Thursday, July 29, 2010

Selling Sex And Symphonies: The Image Of Women In Classical Music

"Our Hey Ladies: Being a Woman Musician Today series continues with NPR Music classical producer Tom Huizenga's new interview with classical violinist Lara St. John. St. John has been accused of using physically revealing album covers to help sell her music, but says she had full control over her representation and marketing strategies, although discussions about her body have often overwhelmed discussions of her body of work."

For the full story, please see

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why The Next Big Pop-Culture Wave After Cupcakes Might Be Libraries

"I realize we're picking the bones from the Old Spice campaign at this point, but when I saw that the Brigham Young University parody of the Old Spice ads had gotten more than 1.2 million views (Old Spicy himself — that's what I'm calling him — did a video for libraries), it got me thinking."

For the full story, please see

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cloistered nuns cinch record deal

"A group of cloistered nuns in southern France have signed a major record deal with Decca Records.

The British label announced Sunday that the Benedictine nuns of the Abbaye de Notre Dame de l'Annonciation near Avignon were chosen after a worldwide search for female Gregorian chant performers."

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Overdue Debut for Composer and Exiled Prince

"When an opera company presents a world premiere by a living composer, the opera in question usually represents the composer’s current style and approach. This was not the case on Saturday night for the absurdly overdue premiere of Lewis Spratlan’s “Life Is a Dream” here at the Santa Fe Opera."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Skype Rehearsals and New Works: Maestro Cues Symphony to Evolve

"Since 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas has led the San Francisco Symphony as its music director. Under him, the symphony has brought in new audiences with innovative programming that mixes modern works, including his own, with fresh explorations of more familiar pieces by the likes of Beethoven and Mahler."

For the full story, please see The Wall Street Journal.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The future of the recording industry: is there one?

"The record label Naxos has gone from budget outsider to industry leader in its 20-plus years of existence. But what does the future hold for any record label at a time when CD sales are plummeting and dowloads are stagnant? Naxos’s founder and CEO, Klaus Heymann, is one of the most candid and straightforward executives in the business, and he’s tailored his long-term goals to the realities of today’s market; his goal, he says, is to be “the last man standing.” He spoke to me while in the States for marketing meetings about the Naxos’s future."

For the full story, please see The Washington Post.

Friday, July 16, 2010

That iPad iRecital: do you buy it?

"It had to happen. As the press release has it, "The first classical performance using an iPad in place of traditional paper music" – that's sheet music, to you and me – happened on Wednesday night. Venus went into eclipse with Saturn, Orion traversed Sagittarius. Almost. Pianist James Rhodes did play Chopin's E minor Prelude off of his iPad at the Parabola arts centre, a concert that was part of the Cheltenham festival."

For the full story, please see The Guardian.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Charles Mackerras, a Wide-Ranging Conductor, Dies

"Charles Mackerras, a conductor who championed the work of Czech composers, especially Janacek, and had associations with many of Britain’s major orchestras and opera houses, died Wednesday night, his management agency said. He was 84."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Opera Focuses on Bill Clinton's Life

"If any recent president's life is the stuff of operas, it's Bill Clinton's. There's been comedy, drama, back-stabbing, shouting, crying, death, and many miraculous comebacks. But that's real life. Now art will be imitating life in a project coming together in Little Rock and meant to show how his struggles as a kid raised by a fun-loving mother influenced the making of the 42nd president."

For the full story, please see U.S. News & World Report.

Monday, July 12, 2010

David Cope: 'You pushed the button and out came hundreds and thousands of sonatas'

"Where does music come from? If pressed on this question, many of us would say it comes from the "soul", or from the "heart" of the person who composed it. That music is the clearest expression of human emotion, one person to another; that certain chords, certain melodies seem to communicate a whole language of feeling. When we listen to a Beethoven symphony or a Chopin sonata, we are hearing, we might say, the authentic expression of the composer's inner harmonies and discords, carried magically across the centuries. Could we ever be so moved by a piece of music written by a computer? We'd probably like to think not. David Cope, emeritus professor of music at the University of California, Santa Cruz, would beg to differ. "The question," Cope tells me, "isn't if computers possess a soul, but if we possess one.""
For for the full story, please see The Guardian.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rising French star Ludovic Morlot chosen to replace Schwarz at Seattle Symphony

"It's official: The Seattle Symphony Orchestra's baton will be passed to a 36-year-old French maestro, Ludovic Morlot, when Gerard Schwarz steps down from the music directorship a year from now."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why are minor keys in music sad?

"New evidence for a musical phenomenon we've taken for granted for centuries: that the minor key is sadder than the major. Dido's Lament is audibly bleaker than Kylie's I Should Be So Lucky' – although neither are as sad as the doleful monotone of the vuvuzelas that blared out from Bloemfontein on Sunday. A scientist in Massachusetts thinks she's discovered a link between the interval of a minor third (C major to E flat, say) and expressions of sadness in human speech. Meagan Curtis found in her study that the speech-melodies of actors' voices (the movement of pitch in their intonation) happened to encompass a minor third when they were asked to communicate sadness. And when listeners were played the same speech-melodies, shorn of the words, they accurately interpreted the actors' emotion."

For the full story please see The Guardian.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BBC Proms launches online archive

"The BBC has launched an online archive listing details of over 7,000 performances from the 115-year history of the BBC Proms."
For the full story, please see

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Movie Music

"Of all the many different film genres, the composer biopic is one of the scroungiest. The tones of these films range all over the map, from the show-bizzy extroversion of Yankee Doodle Dandy (George M. Cohan) to the hambone fruitiness of Two Loves Had I…Puccini to the many-layered high intellectualism of Harvest of Sorrow (Rachmaninoff and exile)."

For the full story, please see Opera News.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A new baton at the SSO, a marriage in early music

"Two bits of very encouraging musical news in Seattle this week. The Seattle Symphony has managed to snare a hot young property, the French-born, London- and Montreal-trained conductor Ludovic Morlot, to succeed the retiring Gerard Schwarz after next season. And there's good news on the early music front as well, with finalization of a smart merger of Seattle Baroque Orchestra with the Early Music Guild."

For the full story, please see