John Cage: Not So Much a Composer as an Inventor?

Cage admitted as much in a conversation with Telegraph writer and music critic Michael White in a long-ago conversation rolling out the now famous story…

…of being told by his (Cage’s) teacher Arnold Schoenberg that he “had no ear” and wasn’t so much a composer as an inventor.

Now, 20 years after his death, the Proms devotes an entire evening to Cage’s compositions, including musicians playing a cactus with a toothbrush.

Read Music Has Slipped Through the Bars of Cage (The Telegraph)

 Michael Feinstein to Succeed Marvin Hamlisch at Pasadena Pops

Columbus native Michael Feinstein, who performed with the Pasadena Pops during the final concert conducted by Marvin Hamlisch, will assume his position in 2013.  He will have the newly created title of Marvin Hamlisch Chair with the orchestra.

 ”It will take an enormous amount of work and study on my part to prepare. It’s a delicious challenge and I’ll certainly be learning along the way,” Feinstein said.

Feinstein is an expert in American Popular Song.  An introduction to Ira Gershwin by Oscar Levant led to Feinstein being hired by Gershwin to catalog his extensive collection of phonograph records. He would eventually spend six years researching, cataloging, and preserving the unpublished sheet music and rare recordings in Gershwin’s home.

Read Michael Feinstein to succeed Marvin Hamlisch at Pasadena Pops (LA Times)

Violinist’s Guarneri Being Held for “Ransom” by German Customs

Many of us know of someone who has had to dump something as they went through airport security, or maybe put something into a mailer and send it home at the behest of the TSA.  Maybe it’s happened to you. I would be willing to bet, however, that you have not found your livelihood threatened because of it.

According to reports…

“Yuzuko Horigome was flying home from Tokyo to Brussels with a stopover at Frankfurt, when German customs seized her Guarnerius violin, worth in the region of one million Euro. They demanded that she pay a fine of 190,000 Euros for the instrument’s release, saying that it had not been taxed properly in the EU. Yuzuko had to fly on without her instrument.”

No word on what, if any, access Horigome has to an instrument in the meantime.

Read Musical Instruments Held for Ransom (The Music Salon)

Watch Martha Argerich & Yuzuko Horigome Play the Schumann Violin Sonata No 1: 1st movement