What Happens When Fluxus Enters the Concert Hall?

November 12, 2018

Fluxus, the interdisciplinary art movement, which emerged in the 1960s,  is being celebrated by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Getty Center. The two organizations have assembled a convincing festival of Fluxus music for the Philharmonic’s 100th-anniversary season. If Fluxus is about questioning the nature of art, then this festival is about an orchestra questioning the boundaries of performance as it reflects on the past century and looks ahead to the next.

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Annapurna Devi, Acclaimed but Reclusive Indian Musician, Dies at 91

October 25, 2018

Annapurna Devi, a noted Indian musician and teacher whose decision to stop performing relatively early in her career made her something of an enigma, died on Oct. 13 in Mumbai. She was 91.

Ms. Devi learned at the feet of her father, Allauddin Khan, a revered figure in Indian classical music, and was married for years to one of his students, the sitarist Ravi Shankar. She played the surbahar, often described as a bass sitar, a difficult instrument that few if any women of her era played. The small number of people lucky enough to hear her were amazed by her mastery of it.

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After 350 Years, Paris Still Defines Opera

October 3, 2018

The Opéra National de Paris has begun to celebrate its 350th anniversary. While Meyerbeer’s “Les Huguenots,” which opened on Friday and runs through Oct. 24, has not been performed by the Opera since 1936, it was quite possibly the most popular music drama of the 19th century. Blazing worldwide after opening here in 1836, it was the first title to be put on by this company 1,000 times.

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The Met Is Creating New Operas (Including Its First by Women)

September 24, 2018

For the first time in its history, the Metropolitan Opera is commissioning operas by women. It is hoping to adapt beloved novels like “Lincoln in the Bardo” and “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.” And it will venture beyond the walls of its opera house to collaborate with the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Public Theater.

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A High-Pressure Countdown for the New York Philharmonic’s New Maestro

September 20, 2018

Introducing Mr. van Zweden, 57, to New Yorkers is the Philharmonic’s first order of business. The orchestra has mounted a publicity campaign with posters, TV spots and web ads; programmed premieres to add spice to his opening weeks; and planned performances for city workers and others in April, at which all tickets will cost $5.

But rolling out a new maestro is not easy in 2018. The city may be a classical music capital, but the art form rarely breaks through to the broader culture, or even the local news. And the Philharmonic faces intense challenges as it greets him, most pressingly the much-delayed task of renovating its drab hall. So the stakes were high as the orchestra spent a week preparing to debut its new maestro on Thursday.

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New Way to Pay Songwriters and Musicians in the Streaming Age Advances

July 10, 2018

In an effort to update music copyright law for the digital age, the various players involved — tech companies, music publishers, songwriters, musicians and radio broadcasters — assembled an ambitious bill that addressed their concerns.

The bill is meant to correct the flaws and loopholes that have led musicians to complain about unfair compensation from streaming services, while also protecting companies like Spotify from lawsuits. It also establishes a truce between music publishers and digital music services over an aspect of licensing that has led to a string of multimillion-dollar lawsuits.

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No Need to Hire a Babysitter for These Concerts

June 29, 2018

For people who spent their pre-child-rearing years attending operas, symphonies and concerts, having a baby can put a damper on accessing cultural events. Bach to Baby, created by the Chinese-Canadian concert pianist Miaomiao Yu in 2009, was set up to address this issue, giving parents the opportunity to enjoy quality music without stares and shushing. Bach to Baby’s other mission is to expose children to classical music (the group also holds concerts for other musical genres including opera, jazz and traditional folk) from an early age.

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Lost John Coltrane Recording From 1963 Will Be Released at Last

June 8, 2018

In the years leading up to “A Love Supreme,” his explosive 1965 magnum opus, John Coltrane produced eight albums for Impulse! Records featuring the members of his so-called classic quartet — the bassist Jimmy Garrison, the drummer Elvin Jones and the pianist McCoy Tyner — but only two of those, “Coltrane” and “Crescent,” were earnest studio efforts aimed at distilling the band’s live ethic.

On Friday, Impulse! will announce the June 29 release of “Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album,” a full set of material recorded by the John Coltrane Quartet on a single day in March 1963, then eventually stashed away and lost. The family of Coltrane’s first wife, Juanita Naima Coltrane, recently discovered his personal copy of the recordings, which she had saved, and brought it to the label’s attention.

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