Miloš Karadaglić is giving up performing for at least a season to deal with the recurrence of what he describes as a “complex and uncompromising movement disorder.”
The Funeral Song, written in memory of Rinsky-Korsakov in 1908 and believed lost in the Russian Revolution, turned up last year in a back room at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire. Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will premiere the piece early next month in a concert carried on medici.tv and Mezzo.
“Fans shared their frustration as the websites of official agents struggled to cope with the demand. Many fans spent an hour or more trying and failing to get through, although some were successful.”
The group took some time to pull together, but the founders persisted. “After fundraising, the group performed their first concert in 2015, with 30 Syrian musicians and 20 from Germany. This year, the orchestra has 65 Syrian musicians from all over Europe.”
Sheku Kanneh-Mason has six musician siblings, but he turned to Nicola Benedetti (the 2004 Young Musician winner) for advice: “She advised that while I’m still young and studying I should learn as much repertoire as possible, because it becomes more difficult once you’re doing lots of concerts.”
“It seems an obvious point, but it nods to a larger one that was either overlooked or underplayed in the extensive obituaries that followed Cohen’s death last week. Put simply, Cohen was an intensely Jewish artist — along with Philip Roth, perhaps the most deeply Jewish artist of the last century.”
“Pop was a child of the 20th century, a form carried on gloriously uniform products that embodied their time just as perfectly as Henry Ford’s Model T did. Those were the days when capitalism was as democratic and egalitarian as it has ever got, and the products – or rather phenomena – at its heart were all the better for it.” No longer. Increasingly, pop culture experiences are only for the rich, only if you can afford to pay great sums…
“Once, classical music generally travelled from the West to the rest. Now China is reversing the exchange, not merely performing Western classical music in China, but exporting it.”
“We might wish for music to be universal and transcendent on its own. But this wish can backfire, trapping us in apolitical grooves that serve the powers that be. We want to avoid using music as only a means of escapism, to go beyond catharsis and towards a way of engaging, as artists, in the discussion about where we go from here.”
A man named Irv Teibel took the idea of musique concrète – which is, after all, what recordings of outdoor sounds are – and hustled it into a commercial relaxation-aid that fit perfectly with the America of the late ’60s and ’70s.
“In the late 1970s, a man who had changed the business world by turning massive calculators into handheld devices decided that he wanted to scratch another itch. And with that itch scratched, he introduced a world of creativity to bedroom warriors around the country – a set of training wheels to the musically inclined.”
The 77-year-old Dutchman, whose influence on contemporary music in the U.S. has been great, is the third winner of the Philharmonic’s Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, which also includes a commission for a new orchestral work.
Scott Timberg follows the trail, from Cohen’s discovery by Judy Collins and then Fairport Convention through Gen X grunge and alt-rock up to today.
The way they’re putting this may not go over so well with some folks, though: “‘This study gives clear neuronal evidence supporting the view that artistic music is of intelligence, while popular music is of physiology,’ writes a team of researchers led by Ping Huang of South China Normal University in Guangzhou.”
“‘American exceptionalism’ during the 20th century included the standing and stature of our symphony orchestras,” writes attorney and string player Jonathan Kaledin. “Taking American orchestra ‘exceptionalism’ further into the 21st century now requires a complete rethinking of the role our federal government plays in providing financial support for these institutions. … What does it say about us that our federal government spent $245 billion bailing out financial institutions that were ‘too big to fail,’ but it will not consider meaningful support for our magnificent but financially distressed symphony orchestra institutions?”
“The 1000-capacity venue, earmarked for a gap site behind the Royal Bank of Scotland’s historic head office, would be available for the Edinburgh International Festival each summer. The venue will be also be designed to make it suitable for rock, pop, electronica, jazz, folk and chamber concerts, as well as dance events. Other features will include rehearsal and recording rooms, conference and event spaces, and cafe, bar and restaurant facilities.”
“The companies with the financial resources and the political clout often impose a uniformity on the consumption of the music they believe is popular and therefore profitable. Given the ubiquity of their total command of the internet, the “world” becomes their colony and the “popular” tastes rule, again to the detriment of the indigenous music, but also to art music and to any other music with a limited audience and appeal. This scenario has forced indigenous music and even our beloved ‘classical’ music into competing with everything—sports, popular music, even each other.”
The incoming music director of the Metropolitan Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, writes a tribute (with anecdotes) to his predecessor, James Levine.
Another milestone (if that’s the word) in the new report: subscription sales are now lower than single-ticket sales.
Stéphane Lissner talks about updated stagings and the company’s digital project, 3e Scène (Third Stage), and he takes a reporter to one of his Avant-premières Jeunes (Youth Previews), pre-opening performances for teens and young adults for which tickets are either €10 or free.
San Francisco Symphony violinist Kum Mo Kim, who’s currently touring South Korea with the orchestra, shares the story of her father, John S. Kim, who founded the country’s first symphony orchestra and, during the Korean War, was discovered by no less than the Vice President of The United States, who brought him to the U.S. to study.
Last season was a much-needed success for the orchestra: attendance was up even though the number of performances was slightly down, and more than a quarter million people heard the group.
Performances are now cancelled through the first week in December.
It may look bad, but they’d be sorry it if they didn’t.
Marin Alsop says that Mahler, who was probably a narcissist, is right for our time: “He maintained a messianic conviction that posterity would recognize and embrace his greatness.”
Ignore his 2015 Oscar: “Morricone is not a man to rest upon on his laurels with successful mainstream sound tracks. ‘I like to experiment still,’ says the longtime member of Italian avant garde-ist Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.”
Basically: Do we stand? Sit? Talk? Sing along? Cheer? Shout out song titles? Dance? And if we do any of that, who decides when and why?
There’s a science experiment, using a vaguely Pandora-like device, to find out. “Demaray is attempting to build a database of the songs preferred by our wild, feathered friends and eventually present a music-discovery service for birds.”
Kate McKinnon, who’s been playing Hillary Clinton for years – but will be most familiar from this year’s debates with Alex Baldwin’s Trump – sings Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” In a white pantsuit. [Video]
Security was tight and the tears flowed hard as Sting dedicated the concert – with the opening minute of silence and then the song “Fragile” – to the 90 people who died in the attacks and the many, many musicians who have died in 2016.