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Apr 11 2018

Donkeys, Phoenixes, and William Shakespeare

Posted by Alexis Smith on Apr 11, 2018 1:03:29 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

When you think of an artist, you might think of musicians or painters or dancers who live and breathe their craft and only their craft. I'm sure we're all familiar with the romantic story of artists who live and die by their craft. Maybe you think of an impoverished Van Gogh who was forced to eat his paints or maybe you think of Kafka who quit his job as an insurance officer to have more time to write. Today the modern artist must be a one-person cooperation, both a savvy businessperson and marketing executive. In a society that's increasingly moving towards self-starting and publication, an artist must think of more than just their craft.

Matthew Szymanski, founder and Music Director of Phoenix Orchestra, sat down with us to talk about building an orchestra from it's brand up. In building Phoenix, the former euphonium player turned conductor has had to strip away all of the traditional trimmings of a classical music concert and learn how to run a business while the orchestral world upside down.

Apr 09 2018

Protest Without Words: Husa's Music for Prague 1968

Posted by Alexis Smith on Apr 9, 2018 2:56:37 PM | 0 comments

When I was a kid, my grandmother used to put on records of her favorite Mozart piano concerto or favorite Haydn symphonies. Occasionally, during rainy days, on would slip some Beethoven or even Brahms. Growing up, classical music (the title I gave to all music that didn’t have a rock beat or any music that had a soothing, vaguely soporific effect—yeah, I’m even looking at you, Enya!) was meant to be enjoyed in the background. It was meant to accompany your day to day activities, blending in seamlessly with cooking or doing the Sunday morning crossword. Mozart somehow softened the blow that I didn’t know 27 across: "Literary pseudonym (four letters)." Fast forward many, but not too many, years later and I’m a professional musician acting as an air siren. Behind me is a snare drum playing a crescendo that is supposed to be become “unbearable.” Literally. In his part he is literally asked to play louder and louder until the volume becomes unbearable. What is going on here?

Mar 29 2018

Ryan Lott: Bartok for the Modern Era

Posted by Alexis Smith on Mar 29, 2018 10:54:06 AM | 0 comments | Interviews

What if Beethoven wrote hip-hop? What if Debussy dabbled in electronic music? What does Stravinsky have in common with sampling? We’re living at a time musically when anything can happen. At the forefront of blending classical music with new technology is Ryan Lott, founder of the electronic band Son Lux and composer of yMusic’s newest album, First.

Mar 21 2018

Photos: Opus Affair March at Lion's Tail

Posted by Boston on Mar 21, 2018 10:02:15 AM | 0 comments | Photos

We had a great time with everyone at Lion's Tail for Opus Affair March! Thanks to everyone who came out, and see you next month!

Mar 19 2018

Meet Maria Finkelmeier

Posted by Alexis Smith on Mar 19, 2018 10:57:16 AM | 0 comments | Interviews

Maria Finkelmeier is a powerhouse percussionist, educator, composer, and innovator based in Boston whose travels have taken her from Ohio to the northern woods of Sweden. Some of you may be familiar with Maria through her work as the founder of Kadence Arts or as a driving force behind Masary Studios. 

Mar 16 2018

Meet Rachel Barringer

Posted by Alexis Smith on Mar 16, 2018 3:29:54 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

This week, Opus Affair caught up with cellist/aerialist/yogi extraordinaire Rachel Barringer. Originally from LA, Rachel moved to Boston to study cello at the Longy School of Music. Now, eleven years later, Rachel plays in the Sonic Liberation Players, a chamber orchestra specializes in 21st-century music; teaches aerials and flexibility at the Commonwealth Circus Center; and performs with the Boston Circus Guild. Rachel will be performing as part of the Boston Circus Guild with Symphony Nova on March 16 and will be teaching yoga at the Detox/Retox AcousticaElectronica Yoga Mashup on April 6 at OBERON.

Feb 20 2018

Photos: Opus Affair February at Saloon

Posted by Boston on Feb 20, 2018 4:48:24 PM | 0 comments | Photos

We made our inaugural trip to Somerville last night for #OpusAffair, and based on the crowd that showed up, it's safe to say it's not our last time there! Thanks a million to Saloon for hosting us!

Jan 24 2018

Photos: Opus Affair January at Brick & Mortar

Posted by Boston on Jan 24, 2018 10:26:18 AM | 0 comments | Photos

We had an amazing time last night at Opus Affair, we’re so glad so many friends could come out and join us! Thanks a million to Brick & Mortar for hosting us, the drinks were delicious! 

Jan 08 2018

Photos: Aeronaut Brewing Company's pindrop sessions with Marimba Cabaret

Posted by Boston on Jan 8, 2018 11:37:30 AM | 0 comments | Photos

Thanks to everyone who braved the cold to join us at Aeronaut Brewing Company last night for Marimba Cabaret on their pindrop sessions series! It was a fantastic evening of great music and great beer!

Jan 04 2018

2017 by the Numbers

Posted by Graham Wright on Jan 4, 2018 10:51:12 AM | 2 comments | Boston

What would the end of 2017 be without a blog post with numbers and lists? I figured we might as well join in the fun. Let's take a look at some of the facts and figures around the people, events, and organizations in the Opus Affair community...


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