Conductor and radio presenter Guy Noble: “The houses are too big for many of the voices to cut through and as a consequence audiences are leaving with a less than exciting experience. Amplification is seen as such a dirty word. … I sincerely hope that opera doesn’t disappear in a puff of purist smoke. And if it does, might we not even be able to hear it?”
“The debate about production style – a lot of time audiences are unhappy about production style – and I am too when I see some work, particularly in Germany, because what I’m detecting is a director saying, ‘I have to make my mark with this piece. I have to do something that will never be forgotten.’ And I think that’s such a dull way of proceeding because I think we should approach the operas with more humility than that. All of us.”
“The ‘Members Club,’ a new style of subscription plan …, now active and deployed through a new smartphone app, is open to all but targets young and middle-aged people who would like to attend more frequently but choose not to commit to traditional subscriptions.”
“During his 34-year tenure, Wolfe led countless concerts for the organization now known as the Sarasota Orchestra, performed in what is now the Sarasota String Quartet, co-founded the Sarasota Music Festival and expanded and enthusiastically conducted the organization’s vibrant youth orchestra.”
“Although performances with the Texas Ballet Theater this weekend in Dallas will go on as scheduled, thanks to an arrangement made with the striking musicians, symphony management said it is canceling” concerts on Sept. 24 and 25.
“On the eve of a new season, which starts on Sept. 17, the orchestra is polling its subscribers, supporters and community leaders, among others, as it considers rebranding itself and creating a new logo. … Survey questions include the frequency that people attend BPO concerts and whether it is for the traditional classics series or its Pops or Rock shows.”
“Outside of games, music is almost certainly the most popular content type in VR right now, which makes sense both technically—right now, VR’s best for quick viewing periods, about the length of your average song—and creatively. Both formats trade in experiences, connection, and immersion. You don’t go to a concert for the sound quality; you go to be part of something.”
Alison Kinney: “I heard my first Glass opera, Satyagraha, days after a protest where I witnessed the use of unnecessary force by police against protesters … Since then, I’ve never heard the structures of Glass’s music simply as formal sound projections, onto a backdrop of historical source material. Now, I hear in the musical forms the forms of nonviolent resistance itself: holding steady, taking small steps forward, being beaten back, and getting up again.”
“An unusual episode in classical music philanthropy – the effort to build a theater for the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland to produce operatic and experimental works – came to an apparent end on Monday when Swiss officials voted it down.”
“Officials say the Detroit Symphony Community Orchestra is the first of its kind for the professional orchestral organization founded in the late 19th century.”
“Many jazz fans assume that New York has always been the preferred destination for up-and-coming musicians, but this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, New York came late to the jazz party.”
“For the last three years, he has been trying to have his children exempted from music classes in a public elementary school. He has stated that music is against his religious views. At this point in time, he hasn’t succeeded in winning an official exemption for his kids – and he’s up against a formidable barrier.”
“On Feb. 6, 2014, Takashi Niigaki faced a crowd of reporters … in Tokyo and took a deep and apologetic bow. He had just revealed that he was ghostwriter for Mamoru Samuragochi, who was celebrated as ‘Japan’s Beethoven’ before being exposed as a fraud. In Hiroshima on Aug. 15 of this year, Niigaki found himself again bowing before a crowd, but this time it was on a stage in acceptance of a warm shower of applause.”
“South Africa’s leading opera house has been accused of financially exploiting 12 singers who performed internationally in a controversial but critically acclaimed production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, set in colonial [Eritrea] and portraying racial abuse and rape by fascist Italian troops.”
For the first time since it was organized in 1989, the Colorado Symphony is beginning a new concert season with a budget surplus, $1.7 million in cash in the bank and substantial financial commitments toward a goal of creating a $50 million permanent endowment.
“The piece doesn’t attempt to present an even-handed explanation of what’s happening; instead, it uncritically reposts the position of one actor in the dispute. This is a blind spot I’ve seen many times, from many reporters. We’re conditioned to believe that since management deals with the business side of the organization, anything it says about the business side of the organization is true and unbiased.”
“Management says it simply can’t grant the musicians raises and remain viable. Orchestra staffers’ pay has been frozen for several years, and they have received no pension funding, management says. The orchestra is projecting a $700,000 operating deficit for the 2016-17 season. The symphony finished its most recent season with a $500,000 deficit, $300,000 less than projected, partly because of better-than-expected ticket sales for the Concerts in the Garden. How did the orchestra’s financial situation get so dire?”
One might think it odd to stage a symphony at Glacier Point. But according to Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman, “From the signing of the Yosemite Grant to the present day, the arts have played a significant role in the creation and continued interest in preserving these public places.” Yosemite sparkles in Ansel Adams’ photos. It is illuminated by John Muir’s prose. Yosemite has a new artistic champion in Les Marsden, the conductor of the Mariposa orchestra.
“Arts institutions are fragile. There are always lots of competing needs. But the Cube needs to be a regular place for provocative, out-of-the-box and grassroots entertainment that reflects the personality of the city.”
“The decision to appoint Mr. Mears to succeed the Danish-born Kasper Holten came as a surprise, because Mr. Mears has little experience with the politics of big opera houses and has a relatively modest international profile.”
Amazon and Pandora “are set to introduce new versions of their streaming services in coming weeks, charging as little as $5 a month.”
“The company will still use the striking musicians to accompany the ballet performances, but the musicians will perform under the name Symphony Musicians of Fort Worth. Harth-Bedoya will conduct as planned.”
“The novel — over 2,400 pages in its standard English translation, twice as long as ‘War and Peace’ — is told in a mere two hours and 20 minutes. Hundreds of characters have been cut, leaving just eight main figures in the final show.”
“He assumes leadership of the orchestra — widely considered to be among the top five in the world — at a moment when it is at its musical apex but facing real fund-raising challenges.”
“A lesson would often begin with a conversation about anything from musical to personal to political to philosophical. Two chairs were set, just a bit away from the piano. She’d sit on the one closer to the piano, the student would be closer to the stereo. I’d often put a CD into it with the track I’d be singing for her.”
“In a statement, the organisers, who want to remain anonymous, said: ‘Music doesn’t recognise borders, religion, gender, age, status or creed and most orchestras, shows and music schools rely heavily on talented musicians from inside and outside the EU.'”
“We’re not very close at the moment, but are going to allow some time to let both parties figure out how to get close, and we are optimistic we can be closer in a couple of weeks.”
Michael Cooper: “Of course they need to fix the acoustics. … But what about the little things that can make all the difference when it comes to creating a concert hall that people will fall in love with? The things that might not rise to the top of the to-do list when planning a mega-project that is expected to begin in 2019 and cost on the order of a half-billion dollars? As a frequent concertgoer, I have a few modest proposals.”
“The musicians officially went on strike at 12:30 p.m. Thursday and symphony management subsequently canceled this weekend’s upcoming concerts … The strike, which was authorized by union members on Tuesday evening, comes one day after symphony management issued its ‘last, best and final offer,’ in contract talks. The offer was characterized by union leadership as the same proposal that musicians voted to reject on Sunday evening.”
It’s an unusual and quiet sound indeed, as anyone who has ever moved a finger around the ridge of a glass knows. But it’s apparently a sound that appeals to modern ears and composers.