No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Justin Austin

One of my favorite things to do is musical education outreach. I love that I can go into schools and help children learn about incredibly important lessons via music. I often bring in a special song the character of Harlequin in the opera Ariadne auf Naxos sings to the title character. The song has an incredible amount of wisdom, truth, musicality, and beauty in only a minute and 30 seconds.




 |  Justin Austin

Growing up, I was fascinated with the Grammy winning a cappella group “Take 6”. A group of six young black men singing about the power of goodness and Love was an incredible thing for me to look up to.




 |  Justin Austin

The song “Familiarity” by the Punch Brothers spoke to me on a special level when I first heard it a few years ago. It sort of redefined what I expected from popular music. The fact that there are so many musical styles and is set up in a form you usually only hear in classical music, I was completely shocked to hear this on the radio.




 |  Justin Austin

Lizst’s “Vallée d’Obermann” is my favorite piece of music ever written. I fell in love with it as a child, but resonated more with it as I got older and experienced the challenges of life. Before I knew anything about the piece, what I loved most about it, was that it didn’t seem like a form of escapism.




 |  Steven Blier

A student and I were talking about the operas we’d heard in recent months, as we often do at the beginning of a session. It was a slightly depressing discussion, and one I’ve had several times recently in my studio during a period when there has been a lot of alarming crash-and-burn singing across the […]




 |  Steven Blier

One of the most rewarding parts of my life is my work at Juilliard. There I have met some extraordinary artists and given them projects that let them shine. NYFOS audiences have been lucky enough to hear many of these beautiful singers over the years—Paul Appleby, Julia Bullock, Theo Hoffman, Miles Mykkanen, Sasha Cooke—a dazzling list that goes on and on.




 |  Steven Blier

The summer before last I became obsessed with the Verdi Requiem. It’s a piece I’ve known since I was 13, when I got the Leontyne-Jussi Bjoerling LPs (in monophonic sound) as a bar mitzvah gift. But now, due to the miracle of Spotify, I suddenly have the capacity to hear a slew of recordings, all available by touching a screen. Young people take this digital bonanza for granted, but after lugging stacks of records home from the library as a kid, I never cease to marvel at how easy it is to indulge my musical whims.




 |  Steven Blier

I ventured into the Met to hear The Girl of the Golden West last week. I’d never seen the now-venerable Giancarlo del Monaco production—never heard this opera at the Met, in fact—and I’d never seen Jonas Kaufmann live. Neither of us is getting any younger and I pride myself on having heard all the major voices since I started going to the opera in 1963. So I secured a standing room ticket and hauled myself into the theater.




 |  Steven Blier

I’ve been listening to soprano Montserrat Caballé this past week, in the days following her death at age 85. I first heard her at Carnegie Hall in December of 1965, when she sang Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. Later that month my dad and I went to the Met for her début. She wanted to sing in the old house on 39th Street before it got torn down, and they slotted her in for a single performance of Faust.