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A roundup of news and opinion in the industry. If you’d like to add your voice to the listings we choose each week, please don’t hesitate to send us a note.

 
       
       
 
Feature

TAKING THE 'HALL'
OUT OF 'CONCERT HALL'


Nontraditional Spaces Open Up: Theater, opera, and virtual reality have discovered immersive as the ultimate buzzword, promising to obliterate the fourth wall or the screen, or the stage, or whatever divides performers from passive consumers.

 
  RESEARCH AND OPINION  
 


Small Organizations Receive Smaller Share of Giving Pie

Barry’s Blog
The lion's share (60%) of funding - grants, gifts and contributions - continue to go to the largest budget cultural institutions across the country (those with budgets over $5 million) and that, in fact, the funding to the smaller organizations, with budgets under $1 million has actually declined, and "that is a drearier future than we saw in 2011".

Organization’s Fears Are the Biggest Barriers to Audience Diversity

Arts Professional (UK)
Fears that existing arts audiences resist ‘more diverse artistic product’ appear to be unfounded, ArtsProfessional’s latest Pulse survey suggests.

Millennials Don’t Want to Call Themselves Philanthropists

ArtsHub: Marisa Mandile
Engaging donors means understanding their motivations and many of the new generation do not want to see themselves simply as wealthy benefactors.

Seriously

NPR: This American Life (video)
The nationally syndicated show asked Sara Bareilles to imagine what President Obama might be thinking about this election and Donald Trump. She wrote this spellbinding song, which Leslie Odom Jr. sings.

Does Opera Exclude You, or Do You Exclude Opera?

BBC: Michael Volpe
Exploring and championing opera requires willingness from both performers and audiences alike.

The Good and the Bad of Mixing Classical Music and Electronica

The Washington Post: Chris Kelly
On Monday night, composer Mason Bates presented the latest edition of Mercury Soul, a project he founded in 2008 with conductor Benjamin Shwartz and visual designer Anne Patterson that aims to present “classical music in new ways to a new generation.”

What Don Giovanni, an Opera About a Charismatic Rapist, Can Teach Us About Don Trump

Slate.com: Bonnie Gordon
The parallels between the two Dons are too obvious to even state, but maybe hearing them, even as the melodies sweep us away, can remind us that some of the nastiest parts of our past are still present.

 
  NATIONAL  
 
Buffalo Philharmonic, Once Languishing, Has Come a Long Way
NYT: Zachary Woolfe
Over nearly two decades, the orchestra has proved its viability — as has the city, slowly yet steadily improving its fortunes, including a recent windfall in the form of the state’s Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan.

Pacific Symphony Musicians Threaten to Strike

Orange County Register: Paul Hodgins
Members of the Pacific Symphony have voted unanimously to reject the most recent contract offer presented by the orchestra’s management and reaffirm the strike authorization they previously had granted.

Interlochen Names New President: Trey Devey

IPR: Peter Payette
Devey will leave the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra next year to move to northern Michigan. Devey has been president of the symphony orchestra since 2009 and led it out of a severe financial crisis.

Curtis Institute Disbands its Board of Overseers

Philly.com: Peter Dobrin
The leadership of the Curtis Institute of Music has dissolved its board of overseers, a high-level think-tank of leaders in classical music, academia, technology, and other sectors that helped staff and trustees set a course for the school.

Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall to Feature Vijay Iyer and Others

NYT: Andrew Chow
The new-music-oriented festival features collaborative performances from artists across classical, jazz and hip-hop, featuring performances from Vijay Iyer, San Fermin and Roomful of Teeth.

Powder Tossed at Metropolitan Opera May Have Been Human Ashes, Police Say

NYT: Michael Cooper
An audience member at the Metropolitan Opera sprinkled a powdery substance — what the police said may have been the ashes of his mentor — into the orchestra pit during an intermission of a performance on Saturday, leading to the cancellation of the rest of that opera and a production that evening.

Washington Ballet Announces Return of its Orchestra & a JFK-Themed World Premiere

The Washington Post: Sarah Kaufman
The forthcoming world premiere, from former American Ballet Theatre star Ethan Stiefel, will feature an original score and it will take its inspiration from John F. Kennedy and his commitment to the space program.

Minimalist Composer Julius Eastman, Dead for 26 Years, Crashes the Canon

New York Times: Zachary Woolfe
An archival recording of one of his finest pieces, the peculiarly spelled “Femenine,” from 1974, was released last month on the Frozen Reeds label, and it shows what all the fuss was about.

 
  INTERNATIONAL  
 


Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev’s War
NY Times: Ruth Margalit
The Israeli minister of culture and sports wants nothing less than an overthrow of the nation’s elite. She’s working against those she considers the elites, or the “cultural junta,” of Israel. Leftists. Secularists. Tel Avivians. Ashkenazim — Jews of European origin. People who think that “classical music is better than the Andalusian music” of Morocco, or that “Chekhov is more important than Maimonides.”

Jaap Van Zweden Is a Global Maestro of Music and Multitasking

NYT: Joyce Lau
When Jaap van Zweden takes up his new role as the New York Philharmonic’s music director designate in 2017, he will be jetting between two very different ensembles on opposite sides of the world.

Early Music: Tafelmusik Enjoys Yet Another Year In Budgetary Paradise

Musical Toronto: Michael Vincent
The ensemble has achieved an impressive 16-year balanced budget streak with an operating surplus of $107,017 on a budget of $5.4 mil. Ticket sales rose by $5,501 from last year’s $1.7 mil.

Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Names Dynamo Alexander Prior as New Conductor

Edmonton Journal: Sandra Sperounes
He once sang the British national anthem at an “ice hockey” game. He speaks half-a-dozen languages — including Russian, Danish and German — and wants to learn a First Nations tongue. He loves Nordic and Russian music, composer Richard Wagner, indie-rockers Arctic Monkeys and “belting ballads” like Beyonce’s Halo. He’s 24 years old.

 
  ENTREPRENEURSHIP  
 


Philadelphia Orchestra Dives in With a Streaming Music Service
Philly.com: Jonathan Takiff
Launched last week by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the website offers a sprinkling of concerts from current and past seasons, dating back to Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s inaugural  2012-13 season as music director. Additional content includes concerts by former music director Wolfgang Sawallisch.

Want to Increase SoundCloud Plays? Here are 11 Great Tools

DigitalMusicNews
The following deep dive into SoundCloud plays comes from SMMGuide.co.  Sam Zavedi has served as a SM Strategist for Fortune 500 companies and start-ups from across the pond.  Sam frequently writes about tech, crowd psychology, and the merger of them both at his website, SMMGuide.co.

How to Stay Sane and Lower Your Stress as an Independent Music Artist

DiscMakers (Blog)
The perks of life as an independent music artist can be bountiful – but every silver lining has a cloud. Knowing how to manage stress can be just as important to your music career as your skills as a musician.

What is a Music Manager? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Managers have never played a more important role in the music business than today. And if your musical career has reached a certain level, you probably need one.  But who exactly are these people, and what do they do?

 
  OFF THE BEATEN TRACK  
 

Coming of Age: Sam’s Story
Prudential Video
The financial giant looks at how becoming an adult in America is changing. Trombone student Sam talks about how music gave him a voice in his community.

 
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