The Spider Silk Luthier

Italian designer Luca Alessandrini talks about his radical spider silk violin prototype and a future where we might better customize instruments to the musicians who play them.

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Baseball, Apple Pie... and Walter Piston

Americans love celebrating their own, but some have argued that we largely neglect an important group of great American symphonists who wrote at a time during the 20th century when the United States classical music world was developing a distinct voice.

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Composers in Uniform

Since US Armed Forces ensembles are in the news, take a look back at some of the important classical figures who spent part of their career making music in the American military.

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Margin Notes

Principal Librarian Michael Ferraguto explains the hidden world of inside jokes, strange musical markings and doodles that is sometimes found in the margins of musicians' sheet music.

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Rethinking the Modern Music School Training

To Peabody Institute Dean Fred Bronstein, the traditional music conservatory education isn't preparing music students for the modern classical landscape. Since his appointment as the head of one of America's oldest conservatories two years ago, that's something he's devoted himself to changing.

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Hazards of the Trade

Raymond Wittstadt specializes in performing arts medicine and talks about the physical strains and chronic injuries that are often a part of being a professional musician.

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Elemental Sounds

Percussionist Christopher Lamb talks about working with composer Tan Dun for Water Concerto, a percussion feature work that channels the elemental and theatrical sounds of water.

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Anna Clyne on channeling contemporary art in Abstractions

Composer Anna Clyne talks about the process behind her new work, Abstractions. Something of a modern take on Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Abstractions is inspired by five pieces of contemporary art at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the private collection of Rheda Becker and Robert Meyerhoff.

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Six Degrees of Ernst Bacon

Researchers in the field of network theory are using metadata to map out communities of classical artists and composers, which might help us better see how they relate to one another or help newcomers navigate the extensive web of classical music.

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Bearing Witness

A year after the death of Freddie Gray, two Baltimore composers talk about how those events shaped their music and the need for music of the day to acknowledge and engage in the issues of the day.

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The Function of Listening to Music

The question of "why music?" has been around since we first started making it. A new study looking at the function of listening to music might not answer that, but it should remind us that we have many new and emerging ways to consider a very old question.

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Conducting Behind the Scenes

University of Maryland Concert Choir Director Edward Maclary talks about the collaborative process of working as a preparation conductor on a concert where he will ultimately watch his ensemble perform from the audience.

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The 15-Second Harpist

London musician Olivia Jageurs talks about 15 Second Harp, her new project that is part 21st century creative collaboration, part musical tech support for those writing for her instrument.

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Q&A with Composer Mason Bates

Mason Bates talks about performing his piece Mothership with the BSO, balancing composing with his other artistic interests and his work on a new Steve Jobs opera.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Repetition is a key component in music mastery, but a growing body of scientific literature suggests that a dose of variation is just as important.

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The Musical Thaw Between the US and Cuba

With diplomatic relations easing, artists from both the US and Cuba talk about their experience at a recent contemporary music festival in Havana and what musical possibilities they think the future holds.

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Songs of the Earth

An organ that turns the sea to haunting music, and a look at several other installations that feature nature as the musician.

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After the End

Classical commentator Norman Lebrecht spent many years predicting and writing about the struggles of the industry, but at a recent forum he said the future of classical music is still bright if it is willing to change.

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Yeezy: featuring C. Sheezy

Kanye West and Pulitzer-winning composer Caroline Shaw have recently started collaborating to make some very interesting music together. What does that mean exactly?

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Where Woodwinds and Woodshop Meet

A new public-private partnership brings musical instrument repair to the high school classroom and aims to teach students a skill and address a national shortage of repair techs.

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What Good are Genres?

Genres have been an important part of how we find and listen to music, but that might be changing, which could be good for classical.

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Fate Redux

BSO Playwright-in-Residence Didi Balle talks about her new Symphonic Play, Tchaikovsky: Mad But For Music that explores what led the Russian composer to explore the idea of fate in not one but two of his symphonies.

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Happy (Belated) Piano Day!

You might have missed the first annual celebration of the piano, but the plans behind Piano Day and the two-story piano the holiday hopes to bring to fruition are worth giving some attention.

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Bringing an Orchestra to Baltimore

BSO oboist, Michael Lisicky, talks about the early history of symphony concerts in Baltimore (which included an African monkey and several Chinese dogs) and the first BSO concert 99 years ago.

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Out of the Pocket

For Victor Holmes, whether he's playing jazz drums at a church or classical bass with the BSO, music is music.

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The Great Carry-On Debate

Musical instruments are now a carry-on according to Department of Transportation rules, ending a regular standoff between musicians and airlines at the airport gate.

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Timeline: Classical Lost and Found

The classical world is abuzz after the original manuscript to a famous Mozart piano sonata was found in Budapest, but the discovery is actually one of many classical finds in recent years.

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Ferde Grofé and the Unusual Suspects

How a collaboration between a cartoonist, neuroscientist, researcher and historian brought an unpublished piece of music by composer Ferde Grofé back to the concert hall after 82 years. 

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Music in Za'atari

A weeklong fellowship by Music For Life International will bring music and music lessons to Syrian refugees in a Jordanian camp.

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Take it Slow

Millennium-long piece of music turns to Kickstarter to develop a portable 1,000-minute version for the shorter attention span.

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Viral Violins

Classical album sales continue to slide, but a viral video of fireworks and the success of Lindsey Stirling show the opportunities online.

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From Russia With Love

The 1812 Overture celebrates a Russian victory over the French, but it is a Fourth of July tradition. How does that work?

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Needs More Cowbell!

On the eve of this weekend’s concert, “Percussion Strikes Again!,” BSO percussionist John Locke talks about run-ins with the cops, soundproof rooms and what all percussionists have in common.

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Party Like It’s 1799

Could live classical music at house parties be the answer to turning millennials onto a new genre of music? A Boston-based startup called Groupmuse thinks so.

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In the Folds

When Ben Folds performs with the BSO this summer, it won’t be the first time the musician has teamed up with some unlikely collaborators.

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Young Geniuses

The Internet loves a musical prodigy. Here are a few we think just might succeed as adults, too. 

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Baggage Bummers

If you think dealing with airline baggage rules is a hassle, try traveling with a cello. Or a double bass. Or a priceless pipa. 

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A Turbulent Time

When the BSO’s Kristin Ostling was detained at London’s Heathrow Airport, it made news the world over. Here’s her version of the story.

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Class Acts

Before these actors were known for reading lines, they could read music. Very, very well. 

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Take 5 with Lisa Steltenpohl, BSO Principal Viola

Starting a new job can be tricky. But it didn’t take long for newly-appointed Principal Viola Lisa Steltenpohl to get her feet wet. Two weeks after joining the BSO, she makes her solo debut this weekend performing in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

Crossover Classics

In today’s YouTube world, classical crossover artists are enjoying their day in the limelight. But is that a good thing for classical music? 

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By George!

George Takei is a man of many guises: Starfleet lieutenant on “Star Trek;” semi-regular on the “Howard Stern Show"; social media darling, outspoken advocate of gay rights, and he recently launched a unisex perfume called Eau My, a reference to his famous catchphrase, “Ohh, myyy!” We caught up with Mr. Takei for a couple of quick games of “Complete this Sentence…” and “This or That?”

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10 Things You Need to Know About the TImpani

Ah, the timpani. No orchestral percussion section is complete without them! And here at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, we have one of the most killer timpanists in the biz, James Wyman (otherwise known as the Tattooed Timpanist), who is about to drop some knowledge on you about these drums with the funny name.

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The BSO's Got Its Own Music Man

What do the Ravens, former BSO music director Yuri Temirkanov and former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor William Donald Schaefer all have in common? They have all served as fodder for the musical compositions of BSO bass player Jonathan Jensen.

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Musical Bad Boys: Mozart vs. Bieber

Is Justin Bieber taking a page out of the W.A. Mozart playbook? At first glance, pop star Justin Bieber and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would appear to have absolutely nothing in common. But take a closer look. 

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OrchKids Receive White House Award

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program is one of 12 recipients of the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

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Timpani Transformation

BSO Principal Timpanist James Wyman has taken on an interesting project: converting the BSO’s existing set of timpani drums from the American style into the German style.

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