06/18/2021

Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center form corporate partnership to be run by Philadelphia Orchestra

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in performance at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall. Photo: Kimmel Center/Philadelphia Orchestra.

“The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center have initiated a corporate alliance that would consolidate their governance under a single parent company,” reports Peter Dobrin in Friday’s (6/18) Philadelphia Inquirer. “While not a full merger, the new structure promises the orchestra greater control over the Kimmel—its landlord—than is currently the case. Philadelphia Orchestra president and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky will become leader of the new parent company upon finalization of the deal, and Kimmel president and CEO Anne Ewers will retire. The affiliation was approved Thursday afternoon by the respective boards of the two organizations…. While pressures brought on by the pandemic sparked talks toward the move, the benefits of the new structure are independent from the pandemic shutdown…. ‘All of these things we just do in parallel lines we need to start doing together,’ said Tarnopolsky, citing the goal of increased artistic collaborations between the orchestra and Kimmel, as well as coordinated branding and marketing, fund-raising, and renovation and scheduling of the Kimmel’s spaces…. Some implications of the new governance structure are not yet known. The center’s seven other resident companies—which include Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadanco, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and others—were informed of the change in the past week.”

June 18, 2021

WQXR to broadcast and stream 24-hour music marathon celebrating Black artistry and Juneteenth

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“Juneteenth is the holiday that celebrates Black Americans’ emancipation from slavery,” states an unsigned article on last Saturday’s WQXR.org. “To celebrate, WQXR is presenting a 24-hour marathon of composers and performers of African descent. Throughout the day you’ll hear more than 50 different composers, including Florence Price, William Grant Still, and Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, with more than 60 soloists and ensembles, from Jessye Norman to the Chineke! Orchestra. Our regular Saturday matinee opera broadcast will be a historic Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Aida starring legendary singers Leontyne Price and Grace Bumbry, recorded live at the Met in 1967. John Schaefer hosts a special episode of New York in Concert that includes a recent performance by former national poet laureate Rita Dove reciting work inspired by the Black violin virtuoso George Bridgetower, accompanied by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In the evening, we invite you to join us for a free, online concert from The Greene Space in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Hosted by Terrance McKnight, the event features the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s Tulsa 1921 (Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust).”

June 18, 2021

Johnstown Symphony’s 2021-22 season: at the airport, 9/11 memorial, and concert halls

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“The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra is bringing the love for its 2021-22 season,” writes Kelly Urban in Wednesday’s (6/16) Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown, PA). “On Tuesday, the symphony announced its 93rd season, ‘All About Love,’ and outlined a community-focused program that features uplifting musical themes…. In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the JSO will present free concerts on Sept. 10 and 11 at Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County [featuring] music of Gustav Mahler, Samuel Barber and George Walker [plus] Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9.” In October, the orchestra will perform Copland’s Appalachian Spring, “along with a series of six musical portraits composed by music director James Blachly” at the Grand Hall on Broad Street in Johnstown; the orchestra will return to the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center in November with William Grant Still’s Fanfare for American War Heroes, Gene Scheer’s American Anthem, John Williams’ Hymn to the Fallen, Richard Rodgers’ Victory at Sea, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. “The season will conclude … June 26 … at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.… The concert will present music from Top Gun, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Billy Joel and E.T., along with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.”

June 18, 2021

Boston Symphony announces 2021-22 season: Beethoven, Strauss, Shostakovich, Janáček, Berg, new works by Rands, Adolphe, Saariaho, Gandolfi

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“When the Boston Symphony Orchestra and music director Andris Nelsons welcome listeners back to Symphony Hall on Sept. 30 for the first time in 18 months, they will do so with Beethoven’s ‘The Consecration of the House’ overture, the work that raised the curtain on the orchestra’s debut concert, in 1881,” writes A.Z. Madonna in Friday’s (6/18) Boston Globe. “Subsequent weeks include plentiful Strauss, all the Russians you’d expect (Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff), and a handful of newer pieces…. No vocal works are scheduled until midwinter, when the Tanglewood Festival Chorus returns … with Janáček’s ‘Glagolitic Mass,’ conducted by Jakub Hrusa…. Nelsons also conducts a concert performance of Berg’s ‘Wozzeck.’ … Among other conductors’ programs, highlights include a program of music by Black composers led by BSO Family Concerts conductor Thomas Wilkins … and the long-awaited subscription debut of BSO assistant conductor Anna Rakitina…. Some notable pieces originally slated for the scrapped 2020-21 in-person season will get their due this year, namely Bernard Rands’s ‘Symphonic Fantasy’ … and Julia Adolphe’s ‘Makeshift Castle.’ ” The BSO will premiere the orchestral version of Kaija Saariaho’s Saarikoski Songs with soprano Anu Komsi, and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players will premiere a new work by Michael Gandolfi.

June 18, 2021

Iowa’s Dobson Pipe Organ Builders destroyed in fire

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“Fire destroyed a western Iowa business that makes pipe organs for churches, schools and other customers around the world,” reads an unsigned report in Wednesday’s (6/16) Des Moines Register (IA). “The fire at Dobson Pipe Organ Builders in Lake City [Iowa] was reported around 4 p.m. Tuesday…. One employee of the company was burned when he … tried to put out the flames…. The State Fire Marshal’s Office … believes the fire was started by a malfunctioning fan that caused sawdust to ignite…. Dobson Pipe Organ Builders was founded in 1974 by Lynn Dobson… During his years at [Wayne State College in Nebraska], he built his first 12-stop mechanical action organ in a shed on his family’s farm that he sold to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux City, where it is still played. Dobson opened the Lake City factory in a former farm implement dealership on the town’s square in 1974…. Dobson … had recently finished … a $6.4 million, 32-ton, cherry-and-maple pipe organ at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts … officially known as the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ…. It took almost eight years from the preliminary designs to the time the first notes were played.”

June 18, 2021

Copyright board raises royalty rate for webcasters

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“On Friday (June 11), the Copyright Royalty Board announced a royalty rate increase for digital performances of sound recordings over the Internet by nonexempt, noninteractive transmission services—or webcasters like Pandora and SiriusXM,” writes LB Cantrell on Monday’s (6/14) Music Row. “The ‘Web V’ rate increase for 2021 is $0.0026 per performance on commercial subscription services and $0.0021 per stream for ad-supported non-subscription services. The rates for the period 2022 through 2025 for both subscription and non-subscription services shall be adjusted to reflect the increases or decreases in the Consumer Price Index. Prior to the increase, the rates had been $0.0024 for paid subscription services and $0.0018 for ad-supported services. Although SoundExchange was aiming for an increase to $0.0031 for paid services and $0.0024 for ad-supported services in the Web V royalty setting proceedings, the organization’s President/CEO Michael Huppe is pleased with the ‘step forward toward building a healthier music industry.’ … This CRB decision means that creators will be compensated more fairly when their recordings are played on digital music services. While the rates are lower than SoundExchange and others proposed, they represent a step forward toward building a healthier music industry.”

June 18, 2021

Marin Alsop documentary film premieres, in person and virtually

Industry Buzz

The Conductor, Bernadette Wegenstein’s new documentary about conductor Marin Alsop, premiered on June 14 at the Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens in New York City as part of the Tribeca Film Festival, with an additional in-person screening at Marine Park in Brooklyn on June 18. The film festival has also released a virtual version of the 90-minute film via its Tribeca at Home channel, for viewers based in the U.S., available through June 23. Alsop steps down on June 19 as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; she also serves as chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and as chief conductor and curator of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, where she conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s summer residencies. She is founder of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, which promotes and nurtures the careers of women conductors, and this month she becomes music director of the University of Maryland’s National Orchestral Institute and Festival in College Park. More information about The Conductor is available at https://tribecafilm.com/films/conductor-2021.

June 18, 2021

06/18/2021