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WEEKLY DIGEST | 02/19/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



Systemic Discrimination:
The Burden of Sameness in American Orchestras

I Care if You Listen (Blog)
Simply put, lack of diversity on concert programs is built into the institutional structure of American classical music organizations, leading to systemic discrimination against women, people of color, and other historically underrepresented musicians.


Lawrence Brownlee's 'Cycles of My Being': 'Hold on to Your Seats'
The Inquirer: Shervin Lainez
Cycles of My Being, a new song cycle by poet Terrance Hayes and composer Tyshawn Sorey — prompted by police brutality against African Americans — won’t be anything typical. Or demure.

How Michael and Janet Jackson Created the New Black Rock Star

Rolling Stone: Brittany Spanos
Collaborators of the superstar siblings reflect on how "Beat It" and "Black Cat" crossed genre – and racial – boundaries, and changed pop forever.

Study Finds that Most People Have Formed their Lifelong Musical Tastes by Age 14

Digital Music News: Daniel Sanchez
Your younger self is telling your older self what to listen to.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Why Rock Stars are Suddenly Retiring

Rolling Stone: Rob Sheffield
The concept of "enough" is always exotic in rock & roll – but it's definitely a shock for so many legends to say goodnight at the same time. It's a historic moment where we're witnessing a sea change in how rock stars face their golden years.


Corporation for Public Broadcasting will lose 97% of its Funding under Trump’s Budget Plan
Digital Music News: Lennon Cihak
Mr. Trump wants to rid federal funding for the public media and arts.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Will Lead the Met Opera, Two Years Early

NY Times: Michael Cooper
The Metropolitan Opera, which has been rocked this season by sexual misconduct accusations against its former music director, James Levine, is passing the baton to his successor. And fast.

L.A. Philharmonic Unleashes the New Music Gorilla in its Centennial Season

San Francisco Classical Voice: Michael Zwiebach
The Los Angeles Philharmonic continues to forge ahead, announcing a centennial season program that is more visionary than any other orchestra in the U.S. If the followers are going to catch up, they have a lot of ground to cover.

The Future Is (a Little More) Female at the New York Philharmonic

NY Times: Justin Davidson
Like every other arts organization, the NY Phil is chasing the young (or youngish), and Debra Borda insists the key is not to peddle outdated prestige or blandish with watered-down entertainment but to present art that is socially engaged.

San Diego Symphony Names Rafael Payare as its Next Music Director

San Diego Union-Tribune: George Varga
Internationally acclaimed conductor Rafael Payare has been named as the San Diego Symphony’s new music director. He is a product of the same Venezuelan education program, El Sistema, as Gustavo Dudamel, the 37-year-old music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

David Robertson to Head Juilliard’s Conducting Program

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Sarah Bryan Miller
Robertson, whose tenure with the SLSO ends at the close of this season, succeeds Alan Gilbert at Juilliard.

On a Diplomatic Mission - and to Woo Patrons - Philadelphia Orchestra Will Go to Israel

The Inquirer: Peter Dobrin
Spinning the globe for a spot where it can play for a knowledgeable crowd, conduct cultural diplomacy, and woo some important patrons, the Philadelphia Orchestra has put its finger on Israel. The ensemble will perform in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa the first week in June, after another leg of the tour takes them to Vienna, Paris, and smaller European cities.

Solange is Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year

Rolling Stone: Brittany Spanos
Solange was honored with the 2018 Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year distinction. Past winners have included Salma Hayek, Eva Longoria, Queen Latifah, Viola Davis, Shakira, John Legend and Jackie Chan.

Amazon Has its Own Orchestra
Technically: Delaware
You may or may not know this, but Amazon has its own symphony orchestra, made up entirely of Amazon employees, and it was founded by a University of Delaware grad.


Is the UK Government Preparing to Privatize the Arts?
Arts Professional: Andrew Pinnock
How much longer will the UK government support the arts? Andrew Pinnock fears all signs point to it adopting a much more commercial approach in the future.

Metallica, Afghanistan National Institute of Music Named 2018 Polar Music Prize Laureates

Billboard: Fred Bronson
The seminal metal band Metallica and the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) and its founder/director Dr. Ahmad Sarmast have been named the Laureates for the 2018 Polar Music Prize, to be presented by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on June 14.

The DIY Jazz Mindset in the UK

The Guardian: Gilles Peterson
There’s an exciting DIY mindset in the UK live scene that recalls the buzz around jazz when I DJed at Dingwalls in the 80s.


The CD is Dead? Not so Fast
Salon: Annie Zaleski
Although the CD market looks bleak now, it's likely this won't always be the case. The vinyl resurgence (and, more recently, the cassette micro-boom) illustrates that even formats left for dead can bounce back.

Is 3D ‘Spacial’ Surround Sound Audio the Future of Electronic Music?

Digital Music News: Daniel Sanchez
Has EDM producer/artist Matt Darey done the impossible in creating a truly immersive experience for headphones?  Or has he just produced just another hyped-up EDM track?  Either way, we might be looking at a new phase of electronic music.

YouTube Red is ‘A Music Service’ and is About to Expand Around the Globe

Music Business Worldwide
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, has stated that her company primarily sees subscription offering YouTube Red as a “music service” – while confirming plans to roll out the paid-for platform to around 100 countries.


An Artist Makes Vinyl Records Out of Chocolate – and They Actually Play
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
It took some experimentation.  And French artist Julia Drouhin is still working out the kinks. But chocolate records sound surprisingly good — and tasty.


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