Late Night with Brubeck on Classical MPR

Later this summer, jazz legend Dave Brubeck has two gigs with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall and then it’s down to the Blue Note in NYC for three shows – and that’s just the first two weeks of June!

In December, Brubeck celebrates his 90th birthday. Amazing.

50 years ago, Brubeck wrote some music for the American Ballet Theatre. Points on Jazz is a ballet suite for two pianos – a set of rhythmic variations on an earlier work that was inspired by the composer’s visit to the Chopin Museum in Warsaw.

Tonight’s (12:05am, Thursday) Euro-Classic comes from Rome. It’s a performance recorded live last October with the Bostonian brothers Anthony and Joseph Paratore (and two pianos!).

Playing (Less) Hurt

To my friends out there who play an instrument, I have an informal poll:

Have you ever played hurt?customer surveys

The reason I ask is that this Friday I’ll be hosting a select group of instrumentalists who have overcome pain and other obstacles, plus Dr. Jonathan Reynolds a rehabilitation specialist, and Janet Horvath, the author of the best-selling and authoritative book on the subject, “Playing (Less) Hurt.”

Send me your thoughts – and any questions you’d like asked – and check back in the coming weeks for our in-depth video-taped interview and discussion.

Haydn's Protest Music

Haydn mixing it up with the likes of Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, and Springsteen? Well, yeah – when you consider his own brand of protest music, the Symphony No. 45, known as the “Farewell” Symphony.

Haydn composed #45 with the intent to get his musicians at Esterhaza some much-deserved time-off to be with their wives. The “protest” would come in the symphony’s finale, where the players would blow out their candles and leave, one at a time, until there were just two violinists left playing at the very end, Haydn and his first chair, Luigi Tomasini.

Tonight’s Euro Classic (12:05am, Thursday) features the Barcelona Symphony, the National Orchestra of Catalonia, in a performance recorded live last October at L’Auditori in Barcelona.

The 2009-10 concert season began (as it always does) with the Mozart Festival. The Haydn Symphony was intened to bid farewell to Christian Zacharias as the Director of the Festival. Mr. Zacharias leads the orchestra in tonight’s performance. Hope you can stay up late with Classical MPR.

Ouch! It hurts to "play" music…

Many of us are amazed (and envious) that professional musicians get paid to play music. We imagine careers that are stress-free, fun and joy-filled. While making music can be a joyous career, it can also be hazardous to one’s health. Difficult repertoire, fast tempos, less than ideal performing conditions and non-ergonomic playing positions all contribute to stress and injuries ranging from tendinitis to TMJ.

Join me tonight at 7:30 at Common Good Books in Saint Paul when I interview Minnesota Orchestra Associate Principal cellist Janet Horvath about the new edition of her best-selling “Playing (Less) Hurt” and find out how musicians can avoid injuries (or at least lessen the risk for injury) and enjoy a long and healthy performance life.

On Your Metal

Top ten lists are always fun. Here’s one that lists classical music’s ten most metal pieces (as in heavy metal rock). The writer even pairs specific songs by Metallica, Black Sabbath, etc., with classical pieces by such proto-metal masters as Richard Wägner, Antönio Vivaldi, and Dmitri Shostakövich (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Happy 50th DSSO Chorus

I spent a wonderful Saturday evening as guest speaker at the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra Chorus’ 50th Anniversary Banquet at the Northland Country Club in Duluth.

My thanks to all involved for having me and a special shout out to Bob Ballou, a member of the chorus for all 50 years!

The celebration continues with two performances over the next two weekends. You’ll get more information here , and if you’re in Duluth this weekend or next, check out the DSSO Chorus.

The Latest Thing from Google

Check out today’s design of the Google logo–once again they’ve customized it to observe a special day.

If you’re a fan of this composer, you’ll be glad to see him recognized. If you’re a fan of design, you may be amused that the artist handles the word “Google” in a way that almost makes it disappear. (It’s there, though.)

(Hat tip to Julia Schrenkler of Digital Media)

Don't forget Mom!

I was gabbing with my mom yesterday via Facebook (can you believe my MOM knows more about social networks then me?!) I was telling her about what I’ve been up to lately:

“This Sunday I’m taking dedications and requests from 8-2 for Mother’s Day…oh, woops, right, uh…mom, Happy Mother’s Day!”

I had nearly forgotten MY mom, so I very deftly filled out a Mother’s Day request form then and there…I was saved!

If Mother’s Day slipped your mind too, there’s still time to request a special piece of classical music for mom either today on Friday Favorites or on Sunday.