“These small grammatical rebellions strike some as poetic and others as pretentious — at least when the titles are given as their composers intended. (They are rendered inconsistently in many publications, including the one you are reading, that strive to follow standard grammar rules.)”
Very possibly. Musicologist Laurie Stras writes about a carefully but anonymously published collection of motets, all for treble voices, from 16th-century Italy; about the life of Sister Leonora d’Este, born four years before her notorious mother died; and about why she thinks that Leonora wrote this music but would have to keep her name off of it. (includes video and audio)
In assembling this list, critic Alexandra Coghlan made it a point to avoid the names that always come up (Hildegard of Bingen, Clara Schumann, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre), but ranged from 9th-century Byzantium to 17th-century Milan (a nun, no less) to the Depression-era U.S. (includes sound clips)
“So far, this has affected numerous musicians who planned to perform at the festival, with some of their experiences shedding a very unflattering light on the U.S. immigration system. Below are the stories of every band that has, so far, been unable to make it to SXSW due to visa issues.”
“For the past decade, Seattle Opera has spent $2 million to $3 million more a year than it earns, and its financial reserves are drying up. In an attempt to stabilize, the company will cut six full-time jobs and close its Renton scene shop.”
“Maybe a more entrepreneurial classical world would be of benefit to everyone and help to attract more people to concerts?”
“On the surface, this is a startling coup for New York. In her 17 years as head of the L.A. Phil, Borda has made it the most successful and glamorous orchestra in America and the most progressive major symphony in the world, premiering an unprecedented amount of new music, staging operas and rethinking every aspect of the symphony orchestra for the 21st century.”
The notion of “abstract music” is a troubled one; music becomes “abstract” mostly by association with art that is so named.
The problems of getting visiting musicians or foreign music students into the country, the problems and possible advantages of the potential disappearance of the NEA and NEH, the increase of
xenophobia nationalist sentiment in American society – Mark MacNamara looks at how music organizations in the Bay Area are approaching these challenges.
They approve – especially of the musicals and renting out the house.
“The intensive, exhaustive process used to choose them all, largely created by local lawyer and arts supporter Roger Saydack, has become a national model — “he literally wrote the book” on picking a music director, says ESO executive director Scott Freck, noting that Saydack wrote the League of American Orchestras’ manual on orchestra MD searches. So who becomes the next ESO artistic leader matters — not just here, but nationally.”
“Groupmuse is something of an Airbnb for classical music concerts, so unsurprisingly, millennials are latching onto this relatively new startup in increasingly large numbers. The company pairs up music lovers with a space to offer—a living room, a backyard or something larger if it’s available—with classical musicians looking to make a few dollars and potentially build their fanbase with people in the area.”
“Today the hottest ticket in San Francisco classical music is around the corner at SoundBox, a new performance venue, launched by the Symphony in 2014, that has turned a decidedly unglamorous, acoustically dreadful building into a place designed to attract an entirely new audience to the symphony. At SoundBox, the 500-person audience sits on low-slung ottomans and benches—or simply stands. You can get fancy cocktails and snacks like bacon caramel popcorn at the bar, any time. Looking for a printed program? Nope—just look at the SoundBox site on your phone.”
Zachary Woolfe has a conversation with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen about the new concerto the latter has written for the former.
The Stradivarius violin that troubled music student Phil Johnson stole from violinist Roman Totenberg (yes, Nina’s father) in 1980 was recovered after Johnson died in 2012. After years of careful restoration, it was returned to performance by former Totenberg student Mira Wang on Monday night in New York. Geoff Edgers reports.
The agreement, which was agreed-on in principle in late October but took until mid-February to draft, increases musicians’ pay by 10.4% over its five-year term.
Fran Hoepfner is still stuck on Brahms, luckily, since the orchestra was too: “The piano is to reckoned with. Maybe it’s a protagonist in the face of adversity. Maybe I’m projecting. Who’s to say? After almost ten years of knowing this piece — and this movement in particular — I don’t feel any closer to it than when I started. The more I learn about Brahms, the more unsettling it becomes. It’s a Rubik’s cube of a piece.”
There’s an igloo concert hall in Sweden where performers play percussion and string instruments made of ice. Of course, “one of the major problems with conducting an ice orchestra is that the instruments eventually fall out of tune due to body heat from the performers and audience.”
Well, that’s one approach to dealing with ticket touts and making it slightly more fair, if it works. The touts have no one to blame but themselves: “Last month, resale site Viagogo was accused of ‘moral repugnance’ for selling tickets to an Ed Sheeran Teenage Cancer Trust gig for up to £5,000.”
“Previous research shows that the vast majority of people who enjoy music show an increase in heart rate or skin conductance—where a person’s skin temporarily becomes a conductor of electricity in response to something they find stimulating. Musical anhedonics, however, show no such physiological change to music. A recent study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, took those findings a step further by studying neural responses to music.”
The many online apologists for Ethan Iverson and Robert Glasper have been dismissing their sexist remarks as the clumsy gestures of good ol’ boys. But inadvertently sexist remarks, like inadvertently racist remarks, can be more telling, because they often point to more fundamental and systemic discrimination. The jazz world has a right — and, some would say, a duty — to criticize speech that promotes sexist culture, whether that speech had a malicious or benign intent.
Written in 1829, the manuscript of “Easter Sonata” was considered “lost” for more than 140 years, until the original turned up in a French book shop bearing the signature “F Mendelssohn.” The collector who bought it concluded the “F” stood for Felix. It didn’t…
The California company, founded in 1998, had faced cash shortfalls, unpaid musicians, allegations of financial mismanagement, the firing of its music director, and a defamation lawsuit.
Ronald Eichman and Thi Nguyen, who were general director and associate director until the end of 2014, allege that the company and Matthew Buckman (Eichman’s successor) falsely accused Eichman and Nguyen of financial malfeasance and conflicts of interest in several stories published in The Fresno Bee last year. (The company itself promptly closed down.)
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim writes about the immigrant cabbie who ended up recommending to her a composer she’d never before encountered.
Frank Gehry’s oval design, with no stage, merely a center, genuinely seems to open up, in the spirit of Boulez’s long-held desire for a flexible salle modulable, the possibility of the “thinking ear”: to engage, to reflect, to make itself part of the performance. The greatest possible distance between the conductor and the most distant member of the audience (682 seats in total) is just 14 meters. There is intimacy—the intimacy, its initiators hope, of collaborative endeavor.
Following an avalanche of criticism over what some bands said was a “deportation clause” in its performance contract, the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., which starts Friday, released a statement on Tuesday saying that it would amend its agreements starting in 2018. The organizers of the festival, however, furiously denied that the language in its contracts over the past five years had been designed to encourage the deportation of foreign artists visiting the United States to perform at its event.
Two weeks after the Metropolitan Opera announced its 2017-18 season, including a big new production of Tosca headlined by Kaufmann, the tenor revealed that he had withdrawn from the project. However, tucked deep in this article by Michael Cooper about Kaufmann’s frequent cancellations is a quote from Met general manager Peter Gelb which implies that he made Kaufmann’s withdrawal more complete than Kaufmann himself had wished.