Classical News – The Berklee College of Music in Boston has received an $8.1 million gift from a man who used to enjoy coming to jazz concerts there. The donor’s is Oliver Colvin and Berklee, which is not the typical conservatory but emphasizes contemporary music, recording and music business skills, will name one of its performance halls after the donor. The Pulitzer Prize for Music has gone to Caroline Shaw, a 30-year-old grad student at Princeton and a New York-based freelance violinist and vocalist. Her winning composition was Partita for 8 Voices, written for the vocal octet Roomful of Teeth. The new Musiktheater am Volksgarten opened its doors last weekend with the world premiere of Philip Glass’s new opera Traces of the Lost. Dennis Russell Davies was the conductor, and the work shoed off the main auditorium, with its traditional horseshoe design and dark wood, including red upholstered seats.
SiriusXM Car Tuner Promotion – The satellite radio firm SiriusXM will give new customers three free months of All Access service when they purchase a $69 SVX200 Connect Vehicle Tuner. The compact tuner can be controlled by nine different brands of in-dash head units and connects to them with special adapters or a separate wire for power. All Access is normally $18.99 a month, and new users must sign up for at least six months, of which three are free. SiriusXM Internet Radio includes mySXM, which allows personalization of many SiriusXM commercial-free music channels and some comedy channels.
Harman Kardon Expands Networked AVRs – Two new AV receivers—the $799 7.1-channel AVR 2700 and the $999 7.2-channel AVR 3700—both feature Apple AirPlay, vTuner Internet radio to stream the thousands of Internet stations, and DLNA 1.5 certification to stream audio from networked sources. The 3700 also adds streaming from video sources and embedded Wi-Fi. Both models have 4K upscaling from any video input, eight HDMI 1.4a inputs, an HDMI audio return channel, and USB for iPod, iPhone or iPad. Both also have Dolby Voume, Dolby ProLogic IIx, and Harman’s Logic 7, which creates 5.1 and 7.1 soundfields from two-channel sources. The 2700 has seven channels of 100 watts each, and the 3700 seven channels of 125 watts.
LG Joins Rival Wireless Power Camp – There are two major competing wireless technology standards organizations focusing on “streaming” of wireless power transfer from a charging pad to compatible devices. One is the Wireless Power Consortium, which licenses the Qi standard for inductive charging. LG Electronics was a founding member, but it has now also joined the Alliance for Wireless Power. Samsung is also a member of both organizations. Last year LG introduced their first program to use magnetic inductive charging—the Revolution smartphone. A third spatial wireless charging technology was shown at CES in January—from WiTricity and Alps Electric.
Meridian Expands Autosound – High-end audio supplier Meridian now offers two different audio system in the new Range Rover Sport. One is a 1700-watt system with 23 speakers, including height speakers in the roof lining. It uses Trifield 3D surround technology to create a consistent surround sound experience for each passenger. Other vehicles offering the Meridian brand are the McLaren 12C and several Jaguar models.