“Finland has one of the best education systems in the world, where teaching music and learning to play an instrument are the foundation of children’s schooling; it should be the model for us to follow. The principle is that a child is never too young to start a relationship with music; creative play is the key and it should never be a chore; musical exploration will feed into other disciplines; children should be allowed to develop at their own pace and go into music as deeply as they wish. It is fantastically successful, and Finland has produced a stream of extraordinary musicians over the past 30 years – making it surely per capita the most productive country for churning out great classical conductors and soloists.”
Philippe Auguin, 56, will have completed eight seasons with WNO by the time he steps down from his post. Having made his company debut in 2009 as an 11th-hour replacement for his ailing predecessor, Heinz Fricke, in a concert version of Wagner’s “Twilight of the Gods,” he has particularly excelled in Wagner, leading “Tristan and Isolde” in 2013 and Francesca Zambello’s “Ring” cycle in 2016, which counts as one of the company’s great triumphs.
“It was after seeing the sharp distinction in approach, methodology and effect between Rancid and the concert’s headliners, Green Day, that a theoretical superstructure for punk rock struck me – one which can be linked to the history of art.” Noah Charney – who grants that “normally you don’t find ‘punk rock,’ ‘theoretical superstructure’ and ‘history of art’ occupying the same sentence” – makes the case.
Vireo is the first opera designed for episodic release, both on television and online, and the culmination of an artist residency project at the Grand Central Arts Center at California State University, Fullerton. “My hopes for Vireo,” says center director John Spiak in a promotional film about Vireo’s making “is that 30 or 40 years down the line it will be seen as one of those groundbreaking things that made a difference in the artistic world. We’ve taken a live entertainment, opera,” adds the director, Charles Otte “and shot it as a piece of film, as opposed to finding an opera, staging it on a stage, and shooting it with three or four cameras.
The ornate Belle Epoque theatre had lost its luster, visually and artistically, by the end of the last century. But the house’s director, Olivier Mantei, is determined to bring excitement and audiences back. So he’s overseen a meticulous restoration of the building to its original splendor, reopened it with a spectacular revival of a grand opera not seen in Paris for 246 years, and even commissioned a patisserie to create a new cake for the occasion.
Vulgamore, 59, said she will take some time to decide what to do next. She previously spent 16 years running the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and arrived in Philadelphia during a time of crisis. The Philadelphia Orchestra was running chronic deficits, had exhausted most of its unrestricted endowment, and had spent several months without a permanent president, board chairman, and music director before Worley took over as chairman.
“Musicians strive their whole lives to become like alchemists, healing the world with their music, turning the world’s pain to beauty. But we haven’t yet learned how to save ourselves. If we remain passive bystanders, I believe we will watch the music that we most value slowly silenced. Just ask the 80 percent of songwriters who have left the profession in Nashville.”
After many more glowing reviews, the Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA) has named Breaking the Waves winner of its first Award for Best New Opera in North America. The award, which recognizes musical and theatrical excellence, will be given annually to a fully staged work that received its world premiere in the preceding calendar year. “Of the new operas that I saw in 2016,” said Heidi Waleson, opera critic of the Wall Street Journal, “I would say that Breaking the Waves was the most original, the most harrowing, and the most moving.”
Catriona Morison, a Scottish mezzo who didn’t win any of the semi-final rounds and made it to the final in the wild-card slot. Morison, the first Briton ever to win this competition, also shared the Song Prize (the main prize is for operatic repertoire) with Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar.
Just a month after the CEO who led management through last fall’s bitter strike, Amy Adkins, resigned, the orchestra’s board has engaged David Hyslop, whom Michael Granberry describes as “the Mr. Fix-It of troubled arts organizations. He swoops in to clean up the mess and then goes back home to Minnesota.”
Lidiya Yankovskaya, an alumna of the first-ever class of The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors who currently leads two new-music institutions and a small opera company in metro Boston, starts in Chicago with the 2018-19 season.
“The [¥50 million] Kyoto Prize, given annually since 1985 by the Inamori Foundation, recognizes three winners in a rotating array of subcategories under the headings of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy.” Taruskin is the first musicologist (as opposed to composer or performer) to win the award.
Why make sure every child has the opportunity to learn music and to play an instrument? “Learning to read and play music gives you access to a new language, other worlds. It is one of the greatest gifts, along with security and self-belief and simple love, that a child can be given.”
Soprano Kristine Opolais, who was supposed to play the title role, has now withdrawn, a few months after star tenor Jonas Kaufmann withdrew. The show “is being closely watched in the opera world. Early in his tenure Mr. Gelb replaced an opulent, beloved old production by Franco Zeffirelli with a starker, more sexually charged one by Luc Bondy, alienating large swaths of the audience. So there is a lot riding on the new staging.”
In ‘La Mère Coupable,’ a lot more secrets come to light. “It takes these people everybody knows and transplants them to a Raymond Carver story.”
Advanced sampling technology allows it to sound like any one of dozens of vintage electric or acoustic guitars at the touch of a button. A player can also quickly shift among any number of conventional and unconventional tuning setups at the touch of another button. And thanks to automatic tuning technology, one will never worry about it going out of tune. And that’s barely scratching the instrument’s high-gloss surface. “This has got more technology than you can shake a stick at.”
“During the machine’s heyday, the Hupfeld Company developed around 900 different music rolls for it. They sold thousands of the Phonoliszt-Violin, mostly to opulent hotels and restaurants that used them for background entertainment. But by the mid 1920s, the popularity of automatic instruments cratered as phonographs and radios spread throughout the world.”
“Many pundits say he did all the right things – modern music, standard repertoire, plus staged operas. In a world that’s being dazzled by high-personality Gustavo Dudamel and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the question is whether Gilbert did them right enough, with the personal magnetism to pull it off. Or with a fighting spirit, which, he suggested in exit interviews, was in shorter supply.” Or, asks David Patrick Stearns, “might the unanswered question be, at least in part, the New York Philharmonic?”
During the transition from Helmut Rilling to Matthew Halls, OBF attendance dropped by over 50 percent : 2011 had 44,148; 2014 had approximately 20,000. There are no figures for recent years.
“It’s to her as much as anyone that the Philharmonic owes its success. Now the L.A. Phil, as it calls itself with deliberate Californian informality, must decide who will succeed her — a member of the respected team she built, or an outsider? — and how to continue her legacy of innovation, outreach and prodigious fund-raising.”
Extracts from a 1980 BBC interview in which Lennon said that Ms. Ono should share credit for the song were aired as part of the event. The song “should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song, because a lot of it, the lyric and the concept, came from Yoko,” Lennon said in the interview.
Frank Oteri thinks so: “I’ll say unequivocally that the 2017 edition of Classical:NEXT (c:N) was the most vital music get-together I’ve participated in in the last 12 months, quite possibly even longer. And, more importantly, I think c:N has the potential to be the most viable international gathering place for open-minded music-focused people, despite its name.”
Harrison’s score was always recognized for its good qualities, but the story of the youthful Julius Caesar’s possibly-mythical affair with a foreign king was plagued by an overlong, repetitive libretto to which Harrison refused cuts. John Rockwell tells the story of the 46-year-long effort to create a Young Caesar that could captivate and hold an audience.
“Jonathan Martin, 60, a native of Atlanta, is coming from Dallas, where he has served as president and CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2012. He also served for nine years as general manager of the Cleveland Orchestra, including the period when the Ohio orchestra moved back into Severance Hall following a major renovation.”
“The idea for Monterey Pop, a model for subsequent rock music festivals from Woodstock to Bonnaroo, emerged from a conversation in early 1967 among Paul McCartney, the record producer Lou Adler and the folk rock band the Mamas and the Papas. They weren’t thinking of the war; they were thinking of music — in particular, why rock wasn’t considered an art form alongside the likes of jazz.”
Rebecca Lentjes: “You might think I would be getting disgruntled input from women composers who felt they deserved to be placed on the list, but every single negative message I have gotten has been from a man.”
The prog-rock pioneers embraced extravagance: odd instruments and fantastical lyrics, complex compositions and abstruse concept albums, flashy solos and flashier live shows. Concertgoers could savor a new electronic keyboard called a Mellotron, a singer dressed as a batlike alien commander, an allusion to a John Keats poem, and a philosophical allegory about humankind’s demise—all in a single song (“Watcher of the Skies,” by Genesis).
Peter Dobrin talks to composer Hannibal Lokumbe (currently composer-in-residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra) about his new oratorio, Crucifixion Resurrection: Nine Souls a Traveling, which premieres on the second anniversary of the massacre in the historic Charleston church.