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Classical 101

Measha Brueggergosman...a Year of Tragedy and Triumph

Measha Brueggergosman is a larger-than-life performer.  She has a large voice, a large personality, and likes to "live large."  However, two events have caused her to reassess her life and how she lives it.  You may have heard about her emergency heart surgery which brought things to a screeching halt.  As she told the Montreal Gazette...

The dissected aorta resulted in a dramatic halt to her career, surgery and recovery that made her “take stock and clean house. I wanted a well-rounded life, not just a career,â€? she says.

The surgery was followed more recently by another blow...Measha lost the twins she was carrying.  “As a result, I had a lot of time off. I’d cleared my calendar. I took time to grieve.â€? Since then, much has happened.  She did a stint as a judge on Canada's Got Talent (and says she can't believe someone thought belching was a marketable skill), and recorded a self-financed album containing everything from opera to reggae...including a duet with -wait for it- Martin Short.  (See above) Read Measha Brueggergosman Has Got a Crush on You (Montreal Gazette)

 Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley In Turmoil

The Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley is approaching it's 45th birthday.  The idea was to use music to affect social change.  They brought in underprivileged youth from all parts of the San Francisco Bay Area and taught them to play classical music at a very high level.

A number of notable musicians have emerged from the Young Musicians Program and gone on to great careers in performance. Many have returned to teach others.

Now, many who have worked or been enrolled there over the course of the last nine years say one person, current director Daisy Newman, is threatening the well-being and the future of this venerable institution. Read Churn and Burn at the Young Musicians Program (East Bay Express)

Philadelphia Orchestra Bankruptcy...How Much Will it Really Cost?

The turmoil in Philadelphia  continues, as leaders say the legal and administrative cost of bankruptcy proceedings would be $2.9 million.

Donors have given the struggling orchestra $36 million dollars above and beyond regular fundraising and attendance is up dramatically.

Yet problems persist.  After last year's vote by the ensemble's 75-member board in favor of bankruptcy proceedings, a vote which had few abstentions and all five musicians on the board voting "no," musicians are disputing the need for, and consequences of, bankruptcy. Read Philadelphia Orchestra Bankruptcy Drags On (Philadelphia Inquirer)