Ivan Fischer, Radical Conductor?

imgres

“I don’t like the whole system, the way American symphonies are organized,” he said last week, speaking by Skype from Berlin, where he and his family (he has two young sons) are now largely based. He has made no secret of his views, telling interviewers that orchestras have to change or risk dying out. The rest of the world, increasingly, is hailing him as a visionary.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

As An Orchestra Turns More Professional In Tennessee, A Patron Laments The Loss Of Local Talent

jackson

After a patron writes a letter (which you can read here) calling West Tennessee’s Jackson Symphony “random good musicians hired from all over” and lamenting a lack of local music teachers on stage at the concerts, the Symphony responds with a letter that involves donors, standards, and football.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Los Angeles Hosts A Hyperlocal, Modern ‘Figaro’

Figaro90210

“Sung in English and Spanish, which are intertwined to create clever rhymes, ‘¡Figaro! (90210)’ finds the titular hero working in Beverly Hills as an undocumented gardener. The basic plot remains the same–a lecherous boss tries to seduce his employee’s fiancée on the eve of her wedding–but Guerriero has reimagined the characters as distinct L.A. archetypes.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

City Opera Bidders Are Getting Ready To Lay It All On The Line

city opera bidders

“In one corner is Roy Niederhoffer, a former City Opera board member backing a plan to reboot the company under the direction of Michael Capasso, the head of a small Manhattan opera company in the process of being wound down. In the other is Gene Kaufman, an architect who has also expressed interest in restarting City Opera but whose prior proposals have failed to win favor with the defunct company’s board.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Is The Oscar-Nominated Film ‘Whiplash’ Good Or Bad For Musician Mentorship?

whiplash-still

“The reactions to the movie seem to occupy the extremes, and it sparks healthy debate among my peers. Where is the fine line between motivating someone and abusing them? Will this movie make young jazz musicians think that all you need to do to become the next Bird is work really hard, get yelled at, and practice till you bleed? Is this portrayal of the teacher-student dynamic helpful or harmful?”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Alabama Symphony Chooses New Music Director

16784038-mmmain

Carlos Izcaray, a Venezuelan-born conductor, 37, “has been announced as the new music director of the 53-member orchestra, taking over the baton from previous director Justin Brown. Izcaray, who lives in Germany, will move to Alabama with his family later this year and begin his official tenure as maestro in September.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

So How Are The Acoustics At Paris’s New Concert Hall?

philharmonie de paris int

Tom Service: “If the other 2,399 seats are as good as the one I was sitting in, I think that the Philharmonie could be one of the most dynamic and exciting places to hear orchestral music in the world – as well as the most fun simply to sit in, thanks to the combination of intimacy and imagination of the interior.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Concert Companion – Orchestra Tests App To Enhance Your Listening Experience

20150115_inq_dsslive15z-f

“At a time when most orchestras are policing interruptive phones during concerts – in China, red lasers zap offending users – here smartphones were not only kept on but encouraged, though the specially designed darkened screens created by the app are theoretically not distracting to nearby patrons, and repeated messages appear on phone screens reminding everybody to turn down the ringtones.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

After A Century, Wisconsin Orchestra Is Going Silent

green bay

The Green Bay Symphony “has survived world wars, the Great Depression, financial troubles, years-long closures, the introduction of television and the rise of rock ‘n’ roll. It has performed under different names in various venues, and morphed from an amateur community group to a professional one. And now, amid donor fatigue and declining ticket sales, the farewell season is in full swing. Musicians, though, remain hopeful that they can drum up support to keep the symphony intact.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Lincoln Center and New York Philharmonic Move Into Opera (Look Out, Met!)

opera nyphil lincinc

“For years, the Metropolitan Opera has gently encroached on the symphonic terrain of its Lincoln Center neighbors with orchestral concerts at Carnegie Hall. Now the shoe is on the other foot: Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic said on Wednesday that they would join forces to mount several fully staged opera productions” of acclaimed new works from Europe that the Met seems too risk-averse to touch.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Paris’s New Concert Hall, Meant To Bridge Divides, Has Created New Ones

PHILHARMONIE de parius

The location and programming of the Philharmonie de Paris, perched right on the city line next to the ring road, are aimed to reach out toward the four million people living in the capital’s northern and eastern suburbs. But they – many of them immigrants or their French-born children – are wary, even as many in the city’s established classical music audiences object to the hall’s remote location.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The Philharmonie de Paris’s Architect Boycotted The Hall’s Grand Opening

jean-nouvel-philharmonie

In an editorial in Le Monde, Jean Nouvel alleges that he has been sidelined and ignored, and that key decisions about the hall, made with no input from him, have compromised the building. “The contempt these last two years for architecture, for the architect’s craft … prevents me from expressing my agreement and satisfaction with attending the opening ceremony.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Sir Neville Marriner, Still Conducting At 90

neville-marriner

The birthday year of the founder of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra “has been a big deal in the world of classical music, where the conductor is widely regarded as one of the most prolific, rigorous and amiable musicians of his time.” (By the way, he says audiences are “much more sophisticated nowadays.”)

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Shift: A Reimagined Spring For Music Festival Going To The Kennedy Center

imrs

“Called “Shift: A Festival of American orchestras,” and initially scheduled for a three-year run starting in the spring of 2017, the festival is a continuation, or reimagining, of the Spring for Music festival that ran in New York from 2010 to 2014, which brought orchestras large and small to Carnegie Hall with innovative, unusual programs.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The Musician Making Money By Understanding Search Engines

ff_hackingspotify_f

“I realized people will type weird stuff into search engines, and there’s not always songs for the stuff. If you search for ‘love’ on iTunes or Spotify, you’re going to get something like 15 million songs. If you search ‘monkey,’ you’re going to get fewer.” So Matt Farley decided to fill that gap.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Writing A Singable English Version Of The World’s First Good Opera Wasn’t As Easy As It Sounded

Orfeo

“The technical problems of making a singable version of an Italian opera can be stated very simply: you have to make English sentences fit music written for Italian ones. However, this is like trying to fit a set of spanners into a velvet box made for a dinner-service. It also means you have to flip the polarity of the whole language.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

What Everyone Gets Wrong About (Classical Music) Minimalism

glass2_3156823b

“Despite the terrible moniker, and the scorn of modernists and traditionalists alike, minimalism is triumphant. You can hear the echo of its pounding beats, static harmonies and slowly shifting patterns everywhere in the wider world of music, from TV commercials to film scores to pop music.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter