This summer marks my 25th and final season as music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, Calif. What an amazing adventure this has been, working with living composers and being at the center of so many new creations.
There have always been many fronts on which the battle to crown the song of the summer is fought. The biggest song on pop radio isn't always the song that sells the most. The lyric that lends itself to the season can sometimes be overwhelmed by a hook that sounds best coming out of a car window.
The music of Johann Sebastian Bach is essential, like air and water, for many classical musicians. Pianist András Schiff starts every day with Bach — sometimes before breakfast. "It's like taking care of your inner hygiene. There's something very pure about it," he says.
Seoul is the home of Korean pop music, or K-pop, which is quickly becoming one of Korea's biggest exports. It's a multibillion dollar industry that, for the last decade, has been dominated by girl groups.
What happens to a prolific artist's creative work after they die? Prince's death earlier this year lent particular immediacy to that question. There are reportedly over 1,000 tracks in his Paisley Park vault, and in June, Tidal added 15 Prince albums to its streaming library.