ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Should Awards Abandon Male/Female Categories?

The Brit Awards announced they "would do away with gendered awards categories entirely, following in the footsteps of the Grammy Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards and the Juno Awards." A big concern: Women performers may get shut out once again. - CBC

Sondheim Fans Gather To Mourn, Together, At Piano Bars Across Manhattan

"It seemed important to hold a space for folks to feel whatever they needed to, to sing and cry and laugh and be with people who understood what a loss this was to those who love theater." - The New York Times

How Music For The Movies Is Evolving

Film music may be a genre, but all that means is music used in a film. Other than that, anything the director will let a composer get away with goes. - Los Angeles Times

This Virtuoso Horn Player Works The Valves With His Left Foot

Felix Klieser, 30, was born without arms. Even so, he graduated from a German conservatory and made a recording at age 22 that won him an ECHO Klassik prize. His fifth CD came out in March, and he's currently the Bournemouth Symphony's artist in residence. - BBC Music Magazine

African Diaspora Music Project Collects 1,200 Symphonies By Black Composers

Louise Toppin is on a mission to recalibrate who, what, and how we program our concert seasons to enable a more equitable representation of music from composers of African descent. She is seeking a sustained and systemic cultural shift. - Classical Voice North America

Roger Norrington, Period Practice Pioneer, Has Conducted His Last Concert

"The 87-year-old's farewell took place in Sage Gateshead, directing the Royal Northern Sinfonia in an all-Haydn concert that effortlessly rolled back the years. It reminded us that this is a man who has changed classical music emphatically for the better." - The Guardian

Brit Awards Scrap Male/Female Categories

Artists like Sam Smith and Will Young had previously called for the change, saying the current system excludes non-binary artists. - BBC

New Facility Signals San Francisco Conservatory Community Attitude

Bowes Center signals a major expansion of the Conservatory of Music, which has most of its academic and performance spaces a few blocks away on Oak Street. - MSN (San Francisco Chronicle)

Opera As Mountains To Be Summited

Matthew Aucoin finds impossibility to be a constant in the history of opera. “The art form’s first practitioners, in seventeenth-century Italy strove to re-create the effect of ancient Greek drama, which of course they had never heard.” - The New Yorker

Pianist Stephen Hough: Music Isn’t Icing On The Cake Of Life, It Is Life

Hough played the first live, streamed concert after shutdown to an empty hall in London. "It was a reminder of how important a cog music is in life. Don’t take it for granted. Tell our political leaders it’s not just entertainment." - The Observer (UK)

San Antonio Symphony Musicians Strike To Prevent Personnel And Pay Cuts

Mary Ellen Goree, principal second violin: "I cannot sit on stage in my chair knowing that 26 of my colleagues lost their jobs just so I could hold onto two-thirds of mine. ... It’s a moral issue." - Spectrum News (San Antonio)

How Pianist Bruce Liu Won The Chopin Competition

According to the Canadian pianist Liu, the answer after an extra COVID year was spontaneity. "That was the challenge, actually: to not get bored of yourself after playing these pieces and practising them for thousands of hours." - CBC

Lockdown Band The Verinos Tells Middle-Aged Women It’s Time To Make More Music

"'Often there's that idea that you're just going to dig your garden and go to Zumba or visit a National Trust property,' songwriter and guitarist Ruth Miller said. 'We want to be in a punk band. We don't want to just watch daytime TV.'" - BBC

Adele Changed Spotify This Weekend

She told Spotify to quit with the shuffle on albums - and "on Saturday, the streaming giant confirmed that it had agreed to the British superstar’s request to automatically play the music in the order an artist has curated." - Washington Post

Decades Of Success As An Arts Administrator Requires Flexibility And Nimble Responses

Of course the past two years have meant near-constant revisions of goals, budgets, and the definition of success - but in Portland, the Friends of Chamber Music's Pat Zagelow had decades of flexible crisis response to call on. - Oregon ArtsWatch

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