Since joining the Grove Music editorial team, Meghann Wilhoite has been a consistent contributor to the OUPblog. Over the years she has shared her knowledge and insights on topics ranging from football and opera to Monteverdi and Bob Dylan, so we thought it was about time to get to know her a bit better.
Today is the birthday of a composer who writes in a radically different musical style than many of us are accustomed to hearing on a day-to-day basis, as we sit on hold with the doctor’s office or hum along with the music piped into the aisles of the grocery store.
Compiled by Victoria Davis
It’s been a busy year at OUP Music! Before 2013 comes to a close, we thought we would take a look back at the highlights of another year gone by.
Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. A racially charged retelling of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is set in the “blighted” West Side of 1950s Manhattan, the potent themes of star-crossed love and gang rivalry successfully translated from 16th century Italy to 20th century New York by book-writer Arthur Laurents and lyricist Steven Sondheim.
An intriguing post popped up in my Tumblr feed recently, called “The all-white reinvention of Medieval Europe” from the blog Medieval POC. Both in this post and generally throughout the blog the author makes the point that “People of Color are not an anachronism.”
In my last post I wrote about little known composer Sophie Elisabeth. Today’s subject, Francesca Caccini, is somewhat better known. The last decade or so has seen a renewed interest in her work.
Compiled by Natasha Zaman
It’s finally summer — the perfect time to spend with family and friends, enjoy the weather, gardens and parks, and to create fond memories. What better way to create those summer memories than have our favorite songs playing in the background?
The centenary of the 29 May 1913 premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is being celebrated by numerous orchestras and ballet companies this year, which is always worth mentioning when that first performance incited a riot. The ballet (also performed as an orchestra piece) depicts a collection of pagan spring rituals involving fortune telling, holy processions, and culminating in l’élue (the elected one) dancing herself to death.
American composer and self-proclaimed “bad boy of music” George Antheil was born today 114 years ago in Trenton, New Jersey. His most well-known piece is Ballet mècanique, which was premiered in Paris in 1926
Not only does Will and Kate’s royal wee one now have an ASDA parking spot, there’s another nice surprise awaiting his or her arrival: a specially-composed lullaby, called “Sleep On”. It’s a sweet little tune, written by Welsh composer Paul Mealor.
Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi died 370 years ago today, so what better way to remember him than with the following fun facts.
Perhaps you saw that Dr. Pepper ad in which Ravens kicker Justin Tucker shows off his opera chops, singing in a quite lovely bass-baritone voice. Well, we saw it, and it got us thinking: have there been other opera-singing American football players?
Today is National Libraries Day in the United Kingdom, and hundreds of activities and events are taking place in public libraries of all shapes and sizes — from the multi-million pound Library of Birmingham, to the tiniest local libraries run by volunteers — in order to celebrate our wonderful librarians, and the libraries they run. To celebrate National Libraries Day, we asked a few of our staff what they love about public libraries.
The 6th of November is Saxophone Day, a.k.a. the birthday of Adolphe Sax, which inspired us to think about instruments that take their name in some way from their inventors (sidenote: for the correct use of eponymous see this informative diatribe in the New York Times).
Beginning the 26th of December, a globe-spanning group of millions of people of African descent will celebrate Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival of communitarian values created by scholar Maulana Karenga in 1966. The name of the festival is adapted from a Swahili phrase that refers to “the first fruits,” and is meant to recall ancient African harvest celebrations.
Somehow, I’ve made it into my 30s without ever having listened to Bob Dylan‘s first album. That is, not that I can remember; my mother informed me over the weekend that I indeed heard it many times as a young one, but truth be told I don’t remember much from my diaper-wearing days (but we’ve already gone over how terrible my memory is).