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WEEKLY DIGEST | 03/19/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



The Arts Contributed a Staggering $763 Billion
to the US Economy, According to New Data

Hyperallergic: Daniel A. Gross
New data released Tuesday suggest that in a single year, the US arts and culture sector contributed more than the entire GDP of Switzerland to the US economy.


Wuilly Arteaga: Fighting Venezuela’s Repression with My Violin
NY Times Video – watch this one!
This video is by Wuilly Arteaga, 24, now famous for playing his violin in the middle of Venezuela’s deadly protests last year against President Nicolás Madura.  Once homeless, Mr. Arteaga taught himself to play the violin by watching videos online and later joined Venezuela’s renowned music education program, El Sistema.

With James Levine Fired, Should We Rethink Maestro Worship?

NY Times: Zachary Woolfe
The fate of Levine may be an opportunity to think about what it means to be a maestro, to consider the vast power we grant to conductors and whether that power has outlived its usefulness.

Did Andrew Lloyd Webber Ruin the Musical or Rescue It?

The New Yorker: Adam Gopnik
Every biography or memoir set in the world of popular music turns out to be a book about music publishing. Andrew Lloyd Webber reverses the rules for how these stories go. A new memoir shows how the composer brought back the masses by returning the musical to an earlier form.

How Nina Simone Used her Musical Art for Racial Justice

Ozy: Addison Nugent
Because Simone’s struggle for artistic and racial freedom created powerful music.

Our access to Music is Unprecedented. Why Does It Stress Us Out So Much?

The Washington Post: Chris Richards
Music used to be something we owned — discs or cartridges that we could touch, collect, swap and treasure. Now, having ascended into the digital cloud, recorded music has become something we experience. The act of streaming transforms music from a noun into a verb, a thing into an activity.

The Spillover Effect

Arts Professional: Jonathan Vickery
If we could fully understand the impact of arts and culture on wider society, would this change arts strategies and policies? Jonathan Vickery charts the progression of thinking on the ‘spillover’ effect.


Congress is Making Headway on a Bill to Modernize How Musicians are Paid
Pitchfork: Marc Hogan
But they should slow down so musicians can point out the many flaws in fine print.

Announcing 2018-19 season, Atlanta Ballet Unveils Plans to Expand
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Cynthia Bond Perry
Two years ago, when Atlanta Ballet appointed Gennadi Nedvigin as its fourth artistic director, he voiced a vision to increase the company’s size, add a main stage production in the fall, and appear in new venues in Atlanta and beyond. Despite a major turnover last spring, he’s well on his way to realizing that vision.

The Met Denies Systematically Covering up Decades of Sexual Abuse

Digital Music News: Marsha Silva
It’s another headline fitting for the time. Famed conductor James Levine is now enduring a disgraceful exit from the Met due to sexual misconduct.  Levine was the Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera for roughly forty years, and nearly synonymous with the Met’s storied history.

James Levine, a Fractured Partnership and a Met Opera Lawsuit

NY Times: Michael Cooper
Levine is now suing the Met for breach of contract and defamation.

Rising Women in Jazz Playlist

San Francisco Jazz: Ross Eustis
As SFJAZZ celebrates Women's History Month throughout March with performances and Education Events, we completely refreshed our "Rising Women In Jazz" playlist with new music and emerging artists, many of whom have performed at the SFJAZZ Center, or will in the coming year!

South by Southwest Music Festival: 17 Acts That Stood Out

NY Times: Jon Parles
This year’s festival, the 32nd, didn’t have any arena-circuit headliner or overbearing corporate sponsorships – and that helped level the playing field for performers.

Russ Solomon – The Guy Who Started Tower Records – Is Dead

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
He was the king of music retail, until music retail came crashing down.  Russ Solomon, founder and longtime ruler of the Tower Records empire, has just passed away at 92.

Kickstarter, Etsy, Automattic, Shutterstock, Expa & Foursquare are Suing the FCC Over Net Neutrality

Digital Music News: Marsha Silva
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is battling dozens of lawsuits from U.S. states and tech companies.  And now, there’s another coalition fighting for net neutrality.


Wu Man Searches in the Shadows for Chinese Roots
San Francisco Classical Voice: Lily O’Brien
Known for her cross-cultural musical dialogs, the pipa master delves deeper into Chinese traditions with the Huayin Shadow Puppet Band.

Indie Labels Sign Landmark Deal with China
Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
The story of the recorded music industry’s recent relationship with China has been, up until now, a fairly consistent one.


Transforming Artists and Entrepreneurs into Artrepreneurs
Forbes: John Hall
But for artrepreneurs, check out this conference, April 7-8! L.A.’s boutique record label and entertainment company World Artists United (WAU) and the Harvard Graduate Council will host the first annual Music Entrepreneur Conference (MEcon) at Harvard University’s Science Center.

It’s Official: Spotify Will Go Public April 3
Music Business Worldwide
The biggest day in the history of the streaming music business will be officially upon us in less than three weeks.

Why Spotify Should Copy Netflix and Raise its Prices (and why that’s pretty much impossible)
Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
Thanks to last week’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, we know a lot more about Spotify than we ever did. One thing, however, is as true as it ever was: Daniel Ek’s company is a long way from turning a profit.

Facebook Signs ‘Holistic’ Licensing Deal with Warner Music Group
Music Business Worldwide
Facebook has inked a wide-ranging licensing deal with Warner Music Group. The news comes three months after Universal Music Group announced a similar deal. An agreement between the social media giant and Sony/ATV was confirmed in January.

EMI Music Publishing for Sale at $4BN+, Sony has Already Held Talks
Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
Last year, whispers started getting louder that EMI Music Publishing was up for sale, and that the company’s various owners wanted to make a tidy profit following their $2.2bn acquisition of the firm in 2012.


Audials Creates an Interactive ‘Map of the Musical World’ with More than 300,000 Different Artists
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
What does the entire interconnected music universe look like?  Audials recently deployed AI to create Music Zoom, a highly-visual map of more than 300,000 artists, 1 million songs, and 1,000 genres.

Clair Brothers kiTCURV12+ Elevates The World According to Sound

Mix Magazine: RH Davis
The World According to Sound is a San Francisco-based immersive aural romp of a public radio touring show. Co-creators Chris Hoff, a sound engineer, and Sam Harnett, a reporter/journalist, mishmash incredibly detailed sounds and present them in dramatic fashion to audiences ranging from 80 to 140 people eager to witness the extraordinary.


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