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WEEKLY DIGEST | 01/22/2019
News, Research, & Opinion



As a Classical Music Critic, I Used to Think the ‘Star Wars’ Score was Beneath Me. I was Wrong.
The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
A mea culpa from one of the country’s leading classical music critics. “… laden a cargo of acquired snobbery about the superiority of Western civilization, I had learned, and bravely parroted, that ‘film music’ was somehow beneath me. And for the next three decades, through all the sequels I didn’t see and the quartet John Williams composed for the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009, which I did, I continued to use “film music” as a pejorative term …”


Students Learn From People They Love
NY Times: David Brooks
Neuroscience reminds us that a key job of a school is to give students new things to love. It reminded us that what teachers really teach is themselves. It reminded us that children learn from people they love, and that love in this context means willing the good of another, and offering active care for the whole person.

Diversity and the Arts: Can the US Escape Whiteism?
The Clyde Fitch Report
What we do about the one is related to what we do about the other.

What’s the Point of a Bad Review in 2019?

The Ringer: Rob Harvilla
A scathing takedown can be cathartic, thrill-inducing, or necessary—sometimes all at once. But with the collapse of monoculture and the rise of social media, the critiquing game has changed.

The Met Opera Has a Gay Conductor. Yes, That Matters.
NY Times: Zachary Woolfe
A new generation is coming to power, one for which sexual orientation is far less fraught than previous generations.

Where Do Music Festivals Go Now?
Vulture: Larry Fitzmaurice
As festival culture and the industry that’s created it enters their unruly post-adolescent period, it’s worth thinking beyond the increasing sameness across lineups and experiences, instead considering whether, in 20 years’ more time, there will be enough festivals in existence to resemble each other at all.

Listening to Pop Music’s Class of 2019 (podcast)
NY Times: Jon Caramancia
The selection includes British punk-rap, morbid electronic pop, breezy 1970s-influenced country, colorful Puerto Rican hip-hop and club music with roots in the Andes.

Are Dancers Secretly Physicists in Disguise?
Dance Magazine: Jennifer Stahl
Dance is full of physics. A realization leading to what has become an eight-year collaboration between particle physicist Sarah Demers and former New York City Ballet dancer Emily Coates. The partnership includes a short film, TedX Talk, new choreography, and a book.


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians' contract expires amid debate on major cuts
Baltimore Business Journal: Amanda Yeager
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's management and its musicians are still at odds over a proposed reduction in the orchestra's annual schedule that could save the BSO millions of dollars — but could also chip away at its reputation on the national stage.

How to ensure the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra stays a ‘major-league team’

Washington Post: Gregory Tucker
A letter in response to the current crisis by a recent board member. The question he asks and answers is, “Can Baltimore afford to lose its major league symphony orchestra?”

The List of Top Ballet Directors Who Might be Considered for NYCB
Dance Magazine: Lauren Wingenroth
For the past few months, the dance world has been holding its collective breath, waiting for New York City Ballet to announce who will take over the helm as artistic director.

Carnegie Hall’s Jeremy Geffen will lead Cal Performances
Datebook: Joshua Kossman
Geffen, 44, will take the position as executive and artistic director on April 1. He succeeds Matías Tarnopolsky, who left Berkeley in August after nine years to lead the Philadelphia Orchestra.

R. Kelly Dropped by RCA Records After Documentary Furor

The New York Times: Ben Sisario
The R&B star dropped after weeks of protests and a television documentary series that drew national attention.

Passing the Baton (and Harpsichord) at Philharmonia Baroque
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
The orchestra announced on Thursday that its next music director would be the conductor (and harpsichordist) Richard Egarr, who will succeed the conductor (and harpsichordist) Nicholas McGegan, stepping down from the post in 2020, after 35 years.

Missy Elliott to Be First Female Rapper in Songwriters Hall of Fame
The New York Times: Lauren Messman
The tribute makes Elliott the third rapper to ever be honored by the organization, following Jay-Z’s induction in 2017 and Jermaine Dupri’s last year.

With world premiere of his thrilling 12th Symphony, Philip Glass continues to intrigue
The Washington Post: Joe Banno
After a half-century in the spotlight, Philip Glass continues to intrigue. Glass’s Symphony No. 12 — which received its world-premiere performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles last week.

So Percussion: A Backstory And Unique Evolution, Explained
Ludwig Van: Hye Won Cecilia Lee
It’s only been a few decades that the solo or chamber percussion ensemble has come to establish itself as a genre of its own. Sō Percussion, one of today’s best chamber ensembles, is breaking through.


From Edifice to Ecology: How Performing Arts Centers in Australia Evolve
ArtsHub (Australia): Richard Watts
Australia's performing arts centres are increasingly focused on sector development and supporting the country's independent artists and the small to medium sector.

Creative Industries Explore Potential for Immersive Performance
Arts Professional: Liz Hill
Manchester International Festival, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Punchdrunk, the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Space are among 15 organizations embarking on a £16m initiative to discover and develop the next stage of immersive performance experiences for audiences around the world. 


Netflix Spent $12 Billion on Content in 2018 and is Expect to Grow to $15 Billion This Year
Variety: Todd Spangler
Netflix’s binge-spending on content isn’t expected to slow down. The streamer spent a whopping $12.04 billion in cash on content last year, up 35% from $8.9 billion in 2017, according to its fourth-quarter 2018 earnings report.

A String Bass that Breaks Apart for Travel
New Atlas: Paul Ridden
Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, the TravelBass breaks down into separate components for transport in a custom case, and is assembled for play when double bassists reach their destination.

Too Hot To Handel: Classical Music Sales Rise By 10%

BBC: Mark Savage
Classical music was the fastest-growing genre in 2018, figures released by the recording industry show.

Battle of the Ax Men: Who Really Built the First Electric Rock ‘n’ Roll Guitar?
CW Collectors Weekly: Ben Marks
Read a review of the book The Birth of Loud about the start of the Fender Guitar Company and the innovations put forward by “Leo” Fender and “Doc” Kaufman. 


To Save the Sound of a Stradivarius, a Whole City Must Keep Quiet
The New York Times: Max Pardiso
The city of Cremona, Italy is getting behind an ambitious project to digitally record the sounds of the Stradivarius instruments for posterity, as well as others by Amati and Guarneri del Gesù. And that means being quiet.

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