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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.



While the world reels at the multiple attacks in Paris, following attacks in Beirut and elsewhere, musicians reach out with their responses.


If Twyla Tharp Is Dracula, Dance Is Her Lifeblood
NPR: Weekend Edition
“As a career I made the choice, consciously, to become a dancer. I could've become an art historian, I could've maybe become a writer, I could've become a painter.”

How Does Singing Help Achieve Stillness?
NPR: TED Radio Hour
Megan Washington is one of Australia's most popular singer-songwriters, and since childhood she has had a stutter. She discusses how she finds quiet and serenity and release in singing.

Creative Arts Therapy a Useful Tool for Military Patients
The National Endowment for the Arts expands its military healing arts partnership with the Department of Defense at military care facilities, including the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed Bethesda and the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Brain Wellness Center in Virginia.

Classical music + visuals = intrigue, at UCLA's 'Beyond Music'
LA Times: Mark Swed
A review of a set of concerts and a symposium that explored the intersection between visual media and music performance.

The Benefits of Music Lessons on Kids' Attitudes
Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs
According to recently published research, third- and fourth-graders in Canada who initially scored low in sympathy and helpfulness developed those qualities at above-average rates if they took group music lessons for a full school year.

Who Could Possibly Replace Bach?
The Economist: E. H. B.
It is a rather big deal that the St Thomas Church of Leipzig, Bach’s employer for 27 years, is about to appoint his first 21st-century successor.


Entrepreneur of the Month Mike Epstein: On Taking Risks and Following your Passion
Project Jumpstart
Jacobs School jazz alumnus Mike Epstein serves as president of his self-started and fast-growing booking agency for award-winning musicians. “There are some major changes that are beginning to take place for live concert experiences including the proliferation of live video streaming and virtual reality.”

Effort to Revive City Opera Includes a ‘Tosca’ Staging
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
If the death of New York City Opera was tragic, attempts to revive it have sometimes entered the farcical territory of opera buffa. But now, a group that wants to revive the company is trying a different approach: staging an opera. The group, NYCO Renaissance, announced Wednesday that it would mount Puccini’s “Tosca” — the first production City Opera ever did, back in 1944

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is On the Upswing
St. Louis Today: Sarah Bryan Miller
In fiscal year 2015, the SLSO won a Grammy award, got raves at Carnegie Hall, rejoiced in a string of significant anniversaries, hired a new president and CEO, sold more tickets, received more donations and moved closer to a balanced budget.

Seven Musicians Are Among 37 New USA Fellows Announced for 2015
Each individual artist or collaborative will receive an unrestricted award of $50,000 to support their artistic practice and professional development.

New Orleans Legend Allen Toussaint Dies at 77
Jazz Times: Jeff Tamarkin
Songwriter, producer, arranger and musician Allen Toussaint, one of the most influential artists in New Orleans music for more than 50 years, died Nov. 9, in Madrid, Spain.


Estonia: ​​A Country Created Through Music
The Atlantic: Katharine Schwab
Estonia sang its way out of the Soviet Union. Can it open up to the world and keep its revolutionary musical tradition intact?

British Opera 'In Crisis' Says Renowned Director Graham Vick
BBC News: Mark Savage
Vick, who is the artistic director of Birmingham Opera Company and works in many of the world's major opera houses - including La Scala and the Royal Opera House - said he "fears for the future" of the artform.

La Scala Opera House Hit by Strike
The world famous Milan opera house is forced to cancel its first night of Kenneth MacMillan's "Manon".

Akram Khan Moves into Classical Ballet with Giselle
BBC News: Ian Youngs
Choreographer and dancer Akram Khan is to create his first full classical ballet with a new version of Giselle, which will open in Manchester in 2016. Khan is known for mixing contemporary dance and Indian classical dance in shows like the award-winning Desh.

Afghanistan's First Female Conductor
BBC News: Shaimaa Khalil
For many years, the Taliban banned music and the education of girls in Afghanistan - and although many women still find themselves restricted, one 17-year-old has become the country's first female conductor.


Adele's '25' Is Coming. Where You'll Hear It Is a Mystery For Now
NPR: Words You’ll Hear
This Friday, music fans will finally get to hear one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Just where and how they'll hear it, however, remains an open question.

51% of Universal Music Group’s Digital Revenue Now Comes from Streaming
Digital Music News: Charlotte Hassan
Music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and YouTube accounted for 51 percent of digital revenue in UMG’s third quarter.

The Popularity of Digital Music Services, 2004-present
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
A revealing lineup of data-graphs that cover Pandora, iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, and many others.

A Lawyer's Guide to Structuring Paid Music Gigs
Digital Music News: Steve Gordon
This is the seventh installment of an 11-part series on music industry agreements by attorney and legal author Steve Gordon, author of The Future of the Music Business (Hal Leonard 4th Ed 2015).  Steve’s earlier installments covered contracts for indie producers, synchronization licensing, management agreements, music publishing agreements, music in films, and production agreements (from hell).

Behind the Scenes of the Experimental Opera “Hopscotch”
The New Yorker: Alex Ross
The creation of a company called The Industry, “Hopscotch” is described as a “mobile opera in twenty-four cars”: audience groups ride three simultaneous routes in limousines, and witness scenes at sites in downtown and eastern L.A


Why You Are Always Mishearing Song Lyrics
New York Magazine: Abraham Riesman
There are several potential explanations for why our brains get this stuff so very wrong sometimes. To find out what they are, check out the latest Science of Us animation.

Sketching to the Music
The New York Times: Corey Kilgannon
Capturing some of the biggest names in jazz, artist Jonathan Glass has a swirling, frenetic style that seems to borrow from the improvisational energy of the musicians.


Enjoy reading all our past issues, organized chronologically >

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