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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for July 16, 2003

Assorted Music News This Week...

Florida Philharmonic Crisis - Likely another U.S. symphony orchestra has folded: The Florida Philharmonic has let all musicians go after a campaign to raise funds fell far short of the required goal. One of their excellent recordings was an audiophile-level Mahler First on Harmonia mundi.

Surgical Music - A violist in the Pittsburgh Symphony recently provided live music for a bladder operation on a 51-year-old composer who was allergic to general anaesthetic. Only local anaesthetic was used during the operation, while the violist played a drone and a music therapist chanted over it. The composer later said it wasn’t pain-free but the music gave her a euphoric feeling stronger than pain perception.

Next Big Classical Artist? - Following in the footsteps of performing artists such as Billy Joel, Keith Jarrett and Friedreich Gulda, Myleene Klass - singer with the rock band Hear’Say - just signed a six-CD deal with Universal Classics which launches with a classical piano album in October. Klass is a classically-trained pianist, violinist and singer.

Jerry Springer - The Opera! - If Nixon In China and Jackie O can be operatic subjects, why not? Colorful guests of trash TV are featured in the new production at London’s National Theatre starring Michael Brandon as Jerry Springer. The London Observer observed: “It crashes thru barrier after barrier of taste and expectation with every foul-mouthed, inventive, sublimely sung note.”

Vivaldi Served With Salsa - At Chicago’s Ravinia Festival last week a new approach was heard to one of the most-crossed-over works in the classical catalog (plus over 150 played-straight versions). After having been done by rock groups, jazz ensembles, marimba bands and synthesizers among others, Vivaldi’s hoary The Four Seasons saw an entirely new version featuring early music specialist Nicholas McGegan and his Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra plus Latin jazz master Jimmy Bosch. Bosch called the hybrid Los Sazones (The Seasonings), and even wrote lyrics for some of the movements. McGegan reports that he doesn’t listen to classical music at home: “If I want to have fun, then I listen to salsa,” he said.

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