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My class this week at Brooklyn Winery is on wines from the film Sideways. I thought I’d share some of my experiences traveling through “Sideways Country” at the Brooklyn Winery Blog. I hope to sip pinot with some of you in class …


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The popular New York indie-rock band the National  released “High Violet” (4AD) this month. And even in their post “blues solo” style, a guitar phenom exists within.

Bryce Dessner, the Brooklyn composer and guitarist, spends more time on the road with the indie-rock band the National than in classical concert halls or conservatories. But that could change as he writes a growing number of commissioned works for classical ensembles, and as he continues to find a natural balance between these two musical worlds.

Bryce Dessner

During his time as a graduate student at Yale, Mr. Dessner was the co-winner, with Cuban guitarist Rene Izquierdo, of the Yale Prize for guitar. And in 2006, Dessner composed “Memorial,” for guitar, viola and percussion, on commission from the New York Guitar Festival. But the work which will perhaps add the name Bryce Dessner to the list of frequently tapped American composers will likely be “Aheym” (Homeward), for string quartet. Commissioned by the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet, the work was premiered last year at Prospect Park’s annual summer series Celebrate Brooklyn! (more…)

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