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MUSIC

Dallas Symphony Hangs On To Fabio Luisi Through 2028-29

"The five-year contract extension comes amid Luisi's first full season as artistic head of the orchestra. … vision for his first full season was stifled by the pandemic, but the orchestra has forged on. The DSO is one of the few professional orchestras in the country performing before a live audience during the pandemic." - KERA (Dallas)

Is Simon Rattle’s Departure From London A Sign Of Things To Come Post-Brexit?

Although glamorous plans were unveiled in 2019 , the new hall is looking more and more like a fantasy. And now it is losing Rattle, its champion: it’s a kick in the teeth for London, a negation of that proud homecoming. - The Guardian

Did Boris Lie About Post-Brexit Rules For UK Musicians Touring In Europe?

Britain's musicians are anxious and angry about the fact that they'll now have to get temporary work visas from every EU country they want to perform in, which will make touring the Continent difficult and expensive. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed that EU negotiators gave him no choice in this. Now sources in Brussels say that, in fact, Johnson's team turned down an offer to let British performers tour visa-free for up to 90 days because they didn't want to make a reciprocal deal for European performers touring Britain. - The Independent (UK)

Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” Reimagined To Account For Climate Change

"Like the original music, some of the representation is fairly literal: Instead of hearing strings play what sounds like a thunderstorm once, you might hear it repeatedly, illustrating the extreme rainfall that some cities will experience. Much of the score, though, is meant to evoke the feeling of each season. Vivaldi’s “Spring” was intended to be joyful; the new version sounds discordant." - Fast Company

St. Louis Symphony Musicians Accept 15% Pay Cut

"Musicians will retain 85% of their base pay and 80% of other compensation, including career track and overscale … in addition to health benefits and pension contributions. Musicians agreed in the fall to a 40% pay cut in addition to a further 20% reduction in overscale." - St. Louis Business Journal

Opera Australia Sued Over COVID-Related Job Cuts, Alleged ‘Intimidation’

"Opera Australia has paid out tens of thousands of dollars in confidential settlements to musicians it sacked at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country's most heavily subsidised performing arts company is now preparing for a federal court battle with one of the musicians refusing to settle, alleging Opera Australia management has created a culture of 'intimidation, bullying and antagonism'." - The Guardian

Simon Rattle To Leave The London Symphony For Munich

Rattle said his reasons for accepting the Munich job were “entirely personal, enabling me to better manage the balance of my work and be close enough to home to be present for my children in a meaningful way”. - The Guardian

Sign Of The Times: Choir Rehearsals And Concerts Via Car

The founder and conductor of Canada's Luminous Voices, which now uses the cars' FM transmitters, a mixer, and wireless mics for rehearsal and, crucially, performance too, says, "For us not to be able to , it's like a whole part of our soul is sort of taken out. And we need to find ways to somehow fill that gap." - NPR

The Double Whammy Of Brexit And Covid On Britain’s Touring Musicians

This isn't great, since each musician needs rather a lot of paperwork - and it's possible, though unclear, that their instruments may need a deal too. "The new agreement means British orchestras may choose to reduce the number of European countries they visit to cut down on administrative costs." - The Guardian (UK)

The Pandemic Saw A Return Of Space To Listen To And Really Appreciate The Album

The lack of touring, time to sit with songs instead of performing them every night, and a ton of time in or near recording studios has made musicians remake, remix, rethink, and re-release albums even in the not-quite-year of the pandemic in Europe and the US. - The Guardian (UK)

Los Angeles Loses Its Great Blue Whale Jazz Club

Thanks so flipping much, pandemic and a government that refused to get its COVID response together in time to save the arts. Owner Joon Lee decided not to renew the lease after it ended in November. It's a serious loss: "'What Joon was able to cultivate there in terms of how artist-forward it was, that doesn’t exist anywhere else I’ve played on the planet,' says vocalist Sara Gazarek, whose rising star paralleled the influence of the club." - Los Angeles Times

Operas Have Tried Everything During The Pandemic, Including Opera-By-Mail

And that's actually been great. For instance, once an opera in L.A. might have reached a thousand people in a sold-out night; during the pandemic, more than 22,000 watched the same opera online. "The experimentation afoot within companies like On Site and festivals like Prototype signal a new, vital place for experimental approaches to opera — which now feel like survival strategies for the art form itself." - Washington Post

Connecting Learning Music With Medical Workers

In a six-week pilot collaboration between New England Conservatory and Massachusetts General Hospital this fall, the Boston Hope Music Teaching Project connected teaching fellows from NEC with frontline health care workers for weekly private music lessons. The goal wasn’t to teach them skill or technique, but to provide a refuge from day-to-day life on the COVID ward. - Boston Globe

Montreal Symphony’s Next Music Director Is Rafael Payare

A graduate of Venezuela's El Sistema, the 40-year-old music director of the San Diego Symphony begins a five-year term at the Maison symphonique in the fall of 2022. Payare's San Diego contract currently runs through 2025-26; he says he plans to keep both jobs, with 14 to 16 weeks per season in Montreal and 10 per season in San Diego. - AP

After A Year Away, Boston Symphony’s Music Director Is Back

Andris Nelsons, who has been in Europe since before the pandemic started, returned to Symphony Hall to record three programs pairing Beethoven symphonies with contemporary music for the BSO's season of streamed concerts. - The Boston Globe

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