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This past week's been a-buzz with discussions about classical music, prompted by an article in Slate Magazine by Mark Vanhoenacker: Requiem: Classical music in America is dead. Be sure to read the responses to this article, both on the Slate site and those that follow.

The Fat Lady Is Still Singing
The New Yorker: William Robin
Included in this article is a wonderful infographic of the things classical music has supposedly been killed by, from 1324 to present!

Why Waste Time Arguing Over An Ill-Informed Article On Classical Music?
Washington Post: Anne Midgette
What does it mean to say that classical music is dying (“circling the drain,” to be precise) — or to say that, on the contrary, it has a steady heartbeat?

Finding the Right Balance
NewMusicBox: Frank J. Oteri
What writers like Vanhoenacker get so wrong when they look at statistics is how arbitrarily creative work is carved up to fit into niches that are no longer relevant.


Renee Fleming’s Super Bowl anthem: Opera goes under the bright lights
Washington Post: Anne Midgette
For many classical-music fans, Renée Fleming was acting as an ambassador Sunday night. Singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, she was exposing millions of people to opera. Did you miss it? Watch here >

‘We’re Not a Bunch of Dopes Who Scream’: Jennifer Rivera Explains Opera to the Super Bowl Crowd
Blog – Jennifer Rivera
In advance of Renée Fleming’s appearance at the Super Bowl, the always-witty mezzo lays it out in plain language for regular folks: “Opera singers have to train for years.” “Opera was into color-blind casting way before it was a thing.” “Opera is not just for the rich. Period.” (Especially compared to the cost of Super Bowl tickets.)


How Pete Seeger Transformed Pop Music
New York Times
[He] introduced American pop to a different America: the one outside Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood, where a volunteer gospel choir could sing with more gumption than a studio chorus, and where a decades-old song about hard times could speak directly to the present. The folk revival reminded the pop world that songs could be about something more than romance.

When Pete Seeger Faced Down the House Un-American Activities Committee
Amid all the tributes and accolades to Pete Seeger today, it’s easy to paper over the extent to which his career was almost destroyed by associations with communism and his refusal to testify to Congress about his time in the Communist Party.


Rethinking The Role Of Men In Ballet
The Ukrainian-born dancer Ivan Putrov created Men in Motion at London's Sadler's Wells theatre in 2012. It's a varied collection of short dance pieces, seeking to redefine what the male dancer can do on stage.


When Social Scientists Study String Quartets
Scientists have come up with a way to reveal the pecking order within a string quartet. A team from the Royal Academy of Music and the University of Birmingham found that analyzing how individual musicians vary their timing to follow the rest of the group can indicate a hierarchy.


Ticket Pricing Error Hurt Met Opera, Led To Drop In Sales
The Wall Street Journal
The Metropolitan Opera's $311 million budget fell short by $2.8 million last year, after a ticket price increase backfired and caused attendance to drop, according to a newly released financial-disclosure document.


The Cincinnati Symphony’s Innovative Initiatives Have Helped it Sustain and Grow
Cincinnati News
In the last five years, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has had 21 sell-outs in Music Hall, boosted attendance by double digits and nearly doubled the number of donations to its annual fund.

Claudio Abbado, Greatness Beyond Just a Career
New York Times
Claudio Abbado, a conductor whose refined interpretations of a large symphonic and operatic repertory won him the directorships of several of the world’s most revered musical institutions.

Berlin Phil makes Abbado Concerts Free to View
Limelight Magazine
The BPO marks the passing of former Chief Conductor Claudio Abbado with a host of free material.

Osmo Vänskä Will be Part of Minnesota Orchestra's Abbreviated Season
Star Tribune
Violinist Joshua Bell, pianist Stephen Hough and former music director Osmo Vänskä are the biggest names in a Minnesota Orchestra classical season that will include nearly 40 performances through July.


Reinventing The Music Video, One Street Corner At A Time
The sun has just set over a busy, dimly lit street in Paris when musicians suddenly start spilling out of a corner bar, tuning their instruments. Colin Solal Cardo follows close behind, holding a video camera.


Real Lesson From The Grammys – Musicians Have To Sell Other Stuff
Washington Post
Every winter, we flip on the Grammys, searching for meaning. Somewhere in that mess of trophies and singalongs, maybe we’ll be able to uncover a kernel of what the music biz is trying to say about itself, about the state of the art and where everything might be headed.

Marketing at Music Festivals: Playing to the Millennial Crowd
Want to strike a chord with the coveted Millennial generation? Stay “in the know”. Encourage social network interactivity. Participate in the pop-up trend. Create an experience.


How Does The Brain Respond To Art? (The Neurological Answer)
Pacific Standard
New research finds a brain network linked to solitary introspection gets switched on when we encounter particularly moving artworks.


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