Kentucky Opera gives the director’s chair to women all season.

The Louisville-based opera company’s three productions of the 2018-2019 season will all be directed by women. Kristine McIntyre will return to KO for “The Magic Flute,” and Mary Birnbaum and Kathleen Belcher will make their company directing debuts on Ben Moore’s recent opera “Enemies, A Love Story” and Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” respectively.  More in the Courier-Journal!

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Tuesday Quickread: Why neo-Nazis love classical music

The long and short of it: we’re not trying hard enough to make it too diverse for them to like it.

Zack Ferriday trawled through the brackish, putrid swamp of a white nationalist message board, and found an unsurprising number of classical music fans. It’s pretty clear why they like it: all the composers we hold up as “great” are white men, and in a way, it provides a sonic safe space for people who believe the only people we should be celebrating ever are white men.

 

Most diversity initiatives happen on such a local and small scale that those ideas don’t reach the larger landscape of classical music. Then, of course, there’s the affirmative action fallacy: someone asks why there isn’t more music performed by non-white people, and the reply is that music isn’t chosen based on race or gender, it’s chosen based on how good it is and how it fits the ensemble—implying that a) the asker’s thinking is flawed because they seem to think music should be included just based on the composer’s race, and b) none of the music they listened to that wasn’t by white men was “good” enough to merit inclusion.

“It shouldn’t take the Chineke Orchestra to bring Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges to London, or its cellist and 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year, 18-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason to donate money to his former school to ensure accessibility to classical music for all. We’re all too well aware of classical music’s checkered past when it comes to nationalism, so why is it that even now, 18 years into the 21st century, the likes of Karajan continue to be unambiguously celebrated as greats, as the “emperor of legato,” whatever that means, while racial bias is counteracted on a small-scale basis, somewhat distant from the money and opportunity of the classical music mainstream.” – “White Noise”

 

Reeling.

Boston Celtic Music Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary next weekend in Harvard Square with expanded programming and new venues.

“It’s to pull together all our trad music and dance people, just because we can,” says BCMFest cofounder Shannon Heaton over the phone. “We need to be lifted up in the middle of the winter, when it’s really desperate and gray and dark. That’s the only reason to do it. It’s a nice side benefit then, that people come out and they find us. But even if nobody came to listen other than the musicians themselves, it would be a huge successful party.”

Read the rest at globe.com!

Balance le porc.

Six more women (five if you don’t count Fiona Allan, who previously spoke to the Boston Globe) have come forward with allegations against world-famous conductor Charles Dutoit, 81. The new allegations include one woman’s accusation of rape. This brings the total number of accusers to ten.

Shortly before Christmas, following the first allegations, Dutoit’s office issued a statement saying the allegations “have no basis in truth.”

Youth.

There were many children in attendance at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first Saturday evening concert of 2018. The performance featured two key elements that could have been of special interest to them — or their parents. The soloist was the deft 25-year-old pianist Benjamin Grosvenor in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, one of the composer’s most personable works. And the second half was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Those quintessential four notes and what follows are pretty much synonymous with the word “symphony” in the public imagination. If you need further proof of that, just look at the name above the Symphony Hall stage.

Read more in the Globe.

Now Listen Here! – Sam Reider

Going forward, I’m planning to post some of my favorite musical discoveries here, under the tag “Now Listen Here!” From time to time, I may make @nightafternight-style playlists, but I’ve found that sharing things as I find them works better.

I found this gleeful jam thanks to my mom, who has tickets to Sam Reider’s CD release party. I’m jealous, to say the least. He handles that squeeze box with such ease and mischief.