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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

ITS THE END OF THE YEAR!

The Best Classical Music Recordings of 2016
NY Times: Zachary Woolfe, Anthony Tommasini, David Allen, and James R. Oestreich
Two artists, the soprano Barbara Hannigan and the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, appear twice in this list. Thus, too, with two composers: Hans Abrahamsen and, well, Bach. Two remarkable pianists, Alexandre Tharaud and Daniil Trifonov, show up again after being highlighted on last year’s list.

Notable Performances and Recordings of 2016
The New Yorker: Alex Ross
In New York, it was the year of Kaija Saariaho. This fall, both the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic lavished resources on the Finnish composer’s luminous, molten music: the Met by producing her opera “L’Amour de Loin” (it plays through December 29th); the Philharmonic by unveiling a kind of Saariaho installation at the Park Avenue Armory.

'Best of the Year' Backwards Creep: Yes, Year-End Lists Are Coming Earlier Each Year
Billboard: John Norris
As of this writing, aggregate site Metacritic has tallied more than 75 "Best of 2016" music lists that have already been released, including some that dropped in late November.

 
  RESEARCH AND OPINION  
 


Is The Vinyl Boom Leaving Classical Music Behind?
Musical Toronto: Will Pearson
Vinyl is booming in Toronto. Record shops have popped up all over the city to serve a new generation of record buyers as the format becomes popular again, but fans of classical music might be feeling a little left out of the resurgence.

An Exit Interview with Alan Gilbert
WQXR: Helga Davis
After eight seasons at the helm of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert is ready to step down. In his wake, he leaves a formidable legacy of experimentation that expanded not just what an orchestra can and will do, but who it’s for.

Mozart, the Best New Artist of 1782, Outsold Drake and Beyoncé this Year

Quartz: Amy X. Wang
Mozart owes the win to a boxed set of his music that was released Oct. 28 in celebration of the 225th anniversary of his death and went on to sell 1.25 million CDs in just five weeks.

Flexing, a Street Dance Born in Brooklyn, Pushes Boundaries

NY Times: Noah Remnick
Regie Gray has helped to pioneer this choreography known as flexing, a variety of street dancing in which its practitioners bend and fold their bodies like origami. It’s becoming the rage!

On Being Named Composer of the Year by Musical America

NewMusicBox: Andrew Norman
The music of the past is undoubtedly transformative, powerful, and amazing; it is one of the great legacies of Western civilization, and it deserves and demands to be heard for generations to come, but I wonder sometimes if we aren’t sacrificing this art form’s future in order to preserve its storied past.


 
  NATIONAL  
 


Lin-Manuel Miranda Named Associated Press Entertainer of the Year
AP: Mark Kennedy
The new honor came Wednesday when Miranda bested Beyonce, Adele and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, among others, to be named The Associated Press Entertainer of the Year, voted by members of the news cooperative and AP entertainment reporters.

Women Are Making Opera. And It’s Not Easy.

NY Times: William Robin
For the first time in more than 100 years, the Met is performing an opera written by a woman. Listen to the work of some of the many female composers working today.

DC-Area Marching Bands Opt to Sit Out Trump's Inaugural Parade

4Washington: Andrea Swalec
The band at D.C.'s Howard University, which marched in Obama's first inaugural parade, also did not apply to march in Trump's parade.

David Robertson will Leave the St. Louis Symphony at End of 2018-19 Season

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Sarah Miller
The decision comes following 14 seasons with the orchestra. Robertson is also music director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Sydney, Australia, and works widely as a guest conductor.


 
  INTERNATIONAL  
 


Birmingham Arts Organizations Hit by Council Spending Cuts
The Guardian: Mark Brown
Repertory theatre and the symphony orchestra are among those to receive less local authority funding than any regional equivalents.  

As Permit Costs Rise, U.S. Touring Becomes Even Tougher for Canadian Musicians

The Globe and Mail: Josh O’Kane
Processing time for these visas has ballooned over the past several years from 45 days to nearly 120, according to the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM), which helps artists file for permits.

Introducing the Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp and What Makes it Very Special
Classical FM: Kyle Macdonald
A first look and listen to one of Europe’s new major concert halls, acoustically designed by Larry Kirkegaard.

 
  ENTREPRENEURSHIP  
 


How ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Brought an Obscure, Avant-Garde Piece of Classical Music to Rikers Island
Flavorwire: Lara Zarum
The episode that featured a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” depicts a blissful and all-too-brief moment of transcendence.

Collaborating with the Crowds
Arts Professional: Peter Baeck and Sam Mitchell
In the US, Kickstarter famously helped raise more funds for the arts than the National Endowment for the Arts.

 
  OFF THE BEATEN TRACK  
 

How ‘La La Land’ Staged a Dance Number on an L.A. Freeway
The Daily Beast: Kevin Fallon
Choreographer Mandy Moore talks about the unique challenges of staging a giant production number on an exit ramp and what it was like to teach Ryan Gosling to tap dance.

 
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