Bucharest’s Biggest-ever Classical Music Festival
Most of these celebrities charge events a “nominal fee” to the tune of $10,000 or more as compensation for standing for equality, and much of their support goes to causes like marriage equality, which benefit well-off, white gay people most significantly. Queer recording artists who have been singing out loud before any major media outlet would have celebrated it, and who write about the wide range of issues that plague the LGBTQ community, truly represent the rawness of our diverse community. It would be nice if Macklemore and his crew could give them a shout-out and acknowledge that Macklemore’s ability to get his message out so beautifully had something to do with him being a white, straight, cisgender man. If you really want to do something about the equality movement in music beyond just watching the VMAs offer up a token moment of social awareness, you can start off by supporting out and proud LGBTQ recording artists whose songs and lyrics are the soundtrack to the equality movement. I just learned about OUTMUSIC – The LGBT Academy of Recording Arts (LARA). They have a Kickstarter campaign going on right now to help fund their music documentary film For Which WE Stand (One Queer Music Nation in the Visible), which is specifically about the history of queer recording arts. OUTMUSIC/LARA was forged by life partners Dan Martin and Michael Biello in 1990 and is now headed up by Diedra Meredith, who is rarely mentioned in the tokenized and selectively publicized “lists” of leaders in the movement for LGBTQ equality. This organization features a diverse group of queer artists who paint a much more vibrant picture of what LGBTQ life looks like, sounds like, and feels like. They support, honor, and celebrate recording artists like Nhojj, an R&B artist who became the first gay indie artist to reach the number-one spot on MTV’s Music Top 100 chart in 2010. Other artists they support include Christine Martucci, who also topped the music charts; Jamaican reggae fusion artist Diana King, who rocked her home country when she came out last summer; transgender rap artist Foxx Jazell; and multiple-Billboard-Top-5-chart-topping indie recording artist Jason Walker, whom record executives have referred to as very talented but “too gay.” My aim is not to cut down Macklemore but to raise up the artists who have been trying to get the message out all along. I want to see a more accurate and diverse picture of both the mainstream music and queer communities. The best thing we can do is to support the LGBTQ recording artists whose identities are conveniently utilized by artists like Macklemore and Miley Cyrus and avoid getting our struggle and plight caught up in mainstream award shows, which are really about profit and have no real interest in supporting queer people.
Enescu, who died in 1955, was a Romanian composer, violinist and conductor who moved to Paris when the communists came to power. The festival always begins and ends with his compositions. Some of the tickets sold out in hours. Concerts were even offered as part of the itinerary for a classical music- themed cruise on the Danube that also included concerts in Salzburg and Budapest for a pricey 7,000 euros ($9,450). “I was struck by how prominent (the festival) is in Romanian cultural life,” said Noah Bendix Balgley, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which played on Sept. 2 and 3. He called the “audience energy and response … incredible,” noting that the hall was standing-room only. Other orchestras in the festival’s lineup were the Orchestre de Paris, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, The Munich Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Berlin and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which played Brahms and Enescu in a concert conducted by Vladimir Jurowsky. Romanian math teacher Elena Ungureanu went to eight concerts. “There was a very high standard of music and the soloists and orchestras were special,” she said. “There were lots of young people and many people were standing. I wouldn’t have had the chance to see such great orchestras if they hadn’t come here.” One morning during the festival, violin and flute music floated across Revolution Square, a tranquil historic spot in the otherwise traffic-snarled capital, as tourists and passers-by crossed. It was a fitting musical footnote to the Wagner, Beethoven and Mozart concerts that rung out from concerts at the nearby 19th century Atheneum and the Palace Hall, where late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu presided over the Communist Party’s final congress weeks before his downfall and execution in December 1989. “The concerts are very good value for money,” said Fareed Curmally, an Indian pianist and conductor who traveled to Bucharest for two weeks of concerts and purchased a CD to bring home.
Rdio adds free music stations to its iOS, Android apps
An updated and free feature called Stations allows you to listen to music from 20 predefined stations built on songs from different artists. You can also create your own stations based on artist, song, album, or genre. In return, Stations plays random selections based on the station you picked, and lets you listen to an unlimited stream of music. Related stories As Apple lets radio roll, Pandora listener growth tones down Sound familiar? Stations seems to be Rdio’s effort to tap into the online streaming action of iTunes Radio, Pandora, and Spotify. The free service won’t bother you with ads between the songs, according to the Associated Press . However, Rdio is counting on its non-paying users to pony up for a $10-per-month subscription, which includes added features like the ability to pick exact songs and albums they want to hear. Stations is powered by music intelligence company The Echo Nest, which described the feature in a blog posted Thursday. As you listen to stations and songs, the service tries to deciper your tastes to better detemine which music to serve you in the future. The Echo Nest said it’s also working with Rdio to make sure all of the radio stations are DMCA-compliant . Such a move would help avoid any legal skirmishes with the music industry. Stations is available as a feature in the US, Canada, and Australia.