Music the artform and artists

A Benjamin Britten Centennial

Benjamin Britten (b. Nov. 22, 1913) introduced many young people to classical music in grammar school with his The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. That alone would make for a lasting career and reputation, but his influence and musical accomplishments are vast.

WQXR

For Acclaimed Wagnerian, Less Excess

On a cool afternoon in March, a crowd filled the Festspielhaus here to see the German conductor Christian Thielemann lead the Dresden Staatskapelle in Wagner's "Parsifal."

The New York Times

Woody Herman At 100: 'A Blues Player From His Heart'

"He didn't have the same chops and virtuosic approach like Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw, but he told a deep story," says Lovano, who played with Herman early in his career. "He was a blues player from his heart, and really had a beautiful voice on alto saxophone."

NPR

The scratch orchestra of Kinshasa

The members of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste – the world's only all-black orchestra – are self-taught and started out playing homemade instruments. Now the band's founder is to be given a major international accolade.

The Guardian

The Italian wizard re-inventing 'The Four Seasons'

Can there be any more hackneyed piece in the classical repertoire than Vivaldi's Four Seasons? It's the go–to Baroque piece for every music festival, it's been pillaged endlessly for film soundtracks and recorded far too often.

The Telegraph

A DIY Guide To The History Of Women In Jazz

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued a proclamation declaring Friday "Women in Jazz Day" — an attempt at cultural reform that's bound to enjoy the same resounding success as banning oversizing sodas.

NPR

Mali’s Legendary Musicians Struggle to Be Heard in the Shadow of War

Before the coup d'état that overthrew an elected government, before the French-led war to oust Islamist rebels who had taken over much of the country, Mali was perhaps best known internationally for something else: its music.

Time World

Out of Egypt’s Chaos, Musical Rebellion

One washed towels in a barbershop. The other sold fast food. Some nights, they would grab the microphones at outdoor weddings and try out raps they had written, only to earn a hail of stones.

The New York Times

Youssou N'Dour wins Sweden's Polar Music Prize

"A West African griot is not just a singer, but a storyteller, poet, singer of praise, entertainer and verbal historian. Youssou N'Dour is maintaining the griot tradition and has shown that it can also be changed into a narrative about the entire world," the jury said in its citation.

Agence France Presse


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