College students react to “Following the Ninth”

Part two of Kerry Candaele’s Beethoven trilogy is under way. I pledged $35 for the Kickstarter Project which ends on May 19th, 2016. The way this crowd funding works is that if the goal is not reached, the fundraiser gets nothing. It’s my sincere hope that my friends and readers click on the above link and preview the next film in the making. It’s about Beethoven’s only opera – Fidelio.
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Following the Ninth to Middlebury and Boston

After screening the documentary “Following the Ninth: in the footsteps of Beethoven’s final symphony” in Hawaii, Anne Ku went to Vermont to meet the director and Boston to see the orchestral performance.

There is a new movement taking place. It’s called “Following the Ninth.” You’ll have to see the 78-minute documentary “Following the Ninth” to know that it’s not just about Beethoven’s last symphony. It’s about how the “Ode to Joy” was used in several world events as a song of solidarity and hope: Tian An Men Square (1989), Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), Tsunami in Japan (2011), and the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.

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Rose Concert 2015: Father’s Day, the Brain, Alzheimer’s Disease

Anne Ku connects the themes of rose, Father’s Day, the brain, and Alzheimer’s Disease to pay tribute and raise awareness at the Rose Concert 2015. She premieres Emre Aki’s “Little Angel” dedicated to his daughter.

Two years ago, I gave my first Rose Concert at Roselani Place, a home named after the rose in central Maui for elderly residents. When I ran out of songs about the rose, I ventured into songs about other flowers like jasmine, cherry blossoms, etc.

This time, on Friday June 19th, I also paid tribute to Father’s Day (Sunday June 21st) and National Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Awareness Month. Call it a concert to celebrate the beautiful minds of Aaron Copland, Maurice Ravel, and Scott Joplin.

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Giuliani’s Friends Concerts in October 2013

If you google “Giuliani and friends” you get the Mayor of New York, not the guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani who was a friend of Beethoven and whose music is being revived by Braintree pianist Ellyses Kuan and Newton guitarist Robert Bekkers in Massachusetts.

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Kinsella Concert 2nd July 2011

The second concert of the first weekend in July 2011 in the Monument House in Utrecht, Netherlands features American pianist Brendan Kinsella, organic wine tasting, and authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

Wines painted for Columbus Symphony Orchestra fundraiser, 16x20 acrylic on canvas, Rob Judkins (2011)
Wine and Strawberries, 16x20 acrylic on canvas, Rob Judkins (2011)

As I blog, I plan the details of upcoming concerts which could easily comprise a festival. These events are more than concerts. They have elements of music, drink, food, conversation, and fundraising. Dare I call it a festival? Or just a concert series?

Alternative names for the second concert in this series:

  • organic wine concert
  • Kinsella plays Rzewski
  • Vietnamese dinner concert
  • Beethoven, Poulenc, Liszt, Rzewski

Which came first? The idea of introducing organic wine to guests of the Monument House to accompany live music.

Next, pianist Nathanael May introduced the American pianist Brendan Kinsella who will travel with him to the Soundscape Music Festival in the Italian Alps the following week.

I contacted my Vietnamese friend to take up on her suggestion an authentic Vietnamese dinner after she experienced the Egyptian dinner at last year’s Glass Vase Concert. She then contacted Chef Hong who is available to cater for Saturday 2nd July 2011.

Kinsella is giving a virtuosic programme of the late works of Franz Liszt, the famous Waldstein Sonata of Beethoven, Poulenc’s Aubade, and the very American feel of Rzewski’s version of American popular ballad “Down by the Riverside.”

As with the previous evening (Body of Your Dreams Concert), there will be organic wines served by Eveline Scheren and fundraising for an artist-in-residence fellowship through a silent auction of items from the Monument House and other donations.

Saturday 2nd July 2011

6 pm Doors open for authentic Vietnamese dinner

7:30 pm Doors open for concert

Silent auction, pre-bidding online

8:15 pm Concert (no intermission)

9:30 pm Raffle draw for door prizes

9:45 pm Results of silent auction.

For details and reservations, visit High Note Live.

Organic beer, barbecue, and Beethoven

One of the things I do, as a concert producer, is to explore themes that will make a successful concert. A single, unifying theme is powerful. How can we deliver classical music in a way that feels like beer tasting?

One of the things I do, as a concert producer, is to explore themes that will make a successful concert. I talk to people with ideas, musicians with music they want to play, and guests that support our monument concerts. A single, unifying theme is powerful.

In London, I felt the effect on the community at the “Purple Piano Party” where everyone had to wear purple, bring something purple (or that which started with the letter P) to eat or drink, and play music with the word purple in it.

What do beer and live classical music have in common?


I know two classical guitarists that love the kind of high alcohol-content beer that is brewed on this side of the Atlantic. I’ve gone with them to Belgium this past summer on an insane quest for the best abbey beer. We trekked to Ghent for abbey ales and back to Holland to scoop up the remaining 6 euro bottles stocked in the few exclusive shops their guitar builder knew of. It was an arduous journey to learn about beer and why one guitarist wanted 46 bottles to take back to America. The other just wanted to brew better beer from home.

Until this three-day trip, I associated beer with a bubbly cold drink one drank at fraternity parties at college. It was the cheaper choice, between wine and beer. It was the safe choice, if you didn’t want to show your ignorance of wine. It was for men. I preferred cocktails, kir royale, rose, champagne, and Irish coffee.

My views changed further this afternoon when I joined seven others on a tour of a local brewery near my home in Utrecht, Netherlands. I had hoped to see beers being made and beers being bottled. Instead, the most interesting part of the tour was the tasting — at the end.

The Dutch brewery, native to Utrecht, makes 10 different kinds of organic and biological beers. Each one has an interesting story. The strong wheat beer “Paulus” was named after the abbey in which an ancient, secret recipe was discovered. Another beer was named after the one and only Dutch pope who died in office.

Our guide told us that people used to drink beer when tap water was not safe or available to drink. Even pregnant women drank the low-alcohol beer. The difference between the beers brewed today and back then was the water. Back then, breweries used water from the canals and rivers.

In those two hours, I learned about beer. I also observed how relaxed the atmosphere was. The stories were fascinating. I had a thousand questions.

Isn’t this the kind of atmosphere I want at our concerts? How can we deliver classical music in a way that feels like beer tasting?

Beer goes well with barbecue. I wonder what kind of beer Beethoven drank? I invited the brewery to set up a biological beer bar at our next house concert when the hot weather returns. Few people in Utrecht are aware that these local beers are marketed to the rest of the world. The brewery is only a cycle ride away — not a car journey to another country.