WNPR

Steve Metcalf

Contributor

Steve Metcalf.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Steve Metcalf is an administrator, critic, journalist, arts consultant and composer. He writes the weekly Metcalf on Music blog for WNPR.org, and is the curator of the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series at The Hartt School.

For more than 20 years, beginning in 1982, he was the staff music critic of The Hartford Courant. During that time, via The Los Angeles Times/Washington Post wire service, his feature stories, profiles, and reviews appeared regularly in more than 500 newspapers worldwide, earning a string of awards and prizes. His writings have also appeared in professional periodicals such as Symphony Magazine, Antaeus Review and Opus. In addition he served for several seasons as regular music commentator for NPR’s nationally-distributed program, “Performance Today.”

Prior to joining the Courant, Metcalf was the Assistant Dean of the Hartt School, University of Hartford, where he did his undergraduate and graduate work. The Hartt School honored him as Alumnus of the Year in 1989, and in 2004 elected him to its Board of Trustees. He recently returned to Hartt as Director of Instrumental Studies, and he founded the school’s Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series.

Metcalf has also been the music director for a number of regional theater companies, including the celebrated Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut. In addition, he has composed the score to the off-Broadway musical comedy "Drat!'' as well as the history-based musical, "A Woman of a Certain Age," which received its world premiere in 2005 at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

He is a contributor to the 25-volume New Grove Dictionary of Music, and to the New Grove Dictionary of Opera. He is also co-author of “Leroy Anderson, a Bio-Bibliography,” recently published by Greenwood Press.

In addition, Metcalf has served as classical music advisor to the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and as artistic advisor to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He also has served as a panelist for the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. In 1995, the Connecticut Music Educators Association named Steve its Music Advocate of the Year for his writings in support of music education in public schools.

Along with the board of The Hartt School, Metcalf serves on the board of West Hartford Community Television, and recently completed his term as Arts Representative to the board of the Roberts Foundation. He also was recently elected to the honorary board of Concora (Connecticut Choral Artists).

Finally, he is the keyboardist emeritus for the needlessly loud rock band, Duke and the Esoterics.

Metcalf lives in West Hartford with his wife, Nancy. They have three grown daughters.

Ways to Connect

badgreeb RECORDS / Creative Commons

My sophomore year at college ended on Thursday, June 1, 1967. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t remember the date, but it’s now a part of history: it was the day The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released. To save you the trouble of counting, that’s half a century ago.

terceirav / Creative Commons

Over the years, I’ve scrambled to think of ways to write about Christmas music.

Overrated, Underrated, Unfairly Neglected, Ten Best, 12 Worst, Pop, Classical – I’ve just about used up journalism’s standard-issue bag of Devices We Use for Recurring Yearly Phenomena.

Asylum Hill Congregational Church

Gary Miller wasn’t primarily a musician; he was a clergyman.

As many thousands of you around here know, Gary was the senior minister at Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford for 12 years, beginning in 1999. And he was beloved by that sprawling, interestingly diverse congregation.

Xavier Badosa / Creative Commons

Bob Dylan's own reaction to winning the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature isn't known yet. In his first public appearance following the news, a couple of days after the announcement, he took the stage for a concert Las Vegas. He said nothing about the award.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra / Facebook

The new arts season is upon us, and two of the area’s premier music institutions get started this week.

CBS Television

Thanks to the restless and inquiring mind of Colin McEnroe, many of us have been recently thinking about the following questions: Is the rock era over? 

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" / ABC Photo Archives

The death of Hugh O’Brian last week has put me in a nostalgic mood for the great TV Westerns of yesteryear.

Ash & James Photography / The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Arts administrators don’t often get the chance to communally reflect on their precarious profession, but on Saturday, September 17, the University of Hartford will host an event that is informally being billed as an arts summit.

HartfordSymphonyBlog.com

These days, just about everybody in the classical music world has an idea about how to enliven the concert experience.

Stephen Hough, the brilliant British-born pianist and composer, has just put forward what might be the single most effective one, not to mention unquestionably the least expensive: Make concerts shorter, already.

Andrew Eccles / Emerson String Quartet

I know a lot of you around here recall watching with admiration and amazement the steady rise of the Emerson String Quartet, as they moved from complete unknowns to a place at the very pinnacle of the string quartet world.

ABC Television / Creative Commons

The 2016 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song will go to William “Smokey” Robinson.

About time.

E. Bieber / Creative Commons

Earlier this week, it was reported that the autograph manuscript of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) will be auctioned at Sotheby’s this fall.

Dc 160 / Wikimedia

After a six-month national search, The Hartt School has a new dean.

Hilary Scott

Just to get this out of the way, I have no problem calling Brian Wilson a genius.

Over the years, some of my classical music friends have clucked at my willingness to grant this designation to the man who brought us “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Surfer Girl” and “Little Deuce Coupe.

Thomas Breitkopf / Creative Commons

Flash: The musical is back.

Pages