For your consideration: the CDA ten best of 2015

Today marks the 354th day of 2015, and what a year it’s been.

There’s been too much chaos and controlled fury to assess what we went through. We survived, we had fun, let’s never talk about it again. You’re forgiven for not keeping tabs on great classical releases this year amidst the madness. That job is reserved for nerd critics and classical music fanboys and girls.

What follows are ten 2015 releases I’ll keep listening to in the coming year. They’re all aces, and they’re in alphabetical order.

Continue reading “For your consideration: the CDA ten best of 2015”

Taylor Swift drops 50 stacks on the Seattle Symphony

One-woman pop-music phenom Taylor Swift gave $50,000 to the Seattle Symphony last week. Fifty thousand? Talk about hush money. What dirt do they have on her?? No sane person donates to orchestras anymore.

Sure, the “official” reason was that Swift simply “appreciated” the Seattle Symphony’s work with John Luther Adams and his tour de force piece Become Ocean. Assuming Swift was telling the truth (and I have no reason to believe she is) this “donation” signals something big. When your orchestra is willing to play, record, and promote good new music — to cultivate a reputation as the go-to outfit for experiments like this — then you’ll reap handsome rewards, although not always monetarily. Continue reading “Taylor Swift drops 50 stacks on the Seattle Symphony”

Ten great classical music follows on Instagram


Sometimes your Instagram feed can seem like an endless parade of food photos, braggadocious vacation updates, and tired memes. You need a change, a healthy classical music infusion.

Below you’ll find ten great classical music Instagram accounts. Choose your favorites, click the links to judge suitability, and follow if you’re feeling them. Continue reading “Ten great classical music follows on Instagram”

Classical music crystallized at Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie


courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The city of Berlin offers city dwellers an amazing proposition: an off-peak, all-access, year-long pass to nineteen art museums and research centers for a modest 25 euros. Since buying the pass in October I’ve been on a quest to visit as many sites as possible. Firmly resolved: it will get done.

Most recently I went to the Alte Nationalgalerie. The Alte Nationalgalerie was completed in 1876 and renovated in 2001. It’s home to works by Rodin, Pissarro, and others you’d expect. Even better, it boasts a sturdy collection of German painters from the past three centuries.

The Alte Nationalgalerie also houses paintings and sculptures of interest to classical music buffs. I snapped a few photos for posterity, which you can see below. Continue reading “Classical music crystallized at Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie”