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WEEKLY DIGEST | 03/04/2019
News, Research, & Opinion



The Maestro with a Common Touch
The New York Times
André Previn was the one of the most talented all-round musicians of the 20th Century - an Oscar-winning film composer, a jazz virtuoso and a legendary conductor.

André Previn, Whose Music Knew No Boundaries
The New York Times: James Barron
André Previn, who blurred the boundaries between jazz, pop and classical music — and between composing, conducting and performing — in an extraordinarily eclectic, award-filled career, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan.

André Previn in Famous Morecambe and Wise Comedy Sketch
The New York Times

Anne-Sophie Mutter Statement on André Previn's Death
The Strad
‘I am forever grateful for all of his musical treasures’ Mutter says of committed musical collaborator and one-time husband, who has died aged 89.


Royal Opera House Legal Case: the Socking Story that Could Change Orchestra Pits Forever
The Stage: Tim Bano
Next month, the Royal Opera House is appealing against a landmark ruling in which a viola player was compensated for irreparable hearing damage.

Does Voice have a Gender? For Trans Singers, old Categories are Breaking Down
The San Francisco Chronicle: Joshua Kosman
After moving to the Bay Area in 1990, Franks established herself as a go-to mezzo-soprano. She performed with regional opera companies, sang with the chorus of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and worked as a church cantor — in addition to being highly successful she is breaking barriers as a transgender.

A Carnegie Recital Pushes the Piano to its Limits

The New York Times: Anthony Tommasini
Most pianists begin a recital with a piece that allows them to warm up a little, and gives the audience a chance to settle in.  Not Jason Hardink.

A Top Soprano Brings Some Zulu to the Met Opera. And It Clicks.
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
Donizetti’s comedy “La Fille du Régiment”, offers many brief charming moment — and subtle enough that some audience members may miss it. The distinctive clicks of Zulu, the African language, echoing from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

Russian Cathedral Choir's Performance of a Song about US Nuclear Annihilation Shows that Parody Doesn't Quite Work in 2019
Global Voices
Video: Some social media users pointed out that the original song from 1980 by a Soviet dissident songwriter, was clearly intended as a parody of Soviet sabre-rattling propaganda.


Breaking the Michael Jackson Spell in ‘Leaving Neverland’
NY Times: Wesley Morris
If the average cultural experience demands the suspension of disbelief, if we oughtn’t think too much about this movie we’re watching, this novel we’re reading, this magic trick being performed right before our eyes, if being entertained means setting aside skepticism, logic and possibly a sense of morality, then what a magic trick we had in Michael Jackson. In a new documentary on HBO, two men accuse the star of sexually abusing them as children.

Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Booker T. Join the Blues Hall of Fame
Variety: Chris Willman
Aretha Franklin, Count Basie and Booker T. & the MGs are the household names being brought into the hall as part of the 40th class this year, in a ceremony that will take place in Memphis May 8 at the Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts and Education.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Plans Tributes to South Africa and Duke Ellington
The New York Times: Giovanni Russonello
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2019-20 season will begin with an orchestral tribute to South Africa and end with a celebration of Duke Ellington.

Piatigorsky International Cello Festival Reveals 2020 Plans
The Strad
The ten-day, 42-event festival will take place from 13 to 22 March in Los Angeles.

Hear 7 of the Best Works From a Neglected Era of American Music
The New York Times: Anthony Tommasini
There are a sizable group of American composers from the middle of the 20th century who remain inexplicably overlooked today.

Summer at Bard: A Composer Who Fled the Nazis and a B-Movie Opera
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
Erich Wolfgang Korngold will be the focus of the musical offerings this summer at Bard College.

‘Everyone Danced in France’: A Baroque Bourrée Comes to BAM
The New York Times: Marina Harss
The Brooklyn Academy of Music brings “Rameau, Maître à Danser.” Impromptu dance, the French court, and Opera!  This piece has it all.

New PAFA Performance Space Leaves Something to be Desired in its first Classical Outing
The Inquirer Philly: Peter Dobrin
The official unveiling last week of what’s billed as an arts center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts promises added vitality, if not yet critical mass.


Festival NRMAL at 10: Inside Latin America’s Most Egalitarian Music Fest
Rolling Stone: Richard Villegas
As the beloved Mexican festival approaches its 10th anniversary, artists and organizers look back on its transformative impact within Latin indie.

German Musical Instrument Fund Hands out 54 Instruments in 2019 Auditions
The Strad
The fund has chosen 23 new recipients and renewed 31 loans for promising young musicians.

Daniel Barenboim Seemed Untouchable. Now He’s Accused of Bullying.
The New York Times: Alex Marshall and Christopher F. Schuetze
Barenboim, has long been considered untouchable in Berlin, where he is music director of the Staatsoper — the city’s premier opera house — and principal conductor for life of its orchestra, the Staatskapelle.  Considered one of the world’s most celebrated conductors, he is known for doing what he wants.

Finish to Schubert's Symphony was far from Artificial
Irish Examiner
Almost 200 years after Franz Schubert abandoned his Symphony No 8, the Chinese electronics giant Huawei has employed smartphone A.I. to finish it.

Womad Festival Struggling to Book Artists due to Brexit Uncertainty
The Guardian: Sarah Marsh
World music festival director says acts worry they will face visa problems this summer.


Inside Octave 9, a High-Tech Venue that lets Seattle Symphony Explore the Future of Music
Geek Wire: Kurt Schlosser
The 2,500-square-foot, $6.7 million project from LMN Architects brings together cutting-edge technology in sound and visuals to create a venue which Symphony officials said is not replicated anywhere else in the world.

Pandora's New 'Stories' Tool Lets Artists Attach Voice Commentary to Songs
Billboard: Tatiana Cirisano
With the new feature, artists can intersperse voice tracks between songs on a playlist, adding commentary ranging from personal stories and inspirations to calls-to-action.


These Mice Sing to One Another — Politely
The New York Times: Carl Zimmer
Alston’s singing mice “converse,” scientists report. The finding may shed light on human language.

The US Army Somehow Thought this Rap Recruitment Video was a Good Idea
VICE: Justin Caffier
Video: ‘Uniform: paid for. Electric bill: paid for. Water bill: paid for.’

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