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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.


As American Ballet Theater turns 75 and Oakland Ballet 50, we have two contrasting worlds of ballet.

Newsweek marks the 75th anniversary of American Ballet Theater with a look at the company’s past, present, and future.
by Stav Ziv

A 50-Year-Old Oakland Ballet Company Picks Itself Up, Dusts Itself Off
by Rachel Howard


How Does Trust Happen In Music?
NPR: Charles Hazelwood’s TED Talk
Conductor Charles Hazlewood talks about the role of trust between conductor and orchestra, which he describes as a "miracle."

Are Music Festivals a Bubble Waiting to Burst?
“We do live in a culture right now which is heavily saturated with festivals,” says Jonathan Levine, who heads of the Paradigm Talent Agency's Nashville office.“If someone has a plot of land and a checkbook, they can suddenly find themselves in the festival business.”

Podcasting and the Selling of Public Radio
The AWL: Conor Gilles
Ira Glass, the host of This American Life and producer of Serial, recently told a reporter, “My hope is that we can move away from a model of asking listeners for money and join the free market.” He added, “Public radio is ready for capitalism.”


Manhattan School of Music to Offer Musical Theater Degree
New York Times: Zachary Woolfe
Music conservatories have a reputation for being high-minded purveyors of elite art. Countering this rap, the Manhattan School of Music announced that in fall 2016 it would begin to offer a degree program in musical theater.

B.B. King (1925-2015)
Fresh Air remembers the legend

Music Program Cuts Worry Some Indiana Public School Community Members
State Impact Indiana: Rachel Morello
Changes to school funding statewide are forcing many Indiana school corporations to reevaluate how they spend their money, but families supporting those districts don’t always support their decisions.

Minnesota Orchestra, in Groundbreaking Cuba Tour, Sells Out House
New York Times: Michael Cooper
The Teatro Nacional, a 2,056-seat theater on the Plaza de la Revolución, was sold out. Two dozen photographers and videographers swarmed the aisles.

Court Rules that Pandora Has to Give BMI More Money
Digital Music News: Nina Ulloa
BMI’s royalty payout from Pandora will be raised to 2.5 percent from 1.75 percent. The court said 2.5 percent is “reasonable, and indeed at the low end of the range of fees of recent licenses.”


The Berlin Philharmonic Searches for a Messiah
The New Yorker: Alex Ross
"In my mind, a great orchestra must demonstrate technical finesse and intellectual adventure in equal measure: it must expand the repertory, not simply reproduce it in high style."

New EU Website to Offer Live Opera Free Worldwide
The website is being offered by the EU's Creative Europe program in collaboration with Opera Europa, which is an association of 155 opera companies and festivals, the cultural channel Arte and the 15 opera companies.


NPR One Could Become a Top Streaming Service for News
Digital Music News: Nina Ulloa
The app could grow to be more than just a niche app for NPR’s biggest fans, it could grow to become a top streaming service for news.

How Crowdfunding Kickstarts the Arts
Harvard Business School: Christian Camerota
Sites like Kickstarter now help fans raise billions in funding for the arts. Professor Ramana Nanda measures how crowd choices compare to those of art experts.

The Crowdfunding Festival That's Creating a Startup City
Forbes: Eilene Zimmerman
This year’s festival, in April, took up 24 square blocks of Jacksonville and lasted six days; more than 300,000 people attended. Both public outdoor space and donated space from businesses like coffee shops and office buildings enabled 537 creators to showcase their work.

This Is How Successful Leaders Spent Their Teenage Years
TIME: Quora
How did successful people like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Max Levchin, Steve Jobs, Peter Thiel, Vinod Khosla, Oliver Emberton, Gayle Laakmann McDowell, Auren Hoffman etc. spend their time when they were young, between ages of 10 and 22?


Los Frikis!
How a group of 80’s Cuban misfits found rock-and-roll and created a revolution within a revolution, going into exile without ever leaving home. In a collaboration with Radio Ambulante, reporter Luis Trelles bring us the story of punk rock’s arrival in Cuba and a small band of outsiders who sentenced themselves to death and set themselves free.


Enjoy reading all our past issues, organized chronologically >

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