Joel Krosnick is retiring at the end of next season after 42 years with the group. His successor is Astrid Schween, who performed for 20 years with the Lark Quartet.
“What is obvious to musicians and regular classical music connoisseurs is definitely not obvious to others,” writes Chattanooga Symphony concertmaster Holly Mulcahy. “Over the past couple years I’ve collected some really awesome questions from audience members that offer a fresh and unique perception or perspective. Here are some that caught my attention.”
“The fact that they’re dampening down expectations of a quick re-election suggests this is more than a tussle of wills over a few preferred candidates. It points to a profound disagreement over fundamentals. The classical music world is changing, and that makes the business of finding a new leader for the BPO challenging, in a new and troubling way.”
“A long-discussed plan to turn a disused sawdust factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn into a venue for classical and contemporary music appears to be now taking shape. Organizers of the 13,000-square-foot space on Friday announced plans to open this October with a program of ‘genre-spanning music at accessible ticket prices.’ The venue is to be called National Sawdust, and will host, among other performances, three concerts of the New York Philharmonic’s Contact! series.”
“With its inaugural public concert in late April, during Jazz Fest’s opening weekend, Mayfield’s Jazz Market joined Manhattan’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and San Francisco’s SFJazz in the ranks of urban arts center buildings dedicated to jazz. The architecture is similar to SFJazz in appearance, right down to the lettering on its nameplate.”
“We Shall Overcome” is a staple for civil-rights protests—and for that matter, for any kind of social-justice movement. The Library of Congress calls it “the most powerful song of the 20th century.” So it was a surprise to learn that not only is the identity of the person who made it into that anthem known, but he died only on May 2.
“Almost 45 years have passed since Szell’s death in 1970, but his support of programming and commissioning new works, which continued and thrived under the directorships of both Lorin Maazel and Dohnányi, has been significantly curtailed under the orchestra’s current leadership of Franz Welser-Möst.”
“The operas — from 15 presenters including the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London and the Aix-en-Provence Festival — will be streamed live on the website of the Opera Platform, at www.theoperaplatform.eu. The site said that subtitles in six languages would be available, and each opera would remain available on demand for six months.”
“Right now, publishers and songwriters are required to license their songs to anyone, at rates that are set by a special rate court. ASCAP and BMI have been pushing to raise those rates, but Pandora and other streaming services have pushed back. So far, the courts have sided with Pandora. Now, the publishers are trying a new approach.”
“The orchestra announced Thursday that a successful fund-raising campaign, and a new contract that it reached with its musicians, would allow it to hire 14 more full-time players over the next four years, expanding the size of the ensemble to 90 as other orchestras around the country, from Philadelphia to Atlanta, have shed positions to save money.”
“If all now goes according to plan, four or five student designs of women and men’s garments will be presented to Baltimore Symphony players this summer. The design school has already taken the BSO musicians’ measurements with a 3-D body scanner. According to Gabbi Asfour, a fashion designer who leads the Parsons effort, once the musicians choose their garments, production will take about four months.”
“The Rotterdam Philharmonic said on Tuesday that its principal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin will step down in 2018, his tenth year on the job. The announcement was widely expected, as the conductor has also been juggling directorships at the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, and is increasingly tapped as a guest conductor.”
The 65-year-old tenor, said more than once in the past to have been a candidate for the top post at the Vienna State Opera, has been named chief of opera at the Mikhailovsky Theatre which artistic director (and chief funder) Vladimir Kekhman has transformed from poor stepsister to the Mariinsky into one of Russia’s most dynamic opera and ballet houses.
“No, there will be no white smoke, and these are not cardinals in the Sistine Chapel. These voters are the tenured musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic, and they are set to meet at 10 a.m. on Monday at an undisclosed location in Berlin to make one of the most prestigious appointments in classical music: a new chief conductor and artistic director, who will succeed Simon Rattle when he leaves the orchestra in 2018.”
“It’s easy to understand why any orchestra might be eager to get Salonen onto the payroll. At 56, the Helsinki-born musician is at the top of his game as a conductor, with a broad range of both new music and a standard repertoire that he performs with a blend of technical bravura and interpretive insight.”
Violinist Vena Johnson of the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra: “There’s this disconnect between what the art means to us and how that translates into the community. Many people just aren’t reached. It’s not necessarily economic – if the art isn’t speaking to a society for what we’re going through, then it won’t translate.” (Philip Glass’s String Quartet No. 5 went over particularly well in the soup kitchen.)
The payment, which includes accrued retirement plan funds and unused vacation pay, to former general director, artistic director and CEO Ian Campbell and deputy director Ann Spira Campbell was negotiated and paid last June, with the money provided by an anonymous donor separately from all operating funds for the company.