HOW DOES IT FEEL?
Bob Dylan as Richard Wagner
The New Yorker: Alex Ross
The announcement that Bob Dylan will be given the Nobel Prize in Literature set off a predictable but not entirely pointless controversy. The questions posed by this latest Dylan coronation go deeper than the winner-takes-all cultural economy of the early twenty-first century. We are confronted, once again, with the intricately tangled relationship between words and music. What happens when they merge? How does the language of one affect the language of the other? When a sung text takes hold of us, which is the more active force?
Does a Musician Have Any Right to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature?
Washington Post: Ron Charles
Arts Journal: Greg Sandow
NEWS AND OPINION
We Live In An Information Society, Not a Society of Culture
SwissInfo: Rodrigo Couto, Morges
Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit rarely gives interviews. But on the occasion of his 80th birthday, the Grammy-winner spoke to swissinfo.ch about a 55-year career that started with conducting at age 14, and what he hopes will be his legacy.
Why the 21st Century is the Most Exciting Time for Music
NewMusicBox: Frank J. Oteri
At only 16 years in, it’s still a bit presumptuous to make sweeping statements about the 21st century, but I’d like to posit a grand claim: our new century is the most exciting time to be making and listening to music.
What is the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Future After the Strike?
Philly.com: Peter Dobrin
The vision of the future, actually, is startlingly obvious: The orchestra must be critically unassailable when it is playing in Verizon or Carnegie halls. And at Capitolo Playground or in Camden, it must be forming deep connections between newbies and a great art form that is needed more than ever in noisy times.
The Prodigy Complex
Van: Hartmut Welscher
Since the time of Leopold Mozart, who dragged his son through the drawing rooms of Europe’s nobility like a trained monkey, the prodigal youngster has become a familiar, peculiar trope in classical music hagiography.
A Universal Music
NewMusicBox: Aakash Mittal
How is universal music possible? Is not music, like language, born of culture and environment? Is not each musical style a unique expression of place and experience?
Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra’s Evolution Raises Issues of Mission
New York Times: Anthony Tommasini
The decision to turn the Simón Bolívar orchestra pro, in a sense, may have been a miscalculation. For one thing, it raises expectations of excellence. When it was a student ensemble, it was easy to simply root for these inspired young musicians. But the music-making during these three recent programs, though exciting, was uneven, certainly not at the level the orchestra’s current status would call for.
David Bowie as Muse? Why One Composer Says So
New York Times: Allan Kozinn
A tribute to David Bowie, who died in January – and whom composer Glenn Branca described as “a kind of muse” – is the main draw on a program he will lead on Saturday at Roulette in Brooklyn.
ICE’s Founder, Clair Chase, Will Relinquish Leadership Role
NY Times: Michael Cooper
The group is about to embark on one of its biggest transitions yet: Ms. Chase is stepping down from her leadership position there to become, in her words, a member of the band, and to be able to devote more time to her blossoming career as a soloist.
The U.S. Marine Band, America’s Oldest Music Group
WQXR: Lucy Hatem
Music has been a part of America’s history since the very beginning. In fact, America’s oldest continuously active professional music organization predates Washington, D.C.
Daniel Hope and San Francisco’s New Century Join in “Artistic Partnership”
San Francisco Classical Voice: Janos Gereben
Ever since the announcement by New Century Chamber Orchestra that its music director will leave at the end of the current season, the organization has been faced with Mission Impossible: replacing the irrepressible and — not to mince words — irreplaceable Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.
Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker
New Yorker: David Remnick
At eighty-two, the troubadour has another album coming. Like him, it is obsessed with mortality, God-infused, and funny.
New York Phil Saves Contact! New-Music Series
New York Times: Michael Cooper
In an extraordinary step, Matthew VanBesien, Alan Gilbert, Jaap van Zweden, and Esa-Pekka Salonen step in to save the series.
The Forensic Musicologist Musicians Call When Two Tunes Sound Alike
New York Times: Alex Marshall
Peter Oxendale, a onetime glam rocker (“We all have skeletons,” he says), is perhaps the world’s leading forensic musicologist, the person musicians call when they believe someone has ripped off their work. In a penthouse overlooking the English Channel, he analyzes songs, everything from pop hits to classical pieces, until he is sure there has been an infringement, or not.
Is This Millennial Composer the Next Mozart?
Ozzy.com: Libby coleman
Outside, sorority sisters and fraternity brothers in neon-lettered T-shirts walk hand in hand past campus police officers. Inside, just a block away from the University of Southern California’s “Frat Row,” 22-year-old Tim Callobre is intently focused on his music. No Top 40 or bumping DJ beats here; Callobre’s music has landed him performances at the White House and Carnegie Hall. It’s classical stuff. High-minded to the T.
A Ballet Dancer, A Singer, A Drag Queen
New York Times: Brian Schaefer
Pushing boundaries is something of a habit for Mr. Whiteside, 32, who joined American Ballet as a soloist in 2012 and became a principal a year later. Yes, he professionally plays Prince Charmings, but he also leads alternative artistic lives: as a pop singer, JbDubs, and drag queen, Uhu Betch.
As Creative Placemaking Continues to Grow, New Help for Practitioners to Get it Right
Inside Philanthropy: Mike Scutari
Much like recent developments in the field of liberal arts education, it’s one of those areas where both private and public funders are on the same page.
Boyle Heights Activists Way White Art Elites are Ruining the Neighborhood…But it’s Complicated
Los Angeles Times: Carolina A. Miranda
A century ago, if you’d uttered the word “artist,” chances are it would have been accompanied by the modifier “starving.” Today, artists are more liable to be described as the “gentrifying foot soldiers of capitalism,” harbingers of highfalutin coffee and six-figure loft living.
Gustavo Dudamel: 2015 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal
“Some people think that art is a luxury and must be cut back in times of crisis. These people must understand that precisely during times of crisis the unforgivable sin is to cut access to art. In my beloved home of Venezuela such a crisis is happening right now. People are spending their days looking for food, medicine and the necessities of life. The same arguments exist — how can we fund music — the arts — when basic needs are not being met?”
The Bolshoi’s Swans of Steel
New Republic: Maddison Mainwaring
Surviving revolution after revolution, the ballet company has long served as a mirror for Russia’s obfuscating statecraft.
From Armstrong to Winehouse: the evolution of jazz in the US and the UK
Sponsored by Jaguar!
The US and the UK have spent the last century influencing and encouraging each other’s jazz musicians. Below is a visual exploration of how jazz grew and developed due in large part to the symbiotic relationship between the two countries.
UK Decides to Phase Out Art History Exams Over Protests of Art History Teachers
BBC: Judith Burns
AQA’s decision stems from government changes to A-levels in England which have required new syllabuses in all subjects.
Stunning ‘Soundsuits’ Address the Realities of Racial Profiling in America
Huffington Post: Katherine Brooks
Artist Nick Cave’s work is best described as an explosion of color, texture and noise. Born in Fulton, Missouri, in 1959, Cave is known for his soundsuits ― wearable artworks that can be displayed as still objects or incorporated into wild performances as costumery. “The soundsuits hide gender, race, class and they force you to look at the work without judgment.”
4 Tips for Successfully Building Your Personal Music Brand
Music Think Tank
There’s so much more to being a professional musician than just creating and playing music. If you want to make it in this business, you’ve got to stand out from the crowd, and when it comes to musicians, that’s tough.
Before You Waste Money on a Lawyer: 5 Legal Steps for Every New Artist
DigitalMusicNews: Steve Gordan
This is the ninth installment of an 11-part series I’m writing for Digital Music News on basic music industry agreements. It discusses business actions a band should take, and can take at no or little cost, without the services of an attorney.
OFF THE BEATEN TRAIL
Aeon – a 9-Minute Video worth watching!
Heartwarming and fascinating in equal measure, Paramusical Ensemble captures the first public performance of ‘Activating Memory’ at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London, and explores how emerging brain-computer interface technologies could help those who are unable to walk, move or speak to reconnect and communicate with others, including through creative expression.