Local and Industry News

A study by the Max Planck Institute in Germany has found that classical and jazz pianists use their brains differently.

Classical and Jazz pianists were asked to mimic a video of a simulated hand playing a sequence of chords. The musicians appeared to plan their playing based on their training, with the classical pianists focused more on finger placement and precision and the jazz pianists focused more on what to play and less on how to play.

Arsht Center president and CEO M. John Richard will retire at the end of 2018. Richard, who spent 19 years as COO of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, has been CEO of the Arsht Center since 2008. He will be age 66 when he retires, and he plans on remaining in south Florida to pursue passion projects.

A report by the International Longevity Centre states that music helps to increase social interaction and decrease symptoms of depression and dementia. The report recommends universal access to music for people with dementia, and also recommends research into the cost effectiveness of music programs for people with dementia.

The New World Symphony celebrated their 30th anniversary. A gala celebration took place on February 10, with founders Ted and Lin Arison's granddaughter Sarah Arison acting as chair. The New World Symphony fellowship program started in 1989.

Saturday Night Live music director G. E. Smith led a benefit concert on February 18th to promote fair pay for musicians. The concert benefitted the nonprofit organization FarePlay, which was founded in 2011 by West Palm Beach resident Will Buckley. FarePlay assists musicians and other artists in collecting fair compensation for their work. One of their missions is to see musicians receive more compensation for streaming Internet sales of their music.

The Trump Administration proposed budget calls for huge cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The proposal calls for reducing the NEA budget from $150 million to $29 million and the NEH budget from $150 million to $42 million. The proposal also calls for shutting down the NEA starting in 2019 and for eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting over the next two years.

The Knight Foundation has announced $1 million in grants for organizations that have ideas to attract and connect with audiences in innovative ways. They will award up to $50,000 for each idea under a program called the Knight Prototype Fund. Applications are due by March 6, and are available at prototypefund.org.

A study by the Arts and Humanities Research Council shows that half of musicians in Britain have worked unpaid for exposure in the past 12 months, and that 66 percent of them felt that the exposure did not benefit their career. 68 percent of the musicians said that stagnating wages and the expectation that they would work for free made it difficult to make viable income.


Enrique Iglesias is suing Universal Music Group over a dispute in payments for songs streamed online. He claims that he is being paid far less than the 50 percent royalties specified in his contract, and seeks damages and the right to inspect the accounting books to verify royalties collected. Iglesias was signed with Universal from 1999 to 2015, but is now signed with Sony Music.

21 states have filed suit to challenge the FCC decision to overturn net neutrality. Additionally, several states are considering passing laws in support of net neutrality, and Montana has already passed a law barring state agencies form doing business with Internet service providers that violate net neutrality.


The Cleveland Orchestra will return for a two-week residency in Miami in 2019. The Orchestra will maintain the reduced schedule of just two consecutive week next season, performing on January 25 and 26 and again on February 1 and 2, 2019.

The Pittsburgh Symphony has raised $1.25 million in new support since March 2017, unlocking challenge grants from the Heinz endowments and the Eden Hall Foundation. The orchestra is a third of the way toward its goal of raising $75 million by 2021.