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Classical 101

San Francisco Symphony Still Edgy at 100

The San Francisco Symphony's Rise to Greatness

According to Henry Fogel, “You can’t rebuild an orchestra in one year. It takes time.â€? Fogel, past board chair and president of the American Symphony Orchestra League (now the League of American Orchestras) and a longtime orchestra manager himself, says “I think what San Francisco has done over the years is just brilliant.â€?  Edo de Waart began the process of weeding out the weaker players in the late 70s, followed by Herbert Blomstedt, who began molding the ensemble into a cohesive unit.  However, it was the arrival of current Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas in 1995 which catapulted the orchestra to the next level.  All three conductors will be on the podium this season as the San Francisco Symphony celebrates it's 100th anniversary by doing what it does best...looking forward. Read Renaissance Symphony: The San Francisco Symphony's Rise to Greatness (San Francisco Classical Voice) Watch as Michael Tilson Thomas takes you Inside the Orchestra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5PR-iKmjpI&feature=relmfu

West Side Story Score to Be Remade With Film

The story goes that, when Leonard Bernstein heard the soundtrack recording of West Side Story on the stereo of John Green, the film's music director, he said, "Johnny, how the hell could you have done it so badly?" Fifty years later, the composer's family aims to let audiences hear how it SHOULD have sounded.  The film was stripped of it's instrumental music, leaving the dialogue and singing.  Bernstein's beloved New York Philharmonic will accompany the film, playing the painstakingly reconstructed soundtrack. Read Classic score by Bernstein is remade (NY Times)

The Clown of the Orchestra Takes Its Revenge

The bassoon is one of the orchestra's most difficult instruments to play.  It is also one of the most difficult for people to take seriously...even those who play one.  One of the latest bassoon ensemble is a quintet known as The Breaking Winds.  If you go to YouTube, they have their own page. Watch The Clown of the Orchestra Takes Its Revenge (NPR) Watch The Breaking Winds Grand Entrance and Theme http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=239jrE7bMNQ ...and a little Lady Gaga http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru-aFg1pOvo&feature=related