Photo: Tom Service. The performers, not the audience.
I always pay close heed to the younger composers that Aaron Jay Kernis and company select each year for the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. NewMusicBox has next year's list: Michael Holloway, Adrian Knight, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Shen Yiwen, and Hannah Lash, who is already somewhat widely noted.... The excellent Philadelphia critic David Stearns is now blogging at ArtsJournal. I've also belatedly added Superconductor to my bloglist.... The Borders chain, after struggling for years, is closing down completely. Anastasia Tsioulcas, at NPR Music, assesses the impact on classical CD sales.... Musiqa of Houston announces an enticing, diverse 2011-12 season.... Charles Downey at ionarts always has choice picks for what to see and hear online.... The recent presentation of Havergal Brian's gigantic Gothic Symphony at the BBC Proms inspired divergent reactions, to say the least. Read, among others, Edward Seckerson ("an incomprehensible, albeit sporadically thrilling, mess"), Andrew Clements ("no spurned masterpiece"), 5:4 ("undeniable originality of thought"), David Nice ("I'm hanging out the garlic"), Barry Millington ("blazing conviction"), Gavin Plumley ("mind-blowing barbarity"), Jessica Duchen ("the White Elephant is a familiar story"), Bob Shingleton ("classical music must beware of programming for the Twitter audience"), and Kenneth Woods ("incompetent ... insane ... moving ... disturbing"). Judge for yourself on BBC 3, where a replay is available through Saturday.