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WEEKLY DIGEST | 12/10/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



San Francisco Symphony Lands a Disrupter: Esa-Pekka Salonen
NY Times: Michael Cooper
The news that Mr. Salonen, 60, will become the next music director of the San Francisco Symphony, which the orchestra announced on Wednesday, is sure to stun the classical music field.

Esa-Pekka Salonen, future music director of the San Francisco Symphony, lays out plans to disrupt the classical world
LA Times: Mark Swed
San Francisco Symphony has the ambition to revolutionize symphonic music in particular and possibly the entire relationship between Silicon Valley and the arts in general. Salonen, who made the L.A. Phil the world’s most progressive major orchestra and then turned the Philharmonia into the most tech-savvy with elaborate multimedia installations and virtual reality projects, will be given free rein and considerable resources for what promises to be a grand experiment.

Salonen's departure from the UK poses serious questions – and not just for the Philharmonia

The Guardian: Martin Kettle
With the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic searching for new leaders, will their London base – and the UK – still be able to lure international talent?


Going High (On Culture)
Weekly Standars: Joseph Horowitz
Eight years after the launch of “Music Unwound,” the founder of the project suggests that. if orchestras are ever to regain their role as agents of national unity, they will need to undertake a larger mission and curate the American past.

The future of opera in a world of technology: Barrie Kosky
BachTrack: David Karlin
In the first part of this interview, Kosky talked about his craft as an opera director. Now, he gives us the Intendant's view: the essence of opera and its audiences, why different houses have different problems, why he's optimistic about the future... and why he was kicked off the lawn at Glyndebourne!

How Native Americans in the arts are preserving tradition in a changing world
Los Angeles Times: Dina Gilio-Whitaker
In Native societies, art was integrated into the act of making everyday things and art objects were often ceremonial; Native people frequently note that the word “art” is virtually unknown in indigenous languages. Today, making a living as an artist is mediated by market forces with demands of its own.

It's Time to ​Talk About the Harsh Reality of Running a Dance Company
Dance Magazine: Ryan Casey
Watching ensembles such as Trey McIntyre Project, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and now Jessica Lang Dance announce their final bows in recent years has made it clear that we're all waging similar battles, and they're not going to be won alone.

Anna Netrebko May Be Extra, but That’s Why We Love Her
NY Times: Joel Rozen
Opera fans traditionally have needed to head to theaters to catch their favorite divas. But those who worship Anna Netrebko, the queen of the Metropolitan Opera, need only whip out their smartphones.


Knight Foundation invests in tech initiatives for Pérez Art Museum, New World Symphony
South Florida Business Journal: Emon Reiser
As part of a major investment by the James L. Knight Foundation in the Miami Community, the New World Symphony received $2.5 million to develop technology that will be used to better engage its audiences, as well as commission new works and help diversify its orchestras.

$100k M-Prize discontinued after three years
The Strad
The M-Prize, a chamber music competition with $100,000 grand prize based at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) in Ann Arbor, will not be returning for a fourth edition in 2019. A statement said that the SMTD ‘has regrettably determined that financial support for the competition cannot be sustained’.

Propelled by Pension Fears, the NY Musicians’ Union Elects Change
NY Times: Michael Cooper
The leadership team of the New York local of the musicians’ union — the union’s largest local in the nation — was voted out of office on Tuesday in a stunning upset, amid concerns over the underfunded musicians’ pension plan and broader changes facing music, the original gig economy.

Justin Peck and Caroline Shaw Team Up for “The Best Actors of The Year”
NY Times
Justin Peck, the New York City Ballet's resident choreographer, collaborates with composer Caroline Shaw in a series of dance films for the year's best actors. The scenarios put everyday characters in familiar situations: packed into a subway car, stuck in a doctor's office, caught in downpour. But once they start moving, the actors turn our common experiences into welcome moments of enchantment.

Women In Music 2018 Executives of the Year
Billboard: Melinda Newman
Danielle Aguirre, Dina LaPolt, Jacqueline Charlesworth and Susan Genco joined forces to ensure the passage of the Music Modernization Act — the most sweeping industry legislation of the last 20 years.

Grammys: Classical front-runners, snubs and surprises — plus a complete list of nominees
LA Times: Richard S. Ginell
American orchestras monopolized the best orchestral performance category in nominations announced Friday.

Conductor Osmo Vänskä to exit Minnesota Orchestra when contract expires

Star Tribune: Jenna Ross
Search for a new leader begins as he prepares for his departure in 2022, which is when his contract expires.

After Struggling With Homelessness, a Chorus Sings of Gratitude
The New York Times: Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
These choristers were acquainted with being vulnerable — and cold. The organization, Breaking Ground provides support to New Yorkers associated with homelessness. 

Israeli Pianist Wins Thelonious Monk Contest
The New York Times: Giovanni Russonello
The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition crowned 24-year-old Israeli pianist Tom Oren as this year’s winner ($25,000 prize and recording contract with Concord Music Group).

A New Editor, and a New Start, for Troubled Billboard Magazine
The New York Times: Jaclyn Peiser
One of the biggest jobs in music journalism sat vacant for two and a half years. Billboard magazine has its new editor: Hannah Karp, a former reporter at The Wall Street Journal.


Opera company creates dedicated YouTube channel to encourage artists to share new work
The Stage (UK): Giverny Masso
Opera company Tete a Tete has announced plans to encourage experimentation in the genre and give a wider reach to new works with the launch of a dedicated YouTube channel. On the channel, called MyNewOpera, artists and fans will be able to watch and upload new operas, curate and share their own playlists and view other artists’ playlists

Why some of Russia’s biggest musicians have been arrested
BBC video
There’s a covert war going on, against art that’s popular with the Russian youth. BBC Monitoring looks at the ways Russian musicians have been targeted and how people have reacted.

Artists Arrested for Protesting New Decree Limiting Artistic Freedom in Cuba
Art Forum
Leading artists were among those arrested on Monday for planning a sit-in at the Ministry of Culture in Havana in protest of a government decree, which aims to eradicate independent cultural activity, days before it goes into effect.

UK Cultural Sector Continues to Grow Faster than the Economy
Arts Professional (UK): Christy Romer
The economic output from the cultural sector is now just under £30bn, having grown by 7.3% in one year.

Winners announced at inaugural Birmingham Piano Chamber Music Competition
The Strad
The Kapoor-Leung Duo wins competition which took place in new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire concert hall

Joël Bons wins 2019 Grawemeyer Award for cello work
The Strad
The Dutch composer receives $100,000 prize for Nomaden, a one-hour piece for cello and instruments from cultures around the world

The African Toll of the Great War, in Song and Shadows
The New York Times: Jason Farago
“The Head and the Load,” at the Park Avenue Armory, incorporates music, movement and shadow play to tell of the crushing labor of Africans during World War I.


It’s Not What We Do, It’s How We Do It: Evolving The Concert Experience
New Music USA: Cynthia Johnston Turner
It’s time that we start thinking more about a pretty important stakeholder in what we do, our audience.

Why Tiktok Is 2018’s App Of The Year
The Daily Dot: Audra Schroeder
It was a good year for TikTok, the short-form, 15-second video and lip-syncing app that blew past 6 million downloads in October, after debuting in early August. The app was formerly known as, the wildly popular lip-sync app. 


Which pop stars made these extravagant rider requests?
BBC: Ben Hewitt
Take the quiz!

George Bush, Soul Man? Footage From an Inauguration Concert Is Restored
The New York Times: Ben Sisario
As part of his inaugural festivities in 1989, the 41st president had an unusual photo-op at a concert, hamming it up on a prop guitar while soul-music stars like Sam Moore, Carla Thomas and Percy Sledge smiled around him.

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