ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


John Mauceri: “Tar” And The Culture Of Conducting

Fiction or not, the sort of backstage backstabbing depicted in “Tár” is, alas, very real. We conductors do not generally like our colleagues, and we delight in denigrating one another — that is, until one of us dies. - The New York Times

The BBC Will Close Down Its Professional Choir And Shrink Three Of Its Orchestras By 20%

The BBC Singers, the UK's only full-time professional vocal ensemble, will cease operations this summer, and the Corporation is offering voluntary buyouts to reduce headcount by a fifth in the BBC Symphony in London, the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. - The Guardian

Do Slight Regional Variations In Orchestral Tuning Matter?

Reputedly the grand pedagogue Dorothy DeLay had her piano tuned to 443Hz, maintaining that it would make her pupils’ violins sound more brilliant; there is even the case of a US concertmaster insisting that his orchestra tune to precisely 440.5Hz. - The Strad

Why Many Musicians Don’t Like “Tar”

While nobody expects Tár to be a documentary, it gets so much wrong that either it’s deliberately distorting reality for the sake of the plot or nobody bothered to do the research. - San Francisco Classical Voice

Can The Famously Reverberant Acoustics Of Notre-Dame Cathedral Be Restored?  Should They Be?

Brian Katz, co-chief of the acoustics team for the medieval cathedral's reconstruction, has created a computer model — of which we can hear samples here — not only of how Notre-Dame sounded before the fire, but of how any changes might affect, and perhaps improve, the acoustics. - The New York Times Magazine

Daniel Harding Named Music Director Of Rome’s Leading Orchestra

"The 47-year-old British conductor has a ... new post at the The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia orchestra, starting in the fall of 2024. He takes over from Antonio Pappano, who is leaving to become chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra." - AP

Universal Music Posts Record Streaming Revenue, But CEO Calls For New Streaming Model

Even as Universal Music’s chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge lauded the sustained growth of streaming and technology’s ability to connect artists with their fans, he used the company’s fourth quarter investor call on Thursday to advocate for a new economic model. - New York Post

A 10-Year-Old Didn’t Want To Do Homework, So She Wrote A Score Instead

Then her mom posted it to TikTok, asking musicians to perform it. So far? "In the following days, musicians played the score on a violin, clarinet, guitar, harp, trumpet, flute, saxophone, cello and viola." And now it's at 6 million views plus. - Washington Post

Creating A Score For The Third Try At A German WWI Movie

Volker Bertelmann: "When I saw the film the first time, I was thinking I need an instrument from that time. And then my studio - there was the harmonium of my grand-grandmother that I refurbished a year before, and it was just, like, sitting there waiting for a job." - NPR

New England Symphony Orchestra Has A New Name And A New Home

The ensemble had been playing since 1974 in the north-central Massachusetts towns of Lancaster and Fitchburg under the name Thayer Symphony Orchestra; it re-christened itself the New England Symphony in 2016. Now it's moving a bit south to Worcester, with the name Worcester Symphony Orchestra. - Telegram and Gazette (Worcester, Mass.)

I Went To The Royal Opera On A £1 Ticket

Journalist Hugh Morris managed to score the ultimate prize of a cheap-tickets-for-young-audiences scheme: £1 admission to the most expensive classical arts venue in London.  It turned out to be standing room, midweek, at the back of the very top balcony.  Here's his report. - Van

As Small Businesses Collapse, Music Stores Are Closing. This Matters

If we take away music’s “shop window”, it recedes yet further out of view. There is not even the possibility that someone might walk past, see a display of shiny saxophones or attractive mahogany-hued violins and have their curiosity piqued. - The Critic

Hip-Hop Meets Symphony Orchestras

Classical instruments have been sampled for hip-hop for decades, but in recent years such hip-hop stars as Mos Def,, Pharrell Williams, and Kendrick Lamar have had their songs arranged for orchestra and performed with such major ensembles as the Seattle, Atlanta, and Houston Symphonies. - Andscape

How Vinyl Records Became Cool Again

Everything the music industry had learned in the twentieth century pointed to vinyl’s demise in the twenty-first. And it’s true that physical formats are now a tiny proportion of the overall market: 10 percent to streaming’s 84. But while streaming drove CD sales into the ground, it precipitated vinyl’s resurgence. - The Critic

Technology Changes The Ways We Think About Creativity. Take The Lowly Drum Machine…

A good music technology becomes a new source of creativity; it can be hacked and bent in ways that its own designers may not have foreseen. A drum machine does more than automate a beat. In the right hands, it can change our sense of rhythm. - Aeon

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