ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


When Jan Swafford Was Asked To Review An AI-Written “Beethoven Tenth” Symphony

“Not for me,” I said. “I know pretty much what I’ll think about it, and my review could get snarky.” “If so, that would be all right with us,” VAN said. “Well, OK,” I groaned back. So here I am and here goes. 

The Transformative Conductor: David Alan Miller @ 30 Years Leading The Albany Symphony

“The orchestras I've worked with have been a bit like ocean liners. Very big, little hard to turn around. And I would say the Albany Symphony is like a sailboat. It's flexible, it's responsive, it can really turn on a dime. And a lot of that is David.”  - Albany Times-Union

The New Musicology: Beethoven Was Just an “Average White Composer”?

"These various controversies are far from simple disputes between ‘conservatives’ and ‘progressives’ but emblematic of a discipline in which some protagonists lack a sense of its purpose and identity, or any real belief that music has value in and of itself." - The Spectator

“Friends, We Are In For The Adventure Of A Lifetime”: Salonen’s Inaugural Concert At San Francisco Symphony Augurs Well For His Tenure

Joshua Kosman: "To say that a new era ... has begun at Davies Symphony Hall is true as far as it goes. But that doesn't begin to convey how transformative an event this was. … Something new and splendidly unpredictable is afoot." - San Francisco Chronicle

Houston Symphony And Musicians Sign Longest Contract In Their History

"The contract went into effect Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 3, 2026. The deal includes matters of health care, restoration of the musicians' pre-pandemic salaries by October 2022 through incremental increases. Musicians also negotiated for additional leave for birth and adoption of a child." - Houston Chronicle

NYT Jazz And Classical Critics Go Back And Forth Over Met Opera’s “Fire Shut Up In My Bones”

Though this opera isn't Terence Blanchard's first work to qualify as contemporary classical, he's best known as a jazz drummer and film score composer. So the paper's contemporary classical maven, Seth Colter Walls, and jazz writer Giovanni Russonello went to see the piece together. - The New York Times

Nigel Kennedy: Liberace Of The Violin Or Latter-Day Paganini? Or…

"Paganini may be a better comparison: a restless figure of astonishing ability, despised by (some) as a circus performer and accused by others of selling his soul to the devil. Kennedy seems similarly trapped, … with a gift for embarrassing nearly everyone nearly all the time." - London Review of Books

Gramophone Awards 2021: “Peter Grimes” Is Recording Of The Year, Minnesota Is Orchestra Of The Year

The Chandos release of Britten's opera stars Stuart Skelton with Edward Gardner conducting the Bergen Philharmonic; the Minnesota Orchestra took honors in its final season under Osmo Vänskä. Violinist James Ehnes is Artist of the Year; Young Artist of the Year is soprano Fatma Said. - Gramophone

Philadelphia Orchestra Ditches The Formal Dress

“We’re well into the 21st century. It’s time to acknowledge that in many ways, and one of them is the way the orchestra looks on the stage,” says Philadelphia Orchestra president and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. - Philadelphia Inquirer

Tyshawn Sorey On How His Jazz Drumming And His Classical Compositions Inform Each Other

"Whenever I'm playing drums, I'm always thinking compositionally about how things develop. … Why do certain harmonies accompany the musicians in a particular way? Or why does a type of rhythmic information that I'm hearing … make me accompany the musicians in a certain way?" - The Paris Review

Revival Of Vinyl Records Hobbled By Shortages Of Vinyl

Worldwide sales of the old-style black discs are up 700% in a decade, so the supply chain has no slack to absorb problems caused by the temporary closure of a petrochemical plant due to the Texas snowstorm or a California lacquer plant due to wildfires. - The Observer (UK)

Orchestra Conductors: Old Guys Rule

Orchestra conductors appear to live longer than people in any other profession. Famous conductors of the past, then in an era when life expectancy was around 50 years, lived well into their 80s and 90s. - San Francisco Classical Voice

Philadelphia Public Orchestra: Reinventing How Orchestras Work

Ari Benjamin Meyers explains that part of his inspiration for the public orchestra came from the lesser-known Fellini film Orchestra Rehearsal, in which the orchestra and conductor are used as metaphors for radical political change. - Philadelphia Magazine

How Do We Justify Touring Orchestras When It Worsens Climate Change?

I'm increasingly uncomfortable with attending concerts "interpreted by these internationally-touring orchestras when I realize that at least 80 people took a plane for a single concert; particularly when I know that I can listen to a similar interpretation of the same piece by a more local orchestra. - Van

How A Homeless Kid From Baltimore Eventually Became The New Mexico Symphony’s Principal Tubist

Imagination, hard work, and a big dose of luck propelled Richard Antoine White's career, he says. - Baltimore Sun

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