Two of my lifelong loves are writing and music, and I’m fortunate to be able to balance them both. A third is a guilty pleasure — watching bingeable TV, mostly period dramas depicting centuries-old royal families and the scandals, drama and romance that follow them. There’s nothing like seeing the fancy costumes, elaborate sets, and beautiful locations, and diving into that historic world for seasons on end.
How lucky I am when all three loves combine on-screen in depicting the world of classical music and musicians. It’s the best mix I could ever want, right? Wrong! Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing untrained actors attempt to portray classical musicians when using real musicians could do the job a million times better.
In modern life, musicians have to wear many hats and juggle different events. Today’s musicians need more than just natural talent — their musical journey requires dedication, passion, and forged friendships. Kirsten Docter, Associate Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Oberlin Conservatory, isn’t worried that anyone who attends the school will be deficient in any of these areas. Rather, she considers Oberlin to be a place to foster artistic growth and cultivate one’s personal creativity.
It has not been a normal season for the world’s orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists. With empty concert halls and virtual productions, livestreaming has become a beacon — allowing musicians to practice their craft even without audiences present. Prerecorded concerts are the new normal, gathering people from near and far to bond over art.
As the first Korean group to top the Global and U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Charts, the boyband BTS (방탄소년단) have taken the world by storm. Remaining true to their humble reputation when they became the first K-Pop group to secure a Grammy nomination, they credited it all to their fans, who are nicknamed The ARMY. With songs that tackle difficult social topics, it’s no surprise the septet has grown into one of the most impactful groups to date.
The Violin Channel seemingly has every facet of classical music news covered for anyone who wants to know just about anything, and it’s no surprise that they’re hitting the nail on the head with programming for their new Vanguard Concerts. The series has become so successful, it has surpassed 1.5 million views worldwide in just over two weeks.
Having launched in February with performances by star violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Alessio Bax, the VC continues to dazzle with their chosen lineup, which includes violinist Charles Yang with Peter Dugan, and most recently the esteemed Dover Quartet.
To celebrate the conclusion of Black History Month on February 28, Oberlin Conservatory presented a faculty recital featuring works by Black composers. The concert was livestreamed on their Stage Left platform. The performance featured violinists Francesca DePasquale and David Bowlin, cellist Darrett Adkins, pianist James Howsmon and harpsichordist Mark Edwards. The concert successfully explored underrepresented composers and their music, that spanned multiple eras and a variety of compositional styles.
One of the most prominent news sources for all aspects of classical music, The Violin Channel is no stranger to delivering important and engaging content. Whether it’s audition announcements, concert broadcasts, competition coverage, guest artist masterclasses, album releases, or interviews and obituaries, The VC is happy to supply.
They have even more to share with eager audiences as of late — a new ten-part concert series, The Vanguard Concerts, co-produced by the VC founder Geoffrey John Davies, performing arts executive Charles Letourneau, and the Alphadyne Foundation. With many performing seasons taking a backseat as a result of safety precautions amid the pandemic, these stellar artists can safely come together and do what they love most — create beautiful music to share with listeners around the world. As a bonus, the series was designed to help those whose careers have been disrupted, and provide for the artists to freely use their recordings as promotional material while being supported financially.