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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

THE DEMOCRACY OF AMERICAN MUSIC

Anne Midgette, classical music writer for the Washington Post, considers the SHIFT Festival that focuses on American orchestras. She asks “What is American music” And, perhaps more to the point, why do we care so much?”

 
  UPDATE ON ARTS FUNDING  
 


Canada Proposes $1.8 Billion Increase In Arts Budget
The Globe and Mail
The Canadian government will devote $1.8-billion more to culture and recreation spending over the next decade, “modernize” the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act, and spend more on official and Indigenous languages.

With A Little Help From My Friends - Artists For The Arts
YouTube Video
A Who’s Who of Broadway, Hollywood, Dance, and Music came together Avatar Studios in NY City and LA to record and film a single of the iconic Beatles’ song “With A Little Help From My Friends” to inspire support for the arts and the NEA.

Republicans Start Lining Up to Fight for the NEA and NEH
NY Times: Michael Cooper and Sopan Deb
Several key Republican lawmakers are expressing support for the programs, which, since their near-death experiences during the culture wars or a generation ago, have taken pains to counter accusations of coastal elitism by making sure to distribute their grants widely across all 50 states.

Can the Arts Thrive Without Washington? A Kansas Town Says Yes
New York Times: Mitch Smith
Hays, Kansas, a college town with about 21,000 residents, is a case study of how the arts can continue to thrive when public funds dry up. But it is also a cautionary tale of the sometimes-hidden costs.

 
  RESEARCH AND OPINION  
 


How the L.A. Phil Can Stay on Top of the Orchestra World
New Yorker: Alex Ross
The ascendancy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is the salient event in American orchestral life of the past twenty-five years.

The Changing Face of Dance Writing
Stance On Dance: Emmaly Wiederholt
An Interview with Siobhan Burke - a dance writer based in Brooklyn. She contributes regularly to The New York Times and Dance Magazine, where she was an associate editor from 2008 to 2013.

What it Felt Like to Review OK Computer When it First Came Out

Pitchfork: Barry Walters
Having been a professional critic for several decades, I’ve reviewed something like a thousand records and concerts. Many are a blur. But I’ll always remember writing about Radiohead’s OK Computer for SPIN 20 years ago.

Chuck Berry’s Final Album: an In-Depth Preview
Rolling Stone: Douglas Brinkley
Read a track-by-track breakdown of the late icon's upcoming LP, from psychedelic rocker "She Still Loves You" to poignant ballad "Darlin'", due for release in June, 2017.

The Circle of Art and Commerce
Greg Sandow
Last week, in my Juilliard course on the future of classical music, one of my students asked about art and commerce. Where do they fit in classical music’s future? What roles will they play?

 
  NATIONAL  
 


Deborah Borda on Leaving the LA Phil and Why She Thinks the NEA Will Survive
KPCC: John Horn and Darby Maloney
Last week, there was news that sent a shockwave through the classical music world in Los Angeles and New York. Deborah Borda announced that she will leave the Los Angeles Philharmonic and return to the New York Philharmonic, which she ran in the 1990s.

Is There a Reboot Ahead for the New York Philharmonic?
San Francisco Classical Voice: John Rockwell
Since 2012, the orchestra has been stumbling down its road of decline. Gilbert did program a few symbolic niceties at the end of seasons, usually out of the subscription packages and often out of Fisher, now David Geffen Hall. Deborah Borda was announced as the new president and chief executive officer. Deborah Borda now has her biggest challenge and biggest opportunity so far. For the sake of the New York Philharmonic, New York music lovers, and orchestral life in this country, one wishes her only the best.

ISO Musician Accuses Conductor Urbanski of Age Discrimination

IBJ: Lindsey Erdody
Bassoonist John Wetherill, 62, filed the lawsuit against Indiana Symphony Society Inc., the not-for-profit that oversees the ISO. The 17-page document alleges multiple occasions in which Urbanski, 34, discriminated against Wetherill and other musicians older than 40 as part of a “move out and replace” strategy.

Seattle Opera Cuts Six Full-Time Jobs, Closes Renton Scene Shop

The Seattle Times: Brendan Kiley
In an effort to stabilize its fiscal health, Seattle Opera has eliminated six full-time staff positions and decided to close its scene shop in Renton, which has also built sets for the opera as well as other theater companies, including the 5th Avenue Theatre and Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center.

A Met Opera Star is Born: This Week’s 8 Best Classical Music Moments

NY Times
NYT critics and reporters collect the best of what they’ve heard: notes that sent shivers down their spines, memorable voices, quotations that cut to the heart of the story.

 
  INTERNATIONAL  
 


Canadian Music Week: Where the Serious Music Industry is Heading
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
Half the cost, double the deal flow.  Is serious music industry dealmaking heading North?  A look at the competitive advantage of Canadian Music Week.

The Underground Guide to Chinese Counterculture
Ozy Magazine: Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
By day, the narrow alleys of Beijing are filled with the clamor of tourists seeking communist kitsch, Tibetan totems and trendy teahouses. At night, as shops shutter and the moon rises, a different kind of sound roars to life — the clinking of piss-poor Tsingtao beers, the twang of wild guitar synths and the aimless angst of punk rock anthems. Across the street from the ancient Lama Temple, the School Bar’s tattered doors swing open to greet a cadre of China’s head-banging, rebellious youths. School is now in session.

 
  ENTREPRENEURSHIP  
 


How to Fix Spotify’s Business Model and Save the Music Industry
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
Wall Street doesn’t care that Spotify isn’t profitable.  They care that Spotify doesn’t have a realistic plan to become profitable. That’s a big difference. So how can Spotify become wildly profitable, for decades to come?

Live Streaming Your Show: A Facebook Live Case Study (part 1)
Disc Makers Blog: Wade Sutton
Producing a successful live streaming event takes a lot more than a smart phone and a tripod. This two-part post features a Facebook Live case study from concept and rehearsal, to broadcast and analysis.

Facebook Live Broadcast: Our Case Study Show and Its Aftermath
(part 2)
Disc Makers Blog: Wade Sutton
In Part 2 of this post, we take a look at a Facebook Live broadcast and detail the problems, the solutions, and the benefits Amanda Jones & The Family Band enjoyed.

 
  OFF THE BEATEN TRACK  
 

Meet the Encephalophone: An Instrument You Can Play with Your Mind, Just by Thinking
Seattle Times: Brendan
This is your brain on music: Neurologists, composers and tech-geeks at the University of Washington’s DXARTS program study music and the mind — including the encephalophone, a new instrument you can play without moving a muscle.


 
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