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WEEKLY DIGEST | 02/04/2019
News, Research, & Opinion



A Violinist Questions the Musical Divide Between West and East
The New York Times: Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
As a young violinist growing up in Beirut, Layale Chaker moved between two musical worlds. She studied Mozart and Ravel with teachers imported from Eastern Europe but on her walks home, she was engulfed by the sounds of Lebanese music filtering out of car radios and stores.


Over 200 Artists, Labels Sign Pledge to Consider More Women Producers and Engineers in the Booth
Billboard: Marc Schneider
The Recording Academy's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion announced on Friday a new initiative that aims to boost the number women producers, engineers and mixers in the music industry.

A Year After ‘Step Up’ Flap, Recording Academy Addresses Gender Imbalance with New Initiative
LATimes: Randall Roberts
The Recording Academy has announced a sweeping inclusion initiative focused on correcting gender inequity in the music industry.

Young People Are Turning To Classical Music To Escape ‘Noise Of Modern Life’
The Observer: Vanessa Thorpe
Backers of new radio station say research shows a growing audience for the classics among under-35s.

Why Musicians Should Appeal Against the Ivory Act

The Strad: Benjamin Hebbert
An opinion on the ethical tightrope of campaigning for exemptions to the Ivory Act while supporting its aim to put a stop to the slaughter of elephants

Swept Up in the Whirlwind Known as Michel Legrand
The New York Times: Melissa Errico
This mix of wild energy and plaintive emotion governed Michel’s extravagantly well-lived life. Music was urgent to him. Well, almost everything was urgent to him — try hailing a New York taxi with him, oh!, the impatience — and then at the piano, he was transformed, calm.

Why Is Everyone Talking About ‘Leaving Neverland’ and Michael Jackson?
The New York Times: Christopher R. Wiengarten
A new documentary called “Leaving Neverland” shines a light on two men who say they were sexually abused by Michael Jackson when they were children.


Prizes Awarded at Detroit’s 2019 Sphinx Competition
The Violin Channel
19-year-old cellist Sterling Elliott has been awarded 1st prize in the Senior Division of the 2019 22nd Annual Sphinx Competition.

In Focus Festival, Juilliard Salutes Public Broadcasters

The New York Times: Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
Juilliard celebrates the most important commissioners of living composers — and you encounter a string of initials: BBC, WDR, SWR.

Maroon 5 Performs a Career-Spanning Set at the Super Bowl Halftime Show
NY Times:
Maroon 5 performed an eight-song set spanning its 17-year recording career at the halftime of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, which included “This Love,” “She Will Be Loved” and “Moves Like Jagger.”
- Watch Gladys Knight’s rendition of the National Anthem

Lincoln Center’s Next Season: New Isolde, New John Adams Concerto
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
The performances are among the highlights of next season’s Great Performers series at turbulence-prone Lincoln Center, which was announced on Monday.

Ken Burns Turns to ‘Country Music’ for his Next PBS Docuseries
LATimes: Randy Lewis
The project promises to offer a deep exploration into the genre of country music. Burns theorizes that through country music, we can get a better understanding of the American experience.

Oscars Telecast will Include all Five Nominated Songs After All. Here's Why.
LA Times: Nardine Saad
The Oscar-nominated songs “I’ll Fight” from “RBG” and “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” will be performed during the upcoming Oscars ceremony after all. And so will “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”

The Pleasures and Perils of Reviving a Robert Ashley Opera
The New York Times: Steve Smith
Discussing “Improvement (Don Leaves Linda),” by Robert Ashley — who originated a new form of American vernacular opera — with collaborators old and new.

Sanford Sylvan, Baritone Who Created Major Opera Roles, Dies at 65
NY Times: Zachary Woolfe
Sanford Sylvan, the American baritone whose introspective eloquence and serene yet commanding presence put him at the center of some of the most important operatic events of recent times, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 65.

The Handel And Haydn Society's Artistic Director Is Stepping Down
The ARTery: Cintia Lopez
The Handel and Haydn Society’s artistic director, Harry Christophers, is slated to step down following the end of the 2020-2021 season. He'll be completing a 12-year tenure, one of the longest in the organization’s history.

'Preserved In Aspic': Opera Embarks On Diversity Drive
The Guardian: Mark Brown
English National Opera reveals radical measures to transform shockingly white company.

Banff Centre Announces Gryphon Trio As New Directors Of Summer Programs
The Strad
The trio, themselves alumni of the summer school, will formally take over the Classical Music Programs in 2020.

5,000 Pages of Verdi’s Drafts, Long Hidden, Will Be Made Public
The New York Times: Elisabetta Povoledo
A trunk of the composer’s papers, long held at Giuseppe Verdi’s villa in Sant’Agata, Italy, will be made public on Wednesday.

Ulster Orchestra Baton Handed Over As Italian Is Named New Conductor
Belfast Telegraph: Alf McCreary
The Ulster Orchestra has appointed the renowned young Italian Daniele Rustioni as its new principal conductor.


For Innovation at the Grammys, Look at the Best Music Video Category
The New York Times: Jon Caramanica
Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” was one of the most discussed music videos of 2018. Now it’s a contender for best video at the Grammys, alongside four other boundary-pushing clips.

Chinese DJs are Making Some of Today’s Most Exciting Electronic Music
GoldThread: Cherie Hu
Out of more than 800 artists lined up for the annual music festival in Austin, Texas, 13 are from China and Taiwan. The vast majority are making indie dream-pop, punk rock, and hip-hop music. Only two—ChaCha and Chiu Pi of Taiwan—are electronic artists.

SoundCloud Thinks Streaming Is the Future of DJing Terry Matthew
DJs, SoundCloud wants you back, and they want you to mix entirely from their crates.

PledgeMusic Confirms it Is Seeking a Buyer
Variety: Jem Aswad
In the wake of PledgeMusic falling behind in paying artists over the past few months, the direct-to-fan platform issued a statement Friday confirming rumors that it is seeking a partner or a buyer to help it return to financial health.

Remembering the Dining Fad of 'Pizza and Pipes'

City Lab: Elizabeth Yuko
By 5 p.m., in Mesa, Arizona, the line to order pizza stretches onto the sidewalk. But the main attraction isn’t the pepperoni pie: It’s a giant pipe organ, played by a professional, with an accompanying light show during your meal.


The Lord of the Ringos? Peter Jackson to Direct a Beatles Film
BBC: Mark Savage
It's a little-known fact that in the 1960s, The Beatles tried to obtain the film rights to The Lord of the Rings.

There’s Nothing Subprime About These EDM Bangers From the CEO of Goldman Sachs
Rolling Stone: Ryan Bort
David Solomon took over as chief executive in October, but he’s been dropping electronic music beats for years.

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