Music Consumption Up 14 Percent In 2015

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“Nielsen Music’s 2015 U.S. mid-year report, released Thursday, shows a 14% increase in music consumption over the first six months of last year. What’s driving the increase? For one thing, on-demand streaming, which nearly doubled year over year, rising 92%.”

Curtis Student Wins Top Tchaikovsky Violin Prize

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“Yu-Chien “Benny” Tseng won the silver medal, second prize, in the Moscow competition, whose results were announced Wednesday. No gold award was given this year, which is not unusual. The Taipei-born violinist came to Curtis in 2008, and the following summer, at age 14, played Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center.”

In Its Most Challenging Year, Whitworth Museum Wins £100,00 Art Fund Prize As UK Museum Of The Year

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“The Whitworth underwent the largest physical transformation in its 125-year history in 2014. The project doubled its size and connected the building with its surrounding park. During its redevelopment the Whitworth continued to offer pop-up projects all over the city, maintaining established audiences and building new ones ahead of its February reopening.”

The Curious Remaking Of David Foster Wallace

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“He has become a character, an icon, and in some circles a saint. A writer who courted contradiction and paradox, who could come on as a curmudgeon and a scold, who emerged from an avant-garde tradition and never retreated into conventional realism, he has been reduced to a wisdom-dispensing sage on the one hand and shorthand for the Writer As Tortured Soul on the other.”

Can A Theatre Critic Be A Good Playwright?

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“Does writing regularly about theatre make you a stronger playwright? I feel I’ve benefited from soaking up others’ work for years; I’m in a constant state of inspiration. (Sometimes I have to tell my own characters to pipe down so I can focus on the show.) My defense has always been that I was an artist—acting and directing Off-Off Broadway—before I became a critic. But there has to be some level of talent to nurture in the first place. If you have an ear for dialogue, an eye for structure, a feel for storytelling, reviewing can sharpen those gifts.”

Network Bans “Dukes Of Hazzard” Reruns. Why?

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“The flag will remain charged whether publicly visible or not, and so TV Land banning The Dukes of Hazzard is a banal gesture of how little we are prepared to confront the horror of Charleston, the continuing gritty day-to-day horror of all kinds of hatred aimed at all kinds of minorities.”

Sotheby’s Just Had Its Biggest Ever Sale Of Contemporary Art

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“Warhol’s ‘One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate)’ fetched £20.9m, smashing its pre-sale estimate of £13-18m. This was Warhol’s first such work of a dollar, painted by hand in 1962. A bidding frenzy powered Lucien Freud’s 2002 work ‘Four Eggs on a Plate’, which was originally a gift to the late Duchess of Devonshire, to sell for £989,000, nearly ten times the pre-sale estimate of £100-£150,000.”

Greece Needs Money. Britain Wants The Parthenon Marbles. A Deal To Be Made?

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“For the last few years, amidst her financial crisis, Greece has flirted with the idea of selling off state historical assets. Since Greek independence, Graeco-British relations have been shadowed by the Elgin marbles: relief panels from the Parthenon, along with major pediment sculptures, which were purchased by the 7th Earl of Elgin in 1798.”

Paris Okays Its First Skyscraper In 40 Years – A Giant Pyramid

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“A common sight in most major capitals, skyscrapers have faced deep opposition in Paris ever since the 300-metre high Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 Universal Exposition. Paris’s socialist mayor, Anne Hidalgo, diluted opposition to the new Tour Triangle last November after some of its planned office space was sacrificed for childcare and cultural centres.”

The Smithsonian’s Air And Space Museum Is Falling Apart (Here’s Why)

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“The Air and Space Museum, designed by Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum Architects (HOK), is marked by its four marble-clad pavilions, separated by three recessed steel-and-glass atria. Construction started in 1972 and continued until the museum opened on July 1, 1976. It has undergone basic repairs since, but the systems and materials are running on borrowed time in part because certain building components were “downgraded” as part of the original construction to reduce cost and hit the stunningly low $40 million budget.”

So This Is The End Of iTunes

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“Apple still makes billions per year on iTunes downloads. But Spotify, Pandora, and other startups have eroded that business, first with their free streaming services and more recently with a paid subscription model. It’s been clear for a while now that streaming is the music industry’s future: iTunes Store sales dropped an alarming 14 percent in 2014 while revenue in the streaming sector jumped 28 percent. So Apple had a choice: Hold fast to a fading business model, or hasten the transition by getting out in front of it. It made the only sensible call.”

Are The Arts Dying Because Of Indifference?

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“For while the fine arts can survive a hostile or ignorant public, or even a fanatically prudish one, they cannot long survive an indifferent one. And that is the nature of the present Western response to art, visual and otherwise: indifference.”

Book Subscription Service Stops Offering Romance And Erotica Titles Because Its Readers Read Them Too Much

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“Scribd appears to have slightly underestimated just how much can be consumed at their all-you-can-eat literary buffet – especially by fans of romance. Because Scribd has to pay the authors of the books they make available on their site, it is now shelling out more money than it can make back in subscriptions, thanks to the voracious appetites of romance and erotica readers.”

The Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto We All Know And Love? Turns Out It’s Not The Version The Composer Intended

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“You can hear the differences immediately. Those massive chords we’re all so used to at the start of the piano part? They’re supposed to be arpeggiated as lyrical, harp-like consecrations of the harmony, not bashed out like military hammer-blows, and they were marked to be played at a lower dynamic than they are in the Siloti version, and they’re also an octave lower.”

Remembering Gunther Schuller

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“Although he coined the expression “third stream” in the late 1950s as a suitable epithet for his own amalgam of classical and jazz forms, his music was technically complex and demanding. Hence it never secured a wide and sympathetic audience in his lifetime.”

How Your Personality Affects Your Creativity

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Researchers “found that focused attention generally decreased people’s creative performance, but focused individuals still did better than mind-wanderers when both personality types tried to solve problems analytically.”

There’s Almost Never A Good Reason To Include A Rape Scene In Art

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“Because rape is widely acknowledged as a Very Serious Topic, there’s also a tendency to treat rape scenes as a means to be edgy or shocking. You know, as a way of creating really serious, mature content. Most of the time, however, this approach radiates nothing so much as ignorance and immaturity.”

Why Do Songwriters Use The Same Titles Over And Over Again?

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Copyright law doesn’t stop songwriters picking song titles that have already been used, unless that title has acquired a “secondary meaning”. So, if you decided to publish a song called “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, a court would probably rule that you were trying to cause deliberate confusion.

James Patterson Gives Money For Books To 127 Schools

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“In March, Patterson invited librarians, teachers and principals to apply for $1,000 to $10,000 grants. Scholastic Reading Club, a division of children’s publisher Scholastic, pledged to match each grant with bonus points that can be used for books and classroom materials. More than 28,000 applications came pouring in.”

Misty Copeland Talks About Being Promoted To Principal At ABT

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Ms. Copeland said she had been pleased to see more racially diverse audiences turn out at some of her performances in the past year. “From the day that I met my manager, Gilda Squire, she asked me, ‘What do you want to do?’ ” she recalled. “And I said, besides continue dancing at A.B.T., I want to bring more people to ballet, I want to see more people that look like me on the stage, in the school, and in the audience — on the board.”