David M. Grundy: UF's great music blackout


Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 3:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 3:48 p.m.

I greatly admired the Nov. 28 Speaking Out wherein Chuck Woods takes the University of Florida administration to task for its abandonment of fine arts radio. "In my opinion," he wrote, "a fine arts format could be successful for all the reasons he (UF media administrator Randy Wright) opposes it."

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This has been a source of discontent by the local arts community for some time now, and I contributed my thoughts on the matter over a year ago (Oct. 4, 2010) in a Sun column. But as I pointed out then, this blackout by UF might as well be viewed as "just another step in a process that has degraded America's cultural awareness in toto over the past half-century."

At that time, my own desperate hope was for some dramatic new national counter-strike, in the form of a television series that would integrate episodes in an 800-year musical saga with other important historical elements in politics, warfare, art, religion, theater, mythology, etc. I continue to anticipate that some great flash of insight will strike the media/corporate community.

Short of that, I'll again direct everyone's attention to a couple of actual opportunities taking place currently; both thanks to the Metropolitan Opera. Their selected performances in movie theaters across the country have proven to be well-done and well-received. This Saturday afternoon (Dec. 3) they're in action on-screen in Butler Plaza, with George Handel's fascinating "Rodelinda." An encore showing will come up on January 4.

And then, on January 21, another live production entails "The Enchanted Island," a modern pasting-together of music by Purcell, Handel, Rameau, Vivaldi and other Baroque composers, with a new text. Both should be useful introductions to a new initiative.

David M. Grundy,

Gainesville

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