Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

First Computer-Generated Music Recording Remastered

In 1951, a group of BBC broadcasters arrived at the Computing Machine Laboratory in Manchester, England, for a music recital. There, they made the first recording of computer-generated music, produced by the Mark II computer invented by Alan Turing, widely considered the father of computing.
The recording, stored on a 12-inch acetate disc, holds snippets of the British national anthem, the nursery rhyme, “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and a performance of the Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood.” The recital is famous for being the earliest instance of computer-generated music, but it was not until recently that researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand noticed that the tunes were distorted.  more

Review: Met's New 'Tristan und Isolde' Goes Radical

Stuart Skelton and Nina Stemme in the title roles of Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde.' Stuart Skelton and Nina Stemme in the title roles of Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde.' (Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera)
Is the Metropolitan Opera becoming a home to radical theater? Last season, the William Kentridge production of Lulu matched the opera's limitless complications with a scenic labyrinth of its own, striving to both comment upon and dramatize the opera with a density of imagery that required several viewings. On Monday, Mariusz Trelinski's new production of Tristan und Isolde treated Wagner's legend of monumental, but illicit love, to a provocative flood of imagery that went in, out and all around the massive opera in ways that were stark and extravagant, mesmerizing and alienating, sensible and senseless, realistic and surreal. And as with all radical theater, not all of it is going to be appreciated or successful. But unlike much director-dominated productions that can insure an opera's success when great singers, orchestra players and conductors aren't at hand, this one relies on musicians as magnetic as leading soprano Nina Stemme and conductor Simon Rattle to glue it all together and tell us how important it all is. more

Music Industry Takes Aim at YouTube Rips With First Stream-Ripping Lawsuit

The record industry is finally going after “stream ripping,” the process of turning a stream into a downloadable file. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have announced their first stream ripping lawsuit, against, which the organizations said was the world’s biggest website for the practice. Groups representing independent labels also endorsed the lawsuit, according to the announcement. more

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oliver Mears to be Royal Opera House's director of opera

Oliver Mears, the artistic director of Northern Ireland Opera who once stagedBritten Noye’s Fludde in Belfast zoo as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, is to be the new director of opera at Covent Garden.
The Royal Opera House announced that 37-year-old Mears will succeed Kasper Holten, who leaves London in March 2017.
It is a surprise appointment and a huge step up. Mears, who came to opera as a 22-year-old after seeing an electrifying performance of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, has led the Belfast-based Northern Ireland opera company since it was founded in 2010.  More

The Presidential Candidates’ Silence About the Arts

Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton has mentioned arts funding during the campaign season.Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton has mentioned arts funding during the campaign season. (Gage Skidmore/Evan El-Amin)
The four leading presidential candidates (Democrat Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson, Green Party Jill Stein and Republican Donald J. Trump) have said almost nothing about the arts in their public discourse and campaign communications. Equally concerning, I think, is that no major journalist seems to have asked about the arts during a presidential campaign that has lasted more than a year. more

We Asked Parents: How Do You Get Your Kids to Practice?

What's the best way to encourage your child to practice her or his instrument?What's the best way to encourage your child to practice her or his instrument? (Kim Nowacki/WQXR)
Back-to-school time also means back to music class and/or private lessons for a lot of students, so we asked parents for some tried and true tips for getting kids to practice their instrument. We also asked what doesn't work. Parents from New York to California chimed in, many with children practicing piano, cello or violin. Here is what worked, and what didn't, for them and their aspiring musicians: Read more here

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wadada Leo Smith Receives Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement

Composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has received the Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement “honoring brilliance and resilience.” The $25,000 Award was announced by the museum on August 16 and presented in conjunction with the exhibitionMade in L.A. 2016: a, the, through, only, organized by Hammer curator Adam Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, director of education and associate curator, Renaissance Society.
“The jury wants to acknowledge Wadada Leo Smith’s outstanding achievements as a musician, his influential work as a teacher and a mentor for younger artists in Los Angeles, and the decades-long expansion of an inventive, complex and layered system of notation simultaneously interrogating the pictoral and the performative,” stated Juse Luis Blondet, curator, Special Initiatives, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. More

Broadway Scam Centers Around Soprano Kathleen Battle

Soprano Kathleen Battle.Soprano Kathleen Battle was the subject of a fake Broadway production used to steal $165.000 from investors. (Courtesy of CAMI)
Kathleen Battle is preparing a long-awaited return to the Metropolitan Opera this November, but a fraudulent Broadway project has her in the headlines right now. The soprano’s name is at the center of a scam that reports are comparing to another Broadway production, The Producers. Talent agent Roland Scahill raised approximately $165,000 for a one-woman show about the falling out between Battle and the Metropolitan Opera. Scahill had told his investors that he secured the rights for the story from Battle and claimed that Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o was on board to portray the beleaguered singer.  more


Watch: ICE Members Compete in 'Stupid Musician Tricks'

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) (Armen Elliott)

While athletes in Rio were jumping, running and swimming higher and faster than the rest of humankind, another Olympics-style competition was taking place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. On Aug. 17th, musicians from the International Contemporary Ensemble strove to find out who among them possessed superlative skills. Called "Stupid Musician Tricks," or "the biggest dork fest imaginable" according to some of ICE's members,  the competition featured three categories: More

Monday, July 25, 2016

How to Make Music Out of 57 Individual Themes

Earlier this year, Grant Woolard, a California-based cartoonist, musician, and producer, mashed-up 57 well-known classical music themes by 33 composers. Instead of a cacophony, he created a beautifully tailored 6-minute work that has been watched by nearly 3 million people. In the Q&A below, Woolard gives us a behind-the-scenes look at his process, as well as a insight about his next project.  More

Met Opera will be unavailable Saturday July 30th, beginning at 6pm ET

Please note that the Met Opera website will undergo scheduled maintenance next Saturday July 30th, beginning at 6pm ET. Met Opera on Demand will not be accessible during the maintenance period, which could last up to 24 hours. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for understanding.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Digitized Film Posters from the Neumann Jazz Collection

258 film posters from the James R. and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection in the Conservatory Library’s special collections have recently been digitized and made available online.  This selection of items includes some of the rarest and most fragile of the more than 600 film posters and lobby cards in the collection.  Dating between 1936-1988, these films feature jazz musicians both visually on the posters as well as sonically on the film soundtracks.

Among the highlights are two versions of the 1957 film Satchmo the Great, based on Louis Armstrong’s work as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department, and a poster for the 1946 film That Man of Mine, featuring the all-female big band the International Sweethearts of Rhythm.

Additional items will be added to the collection in the future, including more film posters, as well as selections from the thousands of musicians’ photographs and autographs, concert and event posters, concert programs, sheet music, record catalogs, books, periodicals, and artifacts included in the collection. Together with the more than 100,000 jazz recordings that comprise the focal point of the Neumann Collection, these materials provide a thorough representation of the history of jazz from its origins in the early 20th century to the present.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Classical Music Podcasts You Need to Hear

This week, Fred Plotkin spoke to former WQXR host June LeBell, who can now be heard on her podcast, June LeBell’s Musical Conversations. LeBell is just one of several people bringing their love of classical music to this form. We’ve surveyed the scene and found a number of others podcasts catering to listeners of all stripes.  Read

Seven Women Conductors Who Deserve Attention

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we’re revisiting the subject of female conductors. Since we last looked at this crop of rising maestros, a number of talented women have been added to the list. Without further ado, here are seven additional women conductors who are on the rise, including two of our previous honorable mentions: More

British composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies dies aged 81

He was known for his modern and avant-garde works, most notably Return to Stromness, a haunting lament for solo piano.
"He was right to the end a pioneer," Stephen Lumsden, Managing Director of music agency Intermusica, said.
Sir Peter had been suffering from leukaemia. read

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Elizabeth Swados, Creator of Socially Conscious Musicals, Is Dead at 64

Elizabeth Swados, a composer, writer and director who fashioned a unique style of socially engaged musical theater, drawing on a global menu of musical styles and a street-level engagement with the politics of the dispossessed, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. She was 64.  The cause was complications of surgery for esophageal cancer that she had undergone in April, her wife, Roz Lichter, said.  Ms. Swados (pronounced SWAY-dose) was already a talent to watch when, while still a student at Bennington College, she provided the music for Andrei Serban’s adaptation of “Medea” at La MaMa, the downtown Manhattan avant-garde theater.  more

Two new music journals in the Conservatory Library! Music & Literature | Sound On Sound

New in Con Periodicals - come in and take a look at them!

Sound On Sound
Music and Literature

Pierre Boulez, French Composer, Dies at 90

Pierre Boulez, the French composer and conductor who was a dominant figure in classical music for over half a century, died on Tuesday at his home in Baden-Baden, Germany. He was 90.

His death was confirmed by his family in a statement to the Philharmonie de Paris. “Audacity, innovation, creativity — that is what Pierre Boulez was for French music, which he helped shine everywhere in the world,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement.  More

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Oberlin Conservatory Library January hours

Conservatory Library
Closed on Monday, January 18 
(Martin Luther King Day)
9a - noon
1p - 4:30p

The Most Shared Classical News Stories of 2015

Classical music is often vastly overshadowed by popular culture on social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To put things in perspective, Lang Lang has 277,000 followers on Twitter. Justin Bieber has 71.8 million. But in 2015 classical music did, on occasion, break into the broader social media conversation in a big way. more