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Musicians Blast Spotify CEO For Comments On Royalties

The CEO ― whose net worth is estimated at over $4 billion ― argued in an interview with Music Ally published Thursday that there was a “narrative fallacy” around claims that Spotify’s royalties were too low, saying: “Some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.” – HuffPost
Tags: Art, Spotify, Music, 08.01.20


Man builds guitars using wood from a lynching tree

Freeman Vines is a luthier in Fountain, North Carolina. For half a century, he's crafted beautiful guitars from wood taken from a tree used to lynch Black people. Vines deeply moving work is the subject of a new photography book, Hanging Tree Guitars, with tintype images by Timothy Duffy and essays by Zoe Van Buren and Lonnie Holle. Duffy is the co-founder of North Carolina's Music Maker Relief Foundation, "founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the mu...
Tags: Art, Photography, Video, Music, News, Race, Racism, North Carolina, Guitars, Freeman, Timothy Duffy, Lynchings, Freeman Vines, Fountain North Carolina, Zoe Van Buren, Lonnie Holle Duffy


It Took 80 Years For This Piece By Composer Ulysses Kay To Have Its World Premiere

Why? Perhaps this: “While Ulysses Kay shared stages with the greats of his day, his daughter said over time his compositions haven’t been performed as widely and are often programmed for cultural anniversaries or events including Black History Month.” – WBUR
Tags: Art, Music, Ulysses Kay, 07.31.20


Neighbors Performing Music For Neighbors Hasn’t Stopped

And, in the U.S., it may be just getting started. A cellist in Pasadena who performs weekly with his wife, a pianist, says, “We thought with so much suffering, and so much anxiety, this is something very small that we can try to do to help.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Music, Pasadena, 08.01.20


That Time A Research Librarian Discovered His Library Owned A First Edition Of Beethoven’s Sixth

At the Moravian Music Foundation, librarian David Blum “was doing a routine cataloging of material that the foundation has owned for years, [when] he noticed the plate number of the printing was 1809, his first clue that he was onto a first edition. He thought that would be great — but unlikely.” And yet. – Winston-Salem Journal
Tags: Art, Music, David Blum, 08.01.20, Moravian Music Foundation


Musicians Fear Disruptions Will Be Permanent

It seems like the entire edifice is teetering. If you can’t pay musicians, you can’t get live music. Culture, while a major economic sector, will likely be one of the last to restart after the shutdown. – Van
Tags: Art, Music, 07.30.20


Recreating The Sound Of Hagia Sophia

For a group of scholars, scientists and musicians, Hagia Sophia’s rededication as a Muslim place of worship threatens to cloak a less tangible treasure: its sound. Bissera Pentcheva, an art historian at Stanford University and an expert in the burgeoning field of acoustic archaeology, has spent the past decade studying the building’s extravagantly reverberant acoustics to reconstruct the sonic world of Byzantine cathedral music. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Stanford University, Sophia, Hagia Sophia, 07.30.20


Salzburg Festival Will Happen This Year, And Here’s How They’ll Do It

“A sprawling, 44-day anniversary program has been mostly postponed until next year. It has been replaced with a reduced, 30-day schedule, through Aug. 30, of concerts, plays and two (instead of seven) staged operas.” Artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser says “we have measures for cultural institutions — which are 200 percent necessary — that respect the health of the people working and the audience.” And those measures, it turns out, were designed partly by a baritone-otolaryngologist. – The N...
Tags: Art, Music, Salzburg, Audience, Markus Hinterhauser, 07.31.20


How Earlier Black Classical Musicians Faced (And Faced Down) American Racism

Shirley Verrett: “Maestro Stokowski called. He was embarrassed, but said that it would not be possible for me to sing with the Houston Symphony because the symphony board did not want to use a Negro singer.” (Stokie made it up to her later in Philadelphia.) And then there was the time Jessye Norman was invited to play a maid in a sitcom … – WQXR (New York City)
Tags: Art, Music, Philadelphia, Jessye Norman, HOUSTON SYMPHONY, Shirley Verrett, 07.28.20, Maestro Stokowski, Stokie


Black Classical Musicians Share Stories Of The Crap They’ve Had To Put Up With

“During my senior year of undergrad, my voice teacher complimented me on my final Mainstage role by saying: ‘You did great! And you don’t even look African-American on stage!'”“[The language coach] said, ‘Silly me … no ‘decent’ French ever comes from such big lips anyways … Maybe patois, but not Français.'” –
Tags: Art, Music, 07.28.20


Classical Music’s Social Media Racism Wars

Controversies broke out on a few fronts this week. – NPR
Tags: Art, Music, 07.29.20, Social Media Racism Wars


Where Are The Thousands Of Musical Instruments Looted By The Nazis?

There has been a lot of research into the Nazis’ plunder of Jewish-owned artwork in Europe during World War II, though far less attention has been paid to the looting of instruments. But a number of scholars have been focused on bringing this facet of Nazi crimes to light. – NPR
Tags: Art, Europe, Music, Nazis, 07.29.20


Music Of America’s First Known Women Composers Is Headed To Disc

Their names were Sister Föben, Sister Katura, and Sister Hanna, and they were members of the Ephrata Cloister, a radical commune of Pennsylvania Dutch Evangelicals in the mid-1700s. Baritone and musicologist Chris Herbert (of New York Polyphony) has digitized and transcribed the manuscript in which these composers’ hymns (“just devotional, simple music,” he says) were found, rounded up four singers, and recorded the works in the Ephrata Cloister Meetinghouse. – NPR
Tags: Art, Music, America, Pennsylvania, Hanna, Ephrata, New York Polyphony, Chris Herbert, 07.24.20, Katura, Ephrata Cloister


Things to do – online and in-person – in the San Fernando Valley and LA area, July 30-Aug. 6

    Dance instructor Leslie Ferreira teaches how to perform the Cumbia dance style. The online event is part of the Music Center’s summertime Digital Dance DTLA series. (Photo courtesy of the Music Center)   Take a chance on new cultural and educational experiences, July 30-Aug. 6.   EVENTS   Drive ‘N Drag: Winners from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and more fan-favorite drag queens entertain, July 31- Aug. 2 (change from previous dates; show times vary). Check website for participating personalit...
Tags: Food, Art, Facebook, Books, Music, Politics, New York, Movies, Congress, La, Restaurants, Nigeria, America, Los Angeles, Sport, Chicago


How America’s First Drive-In Classical Concert Since Lockdown Turned Out

San Diego’s Mainly Mozart got together an eight-member chamber group headed by L.A. Phil concertmaster Martin Chalifour to play octets by Mozart and Mendelssohn in the parking lot of a SoCal horse-racing track. – Newsweek
Tags: Art, Music, America, San Diego, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Martin Chalifour, 07.28.20, L A Phil


The Full Berry: Mozart’s Letters

Reading Mozart’s correspondence is like being tugged by an enthusiastic, garrulous friend right into the green room of 18th-century European culture. The cast list extends from Empress Maria Theresa to the family dog Bimperl: Mozart is just as fascinated by both. One minute, he’s dressed as Harlequin and dancing all night at the 1783 Vienna carnival. Next, he’s talking shop with Dad (Leopold was a respected composer in his own right), or bitching about a mediocre singer or arrogant patron. – Th...
Tags: Art, Music, Vienna, Mozart, Maria Theresa, 08.20, Dad Leopold


Opera Philadelphia Cancels O20 Festival, Postpones Main Season, Announces Newly Made Online Offerings

The company’s annual fall festival, much praised ever since its 2017 debut, is off this year; most plans for next season, including Jennifer Higdon’s latest opera and Sondra Radvanovsky’s role debut as Lady Macbeth, are postponed. Instead, there will be “a series of online performances — most created anew — to be shown on a new Opera Philadelphia Channel available [on several] platforms.” Highlights include Lawrence Brownlee in a staged version of Tyshawn Sorey‘s Cycles of My Being, a new versi...
Tags: Art, Music, Lady Macbeth, Lawrence Brownlee, Henze, Jennifer Higdon, Sondra Radvanovsky, David T Little, Willard White, Tyshawn Sorey, 07.29.20, Opera Philadelphia Channel


Learning Music Does Not Make Kids Smarter, New Study Finds

“After analysing data from 54 studies conducted on 6,984 participants between 1986 and 2019, [researchers] found music training was ineffective at enhancing cognitive or academic skills, regardless of the skill type, participants’ age and duration of music training.” What was the problem with previous research that found otherwise? Poor study design, say the authors. – The National (Abu Dhabi)
Tags: Art, Music, 07.29.20


Rhiannon Giddens Named Artistic Director Of Silkroad, Yo-Yo Ma’s Cross-Cultural Project

“Silkroad has to exist outside of Yo-Yo, but Yo-Yo is an inalterable part of Silkroad,” said the singer/banjo player/fiddler/opera composer. “Both of those things have to exist at the same time, and it has to take some thought about how to do that in a way that feels good to everyone involved.” Ma, for his part, said of Giddens, “She lives Silkroad’s values.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Ma, Rhiannon Giddens, Yo Yo, Giddens, SilkRoad, 07.28.20, Silkroad Yo Yo Ma


Indianapolis Symphony Cancels 2020-21 Season

A statement released jointly by the musicians and management said, “We recognize the challenges presented to the ISO by the pandemic and unforeseen economic. For those reasons, the 2020-21 indoor season will not go as planned.” Next summer’s outdoor concert series, Symphony on the Prairie, remains on the schedule. – Indianapolis Star
Tags: Art, Music, Indianapolis, ISO, 07.24.20


Stop Blind Auditions For Orchestras? No — Auditions Should Become Even More Blind

Jeremy Reynolds, responding to New York Times chief critic Anthony Tommasini’s argument that U.S. orchestras will never become more racially balanced without affirmative action, points out that “blind auditions aren’t really blind.” What’s more, as Pittsburgh Symphony bassist Jeffrey Grubbs (who is Black) tells Reynolds, the real problem is the makeup of the student body at music schools: “I don’t know that diversity hiring would change things much, as my impression is the highest caliber Black...
Tags: Art, Music, New York Times, Black, Reynolds, Pittsburgh Symphony, Anthony Tommasini, Jeffrey Grubbs, Jeremy Reynolds, 07.26.20


How Long Can New Orleans Survive Without Its Music?

Many New Orleans artists make at least 50 percent, and some as many as 75 to 100 percent, of their income during festival seasons. “New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Essence Music Festival, Voodoo Festival, those big events provide a big source of income and opportunity for our artists,” she says. “They sell at the festival, yes, but they make contacts that might give them commissions for the rest of the year.” But now, of course, there are no festivals, and tourist attractions like jazz ba...
Tags: Art, Music, New Orleans, 07.27.20


Warning: 90 Percent Of Canada’s Live Music Venues Could Shut Forever

According to the Canadian Independent Venue Coalition, which has launched an online campaign to support Canadian venues, without government support, more than 90 per cent of independent venues are at risk of shutting down forever. – CBC
Tags: Art, Music, Canada, 07.27.20, Canadian Independent Venue Coalition


Richmond Symphony To Return To The Concert Hall

The new season will include in-person Masterworks concerts at the Carpenter Theatre at the Dominion Energy Center in September, October and November. The capacity of the Carpenter Theatre will be reduced from 1,800 to fewer than 400 to allow 6 feet of distance between seats. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
Tags: Art, Music, Carpenter Theatre, 07.24.20, Dominion Energy Center


For A Musician At The Intersection Of Art, Community, And Activism, Awards Seem Superfluous

Martha Gonzalez sings with the band Quetzal and has a new memoir out as well. When the band was nominated for (and won) a Grammy, “Quetzal never showed up to the pre-Grammy gala. Instead, they did the most Quetzal thing ever: They opened the doors to the Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights, invited every band from East L.A. that had ever been nominated for a Grammy and threw a concert. Who needs a Grammy when you have community?” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Music, Boyle Heights, Martha González, 07.24.20, Breed Street Shul


Small Music Venues In Britain Are Getting A Tiny Influx Of Survival Cash

The BBC isn’t mincing words about the money: “The amount available for grassroots music, worth 1/700th of the total relief package, will go to venues at ‘severe risk of insolvency’ and can be spent on ongoing costs like rent, utilities, maintenance contracts and other bills.” – BBC
Tags: Art, Music, Bbc, Britain, 07.25.20


A Conductor Tries To Fill All Of The Empty Space

Jörg Widmann is a composer, clarinettist, and conductor of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. What did the musician and conductor to do during lockdown? “I always wanted to have some months off, when I could compose without interruption. Now I’ve had several months, and I could hardly work. Isn’t that strange?” (He’s working again, and happy about it.) – Irish Times
Tags: Art, Music, Jörg Widmann, 07.25.20


New Orleans Without Live Music Is A Weird, And Economically Devastated, Place

New Orleans has more than 130 live music venues, most of them smaller (some far smaller) than the average size venue in the country. The city’s restaurants and tourist industry rely on the live music, of course. And “until there’s a vaccine, an entire musical ecosystem is in suspended animation—and with it, the rest of the city.” – Slate
Tags: Art, Music, New Orleans, Audience, 07.24.20


How A Virtuoso Got Her Antique Cello Back 40 Years After It Was Stolen

Christine Walevska got her one-eighth-size 1834 Bernardel cello when she was eight years old, and even as she went on to study with Gregor Piatigorsky, win a first prize at the Paris Conservatoire and pursue an international career, she remained attached to her childhood instrument. In 1976, it was stolen. Reporter Stacy Perman tells the story of how the little cello ultimately found its way back to Walevska — and a gifted young protégée came along with it. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Music, Paris, Gregor Piatigorsky, Stacy Perman, 07.23.20, Christine Walevska, Walevska


Scientists Plan Concert Experiment To Test COVID Spread

German scientists are planning to equip 4,000 pop music fans with tracking gadgets and bottles of fluorescent disinfectant to get a clearer picture of how Covid-19 could be prevented from spreading at large indoor concerts. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Music, 07.22.20



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