Music


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How The Houston Symphony Returned To The Stage For Live Performances

To be honest, part of the reason this could even be tried was that the governor of Texas didn’t institute a wide lockdown. That said, the symphony, which resumed weekly live concerts in July, consulted researchers from Rice to figure out where “microparticles” from musicians go within the symphony hall, and to institute better ventilation and filtration systems. (But the concerts have a livestreaming option for audience members who are not persuaded.) – Houston Chronicle
Tags: Art, Music, Texas, Audience, Rice, 11.19.20


Most Musicians Earn Tiny Pittances From Streaming. China May Have A Solution

“On several streaming platforms under the umbrella of China’s Tencent Music … micropayments from fans help compensate artists where royalties fall short. This has partially allowed artists to do some smaller-scale hustling every time they release a new album. In part it’s given them a digital tip jar. But it hasn’t been all small change. … [And] there’s no reason why Tencent Music’s model can’t be applied beyond China.” – Slate
Tags: Art, Music, China, Tencent, Audience, 11.20.20


Classical Concerts Under COVID: Where Things Stand In Asia, Australia/New Zealand, And the Americas

With governments in China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore mostly able to impose safety measures without too much pushback, case numbers are down and concert numbers are up, though usually with reduced audience. New Zealand is almost back to normal and Australia is getting there, with even a Ring cycle planned for Brisbane this month. Alas, reports David Karlin, “the contrast between Asia and the Americas could not be more stark,” though tentative returns to concert life are happening in Cana...
Tags: Art, Asia, Music, Australia, Singapore, Americas, New Zealand, Brisbane, Audience, Asia Australia New Zealand, China Japan South Korea, Canada Colombia, David Karlin, 11.02.20


Researchers Have Some Good News About Indoor Concerts And COVID

“Analysis of an indoor concert staged by scientists in August suggests that the impact of such events on the spread of the coronavirus is ‘low to very low’ as long as organizers ensure adequate ventilation, strict hygiene protocols and limited capacity, according to the German researchers who conducted the study.” Be aware, though, that the paper has not yet been peer-reviewed. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, 11.03.20


What Classical Music Loses In Screen Translation

The novelty of watching concerts over Zoom has worn off, and though audiences are still pleased to have anything, anything at all, to watch, the loss of physical space is real, and musicians and conductors feel it. “The absence of an audience subtracts something essential from the music as well; it becomes an unbalanced equation, an unanswered question.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, 10.31.20


In Isolation, Listening To The World

You want to hear Japanese psychedelia from 1971? Johnny Hallyday and Edith Piaf? The indie music of Mexico? The internet, of course, is there for you (and for all of us). – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Mexico, World, Audience, Edith Piaf, Johnny Hallyday, 10.31.20


Seattle Chamber Music Society Says Its Online Festival Went Surprisingly Well

What, cheerful classical music news right now? Yes. Adding comments such as “filled my life with joy,” hundreds of patrons responded to a survey about the Chamber Music Society’s Virtual Summer Music Festival. The festival “rated 8.4 on a scale of 10. It brought in 389 new ticket purchasers (32% of patrons) and 92 first-time donors, many international patrons, and 300 more subscribers than usual — likely because there were no constraints on the size of the concert-hall space.” – Seattle Times ...
Tags: Art, Music, Seattle, Audience, Chamber Music Society, 10.26.20


The Concert Refunds That Haven’t Come Yet

The venue claims that the refunds are the responsibility of a Russian oligarch. One fan “has spent considerable time over the last four months hunting down the money … a quest that, for her, has involved setting up a spreadsheet to track her many communications with Ticketmaster and the Nassau Coliseum.” And, well, crickets. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, Ticketmaster, Nassau Coliseum, 10.11.20


Why Spotify Has Successful Artists Named ‘White Noise Baby Sleep’ And ‘Jazz Therapy For Cats’

“You’ve probably never heard of them, but Relaxing Music Therapy has had a pretty damn successful music career. At least, on Spotify. This ‘artist’ has more than 500,000 monthly listeners on the platform, all thanks to One Simple Trick: optimizing their name to show up prominently in Spotify’s search results.” – OneZero
Tags: Art, Spotify, Music, Audience, 09.22.20


How Does This Classical Music TV Series Attract Millions Of Viewers? It’s Made Like A Cooking Show

Each episode of Now Hear This “manages to turn its exploration of a single subject into a hybrid of travelogue, mystery, history, cultural study, documentary and performance — all with … intricate webs of narrative that connect composers across episodes and eras.” Showrunner Harry Lynch and host Scott Yoo freely acknowledge that they were inspired by the approach of food-TV stars such as Anthony Bourdain. – The Washington Post
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, Anthony Bourdain, Scott Yoo, 09.10.20, Harry Lynch


K-Pop Supergroup Tops Global Billboard Charts, Suggests Different Direction For Pop Music

The song topped Spotify’s Global Top 50 chart and rose to number one on the iTunes charts in over 100 countries. It also set a YouTube record for the most views in 24 hours. BTS’s success, particularly on the Billboard Hot 100 recently, highlights the need to re-examine how we define pop music within the global music industry. – The Conversation
Tags: Art, Spotify, Music, Audience, 09.08.20


Atlanta Opera, Pushed By COVID, Moves To New Business Model For Fall 2020

“‘This pandemic has devastated so many lives and businesses,’ [general director Tomer] Zvulun said. ‘But it has also been a major catalyst in accelerating our shift to a business model that we have been discussing for years: creating a company of players, performing in nontraditional spaces,” — for this fall, that means alternating performances of Pagliacci and The Kaiser of Atlantis in an open-sided circus tent — “and developing our video and streaming capabilities.'” – ArtsATL
Tags: Art, Music, Atlanta, Kaiser, Audience, 09.01.20, Tomer -RSB- Zvulun


The Hollywood Bowl In The Time Of The Pandemic

There’s no summer season of music for the L.A. Phil at the Hollywood Bowl. But there are food banks, a take-out restaurant from those who usually make food for the concerts, and a lot of musicians, socially distanced, trying to record music, and live through this. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Music, Los Angeles, Audience, Phil, 08.29.20


The Joys Of Music Reaction Videos

Is it time for, say, Beethoven reaction videos? Because this was the experience of someone hearing “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the first time: “Watching the full gamut of human emotions – gentle contemplation, wistful sadness, wide-gobbed amazement – shimmer across his face, as the song lunges from one operatic movement to the next, is nothing short of wonderful. ‘WHERE HAVE I BEEN?!’ he asks at the end, on the verge of tears.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Music, Beethoven, Audience, 08.28.20


How To Bring L.A. Back From Disease, Dissension, And Unrest? Build Concert Halls, Says Mark Swed

“On the surface, that no doubt sounds idiotic — economically, socially and in just about every other way,” writes the L.A. Times classical music critic. “It’s not. It is the simplest, surest, most affordable means of turning this town around. Better still, we’re already nearly there. So please, bear with me.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Music, Times, Audience, Better, Mark Swed, 08.25.20


Nothing, Absolutely Nothing, Can Beat Live Music

The first concert since lockdown is definitely special (not that it’s weird to be masked and distant anymore; it’s simply exciting to be there). “It’s been difficult but clarifying to see how mightily classical music struggles in an online-only format. Experiencing sound in person, among others, turns out to be even more essential than I’d assumed. This art form has long been devoted to recordings — but always as a counter, an implied (or screamed) comparison, to real performances.” – The New Y...
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, 08.21.20


Now This Is Zoom Opera That Works — And It’s For Young Kids

“Admittedly, preschoolers, Zoom and opera don’t immediately sound like the makings of a successful project, but each installment I watched of Opera Starts With Oh! — helmed by director, choreographer and teaching artist Emma Jaster and Opera Lafayette community engagement manager Ersian François — kept its grid of budding opera buffs rapt with an action-packed half-hour of activities, performances and assorted operatic antics.” – The Washington Post
Tags: Art, Music, Lafayette, Audience, 08.19.20, Emma Jaster, Ersian François


Berlin Medical Institute Study Says Concerts And Operas Could Safely Have Full Houses — Then Institute’s Board Disavows Study

“Earlier this week, leading German epidemiologists from the prestigious Clinic Charité published a revised study suggesting that the opera houses and concert halls should allow every seat in the audiences to be occupied. …However, in a major twist, the Charité’s Board of Directors … stat[ed] that ‘the paper on the resumption of opera and concert operations under the COVID-19 conditions had not been coordinated and did not reflect the position of the board.'” – OperaWire
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, 08.18.20, Institute 's Board


Stop Panicking Over The Age Of Classical Audiences, Says NY Times Chief Critic

Anthony Tommasini: “Elements of dismaying ageism run through the chronic bemoaning over the graying of classical and opera audiences, something that bothered me even before I entered this older demographic myself. … But images and television broadcasts make plain that even back in the 1960s, when Leonard Bernstein was galvanizing the Philharmonic and attracting young people like me to his concerts, audiences were dominated by those in their 50s and older. Yet, year after year, devoted older fan...
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, Ny Times, Leonard Bernstein, Anthony Tommasini, 08.06.20


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


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


Twelve Ways The Pandemic Will (Okay, Might) Change The Classical Music Business

“1. The old song ‘Rip it up and start again’ applies to sardine-seating business models not only for airlines but also theatres. …5. International touring productions will be reimagined via boots-on-the-ground co-productions with locally sourced talent.6. Audience sizes will be between 50-70% smaller, and multi-day performance runs will become the norm.” – Ludwig Van
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, 07.22.20


How’s The Met’s Quest For Paying Subscribers Going?

Sure, people might pay $20 for a concert – but will they do what’s even better, what the Met would like them to do? “The recitals are intended to stimulate donations. ‘Fund-raising ebbs and flows according to activities and events,’ Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, Peter Gelb, 07.19.20


On Opera Over The Phone, Just For Me

It wasn’t quite like being in a recital hall, but it did give me a chance to enter another romantic world in real time with a real person on the other end of the phone line. – NPR
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, 07.14.20


How COVID Is Impacting The Commercial Music Business

Nielsen Music/MRC Data says activity on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music began 2020 up 20.4% over 2019 — then ratcheted back to an increase of only 13.8% between March 13 and July 2 as listeners spent far less time in the car or at the gym. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Music, Los Angeles, Audience, Nielsen Music MRC Data, 07.10.20


Glyndebourne Festival Opera Will Do An Outdoor Season This Summer

“Offenbach’s 1858 Mesdames de la Halle is the first opera to be announced. It will be staged with 12 singers but no chorus, with 13 orchestral musicians instead of the usual 40, and with a limited audience of 200 people [spaced apart outdoors]. … Taking place throughout July and August, the series will include concerts from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and London Philharmonic Orchestra.” – Classic FM
Tags: Art, Music, London, Audience, Offenbach, Halle, 06.22.20


The Pragmatic Art Of The Post-Pandemic Concert

As COVID-19 gets more and more contained on the island, the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan is moving back into live performance, gradually increasing the numbers of both musicians and attendees while keeping safety measures in place. NSOT music director Shao-Chia Lü and executive director Wen-Chen Kuo talk about the logistics involved. – Van
Tags: Art, Music, Taiwan, Audience, National Symphony Orchestra, 06.11.20, Shao Chia Lü, Wen Chen Kuo


Vienna Philharmonic Back In Concert Hall For First Time Since Pandemic

“[The orchestra’s] 2,854-seat Musikverein, considered by many the world’s most beautiful concert hall, was filled with only 100 people Friday for the first of three days of programs with Daniel Barenboim.” The AP’s Ronald Blum reports on the safety measures the Philharmoniker are taking and how they expect performances and audience sizes to ramp up over the next few months. – Yahoo! (AP)
Tags: Art, Music, Ap, Vienna, Audience, Daniel Barenboim, RONALD BLUM, 06.09.20


One-On-One Corona-Concerts Are Now Spreading Through Germany

Last month, a few musicians in Stuttgart began giving intimate-yet-socially-distanced performances — one performer, one listener, a couple of meters of empty space between them — at the city’s currently-unused airport. Now two of the area’s publicly-funded orchestras, the Staatsorchester Stuttgart and the Southwest German Radio Symphony, have taken on the project. “The result has been an intense series of more than 1,100 encounters — first in Stuttgart, and now in five other German cities. And ...
Tags: Art, Music, Germany, Stuttgart, Audience, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, 06.05.20, Southwest German Radio Symphony


Germany’s First Post-COVID Classical Concert With An Audience Was On Monday. Here’s How It Went

At the State Theater of Hesse in Wiesbaden, bass Günther Groissböck and pianist Alexandra Goloubitskaia gave a recital of Schubert and Mahler before about 200 people in a 1,000-seat auditorium — with plenty of hand sanitizer around the building and intermission snacks outside the front door. (Thank heaven the weather was good.) The audience, such as it was, “was ecstatic.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Germany, Audience, Schubert, Mahler, First Post, Wiesbaden, 05.19.20, State Theater of Hesse, Alexandra Goloubitskaia



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