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Starting Next Month, Neo Classical Will Have A New Voice
After more than three years, it's time for a sabbatical.

by Drew McManus
May 7, 2007

For more than three years it has been my pleasure to write Neo Classical here at The Partial Observer. Nevertheless, the time has come for a break and I'll be taking a sabbatical for the next several months.

Fortunately, that doesn't mean Neo Classical is going anywhere. In fact, during the time I'm away there will be another voice stepping in to fill the void. I think it will be refreshing for everyone to have an opportunity to hear about the future of classical music from a new perspective and throughout the coming months Neo Classical's new caretaker will approach the future of classical music from the perspective of the ultimate insider, a professional orchestra violinist.

When putting together this piece I took a moment to look back at the 62 articles which have been published here since February 16, 2004. Based on popularity, the articles which struck a chord with most readers focused on the growing trend of Inderal use by professional musicians. Not far behind that article were a wide variety of pieces which examined everything from cartoon music, nasty legal battles, and the always popular topic of sex.

Each of those articles was a pleasure to write but in addition to the works readers found most interesting, I have a few personal favorites. In particular, the quartet of articles about the remarkable FESNOJIV program in Venezuela will always hold a special place (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4). After visiting the program first-hand and experiencing all it has to offer, it comes as no surprise that just under two years later the venerable Los Angeles Philharmonic recently selected 26 year-old Gustavo Dudamel, a product of the FESNOJIV program, as their new music director.

Another favorite round of articles included the set of interviews which incorporated everyone in the classical music business from acousticians, composers, and concertmasters to music directors and tubists. Each interview opened up a new perspective on completely different corners inside the business.

Finally, it was always satisfying to examine some of the lesser known components in this business such as professional military bands, video game music, and classical music gadgets.

Beginning June 4, 2007 you can expect to learn more about what it takes to make it as a professional musician, trends in private music instruction, musician etiquette towards the audience, the violin business, the concert format, and much more. I can say with all confidence that you are going to enjoy Neo Classical's new contributing author; after all, I have been listening to her insights for years, she's my wife. So until then, continue to enjoy all of the fine features at The Partial Observer as well as the Neo Classical archive.

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