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new music

David Finlayson (left) / anthonymcgill.com, demarremcgill.com

Long before clarinetist Anthony McGill and flutist Demarre McGill launched coast-to-coast musical careers, the brothers were each other’s musical inspiration as kids.

color photo o Yolanda Kondonassis surounded by harps
Laura Watilo Blake / yolandaharp.com

If you think playing the harp is something only angels do, then you’ve never met Yolanda Kondonassis. She's in part the reason why the new harp concerto that Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon wrote for Kondonassis is anything but angel food.

Jack Gramann

You might be used to hearing tubas doing oom-pahs down in the basement of the musical range. But the world premiere of Columbus composer and tubist Tony Zilincik’s Tuba Concerto on Sunday afternoon might instead have you looking up at the stars.

color photo of Frank Lee Ruggles
Don Mears / frankleeruggles.photoshelter.com

Two and a half years ago, two people with strong ties to Delaware, Ohio, met each other when they were being inducted into the Delaware City Schools’ Hall of Fame.

Matthew Bonder

Two brand-new musical works – involving cutting-edge technology and offering commentary on subjects as diverse as a brassy night in Vegas and the wild and woolly world of social media – will receive their world premieres in Columbus this weekend, as Capital University’s Conservatory of Music celebrates its 100th anniversary. 

Dutch rabbits, Dutch tulips, Dutch cocoa, double Dutch.

Seems like everything is going Dutch these days – even the Carpe Diem String Quartet. 

color photo of the U.S. Constitution
Josh Hallett / Flickr

Democracy has been called the worst form of government except for all the others. In the United States, democracy is inextricably linked with the presidency, that august office which votes fill, which pundits punch and where the buck famously stops for the commonweal. 

color photo of Mark Lomax playing drum set
marklomaxii.com

Four hundred years ago this year, the first African people were taken from their homelands and brought to colonial America – thus instituting slavery in what would become the United States and inflicting profound wounds on individuals and American society that still have not healed. 

color photo of Ayreheart folk trio
facebook.com/Ayreheart

Wait long enough and an old-style musical instrument, much like an out-of-date piece of clothing, might eventually come back in fashion.

Or do what lutenist Ronn McFarlane is doing and take an instrument that saw its heyday in the Renaissance and – with energy and a spirit of innovation – turn it into a rock star. 

color photo of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
European University Institute / Creative Commons

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the mother and mother-in-law. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the music lover. And, thanks to the Notorious R.B.G. blog, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the unexpected pop-culture icon.

Now, Ginsburg, 85, is also the inspiration for, and the subject and dedicatee of, a new recording of art songs — many composed specifically for her and in celebration of the quarter-century mark of her Supreme Court career.

Jolesch Enterprises / cleachmusic.com

What started with the chatter of nonsense syllables and virtuosic pitter-pattering on an exotic hand drum ended with an upside-down snare drum and the otherworldly sounds of a recorded phone call.

Wednesday's preview in the Classical 101 studios of Cameron Leach's solo electroacoustic percussion concert ELISION wasn't just drumming. It was a sight to behold, a sound to take in and an event that only begins to describe what this Saturday's ELISION concert is all about.

Cameron Leach performs ELISION at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Columbus Performing Arts Center's Van Fleet Theatre. The concert is supported by the Johnstone Fund for New Music. Admission is free.

color photo of Eric Whitacre leading his Live Virtual Choir
ericwhitacre.com

"In 1991, I had maybe the most profound and transformative experience in my life."

That’s how Eric Whitacre began his February 2013 TED Talk about how his choral work Cloudburst and his history-making Virtual Choir project came about.

An eagle bone whistle. A sacred rattle. A singing turtle. A “love flute.”

These are just a few of the ancient Native American instruments showcased in Anthem for the Ancestors, a new work for string quartet, Native American instruments, narrator and multimedia visual effects composed by Carpe Diem String Quartet violinist Charles Wetherbee and Native American performer and composer Leon Joseph Littlebird.

color photo of Vireo performers in Alcatraz cell block
David Soderland / operavireo.org

It’s an opera about a woman imprisoned by psychological demons. It was filmed at Alcatraz. And, if all that isn't cool enough, later this month you’ll be able to watch it in 15-minute episodes on your mobile device, computer or TV.

requiemformymother.com

Veteran Hollywood composer Stephen Edwards has seen a lot of drama, death and destruction on the silver screen but, until his mother passed away, he had experienced very little of it in his own life.

“I was kind of left not knowing what to do with myself,” Edwards said in a recent phone interview. "It was a feeling of helplessness, like I couldn’t do anything to bring her back, and I couldn’t do anything to help her."

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