Music & Culture

Classical Music Posts

Passing The Baton: Florence Price And Margaret Bonds

The early 20th century presented a series of uphill battles for women in music. For woman of color, they scaled mountains to compose, play and share their voices. It was a series of old locked doors, blatant racism and intolerance. While many in the white, male-dominated  music community  turned backs, refusing to listen, or even attempted to stop them before they could start , Florence Price and her student Margaret Bonds supported *each other* in tearing down doors and making history. 

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Passing The Baton: Oboist And WSU Professor Of Music Dr. Keri McCarthy

Music is a tough business, but a diverse one. Not everyone can take center stage in the concert hall. At Washington State University, Dr. Keri McCarthy is one of the professors encouraging her students to think about their future roles in society as musicians– as music consumers, creators, and educators — by looking to the past.

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Johannes Brahms (left) was noticeably moved when he heard Antonin Dvorak's (right) music for the first time. CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Passing The Baton: Brahms And Dvorak

Was Johannes Brahms as sweet and comforting as the lullaby that bears his name? Actually, as conductor Manfred Honeck told the New York Times, “There was nothing cozy about Brahms.” He never had students in the formal sense. Brahms’s manner was described as “not encouraging,” when younger composers would beg for his attentions. But Antonin Dvorak didn’t have to beg.

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Passing The Baton: Bernstein To Alsop

Many of us admire our musical idols from afar – maybe through keepsakes like concert ticket stubs, autographs or posters taped to our walls. Marin Alsop had two posters up in her New York City bedroom growing up – one of the Beatles and the other of the man who inspired her to become a conductor – Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein ended up becoming more than the man on her poster – her biggest hero became her mentor, teaching her how to be the “messenger of the composer” and passing along his gifts for storytelling. 

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Antonio Salieri, left, to Victor Borge, passing the baton down a line of a century of master keyboardists. CREDIT: via Wikamedia Commons

Passing The Baton: A Century Of Keyboardists From Salieri To Borge

A Venetian with a passion for books and sugar, brought to Vienna at age 15 by a kindly patron. A Hungarian steeped in Roma music and religion. A native of a working-class neighborhood in Glasgow, appointed a church organist at the age of 10. A member of a highly cultured Jewish family in Copenhagen. Four very different personalities–Antonio Salieri, Franz Liszt, Frederic Lamond and Borge Rosenbaum–linked by education. In fact, they form a direct line of mentors and protégés, spanning almost exactly a century, from Vienna of the 1820s to London of the 1920s.

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Passing The Baton: Susan Speicher

Like traditional classroom education, Music education has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic – new boundary breaking virtual approaches, problem solving how to get students music and supplies, and fast tracking more advanced techniques simply to get through a lesson.

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