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May 20, 2013
Cassette Tapes Making A Comeback?
"Analogue now says that cassette recordings make up 25% of the business. That is quite a change from five years ago, when cassette tapes seemed to be going the way of the defunct 8-track cartridge - the music format that was popular in the 1960s and 70s."
What Happened When Music Was Banned In Mali
May 19, 2013
"It has been almost nine months since Islamic militants in northern Mali announced that they were effectively banning all music. It's hard to imagine, in a country that produced such internationally renowned music."
The New York Times 05/20/13
The (Relative) Youth Wave Continues
"American orchestras are in an uncertain place, threatened with labor unrest and declining subscriber rolls. A fresh-faced youngster bounding onstage inspires excitement and gets whatever dregs remain of media attention."
The New York Times 05/19/13
The Ring Machine Goes Bye-Bye, And (Almost) Everyone Says Good Riddance
May 17, 2013
"Mr. Gelb suggested that the machine had become a scapegoat. 'One of the reasons the "Ring" has been criticized so much is people disagree with his approach, not the machine,' he said, referring to Mr. Lepage. 'The machine is a victim, not entirely innocent.'"
The New York Times 05/17/13
3D Printer Makes Old Fashioned Records
Amanda "Ghassei has developed a technique to make records using a laser cutter, in a bid to make the technology more accessible, and has cut records out of acrylic, wood and paper."
Journal of Music 05/13/13
Fired Rochester Phil Music Director Takes Another Rochester Post
May 16, 2013
"Arild Remmereit has been named artistic director of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra for next season. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra board, in a controversial move, fired Remmereit in January from his position as music director."
The Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY) 05/16/13
Minnesota Orchestra Contract Talks Unlikely
"The lack of transparency from management is troubling to the Musicians, the public, and Minnesota's legislative auditor, Basic artistic and financial information about the Orchestra is being withheld to seemingly to stall negotiations."
Boston Symphony Appoints New Music Director
May 15, 2013
"Andris Nelsons, 34, has been music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Britain since 2008. He made his debut with the Boston Symphony in 2011, replacing Mr. Levine."
The New York Times 05/16/13
Director Of Canceled Tannhauser Defends His Production
"In Wagner's opera, the mortal Tannhäuser sins by loving the goddess Venus. Today the story can no longer be told as a scandal that leads to expulsion from society. I'm interested in the great archaic theme of guilt. Why then shouldn't Tannhäuser be made into a perpetrator, into a war criminal? In my staging Tannhäuser is forced by members of the Wehrmacht to shoot a family. The production deals with individual guilt under National Socialism and during the development of the Federal Republic of Germany."
Der Spiegel 05/14/13
Seattle Symphony Musicians Ratify New Contract
May 14, 2013
"After 15 months of negotiations, the Seattle Symphony players organization and the SSO board of directors have approved a new contract, through August 2015." The terms include a "temporary" reduction in the orchestra's size, salary concessions and a less expensive health insurance plan.
The Seattle Times 05/14/13
A New Golden Age For Opera?
"I think opera is experiencing the most creative period it's ever experienced in the last half-century; certainly I would say forever on this continent. .... "There is still huge audience interest in this multimedia art form called opera."
The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/13/13
Was Opera Company Right To Cancel Controversial Tannhauser?
May 13, 2013
"To some commentators, the Dusseldorf Tannhauser was a stretch: the opera is set in the Middle Ages and based on a ballad about a bard called Tannhäuser. Yet the intention of the director, Burkhard Kosminski, had a logic that many could understand. In the month of Wagner's bicentennial, he wanted to link the opera to the Holocaust - an event which the composer's own ardent anti-Semitism seemed to presage."
Hear The Oldest-Surviving Piano
"The oldest-surviving English grand piano, one of the first ever made, was built by the piano maker Americus Backers in London in 1772 and has now been returned by English Heritage to the home of its former owner, the Duke of Wellington."
Building The 21st Century Orchestra
May 12, 2013
"Various kinds of neighborhood outreach programs are springing up at orchestras all over the country, while educational initiatives have tripled."
Washington Post 05/11/13
Where Once Was War, Now All Is Music
"With all transport requisitioned and no petrol anyway, they simply walked all day across the battlefield, shells falling all around them, to the hilltop town of Montepulciano, hiding amid the crops and ditches to avoid menacing aircraft and columns of German troops."
The Observer (UK) 05/11/13
The Return Of James Levine Prompts Questions About The Future
"In the past, when Mr. Levine was working at full capacity, he redefined the role of music director in a public way that sent clear signals to operagoers and patrons," writes Anthony Tommasini. "But these days the Met does not convey the artistic focus and mission it did before Mr. Levine's health problems began."
The New York Times 05/10/13
No, You Do Not Have To Be A Musician To Write About Music
May 10, 2013
"One of the things I had to actually learn was how to be a journalist. 'Music critic' isn't satisfactory to me. I've learned to do reporting, to do research. It's not about saying, 'This music makes me feel this way!' The context and the story behind it are often just as rewarding, and are crucial to understanding the actual music."
New Music Box 05/09/13
Two Years After Strike, Detroit Symphony Triumphs At Carnegie Hall
May 9, 2013
"The cheers at the venue put an exclamation point on the remarkable turnaround the DSO has made since the end of its debilitating six-month strike in 2010-11. The strike left the institution deeply scarred and teetering on the brink of financial collapse. Two years later, the DSO has taken key steps to rebuild its business model, launched innovative programs designed to nurture new audiences at home and abroad and filled its depleted ranks with a steadily growing crop of A-list musicians."
Detroit Free Press 05/10/13
The End Of The Minnesota Orchestra? Really? Surely There's A Plan...
"We need a five-year plan -- one that will assign responsibilities on all sides to find a more stable platform for the continuation of our world-class orchestra. Management says there is a $5 million problem. For the next five years, do the following (all with new money)."
The Star-Tribune (Mpls) 05/09/13
Düsseldorf Cancels Nazi-Themed Tannhäuser After Audience Rebellion
"Burkhard C Kosminski's production of Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser
that generated a furore of criticism for its use of Nazi imagery has been officially cancelled. ... Some patrons have apparently sought medical treatment for 'psychological and physical stress'."
Limelight (Australia) 05/09/13
Opera Australia Furloughs Some Singers To Make Way For Musical
May 8, 2013
"According to the actor's union, Equity, about 20 singers who are now on 12-month contracts will be rested without pay for six to 12 weeks in 2014. The union claims that the move is in order to accommodate another musical, The King and I
, planned for next year."
Limelight (Australia) 05/06/13
Minnesota Orchestra Cancels Remainder Of Season
"For the first time in the Minnesota Orchestra's 110-year history, an entire season will pass with no music. The orchestra's management on Wednesday canceled the remaining two weeks of the 2012-13 season because of the ongoing labor dispute with musicians."
The Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul) 05/09/13
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's Former Leader Steps Up To Lead Again
"Bruce Coppock, a cellist, led the SPCO from 1999 to 2008, when he retired to undergo treatment for a rare cancer diagnosed two years earlier. He has been in remission since 2009. From 2011 to 2012, he was general manager of the Cleveland Orchestra's Miami residency."
The Star-Tribune (Mpls) 05/08/13
A Five-Year Plan To Revive The Minnesota Orchestra
"As a lawyer who works in the business world, I understand the need for revenue and expenses to balance. ... Yet, I have not heard management express that its goal is to maintain a world-class orchestra. ... We need a five-year plan - one that will assign responsibilities on all sides to find a more stable platform for the continuation of our world-class orchestra. Management says there is a $5 million problem. For the next five years, do the following (all with new money):"
The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul) 05/08/13
Kaija Saariaho And Youssou N'Dour Win Polar Music Prize
May 7, 2013
"Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho have won Sweden's 2013 Polar Music Prize, organisers said Tuesday. ... The winners take home one million kronor (117,000 euros, $154,000) in prize money."
Agence France-Presse 05/07/13