“Who had the idea that there should be a soundtrack at all? Perhaps surprisingly, given that select late-19th-century audiences in Europe had actually received live opera broadcasts via telephone, the idea of hold music doesn’t seem to appear until fairly late in the 20th century.”
“Mr. Spano took a step that music directors rarely take, and weighed in on the negotiations. He and Donald Runnicles, the orchestra’s principal guest conductor, wrote a letter in which they said, ‘We ask the board and management to acknowledge the sacrifice the musicians have already made, and to examine other ways and areas to establish sustainability.'”
“Though he has a license from the city, he’s received tickets for using public property for storage after putting down his spare clarinet on a sidewalk while he played, and for ‘super noise’ while playing his clarinet without an amp on Michigan Avenue. On multiple occasions he has been to court, where judges throw out the case every time.”
“Once [Jeff] Alexander takes command, he will have his work cut out for him.” Deborah Rutter really is a tough act to follow. But, writes John von Rhein, though Alexander hasn’t (yet) been as high-profile as, say, Rutter or Deborah Borda or Alison Vulgamore, he has plenty of experience that will stand him in good stead.
Prominent figures from the classical music world have united to condemn the excision of new music from the televised Proms. Susanna Eastburn, the chief executive of Sound and Music, the national agency for new music, said it was “a policy-by-implication which assumes that audiences won’t like new music, and that it’s not valued by the BBC”.
David Patrick Stearns: “Symphony orchestras draw great cachet from their geographical homes: Any group with Vienna, Berlin, or Amsterdam in its name is going to command immediate attention from audiences … So can an orchestra from Turkey, Iceland, or Lapland hope to be noticed at the world’s busiest orchestra festival, [the BBC Proms]? Actually, it can.”
“Partch’s masterpiece is the bizarre 1960s music drama Delusion of the Fury. It is outlandish and magnificent and … if it is hardly ever staged that’s because it can’t be: it requires its very own orchestra of hand-built instruments, each one specially invented by Partch to play his unique microtonal music.” But Goebbels – who has created a few insane music-theater spectacles of his own in his day – pulled it off.
“Recently, while moving my CD collection to new shelving, I struggled with feelings of obsolescence and futility. Why bother with space-devouring, planet-harming plastic objects when so much music can be had at the touch of a trackpad? … What was once known as building a library is now considered hoarding.”
In the outdoor sound installation Living Symphonies, detailed data mapping of a patch of woodland meets instrumental motifs composed for each of that patch’s inhabitants, animal and vegetable. “Only the fragments that reflect the forest’s activity – be it the snare-drum rattle of the squirrel running up a tree, the soprano sax and clarinet piece of the goldcrest flying overhead, or the creaking melody of the tam-tam drums and body of a double bass of the giant sequoia tree – are played through the speakers in real-time, the piece continually developing … ‘solely at the whims of the forest’.”
The 45-year-old Finn, until last year music director of Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris and recently appointed principal guest conductor of Lisbon’s Gulbenkia Orchestra and active throughout Europe and North America as a guest conductor, takes over from John Storgårds in Helsinki at the start of 2016.
Alexander Periera “was reflective about his struggles with the budget in Salzburg, where he arrived after more than 20 years at the Zurich Opera House to discover that the locked subsidies had created a large financial hole. ‘I was so charmed by being asked back into my home country that I didn’t do due diligence,’ he said. ‘And that was a big mistake.'”