Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 10, 2020

Shaye Zadravec (pictured) discusses her new album, Leon Fleisher is remembered, and Richard Flohil muses on retirement. Others in the headlines include Luke Welch, Spanish revenues, Live Nation, live-streaming revenue, Rick Nelson, Britney Spears, John Cage, Levon Helm, and black promoters.

Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 10, 2020

By FYI Staff

Remembering pianist Leon Fleisher as the “godfather” of Toronto’s Glenn Gould school

When someone asked Leon Fleisher who were the greatest pianists of the 20th century, the American keyboard virtuoso reportedly offered two names, Vladimir Horowitz and Glenn Gould. In recounting the anecdote recently, James Anagnoson, dean of the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School, said there were actually three, the third being Fleisher himself. – William Littler, Toronto Star

Track-by-track: Zadravec's song choices on new album, Now and Then

Calgary singer Shaye Zadravec has a long history on stage despite her youth. Unlike many performers, she has so far concentrated on interpreting other people’s material rather than writing her own. Her sophomore recording and first full-length album, Now and Then, drops this week, and Zadravec took some time to discuss her song choices. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald 


The joys and pitfalls of "retiring"

Whether you’re a musician, or you’re in what’s laughably called “the industry” or whether you’re a music fan with a civilian job, sooner or later you’ll retire. “Retirement” may be the result of a whole bunch of factors: Age. The pandemic. Health issues. A disappearing job. The lack of work. The need, simply, to make a change. Here’s what you may not know: retiring is a bitch. It changes everything — and not always for the better. I know.  – Richard Flohil, Sound Cafe

Award-winning pianist Luke Welch reflects on being a Black classical musician

"From an early age, as I was first enrolled in piano lessons, I was quick to realize that there were not many, if any, other young Black pianists who were learning how to play classical music – at least that I had ever met. Fast forward a couple of decades and nothing has changed. No 'growth of the sport, no catering to a wider audience.'" – Globe and Mail


Streaming pushes Spain's record industry revenues up 4% in H1 2020 – despite pandemic

The record industry faced some dire predictions for this year following the shutdown of retail stores and licensed public places after Covid hit. these concerns now look a little over the top. Last month we learned that Germany's recorded music industry was up 4.8% in the first six months of 2020 on a retail basis. On Sept. 8, ProMusicae announced that Spain's record industry saw an overall revenue increase of 4% in the first half of this year, in spite of the pandemic. – Murray Stassen, MBW


Where did Live Nation, Disney's missing $10B go?

Live Nation and Disney revenue collectively fell $10 billion in the first half of 2020 thanks to the pandemic. “The big question is whether that spend remains dormant. – Mark Mulligan Hypebot

7 techniques for making money with livestream concerts

Given that the pandemic doesn’t appear to be leaving anytime soon, live-streaming isn’t either, meaning artists would do well to find as many ways to maximize the revenue they can. –James Shotwell, Haulix

Sony reaches $12.7m settlement in artist royalties suit brought by Rick Nelson estate

Sony will pay $12.7 million to artists in a class action lawsuit brought by the estate of 1950s pop star Rick Nelson, according to a settlement agreement filed in the US on Sept. 4.  
Nelson's lawsuit challenged the legality of Sony Music Entertainment [SME] applying an "intercompany charge" on international streaming revenue before calculating an artist's royalty payment. – MBW

How to start live-streaming as a musician (the equipment you'll need)

Setting up a high-quality live stream for music requires certain software and sound equipment, but it is a straightforward process overall. – Kendra Muecke, Screenrant


Fall album preview 2020: New music from Drake, Blackpink, Lana Del Rey, Neil Young, and more

The season’s most anticipated new releases, from pop stars, rock heroes, up-and-comers, and more. – Staff, Rolling Stone

Britney Spears shows love for #FreeBritney in court filing

Britney Spears is welcoming public scrutiny of the court conservatorship that has controlled her life and money for 12 years as she seeks to push her father out of power, according to a recent court filing. Spears filed an objection unprecedented in the 12 years of the conservatorship to a motion from her father, James Spears, to seal a recent filing in the case. – Andrew Dalton, AP

UK start-up backed by Robbie Williams and Sheryl Crow launches music streaming and karaoke on Sky Q

A music streaming service backed by Robbie Williams, Sheryl Crow and Alesha Dixon launches today with Sky’s Q box which will allow music fans to sing karaoke with their favourite artists, play music quizzes or tune into more than 10,000 radio stations. –Evening Standard


John Cage’s 1950 String Quartet in Four Parts stands as perfect music for our messy moment

Cage’s struggle with harmony became for him a contention between creation and destruction. He came to view harmony’s role as the functioning of sounds as though they were a society. He expected music to serve, rather than remain distinct from, the environment. At one point, he likened the incorporation of traditional harmony to the ills of Western capitalism. – Mark Swed, LA Times

The author of a new Levon Helm bio discusses The Band star

For her 1996 book Muddy Waters: The Mojo Man, author Sandra Tooze interviewed Levon Helm, the singer-drummer with the iconic Canadian-American roots-rock group The Band. He was generous with her, which left a deep impression. When it came time to write another book, she decided it would need to be about someone she respected as much as Helm. Then it struck her: Why not a biography on him? – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Jazz lives in clubs, but the pandemic threatens that

The entire concert industry is struggling as the Covid-19 shutdown continues. But a genre rooted in live performance and in-the-moment dynamics is in particular peril. – Ben Sisario, NYT

Black concert promoters want to talk about exclusion in live music 

The newly formed Black Promoter Collective wants the live music industry to address longstanding racial inequality. “I’m not interested in just having a black piece of the pie,” says one co-founder. – Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone

Billboard Japan


Music News

Japan’s MILLENNIUM PARADE Coming to Toronto on 2024 Global Tour: See the Schedule

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek on Nov. 2 in Mexico City.

MILLENNIUM PARADE is set to launch its first-ever global tour called the WHO AND HOW TOUR 2024 in November, traveling to nine cities around the world for 10 shows.

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek in Mexico City, then hit Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, London, Utrecht, and Tokyo. The Tokyo shows will take place at Tokyo Garden Theater on Dec. 19 and 20. The tour will mark the first time in three years that the band performs live.

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