Philip Clark

Philip Clark is working on a new book, Sound and the City, about the history of sound in New York.

True Bromance: Ravi Shankar’s Ragas

Philip Clark, 15 July 2021

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Bythe time his first opera, The Midsummer Marriage, had its premiere at Covent Garden in 1955, Michael Tippett was considered, alongside Benjamin Britten, the most significant and original British composer of his generation. Yet he was also the natural outsider in a scene that as well as Britten (born 1913), included William Walton (1902) and Lennox Berkeley (1903), with the reassuring...

From The Blog
17 October 2019

A decade ago, the cellist Anton Lukoszevieze was reading Gene Santoro’s magisterial biography of Charles Mingus, Myself When I Am Real, when a brief mention of a forgotten, maybe even lost composition captured his imagination. Mingus’s String Quartet No.1 was performed for the first and, during his lifetime, only time at the Whitney Museum in New York in 1972. It wasn’t recorded. Lukoszevieze got copies of the sheet music from the Mingus papers housed at the Library of Congress in Washington DC and discovered that, true to form, Mingus had rewritten the rulebook, including a part for voice and trading one of a conventional string quartet’s violins for a second cello.

Having​ lost five children shortly after birth, Mozart’s parents had their new baby christened the morning after he was born on 27 January 1756. Leopold, Wolfgang’s father, was a composer and violinist who had recently self-published a violin primer which quickly became a standard text. His promotion to the position of deputy Kapellmeister in the court of Count Leopold Anton von...

By 1963​, John Cage had become an unlikely celebrity. Anyone who knew anything about music – who had perhaps followed the perplexed reviews in the New York Times – could tell you how he had managed to transform the piano into a one-man percussion ensemble by wedging nails, bolts and erasers between its strings; or how he had – ‘and you’re never gonna believe...

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