Geoff Edgers, formerly of the Boston Globe and newly arrived at the Washington Post, has a richly detailed, wrenching piece on the Atlanta Symphony lockout. It seems to me that the conduct of the Woodruff Arts Center, and in particular its murkyfinancial dealings, demand a serious investigation.... A retrospective of the work of filmmaker Bill Morrison, who has collaborated so memorably with John Moran (The Death Train), Michael Gordon (Decasia), and Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Miners' Hymns), among others, opens at MoMA next week. There will be film-concerts with Dave Douglas, Maya Beiser, and Bill Frisell.... Tonight, the Yale Symphony will give what is billed as the North American première of Anthony Philip Heinrich's 1857 piece The Columbiad, or Migration of American Wild Passenger Pigeons, in the context of a symposium on extinction. Neely Bruce says more about the remarkable Heinrich.... In other Yale doings, Masaaki Suzuki is leading the Yale Schola Cantorum and Juilliard415 in three performances of Jan Dismas Zelenka's Missa Dei Patris, in Boston, New Haven, and New York (Oct. 17-19). Zelenka is a dark master of the Baroque who has been slowly coming to the fore in recent decades; I wrote about him for the Times back in 1995.... The Stefan Wolpe Society is presenting four concerts this year of Wolpe and his circle, with the Momenta Quartet kicking things off on Oct. 23. The Momenta also has Gordon Beeferman and Elizabeth Brown concerts coming up.... The Gotham Chamber Opera season opens next week with a Bohuslav Martinů double bill.... A tip of the hat to Cedille Records on its twenty-fifth anniversary.... On Oct. 19, the enterprising Metropolitan Symphony, of Minneapolis, will give the world première of Dominick Argento's first symphonic work, Ode to the West Wind.
I spoke at Carnegie Mellon last night, in the Humanities Center's "Music: Mind, Machine, and Milieu" lecture series. Many thanks to David Shumway, Richard Randall, and others for hosting me. This was my first visit to Pittsburgh since 2000, when I saw Mariss Jansons lead the Pittsburgh Symphony in Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra. Two strong recommendations: Caliban Books, where I picked up as many books as will fit in my luggage; and Crested Duck, where we ate after the lecture. I'm no professional foodie, but the latter seemed pretty extraordinary. Above, a musical stained-glass window at Heinz Memorial Chapel, with Wagner lurking on the left.
Mark Padmore, the Evangelist, is already seated on stage as the crowd files in. A review of the Berlin Philharmonic's extraordinary St. Matthew Passion seems at this stage almost superfluous, but I'll have one a week from Monday.
Last night at Powell Hall in St. Louis, just before a St. Louis Symphony performance of Brahms's German Requiem, a group of protesters staged a peaceful demonstration tied to the killing of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Positioned in various parts of the auditorium, the protesters unfurled banners and sang "Which Side Are You On?" They then walked out, chanting, "Black lives matter." Much of the audience, and some musicians in the orchestra, responded with applause. I've attached a snippet of audio of the broadcast, with commentary by Robert Peterson and Adam Crane, of St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Symphony, respectively. Note the moment when someone shouts, "Let's have some real music!" Crane thoughtfully adds, "That was also some real music we heard from passionate people in the audience."