George Walker: “I don’t know what relaxation is.” He keeps working because “I want more people to hear my work. I want people to get acquainted with my music.” (includes serious dis of Elliott Carter)
The survey usually asks things like “What was the most important/ influential/impactful event to happen in the music business [this year], and why?” This year, it’s “Who is the most devious executive in the music industry?” and “Which artist’s private behavior belies his/her sterling public persona?” Most controversially, the questionnaire casually asks readers if they believe singer Kesha’s accusations that her ex-manager sexually abused her.
“At a time when so many of our everyday choices get gussied up in the language of ‘curation,’ playlists and d.j.s (particularly celebrity d.j.s) have taken on an elevated role. The playlist has become a kind of biographical shorthand, a way of communicating something essential about ourselves through the performance of taste. Of course, taste and relatability mean something different when they involve someone with drones at his disposal.”
Selling tickets wasn’t a problem. “The festival, whose name means ‘sounds of wisdom’, is held every February. For the past 12 years, it has attracted thousands of international visitors to the Tanzanian island. Festival promoter Yusuf Mahmoud said the target was to raise $200,000 (£130,000) before the dates for 2016 edition would be announced. But so far only $42,000 has been raised, he said.”
An exploratory study finds emotion regulation may be “a secondary outcome of music listening. Rather, the “fundamental drivers” of our thirst for music appear to be the intense emotions a given melody produces, the way it facilitates reminiscing, and—as we age—its ability to produce transcendent experiences.
Lawrence Brownlee: “I talk to my agent to schedule as much time as I can at home without hurting my career. But if you’re in this business, you have to be out and about so people will see you. I do hate leaving my wife and kids. I’ve missed so many milestones, especially my son with his special needs. I’ll come home and I’m amazed at some of the things he can do.”
“Today, the ASO is showing signs of financial health not seen in more than a decade, a condition which musicians and management agree bodes well for restoring the musical standards that had previously elevated the orchestra to critical acclaim, international prominence and a seemingly endless string of Grammy Awards.”
“Philadelphia Orchestra associate conductors are like U.S. vice presidents: They have huge exposure, a bit of dirty work to do, and ascend to the boss’ job only in dire circumstances. Nonetheless, Philadelphia’s Cristian Macelaru (once associate conductor – new title, ‘conductor-in-residence’) is making a more-than-vice-presidential career for himself” – including important gigs filling in for the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and the ailing Pierre Boulez.
“Unlike the more formal records of Feldman or Cage speaking or writing, you’re privy in these conversations to the two men working ideas out rather than presenting finely worked philosophies or arguments. It’s like being given access to their combined creative process at a key moment in both of their musical lives.”
“So far Apple’s new service has had a mixed reaction in the music and tech press, and its impact on the music charts over all has been minimal. In a comparison of Nielsen streaming data for a dozen popular albums, most had increases of 10 to 20 percent in the week that Apple Music’s numbers were first incorporated into the charts, but had flat results or even a loss the next week.”
Yes, the programming is still restricted to ten operas, the theater seats are still hot and uncomfortable, you can still wait years for the privilege of buying tickets, and a Wagner descendant is still in charge, public funding or no. But the Richard Wagner museum is now far more forthcoming about the unsavory parts of the family history, production styles are about as Regiefied as anywhere in Germany, and (a huge change) about a quarter of the tickets are now available for purchase – by anyone – straight from the box office.
“Why do we have to work so hard to love new American opera? Part of the problem is that even those who love opera tend to think of it these days as a problem child: an acquired taste, a genre that has to work hard to win people over, an art form for which one must make allowances. Some try to conceal it as something other than it is, downplaying the word “opera” on marketing materials about works adapted from familiar books and/or films: they’ll like it, the reasoning goes, if only we can get them in.”
The Detroit Symphony “is launching what it says is the country’s only on-demand archive of orchestral video performances. Intended as a perk for donors contributing at least $50 to the DSO’s annual fund, the Replay archive will allow listeners to watch performances drawn from the orchestra’s free, weekly high-definition webcasts dating back three years.”
“The renowned conductor … got an early break when, as a very young man, he was hired as Claudio Abbado’s assistant at La Scala in Milan. Now Mr. Chailly, 62, is following in the footsteps of Mr. Abbado, who died in 2014, in more ways than one: he became principal conductor at La Scala this year, and on Thursday he was named music director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which Mr. Abbado revived and led for 11 years.”
“Opera is an expensive art form. It receives millions of pounds of public money. Can that be justified? Peter Day gets a range of operatic experiences – from top opera companies, to pub performers and a country house summer festival. The first opera was performed 400 years ago in Italy; how does the future look?” (audio)