Sunday, July 24, 2011

When Borders Closes, Do Doors Slam Shut In Classical Music?

In addition to the grim truth of another 11,000 jobs lost and 400 retail fronts closing, the news of the Borders failure marks the end of another chapter in how classical music is distributed, sold and enjoyed.

Virgin and Tower Records have long since given up the ghost. And as Barnes & Noble and Borders both morphed from being booksellers to books/music/tchotchkes/coffee chains, they were the two remaining national outlets that took up at least a bit of the slack, even though their classical offerings were never particularly deep or broad. Borders was never another Tower: You wouldn't encounter clerks who could reel off their objections to the Penguin Guide's picks, share a moment of mutual discovery with another giddy fan, or glimpse a renowned musician or two browsing the racks, but it still was a store that acknowledged classical music exists.  Read More

Friday, July 22, 2011

Enterprising Young Musicians On The Road To Interlochen

From npr:
For young people who want a career in the arts, a handful of prestigious summer camps are a vital early step. Interlochen, in northern Michigan, is one of them.

Jessye Norman, Josh Groban, Norah Jones and Lorin Maazel all spent summers at Interlochen when they were younger. But with tuition ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the campers' age and discipline, does it mean that only rich kids get to follow in their footsteps? It turns out that some extra-resourceful young people are paving their own way. I went to camp to meet them.  Read More.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

'New Hero' Of Classical Guitar Shares His Passion

Classical guitar is getting renewed interest thanks to Milos Karadaglich and his debut album Mediterraneo.

A newcomer at age 28, he knew early on that he had a good ear for music. He was 8 years old when his father took him to the music school in his home country of Montenegro and told him to choose which instrument he wanted to play. His teachers suggested the violin or piano.

"Piano was too expensive and violin was too hard for my parents to listen to, because when a child is learning to play the violin it is quite painful on the ears, you know," Karadaglich says with a laugh.  Read more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Codex Caper: Medieval Guidebook Stolen from a Spanish Church

It sounds like something out of an Agatha Christie novel, but the Case of the Codex Calixtinus is all too real. On Thursday, July 7, church authorities in the Spanish town of Santiago de Compostela publicly confirmed that the priceless 12th century manuscript had been stolen from a safe in the cathedral vault. According to the local press, when the theft was discovered, the keys to the safe were still hanging in the lock. Read more.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Turning Abandoned Buildings Into Recording Studios

The Mason Jar team conducts a recording session with a chamber orchestra and The Wood Brothers (sitting on the desk, Chris on the left and Olive on the right) in a classroom at St. Cecilia's Church in Brooklyn.
For a hundred years, there was singing in the classrooms of St. Cecilia's School in Brooklyn. But since the parish closed it down a couple of years ago, the space has been pretty quiet. The empty rooms are rented by artists or for the occasional film shoot.

This spring, musician Dan Knobler got the keys to the five-story school building from the church, and when he opened the door, he says he knew it could work.

"It sounded real nice when we walked in and just said some words. I was worried that we were gonna over-saturate it with instruments, having a 12-piece ensemble," he says. "But it has a certain charm to it." Knobler has been scouring the city of New York for empty spaces with that charm.  More

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

EMI Publishing Dumps ASCAP

The music business has undergone drastic changes during the Internet era, but until recently, one thing that hadn't changed was the role of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known to the industry as ASCAP. This performance rights organization has helped songwriters and music publishers get paid when their songs are played in radio broadcasts, on elevators and in clubs for nearly 100 years. But as broadcasting moves online, ASCAP's future may be uncertain.

Take its relationship with the major record label EMI as an example. Like many labels, EMI has a publishing arm that controls several different catalogs of songs. April Music, one of those, holds the rights to some 200,000 songs, including works written and performed by Jay-Z, Mos Def and Beyonce. Holding those rights means that when any of those 200,000 songs are played in public spaces or in front of an audience, April Music — along with the song's writer — is paid a fee by the broadcaster.
Read More and listen to the NPR story

Friday, July 1, 2011

Conservatory Library closed July 4th

              Have a safe and happy holiday!