Wednesday, December 19, 2018
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           Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there were subjects devoid of controversy. We often joked that motherhood, the flag, and apple pie were immune to criticism. Of course, everyone stood for the National Anthem. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Motherhood and the flag are now considered ideological lightning rods and even the best apple pie may soon have reason to worry.          Literacy, particularly musical literacy also seemed inviolate. Why would reading music or even studying music be a source of controversy? Jon Henschen is a veteran of the financial services... (Read More ...)

       In every field of human endeavor, awards and prizes are often the yardsticks by which we measure success and achievement. Inserting “Nobel Laureate,” “Academy Award winner,” or “Pulitzer Prize-winning,” before an individual’s name brings prestige and credibility to the person so honored. But over a period of years, the validity of such awards and prizes has declined sharply. Efforts by those making such awards have been tainted by overt politicization and worse, by an effort to follow the trends of the ghastly, ubiquitous pop culture. Those who challenge such attitudes... (Read More ...)

  You may be tempted to shout, “Of course not!” But think again. Beethoven was a popular 1992 film about a giant St. Bernard that was named after the legendary composer. The film found such a large audience that a sequel was produced and titled Beethoven’s 2nd. If your children aren’t encountering classical music, they may well think that “Beethoven” is the name of the dog or the movie in which he starred. Nor is classical music the only genre of music your children and grandchildren may be missing. Jazz, classic film scores, and pieces from the Great American Songbook are also... (Read More ...)

Dr. Miklos Rozsa, renowned Hungarian composer of music for films and the concert hall expressed his musical beliefs in his memoir, “Double Life.” He said, “I have no time for any music which does not reflect pleasure in life, and more importantly, pride in life.”  His music, like his life, reflected great personal integrity. His musical career was extraordinary, because as one of the world’s most celebrated film composers, he was able to thrive professionally in the commercial motion picture industries in Paris, London, and Hollywood, without sacrificing that integrity.  His... (Read More ...)

Bernard Herrmann was an eminent composer of symphonic, operatic, and film music. He rejected all fads and fashions to pursue a musical ideal. At a time when many of his colleagues were tripping over their own feet in an effort to keep up with the latest trends in commercial music, Herrmann responded with an uncompromising “no.”  He detested musical charlatans, even those making millions of dollars a year. He paid the price for his outspoken integrity, enduring ridicule and sarcasm from those in Hollywood whose only interest was profit. Herrmann expressed his view when he said, “Music... (Read More ...)