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Music and theater arts

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The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Don Aucoin spotlights the virtual MTA Playwrights Lab, an annual festival led by senior lecturer Ken Urban that features “staged readings resulting from collaborations between MIT students and professional theater artists.”

New York Times

Prof. Jay Scheib serves as the director of “Bat Out of Hell – The Musical,” a show based on the popular Meat Loaf album of the same name, which opens this month at New York City Center. “Mr. Scheib said he was attracted to “Bat Out of Hell” specifically because of its reputation as an unstageable work,” writes Dave Itzkoff for The New York Times.

The Washington Post

Prof. Evan Ziporyn and his colleagues have created a multimedia, interactive performance that allows viewers to tour a spider’s web, reports Erin Blakemore for The Washington Post. “The group took laser-scanned images of the spider’s web, then associated different parts of the web with different sounds,” Blakemore explains. “They were inspired by the intricate, yet tough protein fibers that make up spider webs.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Zoë Madonna spotlights a performance by the Arneis Quartet at MIT, which included pieces by Prof. John Harbison and lecturer Elena Ruehr. Madonna writes that, “With high risks came high reward, and the Arneis Quartet offered an intense, indelible experience to the small crowd in Killian Hall.”

WBUR

Reporting for WBUR, Amelia Mason spotlights a collaboration between graduate student Ben Bloomberg and Jacob Collier, a singer and former MIT artist-in-residence. Bloomberg explains that he and Collier aim to use technology as a means to augment human capabilities, explaining that, “technology should do things that technology is good at, and the people should do things that people are good at.”

Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine’s Matthew Reed Baker highlights Prof. Tod Machover’s new opera, “Schoenberg in Hollywood.” Baker writes that “in typically Machoverian fashion, the production uses mixed media and time jumps” as it explores composer Arnold Schoenberg’s flight from Nazi Germany to California.

WBUR

Keith Powers highlights Prof. Tod Machover’s new opera, Schoenberg in Hollywood,” in WBUR’s guide to the most innovative operas being performed in Boston this fall. Powers writes that in the opera, Machover “investigates the improbable but true story of Schoenberg, the leader of the Second Viennese School, who actually did flee to Hollywood to escape the Nazis.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Jeremy Eichler spotlights Prof. Tod Machover’s new opera, “Schoenberg in Hollywood,” which looks at the life and work of the composer Arnold Schoenberg. Eichler writes that the opera is “at once an earnestly admiring tribute and an unconventional biographic fantasia.”

Boston Magazine

Boston magazine highlights Prof. Tod Machover’s new opera “Schoenberg in Hollywood” in their fall guide to the arts in Boston. Boston magazine notes that the opera is “about a brilliant composer fleeing the Nazis and landing in 1930s L.A.—you’ve never seen opera like this.”

Fast Company

Developed by MIT researchers, ConcertCue, an app that provides real-time program notes during live classical music performances, has received a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund, reports Melissa Locker for Fast Company. The foundation awarded 12 grants to “innovative tech organizations and cultural institutions” that use technology to make the arts more accessible in the digital age.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter David Weininger highlights a recording of three new works by Prof. Peter Child. Weininger writes that the new pieces, “demonstrate the MIT composer’s remarkable stylistic diversity.”

WBUR

Andrea Shea of WBUR writes about the life of retired senior lecturer and conductor John Oliver, who died on April 11. Oliver influenced “many music-making communities in Boston, Cambridge and beyond,” writes Shea.

The Boston Globe

Musician Miguel Zenón, who postponed a trip to Puerto Rico with the MIT Jazz Ensemble due to Hurricane Maria, will perform two concerts in the U.S., including one at MIT, to benefit the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund. Writing for The Boston Globe, Jon Garelick notes that both shows will feature a new piece commissioned by MIT, “En Pie De Lucha,” which Zenón translates roughly as “getting back up for battle.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Martin Marks hosted a conversation with Audra McDonald, the 2018 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT recipient, where she spoke about her personal experience as a Tony Award-winning actress and shared advice with the gathered students, writes Sophie Cannon for The Boston Globe. “Realize you have value and you have worth and what you maybe don’t have is experience but that is what you are here to get,” McDonald said.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter David Weininger spotlights Prof. Peter Child’s new work, “Lamentations.” Child explains that the piece focuses on, “the crisis we’re living through in terms of migrant people and refugees and undocumented people here in the United States . . . whole peoples being maligned and ignored who are suffering and are constantly stateless.”