University-of-Minnesota-Symphony-Orchestra

Oxymoron for Orchestra

When is a concerto not a concerto? We’re all familiar with the term when it implies a soloist in a tug-of-tunes display, riding atop a generally subservient orchestra; and works such as the Brahms Double Concerto and the Beethoven Triple … Read More →


Triskaidekaphobia

Lucky for some

Today’s 24 hours form an interesting axis in time. While in some parts of the world people will be surfacing to Valentine’s Day, lush emotions coursing through their veins, and anaemic wallets drained by roses, chocolates and candlelight dinner bookings, … Read More →


china-devolution2

China’s Cultural Devolution

China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-76) was a turbulent decade that took no prisoners in sweeping away the ‘Four Olds’ – old customs, old habits, old ideas and old culture. As far as artistic matters were concerned, the dictat meant that western … Read More →


boston-pops

The Boston Pops (and one Mom)

The Boston Tea Party, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Red Sox – all are well known internationally. It’s likely, however, that for many outside the United States, talk of the Boston Six will raise a puzzled look. They were … Read More →


manuscript2

Paper chase

The Day after Christmas Day, Boxing Day, St Stephen’s Day, the Day of the Wren. Wherever you are, and whatever event you may yourself celebrate on 26 December each year, I personally always try to spare a thought for the … Read More →