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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.


Berklee’s Institute for Creative
Entrepreneurship recently released an in-depth study that reveals that anywhere from 20-50 percent of music payments do not make it to their rightful owners. The authors recommended a "Creator's Bill of Rights," which establishes standards for ethical treatment of musicians, artists, and other creators. The bill underscores that all musicians deserve fair compensation for their art and every creator deserves to have insight into the entire payment stream.


Does One Black Ballet Superstar Mean Real Change?
Philadelphia Inquirer: Ellen Dunkel
Misty Copeland last month became the American Ballet Theatre’s first African American principal ballerina, making news, thrilling fans, and inspiring analyses.

Black Dancers, White Ballets
New York Times: Laurie A. Woodard
Misty Copland’s promotion poses complicated questions about black artists in classical ballet.

Hip-Hop is the Most Listened to Genre in the World
The Independent: Christopher Hooton
Spotify has created a live 'musical map of the world', analysing nearly 20 billion tracks to show localized listening trends for over 1000 cities.

Why Orchestra Musicians Should Pay Attention to The Uber Employee Debate
Adaptistration: Drew McManus
For most smaller and many mid-size budget orchestras, the outcome of the Uber debate might change what an independent contractor means.

You Can't Hurry Greatness
Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs
The careers of America's best songwriters suggest great art is the product of years of immersion in one's chosen field.

When Cries of Rape are Heard in Opera Halls
New York Times: Miceala Baranello
Staging opera means interpreting a score’s ambiguities, and each performance must bridge the space between operatic history and the present. Inevitably, modern anxieties and prejudices fill the gaps. And few issues are more personal and contentious than the representation of rape.

Being an Opera Singer in the 21st Century
Brittannia, Bretagne! (Blog)
A young opera singer laments the hardships of making a go of a career these days and comes up with a set of recommendations.


Ticket Sales Swell for Indy Symphony's Indoor Season
Indiana Business Journal: Mason King
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has scored a surge in ticket sales for its 2014-15 indoor concert season, as the number of patrons jumped 15 percent.

Atlanta Symphony ends 14-15 Season with a Surplus of $13M to Add Players
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Howard Pousner
After bruising negotiations that led to a nine-week lockout of musicians, the ASO finished the 2014-15 season with a surplus, reversing a slide of 11 consecutive years of deficits that caused management to take a hard line on the mounting debt.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Experiences Substantial Dip in Attendance
Trib Live: Mark Kanny
After raising ticket prices for two consecutive seasons, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has seen its 2014-15 sales for Mellon Grand Classics drop from 61 percent of Heinz Hall capacity to 50 percent. The Pops series dropped from 62 to 56 percent.

New Grant Offers Step Up for Minorities in Orchestras Janelle Gelfand
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $900,000 grant to the Cincinnati Symphony and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music aimed at providing opportunities for under-served musicians at the graduate level.

Plan to Sell New York City Opera’s Name Is Withdrawn
Wall Street Journal: Jennifer Smith
The board has been weighing a reorganization through bankruptcy process.

Alan Curtis, Scholar, Harpsichordist and Conductor, has Died
Alan Curtis, whose recordings of music of the Baroque, and particularly the operas of Handel, opened our ears to a ‘new’ repertoire, has died: he was 80.

South Florida loses its Sole Classical Radio
South Florida Classical Review: Lawrence Budmen
Minnesota-based American Public Media is selling their Classical South Florida radio stations to Education Media Foundation, a California religious broadcaster.

If You Think Piracy Is Decreasing, You Haven't Looked at the Data
Digital Music News: Robert Steele
File-sharing in North America has grown 44% from 2008 to 2014

How Spotify Is Spending Millions on Lobbyists to Keep Streaming Free
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
A few months ago, it surfaced that Spotify was committing millions to hire six separate lobbying firms on Capitol Hill.  Here’s a short overview of what they’re up to.

New Funding and Resources for Creative Placemaking
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces the 2015 Our Town awards; 69 awards totaling almost $5 million will support projects in 35 states plus Puerto Rico.

Chicago’s Lyric Casts Opera Lure Via Social Media
Classical Voice North America: Nancy Malitz
A profile of Lisa Middleton, the Lyric Opera’s director of marketing, who has taken the organization into the forefront of social media.


Arts and Culture ‘Contribute £7.7bn to UK Economy’
The Stage: David Hutchison
A major independent report has revealed that arts and culture contribute £7.7 billion to the economy, an increase of 36% in three years.

UK Education secretary Nicky Morgan Defends 'Career-Limiting' Arts Comments
The Stage: Georgia Snow
Education secretary Nicky Morgan, who claimed that arts subjects limit career choices in November, has defended her comments. "The point is we want young people to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, and that includes both the arts as well as the STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subjects.”

Nike Wagner: ′The Classical Music Audience is Changing′
Her Beethoven festival won't get a new concert hall and classical music fans are becoming consumers rather than connoisseurs. But Beethovenfest director Nike Wagner tells DW why she's still optimistic.


New Device Lets Drummers Control Electronic Instruments with Their Acoustic Kits
Digital Music News: Nina Ulloa
Sensory Percussion is a new technology that uses sensors and computer software to allow drummers to play an infinite amount of electronic sounds using their own kit.

For Detroit Artists, Almost Anything Goes
New York Times: Melena Ryzik
Public art has long had a home in Detroit, with its expansive vacated spaces and ambitious class of D.I.Y. makers. But lately, the back-lot murals, pop-up sculpture parks and boundary-crossing performances are increasing, as old-guard artists find new outlets and resources, and younger artists arrive overflowing with ideas.


Ukranian Student Musicians take to YouTube to Make a Statement
A powerful and aching juxtaposition of a destroyed urban setting and a concerto grosso by Handel.

Tracing Back to the World’s Oldest Known Cello
Hyperallergic: Allison Meier
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting a special summer guest: the world’s oldest known cello, a 16th-century instrument known as the Amati “King” cello.


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