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Upcoming PBS classical music series: All-American Orchestra-- Gerard Schwartz, WNET in NYC


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#1 bart

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:53 AM

Today's NY Times reports some hopeful news about the willingness of U.S. public television to take a chance on the classical arts.

Pickup Orchestra of Stars, Made for TV

The All-Stars, who gathered in NYC this past week for 4 days of shooting, include players -- principals among them -- from just about every major classical orchestra in the country. The conductor and presenter is Gerard Schwartz, who conceived the series and obtained most of the funding among his contacts in Seattle. There are no confirmed details about distribution to other public television stations.

I grew up with Leonard Bernstein's early tv shows for Omnibus, and his Young People's Concerts, both on tv and in the concert all. Bernstein became a familiar and genuinely popular tv celebrity. For musical kids, he was right up there with Howdy Doody and Captain Video.

I hope someone has the sense to organize a p.r. campaign aimed directly at music schools and programs, at students who play instruments and who sing, and at their parents. It may be necessary to stimulate national demand given the failure of certain U.S. public television stations to bother doing so.

There is a big audience for this kind of thing, if the producers and public tv stations know how to tap it.

#2 Helene

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 11:17 AM

I love how the New Jersey Symphony is not in the "New York area," especially since the train ride from Newark Penn Station to New York Penn Station can be shorter than taking the A train from Washington Heights to Penn Station.

Schwarz was a very divisive figure within the Seattle Symphony, especially his last decade or so -- even some of his strongest supporters within the Symphony thought he stayed too long, and that any conductor would be less effective over time -- but he had very strong support from some wealthy members of the board and within the philanthropic community, even with Jack Benaroya's death, or he wouldn't have had the opportunity to have made that mistake.

When I look at the networks of dancers within Facebook, it's easy to see that the dance world is closer to two degrees of separation than six. The same is true for a lot of these musicians, who went to music camp, school, summer programs, summer festival programs, etc. with so many of their colleagues in addition to film soundtrack -- a lot is based in Seattle -- orchestra, chamber music, side project, soloist, and pick-up orchestra work. It must have been like a big reunion party, and I'm so glad they're doing this.

#3 sandik

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:34 AM

The same is true for a lot of these musicians, who went to music camp, school, summer programs, summer festival programs, etc. with so many of their colleagues in addition to film soundtrack -- a lot is based in Seattle -- orchestra, chamber music, side project, soloist, and pick-up orchestra work. It must have been like a big reunion party, and I'm so glad they're doing this.


And let's hope that it runs on KCTS (Seattle-based PBS station)!


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