The establishment of a Professorship of Music, "on a full and equal footing, as to dignity at least..." with the existing chairs of the humanities at Harvard University in 1875 was a major event in the evolution of fostering a cultured class and foundation for an American classical music. John Knowles Paine, who had for fourteen years "labored so assiduously, in spite of very moderate … [Read more...] about America’s First Music Professorship
John Knowles Paine conducted the premiere of his Mass in D in Berlin, Germany, on February 16, 1867. It was an event: attending the performance at the Singakademie were members of the Royal Family, including Crown Princess Victoria, the mother of the future Kaiser Wilhelm II. American Century Music usually focuses on America's classical music from the 20th century; however, John Knowles Paine's … [Read more...] about John Knowles Paine, Mass in D (1867)
Usually American Century Music focuses on composers whose main contributions took place during the 20th century; of course what constituted The American Century is a tad subjective, but ACM has generally focused on composers that brought us into the 20th Century (like the Boston Group) up to the first decade of the 21st century, where with the Internet, globalization, etc. I would be hard pressed … [Read more...] about Patriarch of American Music
Violinist extraordinaire, Gabriela Diaz, performed yesterday at the Boston Public Library as part of their Boston Marathon Commemorative Programs. The program was presented in the stunning Abbey Room and featured unaccompanied works by Morton Feldman, John Heiss, Otto Luening, Mark Berger, Elliott Carter, and John Cage. In case you missed the program, here are my remarks for the … [Read more...] about Remarks from the Boston Marathon Commemorative Program
Part of American Century Music's mission is to encourage discussion about the different interpretations of what constituted American classical music during the 20th Century. Was it American because the music includes elements of jazz? or because it incorporated different versions of American folk music? or to paraphrase a Walter Piston quip, it's American just because the thing was written by an … [Read more...] about Is there an American Quality to Your Work?
Streaming this month on ACM Radio are works by two American modernist composers who made their mark during the 1910s-20s: Henry Cowell (1897-1965) and Leo Ornstein (1893-2002). Both Cowell and Ornstein pushed the envelope of what was possible (and tolerable) in terms of sound, technique, and aesthetics. Similar to the introduction to Americans in 1913 of modernist visual arts at the Armory … [Read more...] about Facets of Cowell and Ornstein