"Life without music is unthinkable. Music without life is academic. That is why my contact with music is a total embrace." Leonard Bernstein
at various times in our lives, many of us lay out a roadmap of what we want to do, hope to be, intend to become; along the way, we have to expect adjustments. But if we really want a full life, we cannot put up protective walls or tread too carefully in avoidance of fear. We must fully embrace it.
Leonard Bernstein lived many lives in the span of one. Jerome Moross the composer lived his life very much as he lived it as the man: rejecting trends and conventions, acting upon by deeply held principles. George Gershwin sought continually to expand the breadth of his influences and to synthesize the sights, sounds and moods of his era.
I am not a musicologist. But I was curious what was behind the iconic works featured in our first concert of the season, works by those composers. I am always very fascinated by context. So, as a layman, I started a little reading about the times, the men and the music of the works and learned quite a bit. Would love to share with you - below.
We are really excited to have with us again Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann to perform Film Goes Classical 2.0 on January 10, the second time we co-present a concert with the wonderful Coral Gables Art Cinema. Our most recent collaboration with the duo was Piano Slam 5, a project that drew on their considerable classical piano chops, but also on Marcel's ever maturing abilities as a composer and arranger. More on the duo below.
Concurrently, we will be working behind the scenes on Piano Slam 8. This is the non-public part, the basis of great performance: the pianists, Maarten Van Veen (laureate of the 1995 Competition) and his colleague and piano partner, Bobby Mitchell, arrive in Miami to work with the DJ, the stage director and the Artistic Director, Erik Ochsner, to create the theme, the music, the influences, the staging, the flow and feel of the final show on April 13th at the Arsht Center.
For those of you who really want to get up close and personal, the Piano Slam Committee chaired by Alexander Tecle has organized three different social events leading up to Piano Slam 8. The first one will be on January 29th in a great little bar by water, tucked away at the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on Key Biscayne . Details below.
February will see us at Gramps in Midtown as part of Nerd Nite, where you can savor lots of libations along with a talk by Dr. Walter Bradley on music and the brain; March is scheduled at Books & Books. Details in the next newsletters.
Welcome to the new year - may it be a good and healthy and joyful one for each of you and yours. And may it bring you passion - for living, for loving, for music. Embrace it!
President, Dranoff Board