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WEEKLY DIGEST | 04/08/2019
News, Research, & Opinion



Shaking Up the Symphony
Southwest the Magazine: Laura Fraser
How a millennial who believes in both Mozart and metrics saved a California orchestra, redefining the classical concert experience, as we know it.

The Philharmonic Invites, and the Audience Packs the House
NY Times: Anthony Tommasini
If you genuinely want neighbors who have never been to your house to drop by, you have to make a point of inviting them. This simple act of courtesy is the mission of Phil the Hall, the New York Philharmonic’s new initiative to reach out to a wide array of dedicated New Yorkers.


‘Blurred Lines’ on Their Minds, Songwriters Create Nervously
The New York Times: Ben Sisario
Intellectual property lawyers and music executives have to say about the rise in copyright claims.  Why do big companies want to keep royalties infinitesimal?

For Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Making Music Is 'Like A Religious Call'
NPR Music: Terry Gross
Ever since he was a little boy, Yannick Nézet-Séguin knew he wanted to be a conductor. Read through highlights of this recent interview.

A Staple Gun. A Dental Drill. See How Billie Eilish Made a Haunted Pop Hit.

NY Times: Joe Coscarelli
The fastest-rising pop star of the moment is 17 and writes off-kilter songs with her older brother. Go behind the making of “Bury a Friend” and their new model for making it big.

The Middle Eastern Heritage of Opera
Origin of Myths: Olivia Giovetti
Is it possible that the first opera was created in Syria?


Opera and Tech: The Met Ring and Beyond
WQXR: David Patrick Stearns
Something seismic might be changing in the opera world when the first discussion you hear about a production is the technology.

Chicago Symphony Strike Stalls, Outlook Is Dim
San Francisco Classical Voice: Janos Gereben
No news is not good news for the Chicago Symphony, out of business for the time being, or for its striking musicians, out of work.

An Experimental Music Scene Grows in Gowanus
The New York Times: Giovanni Russonello
Read about it here, just weeks away from becoming Public Records, a state-of-the-art music venue and watering hole that hopes to become a beacon for a neighborhood in flux.

Nam June Paik at the Whitney: A Work of Dizzying Complexity
The New York Times: Roberta Smith
The artist’s monumental video wall, featuring a flood of imagery and music from David Bowie, Kraftwerk and others, is on view in “Programmed: Rules, Codes and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018.”

Lil Nas X Added Billy Ray Cyrus to ‘Old Town Road.’ Is It Country Enough for Billboard Now?
NY Times: Ben Sisario
When Lil Nas X, a young black hip-hop artist from Atlanta, created the surprise hit “Old Town Road,” he did not imagine that it would end up at the center of a debate on race, the Nashville establishment and musical genres.


Sound now 'equal' inside Royal Albert Hall
BBC: Zoe Kleinman
The Royal Albert Hall has unveiled a £2m ($2.6m) speaker system designed to give the audience the same sound quality no matter where they are inside the auditorium.

The livin’ is easier as success of Porgy and Bess helps ENO
The Times: David Sanderson
English National Opera has emerged from its dark decade, its artistic director said yesterday as it celebrated triumphant box office figures.

ENO to start shows earlier, reduce ticket prices and hold relaxed performances to boost accessibility
The Stage: Matthew Hemley
English National Opera is to introduce earlier performances, reduce its lowest priced tickets and hold its first ever-relaxed performance as part of a range of measures to boost accessibility.

Snøhetta to build Shanghai Grand Opera House with spiral staircase roof
Dezeen: Lizzie Crook
The architecture and design firm, which was founded in Norway, teamed up with Chinese studio ECADI on its competition-winning design for the Shanghai Grand Opera House

Auryn Quartet to disband after 40 years
The Strad
The quartet, which was founded in 1981, plans to disband at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Rolling Stones postpone North America tour over Mick Jagger illness
In a statement, the band said that doctors had advised Jagger not to tour because he needs to receive medical treatment.

The Strings of Winter: How One Man Defined the Sound of ‘Game of Thrones’

The Ringer: Rob Harvilla
Composer Ramin Djawadi will gladly talk about how he wrote the HBO blockbuster’s theme and how music can help shape a character like Arya. Just don’t ask him for spoilers.


Driven by Streaming, Global Recorded-Music Revenues Soar to $19.1 Billion
Variety: Jem Aswad
The global recorded music market grew by 9.7% in 2018 — its fourth consecutive year of growth — to $19.1 billion, according the latest annual report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Songs in the Key of Life: Hitting Fast Forward to Discover the Future of Playlists

Synchtank: Ben Gilbert
A music industry panel in Amsterdam earlier this year was told “playlists are the new albums.” What happens next in this increasingly important area of the music business? Ben Gilbert speaks to three influential figures to find out.

Have Songwriters Turned the Tide Against Big Tech? (Guest Column)
Variety: David Israelite
It’s no secret that the songwriting and music-publishing communities feel they have been short-changed by the streaming revolution. In this guest post, National Music Publishers Association chief David Israelite talks about the role social media has played in tilting public opinion toward the songwriters’ and music publishers’ arguments on the matter.

When Will China or India Have a Global Streaming Hit?

The Pitch: Marc Hogan
In February, after some delay, Spotify launched in India. By the end of Spotify’s first week on the subcontinent, the streaming company had signed up 1 million users, including both paid and ad-supported.


Dubstep artist Skrillex could protect against mosquito bites
According to a recent scientific study, the way to avoid mosquito bites is to listen to electronic music - specifically dubstep, specifically by US artist Skrillex.

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