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WEEKLY DIGEST | 09/25/2017
News, Research, & Opinion


Giving Peace a Chance? Music can Drive us Apart as Much as it Unites
The Conversation: Samantha Dieckmann and Jane Davidson
Music is often called humankind’s “universal language”: an all-embracing and inherently benevolent form of communication. Music can indeed deepen feelings of affinity and social cohesion. But these same qualities can also strengthen divisions.


Can Music Heal Trauma? Exploring the Therapeutic Powers of Sound
Pitchfork: Jayson Greene
An increasing number of music therapists are now treating people touched by traumas both big and small, highlighting humanity’s deepest connections with music in the process.

The Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act: The Domesday Book Meets A Unicorn
Music Tech Solutions: Chris Castle
Longtime PRO opponent Rep. Sensenbrenner introduced a bill entitled “The Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act“, a piece of work that is Dickensian in its cruelty, bringing a whole new meaning to either “newspeak” or “draconian,” take your pick.  

How Do You Get an Audience Excited for Opera? It’s the Vision Thing.
The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
What do you do when your opera company is doing all kinds of innovative new things but still not getting the audience you think you deserve? Here’s one answer: Put on a huge new festival and fill your entire city with opera.


Meredith Monk Wins the $250k Gish Prize
NY Times: Reggie Ugwu
The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the most generous arts honors in the US, has been awarded to the singer, composer, and multidisciplinary artist Meredith Monk, whose wordless vocal pirouettes and otherworldy theater compositions have reverberated in New York and internationally for five decades.

Yo-Yo Ma does the impossible at the Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles Times: Mark Swed
He was a very small figure seated on a wide expanse, a large stage empty but for a cellist on a chair. The Hollywood Bowl shell was lighted midnight blue. The amphitheater was probably kept as dark as the fire marshal would allow. Few of the more than 17,000 seats were empty.

Washington National Opera Lands a Star: Timothy O’Leary to Become General Director
The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
The Washington National Opera announced something of a coup Friday morning: The company’s new general director will be Timothy O’Leary, 42, who for 10 years has been general director of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. He will take over July 1.

New England Conservatory Celebrates 150 Years With A New Student And Performance Center
ARTery: Andrea Shea
NEC's $85 million Student Life and Performance Center has a 225-seat black box theater, rehearsal and recording studios and a large orchestral room that's 50 percent larger than the stage at Jordan Hall. It's the first major construction project at the historic institution in about 50 years.

Cincinnati Enquirer Fires Sole Arts Critic
MusicalAmerica: Susan Elliott
Janelle Gelfand, one of the most respected arts writers in the business with a PhD in piano and musicology to go with it, was pink-slipped just two weeks before the reopening of Cincinnati’s famed Music Hall.

Why We Need Artists in Politics
Artsy: Hans Ulrich Obrist
If there was ever a time that the world needed artists, it is now. We need their radical ideas, visions, and perspectives in society.


Production Music Is a Billion-Dollar Business (Study)
Variety: Paula Parisi
Production music is a $1 billion global industry “hidden in plain sight” that is ready for its close-up, according to Joe Saba, vice chairman of the Production Music Association, ahead of their annual conference.

Opera: Passion Power and Politics – singing up a storm in the V&A’s huge new exhibition space
The Stage: George Hall
Highlighting seven landmark works in seven cities, the museum is presenting a wealth of artefacts and embracing technology to bring opera to life. Its curator tells George Hall how the exhibition aims to engage diverse audiences with an art form often seen as rather rarified.


The Music Business is Growing Again — Really Growing — and it’s Because of Streaming
recode: Peter Kafka
Spotify, Apple Music and other services have 30 million U.S. subscribers, and streaming revenue is up 48 percent so far this year.

High Tech Meets High Art in a 3-D Opera
NY Times: Nina Siegal
“Blank Out,” an opera by Michael van der Aa , staring soprano Miah Persson (live onstage) and baritone Roderick Williams (in a simultaneously projected 3-D film, which the audience watches through glasses), will be at the Park Ave. Armory this month, after critically successful runs un Amsterdam, Rome, Beijing, Helsinki, Hannover, and Lucerne.

The Virtual Orchestra
Arts Professional (UK): Luke Ritchie
Virtual reality technology may be in its infancy, but the London Philharmonia Orchestra sees huge potential for the arts. Their lead partner, Luke Ritchie, reveals how the orchestra is using it for artistic and audience development purposes.


ABBA are Planning a World Tour in 2019 as Holograms
Mashable: Johnny Lieu
“Dancing Queen” becomes electronic avatars in a virtual reality tour, planned for 2019.


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