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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

A PULITZER MOMENT

What Du Yun’s Pulitzer Win Means for Women in Classical Music
The New Yorker: William Robin

The Pulitzer Prize for Music had just been awarded to Du Yun for her opera “Angel’s Bone,” beating out the finalists Ashley Fure and Kate Soper in what proved to be a historic year for the prize. Since 1943, only fourteen finalists for the music Pulitzer have been women, and only seven women have won. This year, for the first time in the prize’s seventy-four-year history, all three finalists were women.

Learn more about "Angel's Bone," an opera about human trafficking.

 
  RESEARCH AND OPINION  
 


Women in Classical Music: Some Good News, Some Bad News
Sharps & Flatirons: Peter Alexander
First the good news: professional orchestras are filled with women today, a vast contrast to 40 or 50 years ago when orchestras were almost entirely male. This is now a viable career for the most talented women instrumentalists. The bad news is that the picture is not nearly as rosy for women composers, who are not well represented on orchestral programs. And women conductors are no better off than composers.

What Does It Take to Challenge Dance's Gender Norms?

Dance Magazine: Brian Schaefer
An increasing number of out transgender performers and choreographers such as Sean Dorsey are working to challenge gender norms in dance, onstage and off.

A Machiavellian Opera for Trump-Era Issues of Truth and Lies

NY Times: Nina Siegal
A new opera, “The New Prince”, had its world premiere at the Dutch National Opera on March 24 – composed by the American Mohammed Fairouz, with a libretto by the Washington Post political columnist David Ignatius, and directed by the rising young German director Lotte de Beer.

Bach’s ‘St. John Passion’ Has More Humanity Than Anti-Semitism

NY Times: James Oestreich
Almost inevitably these days, the “St. John” courts controversy, with its bald use of the Gospel of John’s words, harping on “the Jews” as the prime instigators of Jesus’ death. With the horrible potential latent in anti-Semitism every more apparent, any performance or hearing of this work must be cause for sober reflection, not mere mindless pleasure.

London’s Orchestral Scene is Dead. Time to Change the Music – and Some CEOs

The Spectator: Norman Lebrecht
The inertia of state funding, allied to the lack of imagination of arts centers, has sapped the fizz from London’s halls

The Appeal of the Coachella Way of Life

The New Yorker: Carrie Battan
Coachella is a music festival—and now an enormously profitable one—but it is also a fully formed aesthetic, a lightning rod of aspiration, a way of being.

Bridging the Generational Gap

Arts Professional: Anne Torreggiani
Data shows that audiences for many artforms are ageing. Anne Torreggiani calls on the arts sector to anticipate and accommodate the changing needs of younger generations.

 
  NATIONAL  
 


Ballet Hispánico Dances the ‘Identity Mambo’
NY Times: Marina Harss
What does it mean to run a Latino dance company in New York in 2017? Ballet Hispánico’s vision of the Spanish-speaking world brings this to life.

This Young Rising Star from Philly Just Got the Call-Up of a Lifetime

Philly.com: David Patrick Stearns
Kensho Watanabe can barely fathom the turn of events that found him on stage leading the Philadelphia Orchestra last weekend -- with three hours' notice.

A Gathering of Orchestras in D.C.

The New Yorker: Alex Ross
The Shift Festival’s aim is to encourage fresh thinking in orchestral programming and presentation. Shift takes inspiration from a defunct Carnegie Hall event, Spring for Music, which, from 2011 to 2014, attracted two dozen orchestras and much offbeat fare to New York City. 

Rumors of Opera’s Demise Greatly Exaggerated as D-FW Takes Place on National Stage

Dallas News: Scott Cantrell
Opera may be, as Dr. Johnson opined, "an exotic and irrational entertainment," but rumors of its imminent demise are defied by a lot of activity these days at both Dallas and Fort Worth opera companies.

 
  INTERNATIONAL  
 


What in the Name of Pop Is Going on With Eurovision?

NY Times: Christopher Shea
Eurovision is a breeding ground for controversy year after year, and 2017 is no exception – with Russia barred from the competition.  It’s the first time that the host country of the contest has barred another national’s participant.

UK Record Company Revenues Hit New High

BBC: Business
Combined takings from streaming, downloads, physical sales and licensing for use in films, TV and computer games rose 5.1% to £926m. The main contributor to growth was streaming, but vinyl revenues rose by more than two thirds.

Beautiful Music for a Good Cause

Swissinfo.ch: Bill Harby
By day, he’s a globe-trotting doctor working to eliminate tuberculosis, by night he plays cello in the UN Orchestra. When World Health Organization epidemiologist Dr. Christian Lienhardt travels from Geneva to India, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and other locales at high risk for tuberculosis, he does not take his cello.

 

 
  ENTREPRENEURSHIP  
 


New Center for the Arts Entrepreneurship Announced by UTEP
The Prospector: Rene Delgadillo
On Tuesday, April 4, UTEP’s Department of Music Chair Steve Wilson announced UTEP’s and El Paso Pro-Musica’s collaboration to create the Centers for Arts Entrepreneurship. CEA and local arts groups will train students and prepare them as they enter the 21st-century work environment.

How Bang On A Can Rejuvenated New York’s Improvisational Spirit

Bandcamp Daily
New York in the 1970s was a crazed, creative zone. Composer-improvisers like George E. Lewis shared venues with writers of fully-notated classical works, like Steve Reich, and post-punk experimenters like Rhys Chatham. But by the late ‘80s, the underground had atomized; the all-welcoming, genre-agnostic community had splintered into a collection of discrete camps. Classical minimalists, turntablists, and post-punk pioneers were still putting in work, but they rarely occupied the same stages. When conservatory grads Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, and David Lang first arrived in that late ‘80s New York scene, they found the lack of cohesion crushing in its sadness. They wanted to bring that not-so-old New York collaborative spirit back. 

John Coltrane Draws a Picture Illustrating the Mathematics of Music

Open Culture: Josh Jones
Musician and blogger Roel Hollander notes, “Thelonious Monk once said ‘All musicans are subconsciously mathematicians.’ Musicians like John Coltrane though have been very much aware of the mathematics of music and consciously applied it to his works.”

Up close with arts entrepreneurs: Hire Notes

Fractured Atlas: Jason Tseng
Earlier this year, Hire Notes — a booking platform for musicians that helps them manage their paid gigs , seamlessly get paid on time, and find new bookings— was selected as an honoree for the 2017 Arts Entrepreneurship Awards. We sat down with Hire Notes, CEO and Founder, to talk about how a music conservatory student founds their own technology start up.

30% of Indie Labels Have Given up Trying to Fight Piracy

Digital Music News: Daniel Adrian Sanchez
Indie labels know about piracy.  But at least 30% say they can’t deal with it anymore. A new study published by the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) and the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) paints a bleak picture of the music industry’s fight against piracy.

Prince Trumpet Player’s 14 Rules you Can’t Break if you Want to Turn Pro
Digital Music News: Ari Herstand
If you’re a player looking for gigs, pay attention. 

 
  OFF THE BEATEN TRACK  
 

Playing Against Type: The Typewriter Orchestra
The Kids Should See This (video)
If you thought all typewriters emitted the same sounds, think again. This orchestra’s sonorous symphonies have captivated crowds all over New England.

 
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