The Three Johns

“It would be nice to hear someone say, ‘Look at that gas station in the moonlight. It’s pure John Adams.’ ” — John Adams, composer of  Nixon in China. [1] New Yorker music critic Alex Ross recently blogged about two different composers named John Adams, distinguished by their middle names of Luther and Coolidge. This common […]

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 […]

Tweeting Our Own Flute

This post is adapted from notes by Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, Exhibition Curator, Music Division. The exhibition As the Old Sing, So the Young Twitter takes its inspiration from the musical and verbal relationship between birds and flutes.  In the often archaic definition of words like “twitter,” “chatter,” “record,” and “warble” are links between birdsong and human music […]

Brush up your Shakespeare

In the Muse has regularly featured photographs from the William P. Gottlieb Collection when commemorating the birthdays of jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Django Reinhardt, and Ben Webster. But that’s not all that’s in the collection. Today, the observed birthday of William Shakespeare, enjoy this photograph, which originally appeared in Down Beat magazine in 1947 […]

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 […]

Everybody’s Heard About the Bird

If you missed the news over on the Library of Congress Blog, the Library announced that they will digitally archive the public record of the latest iteration of the tin-can and wire:  Twitter. While we in the Music Division are still holding on to our telephone machines and pedalling to work on our velocipedes, this […]