Music


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Idaho Parents Demand Better Orchestra Program, Get It

The Pocatello school district had been struggling to provide instruction for the 400 students enrolled in orchestra programs, and proposed changes that would have made it even worse. Parents protested and the school district made changes. – Idaho State-Journal
Tags: Art, Music, Pocatello, 01.19.19, Idaho Parents Demand Better Orchestra Program


Anne Midgette: I Was Wrong About Movie Music And The Concert Hall

“I saw ‘A New Hope’ with both the NSO and the BSO in September and found that the experience confirmed something I had started to suspect: As a classical music critic, I was clueless. That is: While I liked John Williams’s music just fine when I first saw the film at age 12, by the time I had attained legal adulthood, laden with a cargo of acquired snobbery about the superiority of Western civilization, I had learned, and bravely parroted, that ‘film music’ was somehow beneath me.”  – Washingto...
Tags: Art, Music, John Williams, Anne Midgette, BSO, NSO, 01.16.19


'Garage': A Visually and Intellectually Rich Study of a Seemingly Blank Space

None The garage, at first glance, makes for a mundane symbol. And yet, Americans have imbued this deceptively "blank space" with a great deal of meaning. Even so, they may not fully understand that meaning, or its limitations. Olivia Erlanger and Luis Ortega Govela's book, a work of cultural studies, attempts to analyze the significance of the garage (i.e., the theoretical and material implications of the structure). They argue that Garage, an extension of their essay, Hate Suburbia: The Conspi...
Tags: Apple, Art, Feature, Music, Disney, Chicago, Courtney Love, Barbie, Kevin Spacey, Garage, Kurt Cobain, Rand, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mattel, Wright, Federal Housing Administration


Why’s Everyone In Cremona So Nervous About Noise Right Now? It’s About The Strads

Eventually, the centuries-old string instruments for which this Italian city is famous will become too fragile to play. “So that future generations won’t miss out on hearing [them], three sound engineers are producing the ‘Stradivarius Sound Bank’ — a database storing all the possible tones that four instruments selected from the Museo del Violino’s collection can produce.” But the mics are extremely sensitive … — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Cremona, 01.17.19, Stradivarius Sound Bank


Things to do in the San Fernando Valley, LA area, Jan. 18-25

    Aspen Santa Fe Ballet perform Fernando Melo’s Dream Play on Jan. 19 at the Soraya at Cal State Northridge. (Courtesy photo by Sharen Bradford)   There’s always something fascinating to do in the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles area. Here is a sampling of entertainments this week and also save-the-date events to put on your calendar.   EVENTS   Women’s March Los Angeles: Non-partisan march celebrating organizations that educate and register voters, inspire youth to perfo...
Tags: Local News, Art, Books, Comedy, Museum, Music, San Fernando Valley, Theater, Things to Do, Top Stories LADN


Carlos Miguel Prieto Cleared Of Overpaying Foreign Soloists At Mexico’s National Symphony

“The cultural secretary’s office admitted that the [earlier report] relied on information in a public government database that, in effect, converted the guest performers’ fees [between] American dollars to Mexican pesos twice, vastly inflating the totals in some cases.” Some observers are suggesting that the charge against Prieto, music director of the Louisiana Philharmonic as well as of Mexico’s flagship orchestra, was being pushed by musicians unhappy with his leadership. — The New Orleans A...
Tags: Art, Music, Mexico, Prieto, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Louisiana Philharmonic, 01.17.19


Baltimore Symphony Musicians’ Contract Has Officially Expired

“A contract between management and musicians expired Tuesday night as they continue to debate whether shrinking the BSO’s season from 52 weeks to 40 weeks a year is the best path forward. The development is unlikely to have any immediate, public effects. … The dispute, however, is seen as a threat to the orchestra’s continued role as one of the nation’s preeminent orchestras.” — Baltimore Business Journal
Tags: Art, Music, BSO, 01.16.19


How Four Guys Who Thought They’d Be Playing Cymbals In Orchestras Turned Into Sō Percussion

A look into the backstory of a quartet that became two rare things: a star classical percussion group and a genuinely hip chamber ensemble. — Ludwig van Toronto
Tags: Art, Music, 01.15.19


Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s Next Music Director Will Be Richard Egarr

The British harpsichordist and conductor, who currently leads the Academy of Ancient Music (which he leaves in 2020) and begins a stint as artistic partner at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra next season, succeeds Nicholas McGegan at the helm of the San Francisco period-instrument band at the start of the 2020-21 season. — San Francisco Chronicle
Tags: Art, Music, San Francisco, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Richard Egarr, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, 01.17.19


Behold Moebius’ Many Psychedelic Illustrations of Jimi Hendrix

The 1995 release of posthumous Jimi Hendrix compilation Voodoo Soup has divided fans and critics for over two decades now. But whatever its merits, its cover art should hold an honored place in every Hendrix fan’s collection. Drawn by the legendary cult comic artist Moebius from a photograph of Hendrix eating soup in France , it captures the sound Hendrix was moving toward at the end of his life—his head exploding in flames, or mushroom clouds, or pink psychedelic bronchial tubes. The image com...
Tags: Google, Art, Music, College, France, Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Facebook Twitter, Hendrix, Moebius, Josh Jones, Jimi, Linda McCartney, Durham NC Follow, Comics/Cartoons


Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto Faces Storms At Mexico’s National Symphony Orchestra

The 53-year-old Mexico City native, who is also music director of the Louisiana Philharmonic, is accused of paying exorbitant fees to foreign soloists, something both he and his manager insist is a currency conversion mistake. And musicians from the orchestra are reportedly urging Mexican officials to fire Prieto for poor leadership. — The New Orleans Advocate
Tags: Art, Music, Mexico, Mexico City, Prieto, National Symphony Orchestra, Carlos Miguel Prieto, 01.15.19, Louisiana Philharmonic


An Existential Threat To The Baltimore Symphony?

Gregory Tucker: “What has long been hailed as Baltimore’s ‘other major league team’ is about to risk losing its major-league status. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors, of which I was a member until this past June, has decided that Baltimore and Maryland can no longer afford a major league symphony orchestra, given what are real and persistent financial challenges. It is proposing cutting the season by 12 weeks.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Music, Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, 01.15.19, Gregory Tucker


A String Bass That Actually Fits In A Manageable Travel Case

“The TravelBass breaks down into separate components for transport in a custom case, and is assembled for play when double bassists reach their destination. Its makers – out of Parma, Italy – reckon that roving musicians should be able to take it on aircraft as carry on luggage in a custom hard case … designed to survive life in the cargo hold.” — New Atlas
Tags: Art, Music, Parma Italy, 01.09.19


The Amazing Internet Radio Station With Almost Every Kind Of Music There Is

Joan Harvey sings the praises of the astounding variety of music to discover (and facts to learn) at Concertzender.nl. (We here at ArtsJournal can recommend it, too.) Yes, the site is in Dutch, but most of it is available in (sometimes quirky) English if you click on the tiny Union Jack in the upper right corner. — 3 Quarks Daily
Tags: Art, Music, Jack, ArtsJournal, Joan Harvey, 01.14.19


Toto's "Africa" plays on repeat in the middle of the Namib Desert... indefinitely

Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf created "Toto Forever," an installation that plays the song "Africa" on repeat in the middle of southern Africa's Namib Desert. From the BBC News: Mr Siedentopf tells the BBC it is set to play forever, with solar batteries "to keep Toto going for all eternity..." "[I] wanted to pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit 'Africa' in Africa," explains the 27-year-old artist. "Some [Namibians] love it and some say it's probably the worst so...
Tags: Art, Post, Video, Music, News, Africa, Bbc, BBC News, Namib Desert, Toto, Max Siedentopf, I hear the drums echoing tonight, Siedentopf


Why It Matters That The Met Opera’s Music Director Is Openly Gay

“While he hasn’t wanted to make what he called ‘a big fuss’ about his relationship, [Yannick] Nézet-Séguin sees himself and [partner Pierre] Tourville as symbolic of a widening conception of what a conductor can be.” — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, 01.15.19, Yannick -RSB- Nézet Séguin, Pierre -RSB- Tourville


Classical Recording Sales In UK Up By 10.2% (!)

“Furthermore, the figures – taken from the Official Charts Company data – show a 6.9 per cent increase in sales of classical CDs alone compared with 2017.” — Gramophone
Tags: Art, Music, UK, Audience, Official Charts Company, 01.12.19


Music Festivals Have Become Huge Business. Now What?

As the music festival-industrial-complex has become another way of American life, it’s also been increasingly and reasonably subjected to litmus tests reflecting the increased social awareness that society has taken on over the past several years.  – New York Magazine
Tags: Art, Music, 01.11.19


A Great Conductor Goes To A High School To Inspire Kids, And…

The results were underwhelming. “Outreach risks taking on a missionary, self-satisfied glow, getting caught up in the innate value of sharing such great music with those who have not been privileged to have been exposed to it. Lurking within this well-meaning construct is the toxic view of music as a kind of largesse: the idea that this music is better than the music you already like. The school concert, with all the best intentions, to some degree demonstrated that if classical music is offere...
Tags: Art, Music, 01.12.19


Spotify Is Now Selling Sponsorship Of Its Personalized Playlists

“It feels, pretty simply, like yet another example of a tech company creating a highly personalized product in seemingly warm partnership with its users, then realizing that it can trade on this goodwill to make money.”  – Vox
Tags: Art, Music, 01.11.19


Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross: Episode Ninety-Seven

Radio City With Jon Grayson & Rob Ross:  Episode Ninety Seven Episode 97 is the first newly-recorded show of 2019, done on Rob’s birthday (!) and is no less than a stellar power-hour of non-stop smart, thoughtful conversation, a lot of comedy and informative elements, including a breakdown of the brilliant new album from Chris Korzen (under the name “Nezrok”); the deaths of several celebrities we grew up with to begin the year; a glimpse at MTV’s new series with Lindsay Lohan (!); the N.F.L. p...
Tags: Food, Art, Books, Podcast, Music, Politics, Television, Film, Theatre, Sports, Current Events, Mtv, Rob, Satire, Lindsay Lohan, Popular culture


What Would It Take To Mute – And Prosecute – R. Kelly?

After a six-part documentary series on Lifetime in which dozens of women and women’s families came forward to accuse the singer of abusing and molesting young women and teenage girls, prosecutors say he’d be hard to try because “bringing a case is difficult without cooperating victims.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Kelly, 01.13.19


The Musical Instruments in Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights Get Brought to Life, and It Turns Out That They Sound “Painful” and “Horrible”

Welcome to The Garden of Earthly Delights. You’ll find no angelic strings here. Those are reserved for first class citizens whose virtuous lives earned them passage to the uppermost heights. Down below, stringed instruments produce the most hellish sort of cacophony, a fitting accompaniment for the horn whose bell is befouled with the arm of a tortured soul. How do we know that's what they sounded like? A group of musicologists, craftspeople and academics from the Bate Collection of Musical...
Tags: Google, Art, Music, Comedy, College, New York City, Religion, Museums, University of Oxford, Lamb, Slayer, Bosch, Facebook Twitter, Hieronymus Bosch, Ayun Halliday, Andrew Lamb


Composer Anthony Braxton Has Only Gotten Far Busier Since ‘Retirement’

To be fair, the MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner only retired from academia. Perhaps that’s why he’s cheerfully working on a five-day opera, a 12-album set of a previous cycle of music, and overseeing his foundation and his label. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Anthony Braxton, MacArthur Genius Grant


A Classic Theatre Story, Missing Some Grit

Can you tell the story of Harlem’s Apollo Theater without being a booster? Nope, at least not in graphic novel form. “The remarkable institution is a microcosm of the world of black popular culture in all its highs and lows, achievements and setbacks — not to mention sustaining myths and necessary lies.” – NPR
Tags: Art, Music, Harlem, Apollo Theater, 01.13.19


How Verdi Took Care Of His Friends: A Retirement Home For Opera Singers

Using his own fortune, Verdi built the retirement home for opera singers and musicians, a neo-Gothic structure that opened in 1899. The composer died less than two years later, but he made sure the profits from his music copyrights kept the home running until the early 1960s, when they expired. Today guests pay a portion of their monthly pension to cover basic costs – food and lodging — while the rest comes from donations. – NPR
Tags: Art, Music, Verdi, 01.09.19, Verdi Took


Edo De Waart Named San Diego Symphony’s First-Ever Principal Guest Conductor

The Dutch conductor, who is currently music director of the New Zealand Symphony and has held the same post with the symphony orchestras of Antwerp, San Francisco, Milwaukee, and Netherlands Radio, will conduct three to four weekly programs each season, beginning in 2019-2020. — Times of San Diego
Tags: Art, Music, New Zealand, 01.10.19, Edo De Waart Named San Diego Symphony, Antwerp San Francisco Milwaukee, Netherlands Radio


That 17th-Century Viol That Alitalia Smashed Up Last Year Is Restored And Back In Action

The destruction wrought on Myrna Herzog’s 1661 Edward Lewis bass viola da gamba by the Italian airline during Herzog’s trip from Rio de Janeiro to Tel Aviv last January made headlines internationally. Fortunately, Alitalia readily agreed to pay for restoration, and after a year’s worth of work by luthier Shlomo Moyal, the instrument is repaired and ready for performance. — Classic FM (UK)
Tags: Art, Music, Tel Aviv, Rio De Janeiro, Alitalia, Herzog, Edward Lewis, Myrna Herzog, 01.03.19, Shlomo Moyal


NY’s Prototype Festival Shows How Hard It Is To Reinvent Opera

Anne Midgette: “Most of them could be called opera, but most of them have little to do with what you might see in an opera house. Opera houses are looking for ways to connect with new audiences; the Prototype festival shows just how far they need to change the template to really try to do it.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Music, Anne Midgette, SJM, 01.07.19


Opera Roles Are Classified By Voice Types. Also Gender Types. Is This A Problem?

“Imagine a soprano who has just changed her voice type from mezzo-soprano to soprano. She’s immediately at a disadvantage if she lists every role that she’s performed on her resume, because it will immediately cause the review panel to question the legitimacy of her soprano-ness. The next inevitable step is that they’ll question her ability to sing the role for which she’s currently auditioning. This isn’t a gender issue any longer, but rather an issue of the current classification system’s inab...
Tags: Art, Music, SJ, 01.07.19



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