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WEEKLY DIGEST | 04/22/2019
News, Research, & Opinion



How International Pop is Capturing the Music World
CBC: Mrinali Anchan
Fueled by streaming and the curiosity of a new generation of music lovers, mainstream pop is easing its boundaries and mixing it up with different genres from around the globe.


We’ve Been Warned About AI and Music for Over 50 years, but No One’s Prepared
The Verge: Alex Castro
As AI begins to reshape how music is made, our legal systems are going to be confronted with some messy questions regarding authorship. Do AI algorithms create their own work, or is it the humans behind them?

What Does Climate Change Sound Like As Music?
Forbes: Eva Amsen
How can climate researchers convey the urgency and importance of their message? Some of them have turned to music.

For 15 Hours, He’s in Charge of Wagner’s ‘Ring’
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
The Metropolitan Opera has entrusted the revival of its production of Wagner’s “Ring” to the conductor Philippe Jordan, 44.

Branford Marsalis Discusses the Genre, Teaching Music and Getting Up Early
Downbeat: Denise Sullivan
Marsalis speaks his truth.

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Piano
The New York Times: Angie Wang
We asked a few of our favorite artists to tell us about music that matters to them. Listen to their choices.

Is This the Last Music Recorded at Notre-Dame de Paris?
CBC Music: Robert Rowat
"Despite all the damage in the Cathedral, the organ miraculously escaped the flames, as well as the water supposed to extinguish them…”


Why this CSO Musicians' Strike is Unlike the Others
Crain’s Chicago Business: Lisa Bertagnoli
The musicians have gone on strike six previous times in 38 years, but not for this long, and not quite this vociferously. Four factors seem to be adding to the contention quotient.

Berkeley Symphony Taps a Surprise Candidate as its Next Music Director
Datebook: Joshua Kosman
The appointment was made official this week. Joseph Young, will take the reins with the start of the 2019-20 concert season, beginning with a three-year appointment.

A Dark ‘Oklahoma!’ Brings Barefoot Modern Dance to Broadway

NY Times: Gia Kourlas
How long has it been since a dance changed the temperature of a Broadway show?

Readjusting Your Reality: Ellen Reid Wins Music Pulitzer For 'p r i s m'
NPR: Tom Huizenga
The Pulitzer jury described the winning piece as a "bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse."

The Breakout Star of the Met Opera’s ‘Ring’
The New York Times: Joshua Barone
It can be difficult to tell the good guys from the bad in “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” it’s even more difficult in the Mets current revival, in which the typically villainous Alberich is portrayed with nobility and nuance by Tomasz Konieczny, in a stunning company debut.

Yo-Yo Ma Plays Cello at US-Mexico Border
The Strad
The Chinese-American cellist played Bach’s Cello Suite No 1, making a point about global unity.

Aretha Franklin earns Posthumous Pulitzer Prize
BBC: Mark Savage
The Queen of Soul is now a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Arts Contribute More to UK Economy than Agriculture
The Guardian: Mark Brown
Arts and culture has overtaken agriculture in terms of its contribution to the UK economy, according to research from Arts Council England, whose chair is warning that continuing cuts threaten further growth.

‘We Won’t Be Silenced,’ Afghan Female Musicians Tell Taliban

Bloomber: Eltaf Najafizada
Fresh from a sold-out concert tour of the U.K. and Sweden, Afghanistan’s first female conductor is convinced music can help deliver peace to her war-torn country. If only the Taliban would listen.

Royal Opera House Loses Appeal against Viola Player with Hearing Damage
The Strad
Violist Chris Goldscheider won a momentous case against the Royal Opera House in March 2018 after blaming his hearing issues on unacceptable noise levels during rehearsals.

English National Opera artistic director Daniel Kramer quits
The artistic director of the English National Opera is to step down, less than three years into the role and after a season that innovated and broke box office records.

A New Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong Uncannily links Donald Trump with Chairman Mao
Quartzy: Vivienne Chow
“both [leaders are] advocates of one man’s revolution, which can be dangerous,” said Li Kui-ming, a Hong Kong feng shui master turned Cantonese opera playwright, who is staging an opera to tell the story of Trump and Mao as two men whose destinies were intertwined.

$3.2 Million Grant from Maryland Legislature May Help BSO Settle Contract Dispute
The Baltimore Sun: Mary Carole McCauley
This is a potentially crucial step toward resolving a contentious labor dispute and allowing the organization to remain a year-round ensemble.

A Teenage Pierre Boulez, Heard for the First Time
The New York Times: Seth Colter Walls
Listen to excerpts from the piano solo “Prélude, Toccata et Scherzo,” written in 1944, when the modernist master was just 19.


Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)
Variety: Jem Aswad
Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost.

Beyoncé's Streaming Strategy, Explained

Trapital Blog
Netflix, Tidal, and Spotify all serve different roles in Queen Bey's strategic plan.

Threats, Bullying and Misinformation: Inside Spotify’s Battle With Songwriters
Rolling Stone: Elias Leight
Songwriters and publishers are in an ongoing cold war with Spotify, which is fighting against increasing their pay.

Everyone Wants to Be a Music Distributor -- But Is That Actually a Good Business Decision?

Billboard: Cherie Hu
As streaming continues to fuel recorded-music growth, investors see companies that get songs onto services as gold mines. But how much money is there?


Never Play Ravel to Bats! Pianist Boris Giltburg on his Worst Pooh-Poohing Ever
The Guardian: Boris Giltburg
They liked his Rachmaninov, struggled with his Prokofiev, then let him have it during Ravel.  The musician relives his toughest audiences, from swarms of insects to highly discerning bats.

Exclusive Preview: The World’s Greatest Composer Finds Inspiration Everywhere in Young Mozart
Paste: Steve Foxe
Cartoonist William Augel’s Humanoids Inc. graphic novel includes a playbook for readers to perform along with the legend.

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