Posted by Dianne Nicolini on January 14, 2011

A quick perusal of the itinerary of this great trip to Vienna, Venice, Lake Como and more this May and it will be clear why I’m so excited!  We’ll be hearing our SF Symphony perform live in Vienna, stay in a castle near beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia and enjoy an opera at the legendary La Fenice Theater in Venice.  The trip includes city tours led by local experts, wine-tasting, great meals, 4-star hotels.  The list goes on and on.  Hope you can come with!

Dianne Nicolini

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on January 11, 2011

YouTube just announced the winners of their 2011 auditions for the YouTube Symphony Ochestra.  Musicians were invited to post audition videos on YouTube, the public voted and I’m happy to say that the Bay Area will be well-represented with 4 new members:

Violinist Leyan (LEE-an) Lo (Stanford)

Violist Omar Shelley (SF)

Cellist Stephanie Lai (Palo Alto)

Piccolo Daniel Sharpe (SF)

The group gets together this March in Sydney for a gala concert conducted by our own MTT that will, no doubt, be seen on YouTube!

YouTube Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on January 4, 2011

One of the several ways in which I am still like a 5-year-old girl is my need to have fun things to look forward to.  Currently fulfilling that need is a spectacular trip to Europe coming up this May. The details are here and all I need is you to join me!-Dianne

Hear Vivaldi's Four Seasons in Venice!

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on December 15, 2010

American composer John Cage’s iconic 4’33”  is climbing up the charts in Britain.  Fairly surprising for a piece that actually contains no music, only silence! The ironic artistic statement from the 50’s has become a rallying cry for Brits who object to the manipulation of the national music charts by the likes of  Simon Cowell.  The story is right here.

John Cage

Simon Cowell

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on December 9, 2010

The effort to make classical music more accessible continues with a provocative suggestion from a sports lover.  Why not keep a running “score” of a piece while its being played? Click here to see the original blog entry.

What's the score?

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on December 7, 2010

For lovers of art, birds, and publishing history, this is one for the ages.  A well-preserved edition of James Audubon’s 19th-century masterpiece Birds of America fetched $10 million dollars at auction today. Each page contains a hand-painted, life-size painting.  Check out the stunning images below.

Birds of America

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on December 1, 2010

A new book by Thomas Larson explores the legacy of Samuel Barber’s most famous piece during this, his centennial year. In The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings,  Larson writes “The Adagio‘s sonorous intensity also speaks of the turbulent inner life of its composer.”  The author is in town for book signings this week. December 7 at San Francisco’s Books, Inc. and December 8 at Book Passage in Corte Madera.  Here’s a link to the author’s website.

Composer Samuel Barber

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on November 30, 2010

My old friend Patty was one of the lucky audience members on Oprah’s Favorite Things show during which Ms. O gives away a ton of great stuff to folks who have made a positive difference in the world.  Patty’s cause is our local Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and virtually all the cool things Oprah showered upon her are now up for auction on the Muttville website.  Check out Patty’s amazing experience here!

Mighty Ms. O

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on November 16, 2010

SF Opera is looking for a few good men to show off their strength and overall fitness  in a production at the Opera House this Fall.  The call has gone out for 10 men who are particularly good at push-ups and chin-ups.  I can’t wait to find out what opera this is for!

Is this you?

Share This: | More

Posted by Dianne Nicolini on November 9, 2010

All things old are new again.  If you’re like me, you have stacks of vinyl records lying around the house.   A young colleague here at KDFC warned me last week not to throw them out.  “People will pay good money for them!”   I guess the SF Symphony agrees.  They are offering their multiple-grammy-award-winning Mahler cycle  as a deluxe box set on vinyl! Remember when we called them LPs?  Here’s a link to the symphony’s website where you can learn all about this historic release and pre-order your copy.

Mahler on Vinyl

Share This: | More