Sean Chen’s Boston Re-Debut

Sean Chen must be doing something right. In the past two years, he has received awards from some of the highest-profiled international piano competitions, has released two CDs, and has performed in cities across the United States and Europe. On Saturday evening, the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts hosted Mr. Chen at New England Conservatory’s […]

Music Made-In-Michigan: Three Perspectives

Making a Sustainable Instrument by Alex Smith: In my experience as a percussionist, musical ensembles own large inventories of percussion instruments yet they rarely know much about their origins, specifically in relation to the natural resources and production processes necessary for their construction.  Additionally, the production processes of our globalized political economy often involve the […]

Album Review: Rachel Barton Pine plays Schumann, Mendelssohn, Beethoven

I’ll leave it to you to look up the violinist Rachel Barton Pine’s story ( is a good start), but her work speaks for itself without the narrative, especially on her new CD with the Göttinger Symphony Orchestra under Christoph-Mathias Mueller.  The album features Mendelssohn and Schumann’s Violin Concertos and Beethoven’s 2 Romances for Violin […]

The Purposeful Voice Crack, or, Joe Imposes a Narrative Upon a String of YouTube Videos That He Likes, Then Bums You Out By Asking You to Watch 3 Versions of “Vesti la giubba”

When’s the last time your voice cracked?  For most of us it was after a long night of cheering or screaming, or maybe back in the throes of puberty.  For the least fortunate of us, our crack was in a performance setting.  They happen all the time, and though some of them are more fantastic […]

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

The way we talk about any subject is vital to its reception. Scientists these days are practicing their ‘bar pitch’: a 3-minute explanation (in layman’s terms) of their research topic. It’s tough for anyone (scientists, businessmen, or anyone highly specialized in their field) to adequately explain a dense topic in a short amount of time–especially […]