Around The Classical Internet: September 23, 2011

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, one of the newest MacArthur "geniuses." i i

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, one of the newest MacArthur "geniuses." Lucio Lecce/courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Lucio Lecce/courtesy of the artist
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, one of the newest MacArthur "geniuses."

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, one of the newest MacArthur "geniuses."

Lucio Lecce/courtesy of the artist
  • Cellist Alisa Weilerstein was just awarded a MacArthur "genius" grant, as was choral conductor Francisco Núñez — hear Weilerstein chat about winning the prize with our own Tom Huizenga.
  • The indefatigable Neptune/pirate hunter Plácido Domingo just inked a new exclusive recording deal with Sony Masterworks.
  • Conductor Kurt Sanderling — who withstood life under three dictatorships — passed away a day short of his 99th birthday.
  • The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, made up of Arab and Kurdish musicians aged 18 to 28, will perform at the Beethovenfest Bonn on Oct. 1.
  • A profile of producer Beth Morrison: "It's heartbreaking sometimes," she says, "when you're like, 'This is the greatest show ever and nobody's going to take it.' It's still a mystery to me why certain things get programmed and others don't."
  • Remember the suspensions last week of the four members of the London Philharmonic for protesting the Israel Philharmonic's appearance at Proms? Dozens of prominent artists and scholars, including film director Mike Leigh, have written an open letter deploring that action: "There is a clear link being forcibly created here between personal conscience and employment, which we must all resist."
  • Another big-name group makes a serious foray into the Chinese market: The beleaguered Philadelphia Orchestra has announced plans for a "residency" program there.
  • A thought-provoking article on genre-jumping listeners, and what it means to be a musical omnivore: "Forward-thinking arts organizations need to think beyond such traditional offerings as a classical series and a pop series. To better reflect the tastes of a divided public, they might want to present an 'innovation' series, featuring music of, say, John Coltrane and Bela Bartok (plus a healthy dose of world premieres), and a 'comfort sounds' series, with familiar tunes of Tchaikovsky along with standards from the great American songbook."

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