Full Length Audio:
Yo Yo Ma steps down as SilkRoad leader;
"Weinstein Problem" in Classical Music?
(This Week in Classical Music, Sundays at Noon on 89.5 fm & kbaq.org)
It’s This Week in Classical Music, An Update on what’s happening in the Classical Music World; I’m Randy Kinkel.
Yo Yo Ma Steps away from leadership role of SilkRoad Ensemble
Cellist Yo Yo Ma is handing over the reins of the Silkroad ensemble as it turns twenty next year.
He writes, “One thing we have discovered is the joy and significance of working as an ensemble, and we are formalizing a new approach to leadership that celebrates that collaborative spirit… I am thrilled to hand over the artistic direction of Silkroad to Jeffrey Beecher, Nicholas Cords, and Shane Shanahan, three extraordinary colleagues who have taught me so much about collaboration, music, and friendship. Together these inaugural co-artistic directors will shape the next chapter of Silkroad.”
Beecher, Cords and Shanahan affirm their commitment to diversity and inclusion, and over the next year they plan a series of US-based residencies & partnerships; they also promise an ambitious array of new commissions that frame a wide range of traditions, human experiences, and social issues.
Does Classical Music have a Harvey Weinstein problem? Richard Morrison, in an opinion piece for The Times, says “yes”.
Morrison writes, “Inevitably the Weinstein scandal has prompted people working in other art forms to consider the level of sexual coercion they have turned a blind eye to, been a victim of, or … even perpetrated…the theatre, music and opera worlds are ships adrift in a sea of murk when dealing (or not dealing) with sexual predators.”
“It’s time leaders in classical music and opera are put under proper scrutiny, with a zero tolerance of sexual harassment.” Said Morrison. Towards that end, Vicky Featherstone, director of the Royal Court Theatre in London, has organized a day-long event to confront abuses of power --starting with a discussion of how to best stamp out sexual harassment, and a session in which people share their stories of abuse. With dozens of performers auditioning for each orchestra vacancy or operatic role, the potential for abuse is great.
The victims are not only those who are pressured into sex to get ahead, but also those who resist, and lose work because of it. Opera houses, theatres, and orchestras’ boards of directors, trustees, sponsors and donors all need to use their clout to put a stop to it.
“if high-profile individuals in the arts world aren’t exposed and shamed, as Weinstein has been, the casting-couch will continue… as it has… for centuries.” Morrison says.
For more info on these and other items and events, go to the website at kbaq.org; be listening every week at this time; follow KBACH on Facebook and find us on Twitter, and join us every weekday at noon for the Most Wanted Hour, Playing your top 100 hits in classical music. I’m Randy Kinkel, For This week in classical music, on 89-five KBACH, KBAQ Phoenix and HD, a service of Rio Salado College and Arizona State University.