To Grayson Currin, the Music Editor:
1. Those who perform in glass concert halls with fellow musicians formed from blown glass shouldn't throw stones- most large ensembles can only afford to be large because they stick to whats popular- the 50 or so most popular classical pieces, film music, arrangements of popular 20th century music, etc. If the reviewer was a member of some kind of progressive small ensemble that only played difficult new music on instruments they had invented themselves that absolutely required virtuosity from every member, the reviewer wouldn't be hypocritical to describe the music as banal. I also don't feel this was a personal dig; it was a commentary on the organization, and meant an constructive parallel comparison to Lindsey Sterling's repertoire.
2. Even new pieces which adhere to an established form are, by definition, fairly banal. To say it is so is flogging a dead horse.
3. It has always been common for famous artists to perform their own arrangements of another's work, or to perform on tour together, throughout the history of classical music in Europe. "Intelligent cross-marketing" has been a way for performing musicians to eat for centuries, and in my opinion music performance IS what music is about- boring pops concerts and holiday standards included.
Karen Strittmatter Galvin, I see you are a professional violinist- please tell me more about how the music your ensemble plays is any less banal! I see on your homepage you are scheduled to perform music by the Eagles June 27th, a bunch of tired retreads in early July I won't ding out of patriotism (other than the John Williams selections? Really?), and July 6th I see you're playing an "80s Night".
Engaging solo music within the reach of a year 1-4 beginning player is an important ambassador for any instrument. At the very least, her performance is personal and artistic, new, not reliant on vocals, and not something done as well or better by a FM radio.
P.S. I am aware that Lindsey Sterling does covers and arrangements of many pieces, but in most cases I'd qualify these as intelligent cross-marketing.
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