Music

When This Famous Orchestra Moved Its HQ Into A Housing Project, Good Things Started Happening

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“Eight years ago, one of Europe’s best-known orchestras” – the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen – “moved their rehearsal rooms to a secondary school on this housing estate and pupils from Tenever found themselves sharing their corridors and lunch tables with professional musicians. Since then the school’s results have improved, its drop-out rates have fallen to less than 1% and the atmosphere in the wider neighbourhood has been ‘transformed’, according to Joachim Barloschky, a local official.”

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Did This Man Kill The CD Recording Business?

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“With his access to music – during this period Universal was cornering the market in hip-hop, which was becoming the most popular music in the world – Glover was able to get albums to RNS weeks ahead of their release. Over its 11-year span, RNS was responsible for leaking more than 20,000 albums.”

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The “Patient Zero” Of Online Music Piracy

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“One Saturday in 1994, Bennie Lydell Glover, a temporary employee at the PolyGram compact-disk manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, went to a party at the house of a co-worker. He was angling for a permanent position, and the party was a chance to network with his managers. Late in the evening, the host put on music to get people dancing. Glover, a fixture at clubs in Charlotte, an hour away, had never heard any of the songs before, even though many of them were by artists whose work he enjoyed.”

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Julia Wolfe Wins 2014 Pulitzer Prize For Music

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The Pulitzer citation describes the work as “a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th Century.” The prize is for a “distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States” during the previous calendar year and comes with a cash award of ten thousand dollars.

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Pulitzer For Music Goes To Julia Wolfe’s “Anthracite Fields”

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Describer by the jury as “a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th century,” Anthracite Fields was commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, which premiered the piece last April with the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

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Reviving Pakistan’s Legendary Classical Music Scene

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“Pakistan’s second-largest city once had a booming film industry and a flourishing music scene. Classical musicians, with their tabla drums, violins and sitars, would perform on stage, in movies and in crowded markets. Then in 1977, Pakistan’s sixth president, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, clamped down on the film and music industry.”

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The Guy Who Became The Most Famous Musician In Children’s Music

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“Polisar went home and wrote a song about a mean teacher. Then teachers at other schools heard about the mean teacher song and asked him to come sing it. Then he wrote some more songs. Then more schools called. And so it went, until he had enough music to make two albums by the time he graduated and enough gigs to forget about teaching and try music for a living.”

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Poptimism = Uncritical Raves (Get Famous Enough And You Won’t Get Bad Reviews)

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“Now, when a pop star reaches a certain strata of fame — and we’re talking Beyoncé, Drake, Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire levels here — something magical happens. They no longer seem to get bad reviews. Stars become superstars, critics become cheerleaders and the discussion froths into a consensus of uncritical excitement.”

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Fired Bay Area Music Director Has Warm (And Strained) Farewell

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“Nothing in the organization’s history has roiled the Vallejo Symphony like the board’s decision last summer to fire music director David Ramadanoff, 71, at the end of the current season. He had served in the post for 31 years and was credited by many observers” – and most of the musicians – “with bringing a new level of professionalism to what had begun as a spirited but ragtag ensemble.”

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Alan Gilbert’s Manifesto On The Future Of Orchestras

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“The problem has been that as orchestras are involved in more and more areas, it is often not clear why they are doing what they are doing, When it does not connect to the core of the organization, you start to wonder what the point is. This has led to an industry-wide existential soul-searching in which at least some forces have pushed back, not wanting to see their beloved old-world musical traditions altered.”

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Dudamel And Rattle Have Some Competition In The Brilliant-Maestro-With-Wild-Hair Category

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David Patrick Stearns meets Stéphane Denève: “I used to have my hair short, but then I neglected my hair, and that’s how it came to be longer. Later, I wanted to cut my hair, but my agent said, ‘No, no, no. It’s now a recognizable package, and I’m selling the whole package.’ … There’s a study to be done on conductors and hair.”

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Philip Glass Wins $100K Glenn Gould Prize

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“Sometimes referred to as the ‘Nobel prize of the arts,’ the award is presented biennially to ‘an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts,’ according to the Glenn Gould Foundation.”

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Do Some Of These Musicologists Even Like Music?

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Ian Pace (yes, he’s a musicologist): “Unfortunately I have encountered too many academics – not a majority, but still too many – who have very little interest in listening to music, at least in a manner which requires any sustained attention. Some even have a sneering and superior attitude to anyone who really cares about music at all, and exhibits any enthusiasm for it. I have even had the misfortune to be faced by the argument that playing music in lectures is a waste of time.”

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A New Generation Of Orchestras Is Rising. Great, But…

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“I attended both expecting to trumpet the virtues of a more collaborative and flexible model. But I was disappointed. Different though they were, the two performances had a few things in common: Both offered a lot of energy and emoting, but both fell short on the details, with too many moments of sloppiness and too much defaulting to the same general tempo, dynamics and emotional flavor.”

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2014’s Biggest-Selling Album? A Movie Soundtrack

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“The album – complete with two different versions of the hit song Let It Go – sold four million more than its nearest rival, Taylor Swift’s 1989, which sold six million according to music industry body the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).”

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