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January 23, 2008

2008 Marvin O. Mechelke Piano Award Competition Cancelled

The Mechelke Competition will not take place this year. Information regarding next year's Mechelke Competition will be posted as soon as it is available. For questions and further information, please contact Professor Rebecca Shockley at shock001@umn.edu.

January 17, 2008

Sorenson Chosen as Minnesota Sesquicentennial Song Composer

Dean Sorenson, Director of Jazz Studies, was recently commissioned by the Roseville Visitors Association to compose the Sesquicentennial song for Minnesota entitled, Shines for All To See. Its world premiere took place Saturday, January 12, 2008 at the first annual Roseville Winter Jazz Festival where the JazzMN Big Band, directed by Dr. Doug Snapp, performed the premiere. Singers Judy Donaghy and T. Mychael Rambo were the featured vocalists.

Click here to listen to Shines for All.

This piece has been scored for any instrumental ensemble: Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, String Orchestra, or any combination. The vocal part can be sung by a male or female soloist, or a full chorus. Full Score and parts in PDF format are available. For more information on performing this piece, please contact Dean Sorenson at soren048@umn.edu or 612-624-2334.

January 7, 2008

Guest Artists: Pro Arte Piano Trio

Don't miss the guest artist recital by Pro Arte Piano Trio on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:30pm in Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall.

Formed in 1997, Pro Arte Piano Trio is one of the premier chamber ensembles performing today in Taiwan.
It's founder and violinist Juin-Ying Lee is an outstanding violinist and a School of Music alum (D.M.A. '96). Since his return to Taiwan, he established himself as an important musical force in Taiwan and sends annually his outstanding students for further studies in our school. Currently there are three of his former students pursuing graduate studies in the School of Music.

This will be their first appearance in the U.S. as a trio. They will also appear in the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota on February 17 and will make their Boston debut at the MIT Concert Series the following week.

January 4, 2008

Faculty Book Release: "Symphonic Aspirations" by Karen Painter

Ethnomusicology/musicology faculty member Karen Painter will release her new book, Symphonic Aspirations (Harvard University Press) on January 15, 2008.

Overview The symphony did not, as the story usually goes, fall out of fashion after 1900 in the heyday of modernism. To the contrary, it became a political stake, eventually revitalizing a generation disempowered by World War I. Painter examines how critics politicized music, especially that of Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner—whether to breed nationalism or to instill heroism. She exposes the debasement of active and informed listening in favor of Nietzschean will power or passive absorption. Her story has surprises: Mahler’s "liberal" admirers stressed the same virtues of unity and force that their nationalist and anti-Semitic counterparts heard in Bruckner's architectonic movements.

Significantly, Painter finds, the most brutal years of symphonic listening were not during the Third Reich but after World War I. The polemics exceeded those of any period before or since, with the exception of the Nazi Gleichschaltung in 1933-1934. Critics did more than composers, bureaucrats and politicians—even, finally, more than Goebbels and Hitler himself—to inure audiences to hear ideology in music.

The final question posed by her book is not whether music can be political, but how—after many years in which music mattered because it could affect national and cultural experience—we can listen to the same music today without sharing that dark heritage.