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FOOD FOR THOUGHT IN THE MUSIC WORLD

Recent news, commentary, and ideas.

Chinese Dancer

GLOBALIZATION OF THE ARTS

New Economic Superpowers Seek Global Recognition for their Arts & Culture
USC Center on Public Diplomacy: Henrietta Levin
China, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Russia are now known globally for their economic strength. But what about their cultures? These states are much more than just their GDPs, and increasingly, they are attempting to gain global recognition not only for their rapid growth, but also for their rich cultural traditions.

Kronos Quartet’s 40-Year Adventure
New York Times: Vivien Schweitzer
As one of the most entrepreneurial ensembles of our time, Kronos has revolutionized the approach to string quartet repertory, performing experimental, jazz and tango (among other genres), and working with a broad range of musicians from disparate cultures.

NEWS

The Met: What’s Really Wrong?
Parterre Box: Dawn Fatale
The 2012-13 season at the Metropolitan Opera was a financial disaster, with the company taking in only 69% of potential total box office revenue—a troubling 13 percent decline from the previous season and the lowest box office percentage in over a decade. Thanks to discounting, the Met did manage to sell 79% of total seats but that, too, was another low.

After 49 Years, San Diego Opera to Call it Quits at End of 2014 Season
Los Angeles Times: David Ng
In a surprising move, the company announced Wednesday that it will cease operations at the end of the current season, citing financial reasons including a tough fundraising environment and weak ticket sales.

New US Laws Banning Sale Of Ivory Snares Owners Of Pianos, Guitars
New York Times: Tom Mashberg
If someone attempts an interstate sale of a 100-year-old Steinway piano with ivory keys, the new regulations would prohibit such a sale unless the owner could prove the ivory in the keys had entered the country through one of 13 American ports authorized to sanction ivory goods.

Michael Henson to Step Down as CEO of Minnesota Orchestra
Star Tribune: Kristin Tillotson
Michael Henson, president and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra, will step down in August. Some viewed Henson’s departure as setting the stage for the return of former music director Osmo Vänskä, who resigned last October but has indicated he might wish to come back.

But, Can She Play?
New Music Box: Monika Herzig
The likelihood of a female teenager volunteering for an improvised solo in front of her peers that includes the option of failure is certainly smaller than her male band mate stepping out to show off his unique personality.

Music Streaming Breaks Through $1bn Sales Barrier
The Guardian: Juliette Garside
Streaming and subscription revenues rose by more than 50% over the past year to reach $1.1bn, helping overall sales of recorded music in Europe grow for the first time in 12 years.

After Brief Stability, Global Music Sales Resume Their Downwards Plunge
The Independent: Adam Sherwin
The Digital Music Report published by industry body IFPI shows that a 0.3 per cent growth in the piracy-decimated industry has been reversed, with total revenues falling from $16.5 to $15 billion in 2013. Total recorded music sales have shrunk by 45 per cent since 2000.

Join A Choir, Become A Better Human Being?
The Globe and Mail: Leah McLaren
Singing in a choir is a transcendent experience – and there aren’t many of those in life. It instills gratitude and bliss without the contortions of yoga or hangovers of alcohol. British scientists have recently found that choirs boost the mental and physical health of their members.

The Rise of Anti-Capitalism
The New York Times: Jeremy Rifkin
We are beginning to witness a paradox at the heart of capitalism, one that has propelled it to greatness but is now threatening its future: The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces.

INNOVATION

New “Smart” Cities Reimagine How We Interact
The European: Anthony Townsend & Matthew Claudel
New “smart cities”, built from scratch, are sprouting across the planet and traditional actors like governments, urban planners and real estate developers, are, for the first time, working alongside large IT firms — the likes of IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft. The resulting cities are based on the idea of becoming “living labs” for new technologies at the urban scale, blurring the boundary between bits and atoms, habitation and telemetry.

MARKETING

How Disney Theatrical uses Dynamic Pricing: “We’re in this for the long haul”
The New York Times: Patrick Healy
How did The Lion King turn around its once-shaky fortunes and become the top-grossing show on Broadway in 2013, an unprecedented feat for long-running musicals, which usually cool after a few hot seasons.

Why Your Entertainment Venue Should Consider Cost Certainty
Ticketing Today: Troy Kirby
With dynamic and variable pricing — not just for tickets but also concessions, parking and merchandise — venue operators need to ensure that their prices aren’t creating a budget barrier for potential customers.

The Price of Music
recode.net: David Pakman
The data tells us that consumers are willing to spend somewhere around $45–$65 per year on recorded music, and that the larger a service gets, the lower in that range the number becomes. And these numbers have remained consistent regardless of music format, from CD to download.

JOB RESOURCES

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