Charlotte Symphony pioneer Jacques Brourman has my thanks

Charlotte Observer/By Lawrence Toppman

We pay homage to guys who build and design skyscrapers, but we don’t always remember guys who cleared the land and made a place for the shining city of the future.

But today I will. Today I pay homage to a man I never met, a conductor I never heard and a pioneer without whom the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra might not be what it is today.

I learned recently about Jacques Brourman’s death at 84 this winter and thought, “Ah, yes, the symphony’s music director long ago.” (The years were 1967-76.) But as I read more about him in our archives, I realized what a pioneer he was.

Read more here

Christopher Warren-Green and His English Splendor

By James Hogan
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s performances this weekend came under the direction of Christopher Warren-Green, one of eight guest conductors who could replace departing music director Christof Perick. Given that my last post focused on a visiting conductor accused of poor conducting, I decided to watch Warren-Green during Friday night’s CSO show.
Prior to the concert I asked my good friend Austin Greene, a conductor and teacher who lives in Durham, just what good conducting is. Can you qualify good conducting? Or is good conducting somewhat mystical, easily able to escape black and white terms?


By the People, For the People?

by James Hogan
Soon this January we’ll be inaugurating a new president, which got me thinking about democracy and classical music. Whacky, I know.
The New York Times ran an article in December about Gilbert E. Kaplan, a very well-to-do businessman and patron of the arts who has developed an acute passion for Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”). He has had the fortune of conducting the piece with over 50 orchestras around the world, but his most recent performance, a December 8 concert with the New York Philharmonic, was subjected to harsh criticism by some of the Philharmonic’s very own members.