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WEEKLY DIGEST | 01/28/2019
News, Research, & Opinion



An Interview with Jamie Barton as She Prepares for Atlanta Opera’s ‘Dead Man Walking’
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The acclaimed Atlanta-based mezzo-soprano – and Jacobs School of Music alumna - is enjoying the rare treat for an opera star: working in her hometown as she prepares to perform the lead role of Sister Helen Prejean in the Atlanta Opera’s upcoming production of Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking.”


Can Mozart Survive #MeToo?
Slate: Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch
The controversy stems from Mozart’s operas, some of which feature storylines that echo—or foretell—recent headlines pertaining to instances of sexual assault and harassment both within and outside the world of classical.

What Will Happen to Bohemian Rhapsody Now?
Vulture: Nate Jones
Multiple men accused filmmaker, Bryan Singer of sexual assault and statutory rape. There is much to discuss—the allegations; why the article was not published as planned; why the long history of similar rumors did not seem to harm his career.

Take your Seats for a Fight at the Opera
The Guardian: David Mitchell
Singing in English?! Nothing enhances our lives quite like a good spat between cultural purists and the supposed riffraff.

Chopin Was The Quintessential Composer For The Piano. But Was He A Great Composer?

Commentary: Terry Teachout
Of the well-known composers of the 19th century, Fryderyk Chopin is the only one whose complete works continue to be played regularly—indeed, without cease.  No other important classical composer has worked within so tightly circumscribed a compass.

Jazz at Lincoln Center to Program Its First International Festival
NY Times: Giovanni Russonello
Jazz at Lincoln Center will program and produce the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival in May, the first time that this New York-based nonprofit organization has taken the creative reins at a festival abroad.

Baltimore Musicians' Contract Extension Expired late Tuesday
The Baltimore Sun: Mary Carole McCauley
Negotiations are continuing, an unusual but not unprecedented arrangement known as “playing and talking.” Audiences are unlikely to notice anything out of the ordinary.

Tattooed, Mexican-American and Female: Classical Maestra Keeps Symphony in Tune
PBS News Hour: Joanne Elgart Jennings
Among more than 20 of the major U.S. symphony orchestras, only one woman has the top job of principal conductor. This is part of an ongoing series of reports called “Chasing the Dream,” which reports on poverty and opportunity in America, and is supported in part by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Michael Jackson Musical to Open in Chicago

The New York Times: Michael Paulson
“Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough,” will have an initial production this fall in Chicago, running Oct. 29 to Dec. 1 at the James M. Nederlander Theater.

VC ARTISTS | The Aizuri Quartet – “Imaginative … and Genuinely Exciting”
The Violin Channel
The Aizuri String Quartet has firmly established themselves as one of the most in-demand young, chamber ensembles to emerge internationally in recent years.

For Her Upcoming World Premiere, Composer Julia Wolfe Goes Shopping For Scissors
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
Julia Wolfe’s new oratorio, “Fire in my mouth,” is about the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire. She scoured New York’s garment district for the right sounds.


Dalia Stasevska to Become Conductor with the BBC Symphony
BBC: Mark Savage
The 33-year-old Finn - a ‘brilliant talent’ – has only been conducting professionally for four years and has become the first woman to be given a conducting position with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Stradfest: a New Event for Young String Players from The Strad

The Strad
Professionals from leading orchestras, competitions, record labels and academies will join The Strad team at London’s Royal Institution on 24 March.

UK To Get Third National Classical Radio Station
The Guardian
Simon Mayo joins new classical radio station after BBC exit.

Architectural Design Unveiled for New £288M London Concert Hall

The Violin Channel
Design plans have been unveiled in London for a proposed new 2,000-seat 'Centre of Music' concert hall

Nicola Benedetti Launches Video Series and Benedetti Foundation
The Strad
‘I have had the huge fortune in my life of being exposed to some of the world’s greatest violin and music teachers, and I want to make as much of the information available to as many people as possible’.

Montreal Competition Names 2019 Violin Candidates
The Strad
Canadian competition offers top prize worth over CA$100k, combining cash, career development grant, instrument and engagements.

Ireland’s RTÉ National Symphony Announces New Principal Conductor
The Violin Channel
The RTÉ National Symphony has announced the appointment of Spanish conductor Jaime Martín as its new Principal Conductor.

Composer Rebecca Saunders Awarded €250,000 Siemens Music Bursary

The Violin Channel
British composer Rebecca Saunders has been awarded the 2019 International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize


Danish Start-Up to Launch ‘LinkedIn for Opera Artists’
The Stage: Georgia Snow
A Danish start-up hoping to overhaul the talent-booking process for opera has launched a platform that aims to foster closer relationships between artists and organisations. Founded by Danish opera singer Sune Hjerrild, Truelinked will launch in the UK later this year as an online platform for artists to connect directly with organizations, described as a professional self-management system.

Entering the Artprocess Era: How Influence, Ownership & Creation Will Change With AI
Taishi Fukuyama
Artificial intelligence is poised to transform creative dynamics, moving from fixed ownership to licensing and works created over a series of ongoing transformations.

Spotify May Reinforce Many Music Industry Power Imbalances, but a Few Artists Are Using It to Upend Others
SLATE: Brandon Tensley
As Taylor Swift wrote for the Wall Street Journal in 2014, as she removed her entire catalog from Spotify, “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.” (She re-added her music in 2017.)

Using Virtual Reality To Design New Musical Instruments For The Disabled
The Conversation
In our Performance without Barriers research group, we design digital musical interfaces with disabled musicians in mind. This work engages disabled performers from the start of a new technology and looks at the specific abilities they have. In this way, technologies develop in tandem with them, taking into account their mobility, needs and creative interests.

'Magic baton’ helps Blind Musicians feel Conductor
BBC: Video
A father and son team of inventors have created the 'Haptic Baton' which converts the conductor's movements into vibrations, and could revolutionize the way all musicians play together.

Leonardo da Vinci's Forgotten Musical Invention has been Created for the First Time
Classic FM News
The viola organista was dreamt up by Leonardo da Vinci but until recently it had never been built. Now, a Polish instrument-maker has painstakingly created the first ever example and it sounds remarkable.


Adorable Patrol Dogs are Protecting Opera House Diners from Seagulls
Time Out Syndey: Olivia Gee
It’s every Sydneysider’s worst nightmare: you’ve finally booked a table among the seaside eating elites at Opera Bar or Opera Kitchen, but now your fancy, salt-sprayed dining experience is being interrupted by malicious, dive-bombing seagulls trying to steal your chippies. Efforts to ward off the common Australian gulls, like covering food en route to tables, using sonic deterrents and even a robotic hawk, have proven futile. Now, they’re bringing out the big guns and inviting Sydney’s doggos to ensure harborside meals make it to the intended mouths.

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