ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

MUSIC

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

Concert Halls Can be COVID-Safe At 50% Capacity: German Study

The research, commissioned by and conducted at the Konzerthaus in Dortmund, used dummies that simulated breathing, with and without masks, placed at various points in the auditorium; the spread of aerosol droplets and carbon dioxide in the breath was measured. Results indicated that with checkerboard seating and masked audience members there is "almost no risk" of transmitting COVID-19. - The Strad

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

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