We classical musicians are so rigorously trained that we feel extremely self-conscious about making mistakes in performance. Most of us find it difficult to forgive ourselves for playing a wrong note or rhythm, and missing an entrance is tantamount to a felony.… Read the rest
The University of Washington Wind Ensemble. (Joanne DePue)
I’m fortunate to have found a world that is interested in new music — commissioning it, refining it and turning out great performances. It is the world of wind ensembles that are flourishing in most of our larger universities and colleges.… Read the rest
Some years ago I surprised my wife Ulla on her birthday by writing a chamber ensemble arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The principal players of the Toronto Symphony gathered at our house to rehearse it in preparation for an evening performance.… Read the rest
Years ago I got stuck when writing my wind ensemble work Winds of Nagual. I hammered at it for three days and finally jumped up from the drawing board, threw down my pencil and growled, “You do it!” and I stormed out of my studio.… Read the rest
Over the years I have received many letters from children and I find their directness very stimulating. Their letters are on my website (www.michaelcolgrass.com) along with my answers. A while back I got a particularly interesting letter from a 14-year-old girl that ties in with my last blog about music education in our schools.… Read the rest
Gustavo Dudamel, music director at the LA Philharmonic.
In my recent The Podium Mystery blog (Sept. 17), I asked how conductors get their results — what it takes to create a great performance. Several replies to my blog pointed out very correctly that the main work of the conductor is not done in the concert, but rather in rehearsals.… Read the rest