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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.



‘The Wire,’ the Burning of Baltimore and the Limits of Art
The Washington Post: Alyssa Rosenberg
The conflagration in Baltimore is a reminder that art’s power can work both in service of change and against it.

The Baltimore Symphony Responds with an Impromptu Performance

Related: Michelle Obama on the New Whitney: 'I Know the Feeling of Not Belonging in a Place Like This'
The Village Voice: Nick Lucchesi
"There are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers, and they think to themselves, 'Well, that's not a place for me,' " Obama told the gathered VIPs and press, " 'for someone who looks like me.'"

Related: How to Revive a Neighborhood: With Imagination, Beauty, and Art
TED Talk by Theaster Gates


Orchestras Enter New Territory by Memorizing Entire Symphonies
BBC: Magazine
In a feat of musical memory, the Aurora Orchestra will perform Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony without printed scores at the BBC Proms 2015. Neuroscientist Jessica Grahn explores how musicians manage to remember highly complex arrangements.

How the 'Average American' Actually Consumes Media
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
A great snapshot of how what device/platform people use on a regular basis.

Student Debt is a Music Policy Issue
NewMusicBox: Kevin Erickson
Americans now owe a full $1.2 trillion in student debt, and gifted musicians and composers ask themselves, “Do I keep working on music, or do I find another more lucrative kind of employment that will allow me to pay down my educational loans?”

Tasting Menus for the Performing Arts
Barry’s Blog
And the idea of a tasting is something I think the performing arts organizations ought to consider borrowing from -- performing arts organizations in a given area working in collaboration with each other.

The Arts and the Practice of Technology
Gwydion Suilebhan
The most significant technological development in the history of the performing arts is the invention and propagation of the internet.

Bringing Classical Music to the Medical Clinic
Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs
A Minnesota experiment in which live musicians perform for waiting patients gets high marks from the staff.

Innovative Opera? How about Monteverdi’s ‘L’Orfeo’?
LA Times: Mark Swed
Monteverdi's "L'Orfeo," which had its premiere in Mantua in 1607 and which came across as still stunningly vital at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Saturday night, is the first modern opera.


National Service (in the Arts) with a Bloomington Feel
IDS: Brian Gamache
Rock paper scissors fits the model economic development favored by the city of Bloomington: small, tech-focused start-ups that attract talent to Bloomington and help retain IU students after they graduate.

Long-Unheard Harlem Renaissance Opera Coming in June
New York Times: Michael Cooper
“Voodoo,” a long-unheard opera by the pioneering African-American composer and Harlem Renaissance figure H. Lawrence Freeman, will return this June to New York, where it had its premiere in 1928, for a pair of concert performances that will be recorded.

English Ensembles Crown a Festival of Early Music
New York Times: James Oestreich
Carnegie Hall’s groundbreaking early-music festival Before Bach, a varied and eventful journey, ended on Friday evening more or less where it had begun on April 7, in the young but ebullient world of 17th-century Italian opera.

Prioritizing the Arts Over Test Prep
The Atlantic: Sara Neufeld
In an age when public education has become synonymous with high-stakes exams, an inner-city charter-school network is using culture and creative expression to teach the Common Core standards.

Council Set to Create a Cultural Plan for New York City
New York Times: Robin Pogrebin
New York City is looking to join Chicago, Houston, Denver and other major cities by passing legislation to create its first comprehensive cultural plan.

The World Music Education of Philip Glass
In Paris, through a series of chance encounters, Glass became Ravi Shankar's assistant, learning to notate Indian music the sitar master was composing for a film, Chappaqua.

Sacramento Philharmonic Hits Reset Button
San Francisco Classical Voice: Mark MacNamara
Against all odds, the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera is coming back with a series of small, free concerts beginning on May 5. The schedule includes 10 to 20 “arts invasion” concerts held in bars, coffee houses, schools, streetscapes, museums, and possibly the airport.

Lyric Opera Reorganizes and Fires Ward Holmquist
Kansas City Star: Chris Operholtz
Artistic director was with the opera company since 1998.

Musicians Union Sues Warner Bros, MGM and Paramount Over ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Robocop’ Scores
Variety: Dave MaNary
The American Federation of Musicians has sued Warner Bros., MGM and Paramount for alleged violations of the union’s master contract for recording film scores outside the United States and Canada.

Grooveshark Lost Its Court Battle and Has Closed For Good
Forbes: Hugh McIntyre
After a drawn out, back-and-forth legal battle, streaming music service Grooveshark has finally given in and settled with the three largest record labels in the world, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group.


Record Fan Collects Every UK Hit in History
The Telegraph: Agency
Keith Sivyer bought every new release from 1952 until February this year. Now his extraordinary collection is going under the hammer.


Will Facebook Pass YouTube for Video Ads?
More ad execs plan to run video campaigns on Facebook than any other network this year.

25 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your YouTube Channel
AllAboutJazz: Chris Robley
Smart video creators are using some of YouTube’s tools and features to harness the power of those videos and their intended viewers.

What Most Musicians Don't Understand About Selling Music
AllAboutJazz: Davd Kusek
But these days, musicians have to take on the responsibilities of promoting, distributing, and selling themselves, especially during the early stages of their careers.


How Chewing Gum Prevents Songs From Getting Stuck in Your Head
Mental_Floss: Jessica Hullinger
Researchers have come to the rescue with a scientifically backed earworm (a catchy piece of music gets stuck in your head) prevention weapon: bubble gum.


Enjoy reading all our past issues, organized chronologically >

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