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A roundup of news and opinion in the industry. If you’d like to add your voice to the listings we choose each week, please don’t hesitate to send us a note.



With the Wall Street Journal announcing a scale back, and the Boston Globe’s decision to partner with a foundation to cover the arts, traditions of newspaper journalism continue to morph. At the same time, a Jacobs alumnus has launched his own TV station!


Arts Diversity: To Shame, or Not to Shame
Arts Professional (UK): Christy Romber
In the fourth of a series of articles, Christy Romer says it’s time for data about workforce, programming and casting to be published openly.

Just Why Does New Music Need Champions?

NY Times: Anthony Tommasini
The implication is that new music is a specialty, some kind of cerebral sideline in danger of languishing but for the efforts of advocates.

When Foreign Artists Can’t Afford a US Travel Visa, We All Lose

The Observer: Justin Joffe
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced last week that it would raise the fees associated with immigration applications and petitions for the first time in six years, which becomes effective in late December. This means that the cost for touring groups from went up from $325 to $460 per act, which adds up to a lot when you’re barely breaking even.

The Soulful Business of Managing a Small-Town Symphony

San Francisco Classical Source: Patrick MacNamara
The Eureka Symphony is a 25-year-old startup in a town that is itself a perpetual startup, and perhaps surprisingly, longtime bedrock for the arts.

Is it Time to Save Music?

Music Think Tank: Nissim Elias
When music became just another track out of million others —  that’s when it lost its artistic value.


Philadelphia Orchestra On Demand: Late to the Game, but Improving David Patrick Stearns
This time, the Philadelphia Orchestra is opening its archives for love, not money - and the results are so much better. Although the orchestra has had a fitful digital presence in the past, 30 of its WRTI-FM broadcasts, plus older concerts dating back to the Wolfgang Sawallisch era, are newly available for a mere click of the On-Demand tab - for a reasonable charge.

Cleveland Orchestra Strings Plays World Series Game 7 National Anthem

YouTube video

The Philharmonic to Stream Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts

New York Times: Michael Cooper
The New York Philharmonic recently announced that it was putting videos of Young People’s Concerts, and additional educational materials and interactive games, online for schools and families to stream for free.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Completes Critical $25 Million Campaign for New Musicians … Two Years Early

Arts Atlanta: Scott Freeman
The ASO’s Musicians Endowment Campaign will permanently endow 11 musician positions in the orchestra, bringing the total number to 88 by the end of next season.

Portland Symphony Orchestra and Its Musicians Reach Four-Year Contract Agreement

Portland Press Herald
The Portland Symphony Orchestra and the union representing its musicians have reached a four-year contract that includes a pay increase of 8 percent over the contract’s first two years, the orchestra’s executive director announced in a press release Monday. The contract was accepted unanimously.

With No End in Sight, Fort Worth Symphony Strike Continues to Divide Labor and Management

Dallas News: Michael Granberry
For the first time in its history, the orchestra went on strike Sept. 8, with no negotiations planned and no end in sight.

Beyoncé’s True Political Statement This Week? It Wasn’t at a Clinton Rally

NY Times: Wesley Morris
Anyone who caught the star’s appearance on Wednesday at the 50th annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville knew that while Friday might have been, for Mrs. Clinton, strategically necessary, it was also politically anticlimactic.

Philip Glass, Winner of 2016 Tribune Literary Award, Reflects on a Life Well Composed

Chicago Tribune: John von Rhein
Philip Glass finds it a nifty coincidence that both he and Bob Dylan won major literary prizes this year — remarkable, considering that neither American music icon considers himself a writer.

Simon Rattle: The Maestro With the Busy Baton

NY Times: Michael Cooper
Rattle has, to no small extent, defined New York’s classical music scene this fall. He has led some of the city’s grandest events, opening the Metropolitan Opera’s season conducting an acclaimed production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” and leading the Philadelphia Orchestra in Mahler’s grandly despairing Sixth Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

What Julie Kent’s Washington Ballet Looks Like

Dance Magazine: Jennifer Stahl
The magazine produces its first feminist issue and it’s cover story is about how the ballet icon is changing forever the personality of one of the country’s most important institutions for dance.

Juilliard Students 'Rickroll' Hateful Protesters From Westboro Baptist Church

Upper West Side Patch: Brendan Krisel
Some of New York City's brightest young musicians had a message for the Westboro Baptist Church: "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Top 10 Music Industry News Stories This Week

Digital Media News
A look back at the top music industry news this week: October 29 to November 4, 2016.


A Rare Glimpse Into the World of North Korea’s Classical Musicians
Aeon video – Directed by Nils Clauss and produced by Reimer Volker
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the North, a video documentary on an extraordinary event arranged by the Goethe Institut. Members of the Munich Chamber Orchestra visit the Pyongyang Kim Won Gyun Conservatory to give lessons to North Korean students, and ultimately perform a concert alongside local musicians.

A New Opera Star Emerges From the 'Vocal Breadbasket' of South Africa

PRI: Kim Cloete
In recent years, South Africa's rich choral tradition has produced a wave of talented opera singers who are making their mark on the world stage. Soprano Pretty Yende wowed opera enthusiasts in 2013, when she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, while bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana will open next year's Glimmerglass Festival as Porgy in the American classic, "Porgy and Bess." Now, South Africa is pinning its hopes on another rising opera star — 25-year-old Noluvuyiso Mpofu.

How a Saudi-born Singer Found her Voice and Her Freedom in Pakistan

PRI: Andrea Crossan
It’s not a country known for gender equality, but for this singer, Pakistan is where she’s able to pursue her dream to be a recording artist. Rutaba Yaqub moved from her home in Saudi Arabia to Pakistan six years ag. For her, it meant freedom from Saudi Arabia’s stricter Islamic laws.

Seven Out of 10 UK Musicians Report Mental Health Problems

The Stage: Georgia Snow
Professionals working in the music industry, including those in theatre, may also be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression than the general public, according to the Help Musicians UK survey results.

The National Ballet of Canada Posts Surplus for Seventh Consecutive Season

Ballet News
The company had 2,277 performances and outreach events in the 2015/16 season with a total attendance of 918,131. There were 77 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with 141,146 in attendance and 2,190 community events reaching 760,413 young people and their families.


Why You Can’t Get That One Song Out of Your Head: The Science of Earworms
The Washington Post: Sarah Kaplan
Psychologists who are trying to understand why songs get stuck in your head found that these are three of the most commonly complained-about earworms.

Forget Copyright – Think CopyLeft Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
A growing number of artists, from cartoonists like Paley to authors like David Shields, who have enlisted a tech-nerd weapon in their battle for control over their work: the open-source doctrine of “copyleft.”

Edinburgh Theatre to Host UK’s First Dementia-Friendly Opera Performance

Arts Professional: Bill Cooper
Sound and lighting will be adjusted and movement between the auditorium and the foyer will be encouraged to welcome people living with dementia to the theatre.

YouTube Strikes Deal to Host Music Videos in Germany

Music Business Worldwide
It’s been one of the biggest stand-offs in digital music history – but YouTube and German collection society GEMA have finally reached a licensing agreement. The deal means that scores of previously unlicensed – and therefore previously unavailable – music videos will now be playable in the region.


In the Key of ZZZ: The Concerts Intended to Send You to Sleep
The Guardian: Brian Wise
An increasing number of concerts are being performed in the dark, with the aim of encouraging audiences to listen to music in a new way … or drift off.

The Power of Music, Tapped in a Cubicle

NY Times: Amisha Padnani
In biological terms, melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain, as would eating a delicacy, looking at something appealing or smelling a pleasant aroma, said Dr. Amit Sood, a physician of integrative medicine with the Mayo Clinic.

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