A Fantastic Musical Project In Uganda by Innocent Wodonya

FFM’s  Uganda Ambassador,  Innocent Wodonya is raising money to help young musicians in Uganda. They need to buy instruments to continue the fantastic work already being done by the David Kiwana Wind Orchestra. Please visit their GoFund Site and pledge a few pounds/dollars/yen to help them give music to young people in Uganda.
Innocent Wodonya
Innocent Wodonya 
“We are a starting a wind classics band and we intend to give chance to our players  to play music and we really need your support for us to do it please whatever you give will help give a chance to one African child  to play music .
Thank you all  friends around the world .
Help spread the word!”
 Innocent Wodonya

The international language of music spreads love and friendship around the world and FFM Records will ultimately record and distribute a digital album for our Ugandan friends to create a sustainable source of income for the future.
The music education outreach that music provides is a priceless lifeline for many Ugandans creating  opportunities for personal development much needed in the area.

Please help us help these wonderful musicians be the best they can.
Roger Moisan LTCL PGCE
(CEO Freedom For Musicians)

Please Visit our GoFund Page



Our first Freedom For Musicians Recording Artists from across the globe

It is with great pride that we present to you, FFM Records’ catalogue of our very own recording artists. As FFM grows, so does our record label and our first artists come from four different countries and musical genres.

Introducing

Miss Dee by Dita Nurdian

FFM Artist – Dita Nurdian

Dita Nurdian is an Indonesian writer of electronica and dance music. Her passion for this genre is evident in her prolific output. At FFM Records, we have released 4 of Dita’s latest tracks and you can download them here, Beatport and stream on Spotify.

Measure of Abstract by Slawomir Rataj

FFM Artist – Slawomir Rataj

Slawomir Rataj is a guitarist and composer from Poland. Recently released under the FFM Records label,  Slawomir’s debut album ‘Measure of Abstract’ is an instrumental album that combines electronica with Slawomir’s phenomenal guitar playing.

You can download the album here, at itunes and stream on Spotify.

Transformation by Paul Hinman

FFM Artist – Paul Hinman

Paul Hinman is a UK based singer songwriter whose songs reflect  events that he has experienced in a rich and varied life. You can download Paul’s debut album here and stream on Spotify.

Raag Puriya Dhanashree by Ankur Biplav

FFM Artist – Ankur Biplav

Ankur Biplav is an Indian Classical Music singer specialising in South Indian Carnatic music.

Indian classical music has two foundational elements, raga and tala. The raga forms the fabric of a melodic structure, while the tala measures the time cycle.

The raga gives the artist a palette to build the melody from sounds, while the tala provides them with a creative framework for rhythmic improvisation using time.


Why do we learn to play the recorder at school?


400 years ago, the recorder was so popular that people were writing concertos for it. Now, we associate it with primary school music lessons. We’re here to explain why…

Long before it was used as a teaching instrument, Renaissance and Baroque composers like Monteverdi, Purcell and Bach loved to compose for this small, whistle-like instrument. Here’s Vivaldi’s lovely Recorder Concerto in C:


Back then, all recorders would have been made from wood and ivory – a far cry from today’s primary school plastic numbers.

So why did we start using them to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’?

Fast forward to the 1900s, when Carl Orff – that’s the German composer who wrote Carmina Burana (the cantata which includes the epic ‘O Fortuna’) – thought it would be a great idea to use the soprano recorder as a teaching tool.

Aside from writing excellent music that would later be poached by The X Factor, Orff became instrumental in shaping music education theory in the 20th century.

His Orff Schulwerk encouraged learning music through rhythm and creative thinking, methods he thought to be much more effective (and enjoyable) than learning by repetition.

The work also called for a wider range of simple, easy-to-play instruments, specifically those with a similar vocal range to a child. Orff figured that if a child could sing the notes they were playing, they’d be more likely to understand it.

To him, the soprano recorder’s lack of strings, reeds, bow – or need to develop a good embouchure in order to make a half-decent sound on it – made it the perfect instrument to inspire children to play music. You could say the same for other teaching instruments, like the glockenspiel or the tambourine.

So do people still play the recorder seriously?

Sure they do! Recorders can be as small and simple as the soprano recorder, and as big and practically impossible to play as the contrabass recorder (there’s also the sub-contrabass recorder, which is even scarier). It looks like this:

Contrabass recorder

Imagine trying to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ on THAT.

Here’s the Palisander Quartet, making the recorder look advanced and awesome:

Palisander: The Nightmare Concerto
Palisander Recorder Ensemble playing Vivaldi’s ‘The Nightmare Concerto’, arranged by Miriam Nerval.



Listen to Mozart played on Mozart’s VERY OWN piano


Please watch this amazing video of pianist Robert Levin playing Mozart’s piano sonatas on Mozart’s ACTUAL PIANO.

Last year, pianist and musicologist Robert Levin was announced as the first Hogwood Fellow of the Academy of Ancient Music. So, we filmed him playing on Mozart’s very own instrument.

The fortepiano, from around 1782, was used by Mozart for both composition and performance from 1785 until his death in 1791.

The piano was originally made by Anton Walter, one of the most famous Viennese piano makers of Mozart’s time. It is two octaves shorter than a modern piano, and is much lighter and smaller than modern pianos, weighing only 85kg. It’s also much smaller than a modern piano, at just 2.23m long.

It can currently be found in Salzburg, where Robert Levin is using it to record Mozart’s piano sonatas.

“The voyage and discovery of playing on period instruments is to move in a world – physical, emotional and aesthetic – that is inhabited by the geniuses that wrote this music. It brings us very, very close to them,” said Levin.

“So sitting down at Mozart’s piano, sitting down at an organ which Bach played himself, you understand things about the weight of the keys going down and the repetition and the balance in sound.

“And all of these things bring you very, very close to the music and make you say ‘A-ha, that’s why it’s written that way’, which is not the kind of thing you’re going to get if you’re playing on the standard instruments that are being manufactured today.”



Debdeep Misra performing at Golpark Ramakrishna Mission – Raga Yaman



By Debdeep Misra, FFM Ambassador for India

“Indian classical music is a genre of South Asian music.It has two major traditions: the North Indian classical music tradition is called Hindustani, while the South Indian expression is called Carnatic.”

Indian classical music has two foundational elements, raga and tala. The raga forms the fabric of a melodic structure, while the tala measures the time cycle.

Indian classical music is a genre of South Asian music.It has two major traditions: the North Indian classical music tradition is called Hindustani, while the South Indian expression is called Carnatic.

The raga gives an artist a palette to build the melody from sounds, while the tala provides them with a creative framework for rhythmic improvisation using time.

There is no concept of harmony in Indian classical music. 

Here Debdeep Misra performs raga YAMAN……WHICH IS INDIAN CLASSICAL RAGA. Yaman emerged from the parent musical style of Kalyan Vilambit bandish  ” kahe sakhi kayse ke ka kariye”
Debdeep Misra
Debdeep Misra, FFM Ambassador for India



हिंदी एफएफएम (Hindi FFM) – गांधी और संगीत …(Gandhi and Music)


अंकुर बीप्लव
अंकुर बीप्लव

महात्मा गांधी – राष्ट्र के पिता, हम सभी को एक स्वतंत्रता सेनानी के रूप में जानते हैं, एक व्यक्ति जो हमेशा सच्चाई और अभाव में, एक दैवीय आत्मा और अपने देश के लिए महान प्रेम और सम्मान वाले व्यक्ति हैं। हम सभी ने अपने जीवन के विभिन्न पहलुओं के बारे में सुना है / पढ़ा है, लेकिन आज हम संगीत के लिए उनके प्यार के बारे में बात करेंगे। हाँ! अधिकांश लोगों को लगता है कि वह सभी कलाओं और संगीत के खिलाफ थे लेकिन संगीत के लिए उनका विचार- “संगीत अकेले गले से आगे नहीं बढ़ता मन, संवेदना और हृदय के संगीत हैं ”

कुंआ! हम सब प्रसिद्ध भजन- “वैष्णव जन” और “रघुपति राघव” के पास आए हैं, ये भजन नियमित रूप से उनके आश्रम में खेले जाते थे। उनके अनुसार सच्चे संगीत में कोई बाधा नहीं है। संगीत वह शक्तिशाली हथियार है जिसमें उसकी भावनाओं को बदलने / नियंत्रित करने की शक्ति है। गांधीजी का दिन भजन के साथ शुरू होगा और भजन के साथ समाप्त होगा। प्रसिद्ध संगीतकार जैसे- पं। एन.एम. खर, मामा फडके, श्री विनोबा और बल्कोबा भावे अपने आश्रम के भजन सत्र का एक हिस्सा थे। उनके आश्रम में भजन के दौरान धर्म, जाति, पंथ, क्षेत्र, भाषाओं आदि का कोई भेदभाव नहीं था। उनके अनुसार संगीत एक था राष्ट्रीय अखंडता का शानदार तरीका क्योंकि यहां विभिन्न रिघीजेन्स के संगीतकार एक साथ बैठते हैं और एक संगीत कार्यक्रम में प्रदर्शन करते हैं। उन्होंने अक्सर कहा, “हम एक संकीर्ण अर्थ में संगीत को ध्यान में रखकर साधन लिखना और अच्छी तरह से खेलने की क्षमता का मतलब करेंगे, लेकिन इसके व्यापक अर्थों में, सच्चे संगीत तब ही बनाया जाता है जब जीवन एक धुन और एक ही समय की धड़कन के साथ होता है संगीत का जन्म होता है जहां दिल की तार धुन से बाहर नहीं होती है। ” जब गांधीजी दक्षिण अफ्रीका में थे तो उन्होंने आश्रम में शाम नमाज शुरू किया था। भजन का यह संग्रह बाद में – ‘नीतीवम कव्यो’ के नाम से प्रकाशित हुआ।

संगीत सुनने से हमें कई तरीकों से मदद मिल सकती है शायद, यही कारण है कि गांधी जी को संगीत की ओर आकर्षित किया गया था। संगीत एक शानदार मस्तिष्क व्यायाम है जो मस्तिष्क के हर ज्ञात भाग को सक्रिय करता है। यह जीवन के सभी चरणों में एक स्मार्ट, खुश और अधिक उत्पादक बना सकता है गांधी जी ने यह भी सोचा था कि संगीत लोगों के मन में शांति और सामंजस्य स्थापित करने का एक तरीका था। संगीत सुनना मानव मन को एक अनन्त शांति देता है, यह सुनिश्चित करता है कि उनका दिमाग हिंसा के प्रति आकर्षित नहीं है। किसी ने एक बार महात्मा से पूछा, “महात्माजी को संगीत के लिए कोई पसंद नहीं है?” गांधीजी ने उत्तर दिया- “अगर कोई संगीत नहीं था और मुझमें कोई हँसी नहीं थी, तो मैं अपने काम के इस कुचल बोझ से मर गया होता।” गांधीजी बहुत संगीत से जुड़े थे  22 दिसंबर, 1 9 45 को उन्होंने रबींद्रनाथ टैगोर को लिखे गए पत्र के जरिए संगीत के लिए उनका प्यार देखा जा सकता है जिसमें उन्होंने रबींद्रनाथ टैगोर का सुझाव दिया था कि भारतीय शास्त्रीय संगीत के साथ साथ पश्चिमी शास्त्रीय संगीत को बंगाली संगीत के साथ दिया जाना चाहिए। इससे यह भी पता चलता है कि गांधीजी को विभिन्न संगीताओं का बहुत ज्ञान था।     गांधी जी का जीवन लय और सद्भाव से भरा था उन्हें भजन के साथ अपना दिन शुरू करने की आदत थी और भजन के साथ अपना दिन समाप्त भी किया था। आजकल कई हिंसा देखी जा रही हैं शायद लोगों के बीच शांति, सामंजस्य और भाईचारे को सुनिश्चित करने का एकमात्र तरीका संगीत है।

English Translation

Mahatma Gandhi- The father of Nation, we all know him as a freedom fighter, a person who always believed in truth and nonviolence, a divine soul and a person having great love and respect for his country. We all have heard/ read about his various aspects of life but today we will talk about his love for music. Yes! most of the people think that he was against all arts and music. But his thought for music was-
“Music does not proceed from the throat alone. There is music of mind, of the senses and of the heart. ”

Well! we all have came across the famous bhajans- “Vaishanav Jan” and ” Raghupati Raghav”, these bhajans were played at his ashram regularly. According to him In true music there are no barrier. Music is that powerful weapon which has the power to change/control one’s emotions. Gandhijis’ day would start with bhajans and would end with bhajans. Famous musicians like- Pt. N. M. Khare, Mama Fadke, Sri Vinoba and Balkoba Bhave were a part of his ashram’s bhajan sessions.. During the bhajans in his ashram, there was no discrimination of religion, caste, creed, region, languages etc.

According to him music was a great way of national integrity because here only musicians of different religions sit together and perform at a concert. He often said, “We shall consider music in a narrow sense to mean the ability to sing and play an instrument well, but, in its wider sense, true music is created only when life is attuned to a single tune and a single time beat. Music is born only where the strings of the heart are not out of tune.” When Gandhi Ji was in South Africa he had started evening prayers in the Ashram. That collection of bhajans were later published under the name of – ‘Nitivam Kavyo’.

Listening to music can help us in lot of ways. Maybe, that’s why Gandhi Jee was so attracted towards music. Music is a fantastic brain exercise that activates every known part of the brain.  It can make one smarter, happier and more productive at all stages of life. Gandhi Jee even thought that music was a way of establishing peace and harmony in the minds of people. Listening to music gives an eternal peace to human mind thus, will ensure that their mind isn’t attracted towards violence.

Someone once asked the Mahatma“Mahatmaji don’t you have any liking for music?” Gandhi Jee replied- “If there was no music and no laughter in me, I would have died of this crushing burden of my work.” This shows how Gandhi jee was so attached to the music.
His love for music can be seen by the letter he wrote to Rabindranath Tagore on December 22, 1945 in which he suggested Rabindranath Tagore that due place should be given to Indian Classical Music as well as Western Classical Music along with bengali music. This also shows that Gandhi Jee had great knowledge of different genres of music.

Gandhi Jee’s life was full of rhythm and harmony. He had a habit of starting his day with bhajans and also ending his day with the bhajans. A lot of violence is witnessed nowadays around the world perhaps music is the only way to ensure peace, harmony and brotherhood among people.




बाबा (राजकुमार श्यामानन्द सिंह) की याद में …


अंकुर बीप्लव द्वारा

आज सुबह जब रियाज़ कर रहा था, उसी वक़्त  मुझे अपने बचपन की याद आ गई जब मैं अपने दादा जी से मिलने देवघर  (झारखण्ड ) गया था और वहां दादी माँ के कैसेटों के संकलन से सुबह -सुबह जौनपुरी की बंदिश ऐ रि फिरत एक दमदार आवाज़ में सुना.

उस वक़्त तक मैं राग से अनजान था, सुर का भी ज्ञान नहीं था लेकिन गीत सुनकर मैं डूब गया। गजब का आकर्षण था उस आवाज़ मे . बाद में दादी माँ ने बतलाया वो कोई और नहीं उनके पिता जी स्वर्गीय राजकुमार श्यामनन्द सिंह की आवाज़ है। मैं बहुत ख़ुश हुआ था।

बाद के  वर्षों में जब मेरी थोड़ी और रूचि बढ़ी तो मैंने राजकुमार श्यामानन्द सिंह की आवाज़ में “दुःख हरो द्वारिकानाथ ” को सुना और ऐसा लगा कि वो सच मे कितने दिल से द्वारिकानाथ को याद किया करते थे . जितनी बार इस भजन को सुनता उतना और सुनने का मन करता. यहीं से शास्त्रीय गायन से मेरा लगाव बढ़ा।

बाद में राजकुमार श्यामानन्द के बारे में ख़ूब सारी जानकारी इकट्ठा करने लगा। उनका जन्म 27 जुलाई 1916 को हुआ था.उन्होंने अपनी शुरुआती संगीत शिक्षा उस्ताद भीष्मदेव चटर्जी से ली थी.बाद के दिनों मे उस्ताद बच्चू खान साहब  और पंडित भोलानाथ भट्ट से भी उन्होंने संगीत की शिक्षा ली थी.

जैसा की मेरे घर में पापा बताते हैं की उनकी दुःख हरो द्वारिकानाथ भजन को सुनकर केसरबाई जैसी गायिका  ने उन्हें अपना गुरु बनाने की इच्छा जताई की थी.जब भी कोई इनके गाने को सुनता तो वो बस सुनता ही रह जाता था। सबसे खास बात इनके गाने की वो थी बंदिश की अदायगी .

वैसे मेरी दादी माँ यह भी बताती है की बाबा (राजकुमार श्यामनन्द सिंह) शिकार के भी बहुत शौक़ीन थे.वे स्पोर्ट्स मे भी उतनी ही रूचि रखते थे. मैं सोचता हूं कि बाबा एक जीवन में कितना कुछ कर गए। उनके बारे में सोचकर ही रोमांचित हो जाता हूं।

आज 9 अप्रैल 1994  के दिन ही उन्होंने गाते गाते ही अपने प्राण त्याग दिए थे. ये मेरा सौभाग्य  है कि वो मेरे पापा के नाना जी थे. लेकिन मुझे इस बात का दुःख है की मै उनसे कभी मिल न सका ना उन्हें गाते सुन पाया . तो भी यह सोचकर गर्व होता है कि मैं उनके परिवार का हिस्सा हूं। वो सच मे एक गायक नहीं साधक थे.


Practice Techniques in Preparing for Rehearsal #1



Authored by Mark Nuccio, principal clarinet of the Houston Symphony and former associate principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic.

One of the most important responsibilities a musician has is the early preparation of a piece of music prior to even beginning to play one’s instrument. One must first familiarize yourself with the score of each work that he will be performing and evaluate just how your part fits within the context of the orchestra or chamber music piece. As is the case with many things in life, if you begin this preparation early, it is more likely that you will have a deeper understanding of the performance once you get to the performance.

If you are confronted with multiple and/or consecutive upcoming busy weeks, the early preparation can make it that much easier. It simply requires obtaining a score, preferably the urtext or most respected score for the piece you are to perform. In the case of an audition, find the most accurate score but if it is a piece you are to perform or record, it is more important to get a score from the edition from which you will be performing.

Why is this important, you may ask? Often times there may be a difference in slurs, articulations (style and location of), dynamics, etc ¼ for those who are not near a major public library or may not have access to an orchestra library, you can often times use IMSLP.com, a free source. Many times, I haven’t found these scores to be the best editions available but it certainly is better than nothing.

The next step is to seek out multiple recordings; listen to the conductor’s and the soloist’s interpretations and decide which one seems most reliable making sure that you choose something that represents the middle ground if there are large differences in tempi through the recordings. If you are performing with a major conductor who has recorded this work, find HIS/HER recording as this will be the most similar to what you will probably be performing. Certainly, if you are auditioning, this is likely the pacing and interpretation that the orchestra is most accustomed to and likely the conductor’s preference.

After you have chosen the ideal recording, you will need to listen to this again, probably several times, with your part, a pencil, eraser, and a metronome; be prepared to pause the recording many times while listening. This process will be described in detail later in this article. Your listening should be fully dedicated with NO other distractions.

On a side note, I always copy my parts so that if I were to perform the piece again, I don’t have to do all of this work again. Now you will have officially begun building your own library. Do your best to find real parts, purchase or copy them and understand that even these could have some mistakes. Use your sources (teachers, study of the most accurate published scores) determine the accuracy of the notes and/or printed tempi. Ex¼Beethoven is rarely performed at the printed tempi. Use excerpt books as a source of study but not a regular means of preparation. Always do your best to practice from full parts.

Now is where the work starts. Keep in mind that nobody should know the score any better than you. Ideally you will be surrounded by colleagues who also know the score as well as you do. Then the process of rehearsing goes twice as fast and music begins from the first time you and the “group” get together. That is “collaboration”!

Key things that I am looking for are listed below:

1. Mark the tempo for the movement on your part and include changes of tempi within the movement (ex. Quarter = 120). This will allow you to practice at the prescribed tempi during your preparation.

2. Which instrument/s starts the movement? If it is not obvious, a small cue in the part would help. Often times, a rhythmic cue of four 1/16 notes with the note “vln” would help you to know the tempo when the piece starts and who starts the piece. Obviously this would indicate that violins start with four sixteenth notes.

3. This next section should assume the person marking their music is a clarinetist. You can adjust these cues based upon your instrument.

As you are listening, decide if your notes are primary melody, secondary melody, harmony, etc.. If you are primary, you need to lead with your sound and pacing and everybody else should be subordinate and thus, follow. I might mark this (cl/ww’s) If you are a secondary melody, you should be a small amount quieter than the primary and always shadowing the primary voice regardless of whether the primary voice is with the conductor.

I might mark this fl/ob/cl)¼.in order of priority. The conductor will likely work to get the primary voice positioned correctly and then the secondary voice will then make sense. If you have the harmony or a part of the harmony, it typically is even less present, allowing the primary and secondary voices to dominate. I might mark this (Strings/ob/cl). It is entirely possibly, if not likely, that you could have the Primary voice and then hand that primary voice to another instrument and become secondary after doing so. If this is the case, readjust your role.

This can much more easily be determined during this process where you are reading a score and listening with your part in front of you rather than trying to do it in the first rehearsal on the fly with no score study. Understand that if you have the leading voice, the conductor (or other members of your chamber ensemble) will be looking your way for leadership and acknowledgement that you are aware of this. Look at the conductor right before you are to play the primary voice or solo.

As soon as he knows you are ready, he can then focus his attention on other voices. If you are not the primary, it is more important that you are in contact with that instrument and shadowing them rather than the conductor’s beat. I often times watch the bows of the lead string players with whom I am playing so that I am with them if they have the primary voice.

This is more often the case for a clarinetist since there are 30 violinists and one of me. So if you are a wind player, make sure that unless you are the lead voice, you know who is and you are with them, in time and in style!!! Even if it appears that the conductor is ahead, BE WITH THE PRIMARY VOICE. If that is the string section, watch the 1st desk of strings and you will likely be right.

Many stages don’t allow for the accuracy of ensemble due to proximity of each of us on stage and therefore we have to rely as much on our eyes tracking the bows of the lead desk of strings than even the conductor, especially if they have the lead voice. That, by the way, would be true for the back of the string section in its relation to the front of the section.

4. If you have a long rest, I find it useful to make a note of some key sound that happens during the rest so that you can check your counting as you pass by those spots (ex. In a 16 bar rest, cymbal on bar 9¼..I would write 9-Cym). If the orchestra gets separated, it may allow you to be the musician that helps to get the orchestra back together. This is also true with chamber music but less so with a concerto. Obviously there are times during a concerto that you also don’t have the primary voice and you need to know what instrument has the melody and become a bit more of a team player.

You should also make note of other cues such as a cymbal crash, loud trombone tutti, English Horn solo, or a big section cello entrance¼all things that help you to be sure you are in the right place. I also like to make sure if there is an 1/8 note pickup to my melodic line entrance, that I make a note of that and then I know to wait to hear (or see) that. I would write an 1/8 cue ahead of my part and label it ‘bsn’¼.or whatever instrument has the pickup.

5. Be aware of the instrument that precedes you and follows you so that you know the type of sound you should play with. For example for clarinetists, if oboe plays the first part of the primary voice and hands it to you, you should match the oboe sound and pitch and then if you hand the primary voice to bassoon, broaden the sound to match the bassoon as you pass the melody to them. Flexibility of one’s sound allows us to play with different colors allowing for more seamless transitions within the piece or melodic lines as we pass to different instruments.

6. Intonation: Know where you are in the chord in intonation- sensitive areas so that you are able to place your “root” or “third” with confidence. Who has the root? Is your third of the chord melodic or harmonic? That will determine its pitch placement. If you have the melody and it happens to be the third, then the root will have to adjust upward for the chord to sound in tune. We can’t adjust a third in a melody because it would sound wrong if adjusted and therefore others have to adjust around the melody.

7. Listen for what should be the appropriate style of articulation (is the weight of the accent on the front or slightly inside the beat¼, which instrument do I join and if we are in unison¼, which voice should dominate?) Style—is it a pressing tempo or back side of the orchestra’s pulse? I tend to want to play on the back side of the beat in romantic music if I have the solo. As long as the orchestra keeps pressing forward, it allows for a more expansive and expressive interpretation.

8. Always be aware of whether your line has already been stated. If so, you are obliged to make an effort to compliment the style of the solo so that the listener understands the passage in a similar style. Totally disregarding it makes you look as if you never knew that musical line had previously been performed.

9. This was touched upon earlier but make it a point to have eye contact with the conductor as often as possible, especially when the solo line is yours. He will be more confident that his “soloist” in that particular passage is ready to play and prepared to lead that passage. As they say, “the stick makes no sound”. But you should do your best to have contact with the conductor peripherally all the time.

10. Practice more technically challenging sections above the needed tempo so that if a conductor or soloist takes a tempo that is faster than your recording, you are ready. Practice with flexibility and don’t dominate when it is not your lead or solo line. On the contrary, when it is your lead, make sure to play more than your colleagues on a solo line even if it says ‘p’. Whatever the printed dynamic, your dynamic as the solo line should be one dynamic marking louder than what is printed.

11. Your preparation should allow you to sound performance-ready by the beginning of the FIRST rehearsal.

12. Make sure you have taken care of tough page turns so that you are able to execute the notes at the end of one page and the beginning of the next.

13. Be flexible with your other colleagues. Often times you may have to accommodate an instrument that has an inflexible note, pitch-wise, in another instrument. If this is something that can be addressed and fixed by the player, fine. If not, you must help them. No instrument plays perfectly in tune. My priority is first the music though and if there is anyway to achieve that rather than emphasize a pitch weakness in a given instrument, then choose the musical line first.

14. Unisons should not be played equal within the same instrument or even within the woodwinds. Allow one voice to slightly dominate in unisons and this will now sound more like one voice. Many times, allowing the lower voices some dominance adds depth the the higher voice’s sound.

Mark Nuccio

Mr. Nuccio officially began his position as Principal Clarinet with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in the 2016-17 season after seventeen years with the New York Philharmonic. He also serves as clarinet faculty at the University of Houston’s Moore School of Music. Mr. Nuccio joined the New York Philharmonic in 1999 as Associate Principal and E-flat Clarinetist and during the time served as Acting Principal Clarinet for four years from 2009-13.

Prior to his service with the Philharmonic, he has held positions with orchestras in Pittsburgh, Denver, Savannah, and Florida working with distinguished conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Andre Previn, Christoph von Dohnanyi, and Gustavo Dudamel.

Additionally, Mr. Nuccio has toured extensively with the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in numerous countries, recorded with both orchestras, and performed regularly with the Philharmonic on the award-winning series, Live from Lincoln Center, broadcast on PBS. Recent highlights include the Philharmonic’s historic and newsworthy visits to North Korea and Vietnam.

Nuccio is an active solo and chamber musician and has been featured with various orchestras in the United States and made multiple appearances as a featured performer at the International Clarinet Association conventions. He made his subscription solo debut with the New York Philharmonic on Feb. 10, 2010 and returned to perform the Copland Concerto with the NY Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert on May 31 and June 1 of 2013. Other highlights include a New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2001 and his Japanese recital debut in 2002.

He is an avid chamber musician and continues to regularly perform recitals in Asia and Europe as well as across the United States. In New York, he can often be heard at Merkin Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Nuccio also participates in the chamber music series at the Strings in the Mountain Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and teaches at the Hidden Valley Music Festival in Carmel, CA.

As a studio musician, Mr. Nuccio is featured on numerous movie soundtracks, including Failure To Launch, The Last Holiday, The Rookie, The Score, Intolerable Cruelty, Alamo, Pooh’s Heffalump, Hitch, The Manchurian Candidate, and various television commercials. Additionally he has performed on the Late Show with David Letterman and on the 2003 Grammy Awards. His own debut album featuring the clarinet quintets of Mozart and Brahms, Opening Night, was released in November 2006.

A Colorado native, Mr. Nuccio was recently awarded the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from his alma mater the University of Northern Colorado, a very selective honor bestowed on an elite group of 200 alumnus representing various fields throughout the long history of the university.

He also holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University where he studied with renowned pedagogue Robert Marcellus. Beyond his active performing schedule, Mr. Nuccio is a dedicated teacher committed to training the next generation of musicians and teaches master classes in the U.S. and abroad. Nuccio is a D’Addario Advising Artist & Clinician and a Performing Artist/Clinician for Buffet Music Group.



FFM Indian Ambassador Debdeep Misra to Perform at Golpark Ramakrishna Mission



Debdeep is an Indian Classical Music Singer of the ancient Indian tradition. He will be performing at the GOLPARK RAMAKRISHNA MISSION on the 7th April from 6pm. All are invited but if you are not in this part of India or, not in India at all, you can see Debdeep’s concert here at FFM via the Live Lounge.

Good luck Debdeep and much love from your friends around the world!!

Debdeep Misra, International Ambassador for India.



Introducing from Italy – Caterina Serpilli – Classical Guitar




Caterina Serpilli is an Italian classical guitarist. She started to play guitar and accordion when she was 12. In 2000 she entered to the Conservatory “G.Rossini ” in Pesaro where she graduated in 2011. In 2010 she also took the degree in Economics at Politecnico delle Marche – “Giorgio Fuà” business college in Ancona.

Ms Serpilli attended as a full student masterclasses with Jason Vieaux, FabioZanon, Giulio Tampalini, Carlos Bonell, Michael Newman, Gaelle Solal MarcinDylla, Oscar Ghiglia and others. From 2011 to 2013 she studied at PreludioCentro Musicale (Bologna) with Walter Zanetti. Currently she is attending theannual masterclass with M° Arturo Tallini (Rome) and from 2012 she is
studying at Guitar Academy “Francisco Tarrega” in Pordenone with Adriano Del Sal.

Learn more about and contact Caterina Serpilli

Caterina Serpilli
Caterina Serpilli