News Round Up

Here are some headlines worth paying attention to:

Though the LA Philharmonic didn’t promote Saariaho’s world premiere, it received an excellent review in the LA Times:

The performance was strong. Dudamel remained constantly attuned to Saariaho’s vastly changeable instrumental colors, a cosmic sonic background for Finley, who handled each song with operatic intensity, part of a grand psychodrama of searching for meaning, for words that can obtain meaning through music but can also become emptied of meaning when sung. This is a profound, important work.

The New York Times offered a profile of Susanna Malkki before her conducting debut at the New York Philharmonic on Thursday.

The Juilliard String Quartet is facing the retirement of cellist Joel Krosnick who has been with the ensemble for 40 years – Astrid Schween will be his replacement, becoming the first woman to join the ensemble.

Read Alex Ross’ thoughts on the drama surrounding the Berlin Philharmonic and the search for a new conductor.  Though the classical music world was #WaitingForBerlin  just a week ago, perhaps the choice of conductor doesn’t really matter for the reasons people suggest:

Not the least of the challenges that classical music faces is the increasingly unworkable celebrity-maestro model—a twentieth-century mutation, stemming from a disproportionate emphasis on the music of prior eras. It is fundamentally irrational for musicians to play the same passel of pieces over and over. Conductors serve to generate the illusion of novelty: as Theodor W. Adorno wrote, in his “Introduction to the Sociology of Music,” the maestro “acts as if he were creating the work here and now.” That top-tier conductors are almost always men is less an indication of institutional misogyny—though that certainly exists—than an inevitable consequence of the play-acting ritual: because the canonical composers are entirely male, so are their stand-ins. The modern orchestra concert is not entirely unrelated to the spectacle of a Civil War reënactment.

Be sure to also read about the partnership between Parsons School of Design and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in an effort to redesign orchestra attire.


What did I miss?  Leave a link to your favorite news story from the past week in a comment below.

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