Weekly AUDIO NEWS for Sept. 3, 2003

Webcasters Launch Suit Against RIAA - The Webcaster Alliance - a group of over 400 members who stream audio to individual listeners over the Internet - has filed a lawsuit in San Francisco stating that RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) fees which they are forced to pay in order to play copyrighted music are unreasonable high and intended only to restrain competition. The RIAA was accused in the lawsuit of maintaining a monopoly over Net radio broadcasting, which has already forced many webcasters - especially non-profits such as public radio stations who were simulcasting their broadcasts on the Web - to close down their streaming operations.

Tough Times for U.S. Orchestras - In a pre-emptive move against the financial tough times that are affecting symphony organizations around the country, the New York Philharmonic is moving to the smaller and acoustically superior Carnegie Hall which was its home 40 years ago. The Philharmonic is running a small deficit and Carnegie’s ticket sales fell nine percent this season. The members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have agreed to a pay cut in exchange for more artistic responsibility in planning programs and in selecting potential conductors and guest artists. The cuts will save the orchestra $685,000 for next season.

UK Effort for More Music in Schools - Performing artists Evelyn Glennie, James Galway, Michael Kamen and Julian Lloyd Webber make up The Music in Education Consortium in London, and are engaged in a campaign for improved access to music education for school children. The government is evaluating 12 projects offering opportunities for all primary school pupils to learn a musical instrument.

Unexpected Musician Comments - Composer John Adams, talking about his love-hate relationship with opera in a TV interview: “I hated opera and never went. In fact, I very rarely go now.” Conductor David Tilling, explaining how he stabbed himself in the hand with his baton (requiring removal at hospital) while leading Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1: “I was getting very excited, and then the stick just stuck into my hand.”

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