Ragtime break

Scott Joplin.

Today the New York Times remembers ragtime great Scott Joplin, who died 100 years ago last month:

While here, Mr. Joplin published 25 of his 53 works, including three significant rags: “Wall Street,” “Pineapple” and “Magnetic.” He wrote his 1911 opera Treemonisha in Harlem. Its theme — the salvation of the African-American race through education — made it a tough sell at the time. He “couldn’t get anyone interested in it,” [pianist Richard] Dowling said. “Even Irving Berlin turned him down.”

Below, Joshua Rifkin performs “Bethena: A Concert Waltz,” one of Joplin’s lovelier efforts, composed in 1905. According to Wikipedia, “It was the first Joplin work since his wife Freddie’s death on September 10, 1904 of pneumonia, ten weeks after their wedding.”

Next Thursday: Messiaen, Fineberg, and Murail at the Barnes Foundation

Marilyn Nonken.

On Thursday, May 18, at 8.00pm, my lovely wife Marilyn Nonken takes the stage at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia to perform “The Spectral Piano,” featuring music by Olivier Messiaen, Joshua Fineberg, Dominique Troncin, and Tristan Murail. Tickets are $30 ($20 for members and $10 for students); the Barnes is located at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. More information at the Barnes Foundation web site here.

A few months ago, Robert Whalen and Katherine Skovira of the Barnes Foundation spoke to Marilyn about spectral music and her upcoming concert for the foundation’s VERSO podcast series. You can hear that conversation below.

Messiaen, Fineberg, and Murail at the Barnes Foundation

Marilyn Nonken.

On Thursday, May 18, at 8.00pm, my lovely wife Marilyn Nonken takes the stage at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia to perform “The Spectral Piano,” featuring music by Olivier Messiaen, Joshua Fineberg, Dominique Troncin, and Tristan Murail. Tickets are $30 ($20 for members and $10 for students); the Barnes is located at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. More information at the Barnes Foundation web site here.

A few months ago, Robert Whalen and Katherine Skovira of the Barnes Foundation spoke to Marilyn about spectral music and her upcoming concert for the foundation’s VERSO podcast series. You can hear that conversation below.