Time’s Up leader to head Grammy effort on women

Tina Tchen will head The Recording Academy's new task force focused on inclusion and diversity. (File photo: AP)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Time’s Up leader to head Grammy effort on women

NEW YORK: The body that administers the Grammy Awards on Tuesday named a leader of the Time’s Up anti-harassment movement to lead a task force on better including women.
The Recording Academy named Tina Tchen, a chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama, to head the effort after controversy over women’s low representation at the music industry’s latest awards.
Tchen is the co-leader of the legal defense fund of Time’s Up, a campaign launched in January by Hollywood women to combat sexual harassment across industries in the wake of dozens of abuse allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
“The music industry faces numerous challenges — from combating long-held biases to making sure women are represented and respected within the community,” Tchen said in a statement.
Tchen heads of the Chicago office of law firm Buckley Sandler LLP. She had also led the White House Council on Women and Girls started by the Obama administration to incorporate female welfare into federal government decision-making.
A number of female artists voiced dismay that not more women won or were nominated at the January 28 Grammys, where funk revivalist Bruno Mars was the night’s big victor.
Adding fuel to the controversy, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, asked by a reporter why more women were not winning, said that female musicians needed to “step up.”
Portnow, who faced calls by female executives to resign, hailed Tchen’s appointment.
“In this moment, the Recording Academy can do more than reflect what currently exists; we can help lead the industry into becoming the inclusive music community we want it to be — a responsibility that the Board and I take seriously,” he said in a statement.
The Recording Academy said that the task force, whose other members are yet to be announced, will make recommendations on how better to bring in “under-represented communities,” including in the telecast gala and in deciding the awards themselves.


Massive Saudi response overwhelms German musicians

German artists perform at Goethe-Institut in Riyadh on Tuesday night. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 13 December 2018
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Massive Saudi response overwhelms German musicians

  • German Ambassador Jorg Ranau hosted a concert at his residence in the diplomatic quarter

RIYADH: German musicians on tour in Saudi Arabia said they were “astonished” by the response to their concerts.
The artists played six gigs over 10 days at multiple venues.
On Tuesday evening in Riyadh the Goethe-Institut hosted Birgit Erichson and Vasil Laghidze, who performed Schubert’s “Winter Journey.”
The lyrics, by Wilhelm Müller, were recited in German by Claudia Ziegeler and — in a world premiere — in Arabic by the Saudi poet Dr. Adel Khamees Alzhrani.
“We are astonished at how the audience in Riyadh and Jeddah responded,” said pianist Laghidze. “We got overwhelming support from music lovers. The audience here is very enthusiastic.”
On Monday German Ambassador Jorg Ranau hosted a concert at his residence in the diplomatic quarter.
Laghidze and cellist Erichson were joined by violinist Ulrich Beetz, with the trio delighting a national and international gathering with music from Haydn, Schubert and Dvorak.
An embassy press officer told Arab News the musicians were well-received amid “thunderous applause.”
The French Consul General El-Mostafa Mihraje hosted the trio’s performance of an all-Debussy concert, including the famous Clair de Lune, played under the stars.
Other venues for the visiting artists included the German diplomatic missions in Riyadh and Jeddah, the French Consulate General in Jeddah and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, a research institute in Thuwal.