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WEEKLY DIGEST | 11/06/2017
News, Research, & Opinion


The 13th Annual Opera News Awards

This year’s honorees—conductor William Christie, mezzo-soprano Fiorenza Cossotto, tenor Vittorio Grigolo, soprano Hei-Kyung Hong, and soprano Sonya Yoncheva — will be celebrated at a black-tie gala celebration on April 22nd, 2018.

Read more here >


Sam Smith, Kelly Clarkson, and the Power of Vocal-Driven Pop
Vulture: Craig Jenkins
Regardless of whatever personal or ideological processes urged Sam Smith and Kelly Clarkson to seek rebirth in the sounds of soul and gospel music, it’s intriguing to watch two of the era’s finest pop vocalists standing on the power of raw talent and emotion at a time when many of their peers are dialing up Jack Antonoff for makeshift Balearic beats.

Music is Not for Ears

Aeon: Sam Haselby
We never just hear music. Our experience of it is saturated in cultural expectations, personal memory and the need to move.

Everything Comes From Language

NewMusicBox: Christopher Cerrone
While composer Christopher Cerrone has not written any original prose fiction or poetry, at least not that he’s shared with the outside world, he approaches his own musical compositions in much the same way that a writer weaves a literary narrative.

Let’s Face the Facts: Facebook Controls Classical Music

On An Overgrown Path (Blog)
The purpose of this new post is to dispel myths held within the classical music industry. The first is that the classical music audience is somehow different to the cohort of 44% of adults who rely on Facebook as their news source.


Infrasound Opera
New Yorker: Alex Ross
In her experimental music-theatre piece, Ashley Fure plays sounds too low for the audience to hear, but they register their presence all the same.

Chicago Symphony in ‘Solid Shape’ as it Posts Deficit of 1.4 Million

Chicago Tribune: John von Rhein
Expenses keep rising for the Chicago Symphony, as they do with every big performing arts group these days. Those rising expenses, coupled with a relatively flat box office, challenge groups to balance the books via fundraising and other strategies.

American National Ballet Fires Almost Half its Dancers Only a Few Weeks into The Season

Dance Magazine: Jennifer Stahl
Financial woes and a merger in the works, leaving dancers trying to figure out their next step, in terms of finding work and breaking their leases.  

Florida Supreme Court Rules that Oldies Recordings are Public Domain

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
So this complicates things a bit.  A bombshell decision from the Florida Supreme Court effectively says that recording copyrights didn’t exist before 1972.

MTT calls time in San Francisco

Musical America Worldwide: Nicholas Beard
Michael Tilson Thomas just announced he will end his run as Musical Director of the San Francisco Symphony in June 2020. The 2019-2020 Season will mark both his 75th birthday and his 25th year leading the orchestra.

David Waughan, Chronicler of Dance History, Dies at 93

The New York Times: Sam Roberts
David Vaugha, a British-born choreographer, critic and performer who was best known for preserving the history of dance through his definitive biographies and painstaking stewardship of the Merce Cunningham archive, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.

Big Ears Festival 2018, An Avant-Garde Throwdown

Rolling Stone: Christopher R. Weingarten
For their seventh year, the fest leans heavily toward the heavyweights of avant-garde jazz, including Roscoe Mitchell, Medeski Martin & Wood, Jason Moran to join Diamanda Galás, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Kid Koala, Lightning Bolt and more.


Early Music Tafelmusik Orchestra Reports 17th Surplus in a Row
Toronto Star: Debra Yeo
Orchestra says it also received record donations in 2016/17 season.

Virtual Musical Instrument Museum Launches with 20,000 Items from British Collections

The Strad
The MINIM-UK website features photos, audio and video from 20,000 items spanning 5,000 years

Lagos and the Rise of Nigerian Afrobeats

Afropop Worldwide
Ten years into a series of military dictatorships that almost completely destroyed the Nigerian music industry, artists including Junior & Pretty, the Remedies and Plantashun Boiz brought a new, youth-centric style drawing heavily on r&b, hip-hop and reggae, with plenty of local style.


Bang on a Can at 30, Part II: Opening the Floodgates
San Francisco Classical Voice: Allan Kozinn
A must-read for music entrepreneurs – an article that covers Bang on a Can projects, including The People’s Commissioning Fund, Found Sound Nation, Asphalt Orchestra, and Bang on a Can Summer Festival.

Seeking New Audience, Conductor Turns Orchestra 'Inside Out'
Associated Press
Music director David Bernard has launched a bid to re-envision the traditional orchestra by bringing the audience directly onto stage.

Can Artificial Intelligence Beat Musicians at Their Craft?

TNW: Ben Dickson
Should musicians, whose job relies on the unpredictable and mysterious workings of human imagination, heed the warnings about artificial intelligence driving humans into unemployment?

What the End of the App Era Means for the Music Business

Music X Tech X Future
The average smartphone user downloads less than 1 app per month, according to comScore. The era of apps is ending, and we’re moving in an era of artificial intelligence interacting with us through messaging apps, chatbots, voice-controlled interfaces, and smart devices.

Scoring “Twin Peaks” in Real Time: “Laura Palmer’s Theme”

Salon: Clare Nina Norelli
Angelo Badalamenti translated David Lynch’s cryptic instructions into a timeless melody—in twenty minutes.


Hear Aretha Franklin belt “Think” with the Royal Philharmonic
Rolling Stone: Jon Blistein
Orchestra lends new arrangements to singer's classic vocal takes on upcoming LP 'A Brand New Me'.


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