Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga, the “Spanish Mozart”

Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga was a Basque composer who died in 1826 at the age of 19. He was nicknamed “the Spanish Mozart” after he died, because, like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, he was both a child prodigy and an accomplished composer who died young. He died in Paris of a “galloping consumption,” likely, tuberculosis. Like Mozart, he was buried in a public burial ground. Arriaga’s Symphony in D Major is one … Continue reading Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga, the “Spanish Mozart”

Horace Parlan and Svend Asmussen

Horace Parlan, a jazz pianist who suffered from polio as a child, and overcame the limited use of his right hand to develop a distinctive style, recently died at the age of 86. In Pittsburgh at the age of 5, Parlan acquired polio and was partially paralyzed on his right side. As therapy, he began studying piano. He eventually recovered partial use of three fingers on his right hand … Continue reading Horace Parlan and Svend Asmussen

Black History Month Event: Miss Marian Anderson and Friends Project

Tomorrow night at 6 PM: Miss Marian Anderson and Friends Project Bunker Hill Community College Celebrates Black History Month with the Oscar Micheaux Family Theater Company of Boston Experience this original theater piece, Miss Marian Anderson and Friends, about how renowned African American singer Marian Anderson (1897-1993) overcame obstacles to become one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Sponsored by the Office of … Continue reading Black History Month Event: Miss Marian Anderson and Friends Project

‘The music wars are over’

Philip Glass celebrated his 80th birthday on Jan. 31 with the premiere of his Eleventh Symphony, a lengthy Carnegie Hall ovation greeting the onetime maverick. For anyone who remembers just how much of a pariah Glass’s minimalism once made him — audience members yelling or throwing eggs during concerts were not unheard-of — the flood of mainstream acceptance is astonishing. Yet few composers of Glass’s … Continue reading ‘The music wars are over’

We Shall Overcome

Music all played an important role during the American Civil Rights Movement. Singing helped motivate activists and gave them psychological strength during fearful times. One of the most important songs was “We Shall Overcome.” The lyrics and music are below. In my opinion, the most urgent issue is abolishing nuclear weapons globally. Please call on Washington DC politicians to pass the Markey/Lieu bill. Here is contact information for the President and your Senator/ Representative. Here in … Continue reading We Shall Overcome