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Classical SXSW

March 17, 2009

Tomorrow starts the music portion of South by Southwest, or sxsw for short.  Its a really interesting event for music (and other mediums: they have a film fest and a technology event as well), putting together emerging (mostly) pop musicians, entrepreneurs who invest in these pop acts, media people, and some die hard fans for a big raucous shoulder rubbing, networking party.  Some bands become famous because of this, others find new outlets to promote their music, and everyone gets to know everyone better.  The event has not only sanctioned showcases and panels, but unofficial events throughout the city in houses and non-affiliated venues.

(That of course is the happy view of it.  Its not difficult to find people complaining about the event, either.)

SXSW also has delved into new music a bit: Steve Reich popped his head in last year to do a showcase with indie rock titan Thurston Moore (as part of his promotional/birthday events, and Volodja Balzarosky performed some Schumann, Ravel, Brahms,  Bloch and a few US premieres: one by Andelko Klobucar  and one by Nenad First

Mr. Balzarosky will be performing this year again on Friday the 20th, too.  Also, there’s a showcase by the label Nonclassical on the 21st that seems to be a British export of classical music situated in a bar.  Personally, I think that’s pretty brilliant (Opera on Tap  does similar things on this side of the Atlantic, as well as I’m sure a handful of other people, groups, and scenes.)

Anyways, if you make it to any of these, I’d be interested in hearing how they’re received.  Should be a fun time.

One last bit…. a composer part of the Nonclassical showcase has a really moving string quartet available for listening on myspace performed by the Elysian Quartet.  Give it a listen.

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