Secret Concert Series Invites Listening Without Judgement

Feb 7, 2020

Would you attend a concert without knowing anything about the program first? These people did, and loved it. Also, new findings about Beethoven, and the Shanghai Symphony makes the best of a bad situation.

1. Soprano Cecilia Bartoli's latest album pays tribute to Farinelli, the great castrato singer of 18th century Italy. In The Guardian, she talks about the surprising album cover, and all the ways opera singers must transform for their roles onstage.

2. New emojis incoming! Two of particular interest to music fans: an accordion and a long drum. Your emoji band just got a little bit bigger.

3. Coming soon(?) to Netflix: Bradley Cooper's long-awaited Leonard Bernstein biopic

4. Forget expensive lessons and hours of practice -- learn piano in one easy diagram! Note: we cannot verify the effectiveness of this method. It is a cool print, though.

5. 58 minutes with composer, musician, and, really, all-around renaissance woman Caroline Shaw, from Vulture.

6. This musicologist says that, actually, Beethoven wasn't completely deaf towards the end of his life. New translations of Beethoven's "conversation books" that he used to communicate as his hearing was failing suggest that he could, in fact, hear a bit, and was doing everything he could to preserve what hearing remained.

7. Artist Steve Parker's art installation, "Ghost Box," involves horns mounted on a wall and is activated by touch. Here's how it works.

8. Shanghai Symphony Orchestra musicians are facing concert cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak, but that hasn't stopped them from making music:

9. Would you attend a concert without knowing anything about the program ahead of time? Conductor Robert Trevino hoped that keeping the program a secret would help audiences experience the music as it was, without pre-judging it -- and he was right.