Avaloch Farm Music Institute—A Unique Laboratory for Performers and Composers

It was a week of blazing intensity working with Sierra Ensemble, an ensemble of terrific San Francisco Bay Area musicians. We were in residence at the beautiful Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire, preparing the ensemble's world premiere of my horn trio that they  commissioned from me.  

When Bach Dissolves Tonality

 Do you have a favorite moment or piece that features Bach dissonance? Reply to this blog and let me know!

Humming Schoenberg's Piano Concerto

Humming the tone row while I played different harmonizations turned out to be a great way for an audience to "know" it as a theme. From there it was much easier to follow the development of Schoenberg's piano concerto.

Did Shostakovich Compose in Codes?

Let me know if you think Shostakovich's music contains hidden messages!

Drones and Resonances Preview
The Magical Bösendorfer
National Identity—Addressing our Post-Election Crisis with Classical Music

This weekend I'm conducting a concert titled "Classical Meets Neoclassical." It explores ideas of national identity and discourse. In light of our unprecedented presidential election season and its astonishing result, this programming seems prescient—Haydn's Symphony No. 92 ("Oxford"), Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, and Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring. Perhaps the connection between these pieces can even help focus on ideas that have made America such a unique expression of liberty, freedom, and hope.

Pure Romance
Talent Has Hunger—Go See It

There are many films about classical musicians that miss the mark. Josh Aronson's film Talent Has Hunger is not one of those. If you want some real insight into what the life of a classical musician is about, go see it. Talent has Hunger is absolutely the real thing.

In the video below, I demonstrate and talk about how the final prelude on my Blue Pool CD seeks to uncover the hidden overtones that resonate above the open strings in slack key tunings.