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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Congratulations MacArthurs!

It's going to be a great year for new music. Alex Ross, best-selling writer, classical critic and all-around advocate of pretty new sounds (yes MAYBE YOU'VE HEARD OF HIM) has received a $500,000 MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship. Also on the list: Leila Josefowicz! When I was a wee little Suzuki violinist and she was a wee little Suzuki violinist, she was like a fantasy version of myself. She studied with Idel Low? I knew Idel Low! I watched her onstage, playing the Mendelssohn concerto, and thought, she's just a year than me... maybe if I practice a LOT in the next twelve months... Yeah, no. Didn't happen. But as she outgrew the Child Prodigy pinafore, she grew into the tight pants and body glitter of the New Music Champion, in which guise she knocked my socks off with an intimate New York performance of the Adams concerto some years ago. She marked the ferocious accents of the last movement with pelvic thrusts (she did!), and suddenly a piece which I had known through Kremer's sweet, wry, neoclassical interpretation revealed itself to be something totally different and–y'know what–better. She tore it up. When I heard that she had devoted herself to learning and performing the complete Adams violin music, I was delighted. Hey, between the MacArthur prize and this shortlist, it's been a pretty good couple weeks for her! And finally I'll leave you with a clip of freshly minted MacArthur fellow Walter Kitundu, instrument maker-in-residence with the Kronos Quartet and bird photographer. (Note that this ties in nicely with our earlier discussion of classical turntablism.) Read more about Kitundu at the SFGate and/or at the SFist, or just watch the clip below and be delighted.

3 comments:

anon said...

How absulutly hetrosexual of you.

anon said...

Absolutely sorry. it's the meds

Marcus said...

Well, we are all entitled to our moments of transient gender and orientation opacity.

All I can say is that there is no one in the music world who deserves this award more than Alex.