John Heiss on the Rite of Spring

One of my favorite people from the NEC faculty, here is John Heiss talking about the Rite of Spring. I played in his Contemporary Ensemble and took a few other classes with him. I learned the word “apotheosis” in his class; a word I still use today in a sparing but hopefully appropriate way. His descriptions are so thoughtful and insightful, and you’ll get a flavor of that here:

Boston Requiem

Over on @necmusic‘s Twitter feed I discovered there was a recording of the Verdi Requiem that I performed on from way back in 1992. I remember this performance well. I remember the rehearsals, the chorus, wanting to play the bass drum on the Kyrie – just once.

In agreement with the Conservatory’s tweet, I feel this music is apropos of yesterday’s tragic Patriot Day bombing:

What just happened in Boston is heartbreaking to me. Boston is like a second home. I walked down Boylston Street almost every day, right past where it happened. I lived just a few blocks from there, and remember just about every building and landmark I see in those horrific pictures coming across the news. I miss that place and wish I could be there during this time.

To me this piece is not just a requiem, but evocative of a particular place in time. A nostalgia. And yet today, it is ever so more a requiem mass. I hear this today in sadness. My thoughts are in Boston.

Yo-Yo Ma’s outstanding lecture – must see

Really worth watching. Key points on where creativity is critical in the 21st century. The guy doing announcements at the beginning is a bit long-winded so skip ahead until Yo-Yo Ma gets introduced. Don’t miss this.

Drawing on his training as a musician and what he has learned traveling the world for more than 30 years as a touring performer, Yo-Yo Ma will discuss where in nature, society, and human interactions we can find the greatest creativity, and what we can all do to help students grow up to be contributing and committed citizens.