The Allan Blank Papers

Discovering The Composer Through His Work

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life of a composer

Speaking with David Niethamer

Lately, I’ve had the great pleasure to speak with former colleagues of the late Allan Blank. Today was no different, as I conducted a phone interview with Clarinetist David Niethamer! Not wanting to disturb the quiet confines of the Perry… Continue Reading →

An Interview with Andrey Kasparov

Sitting at a quiet table in front of Starbucks, I meet composer, pianist and professor Andrey Kasparov. Drinking iced tea, we speak about his hero and my patron Allan Blank. We talk about music and archives, the future of the… Continue Reading →

The Graduation Song: a Brief History of Pomp and Circumstance

About a week ago, over dinner, my S.O. brought up the topic of “the graduation song”… What’s it actually called? Why do schools cross the United States use the same song over and over, from Elementary to University? and Isn’t… Continue Reading →

Poems of the Holocaust: At Terezin Music by Allan Blank

Earlier today I processed a sketch entitled At Terezin and I was immediately drawn in and shaken to my core. The first lines read “When a new child comes everything seems strange to him. What on this ground I have to… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 2, Seeing You at VCU

The last stop on this Richmond Road Trip adventure takes us back to the Virginia Commonwealth University campus. W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts is the administrative offices of the music departments and theater departments. Not only that, but… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 2, Meeting Margot

My first stop on day two of the Richmond Trip (okay maybe Dunkin Doughnuts was the real first stop…anyway…continuing on…) is the Virginia Holocaust Museum. Current home of the Blank Family Papers, a collection that focuses on Margot Blank, wife… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 1, One More Stop at VCU

Before I leave campus, at least for today, I’m making one more stop. Did Allan Blank have his office here? Did he compose pieces in this very building? Did he teach here? These are questions that I hope to find… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 1, Going to School

Now that I have properly paid my respects to Mr. Blank, I’m headed to the James Branch Cabell Library to meet with Melissa Marrion, visit VCU’s Special Collections and check out the library’s music score collection. In an earlier blog… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 1, Visiting Mr. Blank

My first stop on my road trip to Richmond is Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery to pay my respects to Allan Blank. In the early morning, the cemetery is quite and peaceful. Not a place of deep mourning, but one of… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 1

  My day is beginning entirely too early, but I’m excited. Richmond here I come!

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