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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.



Did America’s Performing Arts Center Model Lead To A Dead End?
Joseph Horowitz has written a challenging essay that suggests that Lincoln Center, which re-situated the New York Philharmonic, The Met, and New York City Ballet with the aim of becoming a launching pad for a new era of America’s performing arts, instead represents a kind of cul de sac, and that artistic leadership in America has struggled ever since. Read the Essay >


Is Artistic Leadership at America’s Arts Institutions Lacking? Is this at the Root of Declining Relevancy?  
Diane Ragsdale

Artistic Leadership Is About Vision and People, Not Buildings

Thomas W. Morris

Is the Institutionalization of Our Arts a Dead End?

Douglas McLennan

An Experiment for American Dance?

Deborah Jowitt

A Museum Culture of Symphony Orchestras?

David Gier


More About IU: What I Learned and Said
Greg Sandow
More about my IU visit (to the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University). I found the school, overall, to be an open and welcoming place. With a lot of emphasis – in the composition department, for instance – on student initiatives.

How to Survive the Next Four Years on Social Media? Opera Can Help
The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
We are living in operatic times. Forget what you’ve heard about opera being remote and elitist. Opera is also the art form that, perhaps more than any other, specializes in heightened emotion, and in finding ways to communicate it. And heightened emotion, and big feelings, are the order of the day, everywhere you look.

Why Music Ownership Matters

TSS: Ted Gioia
Is the shift from owning songs to streaming them eroding listener loyalty and reducing the cultural impact of music?

The Role of the Mentor

NewMusicBox: Teddy Abrams
It’s extraordinarily rare for the conductor/music director of a major city’s orchestra to make the effort to be a mentor for a young musician.

Watch Harry Belafonte Talk Art and Activism, Overcoming Prejudice

Rolling Stone: Elias Leight
In honor of Black History Month and his approaching 90th birthday, the legendary singer Harry Belafonte took a moment recently to reflect on his longstanding interest in fusing art and activism and ways to combat racism.

The Neuroscience of Music, Behavior, And Staying Sane in the Age of Twitter

Fast Company: Daniel Levitin
Neuroscientist and author of This Is Your Brain On Music Daniel Levitin talks about information overload.

Music Triggers the Same Part of the Brain as Heroin, Study Finds

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
Heroin, oxycontin, and other powerful opioids trigger extremely powerful highs that we know.  But the high delivered by music is highly correlated, according to research now emerging.


Arts Groups Draft Battle Plans as Trump Funding Cuts Loom
NY Times: Michael Cooper, Michael Paulson, Graham Bowley, Robin Pogrebin, Randy Kennedy
As some top administrators gear up for battle, they acknowledged a feeling of déjà vu — recalling the battles over arts funding that raged decades ago during the Reagan administration, and later when Newt Gingrich was the House speaker.

Might Ivanka Trump Speak up if Her Father Guts the Arts?

NY Times: Robin Pogrebin
With the White House drafting plans to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, it is Ms. Trump who could emerge as a key player again, inasmuch as culture has been a rich part of her life.

Trump’s Overturned Travel Ban is Still Causing Chaos for Musicians

Rolling Stone: Richard Gehr
Though the short-sighted order was blocked, it has enacted a chilling effect whose end result is unknown.

Tony Conrad, the Minimalist Composer We Should Know

ArtNews: Jennifer Allan
The canon of musical minimalism tends to be set in stone, carved like Mount Rushmore: Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, La Monte Young. It’s solid, immovable, but the lineup has long lacked for figures who are under-acknowledged or under-appreciated—most notably Tony Conrad.

Highlights from the Met Opera’s 2017-18 Season

NY Times: Michael Cooper
A starry new production of “Tosca”; the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s “The Exterminating Angel,” based on a Buñuel film; and a Mozart work set in Coney Island are among the highlights of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017-18 season.

Fort Worth Opera Fires General Director Darren K. Woods

Dallas News: Scott Cantrell
By any measure, Woods has transformed Fort Worth Opera from a struggling local company to one attracting national and even international attention for creative boldness and increasingly sophisticated productions.

Ballet Austin: Expanding Audiences for Unfamiliar Works

The Wallace Foundation
This article and video are part of series describing the early work of arts organizations participating in the Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative.

A New Cultural Plan for NYC Runs into Objections from Artists

Hyperallergic: Seph Rodney
The Department of Cultural Affairs is devising a plan for June 2017 that would manage and organize New York City’s resources for arts and culture.

2017 Grammy Winners in Classical Music

ClassicalMPR: Daniel Nass
Last Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, the 2017 Grammy Awards in Classical Music were announced. See the entire list of Classical Field winners and nominees.

Appeals Court Judge Delivers a Stunning Blow to Oldies Artists

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
It’s a case that’s been see-sawing for years, with hundreds of millions in royalties at stake. Now, oldies recording artists like The Turtles have been given their biggest blow yet: they cannot collect royalties on the recordings of their works in New York. At least those recorded prior to 1972 (which covers most of it).

Sun Records Studio: 18 Musical Milestones

Rolling Stone: Stephen L. Betts
A timeline of key moments in the history of the legendary Memphis studio, from sessions by Elvis Presley to Elle King.


A Yiddish-Cuban Opera to Have Its Premiere in Havana in March

NY Times: Michael Cooper
Yiddish-Cuban opera is not something you come across every day. But a new one composed by Frank London of the Klezmatics — based on an 86-year-old Yiddish poem about Hatuey, the Taino chief who resisted the Spanish invaders — will have its premiere at Teatro Arenal in Havana on March 3.

Break-Dancing for Social Justice in Tunisia

Al Jazeera: Emeric Fohlen
In Tunisia, a country gripped by economic uncertainty and still in the midst of rebuilding its identity after the Arab Spring, hip-hop culture is viewed as part of an ongoing dissident movement. Just a few events, such as the recent Mafia Wallitili Festival in the heart of downtown Tunis, offer the local hip-hop community an opportunity to share their values with the broader population.


Google’s AI Duet Lets You Make Music With a Virtual Pianist
The Verge: Nick Statt
Google’s latest artificial intelligence experiment is a music-playing piano bot that digests whatever keyboard melodies you give it and tries to respond in kind. The neat tool is called AI Duet, and it’s part of an ongoing push from Google’s Creative Lab division to help the public familiarize themselves with AI and all the ways it can mimic human behavior — and even create art.


Michelle Dorrance Boomwhacks the Guggenheim Rotunda
NY Times: Brian Siebert
The acclaimed choreographers Michelle Dorrance and Nicholas Van Young team up to create a new dance piece for the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda. Watch the DAILY 360 video of the performance.

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