Music

PhilOrch Keeps Yannick For Five More Years

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“[Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s] current contract runs through 2017, which means the new five-year deal extends his tenure to 2022.” With the president/CEO and board chairman having extended their terms as well, the Philadelphia Orchestra has the stability it will need to do the major fundraising it also needs.

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India’s Only Opera Tenor Wants To Bring The Art Form Home

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Anando Mukerjee: “If it is done, if it is packaged right, if it is not diluted, if the artistic integrity of the music is not diluted, and it is given an Indian narrative and an Indian context, then there is no reason to suppose why it can’t work. … You can certainly have something like Carmen which is a great opera set in Spain, being set in India, Rajasthan. So you’re not masalafying it, you’re not chutnifying it, you’re not making it into a kind of fusion experiment. You’re simply contextualizing it to the Indian setting.”

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Carnegie Hall Will Commission 125 New Works

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“Carnegie Hall will celebrate its 125th anniversary next season not only with its customary assortment of the world’s leading orchestras and performers playing long-cherished masterpieces but also by starting a new project to commission some 125 new works over the next five years.”

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Greece And Spain’s Economies Are Basket Cases, Yet Their Opera Companies Are Flourishing. Here’s Why

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“Those countries have been stuck in a six-year depression, with unemployment rates of around 25 per cent. Yet their principal opera companies have somehow come through the valley of austerity with no debt, full and lively artistic programs, and higher standing in their communities. They have done far better, in fact, than some companies in wealthier European states.”

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Doomed Orchestra Has Actually Saved Itself With Crowdfunding

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The Danish National Chamber Orchestra was disbanded at New Year’s, after “this 75-year-old ensemble’s state funding was cancelled at ludicrously short notice … Through a Kickstarter campaign to raise 3m Danish kroner (£300,000), the orchestra received more than a third of that money from supporters, and have now had pledges for the rest of the balance from the Danish business community.”

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This Opera Company Just Got A Regular Gig At Versailles

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“Opera Atelier is already the busiest touring opera company in North America, but its 30th season will enhance that reputation even further. Already a regular guest at the Opera Royal at the Palace of Versailles in France, the Toronto company will now make it official, appearing at Versailles every other season.”

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San Diego Opera’s Joyful Return To The Stage

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“The company survived the drama of its board leadership and longtime director trying to kill it and opened its 50th season Saturday night … with La Bohème. There’s nothing like a near-death experience to wake you up, and if the company had an elitist identity before its near-death experience, it now promises to become the community’s opera company.”

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What Do Conductors Really Do? Two Of Them (Both Women) Tell Us

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Rising young Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra and mid-career Australian maestra Simone Young discuss learning and shaping a score, keeping your head about you on and off the podium, and why they’d rather not have to deal with the woman-conductor thing. (audio)

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Composers: Rugged Individualists – Or A Community Of Hardworking Musicians?

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“Living mostly in Europe these days and having to play the role of explaining just what is going on in contemporary American music to my composer colleagues there, I’ve run up against the opinion that seemingly everything is probably minimalist and if not, it’s loud and ambiguously tonal with orchestral tutti upon orchestral tutti, European orchestral music is taut, lean, precise, sophisticated, timbral, and we can go on.”

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Why Did Popular Music Break Up With Jazz?

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“Soldiers who had come back from World War II didn’t seem to be as interested in the more complex, challenging kind of popular song, the more jazz-based song. Sentimental ballads and, yes, novelty numbers, suddenly was much more appealing.”

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The Vocal (Cord) Life Coach Behind Some Of The Biggest Belters

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“Vetro has lived through the rise of Auto-Tune, and he says it’s never had an impact on his business. He asserts that proper technique and vocal maintenance are still crucial for working artists, and that many singers and producers who record in fancy studios still push to get the most genuine vocal performances possible.”

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Madrid’s Protest Orchestra

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Although the term “protest music” conjures images of Baez, Dylan, Marley, Molotov, and many more, its roots lie in the classical traditions represented by La Solfónica, a rabble-rousing group that plays at demonstrations across Madrid.

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NY City Opera Board Wants Lower Of Two Purchase Bids

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“The board for the bankrupt New York City Opera said Thursday that it still wanted to sell the company’s name and few remaining assets to its preferred suitor, even though another bidder offered $250,000 more for them at an auction in court earlier this week.”

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A Revolutionary New Piano?

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With promises of a “revolutionary piano” and its strapline “Sound Beyond Time” (I have literally no idea what that means) comes the Bogányi piano, named after its creator, the Hungarian pianist Gergely Bogányi.

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Director Of Valencia’s Opera House Fired And Arrested

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Helga Schmidt, who has long been criticized for lavish spending – on her lodging and travel expenses as well as on such expensive artists as Lorin Maazel, Plácido Domingo and Zubin Mehta – has been accused of manipulating contracts and accepting commissions on artists she engaged at the Palau de les Arts, part of the futuristic arts-and-sciences complex designed by Santiago Calatrava.

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LA Chamber Orchestra Exec To Step Down Leaving Orchestra With Healthy Surpluses

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“I think the organization is extremely well positioned right now,” Fine said. “It’s financially solid.” The orchestra spent about $3.1 million in the fiscal year ending in 2013, according to audited financial statements. It reported a surplus of about $1.8 million for the year. Fine said the orchestra is forecasting another surplus for the current year.

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Here’s What The “Vinyl Comeback” Really Looks Like

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“When one of these kinds of bands sells 1000 LPs, it’s doesn’t look like much in the scheme of the entire music industry. But in terms of the personal economy of the sort of band I’m talking about, it can be significant. That’s why this sector doesn’t need to grow to 1970s levels to be a small but significant part of a healthy music business ecosystem.”

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