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WEEKLY DIGEST | 18/12/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



Louis Armstrong’s Life in Letter, Music and Art
NY Times Special Report
Behind his blistering trumpet solos, revolutionary vocal improvising and exuberant stage persona, how did Louis Armstrong see himself? What was it like to be the first pop virtuoso of the recorded era — the man whose earliest releases set the tune for America’s love affair with modern black music, and who went on to become one of history’s most famous entertainers? Now you have an opportunity to step inside the mind of one of America’s great virtuosos, thanks to a vast archive of his personal writings, home recordings and artistic collages.

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The Essence of a Sound: Luthier Hans Johannsson at TEDx Reykjavik
The Strad
A must watch video!

Classical music belongs to us all. Just look at Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

The Guardian: Lenny Henry
The performer salutes the black British classical composer whose work inspired him to unpack the stereotypes often associated with the genre.

In a divided world, composer Reena Esmail finds unity in music

Los Angeles Times: Catherine Womack
As a child growing up in Studio City in the 1980s and 1990s, composer Reena Esmail invented her own religion. She developed rituals and composed her own prayers, piecing together a uniquely personalized belief system. Now 35 and still based in Los Angeles, Esmail continues to define spirituality in her own way.

Ballet For and About Everybody

The Stage: Michael Hogan
The artistic director of the English National Ballet on dance in the #MeToo age, embracing people’s flaws and the thing she misses most on tour.

It’s Starting to Look a Lot Like Choreography on Opera Stages

NY Times: Alastair Macaulay
Moving away from ‘park and bark’, Opera is embracing choreography as central to its ability to communicate.

Aretha Franklin Didn’t Want You to See This Movie. But You Must.

The New York Times: Wesley Morris
Well, she had conditions for you to be able to see it. They were idiosyncratic, comically tough to satisfy and mostly had to do with money.

Solving the Riddle of Metallica

The New Yorker
There’s nothing playful or glam or overtly sexy about Metallica, but the band’s collective anger and disillusionment are powerful.


A Rediscovered African-American Female Composer Gets a Publisher
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
In 1933, the composer Florence Price became the first African-American woman to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra. Her music has been rediscovered recently.

Elvis Presley to get US Presidential Medal of Freedom
The rock 'n' roll star is one of seven to be awarded the prestigious honor.

Postcard from Colorado
The Strad
At this year’s Aspen Festival and School, an array of leading performers rubbed shoulders with hundreds of enthusiastic young musicians. Bruce Hodges soaked up the clear mountain air.

A Tanglewood Summer of Bach, Wagner and Renée Fleming
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
Yo-Yo Ma will bring Bach’s cello suites, Andris Nelsons will conduct Wagner’s “Die Walküre”, and composer Thomas Adès will organize a contemporary music festival!

When Puccini Came, Saw and Conquered New York City
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
Giacomo Puccini was a quintessentially Italian composer but his career was also shaped by the time he spent in New York.


Grammy nominee Rosalía's flamenco fame is questioned by Spain's Roma community
Public Radio International: Meaghan Beatley
A pop sensation credited with revolutionizing flamenco, the singer known simply as Rosalía had been steadily gaining traction for a few years when her smash hit, “Malamente” (“Badly”), released in May this year, shot her to stardom. But to many members of Spain’s Roma community, Rosalía’s success and labeling as a feminist icon are beside the point, if not altogether vexing.

Rosalía: The Pop Star Bringing Flamenco to a New Generation

The New York Times: Kate Hutchinson
Rosalía Vila Tobella, 26, is showing how to rip up the flamenco rulebook — or, rather, write her own version.

Diana Tishchenko wins Long-Thibaud-Crespin competition

The Strad
The Ukrainian violinist receives €25,000, plus a number of important concert engagements.

The Salzburg Festival is Planning a Mythic Summer

The New York Times: Michael Cooper
The festival, is considered by some as one of the most important on the classical music calendar, bringing top-flight singers, directors, musicians, conductors and orchestras.


There Are Actually a Lot of Good Reasons to Make Music With Your Phone
Vulture: Dale W. Eisinger
“I wonder if ‘making music on phones’ is ultimately part of a larger movement music is making right now — this swing back to ‘recorded performance’ as opposed to ‘sequenced rollercoaster ride,’” Sylvester said.

The Met Reinvents Itself, Yet the Ushers Remain the Same

The New York Times: Ted Alcorn
Change has come to the Met. The largest repertory opera in the world is innovating, simulcasting performances in HD theaters, introducing Sunday matinees, premiering modern operas and updating the classics — all attempts to bend to the new reality rather than be broken by it.

Music & Esports in 2018: A Comprehensive Timeline

A timestamped play-by-play demonstrates why the intersection of music and esports is one of the biggest entertainment business trends of the year.

It’s Long Past Time for Big Radio to Pay Artists, Producers and Labels (Guest Column)
Variety: Richard James Burgess
Terrestrial radio stations have never paid royalties to record labels, artists and producers, although they do to songwriters and music publishers.


Uncle Henry is Wrong!
There’s a Lot You Can Do with An Art and Design Degree. Perhaps, over Thanksgiving, you can let Uncle Henry know.

Thanksgiving Jokes
Reader’s Digest
Have a quick laugh, and have a wonderful holiday!

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