Richie Havens

The crowd at Richie Havens' Woodstock-opening set on Aug. 15, 1969.                          

Richie Havens once told NPR that he believed all music is folk music. Listen to Havens speak about Woodstock, Greenwich Village and why he loved performing in Neda Ulaby's remembrance, broadcast on Morning Edition, at the audio link on this page.


Auction houses have been dispersing artifacts that belonged to the conductor Arturo Toscanini, down to his batons and cuff links.

In November Sotheby’s in London sold hundreds of his possessions. A scuffed leather desk set brought about $3,600. A 1910 Steinway piano, occasionally played by the conductor’s son-in-law Vladimir Horowitz, went for around $71,000.

The material comes from the estate of a grandson, Walfredo Toscanini. Doyle New York will offer another batch in [January,] including flamboyant black and gray wool outfits ($300 to $500 each) and monogrammed silver napkin rings ($300 to $500 for a pair).

A Doyle’s sale on April 23 will contain arrangements in Toscanini’s bold calligraphy for works by Shostakovich, Berlioz and Mozart, among other composers. The heirs have also consigned the conductor’s version of “Happy Birthday,” customized for his grandson.

The bulk of Toscanini’s archive belongs to the New York Public Library. “We do have an arrangement of ‘Happy Birthday’ in there,” dedicated to Walfredo and combined with the Italian patriotic song “Garibaldi’s Hymn,” said Robert Kosovsky, the curator in charge of the material. Although the library does not plan to bid at Doyle, he added, “It’s good to know about this stuff.”

Institutions bought at the Sotheby’s sale. The museum at La Scala in Milan has already put on view some of Toscanini’s Verdi manuscripts, which cost a few hundred thousand dollars each, and the Vienna Philharmonic spent $30,000 on a multi-page album including a scrawled fragment of a Brahms score.

Marches Madness: 'Turkish' Mozart, Jazzed By An Expert

In the late 18th century, composers loved experimenting with new sounds. And some of the most exciting sounds and ideas then new to Western Europe were from the Ottoman Empire — particularly the bright bells, pinging wind instruments and sharp snare drums of the Turkish military bands, and the Orientalist fantasies that went along with them. Mozart was one of the composers who turned again and again to that palette, from the "Turkish" section of his Fifth Violin Concerto to his Turquerie opera Abduction from the Seraglio.

Maybe the most popular example of Mozart's Turkish fantasies is the last movement of his Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K. 331, now widely known as the "Turkish March." Here, it's tweaked and refracted by the very smart and musically brilliant pianist and composer Fazil Say — himself a Turk — who takes those jaunty janissary motions and juices them into jazz.

Reader's Review

I would like to thank you for sharing this wonderful story, and Rosemary Brumby for sending Dr. Fuddle to me. As an avid reader, this book was able to evoke a sound and song. That is a rare opportunity to hear music through a book. I once tried to learn the violin, and the memories of learning music came rushing back. They are great memories, and I thank you. My review of Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton follows:

This book was well-needed for the hearts of readers who are searching for their harmony. Music in our culture has shifted, and Dr. Fuddle shines the beauty that draws us all to music. The tune resonates with you, even after the final page is complete. The group of characters, that everyone can relate to, demonstrate how daring and intelligent we can all be. Thank you to Dr. Fuddle for opening up the door and sharing this world with everyone.

I would recommend this book for all ages, especially to those with a yearning to find a good story. A musical tale is difficult to produce without an instrument in hand, and this story brings music to the ears.

Thank you for allowing me to review the book and share my wonderful experience with everyone else.

I highly recommend Dr.Fuddle to any and all that are ready for the adventure that awaits them.

Feel free to contact me through this e-mail address or phone number with any further questions or comments about the review. Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to share this with you. It was an incredible story, and I very much enjoyed it.

Katja Izzard

The Academy of Cybertoria Reviews Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton

Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton by Warren L. Woodruff  is more than a simple fantasy novel for young readers.  With his Ph. D. in Musicology, Dr. Woodruff incorporates his expertise and love of music as well as history in order to create an entire new world for the reader to enter.  This imaginative tale goes beyond the typical two dimensional novel.  The author creates a three dimensional world, complete with its own unique philosophy, history and even a quasi spiritual- musical belief system.  With the insertion of lively imagery, authentic historical details, history comes to life as the reader is introduced to Mozart, Bach and other well known historical figures- including Einstein himself!

The classic good against evil plot is reinvented with a music themed twist.  Drawing from various religious sources, Dr. Woodruff creates his own credible music themed, alternate reality. This is an entirely newly invented world that  integrates prophecy as well as a unique music based "creation" tale with the elements of the supernatural and magic.    Armed with magical instruments, the five young children agree to go on a dangerous mission to save the world from evil.  They are led by the eccentric, dramatic, mystical, kind Dr. Fuddle. These young children are the "messiahs" who fulfill ancient prophecy.  They eagerly take on the role as the "Messengers of Music".  Motivated by his dying mom's cryptic final message, young Tyler and his younger sister are  convinced that this mission is what he had been waiting for.  In this new world, past and present are joined and there exists no barriers between the physical and imaginary realm.    Evil is represented by a dark musician Jedermann (similar to either Satan or Darth Vader from Star wars).  This evil anti musical menace uses his sinister minions, the Seirens, to carry out his attacks. The attacks aren't just physical, but emotional and spiritual as well.   These Seirens have the ability to disguise themselves and cleverly deceive their victims through temptation and doubt. This is especially evident in the scene where two Seirens disguise themselves as two of Bach's children.  Taking advantage of their frustration at not having the ability to play their instruments, they tempt Leonard and Kathy into exchanging their magical instruments for counterfits.    This is so similar to the tactics of Satan as described in the bible.  In fact in the bible there are numerous stories of Satan tempting and deceiving people, beginning with Adam and Eve.  Strangely enough the children's willingness to believe and participate in the unbelievable, and convince others to do the same  is reminiscent of a textbook case of cult behavior. The dynamic, eccentric leader, Dr. Fuddle,  gains the trust of Tyler and his younger sister when they are most vulnerable, after his mother's death.  In turn, Tyler's dedication to the mission, fueled with a promise to help his sister, and save the world, gives him motivation to convince the rest of the gang.  Peer pressure, and  the offer of purpose and adventure,  are effective in  winning over the rest, including the skeptics.  Obviously this story isn't about a cult, nevertheless these elements add plausible explanation of how well adjusted teenaged children are so willing to embark into an unknown adventure.

This book is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers. To address the skeptics, Leonard Lang, an A student who looks for the logic in everything, provides plausible quasi- scientific explanations for the unexplainable mystical and supernatural events. For  example, he discusses the possibility of a worm hole to explain their entry into a completely new world.  Kathy is the level headed, fashion conscious teenager, and Antonio is the typical loud, obnoxious, extroverted teenager.

This book contains some illustrations by Donna Burtch.  The cover art and jacket illustrations look professionally designed and make the book very inviting.  The book contains as illustration of each of the main characters,  labeled beneath with the name of the character - reminiscent of the portraits in a school yearbook.  Considering the richly imaginative world created by the author, it would have been nice if more art depicting scenes from the story, were included within the text.  The "portrait" styled illustrations would have been more suitable either in the front of the book or the back rather than within the text itself.  In the back of the book is a glossary of musical terms.

It is clear that to Woodruff, music is not simply a hobby.  Music becomes a science and a religion.  This is especially reinforced with the climatic ending.  There is no doubt as to the spiritual significance of music for this author.   The parallels with religion are striking.  In the end the children become apostles as they are entrusted with the mission to "pass this joy to the next generation".  Dr. Fuddle's true identity as a deity is revealed, as he gives the children his final words- "This is the day the universe has infused your souls with music! Let us rejoice forevermore!" (page 211)

Applause in Unlikely Places: A Conductor Who Rewrites the Rules

During the “Infernal Dance” of Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” which depicts the subjects of the ogre Kastchei spinning with such savagery that they drop in exhaustion, the music builds to vehement, searing chords. In his performance of the complete “Firebird” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, Gustavo Dudamel drew such blazing colors, slashing attacks and sheer terror from the orchestra that at the climax of the dance some people in the hall broke into applause and shouted “Bravo.” This temporarily drowned out the transition that immediately follows: the powerful chords disperse to reveal mysterious, hushed sonorities.

...  It is exciting to hear this charismatic conductor taking risks and following a vision. Now in his fourth season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he has galvanized the city and become for all conductors a model of community outreach and education. Not bad. 

Read More

Letter From Beethoven to Johann Baptist Rupprecht About the Song "Merkenstein"

The letter states that he will set his poem to music with the greatest pleasure, that he will shortly deliver it to him personally, admitting that he does not know whether it will be celestial, since he is only earthly, and noting that he will however do his utmost to match his [Rupprecht's] exalted opinion of him