Szymon Laks – Poem for Violin and Orchestra

The composer Szymon Laks‘ music deserves to be better known than it is. So too does his life. The title of his book, Mélodies d’Auschwitz, probably gives you a clue as to why I say that. He responded to the horror of being in the most notorious concentration camp during the Holocaust by making music. [Read More…]

Mason Bates’ Violin Concerto

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On The Edge of the Infinite

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Above is a video with just the piece MYOverture, composed by Alex McGrath for the 20th anniversary of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. Below are two more videos from yesterday’s concert: Cathy Morris’ “Duck (Watch Out)” and Duke Ellington’s [Read more…]

Nielsen’s Violin Concerto

I listened to Carl Nielsen’s Violin Concerto again recently, and I realized that I had forgotten how wonderful it is. It deserves to be heard far more often than it is, and so enjoy this recording with Baiba Skride as soloist. [Read more…]

Monti’s Czardas

A video from today’s Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Concerto Concert, held at Broadway United Methodist Church here in Indianapolis. [Read more…]

Une Nuit de Mai by Charles Loeffler

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Where Should I Start?

I received this e-mail a while back: Professor McGrath, I apologize for approaching you directly with my question: I realize that it’s like asking a doctor for free medical advice. Unfortunately I don’t know where to turn, in the bewildering sea of conflicting information out there. Perhaps the answer to my question would be a [Read More…]

Doctor Who Theme on Violin

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Tone And Resonant Depth In Sound

One of the things we accomplished while in Romania was a visit to Reghin, the violin-making capitol of the country. We ended up buying my son a lovely handmade instrument from Simon József, whose family are into their fifth generation as luthiers (his grandfather was the first, and his grandson now helps with the work). Since [Read More…]