Tony's Blog

From the office of the president of New England Conservatory
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Guest Bloggers: Colin Thurmond and Rich Chwastiak [Colin Thurmond?s iPod is a veritable grab bag?his musical taste spans classical, electronic, and even Gaga. Only a few days after stepping on the NEC scene, he began sketching out an event that would... Finalmente! This blog has spent a great deal of time and space and generated considerable commentary and debate on the subject of the future of Orchestras in this country. The current situation is well-documented... Guest Blogger: Marie Montilla NEC Abreu Fellow ?11 [On June 2, NEC celebrated the graduation of our second class of Abreu Fellows, the training program we undertook as the result of Maestro Jos? Antonio Abreu?s TED ?Wish to Change the World.?? The Fel... Upcoming In my last posting on the American orchestra crisis, I promised to create a virtual symposium on the complex issues.? I proposed inviting musicians, orchestra managers, union representatives, consulta... Orchestras (Part V) I had originally contemplated writing just the four previous posts on orchestra models. But given the currency of this topic both here and abroad, I felt it obligatory to summarize and reiterate some ...
 

Abu Bratsche, Musings of a lead viola operator


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How AFM members can help in Haiti UnionPrivilege, which is a benefits program run by the AFL-CIO for members of its member unions, is matching contributions made by union members for earthquake relief. Details are here. Such a versatile instrument Musicians to the ice floes, please (cross-posted from the Polyphonic blog) If one single factor underlies the turmoil at the New Hampshire Music Festival in the minds of the musicians and the external support group SOON, it appears to ... When the excellent becomes the enemy of everything (cross-posted from the Polyphonic blog) While doing some research on the New Hampshire Music Festival situation, I came across a blog post by Henry Fogel that I found both interesting on its merits an... A Coup-de-Festival (cross-posted from the Polyphonic blog) A friend of mine alerted me last week to a recent series of events at the New Hampshire Music Festival. I've been trying to make sense of what I've read in news...
 

Arts Journal Music

Music News From Around the Net
www.artsjournal.com

Tempestuous And Controversial Tchaikovsky Competition Closes "The prestigious piano prize at the quadrennial event went to Russia's Daniil Trifonov, while the violin award was kept by the judges after both the local entry and an Israeli candidate were deemed to... Did This Year's Tchaikovsky Competition Regain Its Luster? (Amid Scandals) "The big questions are whether the individual prize-winners are worthy victors and go on to stellar careers like some of their predecessors, and whether this year's competition has done enough to save... How The Toronto Symphony Draws An Audience That's One-Third Young Adults "A new after-work concert series catered to commuters and a shorter Saturday night series was followed each time by a party in the lobby ... The TSO's biggest success, however, has been the 'tsoundche... Glyndebourne Names Next Music Director: Robin Ticciati The 28-year-old Briton, currently chief conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, "is to become the seventh music director in the 77-year history" of the famous summer opera festival. "He will take... Scotland's National Youth Orchestras See Funding Cut In Half "Scotland's leading youth music organisation may be forced to abandon much of its pioneering educational work after its funding was halved for next year, officials warned."...
 

Slipped Disc

Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/

Breaking: Opera North hits back at Billy Elliott creator over homophobia charge Richard Mantle, director of Opera North, has disputed Lee Hall’s claim of having his opera, Beached, censored for homophobic reasons. The cancellation has provoked a global twitter storm. Mantle... A state capital gets a Mahler statue It’s Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, and as far as I’m aware it’s the first capital to do so. No public edifice in Vienna, Prague, Budapest or Berlin. Nor anywhere else that I’... Is this the biggest ever Mahler Eighth? There were 1,140 performers last night in Valery Gergiev’s performance in Ljubljana, the town in Slovenia where Mahler landed his first job (see Why Mahler? for more) That could be a record. Sto... Breaking: J K Rowling walks out on her agent (update) One of the great partnerships in world literature is over. J K Rowling has parted company with Christopher Little, who was the first to recognise the brilliance of Harry Potter and sent the manuscript... An opera disaster unfolding in Prague The Czech government is forcibly merging the State Opera with the National Theatre, demolishing 150 year-old separate traditions. The National was founded by Smetana and sang in Czech; what is now the...
 

The Artful Manager

Andrew Taylor on the Business of Arts & Culture
www.artsjournal.com/artfulmanager

Becoming one of the 100 National Arts Strategies has long been in the business of building capacity for arts organizations and cultural leaders. In the olden days, as the National Arts Stabilization Fund, the organization di... On profits, proliferation, and piracy It's a reasonable assumption that theft equals loss of income. After all, if somebody has stolen the thing you're selling, why would they turn around a buy it? But there's an increasingly contentious ... The art of the (digital) interface I've already admitted my fascination with data visualization in many prior blogs. The idea that we can find both insight and beauty in the way we present complex information seems to feed both sides o... Parsing capital One of the oddities of nonprofit accounting practice is the way it bundles all kinds of money into a single blob. Earned income, annual contributed income, and incoming capital money all show up in th... Panera's social venture The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting story on Panera Bread's initiative to create 'pay what you can' versions of their caf?s that earn money and give back at the same time. The three 'Pane...
 

The Rest is Noise

Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker
www.therestisnoise.com

 

SANDOW

Greg Sandow on the future of classical music
www.artsjournal.com/sandow

Four personalities I'm preparing a post about the culture of orchestras, one that I fear some people won't like. Orchestral musicians, especially. Which will be ironic, if true, because they're the ones who know best th... Underestimating Thanks, everyone, for all the comments on my recent posts, including those that disagree with me. I've responded to some, by commenting directly on the comments. So I won't address anything in detail ... Shivers Just a little bagatelle, as a diversion...A few weeks ago, I saw the Kennedy Center's production of Follies, the great but difficult Stephen Sondheim show, a cult item among musicals if ever there was... Reasons for the silence And now we get to the hard stuff. The questions that truly are difficult.Here's the first of them. Why -- given what I've said in my previous posts -- aren't orchestras subject (in public, or even ver... Why my criteria matter Continuing from my previous post, about applying criteria to measure how well orchestras play...Why should it matter, to measure orchestra quality in such detail?Because, to begin with, we for the mos...
 

From the Orchestra Library


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Sturm und Drang If the late afternoon weather so far up here in Vail is any guide, the DSO?s performances at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival will be full of excitement, drama, and intensity. Our first concert W... On the Road Again It was the usual orchestra library whirlwind getting ready for our Vail residency before leaving Dallas. Nevermind that we know all season the DSO will be going each summer and we work hard for months... Yes, We are Geeks Okay, so every now and then we orchestra librarians admittedly get a little obsessive about our workplace tools. And we know it sounds ridiculous to outsiders who suspect we are geeks and nerds anyway... The Steel-Toed Librarian Well, I didn’t intend to be away from the blog for so long. It’s certainly not for a lack of material to write about from the orchestra library, trust me. So I have nothing but excuses and... I Never Did THAT Before You know how people always say “THAT was a first!”? As time goes on in one’s professional life one begins to have fewer firsts, obviously, which makes it all that much more interesti...