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Anthony Tommasini had an interesting column in yesterday's New York Times. Surveying the wreckage of 2013, a year in which the City Opera went under and the Minnesota Orchestra continued to limp through its labor dispute, Tommasini argues that arts organizations (in particular classical music) need an "effective business model." Of course, what constitutes an effective model is open to interpretation but that topic has been a key component to the Minnesota talks.
Citing the sad case of the City Opera in New York, Tommasini noted that former mayor Michael Bloomberg declined a chance to rescue the institution, which needed $7 million to survive, because as Bloomberg put it, the "business model doesn't seem to be working."
Tomassini goes on, in his own words: "So what is the lesson Mr. Bloomberg implied in his comment? In short, artistic excellence is not enough."
The piece is here.
Though it doesn't look like the chilly North Atlantic of Iceland, where American violinist Hilary Hahn and German pianist Hauschka recorded their 2012 CD "Silfra," this music video (by Hayley Morris) from one of the album's tracks has a captivating, stop-action charm that matches the music's forward-spinning energy.
The two musicians discussed the CD for two years, but when it came time to record it with producer Valgeir Sigurðsson in Reykjavik, they did it without scores, and mostly in single takes. In all but one of the CD's tracks, Hauschka plays a "prepared" piano, with various objects and dampers placed on the strings.
Hahn and Hauschka (born Volker Bertelmann) will perform "Silfra" at a show Sunday evening at Aria in Minneapolis, the opening date of a new concert series presented by the Schubert Club. Called Mix, the series (being done with Liquid Music) presents two more shows this winter/spring, including pianist Anthony de Mare (April 13) and alt-chamber group Ethel (June 3). De Mare will reinterpret songs by Stephen Sondheim for solo piano. Ethel will present works by contemporary composers, including Mary Ellen Childs, as well as video projections.
The Hahn/Hauschka show has just a few standing-room tickets remaining, which will be sold at the door on Sunday. Tickets for the two later shows are still available.
The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have added a performance to their concert at Northrop Auditorium next May. Osmo Vanska previously had agreed to conduct the orchestra in a program marking the reopening of the auditorium, which was once the home of the Minneapolis Symphony.
That concert, on Friday, May 2, sold out within 48 hours so the musicians have added the second performance, on Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m. Featuring Dvorak's New World Symphony, the 1812 Overture and Liszt's Concerto No. 1 for Piano, the program replicates the first Northrop concert of the old Symphony.
Tickets go on sale at noon, Dec. 16.
With the Minnesota Orchestral Association's annual meeting set for Dec. 11, the locked-out musicians are getting out their version of the past year a couple of days earlier. The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will hold a public meeting next Monday, Dec. 9, at the downtown Hilton, which sits across from Orchestra Hall.
The Musicians say they will unveil a new mission statement "that they will work to fulfill in the years going forward, with or without the Minnesota Orchestral Association."
The Musicians have formed a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $300,000 since August.
The meeting Monday will be at 10:30 in the Duluth Room of the Hilton, at 1001 Marquette Av. S., Mpls.
The New York Times has reported that Erin Keefe, concertmaster at the Minnesota Orchestra, is being considered for the same post with the New York Philharmonic. According to the Times, Keefe will play with the orchestra on Friday and Saturday nights, with music director Alan Gilbert conducting Mozart.
Keefe came to the Minnesota job in September, 2011, to replace Jorja Fleezanis. The orchestra has been locked out since October, 2012, and Keefe has frequently been rumored to be in demand for other positions. She previously played with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society in New York.
The Times story is here.
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