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WEEKLY DIGEST | 01/08/2018
News, Research, & Opinion


Black Voices Matter: Lawrence Brownlee on Driving Change in Opera
The Guardian: Fiona Maddocks
The IU-trained, world-renowned tenor has gone from singing in church to the International Opera awards. Now he’s tackling something personal: the issue of race in America.

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Playlists! Lawsuits! Fake Songs! The Biggest Streaming-Music Trends of 2017
Pitchfork: Marc Hogan
Breaking down the year’s most important stories in the world of streaming and looking forward to what’s next.

New Year’s Resolutions for the Arts Sector
Barry’s Blog
Welcome to 2018.  It's going to be a year not unlike the one just past.  There are those for whom last year was a good year, and those for whom it was horrible.  The chaos, confusion, rancor, and bitter fighting is likely to continue within and without, here at home and across the globe.  But there are also sure to be surprises. I am under no illusions that any suggestions of New Year's Resolutions that the arts, as a sector, ought to make will yield any result other than a yawn at best, and scorn at worst - but I'll make a couple anyway.

Is Today’s Jazz Finally Outrunning the Past?

NY Times: Popcast
Last year was the centennial anniversary of the birth of several foundational jazz figures: Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Buddy Rich. Even a few years ago, this confluence would have occupied prime real estate near the center of jazz discourse. But that was not the case in 2017, a year in which several strains of contemporary jazz thrived.

4 Things I’d Love to Not Hear in 2018

Inside the Arts: Doug Rosenthal
All the great opera singers are dead. I listen to classical music when I want to relax. Classical Music is dying. Anything that degrades women.

Music World Chose to Ignore Allegations of Charles Dutoit’s Misconduct

Montreal Gazette: Arthur Kaptainis
Former OSM conductor was integral to the livelihood of people who preferred not to look too hard at the person behind the performance.


The Met Opera’s ‘Tosca’ Overcomes Months of Chaos
NY Times: Anthony Tommasini
The stakes could not have been higher. The chaos could not have been wilder. It’s fair to say that no production in the Metropolitan Opera’s history has been more vexed than the new staging of Puccini’s “Tosca” that opened on New Year’s Eve.

Classical Music in NYC This Week

NY Times: Zachary Woolf
Here and Now Winter Festival (at Bargemusic). ChamberFest (at Juilliard). Contact! (at National Sawdust). CAV/PAG (at the Met). Roomful of Teeth (at Zankel Hall).

The Frank Ocean Effect: Welcome to the New Golden Age of Soul Music
The Daily Beast: Stereo Williams
With the rise of artists like SZA, Frank Ocean, Khalid, and Childish Gambino, this resurgence in black singer-songwriters has been a long time coming.

Handel’s “Messiah,” on Skid Row

The New Yorker: Alex Ross
A visionary Los Angeles violinist makes music with the homeless.

Peter Martins Retires from New York City Ballet After Misconduct Allegations

The New York Times: Robin Pogrebin
Peter Martins has denied the accusation but announced Monday evening he would step down. Martins, who was suspended over the allegations last month, began his tenure in the 1980s. He has also been accused of verbal and physical abuse.


The Pianist of the Resistance Captures a Surprise Award
NY Times: Michael Cooper
Igor Levit, known a year ago as a pianist who strode into politics by expressing his opinion on the election of President Trump, has won the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award.

China’s ‘Saxophone Capital,’ a Factory Town Transfixed by Kenny G

NY Times: Javier C. Hernandez
By day, the factory workers pound sheets of brass into cylinders and slather buttons with glue. By night, they take their creations to the street and begin to play.

How Mongolia Went Wild for Opera

The Guardian: Kate Molleson
Why are so many Mongolians winning international singing awards? To find out, Kate Molleson travelled 1,000 miles across the country to meet latest star Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar, drinking mare’s milk, sleeping in yurts and recording its vocal masters

Why Ireland Needs a New State-Funded National Orchestra

The Irish Times: Michael Dervan
If RTÉ does what the world expects it to do, what we will actually need is a new, genuinely national orchestra, directly funded by the State, just as most of our essential national cultural institutions are.


What Orchestras Can Teach Executives About Conducting Business
PBS News Hour
Corporate executives are getting a lesson in leadership and communication from the conductor’s podium thanks to the Music Paradigm, a program that trains business leaders in the fine art of teamwork.

How a Classical Musician Turned 400-year-old French Songs Into a Modern Hit

The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
Emi Ferguson is a Juilliard-trained flutist. But her most recent album, “Amour Cruel,” is vocal music, and when she recorded it, she had never sung in public. It’s based on 400-year-old French songs, adapted from manuscripts Ferguson stumbled across. And as a classical crossover album it landed her on the Billboard charts.

Building’s New “Communal” Model: Homes for Families, Mission Dance Company

San Francisco Chronicle: J.K. Dineen
A historic but long-neglected commercial building at Mission and 18th streets in San Francisco is poised to be rejuvenated with a mix of affordable housing, child care and dance.

A More Creative Role for Producers

Arts Professional: Mary Paterson
Once a curator, now a producer, Mary Paterson calls for the artist-producer relationship to be re-imagined as something more creative – and less about social media.

Comcast, Cox, Frontier all Raising Internet Access Rates for 2018

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
At least three major ISPs have already announced significant price hikes for 2018.  News of the increases come just days after the FCC voted to roll back net neutrality protections.


A Dance Teacher’s Life Interrupted (video)
Life Interrupted
Chelsea Libitzki can't dance anymore — but that's not stopping her from teaching others how to.


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