Saturday, January 22, 2011

Season Announcement Season: Carnegie Hall

Alex Ross notes that Carnegie Hall has announced its 2011-12 season, with a hat tip to MTT's Carnegie showing of his American Mavericks series. I'm personally pleased to see that the JACK Quartet is playing Ruth Crawford Seeger's string quartet.

If you live in the Bay Area, or if you're me, another item that might catch your eye as especially memorable is the news that Kaija Saariaho will hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair for the season.

If you want to see what's on offer in plain HTML, start here. The electronic version of the season brochure is, I'm sure, entertaining to view, but not on this slow and stupid old computer. (Note to web designers: you get the most flexible and usable designs when you assume that everybody has a slow and stupid old computer.)

Visiting orchestras include the Mariinsky, Philadelphia, Budapest Festival, San Francisco, American Composers, Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota, Atlanta, ORR, Baltimore, London Phil, Berlin Phil, VPO, Boston, St. Luke's, NYPO, and Cleveland. Recitals of note include singers Karita Mattila, Susan Graham, Ian Bostridge, and Matthias Goerne. (Be still, my heart.) Oh, and the pianist with Bostridge? THOMAS ADES. Also: plenty of great pianists and string quartets.


calimac said...

"Note to web designers: you get the most flexible and usable designs when you assume that everybody has a slow and stupid old computer."

That would make sense. But on the contrary, they're deliberately out to frustrate users of old systems and make them buy new ones. Now that we've reached saturation point, it's how the computer industry makes money: planned obsolescence.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Arts business web sites are designed by independent or in-house web designers (depending on the size of the organization) who are not affiliated with hardware companies or software companies. Those companies do, indeed, have a vested interest in various kinds of obsolescence.

The problem is a little different: the arts organizations want a certain level of attractiveness and flashiness, and they don't always think about usability. Web designers will often offer up the latest and greatest, like Flash, and, again, they don't always think about the end users and usability. It's unusual for either arts organizations or web design companies to have usability experts on board; there aren't enough design and usability people to go around at ANY company I know of, except Apple, even the company I currently work for.

See, also, the Web Site Basics elsewhere on this blog. I started that list after tearing my hair out over too many web sites. By and large, the problems there have nothing to do with my old and slow computer: they have to do with designer thoughtlessness.

doug said...

So what is up with SFS and SFOs' seeming lockdown on all things Kaija Saariaho? I'd love to see her operas and hear more of her work live and yet the big gigs in town seem uninterested in her wonderful work. So sad. Am I wrong and/or missing something?

Lisa Hirsch said...

SFS did one Saariaho piece some years ago, with a guest conductor - I think du cristal, but I can't remember and can't find the SFCV review. Only Santa Fe has performed her operas in the US, as far as I know. They are intimate and might not work too well on the SFO stage.

That said, I asked for L'amour de loin when I filled out the subscriber survey in December.

John Marcher said...

I think L'amour de loin is being staged at Spoleto this year, along with a Menotti opera!

Lisa Hirsch said...

No - that's Emilie, the monodrama she wrote for Mattila, but done by Futral.

John Marcher said...

Yes, you're correct. I'm so easily confused these days.

calimac said...

Computer industry professionals don't have to be beholden to software or hardware companies to be infected by the companies' plot for planned obsolescence. Even independents can be gripped by a mania for the newest and greatest. Just listen to these people talk. That's why they're so enamored of making useless web sites.