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Archive for August, 2008

The Cleveland Orchestra is wrapping up its residency in Salzburg, Austria and leaves next week for the Lucerne Festival. WKSU’s Vivian Goodman talked with the classical music critic of the International Herald Tribune about the orchestra’s rave reviews.

More: http://www.wksu.org/news/story/22270

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Metropolitan Opera (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)It’s not opera, but it is the Met, it is Verdi, it is vocal, and you can hear it, live and in person, for free — with (literally) a bit of luck.

Next month (September 2008), James Levine will conduct the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a free performance of Verdi’s Requiem. Soloists Barbara Frittoli, Olga Borodina, Marcello Giordani, and James Morris will join them. The concert is in memory of tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who died on 6 September 2007.

In most cities you can expect interest in a free concert, of course. However, this is the Met, and it’s New York. Think of the nightmares their ticket office staff must be having.

In an effort to manage the demand, the Opera is conducting a random drawing. To enter, fill out the form at the Met’s website, or call the Met’s ticket service at 212 362-6000. Website and telephone entries will be accepted between 20 August (Wednesday of this week) and 8:00pm, Wednesday 3 September. You can also submit an entry in person at the Met. They’re not accepting mail or email entries, and they’re enforcing a strict one-per-customer limit.

The concert will take place on Thursday 18 September 18 at 5:00pm at The Met Opera House. If your name isn’t drawn for a ticket, you can at least listen live via streaming audio at the Met’s website.

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Donald Erb (Photo: Theodore Presser Company)Youngstown-born American composer Donald Erb died last week. Erb, distinguished professor emeritus of composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, was 81.

Erb was one of the pioneers of electronic music and was especially noted for his works combining electronics with traditional instruments. He played trumpet in high school and was a jazz trumpet player in the years after World War II. Many of his later works employed brass instruments. He had an intense and visceral reaction to the Cold War and Vietnam conflict, as evidenced in such works as Fallout (1964), Fission (1968), and The Purple-Roofed Ethical Suicide Parlor (1972).

Erb attended Kent State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950. He then studied composition with Marcel Dick at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He also studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and with Bernhard Heiden at Indiana University, Bloomington. He received his Doctorate from Indiana in 1964.

Donald Erb was appointed to the CIM faculty in 1952. He was composer in residence there from 1966 to 1981, became distinguished professor of composition in 1987, and moved to emeritus status in 1996.

That same year, Erb suffered cardiac arrest. He had not been active as a composer since.

Erb leaves his wife of 58 years, Lucille; daughter Christine Hoell and son Matthew, both of Columbus; daughter Stephanie Erb of Los Angeles; daughter Janet Carroll of Rockaway, NJ; and nine grandchildren.

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The “Rach 3″ (Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto) is one of the 20th-century masterpieces. Sergei Rachmaninoff composed it on his family’s country estate, Ivanovka. In the photo, he is looking over the final proofs of the concerto at Ivanovka.

The estate had been in the family for generations, but within a decade after these photos were supposedly taken, as was common after the Revolution with aristocratic families in Russia, the Bolsheviks confiscated the estate. After that, Rachmaninoff was never able to go home again, and that is the main reason he ended up in New York.

In New York, Rachmaninoff made do with decorating the place to look like Ivanovka.


He composed the third concerto for a premiere in the U.S. on his first trip here, and as a matter of fact, too rushed for time; he did not have a chance to rehearse it at all before leaving and had to practice it on a silent keyboard while on the ship.

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Have you ever wondered about that theory published a few years back about Mozart? That just by listening to his music you’ll get smarter?
WKSU’s Vivian Goodman chatted about that with the top neuroscientist at Cleveland Clinic. The Clinic’s collaborating with the Cleveland Orchestra in an international symposium on how music affects our brains.

Listen to this story at WKSU News

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