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WEEKLY DIGEST | 10/02/2017
News, Research, & Opinion


Orchestra Moderne NYC Is Ready To Tackle Social and Political Issues; First Stop—The Immigrant Experience
Huffpost: ZEALnyc, Joanne Sydney Lessner
When Amy Andersson returned to New York after several years conducting concerts across Europe and North America, she founded Orchestra Moderne NYC with a very clear mission: to create an orchestra that is fully integrated into the life of New York City and fosters a collective understanding of political and social trends.


The Guardian View on Opera: Still Powerful, Still Relevant
The Guardian (editorial)
Opera, an artform that exemplifies Europe’s cultural interconnectedness, should not be written off as simply elitist.

Why Do Orchestras Seem to Play Behind the Beat?
Here’s the simple response from conductor JoAnn Falletta: When an orchestra plays behind the conductor, it has the room to produce a more expressive sound.

The Role of Listeners in a Post-Genre Context
NewMusicBox: Hannah Schiller
Post-genre thinking seeks to move away from objective methods of characterizing music, instead focusing on a more subjective method within which music is viewed piece by piece with an emphasis on the intention and background of the composer.

State of the Arts: How Seattle’s Growing Pains are Impacting the Arts Scene
Seattle Times: Brendan Kiley
Some artists and arts organizations have successfully captured the attention of Seattle’s growing younger population. But others try to keep a brave face while quietly (and, in some cases, not so quietly) wringing their hands.

New Music on Old Instruments, Part II: the Baroque Time Machine

San Francisco Classical Voice: Brett Campbell
The story of how historical performance musicians and new music performers found each other, and why they're so suited to each other.


The Met Opera Offers Buyouts to Its Staff as Its Season Opens
NY Times: Michael Cooper
The nation’s largest performing arts organization has been working to cut its costs for several years and it has struggled to sell tickets recently: Last season, the Met reported that it had taken in just 67 percent of its potential box-office revenue, which was only a slight improvement from the prior seasons, when it recorded its worst showing ever.

Why Lyric Opera and Joffrey Ballet Found Cause to Merge
Chicago Tonight: Eddie Arruza
Last Saturday, the Lyric Opera announced that the Joffrey Ballet would become its resident ballet corps beginning in 2020 and, as of this season, Joffrey’s performances would be exclusively at the Civic Opera House.

Rolling Stone, Once a Counterculture Bible, Will be Put Up for Sale
MSN News/The New York Times: Sydney Ember
After a half-century reign that propelled him into the realm of the rock stars and celebrities who graced his covers, Mr. Wenner is putting his company’s controlling stake in Rolling Stone up for sale, relinquishing his hold on a publication he has led since its founding.

Breaking through the Celluloid Ceiling
San Francisco Classical Voice: Jim Farber
Women film composers are banding together to have their voices and their music heard.

Meet New York City Ballet’s Youngest Choreographer in History

Playbill: Ruthie Fierberg
At age 18, this apprentice ballerina will debut her first commission for the esteemed company this month.

New Pro Company Ballet Vermont Makes an Entrance
Seven Days: Elizabeth M. Seyler
Since 2015, the Farm to Ballet Project, founded and directed by Vermont-raised ballet professional Chatch Pregger has given 24 full-length classical ballet performances for adults and children at 17 Vermont farms.

National Anthem Protests, From ‘Jazzing the Banner’ to Taking a Knee
NY Times: Popcast
And the protests extended to those performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” as well: In Detroit and Nashville, singers dropped to one knee at the end of their renditions.

At a Moment of Racial Tumult, the Little Rock Nine Inspire an Opera
NY Times: Michael Cooper
Politics has never been far from the opera stage. Mozart subtly questioned aristocratic hierarchies; Beethoven’s sole opera is about the rescue of a political prisoner; Verdi stoked nationalistic fervor and explored the machinations of church and state. But with contemporary composers unburdened by the censors who often forced their predecessors to be allusive, political figures and recent events have become staples of new opera — especially since the success three decades ago of John Adams’s “Nixon in China.”


Monterey Jazz Festival at 60
San Francisco Classical Voice: Andrew Gilbert
A big anniversary called forth an incredibly broad cross-section of talent.

Composer Arvo Pärt Wins Theology Prize From Vatican
ERR (Estonia)
The Ratzinger Prize, which was established by the Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation in 2010 and first awarded in 2011, is awarded to "people who answered to the challenge of fostering a deep dialogue among science, theology and philosophy."

Simon Rattle’s Job Title Has Less Clout than Ever
The Spectator: Norman Lebrecht
The new music director of the LSO may think he has more control than his predecessors but, like all orchestral music directors these days, he has no power.


For Decades, The CD Dominated Japan. Now There’s An Unlikely Replacement.
Digital Music News: Daniel Sanchez
Streaming faces an uphill battle in the Japanese market.  But now, there’s an unexpected winner.

Surprise! If You Don’t Register with the US Government’s Song Database, You Lose Your Copyright
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
Fun fact: if you don’t properly register for Congress’ proposed universal song database, you’ll lose the rights to your entire life’s work.


On Stage With the Los Angeles Philharmonic Studio 360
The seating arrangement for the musicians in an orchestra is designed, naturally, to make the music sound best to the audience sitting out in the hall.


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