“Some of her dialogue, which Justice Ginsburg will deliver in English in an opera that is being sung in French, has been rewritten with her in mind. So a line that may be unfamiliar to the devoted opera lovers who read websites such as Parterre Box will be readily recognizable to court watchers who spend their time on SCOTUSblog.”
“It can be inspiring, or it can be the thing that eats you. I love living with that kind of intensity. I’m not an adrenaline junkie in any other way, but playing a great work, in real time, for an audience is exhilarating in a way that I need.”
““The union and management agree that Fort Worth wants its orchestra back, and we want nothing more than the musicians to end their strike and return to work. … However, our ideas of how to accomplish this are in direct opposition.”
Currently the chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, United Kingdom, Juanjo Mena has made several recordings with that orchestra, including a Falla album named Recording of the Month by BBC Music magazine His previous posts are artistic director and principal conductor of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (1999-2008) and principal guest conductor of both the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway and Teatro Carlo Felice, in Genoa, Italy.
Norman Lebrecht: “Isaac Stern told me that when he was growing up in 1920s San Francisco ‘a musician in the orchestra was a person‘ – even if he earned a pittance. He had social status. As that status declined it had to be replaced with other compensations or orchestral life would have ceased to exist. So wages rose.”
“When I first got to the city, many people on the administration staff said, ‘…oh dear, we have a grey-haired syndrome here…,’ meaning that our audience is getting older and older. But, we decided over the course of the season, that we would never change one thing – we felt that the one thing that transcends generation is the natural human tendancy to appreciate exceptional quality. So rather than push the bar down, we pushed the bar very, very high, where we challenge the audiences with extremely adventurous programming.”
“In 1967, classical music still occupied a central position in our high culture. Now it doesn’t. Most Americans don’t care about classical music and don’t go to orchestral concerts. I think they should, but it doesn’t matter what I think. They’ll do what they want to do—and one thing they don’t want to do is go out of their way to hike the salary of a violinist in Philadelphia who already makes over $2,400 a week, especially when the median weekly household income in the U.S. is $1,073 (which is roughly what the average London orchestra player earns per week).” [click on “The Money Pit” after clicking this link]
“An experienced conductor with over 120 recordings to his name, [Martyn] Brabbins will join ENO in a troubled time for the company. Attempts to recoup the company’s losses have led to clashes between management and musical staff. [In March,] Brabbins’s predecessor Mark Wigglesworth resigned the post after disagreements with the executive panel over the future of the company.”
“Beyoncé and Radiohead may have surprised the world with unexpected records, but Berry likely just left a few jaws on the floor. Because on Tuesday, he announced Chuck, his first record since 1979’s Rock It.”
“[Benjamin] Grosvenor, 24, won the first Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize – which, in addition to the prize money, comes with opportunities to perform with the orchestra. He will play with the Philharmonic in April 2018, the orchestra said.”
“Most of those disagreements have to do with the future: how much money the musicians, who have been on strike since Sept. 30, will make; how their retirements will be funded; and what the organization’s five-year financial forecast should look like. But … the two sides also differ over basic matters that have already taken place, such as whether the musicians were notified about the latest concert cancellations before management announced them to the public, and whether the musicians permitted management to give them a presentation about the organization’s finances.”
“When we use screenplay-writing software we become used to moving scenes around physically, as if stacking neat plastic boxes. Similarly our music – once represented only as cryptic black scratches on white paper – is now circles and squares and starbursts. Whether this has any long-term effect on our cognition will be for the scientists to study; I wonder if our ability to conceive the invisible will change, or even shrink.”
“We can go pretty low,down to the lowest note on a piano, so, quite a bit lower than a double bass and actually lower than the tuba and the contrabassoon.” The instrument was invented in 1849 by luthier Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume in France.
“Less than six hours before the curtain was to rise for the final performance of Pittsburgh Opera’s production of La traviata, the lead singer, Danielle Pastin, was sick, and it was unclear whether she would be able to perform. Was [Claudia] Rosenthal – the understudy who had been playing the small role of Annina – prepared to play Violetta instead? … Oh, and by the way, she would still have to sing Annina’s part, too.”
The Leeds is a major competition and has launched the careers of pianists such as Murray Perahia. Preliminary rounds will now be held in international cities and streamed. Winners will now also get career mentors who will help them adapt to international careers.
The Late Show will have PUBLIQuartet improvising along with the debate on Facebook Live. According to the group’s website, PUBLIQuartet’s “innovative programs span arrangements from the classical canon, contemporary works, original compositions, and open-form improvisations that expand the techniques and aesthetic of the traditional string quartet.”
The concert hall was designed by MAD Architects in collaboration with acoustic expert Yasuhisa Toyota, who has worked on the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Philharmonie de Paris, and the Suntory Hall in Japan. Its main auditorium will seat 1,600 people on “vineyard style” terraces surrounding the stage area.
“The Philadelphia Orchestra will program musicals. It will set up new philanthropic councils made up from donors with special interests and, starting in 2018, from outside the city. The orchestra is starting a series of master classes with guest artists. And it will develop more ways to lure and keep younger donors.”
It’s almost 12 feet tall, weighs 289 pounds, sounds four octaves lower than a double-bass, and the player has to use levers for fingering because there’s just no hope of reaching the fingerboard. The octobass was invented in 1849, and the Montreal Symphony is now the first orchestra in the world to have one. (includes video)
“When Daniel Lofredo Rota began clearing out the apartment of his dead grandfather here in April 2014, he found several tons of newspaper, stacks of letters, broken typewriters and about 300 magnetic reel-to-reel tapes, almost perfectly preserved after 45 years in a cool, dry place. … It was a cultural time capsule carrying a vital chapter of Ecuador’s musical history.”
“The Pittsburgh Symphony canceled all orchestra events through Nov. 18 in the wake of the musicians’ strike, the organization announced Monday. … As a result, at least four of the 20 core classical concert weekends and two of the orchestra’s seven pops programs scheduled for this season will not take place.”
“New, entirely professional, and a child of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir would seem to be much-needed good news on the choral landscape. But so far in its formation, some Philadelphia vocal freelancers are experiencing consternation or even heartbreak at how it’s being handled.”
“Professional musicians and those studying in conservatories can upload samples to a Groupmuse profile, which an internal team approves. Next, the Groupmuse team pairs performers with hosts who volunteer to host strangers and musicians in their home: a soloist for 10 people, a quartet for a house that can fit 50 listeners. Around 20 Groupmuse shows happen across the country every week, mostly in Boston, New York, Seattle and the Bay Area. Groupmuse suggests each attendee pays $10 for the show; musicians go home with an average of $160.”
“Who was Takemitsu? He was a largely self-taught composer whose career followed a vague trajectory from the avant garde of the 1960s to a French period of ethereally moody music influenced by Debussy and Messiaen, winding up in a more Romantic, even nostalgic, style. But that’s leaving out one of his key innovations, combining traditional Japanese music with Western music. It is leaving out his love for pop music. (His Beatles arrangements for solo guitar have never been bettered.) It is leaving out his more than 90 film scores.”
“My mother’s dumplings – with a secret ingredient that makes them so juicy yet so clean – are the best in the world and knowing I would have her food as a reward always gave me great energy at the keyboard.”
“The ensemble has performed hundreds of new works, staking a strong claim as the nation’s pre-eminent new-music group in the process. Its annual budget has grown from $603 — her holiday catering tips underwrote that first year — to north of $2 million. Ms. Chase won a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. And ICE now moves seamlessly among small nightclubs, schools and some of the nation’s premier stages.”
“He wrote The Nose from the unguarded standpoint of a young composer using his entire box of tricks at a time when the liberated Russian intelligentsia had free rein to experiment and revel in the avant garde. The first Stalinist crackdown was still around the corner. The result is almost a catalogue of all the devices and gestures that would become standard practice for mid-to‑late 20th-century modernist iconoclasm.”
“The first movement, the Adagio — Allegro molto, is fine. It’s actually extremely good, but if a first movement is good, you’re only acknowledging it on a subconscious level. It keeps you invested. It pulls you into the rest of piece without making a show of it.”
“Its fate took on added importance amid questions over how committed the Philharmonic would remain to new music after the departure of Mr. Gilbert, who has raised its profile during his tenure.”