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Welcome to the first issue of the OECD’s Weekly Digest of the semester! If you’d like to add your voice to the listings we choose each week, please don’t hesitate to send us a note.

While We Were Away... BREXIT!

A seismic event this summer was Brexit, a referendum in the UK that led to the separation of Britain from the European Union.


Can Opera Become an Agent of Change?
NYT: Zachary Woolfe
A review of “Abduction From the Seraglio” at Lyon Opera opens up the question.

A Renaissance of Conductorless Orchestras Reveals the Limits of Traditional Leadership
New Statesman: James Chater
What could the modern counterparts of the first conductor-free orchestras, once a socialist utopian vision, teach our politicians today?

Aging of America. What Does It Mean for the Future of the Arts?

Barry’s Blog
America is dealing with both ends of population changes:  1) the coming of age of the Millennials, now having surpassed the Baby Boomers in absolute numbers; and 2) the aging of those Baby Boomers as they begin, en masse, to become seniors (aged 65 and up).

Chorus America Releases First-Ever Study of Choral Music Audiences

Chorus America Staff
A new report released by Chorus America provides the first-ever systematic look at what moves and motivates the people who attend choral music concerts.

Big Music Doesn’t Need Huge Halls

NYT: Anthony Tommasini
Most concert halls and opera houses are just too big. More intimate performance spaces have, with reason, become the rage.

Would Donald Trump Make Art Great Again?

The Washington Post: Phillip Kennicott
Arts leaders say they are nervous in general about the candidacy of Donald Trump, who has deployed authoritarian language more consistently than any major political figure in memory, but they are not particularly worried about this country’s robust tradition of free expression.

Dance is the Most Physically Demanding Job in America

Reno Gazette-Journal: Steve Trounday
Business Insider covered the 27 most physically active jobs in the US.

What We Learned from the First New York Opera Fest

WQXR: Merrin Lazyan
There may be no better time than the present to be an opera fan in New York City, which is currently home to approximately 80 companies.

Opera as a Midlife Crisis: A New Company Takes a Fresh Look at a Classic

The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
A new opera ensemble that’s seeking to change established opera-world models.

Remaking Pennsylvania Ballet, Ángel Corella Hires 17 New Dancers

NYT: Michael Cooper
The company’s artistic director, Ángel Corella, has now overseen the departure and replacement of more than half of its dancers since his arrival in 2014.

Why More Women Are Winning at Musical Chairs

Bloomberg News: Melvyn Krauss
Fairness, feminism and affirmative action has very little to do with this development.

Los Angeles Opera Sales Are Up

LA Times: David Ng
Los Angeles Opera said unaudited figures for its recently ended 30th anniversary season show a 19.9% increase in the number of tickets sold and a 27.6% rise in ticket revenue compared with the previous season.

European Tour will be Minnesota Orchestra's Final 'First' on the Comeback Trail

Star Tribune: Graydon Royce
Audiences and critics will be eager to hear whether this is the same band that delighted London audiences in 2010.

Atlanta Symphony on Firmer Ground, Records Second Budget Surplus in a Row
ArtsATL: Scott Freeman
What a difference a couple of years can make.

Kansas City Symphony Breaks Records, Busts Trends
KC Business Journal: Brian Kaberline
Perhaps more impressive, the symphony series performances sold 95 percent of available tickets, on average.

Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Musicians Authorize Strike
The Buffalo News: Mark Sommer
Musicians of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra last month overwhelmingly approved a strike authorization for the first time in the symphony’s 87-year history.
The Resurrection of Nantes: How Free Public Art Brought the City Back to Life
The Guardian: Giovanna Dunmall
If you make people pay for culture, or only offer it in enclosed spaces like theatres or museums, you will only ever reach a small percentage of the population.

After the Cultural Revolution: What Western Classical Music Means in China

The Guardian: Madeleine Thien
The Cultural Revolution had catastrophic consequences for musicians in China, where listening to Beethoven became a political crime. Fifty years on, how have attitudes changed?

Beautiful Ballet in a Violent Slum
CNN: Allison Love
On a hilltop overlooking the sprawling Complexo de Alemão favela, girls fill an old basketball court in Rio de Janeiro.

Bringing Ballet to the Townships of South Africa
PBS Newshour: Martin Seemungal
While many cultural divides still remain, some black South Africans are now turning to ballet, once reserved for wealthy whites.
Music Producers Explain How They Created a Hit (Hint: collaboration!)
NYT: Joe Coscarelli
Benefiting from the cross-pollination of regions and genres, these collaborations can introduce the featured artists to new audiences, with rappers and crooners crossing over among dance-pop aficionados.

Montreal’s Video Game Orchestra Ushers in all Generations
The Star: Allan Woods
Quebecers take their video games seriously, so it seems only natural that the capital of Canada’s gaming industry would be the place to translate the sounds, songs and melodies of a generation into serious music.

New Video Game Goes with Ballet and Modern Art
Inverse: Steve Haske
Even for an independent game scene already teeming with strange and interesting projects from around the world, Bound sticks out.

Algorithm and Blues: Putting a Google-Written Song to the Test
The Star (Toronto): Nick Patch
Google’s computers wrote a song. In the hands of a professional musician, does the tune have potential?

Kickstarter’s Impact On The Creative Economy
A recent study finds that Kickstarter projects have employed 283,000 part-time collaborators in bringing creative projects to life; created 8,800 new companies and nonprofits, and 29,600 full-time jobs; such jobs have generated more than $5.3 billion in direct economic impact for those creators and their communities.
Why Do We Love Bad Singing?
Slate: Carl Wilson
From Florence Foster Jenkins to William Hung to Rebecca Black, America has long been fascinated with failed crooners. But who decides what’s good, what’s good-bad, and what’s just bad?

Meryl Streep Explains Our Fascination with Florence Foster Jenkins
WQXR host Elliott Forrest sat down with both stars prior to opening day to discuss our endless fascination with this peculiar figure as well as her partner and manager, St. Clair Bayfield.
JCEIThe Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
at the Kelley School of Business offers one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculums in the world, with nationally-ranked academic programs that a wide range of real-world entrepreneurial experiences through cross-campus initiatives with university departments and involvement with the business community.
Find out more about the
OECD and Project Jumpstart!.



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