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Drastic and Vivid

Marijuana in the Concert Hall By · Paintings Jurassic Blueberries (CC) · Date 12/1/2016 In 2014, the Colorado Symphony put on a concert series called “Classically Cannabis,” attracting media attention from around the world. On November 8, 2016, California, Nevada, and Massachusetts followed in the Rocky Mountain State’s footsteps by passing referenda legalizing recreational marijuana. […]

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None Shall Sleep

The Arts Community Reacts to the Election By · Date 11/17/2016 “I may not enjoy sitting through an opera,” wrote Donald Trump with assistance from ghostwriter Meredith McIver in his 2004 book How to Get Rich. “But I’ve always respected opera singers and enjoy the highlights of opera.” On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump […]

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In Ink

Selling Mahler’s Second Symphony By · Title Image © Sotheby’s · Date 09/29/2016 On November 29th, the auction house Sotheby’s will be offering the complete manuscript of Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony (the “Resurrection”) at auction from their London saleroom. Sotheby’s predict it will sell in excess of £3.5 million, the highest ever estimation for a […]

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Buried

On the Paul Sacher Stiftung By · Title Image From a print by Mariana Castillo Deball and Carlos Sandoval, commissioned and originally published by Sur Magazine in 2015 · Photography Jeffrey Arlo Brown · Date 09/22/2016 From 1991 to 1994, Carlos Sandoval, a man with thick grey hair, brown eyes, and wide shoulders, was an […]

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On the Road

Days with a Piano Technician Text and Photography · Date 09/08/2016 When I received an email with an assignment to follow a piano technician during the course of his work, to explore the instruments and places he encountered, I found it hard to resist. I spent a few days on the road in Seattle with […]

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I Am Singing About Myself

Conversations with Black Otellos By · Title Image © Roy Peters · Date 06/09/2016 Introduction On a late night this past spring, I saw a headline in The Independent that would soon provoke exasperation in parts of the opera world, outrage in others: “Otello: Why is a white tenor leading the Royal Opera House’s new […]

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Repression and Reduction

Improvisation on the Fringe in Russia By · Photography VLADIMIR GORLINSKY UND ALEXEY SYSOEV · Date 05/26/2016 200 years since his birth, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Karl Marx Exhibitions Organisation present a series of concerts, soundart installations and events commemorating the life and work of Karl Marx in Trier in Germany and Birmingham and […]

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The Broken Musician

The Taboo of Injury and Disability in Music By · Title Image Leanda Xavian· Date 05/11/2016 “It was impossible for me to tell people, ‘Speak louder, shout, because I am deaf.’  Oh, how could I possibly admit a weakness in the one sense which should be more perfect in me than in others.” Beethoven, Heiligenstadt […]

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Doctor Baton

In pop culture, there are usually two ways of looking at the conductor’s baton. One way is as the focal point of his or her authority and magic: as Bernstein said, the stick as a “an instrument of meaning in its tiniest moment.” The other way is as a symbol of the conductor’s pretension and […]

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Outsourced Scores

The full score of Miroslav Snrka’s opera “South Pole,” which premiered this winter at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, is 1,000 pages long. Each of its two volumes weighs over eight pounds. The parts for 77 unique voices add up to close to 3,000 pages.    Every composer knows how frustrating and time-consuming the preparation […]