12-Year-Old Pianist Wows Drew Barrymore, James Corden

Feb 22, 2019

The internet loves a child prodigy. That story and more -- like a techno Magic Flute, a tale of a fake orchestra, and a violin made of driftwood -- in this week's link roundup!

1. PBS NewsHour took a few minutes to talk about classical music this week, and we couldn't agree more with this:

If we think of classical music solely as relaxing, we deny its ability to move us, shake us, twist us in knots. We feed the idea that this music is somehow more elevated than pop or rap, and that its practitioners are more enlightened. 

This reinforces the implication that classical music is for the rich white people filling opulent concert halls, which is increasingly not the case.

2. We're in AWE. Lydian Nadhaswaram, we're looking forward to your sure-to-be long and successful career as a concert pianist.

3. Before the theremin became the standard sound of sci-fi, it was touted as an instrument for the people -- an instrument for the American home. NewMusicBox has the story

4. We're obsessed with this "Non so più" remix:

And just in case you forgot what the real version sounds like:

5. A violin made of driftwood has been labeled "a voice from and for the sea" -- and it'll be played at a concert raising awareness for the marine environment. 

6. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo tells The Guardian what it's like to play the Pharaoh in Philip Glass's "Akhnaten." Spoiler alert: it involves a LOT of gym time.

7. Is it possible that a famous composer could have been scamming us all along? In her new memoir, "Sounds Like Titanic," Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman says she "played" in a fake ensemble that honestly sounds like something out of a movie.

8. Reddit user CapitalEmu9 posted this compilation of composer signatures:

9. Writer Lisa Hirsch wondered what it was like to go to a concert at Versailles in the 18th century, so she found out -- and then went to a performance there herself.

10. Strings Magazine is back with an update to their series highlighting the best classical covers of pop songs, this time featuring Yo-Yo Ma's "The Shape of You" and more!