Walter Bitner

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My Top 21 Posts in the First 100,000 Views

Yesterday Off The Podium passed 100,000 total views since I posted my first article Leitmotif in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony on March 3, 2015.

Now, 2 ½ years and 148 posts later, Off The Podium has accumulated over 100,000 views from over 64,000 visitors – an average of a little over 1.5 views per visitor.

It seems like a statistical milestone, so in honor of this nonevent and to mark its passing I have assembled here a list of my 21 most popular posts, ranked by total number of views. All but one of these Top 21 articles are about music or education, and most are about both.

A big and sincere thank you to everyone who reads Off The Podium! Your encouragement has contributed to the success of my blog, and of my fledgling career as a writer.

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Accelerando Begins Year Two

Nashville Symphony Accelerando Program Second Class (L-R) — McKane (Max) Robinson, Angelina Bautista, Riya Mitra, & Xayvion Davidson ~ photo by Sally Bebawy (click photos to enlarge)

Thursday afternoon we held a reception for returning students and families in the Nashville Symphony Accelerando program to welcome four new students and families who join Accelerando this fall. It was truly exciting and heartwarming to spend some time celebrating with these talented, motivated young musicians, and officially mark the beginning of new year of working together.

Yesterday’s reception brought to a close the long and thorough audition process that began with initial auditions on March 4, semifinal auditions in April, and finalist trial lessons over the summer. We are very proud of these fine young musicians and what they have already accomplished!

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Curb Concerto Competition Finalists 2017

2017 Curb Concerto Competition Finalists: (l to r) Maggie Kasinger, Kaili Wang, Chloe Harvel, Daniel Hosny

2017 Curb Concerto Competition Finalists: (l to r) Maggie Kasinger, Kaili Wang, Chloe Harvel, Daniel Hosny ~ photos by Sally Bebawy (click to enlarge)

This past weekend we had the great pleasure of welcoming a dozen teenage musicians into the hall to compete in the annual Curb Concerto Competition. The first round of the competition took place on Saturday, Februrary 25 and the finals round occurred on Sunday afternoon, February 26, which resulted in the selection of this year’s winner, who will perform with the Nashville Symphony at the annual Side By Side Concert with Curb Youth Symphony on May 17. The 2017 Side By Side Concert will be conducted by Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero.

This year’s contestants included 6 violinists, 3 pianists, and one student each on cello, harp, and flute. Both rounds of the competition took place on the stage of Laura Turner Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

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Education & Community Engagement at the Nashville Symphony: Fall 2016 Review

Kristen Freeman, Kelley Bell, and Walter Bitner, October 17, 2016 ~ photo courtesy of Roger Wiesmeyer

Once again December is here. Thanksgiving is past and the headlong rush to the end of the year has begun. Over the last unseasonably warm months as we waited for fall to come, the Nashville Symphony has continued to fulfill our mission to bring music to the community through our education and community engagement programs, in addition to our multitude of concert offerings. It’s a veritable musical banquet for Music City here at Schermerhorn Symphony Center!

Let’s look back on the activities of our department this fall:

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The Lute Society of America Summer Seminar West, 1996

masterclass with Paul O'Dette, Lute Society of America Summer Seminar West, Vancouver Early Music Festival 1996

masterclass with Paul O’Dette, Lute Society of America Summer Seminar West, Vancouver Early Music Festival 1996

The Lute Appendix iv

In the summer of 1996, I attended The Lute Society of America‘s Summer Seminar West in Vancouver, BC. The event took place from July 29 – August 2, 1996 at the Vancouver Early Music Festival held at The University of British Columbia.

Earlier this month the LSA held the 2016 summer seminar at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and as my FaceBook feed was briefly inundated with photos and videos that attendees posted on the LSA FaceBook Group, I found myself reminiscing about my experience in Vancouver twenty years ago. It was one of the most memorable weeks of my life.

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Side By Side 2016

The Nashville Symphony and Curb Youth Symphony perform the annual Side By Side concert, May 19, 2016, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville

The Nashville Symphony and Curb Youth Symphony perform the annual Side By Side concert, May 19, 2016, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville

Last night, Thursday, May 19, the Nashville Symphony hosted the annual Side By Side concert with Curb Youth Symphony. With some 150 musicians on stage, I believe this was the largest orchestra I have ever heard on the stage of Laura Turner Hall. Curb Youth Symphony is directed by Carol Nies, and the annual Side By Side event was conducted by Nashville Symphony Associate Conductor Vinay Parameswaran. It included an afternoon and evening of rehearsals on Wednesday – including the traditional pizza party in the break – and Thursday night’s concert.

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My Top 21 Science Fiction Novels of All Time

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Top21SF

 

 

Introducing Off Topic: because one cannot live on Music and Education alone.

After more than a year of writing Off The Podium, I decided to let out the leash a little and allow myself to write about something else, from time to time. This blog will continue to primarily feature my writings on Music and Education! But once in a while it’s good to change it up.

So now for something completely different: my carefully curated list of My Top 21 Science Fiction Novels of All Time. If this is not your thing, just move along. This is not the post you’re looking for!

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Education & Community Engagement at the Nashville Symphony: Fall 2015 Review

your Nashville Symphony Education & Community Engagement Department: (l to r) Kelley Bell, Walter Bitner, Kristen Freeman ~ during a break from filming a promotional video

from my Instagram feed: your Nashville Symphony Education & Community Engagement Department: (l to r) Kelley Bell, Walter Bitner, Kristen Freeman ~ during a break from filming

December is here and the holidays are upon us. Having made it through Thanksgiving already and fearing that Christmas and New Year’s may arrive before I do this, I am dedicating this post to a look back on the activities of our department this fall.

As I wrote this post, I became astounded at the ground we have covered in just the last four months – the depth of the Nashville Symphony’s engagement in our community and the wide range of educational activities we offer is truly remarkable. I am so proud to be able to come to work every day and participate in all of this!

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Curb Concerto Competition 2016

IMG_4123Dear interested students, parents, and teachers,

This is an open letter discussing some policy changes (changes to the rules) for the annual Curb Concerto Competition at Schermerhorn Symphony Center this season.  Student musicians who are considering auditioning for the competition – which will be held on March 5 & 6, 2016 – are advised to read carefully through these changes, as are their teachers and anyone else involved in helping students prepare for this event.

Click here to access the complete guidelines and calendar regulating the competition posted on the Nashville Symphony website.  Please refer to this webpage for many details not discussed in this letter.  The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention to changes that have been made for the 2016 competition from the way things have been done in previous years.  These changes may affect the preparation of your audition, and how early you make your application.

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