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Recent news, commentary, and ideas.


The Metropolitan Opera’s controversial decision to drop its Live in HD worldwide broadcast of John Adams’ “The Death of Klinghoffer” brings into focus a number of key issues in a time when art can be instantly shared globally.

Met Opera Cancels Simulcast of ‘Klinghoffer’
New York Times: Michael Cooper
The Metropolitan Opera announced on Tuesday that it was canceling plans to simulcast John Adams’s “The Death of Klinghoffer” this fall to cinemas around the world, drawing praise from some Jewish groups who object to the opera, but laments from the work’s fans and a warning from its composer that the decision promotes “intolerance.”

The Met’s Press Release
John Adams Responds
Klinghoffer’s Family Responds
NY Times: The Klinghoffer Tragedy
The Guardian: Antisemitism?
Additional Press Coverage


New Evidence of Mental Benefits From Music Training
Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs
“Replacing music programs with reading or math instruction in our nation’s school curricula in order to boost standardized test scores,” the Harvard researchers warn, “may actually lead to deficient skills in other cognitive areas.”

Growing Attendance, Fundraising help Houston Grand Opera Season End in the Black
Houston Chronicle: Steven Brown
After expanding its season for the fourth year in a row, Houston Grand Opera expects to end 2013-14 with a balanced budget, thanks to record attendance and fundraising. The company, whose fiscal year ends July 31, projects that its operating budget of about $27.7 million will come out in the black, marking the opera’s fourth balanced budget in a row.

Nashville Symphony Bailout Cost Lenders $39 Million
The Tennessean: Walter F. Roche Jr.
The deal that saved the Schermerhorn Symphony Center from a foreclosure sale last year cost the Nashville Symphony Orchestra's lenders some $39 million, a recently filed tax return shows.

How Much Do People At The Met Opera Really Get Paid?
New York Times: Michael Cooper
In a recent statement summarizing financial data, which it had shared with its unions, the Met reported that the average full-time chorus member cost the company $300,000 in the 2012-13 season ($200,000 of that in pay, and another $100,000 in benefits), while the average full-time member of the orchestra cost the company $285,000 ($200,000 in pay, and $85,000 in benefits).

YouTube to Block Indie Labels as Subscription Service Launches
BBC: Joe Miller
YouTube will remove music videos by artists such as Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead, because the independent labels to which they belong have refused to agree terms with the site.

Jazz Musician: ‘I See the Gap Between the Haves and Have-Nots’
In These Times: Jeremy Gantz
People think music is just a gift and it’s born out of nothing—that it’s in your genes. No: Musicians work hard. You practice for hours and hours and hours. For me, with my parents being musicians, it wasn’t that they genetically bestowed on me the gift of music, but that they were willing to let me put many, many hours of my life into it.

Giving a Semi-Hearty Cheer for Semi-Staged Opera
New York Times: Zachary Woolfe
Where is the drama located in an operatic performance, and what kind of production brings it out most effectively? Does paring a work down to the bare score make it more potent, or do theatrical trappings enrich the experience?


The BBC Hatches A Plan To Lure Elementary-School Kids Into Music
The BBC has unveiled 10 pieces of music that it hopes will inspire children in primary schools to learn more about classical music. The pieces include works by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Handel and Holst. BBC director general Tony Hall said he hoped the scheme would reach virtually every UK primary school.

How A Traditional Hunan Opera Performer Became A World-Beating Modern Choreographer
Dallas Observer: Danielle Georgiou
Shen Wei. Dancer. Choreographer. Painter. Art historian. Creator of the internationally lauded Shen Wei Dance Arts in New York City, and coming to Dallas' Winspear Opera House on Thursday, June 19, for a show that's not just about dance; it's painting coming to life.


The Young and the Restless: Taking the Right Career Path
Arts Journal Field Notes: Alorie Clark
As Laurie Norton Moffatt said “find your passion and the rest will come.”

The Disruption Machine: What the Gospel of Innovation Gets Wrong
The New Yorker: Jill Lepore
Most big ideas have loud critics. Not disruption. Disruptive innovation as the explanation for how change happens has been subject to little serious criticism, partly because it’s headlong, while critical inquiry is unhurried; partly because disrupters ridicule doubters by charging them with fogyism, as if to criticize a theory of change were identical to decrying change; and partly because, in its modern usage, innovation is the idea of progress jammed into a criticism-proof jack-in-the-box.

Ticket Buyers Don’t Care About Your Costs
Selling Out: Jim McCarthy
That sounds a little harsh, but it’s essentially true. When it comes time to evaluate what they are willing to pay to see your show, ticket buyers do not care what you are spending to create that show. Cost is your problem. Price is theirs.

Your Favorite Musicians, Straight From Their Laptop To Yours
NPR: Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers
The concert is on a website called Stageit. The technology for streaming live events has been around for years, but Stageit and another startup, Concert Window, have made it easy to play online shows — and make money doing it.


In honor of the first days of summer...
The Good Listener: What Makes A Summer Song?
NPR: Stephen Thompson
As for when we're able to identify a given summer's most unshakable song, far too many variables exist for us to set hard-and-fast rules.

This Music Video Changes Every Time You Watch It…
Digital Music News: Nina Ulloa
Why watch a boring regular music video, when you can watch a music video that’s different every time you watch it?


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