Many of us feel a need to begin celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamela Harris sooner rather than later. As we are all too well aware, inaugural events will be virtual due to the pandemic as well as to security concerns following the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6. That doesn’t mean we won’t be able to celebrate musically. On Tuesday, January 19th at noon EST, the Hope & Harmony Ensemble will present a virtual brass and percussion performance to celebrate the inauguration. The ensemble is made up of musicians from professional orchestras across the US as well as Nivanthi Karunaratne, Principal Horn of the South Asian Symphony Orchestra. Led by conductor Marin Alsop, the ensemble will perform Aaron Copland’s beloved Fanfare for the Common Man as well as Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1. Click on the links below to begin the inaugural celebration early with great music and also to read about the twelve years of planning for this historic and cultural moment.
My favorite photography collection is Contemporary Musicians in Photographs by Louis Ouzer. This 1979 Dover publication contains 119 photos of some of the world’s most famous musicians, from Rubinstein to Ellington, taken at the Eastman School of Music between 1940 and 1979. Ouzer, whose studio was a few doors down the street from Eastman, was a sort of “unofficial” photographer at the school for several decades. He captured the artists in unguarded moments – rehearsing, teaching, talking, thinking. Many of the photos were taken in the reflective moments just before the artist walked onstage for a performance. Continue reading