Entries by Brian Heck

Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, Scottish

Notes by TŌN flutist Rebecca Tutunick The Grand Tour As was expected of a cultured, wealthy man in the early 19th century, Felix Mendelssohn, at age 20, embarked on a Grand Tour, departing his family home in Berlin for what would be a three-year expedition across various countries. With his family friend Karl Klingemann, Mendelssohn […]

Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments

Notes by TŌN bass trombonist Jack E. Noble Sounds Struck and Blown The first performance of Stravinsky’s Concerto pour Piano avec L’Orchestre d’Harmonie occurred in Paris in May 1924, only one month after the completion of the score, with the composer as soloist and Serge Koussevitsky conducting. Stravinsky described his “Harmonic Orchestra” as separate from […]

Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium)

Notes by TŌN timpanist Keith Hammer III The Background Completed during the summer of 1954, Bernstein wrote this piece alongside his musical Candide. Similar to Candide, West Side Story, and The Age of Anxiety, Serenade relates directly to literature. This work (as stated in the subtitle) is based on Plato’s dialogue The Symposium. Plato’s work […]

Tania León’s Ácana

Notes by TŌN bassoonist Cheryl Fries The Composer Cuban-born composer and conductor Tania León has had a diverse career as a musician, conductor, champion for cultural diversity, and advisor for arts and educational organizations. After arriving in the United States as a Cuban refugee in 1967, León not only made New York City her home, […]

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Hindemith’s Concert Music for Piano, Brass, and Harps

This week’s Audio Flashback is Paul Hindemith‘s Concert Music for Piano, Brass, and Harps. TŌN tuba player Jarrod Briley calls this piece “one of the hidden gems of Hindemith’s repertoire” and says, “of the many fantastic composers throughout classical music history, I can think of few who wrote as expressively and effectively for brass instruments as […]

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Alvin Singleton’s After Choice

This week’s Audio Flashback is After Choice by Brooklyn-born composer Alvin Singleton. In his concert notes, Bard music professor Kyle Gann says, “After Choice is Singleton’s tribute to a fellow important African American composer, Leroy Jenkins. Jenkins was a consummate improvising violinist in the free jazz world. Singleton has appropriated “licks” from Jenkins’ nimble playing style […]

TŌN IN: Carmen & Vivaldi

On March 20, TŌN’s resident conductor, Zachary Schwartzman, led the orchestra in a streaming concert from the Fisher Center at Bard that featured an arrangement of orchestral music from Bizet‘s classic opera Carmen by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin (who said of the concert, “They are splendid! A fine orchestra: vivid, fluid, flexible strings, and an […]

Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite (after Bizet’s opera)

Notes by TŌN percussionist Luis Herrera Albertazzi The Composer Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin is a Russian composer and pianist. Born into a musical family, he was introduced to music from a very early age by his father, who was a composer and music theory teacher. Shchedrin attended the Moscow Choral School and the Moscow Conservatory as […]