Impressive change from 2012: “The contract includes a cost of living increase, Family Medical Leave Act language, processes that address air quality at outdoor concerts and scheduling language that will ‘help our musicians balance their multiple jobs so that it is more possible for them to be able to make a decent, living income.'”
Forty-eighth Street was once famous for stores that sold musical instruments. Those stores catered to musicians of every stripe, but the vibe was very rock and roll. The names that stand out for me are Manny’s and Sam Ash, but there were several others, packed together, one next to the other, each a world unto itself. In my own private atlas of the city, that street was also notable for the degree its character changed in the course of one block, from Seventh Avenue to Sixth Avenue. The music stores, like the support of a seesaw, were the point at which that character made its pivot.
Lyndon Terracini is staking much of the future and reputation of the national opera company on a digital revolution designed to immerse audiences and create an experience more akin to watching a movie than traditional opera. The glittering reptiles on the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage are part of the wholly digital production design for OA’s upcoming Aida. It’s the first step along a road Terracini says will revolutionise the way opera is staged and experienced.
Jenny Giering: “In a theological work, Scivias, she described an experience strikingly similar to my own: ‘When I was 42 years and 7 months old, Heaven was opened and a fiery light of exceeding brilliance came and permeated my whole brain, and inflamed my whole heart and my whole breast.’ Hildegard is best known, though, for her music — a powerful body of mystical religious chants that are listened to more widely today than the music of any other single composer of her time. I want to talk to her.”
The researchers report beetles who were serenaded by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings ate just as many aphids as those who dined in silence. But exposure to the rock music greatly depressed their appetites. Listening to AC/DC reduced by nearly half the number of aphids they consumed over a 16- to 18-hour period.
The MacArthur-winning director, whose staging of Lohengrin is about to open the Bayreuth Festival, seriously proposes doing Puccini’s opera in reverse order, Acts 4 through 1. “It will work really well, from devastation to the beginning. Some people might even think it’s the way it’s supposed to happen. …You can put it on the moon or anywhere else and it’s still the same old Bohème. But how do you get to the core of this piece if not by radically transforming our ability to listen to this piece and thereby open a door to a way that we’ve never thought about it before? So if we end in Act 1, with them singing offstage with these high C’s, what a wonderful way to end an opera.”
Donald Trump is the undisputed hero of this comic opera in three acts. “Comic” does not here mean superficial or laugh-out-loud hilarious: as Rossini so superbly demonstrated in “The Barber of Seville”, comic opera combines a sophisticated analysis of human interactions with a light touch. Foreign policy offers plenty of opportunities to study human nature; at summits, each participant brings not only his or her personality but a country’s sensitivities, strengths and weaknesses to bear. Like Bartolo—the central character in “The Barber of Seville”, a buffoon-like doctor of medicine with ambitions that supersede his abilities—Mr Trump is sung by a bass.
Any new music or new message has problems with reception. Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven all had problems with reception. Even Jesus had problems with reception in his own hometown. Women in particular, though, have problems with reception in music. Lucy Green, music education philosopher and author of Music, Gender, Education, posits that there is a spectrum for acceptance of women in music. A woman singer is accepted because using her body to make music is an extension of her femininity. Put an instrument in her hands or in front of her face, and it interrupts the impression of a woman as either “sexually available or maternally occupied.”
The 35-year-old conductor’s existing contract was set to expire with the end of this past season, but last fall the orchestra’s board added two years to Urbański’s tenure, which now runs through the 2019-2020 season. ISO management made no public announcement of the extension at the time and only revealed it in response to this reporter’s inquiry.
The hub cities and venues are Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego; Nourse Theater in San Francisco; Community Center Theater in Sacramento; Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall at Clovis Unified Performing Arts Center in Fresno; and Coil School for the Arts at Riverside City College in Riverside. The combined capacity of the six venues is 9,800.
“Aged 36, Jing [Huan] is part of a new breed of foreign-trained conductors, as China hopes to gain recognition in the field after winning global fame for its soloists, including piano and string virtuosos. After long relying on Western conductors, a growing number of symphony orchestras around the country are now entrusting the baton to a fresh generation of Chinese musical directors.”
Jon Kimura Parker, Jamie Parker, Ian Parker, and Liz Parker are siblings and cousins. All three Parker pianists have garnered praise for their recordings as well as their performances across North America and beyond. How did the Parkers of Vancouver manage to produce a generation of musicians that has left such a discernible mark on the world of classical piano? On a practical level, it boiled down to a family discipline.
XO Music Festival was slated to take place this weekend, July 12th to 15th, in Antioch, California. It promised seven stages, performances by 100 artists including Ludacris, Vanilla Ice and T.I., and a litany of Instagram-minded perks such as a foam pit, a color arena, an indoor skating rink and something billed only as an “interactive bounce arena.” Days before the start of the show, however, several artists dropped out of the lineup citing incomplete or missing payment, and Bay Area news outlets reported that other musicians were increasingly worried about whether the show was still taking place. On Wednesday, Contra Costa Event Park, the festival’s venue, suddenly released a statement canceling the festival entirely, “due to the promoters’ lack of fulfilling contractual obligations.”
African-Americans make up 1.8 percent of orchestras nationwide while Hispanics make up 2.5 percent, according to an industry-wide study. Those statistics inspired several performing arts organizations to form the National Alliance for Audition Support, which prepares talented musicians of color for auditions. Making it past that first hurdle is crucial as one opening in a top-tier orchestra can easily attract as much as a thousand candidates.
The casino, a multimillion-dollar project by Tesuque Pueblo, is being built on land that housed a flea market for many years. Construction has been moving rapidly since it started in earnest earlier this year, and the casino is expected to open this fall. Exactly what the finished product will look like — or how it will affect people’s experience at the opera — is a big unknown because the project is still in the works.
The Kimmel had considered installing cup holders as part of the new-seating project, a feature which, presumably, would have encouraged beverage consumption — not to mention boosted concession sales figures — at Broadway shows. But after much discussion, that aspect of the new seat design was nixed. Cup holders would have cost more money, a Kimmel spokeswoman said, and since Opera Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Ballet were not interested in having cup holders (they don’t allow drinks in performances), the orchestra and Kimmel decided to apply that money to other aspects of the project.
The Instant Award for Improvised Music “is granted by a new organization called the Horse With No Name, formed specifically for that purpose by the funder of the prize (who insists on anonymity). [Chicago art gallery] Corbett vs. Dempsey functions as a conduit for administering the award. … The first two winners are Poughkeepsie multi-instrumentalist (and frequent Chicago visitor) Joe McPhee, who shows no sign of slowing down at age 78, and Baltimore pedal-steel virtuoso Susan Alcorn.”
The show’s producers had told O’Riley that they wanted to give him a bonus recognizing his work with the From the Top, he said, but he responded, “I am From the Top. For the intents and purposes of the perception of the audience, meaning stations and the kids who have been on the show, it’s not the organization,” he told Current. “It’s me.”
On last weekend’s UK broadcast of the popular TV series, one Jude Hooke showed the resident specialist a printed score of the “Enigma Variations” with annotations and pasted-in corrected passages of music in Elgar’s own hand. Imagine the surprise of the Elgar Foundation: that very score had gone missing in 1994 – at which time, it turns out, Ms. Hooke’s late husband was an attorney at the same firm as the Foundation’s former vice-chairman.
“Even at age 36, Lang Lang projects a boyish charisma that employs your protective instincts — all the more so if you saw him grow up before your eyes, emerging from his cramped Spruce Street apartment, speaking broken English, and yet becoming something as close to a rock star as any classical pianist can be.” David Patrick Stearns (who did see all that) reports on Lang Lang’s performance of a Mozart concerto with the Boston Symphony last week and checks in with Lang Lang’s primary teacher at Curtis, Gary Graffman.
If you write about music, your job takes you to these places on a regular basis. In the past few weeks I have been to Wembley Stadium, Twickenham and the London Stadium; I’ve been to the O2 Arena and almost ended up at Wembley Arena too. I feel as if I’ve spent most of the early summer negotiating poor transport, incomprehensible entry arrangements and interminable queues. And, in between times, seeing some musicians.
Puerto Ricans such as the Despacito duo were responsible for 27 of the top 100 most-viewed music videos on YouTube in 2017. Over on Spotify, four of the six most popular Latin artists are also Puerto Rican: Fonsi and Yankee again, plus Bad Bunny and Ozuna. All this from an island of just three and a half million souls, plus the other five million Puerto Ricans who live in the US.
Over the past three months, four superstars have released albums that assess, from different angles, what a genre-dominating rapper does when the genre is beginning to move on: Kanye West’s “Ye” (as well as his collaborations with others); Drake’s “Scorpion”; J. Cole’s “KOD”; and Jay-Z’s “Everything Is Love,” which he and his wife, Beyoncé, put out as the Carters.
“Kaiser advised the city/county task force formed earlier this year as it worked to come up with solutions to the symphony’s recurring financial issues. … Kaiser is a well-regarded consultant whose career includes stints leading the Kennedy Center and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation. He founded the Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute, now known as the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, in 2001 to serve as a training ground for arts administrators.”
By the time this most recent contract extension (three years) is fulfilled, Jansons will have been chief conductor of this orchestra (widely considered Germany’s only real peer of the Berlin Philharmonic) for 21 years. Considered crucial to Jansons’s agreement to extend was a government commitment to build a new concert hall for the orchestra, which performs at the acoustically poor Philharmonie am Gasteig. (in German)
Just as industrialization and digital media changed the work of being a musician, they changed experiences and opportunities for audiences. While musicians dealt with the challenges of building and maintaining careers in the face of the new realities of their field, audiences developed new histories of participating with one another on their own terms. Now, even as musicians struggle to find their ways in an internet-mediated music world, audiences flourish.