BackStage

Allegra Montanari's blog

Living with bassoonists: a string-player’s crash course in woodwinds

Tue, 3/5/2013 - 10:00am — Allegra Montanari
Mar 5, 2013

BY ALLEGRA MONTANARI

from ChicagoMusic.org/classical

If you asked me, a cellist, in January what I knew about the bassoon, my knowledge would be pretty limited: my cousin plays it in his high school band, it’s one of those pesky double reed instruments, Mozart wrote a concerto for it, and Stravinsky chose it for the famous opening of Rite of Spring.

After living with the bassoon section of Sarasota Opera for a month, I’ve heard more than enough to make up for my prior ignorance. Not only are the bassoonists I’ve encountered delightful people, but they also have a fascinating instrument. I thought I would take the chance to share a few things I’ve learned.

Classical music and poetry combine in concert by The Chicago Ensemble

Mon, 2/18/2013 - 10:00am — Allegra Montanari
Feb 18, 2013

BY ALLEGRA MONTANARI

from ChicagoMusic.org/classical

If you’re looking for a sampling of everything chamber music has to offer – from instrumentation to genre – The Chicago Ensemble is a group not to be missed. With a commitment to American composers of today and dedication to proven works of the past, The Chicago Ensemble has strived to bring variety to their audiences for over 30 years. We talked to Gerald Rizzer, artistic director, about the upcoming “Exhilaration & More” concert on February 24 and 26.

 

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Top 5 Classical Lovey-Dovey Valentine’s Day Hits

Mon, 2/11/2013 - 10:00am — Allegra Montanari
Feb 11, 2013

By Allegra Montanari

from ChicagoMusic.org/classical

Looking for some beautiful tunes to make your sweetie swoon? Classical music is full of gems overflowing with love. We all have our favorites, and these are my top five. Whether single, in a relationship or maybe vaguely confused, these pieces are worth a listen if you’re in the mood for seriously heartfelt love.

5. Brahms Intermezzo for Piano in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2

Life as a Freelance Musician

Mon, 1/7/2013 - 11:12am — Allegra Montanari
Jan 7, 2013

Last May I graduated with a master’s degree in cello performance. I took entire semester-long seminars on Mahler, Schumann and Purcell, played in both large and small ensembles, gave a degree recital and received a diploma. Then, along with many of my colleagues, I started to freak out.

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'Les Mis' and Music in the Movies

Oct 10, 2012

Before I even knew what a cello was, music played a powerful role in my life. My parents may not have known L'Eliser D'Amore, but they definitely knew Les Miserables. The first time I heard the majesty of a symphony orchestra was not through Schubert, but Schonberg and Andrew Lloyd Webber. I would even go far as to attribute my quick love of opera to my early exposure of musicals (thanks Mom and Dad!). The release of the new Les Mis 'Extended First Look' Trailer got my attention for many reasons. Along with Anne Hathaway's raw portrayal of one of the most heartbreaking characters in the history of literature, I am extremely excited about the film's focus on the importance of the music and its artistic expression. When was the last time you heard A-list Hollywood actors talk about that?