Blog

Ysaye Barnwell, pt. 2

JD: I used to be the Organist at a church in Oakland, CA. One day I told the pastor that I wanted to sing a particular Spiritual during the service, since there was no choir that day. She told me that would be inappropriate since the African-Americans in the congregation might take offense at me singing their music. My response was that I don’t have to be Lutheran to sing Bach! And why should I ...
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Ysaÿe Barnwell, pt. 1

On Nov. 21, 2017, I interviewed Ysaÿe Barnwell in her home in Washington, DC. Ms. Barnwell was a member of the African American a cappella ensemble, Sweet Honey in the Rock, from 1979 to 2013. She is a prolific composer and public speaker. Jonathan Dimmock: I want to use music as a way to help the world come together. In your work with Sweet Honey in the Rock, to what degree does the audience’s presence ...
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Sir András Schiff

Jonathan Dimmock: I want to start by thanking you for speaking out against Orbán and the Hungarian government. It was a very courageous act, and puts you in the category with Casals, Bernstein, and Masur! These great artists believed that there is no separation between art and politics. András Schiff: Not so courageous! But thank you. JD: How do you see the relationship between us, as artists, and our association with beauty, and the world ...
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John Rutter and Tim Brown

In the summer of 2017, I had the distinct privilege of visiting John Rutter in his country home. John is widely recognized as the most popular, and the most published, choral composer of our day. We were joined by my longtime friend and colleague, Tim Brown - one of the great choral conductors of the British Isles. Both Tim and John are formerly Directors of Music at Clare College, Cambridge, and as such, truly brought ...
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Mason Bates

Mason Bates, Musical America's 2018 Composer-of-the-Year, is a breath of fresh air in a room that is often accused of lacking ventilation! Mason is, at once, edgy yet traditional, intuitive and insightful, curious and experimental, and more willing to test the preconceived boundaries of the concert stage than possibly any composer before him. Small wonder that he is the number two most performed American composer! His performances are a mixture of DJ and symphony orchestra, ...
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