LSM Newswire

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Tough Economic Times, People Turn to Classical Music

CLASSICAL ARCHIVES LAUNCHES THE ULTIMATE CLASSICAL MUSIC DESTINATION

New Music Store and Subscription Service Offers Largest Collection

of Classical Recordings and Most Sophisticated Interface on the Internet


New York, NY Classical Archives (www.classicalarchives.com) is bringing online classical music shopping and listening into the 21st century! The site is the ultimate destination for online classical music on-demand streams, hi-definition downloads, and expert musicology. Classical Archives also offers a breakthrough in site navigation that will be welcomed by all. Catering to serious aficionados and eager newcomers alike, the site offers the largest collection of classical music available online as well as extensive background information on works, composers, artists, and much more.


Best of all, the site features a new proprietary navigation and search engine capability that lets visitors search and cross-reference by any relevant criteria: composer, work title, artist, albums, historical period, instrument, genre, and many others that make finding and comparing the best classical recordings easier than it has ever been. In addition to albums from major labels such as DG/Decca, Angel/EMI/Virgin, Sony/Columbia, and 110+ more, the site offers a large collection of free streaming tracks from its own roster of world-class talents.


Pierre R. Schwob, CEO and Founder, notes, "The Renaissance starts here! Classical Archives will become the ultimate classical music site and a model for music sites in general: where the music you want can be easily and immediately found, and where composers, artists, and works get the respect they deserve. It marks the dawn of a new era for online music sales in terms of its navigation system and the wealth of contextual information it offers. Our sophisticated but elegant system has been developed by our expert team of musicologists, and built by our engineers using the latest advances in web technology. Anyone who has purchased music online, particularly classical music, knows well the current limitations of Internet music shopping and discovery. Classical Archives is changing the whole user experience."


The newly launched Classical Archives opens its doors as the most complete classical music resource on the Internet with over 620,000 recorded tracks (building to over 1 million!) representing 7,800 composers, 27,000 artists and 110+ record labels representing a unique blend of the majors and independent labels. Tracks are available in high quality DRM-free MP3 for listening or downloading and some in MIDI format for synthesizers. The company's ultimate goal is to offer the complete catalogs of all classical music record labels, as well as independent classical artists in DRM-free format, and to identify the recordings in a proper, consistent, and easily searchable form. Classical Archives will always allow users to keep their downloads for life: they are not tied to any conditions such as staying in a subscription program.


Dr. Nolan Gasser, Artistic Director, states, "We are very proud of the contribution that the new Classical Archives is making to the world of classical music as a whole; for too long, the online consumer has dealt with a broken system, where the music is identified and displayed in an inconsistent, if not inaccurate, manner, making the process of finding and comparing recordings difficult or impossible. Admittedly, it is no easy task to correctly identify the vast repertoire of classical works, and then coordinate their various recordings, but our expert team of musicologists is committed to this goal, and the consumer will experience the music as they have only imagined."


The site provides detailed musicological information for each work: its proper movements and subdivisions, genre, principal instruments, year of composition, and key. Users can then easily compare various recordings of a given work, each identified in a proper and consistent manner something not possible with any other site.


The new Classical Archives offers unique membership opportunities that allow users to take advantage of its vast resources easily and affordably. Fees are $9.95/month or $99.50/year. Benefits include the ability to listen to music from the whole site (entire tracks or works); a 10% discount on all downloads (which are yours to keep for life!); the first two weeks as a free trial of the service; the ability to access and download MIDI files free of charge.


Free registered members also enjoy great benefits: the ability to freely listen to Classical Archives' own large catalog of contributed tracks, which includes many performances from world-class talents; the ability to listen to any music clips (30-60 seconds); the ability to purchase hi-definition downloads; and the ability to access and download free MIDI files.

For more information, please visit: www.classicalarchives.com.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Classical Archives Celebrates the Splendor of American Music

THE CLASSICAL ARCHIVES CELEBRATES

THE SPLENDOR OF AMERICAN MUSIC

Interview With American baritone, Thomas Hampson

and New One-Click Concerts Featured Throughout July


Palo Alto, CA -- The Classical Archives (www.ClassicalArchives.com) proudly presents a unique American Music Celebration throughout the month of July including an exclusive interview with acclaimed American baritone, Thomas Hampson, in anticipation of his 2009 Song of America tour starting this month:

The Celebration features an exclusive interview with famed baritone Thomas Hampson, as he prepares to resume his acclaimed Song of America tour, in partnership with the Library of Congress. The tour, entitled "250 Years of American Song", begins on July 9 in Winona, MN, and continues through February 2010 with stops at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, and Grand Teton Music Festivals. Alongside the in-depth and provocative interview, the Hampson feature also includes a special presentation of the original EMI Classics CD Song of America, from the first tour in 2005-06, complete with notes from the Library of Congress.\

The Celebration also features a two-part concert of seminal American classical music from Revolutionary times to the present. Each One-Click ConcertѢ features outstanding selections from our top performers of works by Billings, MacDowell, Ives, Copland, Gershwin, Bernstein, Glass, Adams, Corigliano, and many others. Each selection is then enriched with historical notes by Dr. Nolan Gasser, Artistic Director of the Classical Archives.

Classical Archives also features its new Home Page layout, offering dynamic presentations of this week's Featured Composer (Aaron Copland); Featured Artist (conductor Michael Tilson Thomas); and an array of New Releases by the major classical labels.


Classical Archives continues its offering of free One-Click ConcertѢ for historical periods, and its state-of-the art classical navigation system. All this and unlimited streaming of our entire classical catalogue can be enjoyed at no cost by signing up for a 14-day Free Trial today!


Visit the Classical Archives at www.ClassicalArchives.com.

About Classical Archives

The Classical Archives (www.classicalarchives.com), the ultimate classical music destination, is the largest digital music subscription service dedicated to classical music. The site offers more than 620,000 tracks, 6,800 composers, and 27,000 artists representing more than 110 record labels. It also features a breakthrough in site navigation that allows users to search and cross-reference by any relevant criteria: composer, work title, artist, albums, historical period, instrument, genre, and many others that make finding and comparing the best classical recordings easier than it has ever been. Classical Archives offers unique membership opportunities that allow users to take advantage of its vast resources easily and affordably. Fees are $9.95/month or $99.50/year. Benefits include the ability to listen to music from the entire site (complete tracks or works); a 10% discount on all downloads (which are yours to keep for life!); and the first two weeks as a free trial of the service. Free registered members also enjoy great benefits: the ability to freely listen to The Classical Archives' own large catalog of contributed tracks, which includes many performances from world-class talents; the ability to listen to any music clips (30-60 seconds); the ability to purchase hi-definition downloads; and the ability to access and download free MIDI files.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Classical Archives Celebrates NY Philharmonic Maestro Lorin Maazel

CLASSICAL ARCHIVES (WWW.CLASSICALARCHIVES.COM)

HIGHLIGHTS ITS EXPERT APPROACH TO ONLINE CLASSICAL MUSIC WITH TWO NEW FEATURE SPOTS


Palo Alto, CA -- The Classical Archives (www.classicalarchives.com), the ultimate classical music destination on the web for listening (on-demand streams), hi-definition downloads, and expert musicology, showcases its array of unique offerings with two feature spots in addition to a number of free concerts.


The featured entertainment includes:


  • A special page, in partnership with the New York Philharmonic, dedicated to the New York Philharmonic's heroic celebration of Maestro Lorin Maazel's tenure as Music Director (2002-09). It features a live digital recording of The Complete Mahler Symphonies, Part 1: Symphonies 1-5 (recorded 20032006) complete with an overview of the symphonies, original liner notes, and PLAY buttons to enjoy each symphony performance with one click.

  • An intriguing review of Sony's new release Bach in Havana, where the spicy adaptations by Latin Jazz group Tiempo Libre are directly compared to the original source works by J.S. Bach. The original works include those performed by a stellar roster of classical artists such as: Hlne Grimaud, Itzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Wanda Landowska, and many others. The Classical Archives features works by more than 7,800 composers and over 27,000 artists.

In addition to the feature spots, Classical Archives continues to offer free top-notch concerts by celebrated artists. The site's new Home page layout offers dynamic presentations of this week's Featured Composer (Tchaikovsky); Featured Artist (pianist Piotr Anderszewski); and an array of New Releases by the major classical labels.


Classical Archives is also showcasing its free One-Click ConcertsѢ, including a 2-hour Modern era concert generously provided by the Naxos label. Each program offers a brief commentary to introduce the newcomer to classical music with some guidelines and important considerations, as they enjoy these musical tours.


You may sign up for your 14-day free trial at www.ClassicalArchives.com


About Classical Archives

The Classical Archives (www.classicalarchives.com), the ultimate classical music destination, is the largest digital music subscription service dedicated to classical music. The site offers more than 620,000 tracks, 6,800 composers, and 27,000 artists representing more than 110 record labels. It also features a breakthrough in site navigation that allows users to search and cross-reference by any relevant criteria: composer, work title, artist, albums, historical period, instrument, genre, and many others that make finding and comparing the best classical recordings easier than it has ever been. Classical Archives offers unique membership opportunities that allow users to take advantage of its vast resources easily and affordably. Fees are $9.95/month or $99.50/year. Benefits include the ability to listen to music from the entire site (complete tracks or works); a 10% discount on all downloads (which are yours to keep for life!); and the first two weeks as a free trial of the service. Free registered members also enjoy great benefits: the ability to freely listen to The Classical Archives' own large catalog of contributed tracks, which includes many performances from world-class talents; the ability to listen to any music clips (30-60 seconds); the ability to purchase hi-definition downloads; and the ability to access and download free MIDI files.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Classissima : launch of the collaborative website dedicated to classical music and opera


e-media management launches Classissima.com, the collaborative website dedicated to classical music and opera


Classissima is a collaborative website dedicated to classical music and opera. It offers to music lovers and casual visitors possibilities to discover contents available on the Net, to share preferences and comments. As such, it can be called as a "social network".


Today, Classissima is an international directory of websites related to classical music: almost 6000 are already available. Classissima also incorporates editorial and multimedia contents produced daily by third parties for each language covered. For example, it provides access to more than 7,000 biographies and dozens of news flows about classical music and opera.


Classissima opens in English and French. Other languages will be available soon: Spanish, Italian, German, ... Classissima is completely free for users. Innovative information services will come soon.


The vocation of Classissima is to support all audiences of classical music and opera in their use of the Internet. Without bias, Classissima is the site of all those interested in classical music, in all their diversity.


Internet and music settle in a sustainable way in all the cultural universes. Our vision is that Classical music and opera should particularly benefit from the opportunities of the web: diversity of works and artists, diversity of knowledge and expectations, importance of the quality of information, need to share and exchange, absence of frontiers...


Classissima is provided in total independence. e-media management ensures full funding. The advertising revenue of the site will contribute to its development and give resource to develop all the information services required by classical music and opera.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Canadian Orchestra Websites Improve for 3rd Straight Year

Canadian Orchestra Websites Rank Higher Than US Counterparts

Annual Orchestra Website Review examines 14 professional Canadian orchestra websites

www.adaptistration.com - October 20th, 2008 - Between 10/13/08 and 10/17/08, Drew McManus, a Chicago based nonprofit consultant, examined 14 professional Canadian orchestra websites and ranked them by how well they presented their concert schedule, sold tickets, facilitated making donations, provided organizational information, utilized dynamic content, and on overall functionality.


In a series of articles, the review examines how the scores have changed over the past five years as well as compares specific website components between Canadian and Us offerings. The overall rankings along with detailed orchestra website scores (coming 10/21/08) are available at Adaptistration, one of several blogs featured at InsideTheArts.com; a cultural blogging collective.


Updated for 2008 with new and revised grading criteria, this one-of-a-kind comprehensive examination by industry insider, Drew McManus, shines an intense light on orchestra websites by peeling away the pretty face of a home page to examine the five critical components that will make or break an orchestras online effort to generate revenue, bring in a new audience, and generate awareness.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Violinist Henryk Szeryng Website Launch


WEBSITE DEVOTED TO THE ARTISTRY OF VIOLINIST

HENRYK SZERYNG

TO BE LAUNCHED ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2008

A FUND OF INFORMATION AND MATERIALS IS NOW AVAILABLE ABOUT ONE OF THE GREAT ARTISTS OF OUR TIME


September 22, 2008, will mark the 90th anniversary of the birth of Henryk Szeryng, one of the greatest violinists of our time. As part of the commemoration of this milestone, a new website will be launched -- www.HenrykSzeryng.net. This site, dedicated to Szeryng's memory, will celebrate his reputation as a master of the violin, a performer of brilliance, an accomplished linguist; the Goodwill Ambassador for Culture of his adopted homeland, Mexico; and as a humanitarian whose life and work served to advance the values of civilization. The website, which will be written in four languages -- English, French, German and Spanish has been commissioned and managed by the Estate of Henryk Szeryng.


The site will contain extensive material concerning Szeryng's life and art - text, historic documents, photos, and excerpts from audio and video material that will convey as fully as possible the breadth and depth of this great man and artist.


Visitors to the www.HenrykSzeryng.net are invited to contribute to the contents of this web site. The purpose of this is to establish contact among individuals who have personal memories of Szeryng or are admirers of his art, or who have string connections, personal or professional, to the world of violin playing. www.HenrykSzeryng.net welcomes documents of all kind, personal texts, recollections, anecdotes or tributes to the artist.


It was part of Henryk Szeryng's philosophy of life to create and cultivate relationships between human beings. This web site will endeavor to keep his memory alive by perpetuating what was most important to him.


Henryk Szeryng's Artistry and Reputation

Henryk Szeryng, who was born in 1918 and passed away in 1988, secured his place in the history of music with a rare mastery applied to a wide range of musical styles. Whether involving a Bach Partita or a contemporary work written for or dedicated to him, Szeryng's performances were considered by audiences and fellow musicians alike to be consistently excellent. His interpretations reflected his ardent desire to serve the composer's style and personality and not his own.


Within the full spectrum of musical periods and styles, it was the music of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, that was inextricably woven into his life and career. Szeryng's legendary interpretation of Bach's Solo Sonatas and Partitas was unanimously acclaimed and remains so today. His first recording of these works for CBS in 1955 remains a milestone in violin performance. To this day, many teachers and students all over the world use his edition of the Solo Sonatas and Partitas published by Schott.


His interpretation of Beethoven's Violin Concerto was best expressed by one of his admirers in the following words: "He does not play, he celebrates [the concerto]." Unsurprisingly, therefore, many radio and television stations feature the Henryk Szeryng version of this concerto for broadcast performances.


Szeryng always felt a particularly strong connection to the music of Johannes Brahms; he performed the Violin Concerto throughout his career. Szeryng's career began in 1933 when he performed this beloved concerto. Destiny decreed that his final concert included this very work.


Audiences who attended his famous "marathons" would hear him play the Bach, the Beethoven and the Brahms concertos in the course of a single concert. He effortlessly did these performances -- disregarding the huge physical effort involved -- fired by the sheer joy and happiness of performing them. Often, the encore at these unforgettable events would be one movement of a Bach Partita!


Szeryng's artistry offers a great example of uncompromising devotion to present and future generations of musicians.


Henryk Szeryng - Biography

Henryk Szeryng was born in the Warsaw, Poland, suburb of Zelazowa Wola, the birthplace of Chopin, into a wealthy family, his father being a highly successful industrialist. At the age of three, his musical studies began with piano lessons from his mother. He was seven when he made the violin his instrument.


Szeryng's first teacher was Maurice Frenkel, an assistant to Leopold Auer (one of the greatest violin pedagogues in the history of music) in St. Petersburg prior to World War I. Although Frenkel was perhaps young Henryk's most influential teacher, it was the renowned pedagogue Carl Flesch (1873-1944) who imparted to Szeryng the brilliantly disciplined training in matters both musical and technical. Flesch nurtured Szeryng's immense talent between the years 1928 and 1932. Credit must also be given to the renowned Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman who, after hearing the 10-year-old Szeryng play the Mendelssohn concerto, convinced his parents that they should approach Flesch.


From 1935 to 1936, through the elegant and profound French violinist Jacques Thibaud and the coaching and guidance of Gabriel Bouillon, Szeryng became firmly associated with the French school of violin playing. His studies with them led to his graduation from the Paris Conservatory with the coveted First Prize in 1937. While still a student, Szeryng performed on an extensive concert tour that had resulted from his highly successful 1933 debut featuring the Brahms concerto.


Szeryng went on to study with the legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger, his guide in counterpoint and composition, who was responsible for introducing him to such personalities as Heitor Villa-Lobos, Alfred Cortot, Manuel Ponce, Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel.


At the outbreak of World War II, Szeryng was appointed liaison officer and interpreter (he spoke and wrote eight languages) by General Sikorski for the Polish government in Exile. He served in that capacity until 1945, having given well over 300 concerts for allied troops in Europe, Africa and the Americas. In 1942 he joined the exiled Polish Premier in Mexico who was in search of a home for some 4,000 Polish refugees displaced by the war. It was Mexico that finally accepted these desperate and homeless people. Henryk Szeryng was so moved by this humanitarian gesture that he returned to Mexico in 1943 where he was offered the post of director of the string department at the National University of Mexico. In recognition of his musical and cultural merits, he was granted Mexican citizenship in 1948.


Szeryng regularly gave concerts all over Latin America until 1950, when, in Mexico, he met his fellow Pole, Arthur Rubinstein, who encouraged him to extend his musical activities to all five continents. The two men enjoyed a deep friendship built upon mutual admiration and respect for each other as human beings and musicians. Rubinstein, who died in 1982, thought of his friend as an artist of the highest order and remarked: "Real music lovers want emotion -- great moments -- which Szeryng's playing gives them."


Apart from possessing a great technique and musicality, Szeryng was a tonalist and colorist whose broad musical lines and subtle interpretative nuances always reached for perfection. He was one of the most recorded violinists in the history of the industry; his recording career spanned more than forty years.


In addition to the various posts he held over the years, Szeryng served as Special Music Advisor to the Mexican Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in 1970 -- the first artist ever to travel on a diplomatic passport.


Many honors -- decorations, medals and awards were bestowed upon Henryk Szeryng, giving proof of the high esteem in which the world held this very special man.


The violins that have passed through the hands of Henryk Szeryng is a story of its own. Among these instruments were the "Hercules" Stradivarius of 1734 which had belonged to Eugene Ysaye. Szeryng put this famous instrument into the hands of Teddy Kollek, Mayor of Jerusalem, on December 24, 1972, for it to be used by the first concertmasters of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as a special token of friendship towards the Golden City.


Henryk Szeryng, a great musician, diplomat, pedagogue and philanthropist, died suddenly in the middle of a tour on March 3, 1988, after a concert in the city of Kassel, Germany. The program of his last performance was the same as for his very first concert 55 years earlier: the Violin Concerto of Johannes Brahms.


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bachtrack

New website shows the way to US classical concert-goers

Classical music website Bachtrack (www.bachtrack.com), started in the UK this year, is now launched in the US, starting with US listings of over 1,500 top concerts and operas. Bachtrack makes it easy for classical fans to find their favourite composers, works and performers, saying that many people don't go to concerts because they simply don't know what's on.

Bachtrack has the easiest and most comprehensive concert finder on the Internet covering top events, allowing users to browse its listings by composer, work, performer or orchestra, venue, city, type of work, date or any combination of these. The database now has over 5,000 listings including performances by the top orchestras and opera companies in the US and Europe.

If you're trying to find your favourite symphony or what concerts are on within an hour's drive from your home, standard search engines simply haven't been useful, says co-founder David Karlin. It's too hard to wade through the results, and there's so much great music going on that people just don't get to hear about. Bachtrack is convinced that it will increase audiences by showing classical music and opera fans what's on in a way and at a time that's convenient to them.

Bachtrack launched the US version of its site this week, with events from major US orchestras and opera houses (Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and others). Listings on the site are free, and Bachtrack is beginning to attract concert promoters of all types in the US to input listings. The site also features a special section to attract kids into classical music with listings of concerts and events for kids and teens.

As well as finding concerts, site visitors can see venues on a map, find recommended CDs of many of the works, Listen buttons to play clips from even more, and biographies and pictures of an increasing number of the performers.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dilettante Launches Online Classical Community

On Monday 28th January 2008 Dilettante Music goes live.
www.dilettantemusic.com

Dilettante is the first specialist classical music community on the Internet with tools for musicians, listeners and novices. The site aims to create a global network where classical musicians and fans can discover, present and share the music they love.

Why "Dilettante"?
Dilettante comes from the Italian dilettare meaning "to delight", so a dilettante is anyone who enjoys the arts.

Why classical? Why now?
Record industry sales figures show that classical is currently the fastest-growing genre of music, with digital downloads of classical music outpacing those of any other genre. Meanwhile, the demographic of classical music listeners is changing. Boasting a total listenership of 6.5million, the UK's ClassicFM recently reported a 52% increase in listeners under the age of 15 in a mere three-month period. As the Canadian news magazine Maclean's put it, "maybe classical music isn't dying, just relocating to the Internet."

Juliana Farha, the company's Canadian founder, was determined to use the Internet to revive the true spirit of dilettantism in music.

She says: "I was convinced that new listeners could discover classical music if they were given the right tools. Dilettante is designed to guide listeners on a journey through that often-daunting world". At the same time, Juliana wanted to support talented and committed young classical performers. "The best way to accomplish both was to help them find each other," she says.

The Site
At the heart of the Dilettante site is an unprecedented level of integration between the members' network and music pages. The Dilettante music catalogue is enhanced by the web's most comprehensive data about classical performers, composers and their works; supplied by All Media Guide.

Web 2.0 tools enable classical music lovers and novices alike to harness the power of the Internet for covert exploration and discovery. Members of the Dilettante community create online profiles that:

- showcase their repertoire and influences
-'fingerprint' (tag) music according to mood and other criteria
- highlight other skills, such as composing or teaching
- use blogs to share their news and views
- link their profiles to their own recordings for sale in the Dilettante shop, powered by Amazon.

In the coming weeks, we'll be adding tools to enhance user profiles, including:

- mp3 uploads of musicians' own performances and compositions
- a public events calendar, with concerts linked back to performer's profiles.

In addition, Dilettante will collaborate with producers to present classical music events in non-traditional venues.

These are the ingredients for a classical revolution; the only qualification to join is curiosity.


Rising Stars Webcast

The Dilettante uprising begins with a series of webcasts featuring some of the UK's rising stars. On 28th January 2008, The Harpham Quartet are first in the spotlight. Recent music college graduates, these fantastic young musicians have already made their Wigmore Hall debut and been featured live on BBC London.

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