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Child prodigy and esteemed conductor Lorin Maazel dies at 84

This week the New York Times paid tribute to Lorin Maazel, a child prodigy who grew up to become an enigmatic conductor, after he died in his home at 84. Maazel conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1940, before his tenth birthday. He returned to Pittsburgh throughout his career.  

At 15, he took a break from conducting and began studying at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1946 he organized the Fine Arts Quartet of Pittsburgh and in 1948 he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra shortly before embarking for a long stint in Europe in 1951. 

In 1984, he returned to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as a music consultant and later became its musical director until 1996. During this time, he toured the world and won a grammy with the orchestra.

Native rappers stick together

MTV reported this week that Pittsburgh rappers stood by Hardo, a rapper from Wilkinsburg, through social media after he was found not guilty for drug charges.
 
Mac Miller asked fans to tweet their support with the hashtag #welcomehomehardo while Wiz Khalifa pledged his allegiance to the black and yellow and tweeted “free Hardo.”
 
Hardo was arrested and charged with drug possession and intent to deliver last August when officers found 250 individual stamp bags of heroin in a bag in his vehicle.
 
Since returning home, Hardo has already recorded and released a new single entitled “Thug Motivation.”

Duquesne grad and August WIlson protege contributes to Broadway musical about Tupac Shakur

The New York Times reported last week that  “Holler if Ya Hear Me”, a new Broadway musical revolving around Tupac Shakur’s music and messages, was originally the brainchild of beloved playwright August Wilson who saw honor, duty, betrayal, and love in Shakur’s music.
 
When Wilson died in 2005, the idea lapsed until Western Pennsylvania native, Duquesne graduate and former Pittsburgh Public Theater staff member Todd Kreidler collaborated with director Kenny Leon and they took on the project of weaving 21 of Shakur’s songs and poems into a narrative.
 
The musical will open directly onto Broadway on June 19, after the Tony awards deadline, at the Palace Theater. The piece asserts the idea that Tupac Shakur is universal and that everybody can relate to his music.
 
“This is the greatest stage for storytelling in our country and I think Tupac Shakur belongs there,” Leon tells the New York Times.

The new audio geeks features Pittsburgh audiophile

Are you an audiophile? Then check out this article from the NY Times about the changing music industry, featuring a 'Burgher's testimony to the death of the Hi-Fi era.

"These days, Mr. Elias, 58, is an advertising executive who lives with his wife and three children in a house in Pittsburgh with enough high-end audio gear to open a stereo showroom, including a Krell Showcase five-channel power amp ($4,500), Thiel CS6 loudspeakers ($9,000 a pair) and an Escient FireBall CD system ($4,000). Every year, he offers to buy his children a great stereo, he said, but they never take him up on it."

While this focuses more on the industry's upheaval than it does on this Pittsburgher, we thought it was worth sharing. To read more, click here.

Meet Pittsburgh's Electro-Dream Pop Artist Paul Thomas Zito

Paul Thomas Zito of Pittsburgh is a particular stand-out DIY musician for us this week in the cafe, and we’re thinking may very well be for others too. From his new album, Darker Sea, Lighter Sleep, Zito recently sent us two singles.

While both tracks are fine songs, our favorite is “Cluster of String,” a sparkling composition oozing with warm, tropical-like synth melodies and soaring, echoey vocals – a perfect song for a sunny gold, blue-sky late summer afternoon. After a few spins of “Cluster of String,” it was clear we were hearing perhaps one of the best DIY artists on IRC this summer. That declaration was greatly enhanced by the second track Zito submitted.

Read it here.

Kellee Maize video does a 360 in Market Square

Kellee Maize's latest video features a fast-rapping Kellee and a 360 degree view of Market Square. View it here!

USC senior gets the nod on American Idol. Patty the Pittsburgh Planker wasn't so lucky

Upper St. Clair senior Xavier Callicott made it through the first cut on American Idol with two thumbs up, enough to send him to Hollywood for the next round. Read it here.

Patty the Pittsburgh Planker got the on air treatment, but won't be going the distance.

Beneath our city is an active underground of experimental artists, says Nylon

An active underground of experiemental artists, rap stars like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller as well as Girl Talk are all putting Pittsburgh's music scene on the map, says Nylon. How cool is that?

Read it in Nylon.


Kellee Maize's new album gets 85,000+ downloads

Pittsburgh rapper Kellee Maize's newest album release, Integration, is expected to hit the 100,000 download mark soon. Read more about the hot release here and check out Kellee's cool video.

For the full story, click here.

Pittsburgh singer/songwriter Alana makes her debut in a video by Colin Sander

A spellbinding music video by Pittsburgh/Los Angeles filmmaker Colin Sander went live on YouTube this week, featuring up-and-coming Pittsburgh singer/ songwriter Alana Solomon, 14-years-old from Clairton.

The former Mt. Lebanon High School graduate was the director and cinematographer of Alana's debut music video, "With You," a project he worked on with producer Christian Sander ( his brother) and Scott Sander (his father) and the family company, Pense Productions.
 
The crew filmed the video during the course of one week this fall in South Fayette, with scenes shot in Hiptique, Shadyside, Seton LaSalle High School, Cecil Sturgeon Road and Colliers Township. McGann and Chester Towing make a cameo appearance. On the music side, the strings were recorded in London, the song and vocal tracks in Nashville and Los Angeles; The song was mixed in Pittsburgh by Grammy-winning producer Rae DiLeo. 

Watch it on YouTube.
 
 

VIA Music & New Media Fest is coming, among the top 10 festivals in the world

The VIA Music & New Media Fest, which blows into Pittsburgh Oct. 5-9, moved up in the rankings as one of the best music festivals in the country to #5. 

Read it in Resident Advisor.

Soulful singer/songwriter Joy Ike releases "Sweeter." Get the FREE download

Her fans have compared her vocally to Corinne Bailey Rae and Nora Jones, but Pittsburgh's-own Joy Ike says her influences can more accurately be traced to her two favorite female artists, Sara Groves and Brooke Waggoner. NPR featured her on a spot recently and Pittsburgh City Paper names her the "Best Solo Artist" three years running.

Listen to her latest beautiful release, "Sweeter," on YouTube.

Better yet, download it for free!

Frick Park Market and what Donald Trump is saying about Mac Miller (and vice versa)

The go-to grocer in Point Breeze is the subject of Mac Miller's (Malcolm to many of us) latest release. And on another note, Donald Trump is pleased his namesake rap has reached 20 million hits, calling Mac Miller "the new Eminem."

Hear Frick Park Market on YouTube.

Hear Donald Trump on Mac Miller on YouTube.

Better yet, listen to Mac Miller rapping about Donald Trump.


ShowClix mobile platform draws national attention during Billboard blowout

ShowClix's mobile ticketing platform drew national attention during the Billboard Summer Blowout Party in which every ticketed distributed was sent via mobile phones through the new platform developed by the Pittsburgh tech savvy ticket company.

Read it at ABC News.
18 Music Articles | Page: | Show All
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