

Although these blog no longer generate new content, their complete article archives will be made available indefinitely.

SticksandDrones

  • GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM
    Well, it’s happened. You’ve squandered another perfectly good practice session by reading this blog. The good news is that it’s the last time you’re going to be able to blame me for missing that F sharp 9 diminished arpeggio,...
  • CODA. MY LAST POST…FOR NOW
    The height of your success is determined by the depth of your foundation.. To wrap up what has been a fantastic opportunity to explore ideas, to have heated and deep discussions and some real fun, I first have to thank Drew McManus (Adaptistration) f...

Lynn Harrell

  • Thank you, Henri.
    Henri Dutilleux has died. His work as a musician and composer is, and like Stravinsky, will remain a pinnacle of accomplishment from our time; and given how long his creativity lasted, it is fair to say his achievements span multiple generations. I h...
  • Remembering Janos
    Sometimes we are caught unawares just how much someone meant to us over the years. While I intended to use a recent opportunity to offer tribute to the great Janos Starker after a performance with the Detroit Symphony this last weekend, it was during...

Who's Your Audience?

  • Opera Orchestras in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Working List
    Anyone in the Classical Music Industry, or anyone connected to folks in the industry, has likely seen this widely-read article by classical tenor Zach Finkelstein on their social media newsfeeds. In a time when future paychecks for many in the opera ...
  • Pausing for a Brief Intermission
    Happy Monday, Dear Reader! Just a quick note to say I’ve decided to take a short break from posting here. No doubt 2019 will bring plenty to talk about, but for now I’m going to put my blogging on the back-burner. I look forward to retur...

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