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WEEKLY DIGEST | 02/12/2018
News, Research, & Opinion

 
  FEATURE  
 

CULTURAL MOVEMENTS

Welcoming a Black Female Composer Into the Canon. Finally.
NY Times: Micaela Baranello
Florence Price (1887-1953) was the first black woman to have her music played by a major American orchestra when the Chicago Symphony performed her Symphony in E Minor in 1933. She was a prominent member of the African-American intelligentsia, corresponding with W.E.B. Dubois and setting to music poems by Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar. But after her death, she swiftly faded into the background of a canon dominated by white men, and much of her work was thought to be lost until a trove of manuscripts was discovered in 2009. Among the pieces found were her two violin concertos, the first recording of which has been released this month by Albany Records, with Er-Gene Kahng as soloist and Ryan Cockerham conducting the Janacek Philharmonic.

 
  RESEARCH AND OPINION  
 

Feminine Beginnings: A Conversation with Susan McCleary
Van-US: Ian Giocondo
Since musicology’s inception as an academic discipline in the 19th century, few scholars have influenced the field as profoundly as Susan McClary.

In Conversation: Quincy Jones

Vulture Magazine: David Marchese
The music legend on the secret Michael Jackson, his relationship with the Trumps, and the problem with modern pop.

Will Recording Academy Invite These Women Onto its 'Task Force'?

Music Business Worldwide
Six of the US music industry’s most powerful female executives called out the organization behind the Grammys for being “woefully out of touch” – and offered to help fix it.

Why We Need to Listen Closely to North Korea’s Modern Musical Groups

The Washington Post: Joyce Lee
North Korea’s modern musicians are a talented lot — and they're essential to Kim Jong Un's regime.

Will the Addition of Lyrics have Olympic Figure Skating Judges Singing Along?

The Washington Post: Liz Clarke
Single skaters will be allowed to compete to music with lyrics for the first time in Olympic history, a prerogative that previously belonged solely to ice dancers.

Popular Music is More Collaborative than Ever

The Economist: The Daily Chart
According to data from the Billboard Hot 100, a weekly ranking of the most popular singles in the country, collaborations now represent more than a third of hit songs. Of the top ten songs on the current Hot 100 chart, half are credited to more than one artist.

The Night Latin Jazz was Born

Ozy: Keith Murphy
The perplexed looks on concertgoers’ faces said it all at New York’s Carnegie Hall on the evening of Sept. 29, 1947. When music critic and patron Leonard Feather invited trumpeter and modern jazz emissary John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie to bring his big band to the revered stage — a high-water mark for any musician — the audience was expecting a bebop showcase from the genre’s co-creator. But Gillespie had something more innovative in mind.

 
  NATIONAL  
 

The L.A. Phil's 100th Season Plans: No Orchestra has Been this Ambitious, Ever
LA Times: Mark Swed
It all begins (an extravagant celebration of L.A.) and ends (Mahler's immense "Symphony of the Thousand") with Dudamel, for whom this will be his 10th season as music director and third full season as artistic director. What comes in between is the obvious look at the foundations of the orchestra. Major projects involve its surviving former music directors — Zubin Mehta, conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen and, yes, even André Previn, who resigned in a feud with management three decades ago and has refused to set foot in Los Angeles since.

The Road Less Traveled: Berklee College of Music‘s New Path
Scolopax Arts (Blog)
Berklee College of Music no longer exists...at least as we knew it. The School that was founded in 1945, becoming a College in 1970, has now transformed into something much bigger and with the strongest potential to change the course of music education over the next 20 years. This is as a direct result of their merger with Boston Conservatory of Music.

Santa Fe Opera Appoints General Director and Restructures Management

The New Mexican: James Keller
The Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Opera voted Friday morning to appoint Robert K. Meya as the company's next general director beginning Oct. 1, and to divide top management responsibilities among three individuals.

Making the Wall Disappear: a Stunning Live Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border

The New Yorker: Alex Ross
The San Diego Symphony’s performance of John Luther Adams’s percussion work “Inuksuit” at the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday transcended the geography of political separation.

Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet: Landfall (review)

All About Jazz: Nenad Georgievski
Anderson teams with celebrated string ensemble Kronos Quartet for Landfall (February 16), her first full-length musical effort since Lou Reed’s passing in 2013. The piece, inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, has been performed live numerous times, but finally gets a proper recorded release.

New Tax Law Hits Sour Note with Orchestra Musicians

The Morning Call: Daniel Braden
Major city orchestra musicians may be the biggest losers in the new tax law. Here’s the troubling imbalance: It seriously disfavors employees while benefiting the self-employed and those who can form business entities.

 
  INTERNATIONAL  
 

Current UK Music Education System a ‘Disaster’, Post-Brexit
Arts Professional: Christy Romer
Music and dance leaders have implored a House of Lords select committee to support the introduction of a special arrangement within the visa system for performers.

 
  ENTREPRENEURSHIP  
 

Here Comes Facebook TV
The Verge: Andrew Liptak
Facebook is building out its original TV ambitions with an Elizabeth Olsen series.

Magic and Immersion: Arts Organizations to Experiment with VR

Arts Professional: Christy Romer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Pilot Theatre are among the organizations awarded grants of up to £20k to develop “riskier, content-driven projects”.

Spotify Adds Songwriter Credits to Desktop Platform – and Soon to Mobile

Music Business Worldwide
It’s been a long time coming – but Spotify has confirmed that it is finally adding songwriter and producer credits to its platform.

Apple Music has Topped 36M Subscribers Worldwide, Adding 6M in Under Five Months

Music Business Worldwide
Apple Music’s paying subscriber base has surpassed 36m worldwide – a figure which remains about half the size of Spotify’s equivalent premium audience.

 
  OFF THE BEATEN TRAIL  
 

Puccini’s Custom-Made Gongs End Up in A Queens Warehouse
Fox Business: Brian Gaffney
It’s a piece of music history — a priceless set of gongs the great composer Giacomo Puccini ordered for what would be his final opera. The odd turn of events that landed the gongs in a warehouse in Queens.

 
 

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