You can find them here.
For opera fans
If you're an opera fan, there's an organization called the Bel Canto Society that I've run across. They are a non-profit, and they focus a lot on the history of opera and opera singing, and offer books, DVDs, and more.
You can find them here.
The banjo has been used as a concert instrument, but that isn't its typical use. At any rate, this seems interesting. (from a press release, of course)
BOSTON, Dec. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Emerson College announces the creation and launch of a first-of-its-kind digital museum devoted to the banjo – an instrument that uniquely reflects America's complicated and contested social history. The Banjo Project, set to launch in June 2019, was created by Associate Professor Marc Fields, and produced by Fields and Assistant Professor Shaun Clarke. Fields is a Visual & Media Arts Professor and Emmy-Award winning writer/director/producer for PBS, most recently for the documentary Give Me the Banjo. The digital museum, built on a searchable archive of over 300 hours of original media, archival footage, stills and recordings, will serve as a public, online cultural resource devoted to the instrument's colorful and complicated history.
The digital museum, in beta form at banjo.emerson.edu, is supported by a $100,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant, which is the largest NEH grant received in the college's history. The award is part of $14.8 million in grants announced on December 12 by NEH for 253 humanities projects nationwide.
"The banjo has symbolized patriotism and protest, pain and pleasure, low entertainment and sophisticated leisure. It's been a black instrument, a white instrument, a laborer's pastime and a socialite's diversion, a young person's fad and an old-timer's friend. But mostly it's been a snubbed instrument," said Fields, who aims to showcase the banjo's rich and diverse music and players in their historical context.
Brought to the Americas by enslaved Africans, the banjo is the product of three centuries of cultural exchanges, appropriations and interactions and has shaped many American and transnational musical forms including the minstrel show, ragtime and early jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass, country, and world music. The instrument's complex history also resonates with current social issues and struggles in our society.
"The Banjo Project highlights many of the issues at the heart of American society today, including lingering conflicts around race, class, gender, regionalism and the collisions between folk and pop music," Fields said.
The Banjo Project combines interactive documentary, up-to-date research, curated, professionally produced content and rare archival footage and recordings and serves as a hub for partner institutions, scholars and collectors. The digital museum, developed over 15 years, is a public resource allowing users to discover the stories about America's instrument.
100 Years of the Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra is looking back at their 100th season with a video you can see here.
This season (upcoming--their 101st), the Orchestra and music director Franz Welser-Möst will make their return to Asia in March and April 2019. This tour’s repertoire includes Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5, with soloist Daniil Trifonov; Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony; Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3. This will be the nineteenth international tour under Welser-Möst’s direction, with eleven performances set across seven cities: Taipei, Macao, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Beijing.
Stephen Shipps of the University of Michigan has been accused of multiple occasions of sexual harrassment over a period of almost 40 years. He is currently on leave from his position as chair of strings.
A report from The Michigan Daily can be found here.
Profile of the Dover Quartet
The Dover Quartet is a young ensemble that's been doing quite well for themselves in the last few years. Laurence Vittes has written a nice profile of the group for Bachtrack, which you can link to here.
The Classical Grammy Nominees
Here's the new list of nominees in the Classical category for the Grammy awards:
75. Best Orchestral Performance
Award to the Conductor and to the Orchestra.
Award to the Conductor, Album Producer(s) and Principal Soloists.
Award to the Conductor, and to the Choral Director and/or Chorus Master where applicable and to the Choral Organization/Ensemble.
For new recordings of works with chamber or small ensemble (twenty-four or fewer members, not including the conductor). One Award to the ensemble and one Award to the conductor, if applicable.
Award to the Instrumental Soloist(s) and to the Conductor when applicable.
Award to: Vocalist(s), Collaborative Artist(s) (Ex: pianists, conductors, chamber groups) Producer(s), Recording Engineers/Mixers with 51% or more playing time of new material.
Award to the Artist(s) and to the Album Producer(s) and Engineer(s) of over 51% playing time of the album, if other than the artist.
A Composer's Award. (For a contemporary classical composition composed within the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year.) Award to the librettist, if applicable.
Watch Verdi's Otello online
The Bayerische Staatsoper has opened Verdi’s Otello, in a new production directed by Amélie Niermeyerunder and led by General Music Director Kirill Petrenko, with sold-out performances through December 2018 and further performances on July 12 and 15, 2019. The cast features Jonas Kaufmann (Otello), Anja Harteros (Desdemona), Gerald Finley (Iago) and Evan Leroy Johnson (Cassio), among others.
International audiences can watch Otello on STAATSOPER.TV, the Staatsoper’s free streamable HD video service. The stream will be available on-demand from Monday, December 3 at 12pm CET to Tuesday, December 4 at 11:59am CET. All STAATSOPER.TV programming is available internationally for free and includes exclusive behind-the-scenes footage during intermissions.
The viewing window is open, and you can view it here.
I'm a classical radio announcer, blogger, and musician.