Music

How A New Ivory Ban Is Worrying Musicians

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“Under new regulations that began to take effect in February, musical instruments that have even the smallest amount of ivory are banned from entering the U.S. unless it can be proved that they were purchased before 1976. That includes any violin bows with a small piece of ivory at the tip, and also some bassoon […]

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Ben Heppner Retires From Singing

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“At his peak during the 1990s, Heppner was in demand around the world as one of the few tenors able to succeed in the demanding heroic tenor roles of German opera, as well as in Italian works such as Verdi’s Otello and Puccini’s Turandot.”

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Why Do Some People Hate Céline Dion So Much?

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“‘The most wholly repellent woman ever to sing songs of love,’ spewed Cintra Wilson, ‘I think most people would rather be processed through the digestive tract of an anaconda than be Céline Dion for a day.’ Bitch, excuse me? We’re not talking about Bernie Madoff or the Abu Ghraib torture team.” Novelist Mary Gaitskill has […]

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The Dallas Opera Loses Longtime Artistic Leader

Dallas Opera Jonathan Pell

“Jonathan Pell, The Dallas Opera’s artistic director, has been the company’s resident taste-maker for three decades, making important decisions about everything from which operas get staged to who stars in them. This morning, TDO announced that Pell will be leaving the company at the end of this year. Well, sort of leaving.”

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Toronto Symphony Lands A New Star CEO

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“Several sources on the front lines of the cultural business say the TSO deal has been made, the contracts have been drawn up and the staff know Jeff Melanson is on board. That’s a huge step forward because he is known as a great fixer — and there’s no organization more in need of a […]

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How Much Is The Work Of A Met Opera Chorister Worth?

Met Opera chorister

“No one blinks when an experienced corporate manager earns a six-figure salary in this city. But an opera singer? We still romanticize the image of the starving artist. We like to think that talent will eventually fill dinner plates and checking accounts. But in real life, people who can’t pay their bills often put aside […]

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The Birth of Soviet Rock

Sovet rock

Revisiting the furtive, constrained, vibrant, heady early days back in the USSR with people who were there from the very beginning in 1970s Riga and Leningrad.

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Las Vegas Philharmonic Names Music Director

Las Vegas Phil music director

“Resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and music director of the symphony’s Youth Orchestra since 2009, [Donato] Cabrera became music director of the Bay Area’s California Symphony and the New Hampshire Music Festival last year. He’s also music director of Wisconsin’s Green Bay Symphony, a post he’s held since 2011.”

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Ralph Vaughan Williams Tops Classic FM Annual Top Classical List

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“The composition – written in its earliest form exactly a century ago – toppled Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2, which had reigned for three years in the annual Classic FM Hall Of Fame list. The Lark Ascending last topped the poll in 2010 and three years ago it was named the nation’s favourite Desert Island […]

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Nashville Symphony Reborn

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“As it prepares to re-enter labor negotiations with its musicians, the Nashville Symphony has reduced its debt to less than $23 million, lowered operating expenses by $10 million a year and set a new ticket sales record.”

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Record Day Started As A PR Move For Indie Stores – And It Worked

Record Day

“As recently as 2008, only 2.9 million LPs were sold in the United States, representing about 0.7 percent of annual album sales, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Last year those sales climbed to 9.4 million, representing 3 percent of all albums, and the independent, off-the-grid nature of many of those sales may […]

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Pandemonium At San Diego Opera Board Meeting, Followed By New Chairman And Rescue Plan

Ian Campbell

Karen Cohn, the board chairman who presided over the sudden plan to dissolve the company, stormed out of the meeting, as did several other members as well as general director Ian Campbell and his deputy and ex-wife, Ann. Carol Lazier, who gave $1 million toward saving the company, is now acting board chair, and she […]

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The Life Cycle Of A Pop Song

life cycle of a pop song

The Awl charts the entire course, from the Conception Phase and Underground Phase, through the Indie and Hipster Phases, into and out of the Top 40, to the Shame Phase and beyond. (Not to forget the karaoke afterlife.)

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Can Loud Music Really Make Your Ears Bleed?

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“If you are close to a sound source – such as a speaker – you are close to a lot of pressure waves. Direct sound exposure often doesn’t cause capillaries to burst, it’s the pressure.

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Change Of Venue – Now THIS Is How To See Opera

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“Live opera is as physical as art gets, though you would never know that from sitting in any major opera house. In the Sam Wana­maker Playhouse, you can feel singers’ breath on your face; you can hear their inhalations as well as their sung exhalations, the scratch as well as the sustained tone of the […]

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Study: What Country Music Says About Our Economy

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In an analysis of the most popular country songs over six decades, Jason Eastman and Terry Pettijohn II of Coastal Carolina University finds top hits are “lyrically more positive, musically upbeat, and use more happy-sounding major chords during difficult socioeconomic times.”

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There IS A Plan To Save San Diego Opera

San Diego Opera logo

“A sharply reduced budget, innovative programming and a list of donors who will step up if San Diego Opera’s current leaders are replaced might be enough to rescue the company from shutdown in two weeks, … [said] Carol Lazier, the San Diego Opera board member who pledged $1 million to save the company.”

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