“The theft occurred in the 1840s, when a German scholar visiting the university surreptitiously snipped a page from an 11th-century manuscript known as the ‘Cambridge Songs.'” The thief wasn’t busted until 1982, and the page turned out to be the key to the collection, without which the songs’ melodies probably couldn’t have been deciphered.
“Like many Zombie Symbols, there is a kernel of truth, but even that truth is based on a fiction. The horned helmet was basically invented (torn out of its limited historical context and radically repurposed) during the last quarter of the 19th century to flesh out a nascent sense of Nordic identity in Germany.”
Stephen Lord, music director of Opera Theater of St. Louis talks about reviewing applications, resumes and headshots (recordings don’t help, he says); the thing that matters more than looks and size; and what’s not-negotiable in terms of voice and technique.
“With preferences substantially tilting towards electronic instruments such as keyboards, electric guitars and recorded sounds at processions and devotional functions, Suresh says its future is bleak. ‘Nobody likes to work in this field now. From about 12 shops in 1940 of dhol-tasha makers in Lalbaug, just three or four remain.'”
“Mr. Tkachenko-Papizh, for his part, allows that ‘angels speak to me’ while he is performing. Still, he is very much human, he said, and is thus now dealing with the aftereffects of becoming an overnight web sensation.”
Yes, with a literal drill. There’s so much music in the shelf-lined, formerly secret vault that “his estate could put out an album a year for the next century.”
“What do you do when a composer announces that the work you’ve just commissioned for 15 musicians will need 1,000 performers; or asks for the premiere to be in a boarded-up shop; or wants you to time precisely how long it takes to get from the top floor of your concert hall to the bottom? Smile, breathe deeply, and cheer.”
“According to experts, the most difficult string quartet ever written is Ben Johnston’s Quartet No. 7. It was composed in 1984 but went unperformed for decades. … Now the work is available on a CD that the Kepler Quartet released hard on the heels of the composer’s 90th birthday in March.”
“ENO said the American-born director would take up the position on 1 August, more than a year after the previous director, John Berry, resigned from the job. Daniel Kramer has divided opinion in the past, with some arguing he is one of the most exciting directors of his generation, while others have criticised his directorial style.”
“We found it fairly easy to answer the question of why so many venues are closing; the problem is similar to that plaguing other cultural and community-led spaces across the capital. Artists are being turned into cultural commuters, unable to sustain themselves in the capital because of a lack of spaces – adequate housing, studios and rehearsal spaces – and, now, stepping-stone venues.”
“Music training not only improved the babies’ ability to notice when a musical rhythm skipped a beat, it also improved their ability to notice when the rhythms of speech changed unexpectedly, an important skill for learning to talk.”
“In yet another sign of a recovering economy,” the festival, renowned for reviving obscure and forgotten scores, will from 2017 “be extended from a 12-day event to an 18-day event, a return to the pre-Recessionary format.”
“The best thing conservatories can do is to graduate healthy, intact people with a sense of agency over their careers and lives. The whole Svengali thing has to be held in check, because universities have ways of burying those bad experiences and boards don’t want to hear it.”
“The cost of all the extra elements far outweighed the revenue from ticket sales. And the ability to attract large philanthropic funds to support the project after its third or fourth or fifth year became very difficult. For the last five years, it was losing quite a bit of money.”
It is thought that Sir Malcolm Arnold, a manic depressive, schizophrenic and alcoholic, could have given the work away in lieu of payment to a plumber or repairman, after the Court of Protection stopped him accessing his bank account.
The orchestra – which has a popular and energetic music director (Thierry Fischer), big education and state touring programs, and growth in both single-ticket sales and subscriptions – gets nearly a fifth of its operating revenue from state and local governments.
“The $577,653 deficit, detailed in its annual report, comes after the MSO ended 2014 with more than $200,000 in surplus. The orchestra actually increased its box office takings last year ($10.2 million up from $10 million) but chairman Michael Ullman said it wasn’t enough.”
No Sharps, No Flats is an installation made up of 30 partially deconstructed boom boxes with tape decks, each one containing a composition by metro D.C. musicians. All of the music is in C major. Harmonious? Not for long – because it’s all on cassette tape, which has problems you youngsters don’t know about and the rest of us may have forgotten …
“We created a show and pretended it was going to be a rock concert. Booked a rock venue and advertised it as an indie rock show. Made up the name Liederwolfe. Everyone in the Montreal scene was curious and it was packed. And then people came on stage and sang opera. People freaked out – it was a real happening – it was great. People were yelling, people walked out – but some people stayed. They brought their friends the next time. And they stayed with us and became our core audience for eight years.”
“We have been so apologetic in this, what we call classical music, that we say: ‘You don’t have to know anything, you don’t have to have any background, you don’t have to have any frame of reference, just come with an open mind, and you’ll love it. It doesn’t quite work like that. Because if I go to an American football game not knowing anything about the rules – as, I have to admit, I don’t – it’s totally meaningless.”
New productions of Bellini’s Norma built around Netrebko were planned as season opening galas at Covent Garden this fall (her debut in the role) and the Met in the fall of 2017. However, she has announced, “I have come to the unfortunate conclusion my voice has evolved in a different direction.”
It was invented by three scholarly brothers named Banū Mūsā, and it has been reconstructed according to their treatise by a museum in Germany. (The brothers also invented an automatic hydraulic organ that could play with punch cards similar to player piano rolls.)
“Consider hypothetically that a philanthropist wants to create a music education library in every country of the world that just has the contents printed out of what is on IMSLP. Billions and billions of pieces of paper would be necessary, and transport mechanisms, and duplicates, etc. But make it PDF music, and in fact what exists right this moment is a situation where every spot on the globe that has even a moderate internet connection has exactly this library, without one piece of paper being printed.”
“It is a strange fate to be a master of an art at once so essential and hidden from view. The public often hears of Stradivarius instruments; bows, by comparison, are rarely discussed. If you are not a string player or married to one, chances are you cannot name a single bow maker, living or legendary.”
“While membership in Germany’s Protestant (Lutheran) church is rapidly declining – last year a record 200,000 members left the church – its trombone choirs are thriving. Today, Germany has 110,000 amateur brass players belonging to 6,000 trombone choirs.”
The 3-0 opinion from the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals upholds a finding by the National Labor Relations Board against the management of the Lancaster (PA) Symphony Orchestra, which maintained that its musicians were independent contractors and thus had no right to unionize.
“Francesco Anile … was in the green room during the last act of Saturday’s performance of Verdi’s Otello, which was being broadcast on radio throughout the world, when he was told by a stage director that Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko was sick and unable to sing the title role in the fourth act.”
“The Orchestre National de Lyon, France, announced on Tuesday that its current music director, Slatkin, 71, will leave that position at the end of the 2016-17 season.”
“The extension ensures that Mr. Finckel, a cellist, and Ms. Wu, a pianist, who are married and who took over the artistic leadership of the society in 2004, will remain in their posts through the society’s 50th anniversary season, which will begin in the fall of 2019.”
“The only time anyone takes notice of what you are doing is when something goes terribly wrong. The more perfect one is at turning pages or being an air traffic controller, the less we even notice they are there.”