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Category Archives: classical music

How many women composers? Classical music’s invisible women

After receiving yet another press release for a classical music concert, I tweeted an email I’d sent to the publicist asking why there were no women composers in the program. From then it became a regular task I set myself: when I received a music press release, I’d ask #howmanywomencomposers, and post the results on Twitter. Read more »

Calling out of context: The perennial appeal of Arthur Russell

When Arthur Russell died in 1992 at the age of forty, he did so in relative obscurity, having released four commercially unsuccessful albums and granted a single print interview: not exactly a promising oeuvre on which to build a legacy. Read more »

Highbrow vs Lowbrow: Dan Golding defends Highbrow Music

The worst thing anyone ever did for classical music was label it ‘highbrow’. Just the words ‘classical music’ conjure up immovable preconceptions. Classical music is old, angry men in tops and tails. Classical music is stuffy and serious. Classical music doesn’t even let you clap when you want to. Read more »

Overture for a rookie: an evening at Hamer Hall

  On a recent Friday night, I found myself in the orange-velvet upholstered Hamer Hall, a concert venue of bunker-like construction, built into the south bank of the Yarra River in Melbourne. Architectural firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall completed a redevelopment of Hamer Hall in 2012, and I … Read more »

Can you separate the art from the artist?

Imagine this: Dmitri Shostakovich, the iconic Russian composer, is sitting in a Waldorf-Astoria lecture theatre in New York in 1949. Shostakovich is giving a speech attacking Igor Stravinsky, the famous Russian composer who now lives in America. But it is not Shostakovich who speaks — in fact, … Read more »

Everything you ever loved is hated by someone else

It was time for a letter to the editor, wrote Lisa Hirsch. The New York Times Magazine had neglected to include any classical musicians in its audio collage of musicians who had died in 2012 (save for Ravi Shankar, and ‘you know he’s there for his pop-music … Read more »

Modern adventures in classical music

A few years ago I applied to be a presenter at the classical music radio station 3MBS. I was twenty-three. 3MBS is a certain kind of Melbourne institution: it may not be as well known as FM counterpart ABC Classics but devotees make up for this through the sheer force of their passion. Read more »