How “We Shall Overcome” Became An Iconic Song (The Man Responsible For It Just Died)

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“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.

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Spoiled For Choice: 15 Different European Opera Houses Start Streaming Productions … For Free

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“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.”

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Big Changes Coming In The Way Songwriters Are Paid?

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“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.”

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Cincinnati Symphony Gets New Contract That Expands (!) Orchestra

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“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.”

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Baltimore Symphony Enlists Designers To Reimagine What Musicians Wear On Stage

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“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.”

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin To Leave Rotterdam Philharmonic Post In 2018

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“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.”

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Neil Shicoff Gets An Opera Company To Run – In St. Petersburg

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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.

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Berlin Philharmonic Ready To Vote On New Leader

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“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.”

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Why Esa-Pekka Salonen Is Such A Hot Commodity Right Now

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“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.”

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The Conductorless Orchestra That Plays In Soup Kitchens And Crumbling Churches

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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.)

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San Diego Opera Pays Out $1 Million Settlement To Former Execs Who Tried To Shut Company Down

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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.

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Grooveshark Music Streamer Sued Off The Internet

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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.”

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Lyric Opera Of Kansas City Fires Artistic Director, Eliminates His Position

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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.”

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The Man Who Collected Every #1 Hit On The British Music Charts

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“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.”

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How The Sacramento Symphony Is Being Reborn

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“Against all odds, the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera is coming back with a series of small, free concerts beginning on May 5. The schedule includes 10 to 20 “arts invasion” concerts held in bars, coffee houses, schools, streetscapes, museums, and possibly the airport.”

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All Or Nothing: The Economic Reality Of Today’s Music Business

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“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.”

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Does Piano Music Help Patients In Medical Waiting Rooms?

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“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.”

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