Saturday, September 18, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

MUSIC

San Diego’s New Waterfront Concert Venue Makes A Splash

Of course I am describing a special place, not the kind of home most orchestras could hope to build in their neighbourhood. But the need is the same, to reach out to more people in a friendly environment. - Toronto Star

Body-Shaming In Opera

“Diversity applies to pretty much everybody except fat people,” opera critic Uwe Friedrich tells me. The pressure to conform to a societal ideal of beauty has “increased enormously” in recent years. - Van

Afghan Singers Recount Their Flight From The Taliban

The BBC interviewed half a dozen musicians who have had instruments smashed, relatives killed, and threats issued since the extremists took over Afghanistan last month. They now all in hiding in Pakistan, hoping to find refuge in another country. - BBC

Here’s The First-Ever Piano With 108 Keys

The instrument, designed and handmade by Wayne Stuart of Stuart & Sons in Australia, has a nine-octave range, two octaves more than a standard grand piano and about the same as most pipe organs. - Classic FM

Dudamel’s Conducting Fellowship Program Is Paying Off Big Time

The main thing these former fellows may take home from L.A. is indoctrination. New music here is part of the daily diet. Dudamel’s curiosity has led to a far more varied repertory at the L.A. Phil than that of any other major orchestra. - Los Angeles Times

How A Jazz Musician Found 30,000 Facebook Followers During COVID

Since shortly after the pandemic effectively closed the world down in March 2020, Jim Clayton’s Danforth area home — more specifically his dining room — has become Jim’s Piano Bar, with Clayton logging more than 425 performances, turning a personal Facebook following of 250 into an international audience of more than 30,000. - Toronto Star

San Antonio Symphony Management Demands To Slash Orchestra’s Size By 40%

In renegotiations for the final year (2021-22) of the current contract, management had proposed cutting salaries in half, down to $17,710 per year. Their latest offer, said to be final, is to cut the roster of full-time players from 71 to 42, with 26 part-timers. - San Antonio Current

Jaap van Zweden To Leave New York Philharmonic In 2024

" announced that he would leave his post at the end of the 2023-24 season, saying that the pandemic had made him rethink his life and priorities." He'll also step down from the Hong Kong Philharmonic that spring. - The New York Times

This A Cappella Quintet Can Mimic Your Electronic Devices

"Traditional a cappella groups cover pop lyrics and full music beds with impressive skill. But one group in South Korea, called MayTree, is taking the genre further to mimic the digital devices that occupy our lives." (audio) - The World (PRX)

Professional Classical Musicians Have The Same Physical Problems (Other) Athletes Do

LA Phil violist Ingrid Hutman: "When we're injured, we tend to go to sports doctors because that's what's available. It's very difficult to find practitioners who understand the peculiarities of musicians and what we do." - San Francisco Classical Voice

Mirga’s Successor At The City Of Birmingham Symphony Has Been Chosen

And it's sort of an internal hire: in April 2023, Kazuki Yamada, a 42-year-old from Japan who's been the orchestra's principal guest conductor for three years, will succeed fast-rising Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (and, before her, Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle) as the CBSO's chief conductor. - The Guardian

Jazz Resurgence in Pittsburgh

There are new clubs in the city and new haunts where jazz can once again be heard regularly. There is fresh talent filling out the rosters of trios and quartets. And there are fresh ears hungry for a bit of cultural nourishment. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Mercury Prize Glorifies Albums When No One Listens To Albums Anymore

Since the turn to online services, however, the award has undertaken an additional role. It is upholding the idea of the album in the face of technological change. Even the televised event is structured like a record. - The Conversation 

Why Young Korean Musicians Are Ascendant In Classical Music

Thierry Loreau, a Belgian filmmaker and TV director, sees the domination of young Koreans in classical music competitions as a cultural phenomenon, labeling it the "K-classics generation." - Korea Times

The Awful Way The CIA Used Louis Armstrong

The CIA used the musician in what was then the Congo. "It’s genuinely heartbreaking. He was brought in to serve an interest that was completely contrary to his own sense of what was right or wrong. He would have been horrified." - The Observer (UK)

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