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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.



The Battle to Save America’s Arts Endowment From Trump’s Cuts
Apollo: Brent Reidy (Jacobs School musicology Ph.D student)
Rhe NEA has been threatened with extinction many times since it was established a half century ago. ‘Endowment’ is a misnomer; the NEA is not an endowment, but a federal agency whose budget must be submitted by the president and approved by Congress. This makes it a perpetual political football, as the appropriations process gives politicians the opportunity to rant against it both as an example of budgetary excess and the midwife to controversial, offensive, and ‘un-American’ art.

How the Arts Helped Kill Off the NEA
Salon: Matt Burriesci
By trying to play the conservative “economic value” game.

What if Trump Really Does End Money for the Arts?
NY Times: Graham Bowley
The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have long been in the cross hairs of conservative critics.


Lady Gaga Touts Unity and Inclusion in Powerful Halftime Show
Hollywood Reporter: Meena Jang
Despite speculation that the singer would use the high-profile platform to make a political statement following national uproar over Trump's recent immigration ban and nationwide Women's Marches, Gaga opted not to send any politically charged messages or make mentions of Donald Trump onstage.

Can the Arts Address Seattle's Homelessness Crisis in a Meaningful Way? Seattle Symphony Is Trying
The Stranger: Rich Smith
Simple Gifts is a multiyear commitment created under the guidance and counsel of 18 "community partners" including Path with Art, Mary's Place, and Plymouth Housing Group.

The Right to Be Yourself
Leonard Slatkin
Our country was created on the principle of free speech. We all have the right to say what we feel, and those who believe otherwise are basically undermining the founding fathers.

Culture Can be a Catalyst for Real Change in Any City
The Independent (UK): David Barnett
The city of Kingston on Hull ranks as the third most deprived local authority in Britain and tops the lists of deprivation for education, skills and training. Just a month into its tenure, The Independent’s writer asks what can culture do for the city and can the benefits be made to last?

How Yoga Benefits Musicians
Majoring in Music: Elizabeth Borowski (Jacobs School student)
Yoga offers powerful opportunities to address the physical, mental, and emotional challenges we musicians face. And it can be done in just a few minutes without the need for special equipment.


What Does the Trump Presidency Really Mean for Musicians?

Digital Music News: The Future of What
Copyright. Net Neutrality. Freedom of expression.  Health care.  Touring.  It’s all up in the air for the music community under Trump.  

A (Growing) List of Tours Getting Canceled After Trump’s Travel Ban
Digital Music News: Daniel Adrian Sanchez
Trump’s travel ban could change the international touring landscape forever. Here’s the early list of artists, tours, and events already getting canceled.

A New Era for Protest Music, but Who’s Listening?
The Globe and Mail: Brad Wheeler
Are the modern protest singers preaching to choirs? A nation is divided, and many of the protest songs are not of the unifying “this land is your land” kind.

Two Syrian Refugee Children in the San Diego Youth Symphony Talk About Music and Life In America
KPBS: Michael Lipkin
resident Donald Trump on Friday suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, but for families fleeing violence in Syria, the suspension is indefinite. There are hundreds of Syrian refugees in San Diego County, including the Chehadeh family. They left Syria in 2012 for Jordan and eventually settled in San Diego in 2014.

One Third of the States Have No Functioning Advocacy Organization
Barry’s Blog
A recent study of the nation’s State Arts Advocacy organizations was mixed and of some concern.  A large number of states either had no real functioning arts advocacy organization, or the existing organization was barely operational.

Bringing Women Conductors to the Front of the Orchestra
PBS Newshour
In the highly traditional world of classical music, one seldom sees women conductors. Among more than 20 of the nation's largest orchestras, only one is led by a woman director. Jeffrey Brown reports from the Dallas Opera, where an intensive institute for female conductors aims to lead a new movement.

My Chicago Symphony Job Was Not What I Thought It Would Be
Audition Café: Nathan Cole
The first Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic writes a personal narrative of his experiences in the auditioning process.

In a Country Where Most Classical Composers Are Best-Kept Secrets, How Did Philip Glass Become a Household Name?
Indy Week: Dan Ruccia
A few factors account for Glass's prominence, including how hhe put himself out there, actively courting an audience and a discourse outside of classical music. In the 1980s alone, he collaborated with David Byrne, Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson, Kronos Quartet, Allen Ginsberg, and Ravi Shankar, among others.

Composer Michael Hersch Feceives $250,000 Award from John Hopkins
The Baltimore Sun: Tim Smith
Known for writing lengthy works -- his "Vanishing Pavilions" for solo piano lasts three hours, for example -- Hersch said that one possibility for the money is to help fund performances of large-scale projects "that no normal presenter would undertake." 

Inside Einstein’s Love Affair With ‘Lina,’ His Cherished Violin
National Geographic
The famed physicist rarely left home without his music, and it inspired him as he developed some of the most elegant theories in science.

‘A spiritual act’: How Multilingual Jazz Artist Jen Shyu Found Safety on Stage
NBC News: Francis Kai-Hwa Wang
Artists have called Shyu a "transporter of cultures" as well as an "urban shaman" for her work which combines elements of Indonesian, Korean, and Taiwanese folk traditions of music, dance, and storytelling, as well as western traditions like jazz.


A New Concert Hall in London?

Arts Professional: Jodi Myers
As the debate over whether London needs a new concert hall becomes more divisive, Jodi Myers says it’s time for some careful thought.

UK City Says Cutting All Its Art Funding Will “Help” Arts Groups
The Stage (UK): Matthew Hemley
Grants to arts organisations in Bath are to be phased out completely by the local council, with campaigners claiming it will lead to financial support for emerging and mid-scale companies being “killed off”.

Is this Composer Opera’s Next Big Star?
Ozy: David Knowles
Missy Mazzoli is part of a handful of emerging composers who are now the authors of the future of opera and are adding their own unique voices to the form.


Thanks to YouTube, Vevo nears 100 million active monthly users
Digital Music News: Daniel Adrian Sanchez
Vevo’s riding high with strong numbers. At least 97 million Americans watched one Vevo music video in October 2016. That’s according to new numbers from comScore’s Video Metrix. The numbers include YouTube mobile viewership.

Google Generated $90BN Last Year, 6 Times More than the Global Recorded Music Business
Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
Google had a huge year in 2016. The company’s parent Alphabet Inc. just posted mammoth annual revenues of $90.27bn for the 12 months to end of December, up 20% year-on-year and 24% at constant currency.


University of Maryland Symphony Performs Memorized, Choreographed 'Appalachian Spring'
The Baltimore Sun: Tim Smith
With no chairs or music stands and no conductor, the 50 or so musicians move about the stage as they perform.

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