Audio News for February 22, 2011

by | Feb 22, 2011 | Audio News | 0 comments

Ultimate Electronics Chains Closes – Wattles-owned consumer electronics retail chain Ultimate Electronics – with 46 stores nationwide – has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In addition to many different CE products, Ultimate also sold more than 10,000 movie and video game titles.  Consolidation in the industry and competition from Walmart and Amazon caused Ultimate to go the way of Circuit City in closing down.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Season Suspended
– Months of better debate has case a pall over the orchestra’s long-term future. Neither side has released their contract proposals, but striking musicians complained about health care deductibles, travel costs. payments for community outreach, the number of players allows at community outings, and removing the orchestra librarian from their union. It is doubtful the orchestra management could hire replacement musicians.

Things Looking Up for Chicago Symphony Orchestra
– Music Director Riccardo Muti is back at work after recovering from surgery for a broken jaw and the insertion of a pacemaker – both the result of his fainting during a rehearsal on Feb. 3. The orchestra won two Grammies for their recording of the Verdi Requiem. During the upcoming season they will make their first tours under Muti to Europe, California and Abu Dhabi. Bernard Haitink and Pierre Boulez will be back as guest conductors.

Marin Alsop New Music Director Position
Musical America’s 2009 Conductor of the Year, Marin Alsop, will remain leading the Baltimore Symphony while being named the new Music Director of the Orquestra Sinfonica do estado de Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Father of the 5 Browns Guilty of Abuse
  – The father of the crossover hit 5 Browns classical piano ensemble has pleaded guilty in Provo, Utah to sexually abusing his three daughters when they were children, and will be sent to prison for at least ten years. The siblings decided to turn in their father when they learned he might manage other young performers; they had severed their business relationship with him as manager a couple years ago.

Reference Recordings Grammy Win for Best Surround Album
– Recording Engineer Keith O. Johnson and producer David Frost have won a Grammy for the label’s first release in surround sound – Britten’s Orchestra (RR-120SACD).  The label also congratulates the Kansas City Symphony and its conductor Michael Stern. They announce that they are looking forward to their next Kansas City SACD project in May – Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Vaughan Williams’ The Wasps.

Criterion Collection Joins Hulu Plus
– The Criterion Collection – known for their curating of a library of truly classic films on laserdisc, DVD and now Blu-ray, plus their expertise in restoring them to their original highest image and sound quality – is now part of the Hulu Plus video streaming system, with over 150 films from their library already available. More than 800 films will eventually be added to the launch, including many difficult or impossible to find in video on any format.  Hulu subscription is about $8 per month and Hulu Plus subscribers watch the Criterion Collection free of commercial interruptions. A few Criterion titles will also be rotated thru Hulu.com

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