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WEEKLY DIGEST | 10/24/2017
News, Research, & Opinion


Musical America recently announced the 2018 Award winners! Artist of the Year is conductor Andris Nelsons. Composer of the Year is Mason Bates. Instrumentalist of the Year is Augustin Hadelich. Vocalist of the Year is Sondra Radvanovsky. Educator of the Year is Francisco J. Núñez.

Read more here >


Songs That Say 'Me Too'
NPR All Songs Considered: Ann Powers
Artists, activists, writers and musicians have told the stories of violated women across time — particularly since the 1990s, when popular music and feminism powerfully intersected in the pop mainstream and the musical underground. Here's a list of twenty songs in which women said "me too" — without shame.

Why it’s Hard Not to Love the Dream-Like Magic of Opera

The Globe and Mail: Michael Cooper
Opera does not attempt real social commentary or naturalism well: it is a heightened reality, a dream. Opera is crazy and intense like dreaming, another heightened reality, and we often wake from dreams wishing we could enter them again.

You Don’t Find Your Purpose — You Build It

Harvard Business Review: John Coleman
Three misconceptions discussed: Purpose is only a thing you find. Purpose is a single thing. Purpose is stable over time.

Music Students Should Study Mental Health Issues

Arts Professional: Christy Romer
New research examines the pressures on musicians’ mental health and wellbeing caused by unpredictable careers, a culture of self-criticism and the lack of time to relax.

Not just for Rich White People

Greg Sandow
In which I tell orchestras in the US — or at least the National Symphony — that maybe they should stop taking so much time to thank donors (and other upper-crust supporters) — at their opening galas. They should greet the community instead.


Argus Quartet and Violinist Yoojin Jang win Concert Artists Guild Competition
The Strad
The Argus Quartet is the joint First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild’s Victor Elmaleh Competition. Pianist Dominic Cheli is the other joint winner. Both will receive a cash prize of $5,000 along with a raft of benefits, including a management contract with CAG. Violinist Yoojin Jang was named as winner, sharing all benefits apart from the cash prize.

nothing,nowhere. Blends Hip-Hop and Emo to Make Tomorrow’s Pop

NY Times: Jon Caramanica
Joe Mulherin is part of an emerging group of artists that is bridging the chasm between rap and rock. His debut is one of the most promising albums of the year.

Most Houston Attractions Have Reopened: The Opera Gets Creative

NY Times: Michael Hardy
Following Hurricane Harvey, Houston Opera got creative and decided to build an entirely new venue, dubbed the Resilience Theater, inside a cavernous convention center.

St. Louis Symphony Posts First Surplus in 17 Years

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Sarah Bryan Miller
The SLSO closed its fiscal year and 137th season on Aug. 31 with an operating surplus. That's a first for the orchestra in this century, with an operating surplus of $18,000 on total operating revenue of $30.3 million. The SLSO balanced its budget on a cash basis in 2016

Washington’s Museums Produce Music. Where’s the Best Place to Hear it?

Washington Post: Anne Midgette
Is classical music like a museum? If not, it should be. Museums, in general, are doing a great job at showcasing art of the past and present in interesting ways — something most concert halls, locked into their traditions, are only beginning to try.

The 20 Hottest Songwriters in Pop Music Right Now

LA Weekly: Andy Hermann
In 2017, more than at any other time in history, writing Top 40 hits is often a by-committee affair. A typical Rihanna song like "Work" may have as many as seven different songwriters; Demi Lovato's latest album, Tell Me You Love Me, has no fewer than 28 writers credited. These days, it often takes a village to get a song on the radio.


Sharon Roffman Appointed Royal Scottish National Orchestra Leader
The Strad
Sharon Roffman, a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music, has been appointed joint leader of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) and will be sharing the role with Maya Iwabuchi, who took the chair in 2011.

Johnny Clegg’s Final Journey

Afropop Worldwide: Banning Eyre
One of South Africa’s most innovative musicians coming out of the Apartheid era, Johnny Clegg is now fighting pancreatic cancer. While the cancer is in remission, he has decided to embark on a worldwide tour, The Final Journey. Read a great interview and watch some of his most iconic performances.


How AI and Big Data are Shaping Music at this Brooklyn Venue
Ozy Fast-Forward (video)
National Sawdust wants to be the most innovative music venue in the country. In a new video series, The Vibe: Innovation in Music, OZY looks at music venues that are using technology to redefine the gig, and how customers interact with music.

Bang On A Can at 30, Part I: Creating the Space

San Francisco Classical Voice: Allan Kozinn
New music without Bang on a Can would be a lot less visible, a lot grayer, and a lot less fun. Here's the story of their breakthrough ideas.

Vinyl Is as Good as Its Flaws

Pacific Standard: Max Ufberg
Lest you think the vinyl phenomenon is contained to this side of the Atlantic, vinyl surpassed digital music in sales in England (about $3 million to $2.7 million) at one point last year.


The Record Covers from Hell
Classical music recordings tend to make bold statements, both musically and in their packaging. Sometimes it can backfire.


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