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Classically Speaking

Classical music in West Virginia and Beyond

Mahler at 151

(News, Commentary) Permanent link
By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · July 7, 2011

Mahler, Mahler, Mahler ... his name was everywhere for a while, and then after his 150th birthday last year and anniversary of his death this year, he'd wandered away from my attention. When it's this hot, it seems to be more of a season for Gershwin, Copland, Mozart, Vivaldi, or I don't know, most things that aren't Mahler.

A couple weeks ago, a few acquaintances who have only a casual interest in classical music started talking about Gustav Mahler, which surprised me. It turns out, they'd been seeing Mahler TV; the Keeping Score series on PBS featured Mahler in an episode. Mahler: Origins is available to watch online now through PBS Video (along with a bonus video of Mahler's Symphony No. 1, which I'm really enjoying listening to as I write this post).

Then there was a Mahler request to play on the radio today:

Das klagende lied: Der Spielmann

And then, I was startled to hear on the Writer's Almanac that today is Mahler's birthday (along with Robert Heinlein's birthday and the anniversary of the invention of sliced bread).

How shameful of me to have almost missed his birthday, especially during his centennial year! (it's the centennial of his death, not his birth, but it's still a bit special).

In case you're catching up, like me, here's some of the Mahler content that has previously been featured on Classically Speaking:

* Anna Larsson sings Mahler (interview)

 * Mahler and Homecoming (Chad Winkler of the PSO)

 * Who's Afraid of  Gustav Mahler?

 * Giant Hammers and Opera Corpses

 * Life & Death & Mahler in Wheeling

And if all of this Mahler has you in the mood to hear some in concert, fear not. The Mahler year is not over in West Virginia -- the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will be performing Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in September.

Added bonus: Mahler just made it onto a very distinguished list; he was voted one of the "Top Ten Badass Composers" on a list compiled by NPR's Deceptive Cadence blog. Not a bad way to be at 151.

Young Fayetteville musician in the spotlight

(News) Permanent link
By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · July 6, 2011

Congratulations to Heidi Morey of Fayetteville, West Virginia! This 13-year harp player recently won first prize in the American Harp Society National Competition. She came in first in the Intermediate I age division (13-15) and was recognized for the best performance of Claude Debussy's Reverie.

Morey was also just featured in an article in the Charleston Gazette: "With help, Fayette teen wins national harp competition"

She's set up a website, which includes a section where you can listen to recordings of her playing the harp (including the Debussy).

I hope to have more from this talented young musician for you soon. I've written to her to see if we can get some recordings to feature on West Virginia Public Radio and perhaps an interview to share here on Classically Speaking.

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