World New York Philharmonic marks 'homecoming' after pandemic cancellations
'That's nuts': Billie Eilish breaks Apple Music record before album's release
Billie Eilish is smashing records for 'Happier Than Ever' even before its release.The 'my future' hitmaker drops her second studio album 'Happier Than Ever' on July 30, and the follow-up to 2019's record-breaking 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?' has become the most pre-added album in Apple Music history with over 1,028,000 fans eager to get the LP in their ears first.
Following 556 days of pandemic-inflicted cancellations and unconventional concerts, New York's Philharmonic will open its new season Friday, a "homecoming" for musicians limited to livestreams, one-off and outdoor shows for more than a year.
After enduring months of crisis the Phil, one of America's oldest musical institutions, will re-open its subscription season with a program featuring Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, Anna Clyne's "Within Her Arms," Aaron Copland's "Quiet City" and George Walker's "Antifonys."
13-Year-Old Sues Ron DeSantis Over Transgender Girls Sports Ban Day Before Law Takes Effect
A 13-year-old transgender girl sued Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over a law that will prevent transgender girls from competing in girls sports at public schools.The girl, identified as D.N. in the lawsuit, has been playing on a girls soccer team since she was 7, but as of Thursday she will no longer be allowed to.
The pandemic forced the famed symphony orchestra to cancel its 2020-21 season, resulting in more than $21 million in lost ticket revenues.
And on top of that challenge, the Phil is homeless: the orchestra's longtime base, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, is in the middle of a major $550-million renovation.
Most of the 2021-22 season will be played at two other venues at the Lincoln Center arts complex on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Despite everything, Chris Martin, the orchestra's principal trumpet player, said the start of a fresh season "feels like coming home."
"I'm very excited. I feel like almost like a rebirth as a musician," he told AFP at a dress rehearsal ahead of the evening's premiere.
Emma Raducanu, 18, begins US Open final in front of 24,000 fans
Emma Raducanu, 18, is taking on Leylah Fernandez, 19, in front of 24,000 fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York - the first all-teenage women's final at Flushing Meadows in 22 years. On the line is a prize cheque for £1.8million - more than eight times Raducanu's current career earnings - as well as 2,000 ranking points, which would move the teenager up from her current standing of 150 to 23. The match was preceded by a poignant ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, with a massive Stars and Stripes flag unfurled by female cadets, while a '9-11-01' stencil has been painted onto the court.
"We play 130, 140 concerts a year, and you never take it for granted, but sometimes you think, 'Oh, I'm a little tired today, I've got to play this again', but not anymore -- I feel really such gratitude."
During the Phil's cancelled season members began playing small pop-up concerts at surprise locations throughout the city, getting creative for New Yorkers starved for live music.
"To play outdoors is wonderful," Martin said, adding it allows artists "to connect with the city in a different way."
"But to come back in this space... to have an audience again, that's the part that really feels like a homecoming."
- 'Exciting new beginning' -
Friday's show comes days after news broke that Jaap van Zweden, the Phil's maestro since 2018, will step down after the 2023-24 season.
The pandemic has created a nation of insomniacs
Why we still can’t sleep, and what to do about it.For too many Americans, it’s a distant memory: a time when we were able to get in bed, close our eyes, and drift off unencumbered without worries about contracting Covid-19, or the hours of work that piled up after supervising a day of remote school, or whether we need to buy a different kind of mask (again).
The conductor spent much of the pandemic in his home country of the Netherlands with his family, and cited shifting work-life balance priorities in announcing his decision.
"It is not out of frustration, it's not out of anger, it's not out of a difficult situation," van Zweden told The New York Times.
"It's just out of freedom."
The pandemic, which dealt an early and particularly deadly blow to New York, hit in the middle of the violinist-turned-conductor's second season as music director.
He was isolated from his musicians, prevented for months from traveling to New York due to a ban on European travelers to the United States.
Friday's show comes amid a ramped-up arts schedule in the city, days after the extravagant fashion-centric Met Gala and ahead of the Governors Ball music festival along with the Metropolitan Opera's re-opening on September 27.
Kathy Greene, a Philharmonic violinist for 30 years, told AFP she feels the orchestra members "are an important part of bringing New York back to normalcy, even though it's starting very slowly, and it's still very tentative."
"We are aiming in the right direction -- this is a very optimistic and exciting new beginning and we hope that things will grow from here," she said.
MIKE DICKSON: Raducanu dumping coach shows fairytales don't last long .
MIKE DICKSON - COMMENT: The former British Davis Cup player, who emerged from relative obscurity to guide her through her triumphant American odyssey, is now surplus to requirements.The former British Davis Cup player, who emerged from relative obscurity to guide her through her triumphant American odyssey, has already found himself surplus to requirements as the 18 year-old plans her next move.