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by Daniel Hathaway
Every two years since 1980, performers and fans of early music have flocked to Boston for a rich festival of pre-Romantic music. The 2013 edition of the Boston Early Music Festival, subtitled “Youth: Genius and Folly” ran from June 9-16. The annual meeting of the Music Critics Association of North America was scheduled to coincide with several days of the Festival, but I came a few days earlier to catch some events in the Festival Fringe that showcased early music talent with connections to Northeast Ohio.
Case Western Reserve University, its partner, CIM, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music have long been centers of activity in the Historically Informed Performance (HIP) movement, and faculty and student performers brought a wealth of expertise and excellent musicianship to Boston last week.
Oberlin musicians who perform under the banner of The Bach Project drew a sizeable audience to the Church of the Covenant in Back Bay on Tuesday afternoon, June 11 for a concert comprising all of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “authentic” flute sonatas. Read the rest of this entry »
By Daniel Hathaway
Oberlin, OH — January 24, 2012. At a Sunday morning ceremony in Klonick Hall of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music on January 22, Dean David Stull and donor Stephen Rubin announced the winners of the grand prize and public prize in the first bi-annual Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, which began on January 18.
The $10,000 prize went to Jacob Street (above, with Rubin and Stull), a master’s candidate in historical performance from North Reading, MA. In a surprise development, the panel awarded honorable mention to Megan Emberton, a senior piano major from Chelsea, MI, along with a cash award of $2,500. Read the rest of this entry »
By Jacob Street
Dear Cameron Carpenter,
Thanks for reading this. I know that you are very busy. You play more organ concerts in a year than I may give in my entire lifetime! But this brings me to a confession: I’m an organist myself. I know what you think: that I hate you. That I think you’re a fraud and a hack. That I hate your history-be-damned style, your traveling digital organ, and your flamboyant performances. That I must be one of the leading exponents of the organ whose every preconception you challenge, like the Wall Street Journal wrote about you.
But I’m here to tell you the opposite—I don’t hate you. In fact, most organists don’t hate you. And why should they? You’re a great advocate for the instrument. You’re passionate and successful. You work hard, and your technique is impressive. You even show more than a few glimmers of what a “traditional organist” would call “traditional musicality”! I would certainly protest being included as one of your (imagined or otherwise) fervent detractors. This letter is in no way designed to contribute to the martyr-like image the media constructs around you. We organists are a stodgy bunch, but we can still respect your work, just as we respect any product of American dedication to finely processed marketability—like the Twilight novels, or Cheese Whiz. Read the rest of this entry »