Local and Industry News

The Knight Foundation has announced $25 million in new arts grants for south Florida, bringing the total of grants awarded since 2005 to $122 million. Recipients include the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, which will receive $7.5 million for a new recital hall with cutting-edge technology.

The Orlando Ballet has hired James T. Cundiff as interim executive director, replacing Jim Mitchell, who served only nine months and is leaving to pursue a new professional opportunity. Cundiff, who has also served as interim executive director of the Mustard Seed, is the Ballet's fifth executive director in four years.

McDonalds has agreed to pay musicians invited to perform on the music showcase at South By Southwest. McDonalds gave in to pressure on social media channels after the band Ex Cops blasted McDonalds for not allocating money to pay the invited bands.


A Los Angeles federal jury has awarded the Marvin Gaye estate $7.3 million in a copyright infringement lawsuit. The estate claimed that the Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke song "Blurred Lines" had striking similarities to the Gaye song "Got to Give it Up."

ASCAP paid a record $883 million in royalty payments to its members in 2014. The amount is a four percent increase from 2013, and ASCAP claims that it tracked 500 billion performances in 2014, double the number tracked in 2013. ASCAP notes that it tracked 30 times more pieces on digital streaming services than in the previous year.


Seraphic Fire will launch East Coast residencies next season. The choir will perform three programs in New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia, in addition to its regular schedule of concerts in south Florida.

Palm Beach Opera has hired David Stern as chief conductor. Stern, son of Isaac Stern, is founder of the Paris-based Opera Fuoco, opera music director of the Crested Butte Music Festival, and served as music director of the Israel Opera from 2008-2014. Stern conducted last season's PBO production of Macbeth and this season's world premiere production of Enemies, a Love Story.

The Cleveland Orchestra will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Miami residency with the Arsht Center debut of Renee Fleming. Fleming will join the orchestra next January in a one-night event. The orchestra will close the season with a world premiere of a work commissioned from Avner Dorman by the Arsht Center to celebrate the anniversary.

Jeffrey Feldman, president of Miami Music Association, the Cleveland Orchestra's Miami arm, has announced a proposal to create an umbrella collective to support a wide range of organizations in Miami. The Cleveland Orchestra would use its status to raise funds, and once the financial needs of the Cleveland Orchestra residency were met, additional funds raised would be distributed to other musical organizations in south Florida. The collective would also share advertising and marketing support.

The Gulfshore Opera, founded by ex-Opera Naples founder Steffanie Pearce, has presented its first full-scale opera after debuting with a few concerts earlier this season. The Opera presented Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado in Punta Gorta, Fort Myers, and Bonita Springs.

Southwest Florida Symphony has appointed Amy Ginsburg-Padilla as interim executive director after the death of former director John Hudson. Hudson had served as president and CEO since summer of 2013. Ginsburg-Padilla is currently the orchestra's marketing director.


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