More about Oliveros at 80

“I’m not dismissive of classical music and the Western canon,” Ms. Oliveros said during a wide-ranging interview at the office of her foundation in Kingston, N.Y., where she lives with her longtime partner, Ione, a writer and performance artist. “It’s simply that I can’t be bound by it. I’ve been jumping out of categories all my life.” She laughed, a hearty sound that liberally punctuated a generous, easygoing...
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Three nights in Saratoga with YNS and the Philly

Three nights in Saratoga with YNS and the Philly
Saratoga Performing Arts Center Wednesday, August 8, 2012 The promise is being fulfilled.  Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has got the goods and a new era is truly at hand for the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was more than two years ago that the French Canadian conductor, now 37, was named music director of the orchestra, a post that he’ll finally and officially assume in October.  What a coup for SPAC to present him on...
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Pauline Oliveros 80th birthday celebration (concert review)

Pauline Oliveros 80th birthday celebration (concert review)
Is there any career that gives better birthday celebrations than being a composer? Pauline Oliveros turns 80 later this month and RPI, where she teaches, pulled out all the stops on Thursday night (5/10/12) at EMPAC in Troy. There was music and speeches, cake and champagne, plus party favors (a newly issued DVD). The vaunted acoustics of the EMPAC concert hall were even spiffed up for the occasion. A computer-aided loudspeaker...
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“Patience,” “Truth,”… the operas from Paula Kimper just keep coming

"Patience," "Truth,"... the operas from Paula Kimper just keep coming
Paula Kimper’s first opera, “Patience and Sarah” was subtitled “a pioneering love story.”  Written in collaboration with librettist Wende Persons and based on the historical novel by Isabel Miller, it was also a pioneering opera, depicting a 19th century lesbian couple who settle a farm in upstate New York. As a composer Kimper didn’t have a deep catalog when she undertook to write the...
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100,000 visitors to MyBigGayEars!

This blog is not quite 2.5 years-old and the counter says that as of today it’s had 100,000 unique visitors and more than 334,000 total hits! Thanks to all of you, my readers. Or maybe I should say my viewers – hopefully you’re not just dropping by but also reading and listening.  Considering that the primary focus here is a niche within a niche – the GLTB community in classical music – I’m most gratified. What...
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Harrison documentary at Castro Theatre (3/6), prelude to MTT’s Mavericks Festival (3/8-30)

Harrison documentary at Castro Theatre (3/6), prelude to MTT's Mavericks Festival (3/8-30)
“Lou Harrison:  A World of Music,” Eva Soltes’ documentary, will have its west coast premiere at the Castro Theatre on Tuesday March 6.  Before the screening starts, Terry Riley will improvise on the theater’s Wurlitzer organ. Then, on Thursday March 8 begins the latest and greatest installment yet of Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks program.  Concerts...
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“The Eleanor Hovda Collection” on Innova

"The Eleanor Hovda Collection" on Innova
Two years ago I interviewed conductor Jeannine Wager and subsequently wrote on this site what seems to still be the only complete account of the last years of composer Eleanor Hovda (1940-2009).  During our conversation Wager, her companion of 20 years, was forthcoming but obviously still grieving. She told me that she would soon be leaving their Arkansas home and was planning to begin archiving Hovda’s studio in New...
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Marie Incontrera rites riot grrrl r’opera

Marie Incontrera rites riot grrrl r'opera
“A short, feminist opera about social change” is how composer Marie Incontrera describes her new project.  In short, it’s a “riot girl opera.” “At the Other Side of the Earth” is scheduled to debut May 18 at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York.  The cast features Layla Jasmine Presson, Katherine Cardin, Monica Harte, Scottie Roché and Lisa...
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Higdon Watch: Violin Concerto without Hillary Hahn (concert review and opera update)

“Great Music, Right Here” is the apt motto of the Glens Falls Symphony.  Since the orchestra and its music director Charles Peltz regularly venture into contemporary music, “Right Now” might be an appropriate tag. Sunday afternoon’s program featured something far better than a risky premiere.  Instead, it was Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto, which was written in 2009 and received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for...
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Queeries for composer/soprano Kristin Norderval

Queeries for composer/soprano Kristin Norderval
Kristin Norderval has come a long way from the received expectations of what sopranos should do. “I remember singing Frasquita in ‘Carmen’ in Sarasota,” she told the New York Times in 2001 (“Downtown Divas Expand Their Horizons.”)  ”I couldn’t bear the end of the opera, passively watching Carmen become a victim. I always wanted to run out on stage and yell: ‘There he...
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