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WEEKLY DIGEST | 10/01/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



Yo-Yo Ma Wants Bach to Save the World
The New York Times: Zachary Woolfe
Yo-Yo Ma, performing at Stadtteilpark in Leipzig, Germany, earlier this month as part of his planned 36-city, six-continent tour that blends performances of Bach with community engagement.

Kanye West Ends ‘S.N.L’ With Speech About Trump and Bullying
NY Times: Joe Coscarelli
An extraordinary weekend in the arts followed an extraordinary week in politics. A sampling is Kanye's impromptu speech on Saturday night.


Do String Players Who Refuse to Embrace Popular Music Face Extinction?
The Strad
String players must embrace the vernacular of today’s popular music or risk being consigned to a bygone era, writes electric violinist Tracy Silverman

The Fat Lady Is Singing
Commentary: Terry Teachout
Is American opera in terminal condition?

The Met’s New ‘Samson’ Succeeds Only as Kitsch

The New York Times: Anthony Tommasini
In coming seasons, the Metropolitan Opera will be introducing a range of initiatives to make itself seem less elitist, more approachable and more connected to contemporary culture.


NEC et al. Get $2.5M from Mellon to Train Underserved Music Students
Musical America: Nicholas Beard
The NEC is to spearhead a program aimed at increasing diversity among classical music’s up-and-coming practitioners.

Lateral Move: How a Tech Donor Became a Patron of Classical Music

Inside Philanthropy: Mike Scutari
The Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Lincoln Center recently received a $5 million gift from Ann S. Bowers of Palo Alto, earmarked for its CMS Two residency program, which develops the next generation of young musicians.

Chorister Leaves $1.1M to Washington National Opera

Musical America: Nicholas Beard
WNO has received an unexpected gift of $1.1 million from the estate of the late Clifford D. Thomson, a 30-year member of the WNO Chorus who died on May 6, 2016 in Naples, FL.

National Symphony Orchestra-Noseda Partnership Extended through 2025

Musical America: Susan Elliott
On Saturday, the National Symphony Orchestra announced from the concert stage that Noseda’s contract as music director had been extended for four years, through 2024-25.

Pittsburgh Symphony Extends Manfred Honeck's Contract

Post-Gazette: Jeremy Reynolds
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra announced Monday that music director Manfred Honeck has extended his contract two more years, through the 2021-2022 season.

Akron Symphony Conductor Christopher Wilkins to Lead Orchestra Through 2021

Akron Community Blog: Jennifer Conn
Wilkins has been music director for the 65-year-old orchestra since 2006, and is the sixth conductor.

Orchestra of St. Luke’s Reaches Out To Budding Composers

Musical America: Nicholas Beard
Four composers will be chosen by submitting one chamber score, one orchestral score, and letters of recommendation.

New Musicians in the Detroit Symph Include Fellows

Musical America: Nicholas Beard
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has several new faces among its ranks.

If He Does This Met Opera Job Well, You’ll Never Know He Exists

The New York Times: Joshua Barone
David Frost’s hands never stop moving.  As a music producer for the Metropolitan Opera, he operates a soundboard.

The Playlist: Lady Gaga Dives Into a Fresh Era, and 15 More New Songs

NY Times: Jon Pareles, Jon Caramanica and Giovanni Russonello
Hear tracks from Lil Wayne, Barbra Streisand, Thelonious Monk and others.

Live Jazz: Three September Standouts, From Fay Victor to Starebaby

The New York Times: Giovanni Russonello
Welcome to “The Month in Live Jazz,” a column highlighting three standout performances from the past month on stages across New York.


U.K. Musicians/Orgs Fear Major Damage from Brexit
Musical America: Tayor Grant
Musicians fear that Brexit will drastically curtail their freedom of movement and ability to move instruments across borders, while U.K. orchestras worry that they will no longer be able to feature European solo artists or retain orchestra members from EU countries.

Afghan Orchestra Flourishes Despite Violence, Social Pressure

VOA News: Ayaz Gul
The consequences of Afghanistan's increasingly deadly war are weighing the heaviest on the nation's civilians. But violence and social pressures have not deterred members of the country's nascent orchestra of mostly young girls from using music to "heal wounds" and promote women's rights in the strictly conservative Muslim society.

Julian Bream: 'I'm A Better Musician Now Than When I Was 70'

The Guardian: Stuart Jeffries
Next week classical guitarist Julian Bream will receive the Gramophone lifetime achievement award.

Maria Dueñas, All of 15, Has Won The Spivakov Competition

The Strad
The 15-year-old Spanish violinist receives a 1912 Riccardo Antoniazzi fine violin, valued at US $140,000.

Inaugural Szymanowski Competition Announces Winners

The Strad
The Eliot Quartett and violinist Sławomira Wilga have won first prize in their categories at the first ever Karol Szymanowski International Music Competiton, receiving €38,000 and €25,000 respectively.


Arts School, Aiming for Diversity, Drops Auditions
Musical America: Sarah Shay
Plans to end auditions for prospective students at the New Voices School of Academic and Creative Arts in Brooklyn has upset parents.

New Shoot Music App a Major Leap Forward in Score Reading, Annotating, etc.
Musical America: Anthony Brown
Following its roll-out in June for iPad only, nkoda, a new sheet music subscription app that lays claim to 35 million pages of music, is now available on Android, Mac OS, Windows 10, and iPhone.

New Clasical Streaming Service Betters Primephonic, Works On All Devices
Musical America: Taylor Grant
Devotees of classical music in North America now have a new source for their listening pleasure—ADAGIO. 

New Type of Wood Material Offers Fresh Possibilities for String Players

The Strad
Luthiers, string students and players might benefit from the research of engineers at the University of Maryland, who have found a way to make wood more than ten times stronger and tougher than before. 

A Hotbed of Operatic Innovation Wins With Tradition

The New York Times: Zachary Woolfe
Opera Philadelphia, which presented the show, “Ne Quittez Pas,” is trying “None of this old stuff done in the same way.”

SiriusXM to Buy Pandora for $3.5 Billion in Bid to Expand Reach

The New York Times: Amie Tsang and Edmund Lee
The satellite radio provider SiriusXM said on Monday that it would acquire the music streaming service Pandora Media for $3.5 billion, in a bid to corral listeners who don’t want to pay for premium channels.


Music from 1980s Computer Games to Create New Composition
BBC News
Music from 1980s computer games has been used to create a new composition to be played by an 80-piece orchestra.  It will include music from Rob Hubbard, a Hull-born composer, who wrote for more than 75 games during the decade.

Woman Records The Voice Of A Sunflower & It Sounds Like Music From Another Dimension
Medical Daily: Christine Hsu
New research has revealed that plants not only respond to sound, but they also communicate to each other by making "clicking" sounds

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