Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Makes Peace With Bernard Haitink


“The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has apologised to its former Chief Conductor, healing a rift that has existed for the last couple of years. Announcing the return of its Honorary Conductor, the RCO admitted that ‘strains in the relationship between the management of the RCO and [Haitink]’ had led to the conductor’s absence during the past 18 months.”

Fed-Up Myung Whun Chung Says He’s Leaving Seoul Phiharmonic; Musicians Campaign For Him To Stay

seoul phil

After a horrendous year that saw the orchestra openely rebel against an abusive but politically connected CEO, who resigned with obvious reluctance and then had Chung investigated for embezzlement, the maestro announced he was stepping down as music director. Then the musicians held a press conference pleading for the city government to convince Chung not to quit.

Chailly To Quit Leipzig Gewandhausorchester Four Years Early


What prompted the change of plan is not clear, though a statement issued by the orchestra implies it didn’t want him to leave. The city’s mayor Burkhard Jung is quoted as saying he ‘has conceded’ to Chailly’s desire to leave ‘in recognition of the exceptional accomplishments of Riccardo Chailly in furthering the artistic and international reputation of the Gewandhausorchester.’

‘Leathery Authenticity And Baked-In Americana’: Harold Bloom, Rock Critic

harold bloom the band

On The Band’s “The Weight”: “The song’s chorus centers on removing a spiritual load and the narrator’s charitable offer of assuming responsibility for it: ‘Take a load off Fanny, and you put the load right on me.’ Here, you also have the double entendre of ‘fanny’ in the vernacular sense and a rather loose lady. The ‘load’ is the weight of earthliness, of mortality.”

Los Angeles Philharmonic Ups Its Innovation Cred Hiring Opera Director Yuval Sharon


“The L.A. Philharmonic is expected to announced on Wednesday that Sharon will be named as the orchestra’s artist-collaborator, a newly created post that will involve curating projects for the orchestra, with the assistance of the Industry. The projects are expected to embrace multiple artistic genres and will take place at Walt Disney Concert Hall as well as other venues around L.A.”

Here’s How To Revitalize Classical Music, Says Wunderkind Music Director Of Louisville Orchestra

teddy abrams

Teddy Abrams: “All major arts organizations should not only have musicians on staff but there should also be a department of composition; people who are composing for the moment. In Bach’s time there was a department of composition in every church and state office; there was a constant need for new music. … Granted that might be a huge expense. But think of the effect.”

Study: How Music Can Manipulate You – And In The Wrong Hands…


The researchers report in the online journal PLoS One that, compared to silence, the sound of their favorite songs increased risk-taking, while disliked music decreased it. Specifically, they write, “the frequency for accepting a gamble is 54.1 percent for favorite music, vs. 47.4 percent for disliked music. When no music was playing, the acceptance rate is 51.4 percent.”

The True Value Of Contemporary Music


“Musical performances are among the few that demand you sit still and turn off your phone, and in the realm of the avant-garde, where there is rarely a narrative structure or a song, those can sometimes seem long. But art that forces you to sit and experience something, even if it makes you impatient, can be valuable in the same way that meditation and quiet spaces (churches, libraries) are valuable, in the same way that any inactivity is valuable.”

Is The Symphony Over?


“A genre once aimed at vast crowds—Mahler imagined his symphonies being played in stadiums, for tens of thousands of people—now leads a more subdued, solitary existence. Much of its legacy is ignored in concert halls and can be encountered only on recordings.”

One Of China’s Biggest Peking Opera Stars Makes Her U.S. Debut At The Met


“Ms. Zhang, a lithe, delicate woman of 44, is a megastar in Beijing. She has performed for sold-out crowds here and in Shanghai, captivating audiences, including legions of young fans, with her sorrowful eyes, deep vocal intonations and graceful displays of martial arts. In 2007, she was the first star of the Peking Opera genre to perform solo at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of China’s central government.”

Israel And Iran Are United – Against Daniel Barenboim


“The conductor Daniel Barenboim’s efforts to lead the Berlin Staatskapelle at a concert in Tehran drew criticism this week from the Israeli culture minister, who called the performance anti-Israel, and a rebuff from Iranian officials, who said on Friday that they would block the concert because of Mr. Barenboim’s Israeli citizenship.”

Lost Generation: Middle-Aged Classical Musicians


“This is the art-form that reveres the aged master, but it’s no less enamoured of youth. The problem is that between charmed youth and revered old age comes the ‘awkward age’. To be musically talented and middle-aged is nowadays deemed worthy of no more than polite attention. Whereas to be musically talented and young is to be treated as a veritable god.”

Stories From The Front Lines: Women Tell Their Stories Of Abuse In The Music Industry


“Various tropes are repeated over and over again, like a riff you’ve heard too many times before: an aspiring bassist being told by a music teacher that bass is for boys, or a teenager being asked by her dubious male classmates to recite a band’s entire discography in order to prove her fan cred. The narrative gets even more disturbing and specific when you start charting the testimonials of women who pursued careers as musicians, sound engineers, executives, and journalists.”

‘Born To Run’ At 40: Bruce Springsteen And The Fading Of The American Dream

born to run

“Lost amid popular memories of kitsch – of waterbeds and pet rocks, mood rings and self-help books – is the story of a more complicated decade. The enduring sway of Born to Run isn’t just thanks to the music, which stands up strongly, four decades later. It stems also from the unique time and place in which Americans first came to know Bruce Springsteen.”

What Ails Orchestra Thinking


“Something that became very clear to me soon after becoming Managing Director was that the apparent sense of harmony and collective excellence on-stage was not always evident in the interactions of the musicians with each other off-stage or with management.”

What Do You Need To Do To Innovate In The Concert Hall? (Some Suggestions)


“Why don’t you create performing arts organizations like sports teams? For example, why not have fan clubs for various artists? Why don’t you have them sign autographs? At one point I got them to make baseball cards for all the musicians. There’s a lot to learn in the way sports are marketed, how they’re delivered, and how broadly they’re accepted. Sports is the most successful of the performing arts; and in any industry don’t you try to learn from the most successful?”

The Great Divide In Contemporary Opera

great divide contemporary american opera

David Patrick Stearns: “If music is the universal language it’s often proclaimed to be, why has nothing close to a consensus emerged on the two high-profile opera openings of the summer? … The division is emblematic of a continuing split between composers who draw from such past tonal composers as Samuel Barber and those arising from a more recent modernist past; Cold Mountain belongs to the former and Written on Skin the latter.”

US Airways Loses, Then Finds, Eight Violins – And No One Knows How

US Airways loses and finds 8 violins

“The eight instruments were packaged in a shipping truck and checked in as oversized baggage at Barcelona on 19 August. However the truck failed to appear at its destination and airline staff were unable to inform Kulosa of its whereabouts.” The instruments were returned on August 23, even as some airline reps continued to insist they knew nothing about them.