Remembering Jodie Devos

Jodie Devos, the celebrated Belgian soprano, passed away last Sunday, June 16, as a result of rapidly-progressing breast cancer. She was 35. At the time of her death in Paris, she was surrounded by family. In a social media post, soprano Barbara Hannigan remembered Devos as “a beautiful artist, vibrant and radiant of sound and presence.” In a statement to Belgian news channel VRT, conductor Dirk Brossé said, “We have lost one …

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William Walton’s First Symphony: Sensuous and Searing

Sir William Walton’s Symphony No. 1 in B-flat minor begins with a magical coalescing of elements. Voices awaken, and the Symphony springs to life with a sense of suddenness and inevitability. There is a hushed B-flat timpani roll, the warm sonic blur of three successive horn tones (B-flat, F, and G), a pulsating heartbeat in the violins, the plaintive song of the oboe, a response in the bassoon, and darting, descending lines …

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Remembering Camilla Wicks

The legendary American violinist Camilla Wicks has passed away. She was 92. Born in Long Beach, California to Norwegian immigrant parents, Wicks rose to prominence as a child prodigy, performing her first public concert at the age of four. By the age of eight, her repertoire included concertos of Mendelssohn, Bruch, and Paganini. When she was ten, Wicks became a student of Louis Persinger, the influential teacher who guided the careers of …

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Music Inspired by Shakespeare

Historians believe that today marks the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare. Throughout history, Shakespeare’s plays have been a rich source of inspiration for composers. A few months ago we heard Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet tone poem. Now let’s celebrate with some more music inspired by the Bard of Avon: Play, music! And you, brides and bridegrooms all,With measure heap’d in joy, to the measures fall. -As You Like It The man that …

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