Category Archives: television

hilary hahn plays the tonight show

And recognize that pianist? Yes, it’s Portland and Oregon Symphony favorite Valentina Lisitsa!

[Photo credit: Olaf Heine/DG]

lincoln hall coming along

KGW ran a story today about the home of the music department at Portland State University.  Lincoln Hall (once the old Lincoln High School) has been undergoing a massive renovation, including much-needed seismic refits and many other changes designed to bring it into the 21st century.  Here’s the story:

vancouver symphony refuses to mime

Good for them! The Vancouver Symphony has pulled out of plans to record music for the 2010 Winter Olympics for other musicians to “play sync” to outdoors.

VSO conductor Bramwell Tovey was asked to conduct the recording session, but was told another conductor would perform his actions at the ceremonies.

“My participation at the opening ceremonies was dependent upon my agreeing that music I recorded would be mimed by another individual and I regarded that as fraudulent and withdrew,” Tovey told The Vancouver Sun.

The audience will at times hear more musicians playing than appear on stage, according to David Atkins, the executive producer of the opening and closing ceremonies.

VSO president and CEO Jeff Alexander said the VSO was asked to record a piece of music for the ceremonies, but was not asked to appear in the show.

Although Vanoc offered to credit Tovey and the VSO, Alexander said “it wouldn’t have made sense to allow the VSO name to be used.”

What was the Vancouver Olympic Committee thinking? Why use another ensemble – is the VSO full of ugly, un-photogenic people? Were they going to hire a bunch of twenty-something actors to mime the performance?  At least in Salt Lake City, the Utah Symphony was miming to itself. What a fiasco. And somehow, I’m sure someone will find a way to make the symphony’s musicians the villains of this piece.  I’m sure they were probably fine with miming to themselves – who wouldn’t want to be on the world stage –  but I’m totally sympathetic to the notion that having a random group of musicians calling themselves the VSO be featured is unpalatable to them.

Read the whole story here.

sfso’s ‘keeping score’ video episodes now available

tilson-thomas-m
Michael Tilson Thomas/Photo: G. Schirmer

If you missed the San Francisco Symphony’s wonderful exploration of four major works from the classical music repertoire (explicated and conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas) – then you’re in luck.  If you’re a digi-phile such as myself, you can click over to the iTunes Store and download each of the full episodes here [link will launch iTunes].  What’s more, they’re available for the amazing price of just $1.99 each or you can buy all four for $7.96!  A bargain for a very well-produced (and performed) series on great music.

For more information on the new season (which has begun on PBS October 15th), head on over to the San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score website.

The programs available on iTunes are:

  1. Beethoven’s Eroica
  2. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
  3. Copland and the American Sound
  4. Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique


family guy musical clips


Stewie “plays” the french horn.


Stewie plays the banjo.


Lois and Brian keep the rhythm – funny if you’ve ever taught a music lesson.

o.j. opera

Great, classic scene from last week’s episode of Family Guy – the Quahog Opera’s production of the OJ Simpson murders:

a historic day