AJ Logo Get ArtsJournal in your inbox
for FREE every morning!


Wednesday January 31

  • CLASSIC FAME: A colonial-era hymnodist and a couple of currently-active performers are among the 12 new member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. William Billings, Itzhak Perlman, Van Cliburn and nine others will be inducted in a ceremony April 21 in Cincinnati. Hartford Courant (AP) 01/30/01
  • SYDNEY'S OPERA BLUES: Opera Australia must earn 60 percent of its budget from ticket sales - a higher percentage than any other company in the world. No wonder OA's having fiscal and artistic problems. The company's chief executive defends his operation, while admitting the artistic downside. "The danger of relatively modest public funding is that our company cannot take sufficient risk, either with repertoire choice or new commissions." Sydney Morning Herald 01/31/01
  • TROUBLE WITH THAT UNION LABEL: Britain's Musicians' Union is in disarray. And questions are being asked: "Why, for instance, did the MU drive film-soundtrack work out of Britain by the rates they set? Why does it refuse to allow state-funded orchestras to exploit the concessions it gave the BBC bands, allowing their performances to be reissued any number of times without extra payment? And why does it still believe that restrictive practices benefit the musical economy? Is it coincidence that British orchestral musicians are now earning less than players anywhere in western Europe?" The Telegraph (London) 01/31/01
  • STICK TO CONDUCTING? Conductor Lorin Maazel picks up his violin for a concert in London. How'd it go? "He was almost boring. As the movement wore on, the 'almost' vanished. He was boring. He even looked it: feet and body scarcely moving, violin held stiffly beneath that leonine head. Even with Yefim Bronfman’s magic fingers, so alert to the piano part’s textures and counter rhythms, the music’s song was sinking fast. Then in the adagio it disappeared, drowned under the maestro’s lugubrious, uninflected line." The Times (London) 01/31/01
    • MAAZEL'S MONOTONY: Maazel does have credentials. "Should Philadelphia [which recently named Christoph Eschenbach its music director] be envious? Not on any level. Might it be fair to say that it's a bad week for New York, which lost the Super Bowl on Sunday and gained Lorin Maazel on Monday?" Philadelphia Inquirer 01/31/01
    • BUYING AMERICAN? Lorin Maazel is the first American composer since Leonard Bernstein to be in charge of the New York Philharmonic. But the 70-year-old Maazel has spent much of his career in Europe, and some insist his style is more European than American. The New York Times 01/31/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • CLASSICAL FORMAT DOESN'T ROCK ENOUGH: Longtime Chicago classical music station WNIB was recently sold for $165 million, one of the highest prices ever paid for a Chicago station. Prices for FM stations have skyrocketed since 1996 when the industry was deregulated. the high price almost ensures that WNIB will cease broadcasting classical. The format can make money - but not enough to justify the purchase price. The New York Times 01/31/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • SO MUCH FOR POPULAR APPEAL: So Napster is going to begin charging for its service. That makes the music industry happy. But Napster's president has "publicly acknowledged that up to 95 percent of the company's reported 51 million registered users would abandon the service if fees were charged." Wired 01/31/01

Tuesday January 30

  • SO MUCH FOR ALL THOSE DENIALS... Two weeks ago the New York Philharmonic vehemently denied Tim Page's Washington Post story that the orchestra would hire Lorin Maazel as its next music director. Yesterday the Phil officially ended its three-year search and tabbed Maazel as Kurt Masur’s replacement, effective late next year. Washington Post 01/30/01
    • SOLID CHOICE: "Although critics have differed on whether he possesses qualities like warmth and communicativeness, there is no doubting his command of the central repertory with which the Philharmonic's audiences are most comfortable." New York Times 1/30/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • HONG KONG IN THE PASSING LANE? For all its vitality as a major financial and commercial center, Hong Kong' cultural life has been something of an underachiever in Western eyes. But Samuel Wong, the new director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra has plans to change that, in large part by making use of the substantial arts funding the government has made available in recent years. "I think it's high time that this temple of capitalism should also become a temple of art." International Herald Tribune 1/30/01
  • WE COME TO PRAISE IT... World business leaders at this week’s toney World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland declared the internet startup phenomenon dead last week. Monday they turned around to marvel at Napster, the upstart music file trader for its success and user loyalty. Wait - aren't some of these people the same ones who are trying to sue Napster out of existence? The Guardian (London) 1/30/01
    • BRAVE NEW WORLD: "As music is increasingly delivered in intangible streams of electrons, industry analysts expect many of the present structures, conventions, terminologies, and paraphernalia of the music industry to change radically in the next few years. Before long, every single piece of music ever recorded will exist on remote computer servers, so-called celestial jukeboxes. Distribution will then be just a question of access." American Outlook 01/01
  • GETTING TO KNOW ME... Can a three-week festival of Robert Schumann’s lesser-known music shed more light on the enigmatic composer? "Robert Schumann was the most literary and romantic of all the Romantics, with a history of nervous exhaustion, depression and, finally, mental derangement. But the past two decades have produced studies of the great song-cycles which have questioned just how far Schumann’s mental and physical condition affected his creative energies." The Times (London) 1/30/01

Monday January 29

  • THE WRONG AGE? Is Lorin Maazel the right conductor at the wrong age to be the NY Philharmonic's new music director? "The Philharmonic's board know that the time has come for a fresh start, for someone who can reach new audiences and broaden the orchestra's repertory, especially in contemporary music. Mr. Maazel is 70, a traditionalist with an imperious manner that seeps into his music making. Does he represent the change the Philharmonic has been saying it wants?" The New York Times 01/29/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • NEW VERDI: A passel of unpublished scores by Giuseppe Verdi have been discovered. "The music was unearthed by Father Amos Aimi, the archivist of Fidenza Cathedral, who found it in a skip outside a church in Le Roncole di Busseto, the village where Verdi was born in 1813." Discovery.com 01/29/01
  • A WORDY OLD FRIEND: When the old Soviet Union broke apart, it did away with its national anthem. Now it's been reinstated, but with some words added. "The revised anthem is the leading topic around Moscow dinner tables. Last month the State Duma (Russia's parliament) decided to bring back the Stalin-era melody but modify its lyrics. Public reaction has been mixed." Sonicnet.com 01/29/01

Sunday January 28

  • WAITING FOR LEVINE: The speculation surrounding the possible appointment of James Levine to the Boston Symphony Orchestra music directorship will reach a fever pitch this week when the man himself comes to town to conduct Mahler's Third. The BSO is far too venerable and aristocratic to ever be declared "in crisis," but it has suffered artistically in the last fifteen years, and many see Levine not just as a replacement for Seiji Ozawa, but as a potential savior. Boston Globe, 01/28/01
  • PAYING HOMAGE: The celebrations were everywhere. Saturday marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Giuseppe Verdi, and it seemed that no opera company on Earth was going to let the day pass without a tribute. But Verdi was much more than an operatic composer. His role as a symbol of Italian unity and artistic achievement is arguably as valuable as his musical legacy. BBC, 01/27/01
  • COURTING AUDIO PERFECTION: A new Daniel Barenboim recording to come out this week is the first commercial release of the new DVD-Audio technology, which purports to outdo the conventional CD just as the CD outdid the cassette.  Some very noteworthy people in the world of music think it could change everything. Again. New York Times, 01/28/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • LEGITIMIZING NAPSTER: The infamous song-swapping site is searching for a new CEO to guide it through a complex period. As the company continues to join forces with record labels and artists in an effort to ward off legal action pending against it, Napster is looking to its ostensible enemy, the dreaded Industry, for a possible leader. Inside.com, 01/26/01
  • THE COMPOSER DANCES: In an era of continued apathy towards new music, John Adams is as close as a composer can come to being a superstar. From his groundbreaking "Nixon in China" to this week's premiere of his new piano concerto, Adams represents the best of the current generation of American composers, dedicated to the idea that music should be vibrant, thrilling, engaging, thought-provoking and fun to listen to. Los Angeles Times, 01/28/01
  • RIGHTING AN OLD WRONG: The president of Ukraine has agreed to hand over 5000 pages of manuscripts by C.P.E. Bach to Germany. The scores, long believed to have been lost forever, were looted from German archives by the Red Army in World War II. BBC Music Magazine, 01/28/01

Friday January 26

  • SOUNDS LIKE A DEAL So does Lorin Maazel have the job as the next music director of the New York Philharmonic? Says Maazel: "The problem with saying no comment is that no comment is a comment in itself. I really have nothing I can say, other than I had not conducted the orchestra for a quarter of a century and I was very impressed, both by the quality of the orchestra and the whole atmosphere. I really enjoyed it. Whoever becomes music director will have a very wonderful orchestra." The Guardian (London) 01/26/01
  • EVER-VERDI: Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of Verdi's death. "Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Verdi's career was that it very nearly didn't happen at all, for his early life was dogged by circumstances that could have destroyed him and at one point very nearly did." The Guardian (London) 01/26/01
    • VIVA VERDI : Commemorative concerts are planned around the world for January 27th, the 100th anniversary of Verdi’s death. The most popular opera composer ever, "Verdi is different from other composers in that he has the unique ability to combine drama, great music and great theater." Times of India (AP) 01/26/01
    • THE VERDI RECORD: A list of the best Verdi recordings, by the classical-music critics of The New York Times. New York Times 01/26/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • FOOL ME ONCE... Is the recording industry in the thrall of an evil litigation genie? Last year recording companies got slapped by a US judge for price fixing. Now many of those same companies are under investigation by the European Commission for the same practices. BBC 01/26/01
  • FIDDLING WHILE ROME BURNED: In theory, it makes a lot of sense for the recording industry to set standards to combat music piracy. But the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) is in trouble, with one of its major proposals finding nearly no support from the industry it is supposed to help, and another facing major delays. "These setbacks have contributed substantially to the dearth of unambiguously legal music online. The big record labels have refrained from releasing much music on the Net until they feel confident they can protect their copyrights. As a result, the landscape continues to be littered with trial projects and start-ups failing for lack of access to the most popular music." ZDNet, 01/24/01
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO THE "EVIL" NAPSTER? Last year they were all trying to sue the upstart music file trader out of existence. This year they can't wait to make a deal. TVT Records, one of the largest of the "independent" record labels, has agreed to a partnership with Napster, and dropped its lawsuit against the Internet music service. TVT becomes the third label to break ranks and join forces with the embattled Napster, following the Bertelsmann and Edel labels. BBC 01/25/01

Thursday January 25

  • WE OBJECT TO THE LITTLE GUYS: What's behind the Metropolitan Opera's objection to plans to redo Lincoln Center? "Yesterday Joseph Volpe, the general manager of the Met, while holding out hope that the dispute with Lincoln Center could be settled, said he was concerned that City Opera was not in good enough financial shape to support a new theater and that, because the Met pays 30 percent of Lincoln Center's shared operating costs, any City Opera debt might land on the Met's doorstep. The contretemps sets the Met, a cultural behemoth with an annual budget of nearly $200 million and an ensemble considered among the finest in the world, against a scrappy, risk- taking company of no small artistic stature itself, founded by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia to bring opera to the people." The New York Times 01/25/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS:  Minnesota Public Radio is the 800-lb. gorilla of classical music radio. The network not only broadcasts throughout the Upper Midwest, its "Classical 24" satellite service provides programming to more than 250 stations nationwide. Increasingly, MPR is under fire for the incessant "dumbing down" of classical music on the air, and one of the network's own news-talk hosts took on the man in charge of such programming on her public affairs show. "Midmorning," Minnesota Public Radio 1/23/01 [RealAudio file]
  • PRICED OUT OF BUSINESS? To get composers greater fees for performance of their music, Britain's Performing Rights Society is raising the royalty performers must pay from the current fee of 3.8 per cent of gross box office receipts to 7.3 per cent by 2007. But "the increase in royalties paid to contemporary composers means that promoters may no longer be able to afford to stage concerts. Even the BBC Proms, staged at the Royal Albert Hall, could have to rethink its repertoire." The Independent (London) 01/25/01
  • NO LONGER NEEDED: The benefactor who helped raise £100 million for the makeover of London's Royal Opera House was kicked off the company's board. Dame Vivien Duffield left the Royal Opera House and "the decision not to renew her place on the board she served as deputy chairman is widely thought to be the result of a personality clash with the company's chairman, Sir Colin Southgate." The Independent (London) 01/25/01

Wednesday January 24

  • FEELING LEFT OUT: In a surprise letter sent to top Lincoln Center officials, the Metropolitan Opera announced its withdrawal from the Center's $1.5 billion redevelopment plans. "Specifically, they complained that the opera, by far the largest and richest of Lincoln Center's 12 constituent groups, had been ignored on basic issues like the administration of the rebuilding, the allocation of city funds for the program and whether the opera would have the same representation in the project as other, far smaller organizations." New York Times 1/24/01 (one-time registration required for access)

    VERDI WHO? Centennial celebrations of Verdi’s death get under way this week in Italy, "but does Italy's younger generation care? Amid the wall-to-wall Verdi Fest, a disquieting, indeed heretical, thought nags at the brain of the opera lover: that Italy, like much of the rest of the world, has succumbed to the irresistible and relentless pop music industry." The Times (London) 1/24/01

    BEETHOVEN.TECHNOGEEK.COM:  A Canadian pianist has completed a massive recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas, using a technology-laden piano that is as much a PC as it is an instrument. The Viennese-made concert grand can not only record and playback, it includes a feature that allows the keyboard to "remember" the pedaling and quality of notes that are played on it. Sure, it's gimmicky, but it's just so cool... Globe & Mail (Toronto) 1/24/01

Tuesday January 23

  • WIRED UP CLASSICAL: Seventy-three American orchestras have embraced the digital age with an agreement about putting their music on the net. So will music fans want to listen? Sure, "15,000 of them took to the net and paid $2 to listen to the New York Philharmonic with conductor and violin soloist Itzhak Perlman performing two hours of Brahms, Bach and Beethoven." Wired 01/22/01
  • THE IMPORTANCE OF SEEING OPERA: "Visualisation is profoundly important in opera - despite what we are always told about audiences being interested only in the music. It is true that, thanks to CDs, the music is increasingly detachable from the totality of the operatic experience in the theatre. In opera, music is genuinely the essence, but design is also a notable and well-recorded part of operatic history from its earliest times. In this context, directors are arrivistes." New Statesman 01/23/01
  • WHAT CLAIMS FOR "JAZZ"? Unquestionably Ken Burns' "Jazz" documentary is a culturally important event. But "there is no need for exaggeration such as Burns's claim that jazz is 'the only art form created by Americans.' (Apart from the issue of whether jazz is a form or a style like baroque or twelve-tone music, Americans also created tap dance, country-and- western music, Abstract Expressionism, the comic strip, and more.)" New York Review of Books 02/08/01
  • KILLING OFF MUSIC? Britain's consumer affairs minister says that one in five recordings worldwide are pirated, and that if the music industry doesn't do something to protect itself the record business could be "killed off." BBC 01/23/01
  • SOMETHING ABOUT WINNIPEG IN JANUARY: The Winnipeg New Music Festival manages to draw thousands to a week of concerts filled with challenging music. The festival is ten years old and no one can explain exactly why the city has taken to contemporary music with such gusto. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 01/23/01

Monday January 22

  • WHERE'S THE MUSIC? There are thousands of websites devoted to jazz. Only one thing missing from most of them - the music. "Even though the Internet is capable of delivering audio and video in acceptable quality, the amount of live jazz online is remarkably sparse." The New York Times 01/22/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • BUT IT'S PRETTY FROM THE OUTSIDE..."Despite public funding and both corporate and private sponsorship, Opera Australia - like most opera companies - is strapped for cash. For the OA, though, the perennial problem of making ends meet is exacerbated by the inadequacy of its main venue, the Sydney Opera Theatre." Sydney Morning Herald 01/22/01
  • VIVA VERDI: It's the 100th anniversary of Verdi's death. "Anyone who cares for opera, and many who don't, find Verdi's music of life-changing importance. A proud nationalist at a time when Italy was divided into different states governed by France or Austria, Verdi wrote noble music that summed up his compatriots' aspirations." Christian Science Monitor 01/19/01

Sunday January 21

  • THE POLITICS OF THE NEW NEW GROVE'S: As the new edition of the venerable New Grove's Dictionary of Music is published, a new attitude towards music is revealed. "There is not so much in the way of new facts. But ways of looking at music have changed. The New Grove has to be abreast of its time. It has to reflect changes in the social, political and intellectual atmosphere." The New York Times 01/21/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • PONDERING A MAAZEL NY PHIL: There has been a bias on the part of American orchestras against American conductors. Maybe a Lorin Maazel appointment to head the New York Philharmonic will be a wakeup? The job is likely only to be interim given Maazel's age (70). Chicago Tribune 01/21/01

Friday January 19

  • IS THE CONCERT HALL DYING? Is the live concert experience tottering on its last legs? The ritual of "musicians playing to audiences in buildings designed solely for that purpose - could soon be a thing of the past. Already it is beginning to look like a relic of another age - an age when people had time and leisure to give up an evening for two or three hours of potentially less-than-perfect music- making." The Guardian (London) 01/19/01
  • THE MUSIC CURE: "If music cures the soul, does it also heal the body? Can it ever be more than a cathartic force, or a soothing distraction? The relationship between music and the spiritual and emotional aspects of healing is widely shared. But those currently interested in sound and healing, whether monks or New-Age therapists, argue that there is something physical to it as well." The Economist 01/19/01
  • THE CLASSICAL GRAMMYS: It might have been a bad year for the business of classical recording, but competition for the classical grammys this year is pretty good. "As usual with awards that attempt to be all things to all people, the nominations range promiscuously across time and space." Concertonet.com 01/19/01
  • BACH GOING HOME: Ukraine says it will return a collection of manuscripts by JS Bach to Germany. "The archive was taken by the Soviet Union's Red Army at the end of World War II." BBC 01/19/01

Thursday January 18

  • MAAZEL IN NEW YORK: The fever of speculation this week about whether Lorin Maazel would be appointed music director of the New York Philharmonic is accompanied by an interesting coincidence. Maazel was scheduled for two concerts in the Big Apple - conducting the Israel Philharmonic and playing violin in a Brahms concert. So how'd he do? New York Times 01/18/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • STILL A WAY'S OFF: So this week's Washington Post story saying Maazel would be offered the NY Phil job is being denied by the orchestra. But when would a music director be named? Orchestra manager Zarin Mehta said there might not be an announcement for "weeks or even months." Washington Post 01/18/01
  • CONDUCTING ASSISTANCE: Maazel and philanthropist Alberto Vilar announced a "$5 million competition and training program yesterday to help young conductors, who typically struggle in a haphazard way to reach the podium." New York Times 01/18/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • BOSTON SWEEPSTAKES: It's looking more and more likely that the Boston Symphony will name James Levine as its new music director, replacing Seiji Ozawa. Boston Herald 01/18/01

Wednesday January 17

  • DENYING THE MAAZEL STORY: The Washington Post reported that Lorin Maazel will be named music director of the New York Philharmonic. But is it true? The Philharmonic denies it. Backing off yesterday’s announcement that Lorin Maazel will succeed Kurt Masur, the New York Philharmonic publicly stated today that no decision has yet been made and the search for a music director remains open. "It's absolutely not the case. No one is close to being selected." New York Times 1/17/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • PLAYING IT SAFE: Three American orchestras are about to inherit new maestros, after complicated two-year searches for quality leadership. Christoph Eschenbach goes to Philadelphia; Lorin Maazel may (or may not) take New York; and James Levine is likely to head to Boston. Yet, is anyone really enthused about these appointments, each a relatively "safe" foray into the past rather than a daring look ahead? "America may have the mightiest orchestras in the world, but its concert life may soon become duller than Belgium's."The Telegraph (London) 1/17/01
  • MACAL STEPS DOWN FROM JERSEY: Zdenek Macal has resigned as music director of the New Jersey Symphony. Newark Star-Ledger 01/17/01
  • THE POLITICS OF FOURTH: "The 'fourth tenor' is a meaningless soubriquet that can deliver the kiss of death, the crock of gold, or both. Vargas, Cura and Roberto Alagna have all variously been hailed as the "fourth tenor" but Alagna – a Franco-Sicilian – was the first to be marketed as such. And boy, oh boy, has he sold a lot of records." The Independent (London) 01/14/01

Tuesday January 16

  • NY PHIL TO NAME MAAZEL: After an arduous three-year search, the NY Philharmonic is set to name Lorin Maazel as its new music director. "Details of the three-year arrangement were still under discussion. Because Maazel is one of the busiest - and highest-paid - guest conductors in the world, it is likely that he will be available only for a limited time for at least his first season and possibly through his entire tenure." Washington Post 01/16/01
  • THE MEANING OF OPERA: "The old definition of opera - people singing instead of talking - stopped working long ago. Music becomes operatic, says present conventional wisdom, when it's used as the primary means to illuminate characters and tell stories. Opera is one of America's fastest growing fine arts, especially with the under-50 crowd. The opera subscription is what you get after you've bought your BMW and worn out your Frank Sinatra records." Philadelphia Inquirer 01/16/01
  • PUTTING MUSICIANS FIRST: At last week’s Future of Music Policy Summit in Washington, musicians themselves took center stage in discussions of the music business’s unprecedented state of flux. "The summit had an unapologetically political agenda: to challenge musicians to move to the center of the changes that are transforming the industry, not just as would-be superstars but as active participants. New York Times 1/16/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • LOOKING FOR LEADERS: Sydney's two largest professional orchestras are embarking on an international headhunt for new music directors, after the announcement that John Harding is leaving his post at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra has been without a permanent concertmaster for more than two years. Sydney Morning Herald 1/16/01
  • WAGNER WEIRDNESS: A new cultural family history by composer Richard Wagner’s great-granddaughter sheds light on the Wagner clan’s artistic achievements and bizarre legacy. "The treasure of the Wagners, the dysfunctional cultural dynasty he founded, bears a curse. The composer's family - unto the fourth generation - are bizarrely obliged to act out carbon copies of the reconstituted myths that formed his operas." London Evening Standard 1/15/01
  • VERDI’S HIGH POINT? This month marks the 100-year anniversary of Verdi’s death, and celebrations are being planned around the world. But is his reputation secure for the next century too? "There are reasons to think not. The public image that retained such remarkable currency during the 20th century is at last showing some cracks." The Times (London) 1/16/01

Monday January 15

  • JANSONS TAKES NEW ORCHESTRA: Mariss Jansons, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and often mentioned as a leading candidate to take over the New York Philharmonic, has agreed to become music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, one of the top ensembles in the world and currently led by his Pittsburgh predecessor, Lorin Maazel. The appointment does not rule him out of the NY Phil job should it be offered. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 01/13/01
  • SKIPPING THE MIDDLEMAN: Forget all the lawsuits over copyrights and royalties. Ordinary musicians and bands are finding the internet to be a good place to bypass the middleman and reach fans and booking agents directly. Nando Times (Scripps Howard) 01/14/01
    • LIFE IN INDIEVILLE: The buzz in music circles these days is about being an "indie" musician, an independent artist using digital technology to get your work out. But does it work? Is life really better on the other side of the digital divide? CBC 01/15/01
  • VOCAL "AFFLICTIONS"? "One of the hottest opera tickets around, 34-year-old American countertenor David Daniels has done more than any other contemporary countertenor to pull this vocal type out of obscurity and inject it with new vigour." Financial Times 01/15/01
  • EVISCERATING "JAZZ": Leon Wieseltier doesn't have much good to say about "Jazz" or the reaction to the Ken Burns documentary. "Burns suffocates the jazz tradition in his superlatives. He deadens everything with his wonder. He has come to be ravished. A helpless hero-worshiper, his success threatens to make hero worship into a respectable historical standpoint. It is easy to see why Burns flourishes in this culture of worthless admiration. He is really just a fan: Bob Costas with an NEA grant." The New Republic 01/15/01

Sunday January 14

  • CLASSICAL MUSIC LITE: Classical music radio is not exactly a thriving format in America. But where it does thrive, the artform is often inverted, with "serious" composers such as Brahms relegated to the second string in favor of frothy fare by von Suppe and Giuliani (Mauro). Certainly no 20th Century fare. These short easily- digestible morsels subvert the weight of the repertoire. Why? Minneapolis Star Tribunbe 01/14/01
  • THE FUTURE OF JAZZ? All the talk of the history of jazz in the past few weeks leaves out the question of the future. "We live in a time when the idea of a single 'vanguard' - one pure, radical, cutting-edge movement that simultaneously incorporates, transcends and destroys the past -- has been rightly discredited. There are hundreds of different creators out there, all pursuing their own paths, a number of which may turn out to have lasting merit." Washington Post 01/14/01
  • THE NEW SING: Until a few years ago, the song recital was one of the most formalized stiff rituals on the concert stage. But a new brand of losser, less-formal recital has emerged. "It's a challenging, more naked way to go, and the typically modest financial rewards for such endeavors haven't gotten any better." Philadelphia Inquirer 01/14/01
  • MAKING LISZTS: One of the most prolific and flamboyant composers of all time, there is still much to be learned about Franz Liszt. The New York Times 01/14/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • WHAT'S AN ANTHEM YOU CAN'T SING? Composers in St. Petersburg, Russia have taken up the task of trying to find words to add to the city's official anthe, "Officialdom seems largely thrilled by the idea of having a city anthem you can sing." St. Petersburg Times 01/13/01

Friday January 12

  • CHANGING WORLD: The Future of Music Summit beats up on the music establishment. "The only hope for those dead businesses is if they realize they are dead and begin to reinvent themselves. A lot of the issues we're discussing here are much broader than music itself. The issues we face with Napster and MP3 are soon going to be faced by television. And it's unsure who is going to be writing the script-courts, Congress or both." Chicago Tribune 01/11/01
    • FREE FOR ALL: Columbia University law professor and champion of the free-software movement Eben Moglen stole the show during a panel discussion at this week’s Future of Music Policy Summit in Washington. "Drawing the loudest applause of the conference, he explained that the future had only two rules: 1) Everyone is connected to everyone else; and 2) All data that can be shared will be shared. It was difficult not to notice that the assembled musicians were applauding the one speaker who definitively promised they would not get paid for their music." Inside.com 1/11/01
  • DOUBLE DARE YOU: A recording industry forum challenged the public to crack digital encryption codes meant to thwart CD piracy. A Princeton professor "says he's cracked all four codes. But he's delayed releasing his report because it may violate the Digital Millenium Copyright Act." CBC 01/12/01
  • NEW OPERA HOUSE DIRECTOR CONFIRMED: Ending weeks of speculation, Tony Hall has been confirmed as the new executive director of the Royal Opera House. Hall will leave his position as BBC news director to replace Michael Kaiser, who left ROH in December to head Washington’s Kennedy Center. BBC 1/11/01
    • PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Hall will certainly have his work cut out for him. The Royal Opera House has gone through five executive directors in as many years, and the pressures, hurdles, and media scrutiny are sure to be intense. "The job is the definitive bucket of warm piss, as Lyndon Johnson once described the post of American vice-president, and anyone who takes it on can expect to fail." The Independent (London) 1/12/01
    • WHAT’S IT WORTH? Hall’s new salary has already become a matter of great contention, amid speculation that he negotiated the largest salary in Britain’s entire subsidized arts sector. "If he has secured a package close to his BBC salary, it is likely to cause anger in the arts." The Telegraph (London) 1/12/01
    • DIVA-PREPAREDNESS TRAINING? Is Hall, who’s spent his entire career at BBC News, prepared for the eccentricities of a performing arts organization? "In the next few weeks he will have to master ballet and opera repertory and prominent personalities, remember the technical names for bits of machinery, and learn how to deal with artistic temperaments." The Telegraph (London) 1/12/01
    • PEOPLE’S OPERA: Hall has been urged by the ROH Board to "focus on openness and accessibility," an acknowledgment of the continuing criticism of the Royal Opera as overpriced and elitist. The house became the subject of intense political debate over whether public money - in this case, a $125 million grant from national lottery profits toward the lavish refurbishment of its 1858 horseshoe-shaped auditorium - should be spent on such a project." New York Times 1/12/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Thursday January 11

  • BIG BAD RECORDING COMPANIES: US Senator Orrin Hatch told 500 music industry folk at the Future of Music Policy Summit in Washington DC that major record groups were ''content gatekeepers'' that have "greedily, shortsightedly and perhaps even illegally roadblocked consumers' access to music on the Internet. 'I do not think it is any benefit for artists and fans to have all the new, wide distribution channels controlled by those who have controlled the old, narrower ones'.'' Inside.com 01/10/01
  • FAKE STRAD? The conservator of musical instruments at the Metropolitan Museum has suggested that the world's most celebrated Stradivarius violin is a fake. "The so-called Messiah, or Le Messie, is housed in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University and estimated to be worth some $20 million. By implication Pollens has cast doubt on the very system of authentication and valuation that currently prevails in the market, a market worth $50 million per year worldwide by some estimates." Forbes 01/10/01
  • ROYALTY BROUHAHA: Britain's Performing Rights Society has changed the way it calculates royalties to composers and performers. Classical musicians are furious because the new calculations have reduced the amount they receive. The PRS says it's time to end what are perceived as 'subsidies' to the classical folk. "We no longer feel we have the right or the duty to redress the perceived undervaluing of classical music in a commercial environment." The Guardian (London) 01/11/01
  • NEW RISKS: New San Francisco Opera director proposes a five-year plan of innovation and adventure. Read the highlights. San Jose Mercury News 01/10/01

Wednesday January 10

  • ESCHENBACH IN PHILLY: So what can Philadelphians expect from Christophe Eschenbach, the Philadelphia Orchestra's new music director? "Eschenbach's means of expression may challenge Philadelphia ears in ways they haven't experienced from previous music directors, and they may not like it." Philadelphia Inquirer 01/10/01
    • THE LURE OF A NEW HALL? It would appear that conductor Christophe Eschenbach had his pick of orchestras to lead as music director. Why did he choose the Philadelphia Orchestra over the New York Philharmonic? Chicago Sun-Times 01/10/01
    • THE DEAL: "Eschenbach's initial contract will run for three years, beginning with the 2003-04 season; there will be annual options to extend. Many details have yet to be worked out and financial terms were not disclosed yesterday, but Eschenbach will live in Philadelphia." Philadelphia Orchestra 01/10/01
    • MUSICAL CHAIRS: "Eschenbach, a dynamic conductor with a mercurial musical sensibility, had been rumored as a candidate in Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Over the past months, the likely pool of talent available to the three orchestras has narrowed to a handful of oft-cited names." Washington Post 01/10/01
  • THE DEATH OF NEW MUSIC? "New music is at an impasse—you can't convince people it exists. There is a certain small culture around it, but it is impossible to get power brokers outside that culture to believe that anything is going on. The official line is, classical music is finished, a closed book, Glass, Reich, and maybe John Zorn the end of history. And it does not help that jazz is ever more officially referred to as 'America's classical music'. First of all, what is that supposed to do for jazz? Legitimize it, make it blandly respectable and therefore ignorable? And it slaps those composers whose training is classical out of the water." Village Voice 01/09/01
  • THE FUSS ABOUT "JAZZ": "The ironic flip side to the notion that jazz is 'America's indigenous music' is the fact that most Americans don't listen to it. All of which has made Burns downright evangelical. His documentary is meant as a curative of sorts. But it also points to curious truths about the relationship between jazz and contemporary American culture, between the music as it's heard today and its underlying, timeless ideals." Village Voice 01/09/01
  • TAKING IT TO THE HILL: After surviving a tumultuous year of litigation, copyright turmoil, and licensing debates, major players from the music industry are converging in Washington this week for a Future of Music Policy Summit. "Its speaker list, crowdedwith political figures, reflects the cutting-edge reality that Capitol Hill has become an increasingly important factor in the digital-music morass." Inside.com 1/09/01
  • MORE FAT THAN MUSCLE? Did developments in the classical and pop music worlds over the past two decades really warrant the Grove Dictionary of Music’s 50% bulk increase in its new edition? "Had this been a lexicon of genetics or co mputer science, the new data would have been essential. In music, the engorgement of Grove raises uncomfortable issues of cultural cringe and condescension." The Telegraph (London) 1/10/01
  • A YEAR OF FAREWELLS: Outgoing executive director Franz Xaver Ohnesorg announced Carnegie Hall’s upcoming 111th season, as he prepares to leave to helm the Berlin Philharmonic. "Next season will offer a rare flurry of New York musical farewells by conductors who are ending long-held directorships with major orchestras." The New York Times 01/10/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • CHARITY WALKOUT: Luciano Pavarotti, Tom Stoppard, and several other high-profile artists have walked out on War Child UK, amid accusations that the charity’s cofounder pocketed bribes and allowed excessive expenditures. Pavarotti had earlier been instrumental in convincing musicians like Elton John, Bono, and Eric Clapton to donate royalties from their concerts to the charity, which helps children rebuild their lives in war-torn countries. The Guardian (London) 1/10/01

Tuesday January 9

  • PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA'S NEW MUSIC DIRECTOR: After a long search, the Philadelphia Orchestra has chosen Christophe Eschenbach as its new music director. "Mr. Eschenbach, 60, music director and chief conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg since 1998 and music director of the Orchestre de Paris since September." The New York Times 01/09/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • AFTER 28 YEARS IN BOSTON: Seiji Ozawa is moving on as he gets ready to leave the Boston Symphony. "In fall 2002 he assumes the post of music director of the Vienna State Opera once held by Claudio Abbado. He also is planning to devote more podium time to the Saito Kinen Orchestra, the Tokyo-based ensemble he co-founded in 1984." Chicago Tribune 01/09/01
  • WHAT CONDUCTORS EARN: "James Levine of the Metropolitan Opera was paid nearly $1.9-million (all figures in U.S. dollars) for the fiscal year that ended in 1999. Right behind him was Kurt Masur of the New York Philharmonic, who reportedly earned just over $1.5-million." Globe & Mail (Forbes) 01/09/01
  • ODE TO THE ACCORDION: "For all its ponderousness, the accordion is an instrument of suddenness. It can never be suitably introduced. It asserts itself as a kind of non sequitur. Dolorous and joyous within a turn, it is capable of unadulterated sentimentality. Yet its emotions cannot be savored exactly because they refuse to be modulated or adjusted. The accordion blurts." Feed 01/05/01
  • GLAMOROUS BUT CAN THEY PLAY? A new generation of female classical musician is taking to stages with more glamorous (and sometimes suggestive) marketing. Does it make a difference to how they play? "People say it's because of what we look like that we get guff, but it's not — it's because we're women. It has nothing to do with being attractive or not attractive. But somehow there's an inherent sexism in classical music that has always been there. And finally, we're breaking that down." Sonicnet 01/09/01

Monday January 8

    • MOZART'S VENETIAN FLING: A music scholar says he's uncovered evidence that Mozart, visiting Venice at the age of 15, made a local girl pregnant. The researcher says the young genius "may have left a lasting legacy of his stay — presumably without his father’s knowledge — through local parish registers, which list the death of a five-month-old boy named Giacomo Gasparo Mozart in June 1819." The Times (London) 01/08/01
    • WHY EMINEM? The Grammys have been criticized for being too conventional. So how better to blow up that image by nominating Eminem? Indeed, the rapper's 9-million-selling nominated album, as well as being violent, takes plenty of pot shots at the music industry. "What better way for the stuffy Grammies to take a walk on the wild side than rewarding somebody who regards them with such contempt?" The Guardian (London) 01/08/01
    • WHO CARES ABOUT JAZZ? "By most contemporary measurements, the American art form once called 'the devil's music' is dust-speck insignificant. It accounts for less than 3 percent of total recorded music sales. Its artists rarely rate among the top-grossing live performers. Its grip on the popular consciousness gets looser by the year - jazz artists are rarely seen on television (even if we count Diana Krall and Kenny G) and only slightly more often heard on the radio." Philadelphia Inquirer 01/08/01
    • AT GREAT COST: John Eliot Gardiner spent the year 2000 recording the Bach cantatas. "The haul was long, encompassing 93 concerts at 61 churches in 12 countries, performed by his 18-voice Monteverdi Choir and 35-member English Baroque Soloists. The price tag was $8 million. The project will be held up as a model of either realizing the impossible or stretching a thriving organization to the breaking point, since there was one significant casualty: Gardiner's longtime relationship with the recording company Deutsche Grammophon." Philadelphia Inquirer 01/08/01
    • MUSIC AND THE ANIMALS: "Careful studies of bird song and whale song indicate that birds not only create original works of music, but they collaborate in singing complex songs. Whales compose veritable symphonies — complete with repeating themes and movements. Just how the brain, human or otherwise, processes and reacts to song is still being studied, but humans and many other animals seem to be born primed to understand, learn and enjoy music." Discovery.com 01/08/01
    • THE MARKETING OF "JAZZ": "You wonder if jazz will forever be capitalized or quote-marked or both and prefaced by 'Ken Burns' from now on. Burns calls Wynton Marsalis 'the star of this film' and with 'sole corporate underwriter' General Motors, they appear to be hijacking the history of the art form." Culture Kiosque 01/08/01
    • PROTECTING THEIR RIGHTS: A group of independent musicians gets together to talk about the "the future of music manifesto" and musicians' rights in the digital world. The Idler 01/08/01

Sunday January 7

    • THE FAILURE OF THE AVANT GARDE: Pop music used to borrow liberally from classical music's avant garde. But no more. "Perhaps the biggest failure of the current contemporary classical scene is that it has not fully embraced the most significant revolution of the past half century, the development of the recording studio. Rock musicians, and many of the early classical avant-garde experimenters, picked up ideas gained in studios and ran with them." The Telegraph (London) 01/07/01
    • REBUILDING LA: A year ago when Deborah Borda took over management of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the orchestra was in shambles, with a $7 million debt and attendance and morale problems. "By September, the end of fiscal year 1999-2000, the Phil's operating deficit had been reduced to less than $200,000. To date, this season's ticket sales are up an average of 13% per concert following 10 years of steady decline - good news, but still 25% behind ticket sales a decade ago." Los Angeles Times 01/07/01
    • BUM'S RAP? Controversial rapper Eminem had a schizophrenic week. He was nominated for a Grammy, but he also "faces felony assault and weapons charges in two Michigan counties, and in one of those jurisdictions, Macomb County, the prosecutor has pledged to seek 'significant jail time'." Los Angeles Times 01/07/01
    • A FIXED IDEA OF JAZZ: Ken Burns "Jazz" documentary debuts Monday night. "The film will not change what jazz has become, not even a bit. But by the force of its marketing campaign (backed by General Motors), and also by the force of its storytelling and handling of images, 'Jazz' will fix in the minds of millions of Americans a particular set of notions when the word jazz is uttered. New York Times 01/07/01 (one-time registration required for access)
      • AND THE EXPERTS SAY: "Is the Burns series a fair representation of jazz? The question was put to musicians and others in the jazz world, who were provided with tapes of the series." New York Times 01/07/01 (one-time registration required for access)
      • BEAT TREAT: "Burns makes no apologies for any gaps or omissions. Nor should he. His intent was never to create the definitive visual history of jazz, nor could such be done in 190 hours, much less 19." The Globe & Mail 01/06/01
      • AGENT FOR CHANGE: "The great, sprawling behemoth of a documentary focuses on the central role jazz has played as a life-force counteracting racism and separatism in America. Jazz, in fact, has brought together more blacks and whites into cooperative, amicable, even loving situations than practically any other social force in America." Hartford Courant 01/07/01
      • MISSING THE BEAT: " 'Jazz,' a 19-hour film that feels about twice that long, lumbers, laboriously, from one leaden biographical portrait to the next, from one creaky cliche to a thousand more yet to come. Its chesty-voiced narrator doesn't so much trace the evolution of jazz as issue ironclad pronouncements about it." Chicago Tribune 01/07/01
      • AND WHERE'S THE HEAT? "More than its length, "Jazz" is, like those solos that reveled in their freedom from melody and chord progression and the like, at least a touch dissonant, jumping jerkily from segment to segment. There is beautiful music everywhere, but the feeling is of disjointed, mostly biographical stories assembled in sequence rather than a narrative whole." Chicago Tribune 01/07/01
      • A BIG FAN: " 'Jazz', is one of those rare, stunning TV offerings that pull you like Dickens into a superb, spiraling tale that lights up your mind - indeed, your whole body - and drops you back down on the couch at the end a more well-rounded, aware person." San Francisco Chronicle 01/07/01
      • STATUS QUO: "And indeed, the Burns project, for all its many virtues, does perpetuate the notion of jazz as orthodoxy, as tradition not to be tampered with lightly." Washington Post 01/07/01
    • NOT JUST THE HITS: Why is orchestral programming so stuck in the past? "The message to audiences would be: You can count on us to sift through the centuries and present only the agreed-upon masterpieces of the past, with occasional, carefully commissioned works by living composers deemed capable of producing new masterpieces." Don't we need some freshening? New York Times 01/07/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Friday January 5

    • GRAMMYS UNDER SEIGE: The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences is under seige for having nominated rapper Eminem for Grammys this week. The "Detroit rapper known for both darkly comic wordplay and homicidal, gay-bashing lyrics, was nominated for several of the Academy's highest honors, including album of the year. The news lit up phone lines and overwhelmed the e-mail system at NARAS's Los Angeles office, with nearly everyone furious that the academy had put its imprimatur on an artist who seems to revel in homophobia and misogyny." Washington Post 01/05/01
    • ORCHESTRA TO ABANDON THEATRE PROJECT: The Minnesota Orchestra surprised Minneapolis Thursday by anouncing it would likely abandon its three year campaign to build a 19,000-seat outdoor amphitheatre. "The orchestra cited unexpected costs and the failure to secure a significant donor to help finance the $40 million project." Minneapolis Star-Tribune 01/05/01
    • A LITTLE APPRECIATION As Kurt Masur nears the end of his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic, the orchestra has announced its upcoming season will be devoted largely to celebrating his 11 years at the podium. The schedule includes the release of a CD set drawn from his live broadcast performances; a retrospective book; and a three-week season finale, which the orchestra is calling "Thank You, Kurt Masur." New York Times 01/05/01 (one-time registration required for access)
    • MAJOR REWRITE: Next week marks the release of the latest edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. It’s a major event in the classical music world, given the breadth of the project (it’s the largest single-subject reference work in the world) and its online launch. "It contains 29,499 entries. It weighs 68kg. Stand the volumes side by side and they measure 1.45 metres. It cost its publisher, Macmillan, £20m to create. It is hard to overestimate the impact of Grove's publication on Monday, the first new edition for 20 years." The Guardian (London) 01/05/01
      • GROVE ONLINE: A music critic ventures into the online version. "The alternative to writing out a check for nearly £3,000 (bookshelves extra) is now to subscribe to Grove online - a mere £190 a year." The dictionary is rich in entries, but it currently does not provide sounds clips so it is not taking advantage of the full capacity of the internet. The Guardian (London) 01/05/01
    • CROWD CONTROL: Michael Eavis has canceled the 2001 Glastonbury Music Festival citing safety problems. He is currently facing prosecution for allowing an alleged 100,000 fence-jumpers to crash last year’s concert. Mr Eavis hopes to spend the year determining a better way to control entry to the festival in 2002. The Independent (London) 01/05/01

Thursday January 4

    • GRAMMY NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED: "Unlike the nominations of recent years, which have been dominated by one or two albums (Santana's Supernatural, Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill), this year's field includes a wide range of talents, with no single work emerging as the top vote-getter." Philadelphia Inquirer 01/04/01
      • EMINEM NOMINATION CONTROVERSIAL: "According to an executive at the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, their phone lines were jammed with angry calls moments after the nominations were announced." Los Angeles Times 01/04/01
      • A BAD YEAR ALL AROUND: "The Grammys have joined with Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Spin in endorsing the musical hate crimes waged against women and gays on Eminem's 'The Marshall Mathers LP,' nominating the sociopathic screed as album of the year." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 01/04/01
      • CLASSICAL GRAMMY LIST: Murray Perahia, Evgeny Kissin, Leif Ove Andsnes, Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic and the Emerson String Quartet are nominated for Best Classical Album. Grammy.com 01/04/01
    • A STORY OF OPERATIC PROPORTIONS: The imbroglio over what should happen to the leadership of the Bayreuth Festival is epic. The personalities are oversized and the issues as dramatic and petty as it gets. And what should become of the home of Wagner's opera? The Telegraph (London) 01/04/00
    • BLIND AMBITION? "For the past year conductor Christian Thielemann has "been at the centre of a bitter struggle for power and money within Berlin. Thielemann is the outgoing music director of the Deutsche Oper - he resigned last year because he felt that he was not properly consulted over the appointment of the new intendant. He insists, contrary to some reports, that he has no masterplan to take over opera in Berlin by fusing the two main opera houses under his control." The Guardian (London) 01/04/01
    • COVENT GARDEN DELAY: The appointment of BBC exec Tony Hall to be the new director of London's Royal Opera House was expected before Christmas. But the appointment has been held up, reportedly over money. "Mr Hall took home £250,000 last year in salary and other benefits while the last Royal Opera House head, Michael Kaiser, earned around £140,000 a year. Public sector arts administration jobs pay significantly lower salaries than their private sector counterparts, with the highest-paid arts administrator, the South Bank Centre's Karsten Witt, believed to earn £213,000." The Guardian (London) 01/04/01

Wednesday January 3

    • THE LEGEND CONTINUES: When Ronald Wilford announced in November that he was stepping aside as president of Columbia Artists Management, the music world took notice. "A seminal and sometimes fearsome figure in the business, he has had an unequaled role in helping to shape the careers of many of the world's leading orchestras and conductors like Herbert von Karajan, James Levine, Kurt Masur and Seiji Ozawa. But WWilford says he's not retiring. "I don't want to step down. I have no intention of retiring or anything like that." New York Times 01/03/01 (one-time registration required for access)
    • THE LITTLE-GUY CONSORTIUM: Big recording companies are consolidating and folding up their classical operations. And small labels have a hard time advertising and getting shelf space. Now a new consortium of small classical labels hopes that by consolidating their efforts they'll thrive. Sonicnet 01/02/01
    • STILL THE BEATLES The Beatles album of greatest hits has sold more than 20 million copies in the past few months, putting it on course to be the best-selling album of all time. Why, 30 years after the group broke up, do its songs resonate for so many people? New York Times 01/03/01 (one-time registration required for access)
    • JOHN ADAMS ON BEING A COMPOSER TODAY: "It's been my impression that in terms of commissions there's never been a more bullish period in American history. There are all these operas being commissioned. San Francisco Opera has commissioned 4 or 5 operas, and the Met is on a big commissioning program, Chicago, those are all the big ones, and the smaller companies are commissioning like crazy, and orchestras are commissioning works, so it seems like actually this is a tremendously good time to be alive as a composer of large-scale works." NewMusicbox 01/01
    • LAST SOLO: The principal trumpeter of the Trenton Symphony collapsed onstage Monday right after performing a solo and died before an audience of about 2,000. Backstage 01/02/01

Tuesday January 2

    • THE PROBLEM WITH OPERA: Opera has enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years. "But the fact that repertory companies, overseas as well as here, avoid placing many of the great modernist works on stage for fear of alienating traditionalist audiences is almost a tragedy in itself. Here we are at the beginning of the 21st century and three quarters of the major achievements of the last, are not performed." The Age (Melbourne) 01/02/01
    • THE GREAT CONDUCTORS: Who are the conductors set to define orchestral music in the 21st Century? Here's a list of a dozen conductors under the age of 50. Culturekiosque 01/02/01
    • GRAMMY'S TOUGH CHOICES: The Grammy Award nominations are to be announced Wednesday. The credibility of the organization is on the line this year. If N' Sync gets a nod, it will be because of their sales record and not their music. On the other hand, "Eminem would be a bold choice because many of the 12,000 voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which sponsors the Grammys, will feel uneasy endorsing an X-rated collection filled with violent, often hateful imagery." Los Angeles Times 01/01/01
    • WHO'S KILLED JAZZ? Jazz critics have been lining up to take pot shots at Ken Burns new "Jazz" documentary - and that's before it's even been shown on PBS. Burns himself blames jazz critics for ruining jazz. "Are you familiar with the American comic strip Peanuts? And the character Pig Pen who trails around a cloud of dust with him wherever he goes? The jazz community has done that to jazz, making it very off-putting for the rest of us who think you need some advanced degree or to be a member of this cabalistic jazzerati to understand it." National Post (Canada) 01/01/02
    • THE POOR VIOLA: What's the difference between a viola and an onion? People cry when they chop an onion to pieces." Why do people tell so many jokes about the viola? Dallas Morning News 01/01/01


Home | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©
2003 ArtsJournal. All Rights Reserved