National Sawdust, which opens this week in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, aims to be a trendsetting launchpad for new talent in contemporary music, its organizers said, with a focus on emerging artists, commissions and collaborative projects that cross-pollinate genres and styles.
The rapid demise of Gotham was stunning — the operatic equivalent of the sudden death of an outwardly healthy person. The troupe had seemed to offer a new model for opera in the 21st century: It gave critically acclaimed performances of small-scale works, often sharing the costs with other presenters, in locales as varied as the Hayden Planetarium, a louche downtown nightclub and the Arms and Armor Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Since the advent of recorded music, labels have exploited artists. And though they’ve certainly taken their licks, the big three (Universal, Sony, and Warner Bros.) have also begun to learn from some of their mistakes, and may have positioned themselves to regain their stranglehold on the industry.”
“Our symphony audiences have never been larger, and our financial position has never been stronger. The Kansas City community has embraced Michael, and he has returned the affection with energetic and entertaining performances of the highest quality.”
“These composers are using the same tricks classical music composers have used for centuries — combinations of pitch, tempo, rhythm, dynamics, and melody — that resonate in the human subconscious to evoke emotion. Today, football fans will sit rapt in concert halls, listening to the Green Bay Civic Symphony or the Philadelphia Orchestra play the soundtrack of their favorite sport.
“Somewhere in the chasm ahead lies a massive fund-raising campaign (just $375 million to go to pay for the actual renovation!), a redesigned hall, a new music director, financial stability, and an artistic vision, all of which will need to materialize at roughly the same time.”
“The terms were strictly financial. Musicians making less than $80,000 a year will receive a $4,000 raise in the first year and $2,000 in the second. Musicians above the $80,000 threshold will only get the bump in year two. The guaranteed minimum salary will rise to $66,000 in 2018, an increase of 10 percent over two years. The roster will stay at 28 players.”
“When executives at big record companies leave their jobs, there is usually a quick announcement and a scramble behind the scenes to install a new regime. Not so with the long sunset for Robert Hurwitz of Nonesuch Records, the prestigious Warner Music imprint that is home to acts as varied as Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson and the Black Keys.”
“Following one of the longest and hardest-fought series of collective bargaining sessions in recent Chicago Symphony Orchestra history, the musicians finally have a new labor contract.” The agreement includes small raises each year and no change in health care benefits.
The acquisition by the Brussels-based indie rock label group PIAS, effective Oct. 1, includes all of Harmonia Mundi’s subsidiary labels, catalogues, inventory and other assets in classical, jazz, and world music, but not HM’s book publishing business or retail outlets.
The orchestra is presenting a multimedia, three-year “Pelleas and Melisande” project that will combine live music, a site-specific installation and – in the third year – the performance of a full opera.
The Tianjin Juilliard School is expected to open in 2018 and will offer U.S.-accredited master of music degrees in orchestral studies, chamber music and collaborative piano. The school will have its own permanent faculty; guest artists from the New York campus will also teach there.
“Now we know that there is something anatomically different about them.” Their ability to keep time gives them an intuitive understanding of the rhythmic patterns they perceive all around them.
“Have I mentioned that one thing a critic learns, over time, is that there is not a single Right Way to hear music? … And that brings us to the slippery notion of taste. No matter what critics may assert, taste is both individual and fluid. Yes, there are rules and standards separating the tasteful from the crude, and in theory, there are absolutes and boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed. But if you listen long enough, you’ll hear a good many of them crossed after all.”
“The Los Angeles Philharmonic has launched a virtual reality project in which people don VR goggles and Samsung headsets that give them a 3-D, 360-degree experience of four minutes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, performed by the orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The VR goggles and other equipment were put aboard a bus, dubbed Van Beethoven, and sent out to tour the county through October.”
Says the company’s director, Dominique Meyer: “No, during my second term there will be no music director” to succeed Franz Welser-Möst. (in German; Google-translated version here)
” Lost in Thought is an opera, but its plot is simpler than The Marriage of Figaro. The card reads: ‘Sit. Walk. Sit. Eat. Wash up. Sit Rest. Waking up. Sit. Play. Walk. Chant. Sit. Breaking the silence.’ It is suggested we meditate in the next four hours on what it is to sit, what it is to walk, what it is to eat.”
“Until now, the French haven’t really done galas in the focused way of American organizations. In a largely state-subsidized cultural system, fund-raising has not been an imperative and the cultivation of a circle of patrons has been discreet and elite.”
Mark Wigglesworth: “If you get the work right and you get your promoting of it right, then filling this building shouldn’t be a problem, but I completely agree that we have lost our way a little bit — in terms of people coming, frankly. You can’t deny that the work [at ENO] is good and you can’t deny that the box office has become more challenging. And that’s not a price worth paying.”
“That was the real issue for us, like 1 million streams equals $90. For a song like ‘All About That Bass,’ that I wrote, which had 178 million streams. I mean $5,679? That’s my share. That’s as big a song as a songwriter can have in their career and No. 1 in 78 countries. But you’re making $5,600. How do you feed your family?”
“These cuts mark the latest acknowledgment that readers have shifted online (and, more recently) to the mobile space as ad revenue has fallen. And the new landscape affects not only those soon-to-be-out-of-work journalists, but also touring bands that rely on local coverage to boost ticket sales.”
Kelly Tweeddale, who has been the executive director of Seattle Opera for the past 13 years, takes over her new role on Nov. 16, the orchestra announced Thursday.
“The largest – and until recently, only – orchestra in Central Africa has played on three continents, to standing ovations, and graced some of the philharmonic world’s most prestigious stages in recent years. But at home, it remains a modest affair. The first trumpeter still spends his days working construction sites. The double bass player is a nurse, and the tubist a pharmacist. One violinist, who is also the repairman tasked with mending instruments warped by the Congolese humidity, runs a small shop across the street, selling eggs and toothpaste.”
“The most gifted German conductor for half a century is a hero in his own country and a shadow abroad. He has no artistic relationships beyond the German-speaking Heimatland and he is very seldom seen in London, Paris or New York. If Christian Thielemann is an important conductor, and he certainly is, the world ought to be hammering at his door. It isn’t. And therein lies a tale.”
“At holiday time, some classes may perform a rousing rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town or White Christmas. Unfortunately, both remain copyrighted and out of the public domain, according to the Public Domain Information Project, a site where users can search for royalty-free songs.”
In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, the judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the “Happy Birthday To You” song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright.
Milton Masciadri has reported that “after I checked the instrument it went to TSA [Transportation Security Administration] for inspection but when it arrived in Arkansas they had failed to put back on the security belts that the trunk has inside. The airline had no reason to open the trunk so its obvious that TSA was the one [responsible].”
Normally, a fiberglass travel case is almost indestructible. One possibility that the airline suggested was that the case had fallen out of a baggage cart or fork lift and had been run over.
“After ten years of post-Katrina concerts in other venues, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans’ Central Business District to open its 2015-16 concert season. Farrar Hudkins talks with Mary von Kurnatowski, one of the Orpheum’s new owners, and longtime LPO musicians Patti Adams and Jim Atwood, to give us the story of this historic homecoming.” (audio)
Matthew Shilvock, “educated at Oxford (music) and Amherst (arts administration), came from Houston Grand Opera with Gockley in 2005, and has acted as a senior executive in all aspects of company operations, production, financial stability, and strategic development. He has had a prominent role in labor relations, negotiating with AFM and AGMA unions, with responsibility for contract maintenance.”