Music

Woodruff Arts Center Hits Back At Atlanta Symphony Musicians Over Pace Of Mediation

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Responding to the players’ complaints that Woodruff’s negotiators have been wasting time because they had neither a ready proposal nor authority from the board to reach an agreement, the Woodruff team’s leader said, “In the words of the mediators, it was time to put some of the shared ideas ‘on paper’. This was precisely what [the musicians] had asked us to do – make new proposals to show our good faith.”

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Could Atlanta Lose Its Orchestra?

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“Could we lose the orchestra altogether, as happened in Miami and Honolulu in recent years? Of course we could. These things always seem impossible until they happen. There is a cascading effect flowing from the lockout. We are losing subscribers. Donors are angry. The crisis feeds on itself.”

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Atlanta Symphony Musicians Appeal To Board In Frustration With Woodruff Arts Center

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“Yet after only two days of participating in the mediated negotiation process (October 7-8), the WAC’S representatives … left the table to await further guidance and instruction from the WAC Governing Board [and have not returned] … Clearly, once again, they arrived at the table with neither proposals nor the ability to authorize a deal.”

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Cuba Struggles With A Violin Shortage

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“Before Cuba’s 1959 revolution, many students played violins, violas, cellos and bass from European workshops. After it, the Soviet Union provided violins and cellos, along with many other goods. Now, as Cuba struggles to revive its stagnant centrally planned economy, students must make do with violins from China that too easily pop strings and lose their tone.”

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Why A Street Criminal Stole A Strad

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“It isn’t every day that a street criminal – a high-school dropout with two felony convictions – is accused of stealing a centuries-old violin worth as much as $6 million. But nothing about the heist of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which galvanized the music world last winter, was normal, or even logical.”

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Tobias Picker’s Big Plans For Opera San Antonio

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Says the composer, now artistic director of the reborn company: “I would like to do a range of repertoire from Monteverdi to the present day. … American repertoire is extremely important. We’re living in a golden age of American opera. There’s a tremendous amount of opera being written today. … [I'd like] to get to the point where we can commission a new opera [every year].”

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Why Does “Klinghoffer” Opera Still Roil Protests?

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A look at the Met’s website suggested that ticket sales for “Klinghoffer” have been sluggish, but it is unclear what role the protests have played. The company’s latest marketing campaign seeks to turn the controversy to its advantage. Its tagline runs: “See it. Then decide.”

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Battle Of The Unlikely Ukelele Bands

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, which accuses its rival of copying its trademark and 'misapp

“To the anger of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, a group established in 1985 which moved from strumming in folk clubs to packing out the Royal Albert Hall with unlikely cover versions of songs such as Wuthering Heights and Smells Like Teen Spirit, the similarly named UK Ukulele Orchestra will perform its first UK show at Lincoln’s Theatre Royal on Wednesday.”

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State Gov’t Says It’s Okay To Stage “Carmen” Despite The Smoking

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Last week the West Australian Opera revealed that it had removed the Bizet opera from its repertory because a sponsorship deal with a state-funded health organization forbids staging performances which “glamourise” smoking. After several days of worldwide scorn, Western Australia’s deputy premier has stepped in to snuff out the controversy.

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The Four Kinds Of Complaints To Critics

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“What I always find is a mix of pluses and minuses. Like pretty much everything in life, performances represent a bell curve: the few thrilling ones we’ll never forget, the few real stinkers, and the vast majority that are varying mixes of the good and the less successful.”

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Rock Star Says Classical Music Concerts Are Super Boring, Wants To Revive Excitement

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Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood: “It’s all about trying to play classical music in slightly different venues with a slightly less uptight atmosphere than is usually found in concerts. People are standing, it’s dark, there’s a bar and we set up on the stage and play whatever music we are particularly enjoying at the moment, so we decided the set-list just before we play.”

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A Biologist Discovers That All Violins Are Converging Into Strads

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“Violins fell into four families, each represented by an archetype designed by an actual human family—Maggini, Amati, Stainer, and, of course, Stradivari, whose violins were slightly more bass-like in shape. What’s more, other violins became more like these four over time, and especially more like Strads.”

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Philip Glass, Populist [AUDIO]

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“I look around at my friends who are painters, my friends who are filmmakers, my friends who are writers, even, and they have larger audiences. But not the composers.”

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Strike Called Off, Upheaval At Radio France’s Philharmonic Begins To Subside

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The past month has been a messy one at the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France: the artistic director was forced out; incoming music director Mikko Franck threatened to cancel his appearances this season; the musicians called a strike and cancelled a concert last Friday and were about to do it again this Friday – all of this over a plan to merge the management of the OPRF with that of the radio network’s other orchestra, the Orchestre National de France. (The widely-shared fear is that there would eventually be a full merger of the bands, with accompanying job losses.) For now, at least, the powers-that-be have calmed everyone down. (in French)

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In Paris, Salle Pleyel’s Purchase By French Gov’t Suspended By Judge – In A Divorce Case

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In 2009, the state signed a contract to purchase the venerable concert hall from then-owner Hubert Martigny for €60.5 million. Now his estranged wife (and the hall’s former artistic director), Carla Maria Tarditi, is arguing that the price was artificially low and that the Pleyel is worth at least €110 million (to part of which she would be entitled in the divorce settlement). (in French)

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NPR Launches New Multiplatform Jazz Series

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“Featuring interviews with jazz greats, and concert video-casts from festivals and clubs nationwide, Jazz Night in America, a new initiative in jazz programming, began Wednesday. A joint endeavor of National Public Radio, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Newark radio station WBGO (88.3 FM), it will bring jazz to audiences through its website, video and webcasts, as well as on radio.”

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