Pulitzer Prizes in Music Expanded - The board for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism and arts has announced a broadening of the category for music awards that would allow for film scores, musical theater, works with improvisation and even possibly a jam session to be considered for awards. Until now all new works for consideration had to submit a completely notated score plus a live recording. The change could be a response to a blistering email message, widely distributed, from composer John Adams. It pointed out that most of Americas greatest musical minds were missing from the list of winners - people like John Cage, Harry Partch, and Thelonious Monk - while plenty of academy composers...won a disproportionate number of prizes.
See "Carmen" in the Piazza and Bullring - Come September Austrian impresario Michael Ecker is planning to move around 14,000 people a night in Seville to see the opera Carmen with Angela Gheorghiu, Lorin Maazel and the Philharmonia Orchestra. The four acts will happen at three different venues: the Piazza dEspana, Maria Luisa Park and the Bullring for the finale. (The tobacco factory proved impractical.) And in South Africa The Cape Town Opera has mounted Beethovens ode to freedom, Fidelio, in the prison buildings on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was jailed.
Jazz Awards Celebrate Excellence in Musicianship and Journalism - The Jazz Journalists Association will present their eighth annual Jazz Awards June 15th in NYC, with another gathering later in Los Angeles. Comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory will be host in NY; among his many credits was a starring role as a Charlie Parker-based saxist in the l966 film Sweet Love Bitter. The JJA will also honor what it calls An A Team of advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of the jazz art form. Among those honored this year will be Les Paul, recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, and Sandy Jackson - widow of vibist Milt Jackson.
Bill Protecting Consumer Rights to Recording Devices - The Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC) has endorsed House Bill H. R. 107 which re-affirms the Supreme Court decision in the Betamax case, provides protection from prosecution under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act unless an activity also infringes copyright, and imposes strict consumer notification requirements on all copy-protected CDs. For more information visit the HRRC website: www.hrrc.org