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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.



Written by Huib Schippers at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

We are living in a time when many music cultures are in a critical state of survival in terms of support, exposure, prestige, transmission processes, and infrastructure. This is the time for all of us who love, make, or work in music to collaborate with communities across the world to empower them to forge musical futures on their own terms.


Deborah Borda’s Message to Curtis Grads
Philadelphia Enquirer: Peter Dobrin
Deborah Borda, who leaves as president and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to take the same spot at the New York Philharmonic Sept. 15, told Saturday’s audience of students, parents, faculty, and guests that “everything I took for granted as a musician first and then managing America’s great orchestras has changed.

Björk’s Words of Wisdom on Technology, Multitasking, and Collaboration

Pitchfork: Alex Frank
A cult superstar since her progressive Debut nearly a quarter-century ago, Björk now seems to have one eye on the past and one on the future. One view finds her diving headfirst into the tricky world of virtual reality more boldly than anyone else in music. The other sees her offering fans a thoughtful look at her own archive via 34 Scores for Piano, Organ, Harpsichord and Celeste.

Don't Apologize for Classical Music's Complexity – That's its Strength

The Guardian: Alan Davey
Naysayers argue classical music is being chased to extinction by technology. But young audiences in search of authentic experiences are embracing it more than ever before, says Alan Davey, controller of Radio 3

Nina Simone: Her Art and Life in 33 Songs

Pitchfork: Daphne A. Brooks
In conversations with artists including Chan Marshall, Maxwell, and Esperanza Spalding, and through examination of her most iconic songs, we look at the life of a true spellbinder.

“Sgt. Pepper’s” at 50: Was it a Concept Album or an Identity Crisis?

Salon: Annie Zaleski
Beatles fans, get your credit cards ready: On May 26, the Fab Four is unleashing a lavish revamp of 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in honor of the landmark album’s 50th anniversary.

Why Deregulation Destroys Spotify, Pandora & the Music Industry Comeback

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
Publishers think they’re getting a raw deal in America.  And they’re probably right.  But you can’t deregulate without destroying some of the biggest music streaming services in the world.

The Arts Brand

Barry’s Blog
Over the past decade we've talked a lot about branding and our brands.  It's a somewhat confusing topic, and we are often unsure what we mean by the term.  Beyond our organizations, the arts as a whole also have a brand, and this is what interests me.


NEA Jazz Masters/NEA National Heritage Fellowships: Celebrating 35 years
National Endowment for the Arts Magazine
In 1982, two new lifetime honors programs were created by the National Endowment for the Arts to honor artists who have made a significant impact in the jazz and folk and traditional arts fields: NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships and NEA National Heritage Fellowships. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of both programs in 2017, this issue looks at some of the awardees in both fields.

Metropolitan Opera Attendance: Slightly Better, Still Bad

NY Times: Michael Cooper
As the 2016-17 season ended, the challenge of filling a theater that holds 4,000 came into stark relief: The Met said it had taken in 67 percent of its potential box-office revenue this season – up only very slightly from last year, its worst showing ever.

Philadelphia Orchestra Lands New National Radio Deal Peter Dobrin
The Philadelphia Orchestra is returning to national radio after a long absence – but this time on satellite rather than traditional radio.

Passing of the Torch at Met Opera’s Midlife

The Washington Post: Anne Midgette and Philip Kennicott
On Sunday, the Metropolitan Opera, America’s leading opera house, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its home at Lincoln Center. Two Washington Post critics trade thoughts about the gala, opera, and the buildings that house it.

Arts Groups on Edge as New York City Re-Evaluates Cultural Funding

The New York Times: Robin Pogrebin
While organizations like New York City Ballet are important for tourism and other parts of the city’s economy, smaller arts groups outside Manhattan are also crucial.


UK Election 2017: Labour Promises £1bn Windfall for the Arts
The Stage: Georgina Snow
In the party's election manifesto, published on May 16, Labour said it would introduce a cultural capital fund, totalling £1 billion, to "upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age".

Ballet Isolated in Egypt but It Fires Passions

US News: Hamza Hendawi
Ballet dancer Fady el-Nabarawy feels he can finally breathe again the moment he enters the gates of the Cairo Opera House after a commute from his ramshackle, poor neighborhood. This is where he and his fellow dancers practice, perform, love and create.

The Decline of Deutsche Grammaphon

Van US: Hartmut Welscher and Tobias Ruderer
There aren’t many brands like Ferrari or Lamborghini in classical music. For a long time, Deutsche Grammophon was one of the only ones. It was obvious why: the label stood for tradition, good taste, objects of value, cutting edge technology. Browse through forums for classical music obsessives today, and you’ll find few more common targets for invective than Deutsche Grammophon.

Artists in Rio Protest Non-Payment of Salaries with Free Street Concert

Latin American Herald Tribune
Artists of the Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra (OAB) and the ballet of the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater put on a free performance in the street Tuesday in protest against the non-payment of their salaries and against the crisis driving this Brazilian state into bankruptcy.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra Announces a Surplus for 2016

Limelight: Justine Nguyen
Following the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's announcement last week of a 2016 surplus, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has announced a surplus of $785,984 for 2016. Like the MSO, the SSO reported significant financial losses in its 2015 annual report, with a shortfall of $896,811, the most substantial year-on-year decrease in income recorded by the orchestra since 2009.

Too Little, Too Late: Venezuelans Respond to Gustavo Dudamel

Van US: Geoff Baker
El Sistema and politics have been mixed since the arrival of Hugo Chávez in power in 1999, and Dudamel’s career and program have been heartily supported by the Bolivarian Revolution. The idea that silence equates to political neutrality is therefore misguided, as many Venezuelans are well aware.

A New Concert Hall in Hamburg Transforms the City

The Washington Post: Philip Kennicott
High above the German city and its industrial waterfront, the billion-dollar Elbphilharmonie — with its cutting-edge acoustics and extraordinary design — has become a destination for music lovers.


Healthcare Provider to Prescribe Reading, Dancing and Singing
Arts Professional: Christy Romer
Halton CCG’s manifesto for wellbeing commits the organisation to commissioning cultural activity, which it says can support wellbeing in ways that other methods cannot.

IU Students use Music to Help Seniors with Dementia Connect

Indiana Public Media: Barbara Brosher
A group of Indiana University students is helping adults struggling with dementia connect with their pasts through familiar songs. It’s part of a national program called Music and Memory, which works with facilities to setup iPods containing personalized playlists for each person. The idea is that songs from their lives will help trigger feelings of happiness, or even specific memories. And, the results are nothing short of remarkable.

They Filmed the Opera 'Vireo' on Alcatraz. Soon you Can Stream it on your iPad or Phone

LA Times: Catherine Womack
“Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser” is unlike any you have seen before, in content and in form. Filmed in the historic San Francisco penitentiary (now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area) as well as other locations in the Bay Area, Southern California and New York over three years, “Vireo” is believed to be the first major opera project to be packaged episodically for digital distribution.

Is the Writing on the Wall for Pandora?

Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
The MBW Review gives our take on some of the music biz’s biggest recent goings-on. This time, we take a deep dive into Pandora’s scary new financials – and consider the news that it’s trying to sell in the next 30 days.

Oracle Hysterical Builds Kaleidoscopic Soundscapes

San Francisco Classical Voice: Lou Fancher
Majel Connery,  vocalist and member of the four composer-performer chamber group Oracle Hysterica, self-describes the group as “nerdy teachers drawn to the tactile nature of digging up old stuff and breathing new life into it” by way of omission or “taking an ax to material we work with.”

Pitch Deck Guide for Arts Entrepreneurs

Fractured Atlas blog: Lisa Niedermeyer
Recognizing that new entrepreneurs coming out of the arts & culture sector are likely more familiar with grant or marketing partnership proposals, and that an investment pitch deck is radically different, Fractured Atlas decided to create and share a pitch deck guide. Our intention is to help arts entrepreneurs think through and prepare to seek investment whether you are pitching to our fund, or elsewhere.

“MP3 is dead” Missed the Real, Much Better Story Marco Arment
If you read the news, you may think the MP3 file format was recently officially “killed” somehow, and any remaining MP3 holdouts should all move to AAC now. These are all simple rewrites of Fraunhofe IIS’ announcement that they’re terminating the MP3 patent-licensing program. Very few people got it right. The others missed what happened last month.


Skin Motion Unveils Tattoos that can Play Audio [watch]
EDM: Aric Manthey
We all have that one song. You know, the song we can never get out of our head. The one that we claim is “our jam” when we’re out and about with friends. Perhaps it’s a song that takes you back to a better time or memory in your life. Maybe it’s a song that you always want to stick with you. Well, thanks to a new company called Skin Motion, we may have the chance to have our favorite song stick with us forever

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!.