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WEEKLY DIGEST | 02/26/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



How ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Became a New-Music Showcase
NY Times: Michael Cooper
At a moment when living composers — especially women — struggle to get their works performed, few would have predicted that a half-hour TV show would emerge as a key showcase for their work. But “Mozart in the Jungle,” the daffy Amazon comedy whose fourth season began streaming on Friday, has become an unlikely destination to hear new music.


The Monumental Influence of Philip Glass
San Francisco Chronicle: Joshua Kosman
No composer has left a more pervasive or distinctive stylistic imprint on Western classical music in the last half a century than Philip Glass.

The Trouble With Opera
The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
With new season announcements upon us, there may be a fundamental weakness in the way opera companies present new work.

She Sang Jazz Straight From the Heart
Ozy: Keith Murphy
Billie Holiday took her own heartache and turned it into enduring vocal art.

Sam Adams Blazes his Own Musical Trail
San Francisco Classical Voice: Jeff Kaliss
The composer talks about his musical influences, the role of electronics in his writing, and sharing the limelight with his celebrated father.

Can the BRITs get Right what the Grammys Got Wrong?
Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
It might have escaped your attention, but blockbuster music awards shows have been getting a fair bit of flak recently. The televised segment of The Grammys in New York City in January was roundly criticized for its lack of female representation – both amongst the nominees and the performers.

Are Lessons Killing My Child’s Love of Music?
The Telegraph (UK): Hattie Garlick
Playing an instrument is a rite of passage for middle-class primary school children. Fail to start early, the orthodoxy states, and you miss the chance of incubating a mini Mozart. Mastering music - quite literally - takes practice, practice, practice.


The Indianapolis Symphony Hires Its New CEO
Indianapolis Star: Domenica Bongiovanni
James M. Johnson, who will begin his term April 30, comes from the Omaha Symphony Association, where he is the president and CEO. The orchestra’s previous CEO, Gary Ginstling, left in September to become executive director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

Is There a Future for Lyric Opera? 
Chicago Reader: Deanna Isaacs
The Chicago company is looking for a way to survive in a changing world. Income from opera ticket sales is down, while expenses are growing.

L.A. Chamber Orchestra Names Jaime Martín as Music Director
LA Times: Rick Schultz
For Jaime Martín, the first time was the charm. The Spanish conductor, who made his Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra debut only in September, has been named the ensemble's next music director.

Beijing Firm Slated to Buy Westminster Choir College for $40 Million
Planet Princeton: Krystal Knapp
Just a day after Princeton Theological Seminary announced that it has filed a lawsuit to stop the sale of Westminster Choir College, Rider University has finally revealed the potential purchaser of the school, a Chinese firm based in Beijing that runs private K-12 schools.

A Female and Non-Binary Composers’ Competition Announces Its First Winners
NY Times: Andrew Chow
National Sawdust, the performance space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, announced the winners of its first Hildegard Competition for rising female and non-binary composers. The winners, Emma O’Halloran, X. Lee and Kayla Cashetta, will each receive $7,000, mentoring from prominent artists and a performance at National Sawdust on June 12.

28 Years After His Death, a Composer Gets a Publishing Deal
NY Times: Michael Cooper
The rediscovery of the distinctive Minimalist composer Julius Eastman, who died in obscurity in 1990, took a major step forward on Wednesday, when the publisher G. Schirmer announced it would restore, reconstruct, publish and promote his music - restoring the neglected work of a gay, black composer to the modern-music canon.

Gaetano Donizetti Opera Lost for 200 Years Set for London Premiere
The Guardian: Dalya Alberge
The opera was thought to have been lost until musicologist Dr Candida Mantica, then a PhD student at Southampton University, painstakingly located and deciphered the score’s fragments over eight years.

An Unlikely Youth Revolution at the Paris Opera
The New York Times: Tobias Grey
The Paris Opera, which celebrates its 350th birthday next year, is an unlikely contradiction to the worldwide trend of an aging audience at operas. According to the company, it had 95,000 audience members younger than 28 last season – more than 10 percent of tickets sold and 30,000 more than just two years before.

The Conductor Smashing Iranian Taboos over Women and Music
The Guardian: Saeed Kamali Dehghan
In her 38-year career, which is as long as the history of the Islamic republic, Iran’s first and only female conductor had led as many public performances as the number of fingers that hold her baton.

South African Artists Have Created a Playlist to Try to Make Two-Minute Showers Bearable

Quartz Africa: Lila MacLellan
Cape Town is in the middle of a severe water crisis, triggered by its worst drought in 100 years. People are saving water in all kinds of creative ways, and trying their best to make water rationing bearable. Inspired by the impulse we all share to sing in the shower, it asked 10 of South Africa’s biggest acts to re-orchestrate their most popular songs so that they last exactly 120 seconds. The songs were then played on morning radio and TV, and made available for download on streaming platforms.

‘Is Opera an Irish Artform? Of Course It Is’
The Irish Times: Michael Dervan
Opera is becoming ‘sexy again’ and Irish National Opera aims to capitalize on the new interest by bringing opera to the people.

Creative Scotland’s Reputation has Been Damaged

Arts Professional: Christy Romer
The national funder has announced a root and branch review of its funding processes following public outcry that led to it reversing cuts to five arts organizations.


Facebook Inks Another Music Licensing Deal with Europe’s ICE
Digital Music News: Marsha Silva
Facebook has been on a deal-making frenzy over the past few months — but there are still more rights to secure. Accordingly, the social network has inked a deal with Europe’s ICE, a partnership that affects millions of songwriters and composers.


Watch Ping-Pong Make its New York Philharmonic Debut (includes video)
The New York Times: Barone
Two U.S. national table tennis champions play each other — at the New York Philharmonic. The unique performance uses sounds from an intense match alongside a full symphony orchestra.

13 Reasons to Immediately Stop Liking Classical Music
Classic FM
It’s time to set the record straight about our views on classical music.


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