“Campaigners are urging the government to take “four pragmatic steps” that would disrupt the touts and help get more face-value tickets into the hands of fans. Meanwhile, gig goers are being encouraged to sign up at fanfairalliance.org where they can share their experiences and stories, and there are plans to produce educational guides for fans and music businesses.”
And, by the way, is it an opera or isn’t it?
“Some chords sound good—they’re consonant—and other notes grate when they’re played at the same time. Unraveling why that is could explain something basic about how humans perceive the world. Maybe people are just wired that way. Or maybe, as a paper argues today in Nature, it’s a product of human culture.”
“If I tell people I got a commission, they say ‘Congratulations!’ But a commission is almost like being challenged to a duel. … Or it feels like one of the tasks of Hercules. In this span of time, you have to solve this crazy problem which can be artistic or emotional or musical. … Deadlines are very odd. They’re these constantly shifting sources of anxiety. There’s no way to predict what they actually mean.” (audio)
“Likely written between 1740 and 1745, the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-flat Major (BWV 998) is a favorite among both harpsichords and lutenists. Like many works by [Bach], it can be played on different instruments, which is expressly indicated on this score in the composer’s handwriting: ‘Prélude pour la Luth ò Cembal‘ (for lute or keyboard).”
Aureliano in Palmira, which gets its U.S. premiere next week, “tells the story of Roman emperor Aurelian’s 272 A.D. campaign against Queen Zenobia of Palmyra … [It] has had a fascinating journey – from highly anticipated star vehicle to underwhelming opening night to obscurity to recent rediscovery as one of Rossini’s most beautiful works.” And you’ll probably recognize the opening notes immediately.
The event, which had been scheduled to run from Saturday through next Wednesday, was to have featured George Clinton, Laura Mvula, Avishai Cohen, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Youssou N’Dour, among others.
“I’ve never understood why the music of America’s midcentury modern composers disappeared from our concert halls. Not only is it “entertaining,” but it speaks to ordinary listeners in a direct, immediately comprehensible way, just like the better-known music of Copland and Samuel Barber. Don’t take my word for it—try listening for yourself.”
The story of western classical music’s trajectory in China summons a vast canvas, featuring priests, revolutionaries, heroes and emperors.
“The value that the military bands offer is far greater than a small percentage point reduction on a budget line. The historic precedent for Pentagon funding for these programs stretches back to the United States’ founding.”
At a Major League Baseball game on Tuesday night, a member of the pop-opera group The Tenors, without warning his colleagues, changed the words of Canada’s national anthem to add the words “all lives matter” – and, of course, all hell broke loose. Said tenor evidently had no idea that “all lives matter” is an anti-#BlackLivesMatter backlash slogan and thought he was being inclusive. And so the jokes begin …
“Four of the [eliminated] jobs were in the marketing department, and a fifth was cut from the education department, symphony spokeswoman Julia Kirchhausen confirmed in an email.”
“Austria’s Grafenegg Festival, now approaching its tenth year as a destination summer event, with preliminary events beginning July 16, has appointed Leon Botstein as artistic director of the Grafenegg Campus and Academy, effective in 2018. The position is a new one, not to be confused with artistic director of the festival itself; that is Rudolf Buchbinder, in the job since the event’s beginnings in 2007.”
“Compared with earlier years, songs in 2010 were more likely to include the singer referring to the self by name, general self-promotion, and bragging about wealth, partner’s appearance, or sexual prowess,” the researchers report. “A similar, albeit nonsignificant increase, was also seen for bragging about musical prowess and demands for respect. Overall, the most popular music from 2010 contained more self-promotion than music from 1990 or 2000.”
“[Eric] Kujawsky is the director, founder, and inspiration behind the Redwood Symphony, which he has recently nicknamed ‘the Bernie Sanders of Symphonies’ because of their steadfast commitment to a progressive approach that embraces ambitious and contemporary music. If you wonder whether that includes a chip on the shoulder; yes, it does.”
“Founded in 2007, JACK has become an important ensemble with a reputation for adventurousness and for championing new work. … The personnel change adds a new wrinkle to the quartet’s name. JACK is an acronym made up of the first letters of the first names of its original musicians.”
“After a series of Google searches along the lines of ‘classical music black lives matter,’ it became clear to [Eun Lee] that no such project existed. ‘It just hit me,’ Ms. Lee said, ‘that, as much as we were seeing a response from rap musicians and folk musicians and now more and more pop musicians, there was no such response from the classical music community.'”
“On Saturday, 7,548 musicians assembled in a Frankfurt sports stadium to smash the world record for largest musical ensemble. … The orchestra performed the 9th symphonies of Dvorak and Beethoven, as well as lighter numbers by Andrew Lloyd Webber and pop music composer John Miles.” (includes video)
“After spending last season trying out candidates, Orchestra 2001 says it has hired a new artistic director: Jayce Ogren. He starts the job at the group’s concerts in late October.” He is only the second director Orchestra 2001 has ever had.
“The people who were there, and there were quite a lot of them, screamed and yelled with whole-hearted appreciation. And there were plenty of younger faces among the picnickers on the lawn. But it was far from a capacity crowd. Fewer people than in the past view the chance to hear a star soloist, rising conductor and orchestra in popular repertoire on a warm summer night as a can’t-miss event.”
“‘I wanted to buy something special,’ Mr. Wang said. ‘It’s just like a Rolls-Royce.'”
“The Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music was renowned throughout the Middle East. But when war broke out many of its members had to flee.”
“L.A. Opera sold 118,565 tickets for the 2015-16 season, compared with 98,861 for 2014-15, the company said. Ticket revenue was about $14.2 million for the 2015-16 period, compared with about $11.1 million during the previous period.”
Not many of us remember Barbara Strozzi and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre; more of us know of Clara Schumann and Fanny Hensel (née Mendelssohn). Here’s an opportunity to get to know all four of them, as well as four more, a bit better.
“With Steinway’s blessing, [photographer Christopher] Payne spent time in virtually every corner of the large factory, from the foundry where the iron is poured to the mill where the lumber is cut. And though he came to possess a strong technical understanding of how these elements come together to form precision musical instruments, he said, the transformation never ceased to strike him as an act of magic.”
“The openly gay Melbourne native with a Jewish background has turned the opera scene in the German capital — not to mention traditional business acumen — on its head since he took over the Komische Oper four years ago.”
“Playing out behind the sleek, elegant lines of Oslo’s Opera House is a financial crisis so dramatic that it prompted Opera management to close the publicly owned building to the public itself last weekend, in order to rent it out for a ‘considerable’ sum for a private wedding. Now that’s stirring additional drama as well.”
Performing operas with cuts was common practice until the mid-20th century, as performing Shakespeare, for instance, is today. So, the argument goes, returning to the practice now is hardly as heretical as it might seem. “I don’t think we can any longer fail to hear what our audience is saying about length,” says Gockley.
John C. Gawf had power of attorney for his mother, who suffers from dementia, and he wrote himself checks from her account to pay gambling debts and credit card bills.