Within the classrooms of most music history courses at Universities, students are taught the evolution of western music through the compositions of mainly men, if not only men. Infrequently are women mentioned at all, other than the occasional reference of a male composer’s wife. For example: when we learn about the music of Johannes Brahms, we are often taught about the strong friendship he had with Robert Schumann, as well as the drama surrounding his admiration for his wife, Clara Schumann. However, we never delve into the complex and beautiful music that Clara Schumann composed in the shadows of her husband. In this article, Alice Gregory provides a short overview of classical music of only women composers, with sound excerpts included! Click here for the article. (Featured image above is taken by Krista Schlueter for the New York Times).
Giacomo Puccini’s dominance within the opera repertoire is virtually unmatched. With operas like “La Bohéme” and “Tosca” still remaining as house staples in opera houses around the world, Puccini solidified himself as an eminent composer in both the 19thand 20thcentury. Have a read of this NY Times article to see how Puccini’s influence and dominance in the New York scene attracted the biggest names in industries within the Big Apple. Click here to read the article.
As a musician, composer and activist, Louis Armstrong needs no introduction. One of the most influential musicians of the 20thcentury, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong captivated the nation with his virtuosity on the trumpet, the timbre of his voice and his natural ability to govern the performance stage at any given time. Unlike most composers or musicians that we study regularly here at the Cali School, Armstrong’s posterity made him unique amongst contemporaries. He wrote over 10,000 letters to fans and hundreds of personal memoirs, many of which have been stored in the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Thanks to a generous grant from the Fund II Foundation, these archives are now digitized and accessible to the public. Take a read! Click here to read the NY Times article.
On Friday April 6th, Cali students in Music in Time, Place and Ideas (MUHS 308) had an extraordinary experience in the new instrument gallery of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The renovated gallery had opened only the week before and the Associate Curator, Dr. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, was keen to share the new curatorial vision for the collection with us. At the front of the galleries, the curators have placed a spectacular case of brass instruments and nicknamed the display “Fanfare.” Everyone agreed that it’s fairly impossible not to smile as one approaches it. To our delight, Bradley retrieved a conch shell and handed it to the nearest brass player, Justin Hovi, who did us all proud. The Met’s permanent collection has been reinvigorated by its new associations within type and themes across cultural boundaries, and has to our relief discarded the former Eurocentric models of “west” versus “east.” It’s a triumph, and will no doubt continue to be a world-class resource for Cali School students and thousands of other students for years to come.
Seven hundred years of sculptural practice—from 14th-century Europe to the global present—are examined anew in this groundbreaking exhibition. Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now) explores narratives of sculpture in which artists have sought to replicate the literal, living presence of the human body. On view exclusively at The Met Breuer, this major international loan exhibition of about 120 works draws on The Met’s rich collections of European sculpture and modern and contemporary art, while also featuring a selection of important works from national and international museums and private collections.
The literary and musical traditions of the Persianate world are perhaps unique in that poetry is still closely associated with a variety of musical forms. Certain forms of Persian poems such as the ghazal and rubaiyat have their roots in musical accompaniment, and certain classical or folk traditions are known to consistently pair music and poetry.
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On March 26, Dr. Laura Dolp participated in a panel discussion with Dr. Andrew Shenton of Boston University, Dr. Charles Stang, Director of the CSWR, and Kythe Heller, PhD candidate at Harvard University, regarding the work of renowned Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Read about the intersection of religion and spirituality in Pärt’s work, and how his music and influence extends to other fields … Arvo Pärt’s White Light: An Interview with Dr. Laura Dolp