Listen To John Cage And Morton Feldman In Conversation


“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.”

The First Big Test For Apple Music


“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.”

Bayreuth Festival Starts Loosening Up (A Bit)


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.

New Opera’s Acceptance Problem


“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.”

Orchestra-On-Demand: Detroit Symphony Launches Video Archive Of All Its Concerts


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.”

Riccardo Chailly Is Lucerne Festival Orchestra’s Next Music Director


“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.”

BBC Radio’s Global Business News Program Goes To The Opera


“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)

Prince Compares Traditional Recording Contracts To Slavery


“His pitch to the group was simple: Typical record company contracts turn artists into indentured servants with little control over how their music is used, particularly when it comes to revenue from streaming services playing their music online — and he wants to change that.”

The Orchestra Light Show That Ate Cincinnati


Tens of thousands flock to the Cincinnati Symphony’s now-annual light show extravaganza lighting up the outside of the Music Hall. Last year 42,000 tickets to the free event were claimed in a matter of minutes. This year, the orchestra charged for tickets and cut down the number, making for a different experience…

The New CEO Of The Pittsburgh Symphony Has To Confront Attendance And Budget Issues

melia peters t

“Pittsburgh Symphony projects it will run another million-dollar-plus budget deficit this season, and has seen ticket sales fall to 50 percent for the classical subscription series and to 54 percent for the Pops. The symphony’s last balanced budgets were for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, before the financial sector meltdown.”

Does Anyone Care About Blackface Makeup For Otello?


“What I think is most damaging is when there’s no discussion about it, and then you get a situation where the cover of an artistic brochure shows somebody in blackface and then the rest of us are thinking, ‘what’s going on?'” (The Met’s decision came after an outcry from some subscribers who took issue with a photo in its season brochure.)

The First Woman Member Of The New York Philharmonic Is Still Playing


“Back in 1966, when Leonard Bernstein hired Orin O’Brien to join the double bass section of the New York Philharmonic, she became the orchestra’s first woman, making history in a heretofore all-male club. (The first ever was Edna Phillips, who broke the gender barrier in 1930, when Leopold Stokowski hired her as principal harp of the Philadelphia Orchestra).”

Hip-Hop’s Battle Over Authenticity And Ownership


“Unlike other art forms, the idea of authorship is tied into hip-hop’s DNA. At the birth of rapping, rappers didn’t quite own the music, which was stitched and spliced together by a DJ from breaks. But they did own their lyrics, which were a form of currency. The four elements of hip-hop — MCing, DJing, dancing and graffiti — are all tied into things one can create for oneself. One doesn’t have to follow a fundamentalist’s or purist’s line to accept that — despite the mutations of vocalization, production, movement and art in the genre — the idea of making something from nothing, of authenticity, of realness is tied into hip-hop in a way that is absent in other musical spheres.”