2014 is going to be a fun year. I’m really looking forward to all the music I’m going to hear – whether it be live concerts in places like Columbus or Chattanooga or something I discover online while checking out 24 new (to me) composers in my Passport to Composers series that I’m starting up in another week or two. Before I jump ahead though, I’d like to say thank you to all the folks who have taken the time to read or even comment on my blog.
Thanks as well to anyone along the way who recommended other blogs to check out in order to help me learn more about the classical music business (Adaptistration and Iron Tongue of Midnight were two main ones recommended, though I’ve since discovered more!). I’m even very thankful for those who told me (when I first started and added what I thought was a cool picture as a background) that the picture may be cool, but it takes forever to open the page. (Oops. Thanks, Drew!)
Giocosity is a new blog as of June of 2013, but even though it’s young, I thought it would be fun to summarize my top posts for 2013 and where folks are visiting my blog.
It’s been tough getting the word out especially knowing I’m just writing for fun as a patron and fan as opposed to writing from the perspective of someone in the industry such as a musician, staff member or consultant. Fortunately, I’ve never claimed to be an expert – just someone who enjoys writing about my concert experiences and learning about the great music being performed along the way – so I imagine more readers will come with time.
Looking at my top ten posts, folks definitely seemed to enjoy French Horn Week as four of my top ten posts were from that fun project.
1. Minnesota Orchestra: Links – summarizes some of the posts written by industry professionals.
2. Soul of an Orchestra - My last post of French Horn week
3. Survey Results: Donate? Or Not? – Part I - Gives an idea of the effort required to make an online donation to the CSO
4. The Show Must Go On - What a wonderful performance by Philippe Quint and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra
5. Minnesota Orchestra Musicians: Let Them Play! - My Labor Day contribution
6. Julia Rose – Associate Principal French Horn - My profile of one of the fabulous French horn players with the CSO. Hers was my first ever interview. Thanks, Julia!
7. …But the Chopin Was Amazing! - It really was! Dr. Nicholas Ross played Chopin’s Piano Concerto #1 excellently well!
8. Not Your Average Concert-Goer - Classical music fans don’t all come in the same packaging!
9. Don’t Look ‘Em in the Eyes! - My introductory post of French Horn Week.
10. Gene Standley – Principal French Horn - My profile of the CSO’s principal horn player. The last of my horn player interviews – one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet!
Honorable mention: #11: Westerville Symphony Concert - My first time hearing the Westerville Symphony Orchestra at a wonderful venue at Alum Creek Park in Westerville. I even enjoyed the Khachaturian!
Where are they?
I’m in the US and I’m writing in English, so the vast majority of my readers are from the US. Makes sense, right? After that, #2-10 countries are: Canada, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Latvia, Spain and Norway.
Honorable mention: #11 Japan
What to expect in 2014
2014 will be fun. Starting later this month, I’ll post my first offering on my Passport to Composers series where I will feature one composer from every country I’ve either lived in or visited. Having served in the Peace Corps, I like to venture off the beaten path, so the composer I choose to profile won’t always be first one you think of when a country like Austria or Germany is mentioned.
I look forward to enjoying more concerts by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, but also by other ensembles such as Early Music in Columbus, Westerville Symphony Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra or, a little further off my locally beaten path, the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.
Locally I hope to expand a little bit as well and work my way out to the New Albany Symphony Orchestra – plus, I have yet to make it to a concert at Ohio State, but that’s primarily due to my funky work hours. If I don’t get out on time (which I rarely do), I can never make it to concerts during the week which is a bummer since there’s so much great music being played! Definitely something I hope to remedy in the new year!
I hope to expand on my interviewing as well. I’m already working on setting up some interviews with some soloists and conductors. Plus, I interviewed composer Michael Torke before the holidays, so I’ll be posting that pretty soon. He’s got some fabulous music out there, for sure!
Who knows what’s in store for Giocosity?! What will be my top posts in 2014? Heck if I know, but I do look forward to having lots of musical fun! I look forward to hearing from you as well via your comments and questions left for me here.
So with that in mind, as they say in my adopted country of Bulgaria:
Честита нова година, приятели! Желая ви добро здраве, много щастие и късмет през новата година!!
Happy New Year, friends! I wish you good health, much happiness and fortune in the new year!
I live in Columbus, Ohio. We’re a large city in a small state located on the edge of the midwest – in between my home state of Indiana and another adopted state of Pennsylvania. (Having lived in 7 states, I have a lot of “adopted” states.) We’re also next to Michigan.
These are great states. Why, you ask? They are all home to Big Ten Universities. Big Ten schools are big on academics, of course, but they’re also big on athletics. If you’re not aware, or you’re from out of the country, you should know this:
American football is kind of big over here.
All these Big Ten universities have football teams and in Ohio – especially in Columbus, Ohio, home of The Ohio State University and one of the most storied football programs in the country – football is pretty much everything. If you don’t like football, you might as well just move away now. Starting in late August / early September, you automatically have plans on all your Saturdays – unless your allegiance is only to one school at which point you have at least one bye week during the season.
Classical music fans in Columbus
As I say over and over again in this blog, Columbus is home to an awful lot of arts organizations including my personal favorite, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. It performs on an awful lot of Saturday nights, which during football season, might – to the outsider – appear to be no problem, especially for a 12 noon kick off.
But that’s where you’d be wrong. No. You see – that IS a problem to the 100,000 + fans who have tickets to the game and the thousands more who will tailgate despite not being able to set foot inside the actual stadium. Trust me. Buckeye fans take tailgating to a whole new level. It’s an art unto itself. And it sure as heck doesn’t end when the alma mater is sung at post-game!
You’d be amazed at the game watching set up people create out of the trunks of their cars. Can’t imagine what Buckeye fans can do? Well, I think it’s pretty safe to liken it to the Weasley family tent at the Quidditch World Cup.
But with all the people watching football – either inside the stadium or on their 52″ TVs that some have inside their trailers (yes, friends – I’ve seen them – with my own eyes) still in the stadium parking lots, or at the veritable plethora of game watching parties in sports bars or people’s homes, there are classical music fans among them.
Saturdays are taken up with college football. Home game? Away game? Doesn’t matter, it’s all about Buckeye football. So I ask you to please consider the difficulty classical music fans experience during the football season – the tugging at their heartstrings – Buckeyes? Or Beethoven? The CSO is performing Beethoven’s 5th on November 16th – the same day as the OSU game against the Illini. Sure, it’s an away game, but Buckeye fans will be glued to their TVs watching it anyway.
Now imagine this dilemma of having bought season tickets to the Symphony last year only to learn that my alma maters, Indiana University and The Ohio State University were playing each other the night I had tickets to hear Shubert’s Great Symphony. I was torn. Imagine how nerve wracking it was to not be able to check the score until intermission. Imagine as well that the Hoosiers went 1-11 in 2011, yet on that October night in 2012, we scored 49 (yes – forty-nine) points against the Buckeyes – THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES – but – we – still – lost! GAHH! 49-52!
OH THE HUMANITY!
But man oh man – the Schubert piece was great. And the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 was just beautiful.
So what’s a football fan to do?
Well fortunately, these Big Ten universities also have great music schools – especially my first alma mater of Indiana University, about which, of course, I have a slightly biased opinion!
But alas we’re talking about Columbus, Ohio now and the Ohio State University School of Music is also rather incredible. Not only is it home to The Best Damn Band in the Land, i.e. the Ohio State University Marching Band which does an amazing script Ohio in all their pre-games (the real reason people attend games), but it’s also home to Jazz ensembles, a Wind Symphony, a Percussion ensemble, Symphonic Band, the Men’s Glee Club and Symphonic Choir and a Symphony Orchestra. Shall I go on and list more ensembles? …because I can! The OSU School of Music has so much to offer and there’s almost always something going on.
And fortunately, there’s a lot going on, on days other than Saturday. The Ohio State University School of Music has over 300 events and performances throughout the year. Over 300! That’s pretty impressive!
While the Columbus Symphony Orchestra also performs on Fridays and occasional Sundays, the OSU School of Music has music ensembles performing nearly every day of the week. So you see, classical music-loving football fans? You DON’T have to miss out on good music!
Check out this schedule of upcoming events. There’s so much going on and tickets to most events are $10 to $20 – literally half that if you’re a member of the alumni association. Concerts are already happening and last Saturday was even the First Annual Viola Day. Coming up in November is a Clarinet Spectacular – Jazz Meets the Classics which includes performances, master classes, clinics, etc. You can attend the entire event or just the Saturday evening concert.
Even though events are already taking place, I encourage you to check out the schedule because there is an absolute ton of great concerts coming up in October and November.
Each of the main ensembles puts on about 2-3 concerts per semester and the majority of them start at 8pm, though there are Sunday concerts that begin at 3. Check out the schedule. Whether it be sports or music, you’re still supporting your Buckeyes.
So what do you say, sports fans?
Looks like you can have your football and music, too!
- Must See Classical Music in Columbus (giocosity.com)
Visit the OSU School of Music Facebook page for more info, too!
French Horn Week – coming up the week of September 23-27 here on Giocosity!
Columbus, Ohio is a city filled with arts organizations and for those of us interested in listening to classical music, it provides us with a wealth of options. The classical music concert season is starting in the next few weeks and whether you’re a veteran of going to see the symphony or looking to venture out for the first time, I’ve put together a list of what I think are some must-see concerts.
For those of you who might be new symphony goers, the classical music concert season follows the school year, so it starts in the fall a few weeks into football season and goes through collegiate finals weeks in May. After that, it usually takes a few weeks off before starting the summer pops season. Plenty of music – all year long!
This is not an all-encompassing list – heck, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra has 15 classical music series concerts this year alone – but it does offer up a nice sampling of things to try in the coming months. Check this out – there’s something for everybody. Maybe we’ll even see each other at some of these. I sure hope so because there’s some great music on upcoming programs and the musicians are fabulous!
Mahler’s Symphony #2 – Resurrection – Friday, October 5. at the Ohio Theatre
Includes the Columbus Symphony orchestra playing alongside the Columbus Symphony Chorus. Canadian soprano Dominique LaBelle, who sang at last year’s season opener of Beethoven’s 9th, will again be one of the soloists. And if you thought Beethoven’s 9th was good, you shouldn’t miss this! Be sure to listen for the French horns!
Beethoven’s 5th – Friday/Saturday, November 15-16 at the Ohio Theatre
Who didn’t love the movie Immortal Beloved with Gary Oldman as Ludwig von Beethoven? Everyone recognizes his well-known 5th Symphony – heard anywhere from in the movie to the Google Chrome commercials and by everyone else who marks a dramatic moment by singing these four notes: DA DA DA DAAAAAAAA!
Rhapsody in Blue – Saturday, February 8 at the Ohio Theatre
Want a chance to hear that fabulous clarinet glissando at the beginning of Rhapsody in Blue? Here’s your chance – in an evening of nothing but music by George Gershwin. One of the premier interpreters of Gershwin, pianist Peter Nero plays a variety of music such as Rhapsody in Blue, S’Wonderful, Someone to Watch Over Me, etc. I bet that if you close your eyes, you’ll even be able to picture Gene Kelly singing and dancing!
Mozart’s Requiem – Friday/Saturday, April 11-12 at the Ohio Theatre
Speaking of movies, Mozart’s Requiem, left unfinished at the time of his death in 1791, but later finished by one of his students, is probably (in this writer’s humble opinion) the most beautiful piece of music ever written in the entire history of man. (No pressure, CSO!) It was the piece of music depicted at the end of the 1984 movie Amadeus that was being dictated by a very sick Mozart to an awed Antonio Salieri. Whether what happened on film was really true doesn’t matter as it’s a beautiful beautiful beautiful piece of music that you should see performed live if you possibly can.
Not enough Mozart for you? Never fear – there are two other concerts earlier in the season (November and February) that also feature his music.
Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor - Saturday/Sunday, November 9-10 at the Southern Theatre
Violinist Vadim Gluzman, who played the Alban Berg violin concerto with the CSO last May, is back to play one of Felix Mendelssohn’s most famous pieces. While it gets a lot of play time on the radio, a live performance should not be missed!
Mozart Mass in C-Minor – Saturday/Sunday, February 22,23 at the Pontifical College Josephinum/Southern Theatre
Not to keep referring to movies, but if you have the Amadeus soundtrack, then you’re familiar with the Kyrie from this mass by W.A. Mozart, featuring soprano, Felicity Lott. In the movie, it was in the scene when Mozart’s wife took some of his music to Maestro Salieri and was being played at the point he dropped all the manuscripts on the floor because he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Beautiful! This live version features the Lancaster Chorale under the direction of newly appointed music director, David Danzmayr.
Madama Butterfly – Friday/Sunday, November 22, 24 at the Southern Theatre
Puccini’s most beloved opera about how a Japanese maiden falls in love with an American Naval officer. Originally a flop when premiered in Milan back in 1904 it has since become one of the most highly performed operas around the world. Featuring Priti Ghandi as Cio-Cio San and Harold Meers as Pinkerton, this is performed in collaboration with the Ohio State University.
The Pirates of Penzance – Saturday/Sunday, March 8-9 at the Southern Theatre
Considered “light opera,” this Gilbert and Sullivan work features the character, Frederic, who is mistakenly apprenticed to the pirates through his 21st birthday – something made more challenging because of his having been born on February 29th! With a constant theme of duty, everything works out in the end with this fun story.
Swan Lake – October 18-20 at the Ohio Theatre, October 25-27 at the Aranoff Theatre
Tchaikovsky’s beautiful ballet about a princess who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse only able to return to life as a princess if a prince swears his love to her.
The Nutcracker – December 12-24 at the Ohio Theatre
Don’t miss an opportunity to see Clara and her Nutcracker prince for yet another wonderful Tchaikovsky ballet. With two weeks’ worth of performances, there’s a chance for everyone to see one!
Twelfth Night – Saturday/Sunday, January 4-5 at the First Congregational Church
The Early Interval will perform music from the 12th -17th centuries in France, Italy, Spain and North Africa on traditional instruments such as the recorder, bass dulcian, crumhorns, medieval lute, chitarone, rebecs, violin and pipe and tabor. Don’t know what some of those are? No worries. Neither do I, but I look forward to finding out in this celebration of music marking the end of the Christmas season and welcoming in the new year.
Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 1 – Saturday, May 10 at Fritsche Theatre in Cowan Hall – Otterbein University
Didn’t get enough of the high seas with the Pirates of Penzance? Great! This symphony is actually titled “A Sea Symphony: A Song for All Seas, All Ships” and has text from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” It will be performed next spring along with vocalists from a variety of choral ensembles at Otterbein University.
Dvorak Quintet in A Major, Op 81 – Saturday, November 16 at the Southern Theatre
The Pacifica Quartet plays along with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, who played just beautifully last year with the CSO. They’ll be performing quintets by Shostakovich, Dvorak and Ornstein.
Ravel and Mozart – Saturday, January 18 at the Southern Theatre
The Escher String Quartet will be playing Ravel’s quartet in F Major, Mozart’s Quartet in G Major, K.387 and Ainsi la Nuit by Henri Dutilleux.
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – Sunday, October 13 at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts
If you didn’t get to see the 9th, Ode to Joy, last year with the CSO, then don’t miss your chance to see it next month in New Albany, OH with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra, featuring the Capital University Chapel Choir.
Looking for some great Christmas music? Most of these ensembles offer up some great music sometime in December that allows for audience participation and enjoyment. Don’t worry, I’ll post it all later on, but between various pops concerts, the Nutcracker and more traditional music, I promise you’ll have plenty of options. If you’d like, you can go ahead and get a head start by checking out their complete schedules linked above.
French Horn Week – coming up the week of September 23-27 here on Giocosity!