“We Shall Overcome” is a staple for civil-rights protests—and for that matter, for any kind of social-justice movement. The Library of Congress calls it “the most powerful song of the 20th century.” So it was a surprise to learn that not only is the identity of the person who made it into that anthem known, but he died only on May 2.
“Almost 45 years have passed since Szell’s death in 1970, but his support of programming and commissioning new works, which continued and thrived under the directorships of both Lorin Maazel and Dohnányi, has been significantly curtailed under the orchestra’s current leadership of Franz Welser-Möst.”
“The operas — from 15 presenters including the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London and the Aix-en-Provence Festival — will be streamed live on the website of the Opera Platform, at www.theoperaplatform.eu. The site said that subtitles in six languages would be available, and each opera would remain available on demand for six months.”
“Right now, publishers and songwriters are required to license their songs to anyone, at rates that are set by a special rate court. ASCAP and BMI have been pushing to raise those rates, but Pandora and other streaming services have pushed back. So far, the courts have sided with Pandora. Now, the publishers are trying a new approach.”
“The orchestra announced Thursday that a successful fund-raising campaign, and a new contract that it reached with its musicians, would allow it to hire 14 more full-time players over the next four years, expanding the size of the ensemble to 90 as other orchestras around the country, from Philadelphia to Atlanta, have shed positions to save money.”
“If all now goes according to plan, four or five student designs of women and men’s garments will be presented to Baltimore Symphony players this summer. The design school has already taken the BSO musicians’ measurements with a 3-D body scanner. According to Gabbi Asfour, a fashion designer who leads the Parsons effort, once the musicians choose their garments, production will take about four months.”
“The Rotterdam Philharmonic said on Tuesday that its principal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin will step down in 2018, his tenth year on the job. The announcement was widely expected, as the conductor has also been juggling directorships at the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, and is increasingly tapped as a guest conductor.”
The 65-year-old tenor, said more than once in the past to have been a candidate for the top post at the Vienna State Opera, has been named chief of opera at the Mikhailovsky Theatre which artistic director (and chief funder) Vladimir Kekhman has transformed from poor stepsister to the Mariinsky into one of Russia’s most dynamic opera and ballet houses.
“No, there will be no white smoke, and these are not cardinals in the Sistine Chapel. These voters are the tenured musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic, and they are set to meet at 10 a.m. on Monday at an undisclosed location in Berlin to make one of the most prestigious appointments in classical music: a new chief conductor and artistic director, who will succeed Simon Rattle when he leaves the orchestra in 2018.”
“It’s easy to understand why any orchestra might be eager to get Salonen onto the payroll. At 56, the Helsinki-born musician is at the top of his game as a conductor, with a broad range of both new music and a standard repertoire that he performs with a blend of technical bravura and interpretive insight.”
Violinist Vena Johnson of the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra: “There’s this disconnect between what the art means to us and how that translates into the community. Many people just aren’t reached. It’s not necessarily economic – if the art isn’t speaking to a society for what we’re going through, then it won’t translate.” (Philip Glass’s String Quartet No. 5 went over particularly well in the soup kitchen.)
The payment, which includes accrued retirement plan funds and unused vacation pay, to former general director, artistic director and CEO Ian Campbell and deputy director Ann Spira Campbell was negotiated and paid last June, with the money provided by an anonymous donor separately from all operating funds for the company.
Under the terms of a settlement reached with Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group, Grooveshark said it has agreed to “cease operations immediately, wipe clean all of the record companies’ copyrighted works and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.”
The board chairman said in a statement, “Lyric Opera of Kansas City is reorganizing along the lines of standard industry structure for the purpose of improved effectiveness and efficiency in our operation and has eliminated the position of artistic director. Lyric Opera of Kansas City today announces the departure of Artistic Director Ward Holmquist. We thank him for his years of service.”
“Single-minded Keith Sivyer bought every new release that entered the UK single charts since their inception in 1952 until his death in February aged 75. Every week, without fail, Keith visited his local record shop with a copy of Music Week and bought the latest songs that had entered the top 40 before going home and adding them to his archive.”
“The point is that while music is as lucrative as ever for those at the top, what’s diminished, as in so many jobs, is the comfortable middle, where once upon a time musicians who never quite hit the big time could nonetheless make their living: not super-rich, but doing fine and enjoying a certain stability. What we are left with now is a kind of all or nothing, in which you either scale the dizzy heights or languish forlornly at the bottom.”
“In the journal Musicae Scientiae, Michael Silverman and Jon Hallberg of the University of Minnesota describe a small program they created and implemented in which music students—specifically, classical pianists and guitarists—spent time performing in a primary care clinic waiting area. Subsequent interviews with staff members of the clinic found their reaction was overwhelmingly positive.”