Good Advice from Simon Rattle;
Yellowface in the Nutcracker
It’s “This Week in Classical Music”, an update on what’s happening in the Classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.
If you’re considering a career in music, you'll probably want to get get some tips from someone who’s been in the business a while. How about... Sir Simon Rattle?
Rattle is one of the most renowned conductors on the planet. He bagged his first major gig at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at just 19 and since then has led some of the world’s greatest orchestras; and on a recent BBC Young Musicians Podcast, he gave Seven essential pieces of advice for young musicians. Here they are.
1. Music may be your passion, but relationships deserve just as much hard work.
2. Everyone messes up at some point – it’s how you deal with it that matters
3. Don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability
4. Being an amazing musician doesn’t make you an amazing grown-up
5. Even world-famous musicians have identity crises
6. The bonds you make with fellow musicians will be intense
7. And the secret to success is…
Work like hell, stay curious, and realize that people around you are actually much nicer than you think they might be. People want to help – and sometimes you have to let them help.
People from all over the valley of the sun will be enjoying the holiday tradition of the ballet The Nutcracker with Ballet AZ and Phoenix Symphony in symphony hall this month.
And while much of the choreography has not changed over the years, Dancers and others in the Ballet world are setting out to change elements of the dance that they consider racist. Leaders in the arts world as well as dancers, both Asian and non-asian, signed a petition as part of an initiative called “FINAL BOW FOR YELLOWFACE: It ends with us”. Aimed at modifying the more racist elements of the dance.
“When I arrived at Ballet West 10 years ago, I fell in love with Willam Christensen’s Nutcracker, however I never liked the “Chinese” variation.” Says Adam Sklute, Artistic Director at Ballet West. “While all the act II variations in Nutcracker are caricatures …I found the “Chinese” one insulting. Hopefully what we have now is a much greater celebration of Chinese culture than the mockery it used to be. I remain committed to working for improvements in this and every other aspect of ballet that is offensive.
The most discussed change has been to reduce the racial caricature in “Chinese Tea”: The male dancer wears a modified hat and makeup, and omits the frenzied gesturing indicated in the past.
For more on these and other items and events, go to the website, K-Bach dot org, be listening each week at this time for another update; and join Linda Cassidy every weekday, Noon to one, for the Most wanted Hour, playing your top 100 classical hits. This is Member supported 89-five KBACH, kbaq Phoenix and HD, a service of Rio Salado College, Celebrating 40 years, and Arizona State University.