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WEEKLY DIGEST | 04/09/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



Quartz Obsessions: Adam Pasick and Amy X. Wang
About a decade ago, a dozen people gathered in a tiny office in Stockholm to build a company that would first shatter, then save, the music industry. The company’s story is an off-the-charts success—so we’re going use charts (and a few diagrams) to tell it.

The Lofty Optimism of Spotify and the Influence of the Streaming Revolution
New Yorker: Amanda Petrusich
A product that once seemed untenable, if not immoral, is now mainstream.  Last Tuesday, Spotify went public and became instantly valued at $29 Billion.

Spotify Is Killing Song Titles
Medium: Michael Tauberg
An interesting set of graphs that show how streaming services are changing the arena for music, impacting how music is consumed and thought of.


Wagner’s ‘Tristan’ is ‘Like a Drug’
NY Times: Joahua Barone, Jonas Kaufmann
An interview with star tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who is making his much-anticipated debut as Tristan in concert performances of the opera’s second act with the soprano Camilla Nylund and The Boston Symphony Orchestra this week.

Lift Every Orchestral Voice

NewMusicBox: Derek Bermel
“As a white, male composer, it’s not without trepidation that I grapple with the topic of diversity in the orchestral world; my demographic cohorts have been the main beneficiaries of the status quo since the first dissonances clanged forth.”


American Composers Orchestra Brings Jazz to Classical, Effortlessly
NY Times: Seth Colter Walls
In commissioning new works over the years by the saxophonist Steve Coleman or the pianist Vijay Iyer, the ACO has bucked the historical trend of treating orchestrated works by sometime improvisers as mere curiosities.

A Few Reflections on the State of the SFJAZZ Scene

SF Classical Voice: Andrew Gilbert
If you’re interested to know about the SF Jazz scene, this is a great article to read!

Augustin Hadelich’s Bold Violin Explorations

The New Yorker: Alex Ross
The virtuoso soloist is moving beyond the traditional repertory; the Detroit Symphony have anointed themselves the “most accessible orchestra on the planet,” and gone some ways toward justifying that superlative.

Cecil Taylor: Remembering the Ultimate Piano Radical
Rolling Stone: Hank Shteamer
He polarized listeners with his turbulent creative flights, but rewarded the faithful with some of the most thrilling avant-garde jazz sounds of his time.

Lincoln Center’s President Quits After a Single, Rocky Year
NY Times: Robin Pogrebin and Michael Cooper
Former Barnard College president realizes it’s not a great fit for her.

Opera Theatre St. Louis Taps Washington National Opera Executive as its Next Director

Washington Post: Anne Midgette
The Opera Theatre of St. Louis has named its next general director: Andrew Jorgensen, the director of artistic planning and operations at the Washington National Opera, who has been serving as the company’s interim executive director.

Dallas Opera Names Ian Derrer as New General Director and CEO

Dallas News: Scott Cantrell
With an impressive resume that includes training as a singer and experience as a stage manager and production director, he previously worked with Dallas Opera, between 2014 and 2016, as artistic administrator. Since then, he has been general director of Kentucky Opera.

The Shows Will Go On for Elgin Symphony Orchestra as Fundraising Reaches Goal

The Daily Herald: James Harvey
The Elgin Symphony Orchestra's season finale concerts were saved by "an outpouring of support" from the community, which donated more than $140,000, following a public plea.


Visa Difficulties Force Cuban Symphony to Cancel US Tour
In a news release, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced that the February 2019 U.S. tour of the National Symphony of Cuba with vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding was scrapped because it has become harder for the performers to obtain visas.

As Boomer Musicians Retire from Touring, Concert Industry Faces Uncertain Future

Rolling Stone: Steve Knopper
As baby boomer musicians retire from touring, the concert industry is facing an uncertain future on who will replace them.

Live Nation's Gender Pay Gap in the UK is 46%

Music Business Worldwide: Rhian Jones
Earlier today, MBW revealed that the average gender pay gap across the three major labels in the UK was over 30%.


Is Radio Really Dying? NPR Reports its Highest Ratings in History
Digital Music News: Marsha Silva
Radio isn’t dead – as long as you change your definition of ‘radio’.  Which is exactly what NPR has been doing.

Arts Organizations Among the Best Employers for Women

Arts Professional (UK):  Frances Richens and Christy Romer
The gender pay gap is smaller in the arts than other sectors, although some organizations are still trailing behind including ‘Times Top 50 Employer for Women’ the Southbank Centre

Beyond ‘Blurred Lines’: How Forensic Musicology is Altering Pop’s Future
Rolling Stone: Andy Hermann
After the "Blurred Lines" verdict was upheld, artists and forensic musicologists speak out on how the decision has changed the pop landscape.

Amazon Music Will Delete All of Your MP3s on April 30th
Digital Music News: Daniel Sanchez
A friendly reminder: unless you download and save all of your Amazon-stored MP3s, you can bid them farewell – for good.


The Day Herbie Hancock Met the Electric Piano
Ozy: Addison Nugent
On the third and final day of recording Miles Davis’ transitional album Miles in the Sky, Herbie Hancock walked into Columbia Studio B on East 52nd Street in New York to find his instrument missing. A piano prodigy since age 11, Hancock scanned the room — no keyboards. Confused, he turned to Davis, his mentor and band leader. “What do you want me to play?”


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