“Whether under German, Danish, Swedish, or Soviet occupation, Estonians have long turned to music as a way of preserving some semblance of national identity amid foreign domination.”
“In fiscal year 2015, the SLSO won a Grammy award, got raves at Carnegie Hall, rejoiced in a string of significant anniversaries, hired a new president and CEO, sold more tickets, received more donations and moved closer to a balanced budget.”
“The group, NYCO Renaissance, announced Wednesday that it would mount Puccini’s Tosca – the first production City Opera ever did, back in 1944 – Jan. 20-24 at the Rose Theater. … The group originally hoped to mount a lavish production by Franco Zeffirelli but now plans to use a historical, more economical one based on the designs Adolf Hohenstein created for the opera’s premiere in 1900 in Rome.” (But yes, the group’s future plans do include new and less-performed works.)
“Having a project that is a kind of forum for people to be able to express themselves and to meet each other is wonderful. It can’t possibly be the ultimate story of Detroit, but it will allow people to rally around a narrative of their city.”
“Opera companies are [being] forced more and more to rely on any private money they can raise. Inevitably, a theatre like the Royal Opera House is able to raise more than smaller, less attractive companies. That’s why we’re seeing the extraordinary explosion of country house opera – Grange Park, Longborough, Glyndebourne and so on – and the shrinking of regional opera.”
“The urgency to find a visual attraction to classical music feels rather more recent. A widely shared worry is that modern digital culture causes the visual element to be predominant. A teenager who considers YouTube a primary source of discovering music expects to see something.”
“St Thomas Church of Leipzig, Bach’s employer for 27 years, is about to appoint his first 21st-century successor. When Bach applied for the job in 1723, the search committee also auditioned four candidates. Their first choice turned the job down. So did their second choice and their third. Bach ended up winning the role by default.”
“Many passersby react to the opera with a momentary perplexity that seems to fade as they walk on. Others become curious and ask questions. By the end of the run, thousands of Angelenos will have joined the piece’s accidental audience, which may turn out to be the more important one. Whatever the reaction, “Hopscotch” triumphantly escapes the genteel, fenced-off zone where opera is supposed to reside.”
“We are part of this struggle. We are standing against violence and terror with our arts and culture, particularly with music. That’s one of the ways we can educate our people about the importance of living in peace and harmony, rather than killing each other.”
“‘The thing that has helped KEXP and KCRW is we’re not traditional radio,’ said Jennifer Ferro, the president of KCRW. ‘We’re really building this tribe of people that are interested in music discovery and curious about the world.'”
“Beethoven was really his thing. He would go around singing sections of it, he’d hear it again, then he just started conducting.”
“It’s common for movies to connect classical music to characters like this to portray them as sophisticated, high-class villains as opposed to any generic thug, and for a series built on tropes and cliches, it totally works!”
No matter who is in charge, a cadre of skeptics, including a fair number of the players, will believe that someone else could do better.
She grossed more than $2 million per city over the course of 126 shows in our scoring period.
In the first time the festival will be presented outside the UK, “the BBC Proms Australia debuts for a limited season in April. For four days from April 13-16 at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, what’s been described by the BBC as a ‘taster’ festival will offer a series of back to back concerts featuring some of Australia’s top ensembles and artists.”
Bruce Ridge: “I think sometimes the negative perception can be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. … The true story to be told is how resilient our orchestras have been. We’ve emerged from the recession with tremendous growth in many places. … The arts in America generate over $135 billion in economic activity every year and support over four million full time jobs for Americans. Often lost in this discussion is that art is good business.”
Last week, the orchestra’s board of directors canceled the remaining concerts of the 2015-2016 season, because of a budget shortfall. Since then, board president Rebecca Kueny, said the board sought legal counsel and explored many options.
“It often feels good to listen to Aretha Franklin to lift our spirits, or croon along with Adele to make sense of a breakup. But is it also possible to listen to music in ways that sabotage our mental health?”
The silver and ebony mounted violin bow, made by Francois Xavier Tourte, was purchased on Monday for a world record auction price of US $288,960.
Says the veteran rocker, who’s doing the narration for an update of the Prokofiev work titled Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood, “These classical writers were insane, when you think of how crazy they were. These guys were out of their minds. They were just eaten by this music, they were mentally insane over it. They were the rock stars of their time. But I think they would have been a lot crazier than we were.”
Personally, I have the greatest sympathy for whoever wins CBC Music’s “Canada’s Greatest Music Class” because it will not ring true. The winners could have been called “Canada’s Newest Pop Cover Stars” or something similar. That would have been wonderful, authentic and worth celebrating.
“Jay Alan Zimmerman discovered he was losing his hearing when he was in his early 20s, trying to make it as a musician on Broadway in New York. As his hearing worsened, Jay considered other professions, but ultimately he couldn’t imagine a life without music. … Jay has to decide if he wants to be a part of the experimental phase of [a] new treatment, or if the potential risks are too great. Meanwhile, he’s found ways to keep composing with the little bit of hearing he has left.” (podcast)
“At the Royal Opera, 44% of tickets in the 2014-15 season cost £50 or less; 33% of the tickets for Welsh National Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro cost £25 or less; and 500 English National Opera tickets are available at £20 or less for every performance – and with various schemes that ENO offer, these £20 tickets can be for some of the best seats in the theatre.”
The 33-year-old pianist – who, along with rival Lang Lang, has megastar status in their native China – was performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with David Robertson and the Sydney Symphony in Seoul when he took a wrong turn in the music and got lost; he and the orchestra had to stop briefly and start again. So far, so human. Then Li suffered one of the downsides of megastardom …
Those dates included Fröst’s debut as artistic partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, in Minnesota and on an Asian tour. He has been diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, “a disorder of the inner ear which causes severe vertigo, sickness, and tinnitus.”
The Rio-based orchestra gave its now-former chief conductor no formal sendoff: first his title was quietly changed to Conductor Emeritus on publicity materials, then (apparently in response to inquiries) an official statement noting that his contract had expired in August was given to the press. Minczuk’s decade with the organization saw a widely acknowledged improvement in musical standards – and conflicts over his leadership style that culminated in a player revolt in 2011 that cost him the title of artistic director. (Perhaps coincidentally, last month it was also announced that Minczuk is ending his ten-year tenure as music director of the Calgary Philharmonic this season.) (in Portuguese; click here for Google Translate version)
“Opera Sacra, which focused on operas with religious themes, has presented many professional-quality productions over the past four decades.” Said director Father Jacob Ledwon, “I have decided that 40 seasons is a good run.”
“To me Bach was the soundtrack to dry winter assemblies, the intricacies of the music merely a measure by which to display and applaud proficiency. I was a devout pop kid and there was nothing inclusively sexy about classical music – I was far more likely, one day, to get drunk with Blur than Brahms.”
“Studies like this emphasize how particular our engagement with music can be. In the past, entire genres like punk or heavy metal were accused of being inherently damaging to adolescents’ mental health. The reality is likely much more complicated. Some may seek out Metallica’s rapid riffs and screeching guitars to gain solace; others may vent anger through Mozart.”
“In the coming days the judge overseeing the case is expected to set a timetable for next steps; the proposals could be modified before ultimately going out to creditors for a vote.”