We’re Entering The Next Phase Of Music Streaming

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“When artists lament Spotify’s meager payouts, the real culprit isn’t the streaming service, which pays out 70 percent of its revenue to labels and musicians—it’s the fact that streaming doesn’t make a whole lot of revenue to begin with. The most likely way for that to change is for there to be more paying users in the system. So if the golden age of simplicity for streaming’s early adopters is coming to an end, the health of the music industry might be worth it.”

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Toronto Symphony Cancels Valentina Lisitsa’s Concerto Gig Over Tweets About Ukraine

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The orchestra’s president said that Lisitsa’s contract was bought out due to “ongoing accusations of deeply offensive language by Ukrainian media outlets.” The Kyiv-born, ethnically Russian pianist’s “tweets about the Ukrainian regime have included some harsh comparisons with Nazi Germany, sometimes laced with morbid comedy.” Lisitsa’s outraged fans are fighting back.

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Too Soon? A 9/11 Opera Opens In London

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“We’re not following the details as if for a film or a documentary. It’s more the ripples that this terrible event has on peoples’ lives. Music is a fantastic vehicle for expressing energy, emotion, feelings that go beyond language.”

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California’s Iconic Record Store Amoeba Records Turns 25

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“In a lot of ways, we’re kind of like an art museum – for music. It’s interesting – a lot of people don’t know how to look at art or talk about art. But people definitely know how to talk about music. Music is something a lot more people are literate to. And people don’t really have anywhere to go, outside of a show, to cultivate that. The closest you can get is to come to a place like Amoeba.”

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Is Yannick Nézet-Séguin The Template For The New American Orchestra Music Director?

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“As a number of American orchestras — including the National Symphony Orchestra — embark on the search for new music directors of their own, Nézet-Séguin appears to be a template for what they’re looking for. If there’s a flaw in his seemingly perfect profile, everything around him is usually moving too fast, with too much electricity and excitement, for anyone to have time to figure it out.”

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The Weirdest Musical Instruments

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“As a radical new two-string violin goes on display in New York, Clemency Burton-Hill looks at some more odd instruments, from the octobass to the theremin.”

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Ukraine Opera Company Struggles On Through The Fighting

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“A bomb destroyed some of our sets that were stored in a warehouse near the airport, we’ve lost 20 percent of our staff — or 150 people — and we are short of cash,” said the weary head of the theatre, Yevgeny Denisenko. “Tomorrow I will pay the salaries (that were due in) December.”

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It’s Inevitable: Streaming Music Will Dominate

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“Even though it’s not clear how long it will take the majority of people to subscribe to an on-demand streaming music service, it’s almost certain to catch on. It’s coming—record labels want people renting their music, and consumers want access to it all.”

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How Rome’s Santa Cecilia Orchestra Came Back To Thrilling Life

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“As Italy’s unofficial national symphony for more than 100 years,” the orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia “has long commanded respect and attracted the finest conductors. And while it is regularly ranked among the world’s top orchestras, it has had its ups and downs, like most such groups.” Over the past ten years, things have been up, thanks to music director Antonio Pappano.

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Now They’ve Done It: Steinway Makes A Piano That Doesn’t Need A Pianist

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“When you buy a Spirio—not you, necessarily; they run upwards of $110,000—it comes with an iPad loaded with a Spotify-like app. This app communicates with the piano via Bluetooth, prompting the piano to play any one of the 1,700 songs recorded specifically for the instrument. New songs will sync every week. By itself, an iPad-controlled piano is nifty, if not exactly a technological marvel. What makes Spirio different is that it can play songs with an unprecedented level of accuracy and nuance.”

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Battle Raging For The Soul Of Country Music

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“Today the debate about the soul of country music has extended far outside Nashville, and it’s now safe to say that the genre has a serious image problem. It’s not just stalwart country fans that see country being overrun with chauvinist posers in skinny jeans – it’s everyone.”

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“A Standing Rebuke To Classical Music’s Hierarchies”: Ian Bostridge Writes On Schubert And The Lied

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“By the beginning of the twentieth century, because of Schubert, song had become a musical form to rival the symphony, the string quartet, and the piano sonata. … Its aesthetic claims are complex and multifaceted: the response to text, the compression of drama (the thrill of the opera in a matter of minutes), a melodic sweep and harmonic language as worthy of attention and analysis as anything in Western classical music. In this sense the lied is a standing rebuke to classical music’s hierarchies, in which the biggest – or most expensive – is best.”

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WQXR Boss: Here’s How To Pick The New Music Director Of The New York Philharmonic

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Graham Parker: “What has frustrated me more in all the articles I have read since Alan Gilbert announced his conclusion as music director, was the complete lack of considering the audience in the short listing of candidates. The audience, in this case, are: current patrons of the New York Philharmonic; future audiences who like classical music but don’t buy tickets; folks who don’t yet like classical music but have a latent reason to like it at some point; and then the wider audience of New York and all that it stands for as a leading cultural capital of the world.”

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How To Be An Independent Musician

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“In many ways, it’s easier to be an independent artist in 2015. We can arm ourselves with knowledge about the way things work. We can put something on YouTube and it becomes popular. We can access a huge mixture of diverse music. There is a price, of course.”

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How Country Came To Rule The Airwaves

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“It wasn’t inevitable that country music would thrive in the globalized world of perpetual Facebook updates, a world whose frenetic pace can be felt in electronica, or whose nouveau riche aspirations are extolled in hip-hop.”

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Russia Fires Opera Director Who Put On Wagner And Pissed Off The Church

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“Russia’s culture minister on Sunday fired the director of a Siberian theater whose modern staging of Wagner’s opera ‘Tannhauser’ offended the powerful Russian Orthodox Church. … ‘Orthodox Christianity is the foundation of the great Russian culture,’ said one of the signs held by the protesters in Novosibirsk.”

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Six Seconds In The Studio That Influenced 1500 Songs

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“Spencer retired from music more than 40 years ago and is now a novelist living in North Carolina. Although he was angry when he first heard the Amen break was being sampled, he now feels more at peace with it.”

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LA Philharmonic Extends Dudamel’s Contract For Three Years

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“The extension means that Dudamel, who’s also music director of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in his home country of Venezuela, will lead the Phil for at least 13 seasons. The orchestra did not disclose financial terms; Dudamel earned $1.44 million in 2012, according to the Phil’s most recent public tax filing.”

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