Return of Marathonmaniac

Final moments at Viva 21t Century Marathon.  left: composers Daniel Dorf, back: Robert Moran, Susan T.Nelson and  Amanda Harberg

Final moments at 2014 – Viva 21st Century Marathon. left: composers Daniel Dorff, back: Robert Moran, Susan T. Nelson and Amanda Harberg

I am embarrassed to look at my blog and to see how long it has been since I wrote anything. Some might think that I disappeared which is of course not the case. Here I am!! I am back!!!

Between teaching, administrative duties at my school, and of course radio I really do not have much time left. Once again, I am promising that even if I do not have much time, I will post some pictures or music videos to keep the blog going.

I never will catch-up with all the blogs that I could have written during the last few years. Despite this, I will try to summarize things I still remember in a few sentences.

  • I became more active (at least during broadcasts of Classical Discoveries) on Twitter. If you want to follow me you can do so @MarvinRosen. You will find out during my radio broadcasts what music is coming next.
  • The Piano Duo “Venti Dita” CD became available on CD Baby in April 2013 and sold pretty well, meaning that we at least recouped most of our expenses.
  • Have done a few performances, concerts and some lectures about new music. Have been the subjects of a few newspaper stories.
  • In 2013 I received theDistinguished Musician Alumni Award from TCNJ.
  • Have finally meet one of my favorite, Slovak composers Vladimir Godár in New York.
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Composers: Peter Breiner and Vladimír Godár with Publisher & Editor of Music & Literature Magazine: Taylor Davis-Van Atta – guest on Classical Discoveries

So what did I miss with regard to my radio program?

  • Presented three more annual Viva 21st Century Marathons (two of three were actually 25 hour-long) – I hosted my 10th new music marathon this past December. *

With 10* to my credit (1 devoted to American composers and one to women), all live and hosted, some of my friends started call me a Marathonmaniac. Yes, I must be crazy to be on the air for 242 hours during 10 sittings. One of those days I will summarize how many new, 21st century compositions I have presented during all of my New Music Marathons combined.

* Actually 11th -24 hour but was devoted just to the music of Alan Hovhaness on his 100th hundred birthday year

I must say that being live on the air for 24-25 hours straight and playing that all wonderful music gets me so excited that I do not feel tired until about the 23rd hour. This is why I love it each year when my annual guests – composer friends like Daniel Dorff and Robert Moran (plus many that I have endless gratitude to but not mentioned here) visit me, especially close to the end and join me on the air talking about their recent, just written works.

Nothing can replace a live, unedited, spontaneous DJ trying to speak, after being on the air for many, many hours. This is one of the special, unique moments of live radio.  Someone told me that I was the first who dared to present a 24 hour live marathon devoted to compositions just written after 2000 when I did this back in 2007 (of course in addition to playing new music on Classical Discoveries each week for almost 18 years)

I am sorry to say this but many people have forgotten this already or have maybe chosen to ignore it, have simply very short memories, or are maybe playing politics. I do not know, but I am OK with this and very happy that there are others doing 24 hour Marathons featuring new music. We need these more often since we already have plenty of new music to present on many marathons.

In 2007 it was much harder to organize 24 hours of good, diverse new music but now it is a totally different story.

Maybe one day I will try to do 30 straight hours. Should I do it? Should I announce a challenge “The Game of XXI-Marathons”? Hmmmm?.

ana

Talking about new music news: Last Wednesday I presented the World Premiere Broadcast of the just premiered (February, 2015) Viper Concerto for Viper electric violin and orchestra by Serbian composer, Ana Milosavljevic composed in 2014!

  • Now I am working on my 3 specials:  “Sacred Bridges” (Wednesday, April 1, 5:30-11:00am), “Little Known Treasures of Early Music for Easter” (Sunday, April 5, 10:00am-1:00pm) and “Music for Orthodox Easter” (Sunday, April 12, 1:00-3:00pm).

So get ready. More blogs are coming (I hope)!

The Kitten, Venti Dita and the Music!

It is  hard to imagine that there will be no more occasional sitting in front of the TV or enjoying the sounds of the garden in the evening with Beata and a glass of wine. Yes, I am going back to teaching this Monday.  I am sad about the passing of summer but am also exited about the new school year, especially that this year I will be teaching four classes of my favorite subject – music history. I am also looking forward to my upcoming recital and new CD of piano duos.

I did not do much of what I planned at all. I had no time for blogs, catching up with Facebook friends or extra trips to New York and the Amish County. My summer was devoted though to plenty of piano music and cats, two of my favorite subjects.

The Kitten!

On my last day of school we become  parents to a little, scroungy looking black kitten with white spots, who if would not be found by students in a Princeton University dumpster, would be crushed to death.

Pix day one

Now, after 3 months and dozens of sleepless nights, many broken flowerpots, chewed up hibiscus, 2 planters that became kitty litter boxes and dozens more emergency cleanups, our little kitten Pix, is taller and heavier than our biggest cat, Puszek. He provides us with joy and constant entertainment as well as a means for exercise for our other three other kitties that were sleeping over 20 hours a day.

Venti Dita!

Finally, after working for almost two years together with Jennifer, we came up with the name for our piano duo: Venti Dita. I think that this is a really cool, simple musical name – 20 fingers in Italian.

The biggest achievement and time-consuming activity this summer was the recording of our first duo CD devoted to contemporary music for piano 4 hands, at Purchase College, Purchase, NY.

When my wife commuted to work in Willow Grove in Pa. I always teased her that she picked the very early starting time of 5:30am to get good parking and to avoid traffic on the PA turnpike. The karma caught with me this summer when after my first trip to Purchase, I was almost late to our first recording session, despite the fact I left more than enough time.

Now it was her time for her to get back at me and remind me of the old times. After that first week I would leave home at 5am to pass the George Washington Bridge before it turned into a parking lot. My extra time would spent in a Diner having a hearty breakfast with Jennifer and yes, sipping good tea, especially since we would take only a short break for lunch that Beata packed for us in a small cooler so we would not waste time driving to another diner. Coming back home was also tied up to traffic patterns. Having dinner before leaving Westchester solved this problem and most times I had a smooth trip home.

I feel sorry for drivers that must put up with this kind of aggravation on the road every day. For last 15 years I take a train instead of drive to New York.

I am very lucky to live very close to my school as well as to WPRB, since the traffic around Princeton is not much better, especially now when NJDOT closed a few local roads, creating havoc for local drivers.

We had 3 recording sessions plus 3 sessions with our wonderful engineer, Andy Cardenas.  One recording session was extremely exhausting since we could  not use the air conditioner and the temperature outside soared to  98 degrees.

Yea!!!! We have a gold master and it sounds really great, but we still have many steps to take care before the CD can be released. Hopefully the recording will be out before the end of the year.  Cannot wait!!!

The Music!

Each year I devote much time in the summer to listen to music, but this summer I spent more time at the piano.

Besides hosting my both radio programs at WPRB, and yes, celebrating at the end of May the beginning of my 16th year on the air, I spent my summer preparing for the recording sessions as well as my upcoming piano recital devoted to contemporary music.

On the radio I presented a few special Early Music Editions, hosted a jazz program with music by classical composers inspired by jazz, and had a few guests such as the young Serbian composer-violinist Ana Milosavljević, Australian composer and conductor Sean O’Boye, Elliott Carter expert Joe Barron, and pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass who recently released a CD featuring the Concord, Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass.  by Charles Ives. Finally, I celebrated John Cage’s 100th Birthday with an unexpected 6-hour edition of “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde”.

My piano recital titled “Contemporary Piano Miniatures”, will be Sunday afternoon, September 23 at 3:00pm in Bristol Chapel at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and will include music from many countries. I will be joined in several works by my piano duo partner Jennifer Castellano, and will perform selections included on our upcoming CD.

And yes, this concert is FREE!!!!  So if you are around, please join me and if you are afraid of new music, here is your opportunity to try without risk. Princeton is a charming town in  early autumn.

If you listen to “Classical Discoveries” you will recognize the names of many composers. In addition, you will hear a complete performance of the work by my duo partner Jennifer I use as my opening theme.

I feel very lucky that I am in position as an educator, performer and radio host to expose new and unknown music to many.

Before I conclude, I would just like to remind you all that we must support our living composers today as they were supported by their contemporaries in earlier centuries.

If you want directions or more information please email me at Marvinarosen@gmail.com

If you are on Facebook and attend please sign the guest list at: https://www.facebook.com/events/438945242823380/

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