Great Conversations in Music

This week marks the birthday of two of the participants in Great Conversations in Music, a series of interviews hosted by Eugene Istomin (1925-2003). Video clips from the entire series can be viewed on the Performing Arts Encyclopedia, and are organized by The Pianists,  The Composers,  Chamber Music,  The Virtuosos, and The Conductors. One of those conductors […]

Jazz in the Spring: Han Bennink

Next Monday, April 26th, the Mary Pickford Theater will screen Jellie Dekker’s Han Bennink: Hazentijd (2009),  the last in the film series Jazz in the Spring curated by Larry Appelbaum. Dutch Drummer and visual artist Han Bennink, who celebrated his 68th birthday on April 17th, is the subject of this stylized documentary, which follows Bennink’s […]

Dexter Gordon

“Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people.”  Those are the words of tenor saxophone great Dexter Gordon, born in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 1923. Gordon performed with Lionel Hampton’s and Louis Armstrong’s bands in the 1940s, and […]

What do Dmitri Shostakovich, John Zorn, and fur accessories have in common?

Thanks to Tomas Hernandez, Senior Music Producer in the Music Division, for assistance with this post. Next Friday, April 16th,  the Coolidge Auditorium hosts the Alexander String Quartet and the Afiara String Quartet in a program that practically defines eclecticism.  Free tickets for this must-see event are still available, with a nominal service charge,  from Ticketmaster. […]

Happy Easter

The glorious weather we’re having in Washington gives us much to celebrate in both the secular and spiritual realms. See Easter hymns from the Coptic tradition in Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant & Hymnody in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Remember Passover with the Yiddish play,  The mother of the world, or, Children come home in The American […]

Laughter is the best Music

“Hardly had the first song been composed before someone invented singing it out of tune. ” — Victor Borge, My Favorite Comedies in Music This April Fool’s Day, before asking your chum if she’d like to hear your musical henway,  read  what Leonard Bernstein said about Humor in Music in a script for one of […]