Friday, May 8, 2015

Iconic Portrait of J.S. Bach Returns to Germany

Bach Portrait by Elias Gottlob Hausmann in 1748Bach Portrait by Elias Gottlob Hausmann in 1748 (Bach Archive in Leipzig)
BERLIN (AP) -- A portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach considered one of the most important paintings in the classical music world is being returned to his home city after a 250-year odyssey that took it as far as the United States, the Bach Archive in Leipzig said Wednesday. 
The painting is a bequest from late American philanthropist William H. Scheide, a lifelong collector of the Baroque composer's music.
It was previously owned for more than a century by the Jewish family Jenke from what is now the Polish city of Wroclaw, who fled Nazi persecution to England in the 1930s. There it was entrusted for some years to the family of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, now a leading Bach expert and president of the Leipzig archive  More

At Baltimore Symphony's Request, Design Students Restyle Orchestra Attire

As leather-clad fashion designers hovered nearby, conductor Marin Alsop inspected the outfits of several musicians. “It might be better to have the pleats on the left side since they face the audience,” she said, studying a women’s skirt. Later, she admired the lapel of a men’s jacket. "It looks very smart," she noted. 
This wasn’t a bizarro orchestra edition of "Project Runway" but rather the latest phase in amulti-year project to redesign the tradition-bound orchestra attire, involving students and faculty at Parsons School of Design and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where Alsop is music director. The goal of the project, which began in 2012, is to use materials that are more utilitarian, lightweight, breathable and contemporary in appeal. It stems from a larger conviction that symphony orchestras must better reflect the world around them to stay vital and relevant – not only in what they perform but how they look.  More

Cinci Symphony Raises $26M, Expands Orchestra Size and Salaries

Finally, some good news from the world of American orchestras: The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has, over the past 14 months, raised $26 million, much of which will be used to hire 14 players over the next five years. Orchestra President Trey Devey (pictured) announced the news last night from the stage of Music Hall, explaining that, at the conclusion of the hiring spree, the orchestra will have been restored to its full complement of 90 players.

Also, the musicians of this fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S. this week ratified a new, five-year contract that, by its conclusion in 2020, will have brought base pay to $106,436 a year. The orchestra's season reaches 52 weeks because it also plays as the Cincinnati Pops and is the ensemble of record for the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, and the Cincinnati World Piano Competition.

The monies have come from 26 local families, individuals, and foundations.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Did North Korea Execute Four Orchestra Musicians?

This file photo taken on April 15, 2012 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un saluting as he watches a military parade to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founder and his grandfather. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty)
North Korea has always had a curious relationship to classical music, dating back to the late ruler Kim Jong Il, who claimed to have written six operas, and whose state-run orchestras would play entire Tchaikovsky symphonies by memory. On Wednesday came a report from South Korea's spy agency that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the execution last month of four members of Pyongyang's Unhasu Orchestra.
The musicians were killed by firing squad on charges of espionage, according to separate reports in the Associated Press and the Korean Herald.  more

12 Composers Who Were Inspired (or Injured!) by Bicycles

Sunday marks the 38th annual Five Boro Bike Tour, in which an estimated 32,000 cyclists have the streets of New York City all to themselves. The tour guides riders through 40 miles of the city's neighborhoods, from the South Bronx to Red Hook to St. George.
While we've previously considered the potential of Citibiketo get New Yorkers to concerts on time, here are 12 more connections between classical music and cycling, including several composers who found inspiration (and injury) on two wheels. more

New jobs in the performing arts industry

Executive Director
Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Director, Clemens Fine Arts Center
West Kentucky Community & Technical College
Paducah, Kentucky
Director of Marketing & Loyalty Programs
Pacific Symphony
Santa Ana, California
Music Director
Queens Symphony Orchestra
Queens, New York
General Manager
Chicago Opera Theater
Chicago, Illinois
Managing Director
Left Coast Chamber Ensemble
San Francisco, California
Artistic Director/General Director of Chautauqua Opera
Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua, New York
Manager, Development Research and Prospect Management
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Development Services Manager
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Accountant
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Manager of Relationship Marketing
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Executive Director
Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Springfield, Massachusetts
Performance Promotion Manager
Theodore Presser Company/Carl Fischer Music
New York, New York
Director of Education and Community Engagement
Seattle Opera
Seattle, Washington
Director of Marketing & Communications
University of Oregon-Oregon Bach Festival
Eugene, Oregon
Artistic Planning Assistant
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco, California
Director of Concert and Event Marketing
Citi Performing Arts Center
Boston, Massachusetts
Associate Conductor
Richmond Symphony
Richmond, Virginia