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WEEKLY DIGEST | 10/16/2017
News, Research, & Opinion


Thelonious Monk At 100
NPR: Tom Vitale
He was called "the high priest of bebop." With his goatee, dark sunglasses and exotic hats, Thelonious Monk was the quintessential hepcat. Monk, who was born 100 years ago his week, was also one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. The late pianist wrote about 70 songs during his career — many of which have become standards, including the most recorded jazz composition of all time, "'Round Midnight."


The Met and the Philharmonic Look Backward
Alex Ross: The New Yorker
As the nation contends with its racist and misogynist demons, New York’s leading musical institutions give us canonical pieces by white males, conducted by white males, directed by white males.

Class Politics, Country Music and Hillbilly Humanism

WNYC: On The Media
We can only understand country music, and our assumptions about country music, in the context of America's relationship to class.

People who Volunteer Give Twice as Much to Charity

Barry’s Blog
Many sectors of the nonprofit universe depend on volunteers, and the Arts are no exception. Research from Australia shows that people who volunteer for a charity (nonprofit) give, on average, twice as much as those who simply donated money.

Opera’s Sexual Assault Secret

Medium: Dan Kempson
All of Hollywood, and much of the country, is talking about Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long history of sexual assault. After years of ignoring rumors, and silencing women who came forward, the media and the movie industry are finally taking it seriously. It’s time for the opera world to also look at its own epidemic of sexual harassment and assault.

How Music Journalism is Finding New Life Back on the Printed Page

The Globe and Mail: Josh O’Kane
A quick glimpse at the Canadian Polaris Music Prize jury reveals dozens of music writers working on new and renewed platforms. Beyond this largely digital rebirth, however, something new has been happening – on the printed page.

A Revolution in Jazz? An Avant-Garde Festival Makes History, but Not Community

NY Times: Giovanni Russonello
The October Revolution in Jazz & Contemporary Music was something like a State of the Union for free improvisation and avant-garde composition, and also a statement of potential. It was a rare institutional moment for the improvising avant-garde and maybe proof that in a moment when jazz is surging, the United States can respect its fringes on a level that only Europe historically has.

When Classical Music Becomes Another Character in a Movie

The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
Classical music seems to work most effectively — to leave its tropes, if you will — in films that question, challenge or recontextualize it.


MacArthur fellow Yuval Sharon: Opera's Man of the Moment on How He Will Use His $625,000 Award
Los Angeles Times: Jessica Gelt
Sharon rose to national prominence in 2013 with the Industry’s “Invisible Cities,” an immersive opera staged in downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station. Singers mingled with harried commuters, bending accepted ideas about the sanctity of traditional performance halls. His next big act was in 2015 with “Hopscotch,” an ambitious opera performed in 24 cars driving in and around downtown L.A.

A Banjo Player From North Carolina Is Writing the Next ‘Hamilton’

Huffington Post: Katherine Brooks
Newly dubbed MacArthur “Genius” Rhiannon Giddens wants to bring one of the most overlooked moments in American history to the stage.

Kennedy Center Extends Term of Composer Bates

The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
Another two years will give Bates a chance really to show what he’s aiming at — and allow the center more time to figure out whether there are other composers who will fit into this position, as Bates has evolved it, or whether the next holder of the chair will revamp it along his, or her, own lines.

The Cincinnati Symphony Makes its Triumphant Return to a Stunningly Revamped Music Hall

CincyArtsGuide: Nat Tracey-Miller
Cincinnati Music Hall is once again the crown jewel of a neighborhood that has recently distinguished itself for the seamless intersection of old brick and sleek glass. What the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Music Hall Revitalization Company and Messer Construction have accomplished is nothing short of extraordinary.

Kansas City Symphony Reaches $55 Million Endowment Fundraising Goal

KCUR: C. J. Janovy
In a news release, the Symphony reported that 1,000 donors had pledged gifts ranging from $10 to $10 million over the five-year period. Long-term financial planning the Symphony began a decade ago.


EU Youth Orchestra to Quit UK for Italy over Brexit
The Guardian: Mark Brown
The orchestra was established in London in 1976 but the British vote to leave meant it had to come up with a plan for a future outside the UK.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro to Design £250m London Concert Hall

Financial Times: Edwin Heathcote
The US architects were selected by the City of London Corporation from a shortlist of well-established names, including Frank Gehry and Renzo Piano, to design the new Centre for Music. The concert hall will be built on the current site of the Museum of London as a permanent home for Simon Rattle’s London Symphony Orchestra.

| Venezuela’s Government Cancels Another Gustavo Dudamel Tour

NY Times: Michael Cooper
The tour was halted after the conductor criticized the government this summer amid a growing political crisis. The cancellation was announces a week before the tour was to begin.

Hamburg State Opera Extends Contract with Kent Nagano
OperaWire: Logan Martell
As the contract now stands, Nagano will serve as General Music Director until 2025, a role he began in 2015.


Sonos’s Secret Weapon In The Smart Speaker Wars: Becoming A Platform
Fast Company: John Paul Titlow
As tech titans release familiar-looking smart speakers, Sonos is hoping to set itself apart by opening its sound system up to developers–and giving users more freedom.

Universal Launches Sound of Vinyl: A ‘Tinder for Record Collectors’ Curated by Henry Rollins

Variety: Roy Trakin
Universal Music Group’s The Sound of Vinyl project is turning everyday into Record Store Day. Imagine a Tinder for LPs, with text-messaged recommendations that offer daily suggestions based on the algorithms of your profile and past purchases (with links to order).  


The World’s Longest Piano
The Guardian: Eleanor Ainge Roy
One of the world’s longest pianos has found a new home in the deep south of New Zealand after the fire brigade were called on to help shift the behemoth into place.


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