John Gibbons holds a Ph.D. in music composition from the University of Chicago. He teaches music appreciation classes at the Universality of Chicago’s Graham School and at Newberry Library. He also offers private piano lessons in the Chicago area.
Bonnie Gibbons is a web site developer and SEO with a background in classical music. She might be persuaded to teach a few cello lessons in the Chicago area.
How should we feel about avowedly “national” music? Remember, if you value “patriotism”, for instance, as all the presidential candidates are required to avow every hour, on the hour, you must respect patriotism in nations other than your own. Otherwise it’s not patriotism per se you value, but some kind of hegemony, cultural or political.
Johannes Brahms may have accepted the dedication of Dvorak’s String Quartet in d minor, op. 34 (1877), but (in rather gentle manner for Brahms, when in a critical mood) wrote to Dvorak that when filling in the sharps and flats in his music he should take another look at the notes themselves, and noted (with implicit criticism) how quickly Dvorak composed. Is this criticism fair?
I do not anticipate having time in class to discuss Smetana’s Trio in g minor or Dvorak’s late folk/fairy tale opera “The Devil and Kate” but I’d like to recommend these fine pieces to my class, and of course my general readership as well.