Music Articles

Every week, our writers take an in‐depth look at an artist, program or topic of interest to us. Spend some time with this week's classical music feature, or scroll through the extensive SFCV archive for insights in many music topics.


Feature Article
September 4, 2007

Newcomers to the job market often quickly become aware of the Catch-22 phenomenon: You can't embark upon your dream career unless you're experienced, and you can't become experienced unless you can get experience.
Nowhere is this truer or more impossible than among aspiring conductors. You not only have to have the chops to conduct the orchestra, you have to have the orchestra. And if you haven't been a conductor, you most likely don't have the orchestra. Well, you get the idea.

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Feature Article
August 28, 2007

Newcomers to the job market often quickly become aware of the Catch-22 phenomenon: You can't embark upon your dream career unless you're experienced, and you can't become experienced unless you can get experience.
Nowhere is this truer or more impossible than among aspiring conductors. You not only have to have the chops to conduct the orchestra, you have to have the orchestra. And if you haven't been a conductor, you most likely don't have the orchestra. Well, you get the idea.

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Feature Article
August 21, 2007

You have to be a bit of a high-stakes gambler to be an opera composer. You spend a long time, probably several years at least, carefully putting together a project, writing and revising it, and seeing it through to performance (assuming it's been accepted for production). And then, even if the first audiences applaud it — not necessarily a given — its future is uncertain.And the same thing is true for an opera company. Commission a work, and win the prestige of having performed it. But
later see it disappear into the ether, along with money, sets, and costumes.

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Feature Article
August 14, 2007

You have to be a bit of a high-stakes gambler to be an opera composer. You spend a long time, probably several years at least, carefully putting together a project, writing and revising it, and seeing it through to performance (assuming it's been accepted for production). And then, even if the first audiences applaud it — not necessarily a given — its future is uncertain.And the same thing is true for an opera company. Commission a work, and win the prestige of having performed it. But
later see it disappear into the ether, along with money, sets, and costumes.

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Feature Article
August 6, 2007

This article is excerpted from the new book Why Classical Music Still Matters (University of California Press, 2007).

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Feature Article
July 31, 2007

This article is excerpted from the new book Why Classical Music Still Matters (University of California Press, 2007).

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Feature Article
July 24, 2007

The cellist David Finckel remembers the first time he heard the Escher String Quartet. It was on an audition DVD. Intrigued, he arranged to watch them play. "I thought, 'Wow, they are very young, but they sound good. We can work with them,' " says Finckel, who codirects the summer festival [email protected] with his wife, the pianist Wu Han. "So we accepted them for a two-week residency the Emerson Quartet does at Stony Brook University [in New York]."

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Feature Article
July 17, 2007

The cellist David Finckel remembers the first time he heard the Escher String Quartet. It was on an audition DVD. Intrigued, he arranged to watch them play. "I thought, 'Wow, they are very young, but they sound good. We can work with them,' " says Finckel, who codirects the summer festival [email protected] with his wife, the pianist Wu Han. "So we accepted them for a two-week residency the Emerson Quartet does at Stony Brook University [in New York]."

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Feature Article
July 10, 2007

The eminent Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos raises his baton on opening night at Symphony Hall in Boston. Before a single note sounds, a cell phone rings. Frühbeck's shoulders slump, and he waits appropriately for a new starting point. As he raises his baton once more, the same cell phone rings again. He turns and glares — our offender is in the pricey seats up front — but mister no-clue actually takes the call this time, and everyone can hear him say, "I'm in Symphony Hall right now, and I may have to call you back later."

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Feature Article
July 3, 2007

The eminent Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos raises his baton on opening night at Symphony Hall in Boston. Before a single note sounds, a cell phone rings. Frühbeck's shoulders slump, and he waits appropriately for a new starting point. As he raises his baton once more, the same cell phone rings again. He turns and glares — our offender is in the pricey seats up front — but mister no-clue actually takes the call this time, and everyone can hear him say, "I'm in Symphony Hall right now, and I may have to call you back later."

More »

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