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A Conversation with Los Angeles Impresario Ernest Fleischmann

Note: this interview was broadcast on WGBH, Boston’s NPR station for news and culture, and was part of Classical KUSC ‘A Tribute to Ernest, broadcast live from Walt Disney Concert Hall on 3/29/11.

Ernest Fleischmann
Ernest Fleischmann
Ernest Fleischmann, the former General Manager of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, can be credited with turning this once provincial institution into a world famous orchestra. He was also instrumental in hiring Esa-Pekka Salonen, the famous Finnish music director and composer, and more recently the flamboyant Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel, who, baton in hand, has taken the classical music world by storm.
Now in his 80′s, Ernest looks back at his career in a conversation with ThoughtCast, at his home in the Hollywood Hills. This brief interview only skims the surface of his career and accomplishments, but it’s a pleasure to listen to that voice, and to tap into his reservoir of musical knowledge – and instinct.
Click here to listen (8:26 minutes.)

Sadly, Ernest Fleischmann died in June, 2010 after a long illness. He will be missed! Here is a tribute to him from Gail Eichenthal at KUSC.

Posted on December 15, 2009 in Music
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Steve Reich Meets The Borromeo String Quartet!

Note: So far, this piece has been broadcast on the following public radio programs:  New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of MouthWDAV’s Artist Spotlight, Tapestry from 90.3 WBHM, in Birmingham, Alabama and KUAR, in Little Rock!

Borromeo String Quartet (photo: Christian Steiner)

Steve Reich is perhaps the preeminent composer living today. And one of his most heart-wrenching and affecting works is called Different Trains for String Quartet and Tape. It tells the story of Steve Reich’s early childhood — his train trips between the East and West coasts to visit his separated parents — and also of the train trips Jews were forced to take during the Holocaust.

The piece, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet in 1988, is notoriously difficult to play. But the Borromeo String Quartet has recently taken up the challenge. ThoughtCast’s Jenny Attiyeh attended a rehearsal at the New England Conservatory, where the Borromeo is currently in residence.

Click here: to listen — (7 minutes) on ThoughtCast!

Click here: for a shorter version (4:30 mins.)

Posted on February 21, 2008 in Front Page, Music
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Words @ Work: The Origins of “Rock”

Note: this piece was broadcast on NJN (New Jersey Public Radio) and WMUB, an NPR station in Oxford, Ohio, and podcast on KXCI.org, in Tucson.

Why Not?
What does the word rock mean? Simple enough question. But how did the term originate? Where — and why? These questions are bit more difficult to answer!

Tune in for a quick romp through the origins of the word — with Berklee College of Music professor Ken Zambello.
Click here: to listen (3:30 minutes).
(And thanks to Pam Scrutton and Planning For Elders for the “Let’s Rock and Roll” illustration!)

Posted on December 9, 2007 in Front Page, Music, Words@Work
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