Women at the Symphony (Part 2): Missy Mazzoli and Women in Composition

While contemplating the problem of women’s underrepresentation in orchestra seasons (see Part 1 here), I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli. Mazzoli has one of the most exciting careers of any composer working today; her work is performed all over the world, prominent artists have…

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Let’s talk about women conductors…

…because there aren’t very many of them. This gender imbalance isn’t limited to conducting — systemic sexism is alive and well in the field of classical music. According to research compiled by Classic FM radio station, in the 2018/19 season American orchestras will continue to devote “much more time to music written by men and…

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What Teaching Has Taught Me

I started teaching at age 15, as an intern at the conservatory where I studied music. My view of teaching has changed dramatically over the nearly 15 years that I have taught, and I’ve learned from the experience of teaching. When I was 15, I was already serious about violin and had the goal of…

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Soundproof your room on a budget

Listening to classical music is often pleasant, but listening to someone practice classical music? Not so much. And practicing in an apartment without driving the neighbors crazy is an issue every musician has likely faced. Hearing those same two measures of Strauss over and over and over again at half speed may just as well…

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That’s a Wrap! Recapping the Civic Fellows’ 2018/19 season.

And just like that, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago’s 2018/19 Season came to a close! Some highlights from last season included CSO-Connect, residencies at Illinois Youth Center Chicago (IYCC) and BRAVE Youth Leaders, team community engagement projects, and last but not least, two Purpose over Pain songwriting projects with the London-based Irene Taylor Trust. Keep…

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The Song of a Warrior: A story about songwriting and family

“Come Sing With Us” by Alka, Rahul, Kato, Louie, and Roslyn (lyrics listed below) Gus was the first to greet me when I walked into the Guptas’ home.  A bouncy little pup with white fur, Gus insisted on being pet before I could meet the rest of the household.  Rahul and his wife, Kato, both…

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CSO-Connect Finale and Civic Concert: Reflecting on May 8-21, 2019

After the CSO strike ended, the music and liveliness finally came back to Orchestra Hall. And after seven enduring weeks, our Civic Orchestra finally set foot back in Symphony Center. Just as important, we were able to get back to Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities to share our love for, and the power of, music. The…

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