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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.


Atlanta Symphony Cancels First Seven Weeks of Season
ArtsAtl: Jenny Jarvie
With the musicians locked out of Symphony Hall after failing to reach an agreement on the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement, ASO president and CEO Stanley Romanstein said management made the decision with a great deal of reluctance.


Pop Belongs to the Last Century; Classical Music is Relevant to the Future
The Guardian: Paul Morley
For years, rock critic Paul Morley viewed classical music as pompous art of the past. Now, tired of pop, he explains why classical is the truly subversive form - and selects six favorite pieces to convert the unbeliever.

A Majority of Americans Are Now Single -- and What Does THAT Mean for Us?
Barry’s Blog
Tectonic demographic shifts - from minority populations moving to majority, from dramatic shifts in middle class income and buying power, from retiring boomers to burgeoning millennials, from rural migration to cities - all continue to impact our strategies and approaches to surviving - to our marketing and audience development efforts.

'The Lion King' Musical Becomes Most Successful Box Office Production Ever
Huffington Post: Mark Kennedy
With a worldwide gross of over $6.2 billion, "The Lion King" stage musical has now achieved the most successful box office total of any work in any media in entertainment history, The Associated Press has learned.

The Trouble With Klinghoffer Isn't Quite What You Think
Vulture: Justin Davidson
The opera’s problem is not that it proffers an anti-Semitic agenda, but that it drifts for far too long, indulging too many narrators and avoiding a point of view.

Alsop and Tilson Thomas on Why Leonard Bernstein and His Music Live On
The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
It turns out Lenny was truly great after all: one of the biggest, most colorful, most popular and recognizable figures in American classical music. And posterity shows no signs of abandoning him.


At Met’s Opening Night, Protesting a Production
New York Times: Michael Cooper
Several hundred protesters gathered outside the Met before the performance of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” for a noisy demonstration calling for the company to cancel its production of John Adams’s 1991 opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” which is to have its Met premiere next month.

Art Plays Key Role in Chicago Mayor's Re-Election Hopes
The Art Newspaper: Helen Stoilas and Pac Pobric
Will Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s popular initiatives in the arts be enough to turn the tide in his favor when this forceful former chief of staff for President Barack Obama faces re-election in the spring?

U.S. Music Sales Drop 5% as Habits Shift Online
New York Times: Ben Sisario
As the music industry evolves, streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and YouTube are growing fast. The question is whether that growth is enough to offset dropping sales of CDs and downloads. The latest report on music sales indicates that, at least so far, it is not.

Nashville Symphony, Musicians Reach Labor Agreement
The Tennessean: Nate Rau
The Nashville Symphony and the musicians' union have reached agreement on a long-term pact that will mean raises for the musicians and needed labor peace for both sides.

Colorado Symphony Shares Vision for Renovated Boettcher Concert Hall
The Denver Post: Kieran Nicholson
The CSO and an architectural firm unveiled a $40 million renovation proposal for the 35-year-old city-owned hall.

Four New Maestros Take Over At Top Florida Orchestras
Classical Voice North America: John Fleming
And then there were four. Over the past couple of years, the largest professional orchestras in Florida all carried out music director searches in the same time frame.

Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance Sets New Season
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
The choreographer Paul Taylor startled the dance world earlier this year by reinventing his company as Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, which he said would perform his works along with those of other modern dance pioneers and contemporary choreographers.

Joshua Bell is Playing in the Metro Again
Washington Post: Jessica Contrera
The stunt was seven years ago, but no one will let him forget it. Now, after being asked about it nearly every day since, Bell is bringing his violin back to the Metro. This time, on his own terms.

Mormon Music after the “Mormon Moment”
New Music Box: Jeremy Grimshaw
The lead-up to the 2012 U.S. presidential election seemed to be the apex of what some called the “Mormon Moment.” But even outside of the national electoral spotlight, Mormon politicians and entrepreneurs and thinkers (as well as crooks and crackpots) continue to make headlines.


Electric Guitar Overtakes Violin in Music Lesson Boom in UK
BBC: Judith Burns
The electric guitar has overtaken the violin in a list of most popular musical instruments for children to play, says a music exam board. Some 13% of five- to 17-year-olds play the electric guitar, compared with 12% for the violin.

Riccardo Muti's Resignation: Does Italy Have an Opera Problem?
The Independent: Jessica Duchen
There is no doubt that the modus operandi of opera in Italy needs urgent modernisation. Yet with the degree of the funding cutbacks on the one side, the trenchant unions on the other, and a lack of a private fundraising tradition to help bridge the gap, the necessary compromise looks almost impossible to achieve.

Vienna State Opera Director Speaks Out on Conductor Resignations
Mixim Boon
Dominique Meyer, the Director of the Vienna State Opera, has finally broken his silence following the sudden and publically acrimonious resignation of maestro Bertrand De Billy last week.

Conductor Christopher Hogwood Dies at 73
Hogwood worked with many leading orchestras around the world and was considered one of the most influential exponents of the early-music movement. The conductor founded the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) in 1973 and directed the academy across six continents for some 30 years.



Get to Know Your Assumptions, Then Throw Them Out The Window
ArtsBlog: Sarah Cunningham
New sustainability models break through belief barriers about the business of arts education.

7 Tips for Photographing Your Chorus
Chorus America: Liza Beth
Innovative solutions from four organizations that have an interesting visual approach and the photographers they use for advice.


The Kronos Quartet as a Dot Cloud
New York Times: Graham Roberts, Catherine Spangler, Leslye Davis and Jeremy White
The innovative musicians perform and discuss the special mystery of how a quartet communicates as part of an experiment capturing their sound and movement.

Chopin's Heart Shows Signs of TB
ABC News (AP): Monika Scislowska
The preserved heart of composer Frederic Chopin contains signs of tuberculosis and possibly some other lung disease, medical experts said Wednesday.

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