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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.




Colleagues, students, fans and friends shared condolences on social media Saturday after the news that IU Distinguished Professor David Baker, renowned jazz composer, pedagogue, performer and beloved Jacobs School of Music faculty member, had died. The Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-nominated artist, “A man who pushed boundaries and reinvented himself,” has a legacy of more than 1,000 compositions.


The Jacobs School of Music community and many around the world were also deeply saddened by the sudden death of Edmund Battersby, professor of piano, who joined the school’s faculty in 1995. Equally comfortable on piano and foretpiano, his international career as soloist, orchestral soloist, chamber musician, and teacher earned him the highest praise from audiences, critics, and colleagues alike. 


Opera’s Missing Audience Development Gene Threatens Its Very Survival
Aaron Renn (blog)
It’s almost as if opera, for so long so popular and prestigious tickets basically sold themselves, has a missing gene for building audiences.

'Shoe-Box Shaped' Concert Halls Make Music More Emotional

The Telegraph: Hannah Furness
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America reports those with the rectangular design, such as Vienna Musikverein or Berlin Konzerthaus, are most likely to produce sounds that make the hairs on the back of the audience's neck stand up.

Scarlatti Showed Me How to Step Into Other Dance Cultures

The Guardian: Richard Alston
Choreographer Richard Alston’s newest work celebrates the music of Domenico Scarlatti and the global influences that made his music so daringly innovative

Group Drumming Bangs Away at Anxiety and Depression

Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs
Researchers in London have found evidence of a surprisingly effective treatment for anxiety and depression, one that even alters the inflammatory immune responses that may underlie these disorders.


NY’s Newest Orchestra Is Transforming Classical Music
Observer: Ashley Steves
“We wanted to move past traditional notions of classical music, bridge cultural divides and change perceptions of a genre of music for a new generation of music fans,” Atsushi Yamada, music director and co-founder of PONY, told the Observer.

Akron Symphony Orchestra Gets Creative to Bring in New Audience Members

Cleveland Business: Martha Mueller Neff
Go ahead. Clap at the wrong time. You could even cough, sneeze or guffaw at inappropriate moments. The folks with the Akron Symphony Orchestra don’t care. 

City Ballet Season to Feature Two Premieres by Women

The New York Times: Michael Cooper
This will be the first time since 2011 that the company has presented the premiere of a work choreographed by a woman.

Charles Kaufman, Transformative Leader of Mannes College of Music, Dies at 87

The New York times: Sam Roberts
Charles Kaufman, who led a faculty coup that spared the century-old Mannes College of Music in Manhattan from a troublesome merger in 1979 and then restored it to fiscal soundness, died on March 17 at his home in Hillsdale, N.J. He was 87.

Steps Arranged by Women, With History, at Dance Theater of Harlem

The New York times: Gia Kourlas
Lately, the world of ballet has been scrutinized and criticized for two things: its lack of diversity and the paucity of female choreographers. Dance Theater of Harlem has the first one covered. This season, it will do something about the second.


Canada Doubles Its Investment In The Arts

The Globe and Mail: Katie Taylor
The Canada Council, whose budget will double by 2021, called it an unprecedented, once-in-a-generation investment, while the performers union ACTRA expressed the hope this marked the beginning of a new relationship between government and creators.

English National Opera’s Situation Looks Bleak

The Guardian: Charlotte Higgins
The shock resignation of music director Mark Wigglesworth – who opposed cost-cutting measures – sees English National Opera facing yet another crisis. The only way the company can survive is to embrace change

Black Tie at the Opera Isn't Elitist Say Glyndebourne - People Just Like to Dress Up

The Telegraph: Hannah Furness
For some it is the quintessential scene of the British summertime; for others, proof positive that the world of opera is elitist and out of touch. But the sight of opera-lovers donning their black tie to picnic on the lawns of Glyndebourne should not worry anyone unduly, according to its chairman, as he offers a spirited defense against snobbery.


8 Ways to Stay Relevant to Your Audience
Classy: Elizabeth Chung
To stay relevant, create an action plan to keep a pulse on what’s going on in the space.

4 Ways to Acquire and Retain Millennial Donors
According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, a whopping 84% of millennials made a charitable donation in 2014. Long gone are the days of assuming millennials are a predominantly selfish group of consumers.


How the World’s Worst Opera Singer Finally Found Fame – and Redemption
The Guardian: Vanessa Thorpe
The New York socialite and amateur opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins was a popular joke in her own time, but more than 70 years after her death she has earned her place in the cultural pantheon as the inspiration for at least two successful stage shows, and this spring, two rival films.


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