Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fifteen minutes of fame (x2)

Earlier this month, NPR's All Things Considered imagined a counterfactual history of World War 1:

This year marks the centennial of the outbreak of World War I. What started as a beef between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Serbia unleashed a clash that brought in Russia, Italy, France, Germany, England and eventually the United States.

All Things Considered has been underlining the war's historical importance by imagining the world if it had never happened: How would politics, science, literature and music have been different without that conflict?

We asked listeners to carry this idea of a counterfactual history and received more than 1,500 thoughtful — and often hilarious — stories.

My own contribution to the series was actually selected!

Pianist Paul Wittgenstein would not have lost his right arm to amputation, thus eliminating the left hand concerti of Ravel, Prokofiev and others. It's also highly unlikely that Stravinsky would have written "L'histoire du Soldat."
— Brian Hughes

Of course, there is much more to the musical story, but this is what I came up with off the top of my head.  Maybe Stravinsky would have written "A Farmer's Tale" instead.

* * * * * * * * * *

This past weekend I received a LinkedIn request from a member of the news media in the Quad Cities (Davenport, IA etc.).  I didn't know the guy but figured that such a contact couldn't hurt.  The next thing I know I'm sitting in a QC Times conference room with a reporter and a camera man spending nearly an hour talking about the Bettendorf Park Band, community music-making, and my own passion for conducting.  And so, this shows up last night on the paper's web site:

There's more, but I'm not a subscriber, so this is all I have at the moment.  However, interested readers can order a coffee mug, t-shirt, or even drink coasters with my mug attached.  (Hmm, mug on a mug?  That might be a scary way to start the day…)

The best news since Henson's resignation

Minnesota Orchestra CEO Michael Henson recently announced his resignation, effective August.  Many hoped that this would pave the way for the return of Osmo Vanska to the helm of this fine instrument that he built into one of the world's finest.

Minnesota PR reports here.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune adds here.

If this is true, will it solve all of the turmoil that erupted during the MOA's 16-month lock out of the orchestra.  Well, it is a start.