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Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Ep 97: Summer Music – Aspen Edition! Robert McDuffie On 21st Century Classical Music Careers

Advice for musicians at the beginnings of their careers from a successful violinist.


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Robert McDuffie and Mike Mills
Robert McDuffie (L) with Mike Mills (R) of R.E.M. on piano, and students from the McDuffie Center for Strings. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

It’s summertime, and the classical musicians have all disappeared. No, it’s not a classical music-specific alien body snatching situation. It’s just that they’re all at music festivals! Because we miss them, we’ve decided to follow the musicians to a different fest each summer. This year, we head to the Aspen Music Festival! In our four-show series, we’ll be interviewing festival leaders, musicians, and whoever else will talk to us.

In this, the third episode of our miniseries, we speak with violinist Robert McDuffie about sustaining a career in classical music in the 21st century. Learn ALL THE SECRETS to building a career in the brave new technological landscape and to forging your own path as an artist.

Music in this episode:
– Philip Glass, “American Four Seasons” with Robert McDuffie.
– Robert McDuffie and Mike Mills, excerpts from “Concerto for Violin & Rock Band”
– Vitamin String Quartet, “Its the End of The World” by R.E.M.

Audio production by Todd “El Lobo Rojo” with blank stares by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio and Nick Dulworth.

For more about the Aspen Music Festival:
For more about Robert McDuffie: