The pre-Christmas surfeit having been spent and the interregnum of recovery having ended, the 2011 classical music concert season fully revs up this weekend. There are fifteen concerts listed in BMInt’s “Upcoming Events.” (By contrast, there were three listings in the first weekend of the New Year and six in the second.) Reviewers from the Intelligencer are scheduled at eleven of this weekend’s events. They are taking to heart the charge of our esteemed editor, Professor Robert Levin, “If you hear something, write something.”
This is not the only advice BMInt has heeded from its editor.
In the first weeks of BMInt’s existence, its triumvirate — Publisher Lee Eiseman, Executive Editor Bettina A. Norton, and Editor Robert Levin, met in the latter’s office at Harvard. Retired Tufts Professor of Music Mark DeVoto was there as a guest. Asked what would be important to do as BMInt got under way, Prof. Levin said, “Broadening your readership and the number of reviewers, which will create a network that will feed on itself.” He pointed to Mark DeVoto and pronounced, “You couldn’t do better than to start with him!”
Two years later, thanks to the power of the internet, placement of our ads in presenting organization’s program books, and the network of classical music lovers, Professor Levin’s suggestions have come to pass. Readership of BMInt currently stands at about 13,000 hits a day. And our corps of reviewers has not only grown, but is very impressive for the quality of its expertise. Some of BMInt’s writers are composers, some professional musicians — string and keyboard instruments being predominant; some are serving or have served as music librarians, instrumental and vocal teachers, choir directors, classical record publishers, professional acoustical and recording engineers, and reviewers in other respected classical music publications.
A good number of BMInt’s current reviewers have academic teaching positions in music at Berklee College, Boston Conservatory, Brandeis University, Emmanuel College, Longy School of Music, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New England Conservatory, Tufts University, UMass Boston, Williams College, and the Walnut Hill School; these reviewers have degrees in Musicology and related disciplines from these institutions as well as Barnard College of Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Eastman School of Music, Harvard University, Montreal Conservatory, Oberlin College, Pomona College, Queens College, University of California, University of Michigan, and Yale.
At the same time, BMInt allows its readers to have their say. The result has been some very good discussion.