Kaisa Makkonen: My Healing Voice

A few years ago, Kaisa was on track for a successful career as an opera singer.  Then she suffered a stroke and it seemed that the young woman had forever lost her voice: she could no longer speak.  But music is a truly mysterious art and through singing, Kaisa would heal herself and learn to speak again.  ComeContinue reading “Kaisa Makkonen: My Healing Voice”

Michelle Djokic: Open Rehearsals?

Open relationships are not considered legitimate relationships by Western standards: they are viewed as crumbling façades masking partners’ mutual disrespect.  For much the same reason, “open rehearsals” are unpalatable to conservative classical musicians.  They believe that serious musical partnerships are exclusive and based on paring musicians of the same artistic skill level and maturity.  This phenomenon is soContinue reading “Michelle Djokic: Open Rehearsals?”

Michael Werba: Post-War Musical Vienna (1946-1955)

Today, Vienna is widely considered the center of the European Classical music scene.  But the city was decimated during World War II. and, from one day to the next, found itself occupied by both Cold War belligerents.  What were those days like and is it true that music was central to the city’s post-war restoration?  Nobody knows thatContinue reading “Michael Werba: Post-War Musical Vienna (1946-1955)”

The Vagues Saxophone Quartet: The Soundscape of Modernity 

Around the latter half of the nineteenth century, a curious single-reed instrument marched onto the Western music scene.  The saxophone was promoted as the most efficient musical instrument ever invented: it was as agile as the clarinet, as versatile as the violin and as powerful as the trumpet.  Though the saxophone has yet to be inducted intoContinue reading “The Vagues Saxophone Quartet: The Soundscape of Modernity “

MingHuan Xu & Winston Choi: Duo Diorama

Regarding chamber music, hardly is there another genre with as vast a repertoire as the violin and piano duo.  Composers seem to use this versatile instrumental combination to offer the most intimate chamber music interactions in one phrase and thundering orchestral tuttis in the next.  Duo Diorama, a violin and piano duo based in Chicago, is dedicated to performingContinue reading “MingHuan Xu & Winston Choi: Duo Diorama”