ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Salonen And San Francisco Symphony Open Streaming Platform

"The new on-demand streaming service, dubbed SFSymphony+, is scheduled to launch on Feb. 4 with a chamber program curated by Salonen as part of the orchestra's SoundBox series. … Membership is priced at $120 for the entire season, or $15 for individual episodes. Some of the programming … will also be offered for free." This is planned as a long-term part of the Symphony's activities, not just a substitute for the live concerts cancelled due to the pandemic. - San Francisco Chronicle

Glastonbury, UK’s Largest Rock Festival, Cancelled For Second Year In A Row (Thanks, COVID)

"In spite of our efforts to move heaven and earth," the organizers said in a statement, "it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down." - Rolling Stone

Boris Johnson’s Gov’t Passes On Pursuing Visa Waiver For British Musicians Touring EU

"The Musicians' Union (MU) has been lobbying for the creation of a 'musicians' passport' that would last at least two years, cost nothing or very little, encompass all EU member states, prevent any requirement for carnets or other permits, and cover road crew, technicians and other necessary staff to facilitate touring." Britain's culture minister rejected that plan this week during questions in Parliament. - The Guardian

Beethoven Through The Oppression Of An Anniversary Year

Alex Ross: "The most valuable recordings of the Beethoven Year—Igor Levit’s survey of the sonatas and the Quatuor Ébène’s cycle of the quartets—bring out those contrarian tones of wit, weirdness, irony, understatement, frenzy, stasis, and bittersweet release. Having created the single most potent persona in the history of music, Beethoven proceeded to engender another, more elusive self, which was perhaps the truer one." - The New Yorker

We Need To Rethink The Music Ecosystem

"With the collapse of live revenues, the issues in how streaming pays (or doesn’t) is being discussed. Ingham calculates that 1% of all artists receive 90% of the revenue from streaming. That’s about 43,000 artists. Of that 1%, many have been significantly impacted by COVID, as their streaming income has not replaced their live income. The other 99%, around 3 million artists, earn the other 10%. And remember, the race to being the 1% can only be won by 1%. This isn’t fair, but it is business." - Forbes

A Concert Series Programmed For You To Stream While Going To Sleep

The Philadelphia new-music producer Bowerbird has planned a set of seven concerts, each timed for 10:00 or 11:00 pm, that aim to put listeners in that odd space between sleep and wakefulness — thus the series title, Liminal States. Says pianist Marilyn Nonken, who opens the set next Wednesday with Morton Feldman's Triadic Memories, "Everybody is so traumatized and beat up that if a concert involves another state of awareness, that's a very attractive prospect. … It's a physically different place … where your brain waves change." - The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Limitations Of Adding Video To Classical Music

"With more conventional classical music video where we watch musicians playing, I would argue that the visual experience actually constrains our mind’s eye and stultifies our creative imaginations. When we listen to a recording, our eyes can look anywhere and our imaginations are free to roam. True we are not watching the musicians, but we are not visually trapped by the images on the screen. When we watch a video, the decision about what to look at is made by someone else – generally a video editor." - The Nightingale's Sonata

With New Contract, SoCal’s Pacific Symphony Can Start Playing Again

Last week the Orange County orchestra's musicians and management agreed on a four-year contract, running through the 2023-24 season. "Crucially, the agreement lays out a way for the musicians to be performing together again, recording new programs from their home venue. … Some of the contract's considerations: musicians' pay, allowances for streaming programs, COVID safety protocols, and the possibility of fluctuating pandemic restrictions." - San Francisco Classical Voice

‘Für Elise” — Igor Levit Says That Piece You Hate From Piano Lessons Is One Of Beethoven’s Finest Works

"It's just emptiness. How great must a composer be to allow himself to write about nothing?" The pianist has a go at persuading Joshua Barone. - The New York Times

Researcher Sets Out To Disprove “Music Makes You Smarter” Idea. But…

"My intention was to show that the relationships are probably spurious, meaning that background influences are the main drivers of the relationships, and once those outside influences, like demographics, etc., are controlled for, the relationship essentially disappears. But hang on. Much to my surprise, not only did they not disappear, but the relationships are really strong." - ABC (Australia)

Ireland Is One Country That’s Done Well For Classical Music Online

Or so says pianist Finghin Collins, who's also artistic director of Music for Galway and the New Ross Piano Festival. Collins: "Ireland has done extremely well in the arts, in the sense that many, many classical music organisations, and others, have pivoted very quickly into the online space. If I speak to my colleagues in France, Germany, Switzerland, continental Europe, they haven’t. ... We really managed in August, September, October to get ourselves into this online space where we were able to do a lot of either livestreams or prerecorded concerts." - Irish Times

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Is Getting Some Covid Relief Funds

Along with other arts groups in the city, the BSO is seeing some funding for its workers. The BSO's CEO "said the money will help the organization make up for revenue lost from having to close its physical doors. He added that it will help BSO pay staff and musicians, while supporting the community through its music". - Baltimore Sun

Brexit Deal Visa Requirements Stymie UK Musicians

As it stands, British musicians may be forced to pay for country-specific visas and equipment carnets when touring the continent – a situation that has been decried by the British music industry as prohibitively expensive and laborious, potentially limiting its £5.8bn contribution to the economy. - The Guardian

Two Baritones Learned That Where They Were Working When The Pandemic Hit Made All The Difference

Jarrett Ott and Steven LaBrie met in music school in Philadelphia and remained friends as they moved to New York and their careers grew. In 2018, Ott took a salaried singing position at the opera house in Stuttgart, while LaBrie remained in the U.S. with a busy freelance schedule. When COVID brought public performances to an abrupt end, each man's choice proved crucial. - The New York Times

Riccardo Muti Speaks Out About Met Opera’s Treatment Of Its Orchestra Musicians

“My appeal is to give back to the musicians of the Met the dignity which we all deserve and the hope that they can soon return to share with us their art. We must support them during this unprecedented and terrible pandemic.” - ClassicFM

Our Free Newsletter

Join our 30,000 subscribers


Don't Miss