by Daniel Hathaway
In a conversation with Musical America’s Susan Elliott, Sphinx Organization President and Artistic Director Afa Dworkin characterizes the impact of the pandemic as simultaneously “abrupt, disturbing, and transformative.” Through its focus areas of education, artist development, performance, and leadership, Sphinx is “the core program for the creation of diversity in classical music. COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter Movement have only added urgency to its mission: transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.” Listen here.
Beginning on July 13, Early Music America and Voices of Music will offer a five-part webinar series, “Creating and Sharing Video Online from Home.” The 45-minute sessions cover Recording at Home: the Basics (July 13), YouTube and Social Media for Musicians (July 15 & 17), Putting it all together: the inter- connectedness of all things (July 20), and Video and Social Media for ensembles, orchestras, and organizations (July 22). Find more information and register here.
Viewers who have enjoyed streaming Hamilton may be interested in hearing what Harvard historian Annette Gordon-Reed has to say about the Broadway hip-hop phenomenon. Holder of endowed chairs in the History Department as well as at Harvard Law School, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Gordon-Reed told a student-sponsored event last week that she likes the show, but found it problematic in its portrayals of Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Fathers, and the issue of slavery, adding, “Artists have the right to create, but historians have the right to critique.” Read a story here.
Singers everywhere are approaching the future of their art with trepidation, but especially those who sing in close proximity to each other in choirs. Read a story by Ysenda Maxtone-Graham in The Spectator about how the pandemic is threatening choirs in Britain.
In its series, LA Opera at Home, tenor Lawrence Brownlee, who grew up in Youngstown, invites viewers inside his digs in Florida for an informal hour-long program featuring selections from every beginning vocal student’s bible, 24 Italian Songs. Watch here (start at 8:00, after Larry settles a few technical matters!) Myra Huang accompanies him remotely from New York. [Read more…]