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MUSIC

Wigmore Hall’s Free Streamed Lockdown Concerts Have Been Quite A Success. They’re Also Expensive.

The performances — by such well-known artists as Mitsuko Uchida, Steven Isserlis, and the choir Stile Antico — cost about £3,000 each for personnel and copyright payments, and that doesn't include artists' fees. This while the venue has had no ticket income for months on end. On the other hand, viewers have donated £750,000 so far, and Wigmore's membership numbers are up 25%. - The Strad

A Need For Orchestras To Be More Nimble In Scheduling

Until the arrival of the coronavirus, the prevalent model was not particularly friendly to rapid response. Symphony orchestras did a good deal of planning two or three years in advance, although that was mostly big-picture stuff — there was still plenty of room for changes at the detail level. - San Francisco Chronicle

These Classical Music Organizations Have Always Been Focused On Racial Equity

The long-overdue work that larger institutions have started on in the wake of last summer's Black Lives Matter protests has been the day-in-day-out project of some other groups. Joshua Barone talked to people at seven of them — among them the Sphinx Organization, Imani Winds, and Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra — about what they do and what advice they'd give the wider classical industry. - The New York Times

Andreas Delfs Named Music Director Of Rochester Philharmonic

The 61-year-old conductor spent a dozen years as music director of the Milwaukee Symphony (1997-2009). "Once reportedly accustomed to a few sellout audiences a year, the orchestra reportedly sold out 30 shows within a year of his arrival." - WXXI (Rochester, NY)

Twenty-One Young Composers For 2021

Michael Andor Brodeur: "There is really no playlist to match this unstable, uncertain moment. And, honestly, right now I'm less interested in rummaging through the past for reference points. I'm just trying to find my way forward. In that spirit — and since we're feeling all inaugural — please find below the first-ever class of 21 for '21." - The Washington Post

Metropolitan Opera Hires Harvard Law Dean As Chief Diversity Officer

"Marcia Sells — a former dancer who became an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn and the dean of students at Harvard Law School — has been hired as the first chief diversity officer of the Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts institution in the United States." - The New York Times

Rare Violin Tests Germany’s Nazi Looting Restitution System

More than 80 years later, his 300-year-old violin — valued at around $185,000 — is at the center of a dispute that is threatening to undermine Germany’s commitment to return objects looted by the Nazis. - The New York Times

The Captain Of Sea Shanty TikTok Gets A Record Deal

You've heard "The Wellerman" by now, no doubt, since the Scottish postman who sang it a TikTok rendition of it went completely - ridiculously - viral. Now he's quit his job and earned a record contract. But how's that going to go? Viral stars and those who study them say "the hard part comes months later, when everyone has forgotten what they went viral for, and they attempt to maintain the momentum." - BBC

Ticket Brokers Are Starting To Pay Fines For Scalping

The Better Online Ticket Sales Act was enacted in 2016, but this is the first time it's seen enforcement. Aside from using bots, "the companies are accused of creating accounts in the names of family members, friends and fictitious individuals and using hundreds of credit cards to snap up the best seats at sporting events and concerts." - The New York Times

Philadelphia Opera Leading The Streaming Pack

Compared with other American companies, Opera Philadelphia is laying claim to the mantle of making new material during the pandemic. Still, what’s most notable about OperaPhila.tv is not its mere existence, but the strength of the work on offer. - The New York Times

One Composer’s Long Slog To Make A Giant TV Network Pay For Using His Music

Unbeknownst to the composer, waiting beyond a YouTube search for his name was a seeming subindustry that consistently used Kerry Muzzey’s music without his knowledge. ContentID surfaced roughly 20,000 videos for Muzzey in the first month—200 or 400 more got flagged every single day. - Ars Technica

Mirga Will Leave City Of Birmingham Symphony After Next Season

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the young Lithuanian woman whose considerable reputation began developing while she was an assistant conductor at the L.A. Philharmonic, became music director of the CBSO in 2016. In what she describes as "a deeply personal decision" — she and her partner have two young children and a home base in Austria — she has extended her contract in Birmingham for one season and will step down in the summer of 2022. - Gramophone

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

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