News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More


Danish National Chamber Orchestra

Danish National Chamber Orchestra Raises Money to Stay Open >>

The Danish National Chamber Orchestra, which was on the brink of shutting down after funding for the ensemble was canceled, has raised enough money from private donations to keep the orchestra open. The DNCO learned last year that on Jan. 1, 2015, it would be shut down due to budget cuts.

Phoenix Orchestra

Young Musicians Try to Revamp the Orchestra for Modern Times with Kickstarter Campaign >>

A group of young Boston musicians have formed a Kickstarter campaign to help revitalize orchestral music for a new, modern generation. Phoenix believes that modern audiences would be more interested in classical music if it was presented in a fresh atmosphere, so they opened a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for their launch event, Ignite. “Ignite will feature five, bite-sized sets of orchestral selections ranging from a Haydn symphony, written in 1775, to Osvaldo Golijov’s fiery 'Last Round,' written in 1996. Everything we play will be presented using lighting effects and choreography that’s reflective of the enthusiasm we have for this music,” says Phoenix. Phoenix only chooses musicians who have a high level of musicianship as well as a belief and passion for Phoenix’s mission. They then took a critical look at the modern concert experience and decided what they could change to make is more accessible for new listeners. Their website details some of these changes, which include getting rid of traditional concert hall uniforms, encouraging whistling, clapping and cheering and allowing refreshments at shows, along with many more.

The Dreary Coast

Secret Play 'The Dreary Coast' by Jeff Stark Staged on the Gowanus Canal >>

Ever wonder what it is like to attend a secret play? "The Dreary Coast," an immersive theatrical work from Jeff Stark, will enlighten you right on the banks of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. This retelling of the Persephone myth lets 20 or so theatergoers experience the performance in shallow, flat-bottomed boats up and down the Gowanus. Several dozen spectators watch the play from the shore. The play is legendary in certain Brooklyn underground arts circle, and Stark, who has lived two blocks from the canal for the past 15 years, has been dreaming of staging a performance on its waters for nearly as long. For the past year, he has scouted the bridges and rock formations and vacant lots that dot its banks, surveying the most appealing, and legal, locations for scenes to unfold. The $40,000 budget for the play was mostly raised on Kickstarter, with dozens of collaborators, including the well-known local “experience architect” N.D. Austin. But this play begins differently than others. The evening begins in a neighborhood bar, where audience members are asked to sign an indemnity waiver. Priestesses clad in kimonos and eye makeup arrive, wafting incense and ringing bells, leading you to a disused space and where there is a silent ritual. Once the action shifts to the waterway, the Olympian pantheon takes over. Charon (E. James Ford) and ice queen Persephone (Ava Eisenson) plot an escape from the abyss.


Maida Withers Dance Construction Co. Creates Kickstarter for 'MindFluctuations,' Neuro Headset Used >>

The Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary season, has created a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the world premiere of "MindFluctuations," an amazing night of dance and technological innovation. Choreographed by Maida Withers, recipient of this year’s 29th annual Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Special Recognition Arts Award, "MindFluctuations" is the cornerstone of the 40th anniversary of MWDCCo, a group known for their extensive and bold integration of cutting-edge technology mixed with dance. "MindFluctuations" is a unique work involving dancers wearing an Emotiv neuro headset, which uses their brainwaves to influence computer art. This creates a startling interactive experience combining dance, projected 3-D visual animation by computer artist Tania Fraga and live electronic music by composers Steve Hilmy and John Driscoll.

The Martha Graham Dance Company

Martha Graham Dance Company Commissions New Piece >>

The Martha Graham Dance Company has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a newly derived performance of their popular 2007 piece, Lamentation Variations.

Composer Jherek Bischoff Takes to Kickstarter to Support Latest Album 'Cistern' Featuring Contemporaneous >>

Composer Jherek Bischoff is asking for your support via Kickstarter for his latest album, "Cistern."

Jeff Stark

Only Days Left to Kickstart Jeff Stark’s Site-Specific Performance Piece Along the Gowanus Canal, 'The Dreary Coast' >>

There are only four days left to support artist Jeff Stark’s Kickstarter campaign for his site-specific performance piece, The Dreary Coast--taking place on and along the superfund site that is southwest Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal.

Kickstarter Campaign Aims to Immortalize Alternative Classical Music Scene in 'We Break Strings' Photo Book

Kickstarter Campaign Aims to Immortalize Alternative Classical Music Scene in 'We Break Strings' Photo Book >>

An alternative classical music scene is as interesting as it sounds. Underground composers putting on classical gigs in a non-traditional setting is as punk rock as it gets--and coincidentally enough, it's coming from the U.K.

The Amazing Kreskin

Amazing Kreskin Plans Off-Broadway Celebration of His Magical Transformation into Octogenarian >>

Going strong as he nears 80, the 'world's greatest mentalist' is raising Kickstarter funds for a new six-week NYC show.

Symphonic Synchrony: Three New Devices That Allow Any Simple Object to Become a Beloved Musical Instrument

Symphonic Synchrony: Three New Devices That Allow Any Simple Object to Become a Beloved Musical Instrument >>

I don't know about you, but my band and I have a recurring joke that we can plug in and tune into our fruit in the van, hearing myriad scores and compositions of our own concoctions, some subjectively known as L'Orange: Suite Deux and Beet-le-mania.

Oh My Golly: Asphalt Orchestra Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Record All of the Pixies' 'Surfer Rosa' Album

Oh My Golly: Asphalt Orchestra Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Record All of the Pixies' 'Surfer Rosa' Album >>

OK, so Alarm Will Sound started it. Their orchestrations of the Beatles' "Revolution 9" and various numbers from Aphex Twin to the Shaggs put them on a unique comp-meets-indie map pretty much their own. But now, Asphalt Orchestra--a 12-piece ensemble that's best described as some sort of Calvino-esque marching band--plans on recording a full version of the Pixies' seminal 1988 album Surfer Rosa.

Spektral Quartet Will Record Contemporary Music Ringtones for Your Mobile Phone >>

Last spring, Russell Rolen, cellist of the Spektral Quartet, thought of a creative way to replace the annoying default ringtones on his mobile phone. He decided to ask composers he knew to write short pieces of contemporary music to serve as ringtones, alarms and alerts.

New York City Opera Shutting Its Doors After 70 Years

New York City Opera Shutting Its Doors After 70 Years >>

In a tragedy worthy of opera itself, the New York City Opera has breathed its last.

The Column: Is Kickstarter Bad for Classical Music?

The Column: Is Kickstarter Bad for Classical Music? >>

Many think online crowd-sourced funding the answer to our prayers. Or it could be a nail in the coffin.

EXCLUSIVE: Classicalite Q&A with George Fetner >>

Classicalites, George Fetner needs your help. As we told you in this week's Quickies, the composer, administrator, guitarist and all-around good guy is raising money, via Kickstarter, to put out his debut album of computer-generated compositions--'Beneath the Ice.'

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