Classical news: Philip Glass to receive National Medal of Arts

Philip Glass photographed in New York City in 1980.Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

September 15, 2016

The White House has announced this year's National Medal of the Arts recipients. Among them are composer Philip Glass and singer Audra McDonald, in addition to Motown co-founder Berry Gordy, filmmaker Mel Brooks, actor Morgan Freeman, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, playwright Moises Kaufman, and theater artist Luis Valdez. President Barack Obama will present the medals in an East Room ceremony on Sept. 22. (Playbill)

Johan Botha dies at 51

South African tenor Johan Botha has died at age 51 after being diagnosed with cancer. The versatile singer appeared on many of the world's premier stages. (Washington Post)

Music stops in Fort Worth, Rio

After over a year of unsuccessful negotiations, the musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra have gone on strike. The musicians took a pay cut in 2010, and say they're being asked to accept a further cut; the administration says that though ticket sales have risen, a slump in the oil and gas industries has forced donors to cut their support for the Texas orchestra. (New York Times)

Millions of dollars in the red, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra has cancelled the remaining 12 concerts in its current season. "Next season is in doubt," writes Norman Lebrecht.

Mears steps up at Royal Opera

Oliver Mears has been named head of opera at the Royal Opera House in London. The 37-year-old has led Northern Ireland Opera since its founding in 2010. His appointment is a surprise, reports the New York Times, "because Mr. Mears has little experience with the politics of big opera houses and has a relatively modest international profile."

I was a teenage concertmaster

American violinist Miranda Liu has been named concertmaster of the Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra. "Irm very excited to work and perform together in Hungary and abroad with some of the most respected and accomplished musicians around," says Liu, 19.

Elgar gets his plaque back

The Hereford City Council has replaced a blue plaque marking the former residence of Edward Elgar. The original plaque was stolen last year. If you have any information regarding its whereabouts, please contact the Elgar Society. (Hereford Times)