Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: Classical Music

Classical Music

Film Scoring Student Compositions Come to Life with the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra!

After a wonderful concert at Jordan Hall two weeks ago, the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra is continuing to rehearse but in a very different manner. At the end of every semester, the orchestra rehearses two extra weeks to give Film Scoring and Composition students the opportunity to come in and conduct their original pieces live. Last week we had the privilege of having six very talented Film-scoring majors who were chosen individually by the Film Scoring faculty, come in to conduct their pieces. One of the biggest complaints that composers have is that they are unable to have their pieces played by live players very often. There’s only so much satisfaction and learning a person can do hearing their music played with MIDI instruments. It’s extremely beneficial to hear exactly what the notes on the page sound like with real, live players. So this was exciting for both the players and the composers! The orchestra loves playing new music by their peers; it is really inspiring to hear what your friends are writing while the composers had such a good time working with the orchestra and hearing their music come to life!

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The Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra

The Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra is no ordinary college orchestra. The orchestra is composed of students from Spain, South Africa, England, Nicaragua, the Philippines, just to name a few. Some students are straight out of high school, some have already completed a degree in music and are coming to Berklee to study in a unique major such as film scoring, and some have transferred here from all over the world from other colleges. Not only are we diverse in our cultural backgrounds but in our musical backgrounds as well. Many students are accomplished classical musicians but are equally as talented in Jazz, Latin, Celtic and many other genres. Along with the performance majors, many students in the orchestra are pursuing degrees such as Music Business, Music Production and Engineering, Music Therapy and Composition. We come together to create a diverse group of musicians who just love to make music together!

The orchestra environment is filled with passion, excitement and fun. The orchestra is simply full of people who love to make music together, completely devoid of braggarts. We have an incredible conductor, Franscico Noya, who is a world-renowned conductor and is also the current conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. His congenial and hilarious personality combined with his incredible expertise in music helps to make the orchestra produce incredible music.

Our spring 2012 concert is right around the corner. It will be held on Tuesday April 3rd at 8pm at Jordan Hall. We have an exciting and diverse program. First, we will be performing the world premier of “Fantasy on a River Theme” which was composed by the great bass player John Patitucci. It will also feature John Patitucci himself as the bass soloist on his piece. We are very excited that he is coming to play with us and that he will premiere this piece with Berklee! We will also be celebrating John Williams’s 80th birthday by playing movements from two of his most famous film scores; Star Wars and Schindlers List. Another exciting piece of repertoire that we will be playing, is the original piece written by the very talented Berklee faculty member Jonathan Holland entitled “Halcyon Sun”. We will also be premiering the piece “8 de Febrero”. This piece is composed by the winner of Berklee’s Composition Contest, Vicente Ortiz Gimeno, an extremely talented clarinet player and composer. Here at Berklee we do play some of the standard classical repertoire, believe it or not! We are playing Schubert’s beautiful Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished”. Last but not least, we are playing the first ever live performance of Aubrey Hodges’ Madden NFL theme from the video game!

We have a diverse and wonderful program for next Tuesday! Please try to come out to see my amazing peers play their hearts out at Jordan Hall on April 3rd at 8pm!

Cross-cultural Workplaces in Germany

Christopher Kirsch, intern at Sony Classical, Germany, describes the differences between German and American workplaces and how cross-cultural workplaces share strengths from both sides of the pond

Working in the media branch in Germany can be pretty much the same as in the US. Of course, the music market is much smaller, since Germany has only 82 million inhabitants. Nevertheless, it is still a prolific industry, making it the third biggest music market worldwide. It is not only that Europe and America are mentally tied to each other. Moreover, it is America’s cultural impact that has been dominated the business world in Germany and Continental Europe in recent years.

Having lived so long in the US, it was also interesting for me to experience similarities and differences between here and overseas. In Germany, for instance, it is not very common to call your colleagues by their first name – especially, if their position is higher than yours. You would rather say Mr. or Ms. At Sony though we would go by our first names, just like in English speaking countries. Generally, the English language has become an unavoidable tool in business language. Words like “schedule”, “meeting”, or “forecast” have substituted the appropriate German description.

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Germany: Hub for Classical Music

As a composer, Christopher Kirsch explains the benefits of being an intern surrounded by Germany’s rich tradition of classical music

This is my first blog for Berklee. My name is Christopher Kirsch, I am 25 and currently interning at Sony Music Classical. While writing this, I am sitting at the desk in my apartment with a view onto the streets of Berlin. Originally, I applied at Sony in New York. It soon turned out that Berlin would be a great place for me, not only because I am German and was looking forward to spend some time over there, but also due to the interesting perspectives available at one of the world’s most creative locations.

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